Lacy MacAuley


a home for my pen, projects, and passions

riparian zones and clean rooms

This is a forgotten poem I scrawled on a page for a lover as I was packing up and moving from one city to another. That lover recently got back in touch with me, typed up the poem, and sent it. Here it is.

Why are you here?
So that, in a moment,
as you expressed a simple idea about cleaning
and empty rooms
I could look at your radiant eyes
the color of an aged mahogany tree
who has seen generations of people walk beneath it
but remains standing alone
in that moment I understood fully
exactly what I was letting go.
All the richness of your person
and the solidity of your comportment
the tapestry woven by your experience
and the will to survive
that is stored in the creases your eyes trace
as your smile spreads out across long-ago happy skies
the smoothness of cinnamon-colored rolling skin
and long graceful fingers that plucked the strings of my future
singing songs into the flesh-colored cavities of my hopes
accompanied by a wholly unwarranted humility.

And there are no clean lines in this world.
Did I love you?
I knew in that moment that I did.
But if you look closely at any line
the edges blur into ugly grayness
that transform into vagabond pigeons and escape
muttering things both true and insane
turning the ordered pragmatic life
into a circus of madness.

I try to catch them, calm them
smooth the lines back
but this is a riparian zone, a flood plain
A green-yellow edge of slash-and-burn
where machines scratch and tear at the earth
where wild creatures are exposed
and they get lost and die
in a world not their own.

And there is love between us still, despite him.
Despite my imminent migration.
Love to soften your rough voice
laid over delicate silken guitar
Love to forgive many missteps

Please don’t believe for one moment
that you are not unique, indeed cherished
regarded more highly than him in so many ways.
But I am not in a position now to receive you.
This is the edge of a wave
a changing zone of calculated destruction
as the mother ocean draws the sand into her depths
I will find waves to ride to solid ground.

This is cleaning
and this is my empty room


Filed under: lacy's life, poems

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