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Leighton-The_Fisherman_and_the_Syren-c__1856-1858 CCWhen I first fell in love, it was a hot thing—urgent, possessive, almost feverish at times. I truly saw love as being two souls in one body. We were opposites that complemented each other. He was my missing half, and I his.

But I wasn’t content with that. In some fervent way I wanted to be him, become him, live inside him, feel my heart beating in his body and his in mine. I wanted to meld with him.

A Personification Of Geometry. Dosso Dossi (C.1475-1542). Oil On Canvas.Not surprisingly, I discovered this just wasn’t happening. There were times when our love felt like that, when we seemed so close, but then it would slacken and drift away. And when that happened, he seemed almost like a stranger to me, someone I barely knew, and did not understand at all.

That’s when I wrote the following poem.

 Love’s Duplicity

I look at you and see
Incredibly
A face at once slighted by closeness, yet
Dimmed by the distance I hold you;
A face overlooked and over known, yet
Laced by fingers, fearful to possess you.
And you look from eyes
Half-halting
Wary that you know me.

I look at you and see
Incredibly,
How the lines forming you
Flow not into my own
But lie separately, falling
On planes apart.
Reasoning makes no clearer,
No nearer
That we lie two, not one.

I look at you and see
Incredibly,
How the brown hollow of your eyes
Will ever haunt mine, and
I cry for me, for all whose heart’s desire
Is held ever at half embrace:
Half wanting, half waiting,
Half knowing
What we’ll never know.

I look at you and see
Incredibly,
How these feelings we are one
Or we should be,
How we are strangers
Never touching,
Lie at odds in me.
Is it odd I reap of love
the bittersweet?

Sweet_Nothings_by_GodwardEventually I realized we weren’t soul mates and probably never would be. And while I still yearned for us to become closer, he was content with the way things were.

While I wanted to know everything about him, there were parts of me—important parts—that he simply had no interest in. Like my passion for the arts, literature, philosophy, religion, writing. He knew I wanted to be a writer—that I wrote poetry and short stories and kept a journal—and he liked that about me. But he had no interest in what I was writing, never asked to read anything. Never seemed interested when I offered to share what I wrote. He wasn’t curious at all.

Finally, I let go trying to become closer, and we drifted away from each other. Our marriage became almost sterile, perfunctory. We shared a house, children, a bed. That was all. I realized that I no longer loved him. At times I barely liked him.

Godward_A_Grecian_Girl_1908A veil of sadness descended over me, a yearning for something I feared I would never have. I felt my soul mate was still out there somewhere, waiting for me. But I realized I may never find him.

After a while, I knew that I could no longer live like this. It was time for me to leave.

(To be continued)

NOTE:  This post was part of a series that originally were supposed to be part of a series of love poems to celebrate April as National Poetry Month. Eventually it morphed into something else–a memoir of our marriage, or an anatomy of love as it evolves over time. Below are all five posts in the series, which seem to cover  married love in all of its manifestations:  Innocent love, erotic love, disappointed love, love lost, love renewed, and love that lasts. The last one was Freshly Pressed.

Silly Little Love Poems, Unloosed at Last

The Geometry, and Geography, of Love

Love’s Duplicity

Love Lost, and Renewed

Celebrating Lasting Love

Silly Little Love Poems, Unloosed at Last

The Geometry, and Geography, of Love

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