Timo Newton-Syms CC
I used to count the silence between
each of your steps – my room
in the basement, I had the entire
house mapped by the way the floors
creaked under the weight of your feet.
I walked as if the concrete itself
was slowing me down to ensure
I stepped on every crack
in the sidewalk. Not to break
your back, but to even everything
out. I made sure to step on just
as many cracks with my left foot
as I did with my right. I hoped
if I could keep everything balanced
I could keep your temper tethered.
My sister pushed my finger onto a piece
of glass and I bled crimson drops
on the stairway on my way to find
you. Your hand printed purple stars
on her backside. The social worker
pulled me out of recess to ask
if it was true. I fucking lied
for you, Dad. I didn’t know what else
to do. You drove me to high school
so early the sky was still bruised
black. I’d watch lights flash
by from your beat up car, speeding
to match the violence racing from
your lips, daggers steered
in my direction. A single silent
salty tear slid down my face
and you said that’s right, cry, smart ass,
cry. And you know what? I do.
I cry all the time. I even have a shirt
that says crying is good for you
and I wear it like a big fuck you.
I have grown into my bad behavior.
I stole the bitch from your bite
and bent it backward until it broke
under the weight of my becoming.
The thing I love most about love
is its defiance. Love is active in its refusal to stay buried.
It grows into something whole
through every obstacle -- chooses not to end.
It is ever evolving and turns into something new, sure,
but overall it just stains itself into a blush
that rejects a watering down. That blush
paints my chest and ears when I’m around my love
as we walk around the park, wishing it was the shore.
Someday they’ll take me there to show me where they buried
the memories of their family in the sand. They send
me love letters while I’m dancing in the whole
of the life we’ve built together, while I’m building a whole
other relationship with my wife - who I blush
around, still, after 8 years. No end
in sight. How fucking sweet is it that love
is an expansive case of brilliance? I never have to bury
any of the honey seeping from my chest. I am so sure
of the wonder I have for both of them, and they assure
me they are both in love with the whole-
ness I’ve found in loving more than just one. I don’t bury
who I am, but completely fall into the tender blush
of both their hands holding mine, embraced in a love
whose eternal vastness ceases to end.
My love lives in the building across from me and my wife. The end
of the street is the farthest I’ll have to reach for them. It sure
is a treat to be so close to the overflowing nearness of their love.
I grow a plethora of plants to propagate in both spaces, whole
gardens flourish with the snips we share, the leaves are blush
colored and print reflections in the glass windows. I bury
the scarcity radiating from the haters, bury
their belief that this abundance of love must end,
and revel in the elephantine blush
of this too much. I bask in the shore
of my love as they build me a bath tray, the whole
thing covered in glitter because they know I love
baths and glitter. Loves, bury
me whole in the excess of your never ending
kiss, and sweep me up into the shore of your blush.
Tyler Elizabeth Hurula (she/her) is a poet based out of Denver, CO. She is queer and polyamorous, and is cat mom to two fur babies and a plethora of plants. She has not been previously published and her poems feature love, polyamory, family, growing up, and being queer. Her top three values are connection, authenticity, and vulnerability and she tries to encompass these values in her writing as well as everyday life.
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