Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Hebrews 13:3 (KJV)
My brain dislikes your constant presence
– watching, waiting, staring with your big eyes –
I have never been alone since the first time I met you
and you stared at me, unembarrassed, while I
shifted my weight and flitted my gaze
between you and the wall behind you.
It would be nice to live as if pain could not be felt.
All human creatures could sleep the night
without waking up, short-breathed, palms imprinted
from fingernails pressing harder, harder.
My palms dislike your presence in my dreams.
I could dream of weddings and beaches all night
without your eyes arriving to spoil my fun.
It would be nice to live as if death is a joke.
“Grandpa played a trick on you! He’s only gone to
France. Silly, did you think it all was real?”
I could forget the dead-line of my life
and yours and his and hers and just unwind
and say, “We’ve got all kinds of time.”
But I’m a Friday and my Monday’s coming soon.
It would be nice to live without this Spirit in me.
Just me, myself, and I: we could be happy
with nothing but our status quo. Yet,
I’m told I’ve died with violence to the world
– to it I am a corpse that’s five years gone.
I am alive to Someone I have yet to meet
named “Suffering Slave” and “Lamb That’s Been Slain.”
It would be nice to live as if this were not so,
as if these were not His names.
Perhaps then I could forget your big eyes, too.
I could be alone for once, for once,
without Him at my shoulder and you at my feet:
all alone, with nothing but niceness to think of.
It would be nice. It would be nothing.