Both Sides Now.

A bushel basket of memories now open as I see you through the glass window: the Beatles on a red wall; a woman’s handbag; arms on table, and glasses of water stocked. All this from a mere glance.

Memories gather, like grackles roosting in communal flocks in winter’s marrow. Mis-happenings and celebratory foolishness, revolting pathos of human minds and our unkind renderings knell, do you hear?

Dear lover, we were adult-children of pinioned matrimonies, assaulted to bear the anguishes of our parents. Our human dignities were split and sent off across the horizon until destiny could be arranged to righteousness. Love beholds the almighty; its power stretches the human to touch its soul. We touched each other, foraging but on our pains.

Dear lover, we laid down together to make love – the sweet get together allowing the mysteries of the universes to be rewritten through us. The poem we created yelped of lonely roads, forgotten fun, and secrets of an ominous kind that virtuous prayers and blessings of saints could not shun away.

Dear lover, our children could have been born. Our hearts could have swelled in pride in joyous motherhood, carrying the vulnerable babes, our nights tousled in lullabies, crickets orchestrating the background melodies. But when you said “No”, I bled them before they could form their eyes and their tails. Their hearts, though, I heard beat.

Dear lover, we dreamed of us transcending thousand years. We bowed before the Brigid to immortalise us so we could be heroes even if in a small corner of the world. Ironed flags of nationhood raised in the sky, dancers in ruby red heels singing songs of freedom below – we dreamed like that. But, our dreams sat on the first dunes of sand, exposed to the new winds.

Dear lover, I sacrificed you in a libation, bereft and grieving because what we held between was not love. It was pathology – that cancerous run from our selves, that wanting to take possession of another soul. Love lets go even when it loves. It says, “I love you, so go”.

I leave the glass window and walk home, picking dirt from under the fingernails. Chrysanthemums have bloomed in a neighbour’s lawn, and on a tree nearby, the black birds flock together until the winter tide departs.

Dear lover, we live multiple lifetimes through multiple self-s. As a season, a day or as an hour, each lifetime begins with one self and ceases as it is absorbed into another. We failed as lovers in one lifetime, but we live a new one now. In this lifetime, I will hold you in my bosom as a healing mother. In another, we can forgive each other.

I stretch my heart, and see both sides now.

Dear lover, I love you. So go.

The title of this piece is inspired by Joni Mitchell’s song Both Sides Now.

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