Never Is Broken

Your wound, observed Rumi, is where the light comes in.
And so I try to notice that, too.
My severed places do not feel exactly like light right now,
but okay, let’s give it a chance.

Let’s look, in these visible incisions, for traces
where what was rent and detached and cauterized
may yet set fire to the darkness.

Fingers gently probing, here was where
some portion of me was excised –
a pain so sharp it left me numb.

And over here is grief yielding to palpation –
a loss still alive, and so exquisitely sensitive to touch.

And all these lesions, when wrappings un-wound,
Are swollen with gratitude:
each amputation solemnizing the gift of life.

And over here, continuing my map, rests
a heavy absence, equal in weight to your presence,
where the shock still lingers –
in that moment when I got the call that you had died
then, just like you, I could no longer inhale –
and so another erasure, this one
the loud mark of your life’s silent messy end.

The Sufi didn’t warn us to brace ourselves beforehand, didn’t say
these cuts will lacerate you; they will not come without cost.
No – he showed up afterwards, in post-op,
urging us to take stock and discover
How will they serve you now?

Love, let’s look even closer, I imagine him whispering,
into places where you are cleaved together
and cleaved apart.

So, poking into everywhere that hurts, I find:
a healed scar can, in fact,
be not something sealed-over,
but that which is broken open.

Here, in the bright sting of fresh air –
brisk as an antiseptic –
the never of what will always be gone
becomes the now of this raw moment.