Too Long Coming

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I hear a voice say, you’ve been here too long.

I agree.

Even the things we care deeply about have a way of wearing themselves thin with the waves and the wind. I thought I would feel more. I thought I would care more, or ache more, or feel that ugly menagerie of feelings we get because we are in fact, only human.

I am wondering less what you say to one another and worrying less of my mistakes. I think about things like how long the greens will last, deadlines for poems, and when the tide will go back out. I narrow my focus to a window of only what is right in front of me. The world becomes a place to play again.

My feelings wear one another, hide behind themselves, inside of, and chase each another down in the dark of night. Relief and jealousy are always around.

I do not know if it is a sign of being a woman or a sign of being me, but I sense now and then, I am wholly unentitled to my own feelings. Does saying that out loud make me a different kind of woman than the one I want to be?

I feel myself entirely edged out of the room. There is no space left. You and her, and her. Life has a way of teaching you how to live it. How to make room, close doors, and swim in the water even when it’s cold. There is relief in this, in my total absence. In my new life. In the plants I hang in the windows.

I make a list of the things I wanted to do instead. I let go of the name I had chosen. I stop staying what if we had. I learn the lesson that things are the way they are. There is no other path, no parallel life I can access.

I can no longer imagine it having gone another way. She is so little in your hands. Life has a way of teaching you how to live it. I have to lay my love down and get along. I’ve been here too long.

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