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We Are Not Poetry: A Sorrow Song

...And I almost became your poem.

You speak to me in beautiful words. You are so well read. That is two of the things I love about you. Those are just two things pulled from thousands. You are like poetry to me. Sometimes when you speak, even I feel like a poem. It is an easy trap, covered by music and the heady scent of our favorite flower—of us. However, I have seen your cracks. I have seen your jagged edges. I have glimpsed the you behind the words when you were not focused. And know this, I love you. I have no pretty words for that. There are no poems to describe how I feel for you or how I feel at this moment as I look into your eyes.

These words I’m going to share with you are going to be painful, for me and for you. There are words to describe pain. However, words are not pain. I am not a poem. You are not a poem. This is my point.

I shall start on common ground. I shall share with you some pretty words. We love words. We met because of words…

Maya Angelou. You remember her? She is one of my favorites. You asked me out for coffee on a night that had us both high on her wisdom. I read one of her poems. I moved my hips and thought myself phenomenal. You introduced yourself to me. I fell in love. Well, back to the now. She wrote a poem, “I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings”. Her title, it's a stolen line. It is stolen from the mouth of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Those words are in another poem called “Sympathy”. He starts his poem by saying that he knows how the cage bird feels. The cage bird does not just sit, settle and then sing in his poem. It does not wish to entertain. Its song isn’t about joy or glee, or even romantic sadness. It is a song of sorrow, a sorrow song. It is not submission nor acceptance or content. The caged bird beats his wings against the bars till they are bloody and his body hurts. This is not a poem of beauty. This is not a poem of song. This is a poem about survival. This is a poem about freedom. This is why I must say these words to you. I am not "unsympathetic". I just want you to be free.

I don’t want to give you sympathy. I don’t want you to be proscribed. I don’t want to be the one that controls you, tells you what your aspirations should be. I don’t want to be the one that teaches you how to love yourself. I don’t want someone else to do it either. Everyone wants you to be useful to them. Everyone has a use for you. I do not. I simply want you.

I am making a request. I am requesting you.

But, here you are saying these words to me: How can a caged bird free himself? Someone must unlock the cage.

You hold out your hands in surrender, palms open and facing the sky. You speak these words and I feel your pain. I feel your frustration. I recognize them and I begin to cry. I begin to feel anger, not sympathy. I’m angry because all I’ve ever needed is YOU. I’m angry at your need and that you are not free for me to have. I thought you were strength. How was it that you made me feel strong? I saw what leaked from your cracks and I thirsted for you. Now, you offer me an empty glass. I’m giving you back your sorrow song. I have no keys to your cage.

Somehow you have become twisted. You have lost yourself in the magic of written words. You forgot yourself. You became a poem. You became a sorrow song that I started to sing. You have wrapped yourself in your weaknesses. You carry them around like a cloak to cover your scars. An unnamable pain has become your best friend, your confidant and not me. You suffer for this poem. You think yourself more creative. You think of it as your gift. It saves you from being like the rest of us. It has distorted your face, changed your walk and laced your voice with itself. You have cut off your ear for it and now you cannot even hear yourself breathe. You hear nothing but this sorrow song.

Even now, naked before me, you give me words that are not your own. How could I have been so blind? How can someone as smart as you not see what I have seen? I see a heart that beats strong. Yes, it is sensitive to touch. But it is also easy to love. It is magic and it is beauty. And, it is you. Must I repeat myself? I think that I must. It is strong. You are stronger than this. You are more beautiful.

I want you to find your strength, what is uniquely yours.

Stop with the dramatics. It is a pale reaction in the light of dawn, in the light of reality. You are not a bird. You are not a poem. Life is not poetry. They are just words. You are a man. And, a man must find a way to open his own cage. To have someone else do it is to give your power away. And then, you are still not free. I need you to be free. To stand beside me as a free man without crutches or masks. I want who you are. I want all of what you are. I want your pain, your disappointments, your fears. I want to taste your wounds so that they are a part of me. I want the gift of your heart and its love. I want to see it free. I want it to heal. I want to help you heal, but I cannot heal it for you. I cannot open your cage. I cannot free you. You must free yourself. Only then can you be with me.

It is you that I want, not a pretty song. It is you that I want, not those pretty words. It is you that I want, not poetry. I already know how to read poems. I already am well read. I already know that I am not a poem. I already know that we are not poetry.

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©AvrgBlkGrl, 2015. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, or used in any other fashion without the express prior written permission of the owner. This manuscript is specifically written for Stories Space.

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Copyright © ©AvrgBlkGrl, 2013–2018. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, or used in any other fashion without the express prior written permission of the owner. This manuscript is specifically written for Stories Space.

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