oh yes

“oh yes if i love truly”

what i’ve discovered in relationships
where i’m most vulnerable (when i’m in love)
is that accepting the vulnerabilities of the other
    is so hard
i need that person to be
maybe
some things he’s not at the time
when i’m emotionally fragile
my images of my beloved
rarely include
his righteous anger or disappointment
indifference or incomprehension
i catch
myself
sometimes
before i wander off into my perfect version of
    the man i love
that’s not who he is
he may not even come close
that’s all me
what i need
& must give myself without feeling cheated
that’s not his job
making me happy is my job
& if i love truly
whether or not
i’m emotionally robust or distracted
i must be there for him in his dark, frightened times
those moments of his questioning & confusion
    require from the one who loves him
patience
no judgements
& warmth without intrusion

is this hard? humph, oh yes.

yet i believe it’s possible when a true friendship
    is the foundation of the relationship
often all that’s really needed is a droll sense of
    humor about the positions we find ourselves in
here i am nine months pregnant & needing a hug
    & he decides to have a crisis of spirit
now there’s something funny about that
if we remember what we cherish about this man
    we picked cuz we do pick him
& if we love him every bit of him adds something
    to the richesse of our relationship
forget who we think he might be & take all of
    who he is

that’s hard.

NTOZAKE SHANGE, O Magazine 2006

Categories: words
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