all the proof i will ever need.

Monique and James copy
{for Monique and her beloved James, on the day of their wedding}

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It is no secret
That this heart
of mine
Has broken
Enough times
That I’ve made
A serious investment
In a variety
Of materials
That promise to patch
Things up
For good

Many of the breaks
My own doing
Fault lines I was born with
My unsettled and relentless seeking
leading me to look beyond
What I have for what I need
Then there is the leaving
The being left
The cold nights
On hard ground
The sobs that come not
From me
But from the center of the earth
The grief that twists
and pins me to bed while the sunlight
arcs all the way
across the outside sky
and I just wait for the night 
to come again
because the whiskey pours more smoothly then
and the heavy dark is the only place
left that feels like home

but then there is this
the hope rising
stubborn and persistent.
the longing
the still beating heart
that says to hell with probability
I’m still here, and I’ve got a job to do.
the knowledge that this loving
it is the purpose of our placement on this earth
the chance we take again and again

so no, this is not a story of heartbreak
although you may have thought it was
and I couldn’t blame you
not really
my own heart has been toast for months now
and the words I spill repeating themselves
like a skipping record that is stuck on the sad songs.
because sometimes broken is the easiest place to stay

but no
this is a love story
a story of how all those breaks
and all that grief
and those unsuccessful patch jobs
place us there
right where we need to be
so when the love comes

and it does
it does and it does and it does

when it comes
if we are brave enough
to lift our eyes
and hold out our hands
and listen to the universe
when she whispers
this one.
this one for you.
and we say okay
again, I will try

no matter the risk
no matter my fear
no matter the grasp of grief
no matter the ridiculous odds
no matter that this one too
may leave me shattered

again I will try
because those eyes
are the ones I want to wake to
and that skin feels like a space my
hands were born knowing
and that heart, in all it’s own
history of broken glory
sounds exactly like the beat that has
always called me home.

So yes
This is a love story
the one that gets told in the midst of the war torn rubble
where the buildings and bodies are casualties of a battle without end.
And happy seems a figment of imagination
Where hope is the only thing
That keeps us alive

This is story of two souls
Who are all of us, really
Who will stand today
And promise
Not as naïve children
But as fully formed hearts
Composed directly from a hundred thousand breaks
and love stories too many to count
And those two
They’ll stand there with all of that
And say yes

Yes we will love
Yes we will try
Yes we will fight and bleed and hope and live.
Yes we will slow dance and run away, and return.
And she’ll say yes, your broken is part of your beautiful to me.
And he’ll remind her that her scars
are map that tell a story
that he loved before he heard a word.
And they’ll know that they alchemy of loss
Was part of the magic that brought them here
To this space today
And they will give thanks for all the ways
They were brave enough to break

So yes
This is a love story
Its theirs. Its yours. It’s even mine.
And here’s a secret
That even I forget
It’s all a love story
Every last bit
Even the parts that you think
you’ll never survive.

Because look at them
Those two
Standing there today
They are all the proof I’ll ever need.