The Objective Version of Moving On

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

STRAND

 

There was a splinter between us,

something binding us together.

Its ends poked into our

same-sized waists, making

us reach for each other

to dislodge it. Or make it stay?

 

You held me

while I tried to shimmy it free.

I put salve on the skin

where it pierced you, and watched

as you puffed small sighs of relief my way.

 

We did this for years, swaddling the splinter,

never giving it a name but knowing its need

to mend one of us back to standing.

 

It was the cruelest method

of being close, having to move so carefully.

Any thoughtless bend or shift

made us grimace with pain.

 

When my soft rubbing and gentle humming

brought you back to balance,

it was my turn to get screechy.

And you cooed gently in my direction.

 

I mistook your attentive gestures

for loyalty. You thought mine were devotion.

We confused closeness with fear.

 

And in the sooty shift from day to night

we slept, wondering how we

loved so much and felt so frozen.

 

So we filed the pain, and asked

for reassurances. A sigh, a moan,

a whistle: our techniques were

brilliant and golden.

 

It took us so long to see the splinter,

and longer yet to give it a name.

We did it intermittently, silently,

and alone.

 

When at last you counted to three and backed up,

I said your real name for the first time, and meant it.

 

The splinter that held us together

fell like a feather to the floor.

 

Now,

I see a glistening strand

that sways between us.

 

I say your name so sweetly,

and then I say my own.

 

 

 

~Jennifer Sandberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 responses to “The Objective Version of Moving On

    • Yes, and the illusion that the broken parts will come together to make a whole. Or that something broken off
      can sustain togetherness. Thanks for reading today. Squeezing you from here.

  1. Ouch.

    I love it!

    I like Angela’s response.

    You really should be published.

    I was so happy to get your message earlier! I could not return within the time frame for today, but I really want to catch up this weekend if it works.

    Love you, (and your words)
    xo m

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