When I fell in love with you,

I finally knew why people believed in God

but it wasn’t Him who made the world sound like gospel

or the sun glow through tree lines or glitter off icy sidewalks

or made the rain smell like coffee in the morning

or every song and poem speak to me

or sex feel like becoming

it was all you.

It has always been you.

And maybe I am not your woman but I am always your woman.

No matter the one you sleep beside now.

I am still your woman.

And I stand in front of you,

ready to kneel to us,

the way one does before an altar,

the way one does when they are offering themselves

to whatever is holy to them.

Somebody asked me what I will take with me

when I die.

I don’t think life has ever been about the taking

death is not a matter of us leaving

it’s a celebration of all that we leave

what we have given and given and given

and if I have given you joy,

if I have grown smiles across your brilliant face

like white daisies splashed easy on river banks

if I have given you love

naked and holy and whole

all learned together and self-taught

and stubborn for survival

if I have given you grace

if you have found gratitude in your falling

and power in your rising

if you have been willing to let the world

bear witness to all of you

if I have given you courage

to face yourself, to face the ones who want to condemn everything and everyone you love

calling yourself queen

calling yourself worthy

if I have given you comfort

if you have made bed of my chest

and not run from fear but embraced it

the way my arms did you

if I have given you belonging

if I have given you everything

you have given me

that will be enough.

All this is to say that

loving you has been my own religion

your eyes, northern lights

your touch, the sanctuary of grand cathedrals

and I miss you, like a child

who has seen death in far too many

unjust ways

to believe in anything beyond his pain

and the knowledge that it is coming

but I believe.

I believe.

Sometimes this life feels like a succession of funerals

like the more we live, the more we are losing and have lost

the more that has been taken

but loving you

loving you

is like leaving everything I possibly could behind

to be nothing but soul.


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