Brush the decaying leaves aside
Uncover that moss blanketed stone
Slide your fingers along it’s cool belly
Digging for purchase with dirty nails

You think you’re free
You’re hold yourself back
The tightness of scar tissue
Keeps you from reaching out

Fingernails bending over backwards
You lean back on your haunches
The stone makes a wet sucking sound
Suddenly you find it balanced on edge

It’s natural to fear pain
Fight or flight, you’re lizard brain’s defense
A drowning victim avoiding the depths
A burn victim shunning the bonfire’s warmth

In that moment you almost let go
Letting the rock settle back into its bed
A scab allowed to re-adhere to wound
But, instead, you give the slightest of tugs

What life is it, if all you do is play it safe?
You end up an unopened vintage fishing lure
You’re value tied to the condition of your box
Your hermetically sealed heart undonated

It falls at your feet with a thunderous thwump
You step on the muddied underbelly to assess
A circle of black loam surrounded by grass
The smell of childhood drops you to your knees

Hefting the weight of love and heartbreak
One in each hand you find love lacking
Your understanding of love’s gravity is false
As it is based on experience and you’re green

Centipedes scurry and worms slip beneath
You press your hands into the softness
You uncover old Polaroids beneath the surface
Your first love, your high school sweetheart

You still believe in fairytales but as warnings
Since you can’t have the devil without god
You can’t have poisoned apples
Without happily ever afters

You spread the photos out before you
You wipe them clean with salty tears
These moments were meant to be mourned
Release the ghosts, an exorcism of forgiveness

You realize the next love could eclipse all
Make all that came before mere shadows
In a world that’s become perpetually noon
No longer a cloud, love shines from above

You grab a handful of dirt and sprinkle it about
Covering up the photos, but not to hide them
Fertile soil, free of weeds, welcomes the sun
Tear soaked memories begin to sprout flowers

A bed of perennials and a stone grave marker
You wipe your fingers across your face
A warrior’s face paint
You’ll swim the depths and sit fireside

No longer afraid


8 thoughts on “Exhume

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