by Zinta Aistars
This is the poem I never wrote.
Its skeleton is good, of sturdy build,
pure and white as Baltic sand.
Feel: such bones lie smooth in the hand,
weighted and heavy with life as it once was,
in the shape of faith, however blind,
a blossom of bliss, a hope like new sun,
a hint of death held always at bony arm’s length.
Here is the life I never lived.
Its allure is warm like sirens,
sweet and seductive on the mind,
as blameless as a fool’s fantasy,
imagined in its faultless shape,
but it was almost mine, almost mine.
Here is the love I never made.
It arches the back and leaves the cry unvoiced
in a pale white throat that whispers the name
of a lover who has left the heart unscarred.
These are the tears I never wept.
Dripping like pearls, bejeweled evidence
of a blameless heart, a soul unfurled
and open to all who might find need
to wipe their feet on its welcome hearth.
Listen to the song I never sang.
Melody of dulcet tones, shimmering clear,
without rasp or break, no missing beat,
notes so high they shatter glass.
Behold the child I never birthed.
His life is a continued promise of mine.
Legacy of virtue, brave and true ,
he washes clean all that was muddied before him.
There waits the death I will not die.
In her robes she stands tall and vigilant,
eternally patient as any mother, even kind.
With her shadowy wings she wipes all slates clean.
Elusive and slippery with regret,
this is what might have been, what almost was,
the promised paradise evaded, the Eden lost
and only remembered, faintly, with sting,
like the joint that aches during a long hard rain.
Yet I choose this, stubborn and clenched:
the poem I've written, creaking and old,
the life I’ve lived, broken and wrong,
the love I’ve made, both bitter and sweet,
the tears I’ve wept, beast howling at the moon,
the music I’ve made, out of tune,
the child I’ve birthed, failing with efforts made,
the death I will yet die, struggling against her,
however inevitable her final victory
over the gift of my marred and jubilant human soul.
Photo above - my thrice perfect imperfection - instead of the photo that was never taken.