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
to believe in anything beyond his pain
and the knowledge that it is coming
but 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
is like leaving everything I possibly could behind
to be nothing but soul.