is this what you want to do with what you have left?

Image by Vincent Giersch on Unsplash

it might be today, tomorrow, sooner than you think.
the moment will arrive wrapped in a pause.

you might get to say:

i love you.

you might get to say:

goodbye. i am sorry. i wish things had turned out differently.

you might get to press one last, thank-you-for-loving-me, into someone’s desperate hands.
i was there in the room when a woman gave this to a man.
the memory remains.

but also, you might not.
it’s been known to happen.
i have seen it with my own eyes.
the grief for what can never be given again.
the memory remains.

you are a life that is gossamer thin, always seeding itself somewhere. always being touched by something.
a holy osmosis. a sacred transference.

what do you want for what remains of your time?
hitch up your skirt. kick off your shoes.
find the water. the earth. a tree, some moss. pick up a twig.
let the breeze tiptoeing across a body of water find you.

stay hungry. there is no greater way to say thank you.

somewhere, there are wars, but also, the sky is a blanket of Moroccan blue, and you are here to see it.

if that isn’t a miracle then i don’t know what is, and i have seen a few, thank God. i have walked through the valley and all the way back again with no shoes on my feet.

i know how to make bread from crumbs.
it’s easy once you know what not to do, what you have to leave behind.

and on the subject of bread, you are beautiful just as you are. you are more than enough. your hair. your clothes.
the lush velvet of your hips.

so much of what we are told matters, doesn’t.
the things that do, speak quietly. they do not call
from the other side of a screen. they do not make you wish
you were anything other than who you are.
still, real life leaves a mark, and if you must heal, then heal.
sometimes it hurts. i won’t lie about this.
still, you are everything beautiful. believe me.
i have been told by many mouths that i am anything but beautiful, anything but clever, anything but worthy.
all the things that a body needs to heal from, i know them.
i have made a life out of giving myself new names.

this day, this moment, this tiny bit of now, is all that you have. find the hand that means the most to you. hold it.
squeeze in tight next to the body of the one you love the most. touch as if you’ll never get the chance again, because, well, you know what i am going to say, don’t you?

and kisses? kiss hands, and mouths, and foreheads, and belly buttons. hug, and don’t let go until they do.

do something with your presence that leaves a soft mark.
a whisper of a shadow like the salty air on sun-warmed skin. be the quiet exhale in someone’s life.

the place where they can eat the word, love, as a square meal. a heaping plate. no crumbs.

love, is not a snack.

and that thing? you know what it is, i know you do.
even right now as you read my words, it has started moving on the periphery of your conscience.
listen! it is calling your name.
listen! if it eats your life, it will take your joy as a prisoner.

don’t let it. walk away. teach yourself how to close doors.

this is not a dress rehearsal. this is not a practice run.
this is it.
your life.

find all the things that breathe. remember your tender life.
stay there in the wildness. tie down a canopy of stars over
the hearts and the bodies that you love.
dwell there until you are called. dwell there in the mystery.
dwell there in the peace that is yours.

— is this what you want to do with what you have left?

©Liezel Graham 2022

{images all attributed on the individual photo}

sharing a provocative question from my new book, and all the blues which i love so, so much!

and as always, #wordswithmyself which i hope will find a soft place to land.


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