It’s a story I could not tell before,
my tongue tied by a delicate bow of velvet grief
So smooth against my heart for the last decade
that I hardly noticed the crack in it
as much, the bow covering my entire heart,
crack and all. That I almost forgot.
Reminded only and often by the frayed ends of pain
That flayed the back of my throat where
the story stayed, bridled and hidden,
drowned there by public common sense and expectations
hurled at it from familial corners and friend hubs,
coated permanently, seemingly, into place by tears cried
within darkened shower stalls and beneath the sound of music
that, in the first years, blared and bellowed to cover up the crack
and to detract onlookers from the peeking tongues of the story
that itched to come out and play.
With time, the legs previously buoyed up only by
chanted reggae psalms and held firmly in place by
rasta melodies tethered to those expectations holding
the story and the heart-crack down and hidden,
refused to stand still and let the story die,
they longed to run. Go. Tell.
Incredibly, it stayed alive through time,
the story did, the tickle in the throat stretching out to peer into
the world, whispering that it was time to let it out.
The ears heard, the tears listened but the heart refused, afraid.
The story had stayed alive, muted only by the patient anticipation
that one day the legs would gallop, the tears would run bright red
and the crack in the heart would unfold that bow and
slowly, magnificently, unfurl the tongue and
the whip of public common sense would come to lose that sting,
and the cinder-block expectations that had kept that story down
over time, with time, in time, for time, because of time
would disintegrate slowly, more and more with each passing year
until the ten that had passed had chipped away at those,
whittling away and finally, clearly, exposing what needed to be told.
The story of loss, the saga of death and
the crack that needed to be healed once
the story grew wings and leapt into the roof of my mouth,
over my rasp-red tongue and out,
into the world where it should have been all along.