Lesson

heavy legs
sprout feet
that glide fretfully over narrow wood
I know this wait
this lumbering wait
that swings despondent
on porches at night
momma taught me
suffering is better than anger
and men who love you
can hurt you most
when pain is invisible
and wildly dispersed
versed in tip-toeing
around brutality that says
“Iove”
sometimes
as unpredictable as envy
you must be nimble
to survive
we practice what we learn
every man I have ever loved
I have loved in grief
evolved from what is given
or from the resistance
of a no
and the inevitable
over/under
on how each moment plays out
from the essential place
within me
I am caught
knowing too much
understanding too little
telling one after another
in prisons vast and thorny
through delusion thick as cotton
in dreams that wake them sated
(when I am not weeping)
in careful words
I am writing in the sky,
I love them fiercely
and actively stuggle how not to love them so much
that the act of loving
is killing me.

-Kristen Chapman Gibbons