My Lex Luther

There was a time when hearing your name

Chilled my blood and raised my anxiety. 

I’d look around, watching for you,

Nervously hoping to avert your gaze,

Or worse,

Your criticism.

Bully. You terrified me. 

Somewhere between high school and graduate school,

Between apologies and catching up,

Serious illnesses, breakups, and career milestones,

We became friends. 

Worlds apart but closer than many of my colleagues. 

At first, I was skeptical of your remorse,

Wondering if it could possibly be real.

I’d built you up as my vindictive, diabolical arch-nemesis. 

My Lex Luther. 

Somewhere between there and here,

From high school to reality,

You’ve become a cherished ally,

Prince Charming when I was at my lowest,

Treating me to the ultimate luxury,

My body riddled with cancer and chemo,

Distracting me from the fear of death,

Of truly missing out.

The Southern California sun kissing my pale skin,

Carbonation from my first taste of champagne dancing on my tongue,

Sand between my toes, 

your fingers interlaced with mine,

And you, worshipping at my temple,

Delight and care and kindness washing over me, making me whole. 

You restored my confidence.

You showered me with celebration for my recovery and health. 

You glued back the pieces you broke within me so long ago.

And then, like clockwork, you were back to business.

From your cruelty to your kindness,

Our hatred to mutual admiration,

The United States to the Arab World,

You’ve made me feel and made me strong.

Happy Birthday. Every day. 

Into Oblivion

We’ve only just begun

With fresh eyes

And pleasantries

Slightly swirling

One another’s hearts

Stirring sensations.

My body

Not yet used to yours

Its smell, its oils

Your body

Not yet acclimated.

Learning preferences

Favorites

Even last names.

Your soul is new to mine.

In the newness

Your presence is the warmest blanket

A gentle breeze,

light summer rain,

Coziest sweater.

Simple, innocent, tender.

Let this continue,

I pray you,

Don’t change a thing

And this little bud, blooming

Will love you,

Encapsulate you

Into oblivion.

Moments

You never know what moments will hold the most meaning while you’re living them.

This morning, I awoke from a dream I’ve been playing on repeat for weeks now, always ending in the same place: he opens the door to his old apartment, smiles that huge, goofy smile and says, wide-eyed, “HELLO!” The scene ends and I awake. The blue trimming of the doorway, the peeling paint on the door, the narrow landing near the stairwell, the chattering of others coming from inside the apartment. Of all the moments over the years, that one has become a favorite. Especially now. Especially when that smile is gone; the smile that always seemed to open every locked door in my heart.

Moments. 

Where I fumbled with my airplane seatbelt and we locked eyes.

Moments.

Where I saw tears stream from those beautiful eyes.

Moments.

Where he taught me how to properly pour wine.

Moments.

When I first met his dad.

Moments.

When he first called me out on a lie.

Moments.

When he challenged my feminism.

Moments. So many small memories that seemed insignificant at the time but now seem to be the things I remember best. 

Tonight, a stranger asked me if it was better to have a respectful, thoughtful ending to a romantic relationship or one that cuts you off at the knees. 

My response? 

I would never jeopardize the beautiful memories with someone just because the production of them ends. 

Never take the moments for granted. You never know when they’ll stop occurring.

Tried & True

A humble legend

Towering above a quiet town

Uniting through charity

Strong, rooted, stoic 

Calm and collected

Tried and true.

A wayward child, scared,

Wide-eyed unearthing skeletons,

The legend places a calming hand,

An alternative to the brutal reality,

The chaos so apparent in the foreground.

Not just through the stillness,

The legend, while tiring,

Reaches to the sky to harness the sun,

Sprinkling laughter and kindness

Upon the town, easing anxiety,

Sowing community, 

deeply rooted in love.

In moments of chaos,

Of hollowed sorrows and fragility,

With an immovable force,

Recalling gratitude and inspiration,

Growing taller,

The legend rises above the town,

Motivating the community to remember:

Remember their own roots.

Remember the future.

Remember the past.

Remember

The legend lives on inside us all.
(In memory of Barney)