Paupers

[Here’s a poem I’ve been re-working off and on for over a year. I’d like to call it “done” at some point, but haven’t been happy with it. So I’m posting it here to see if anyone out there would like to contribute some editing suggestions!]


Paupers

Balanced there between the softening gaze
Of your searching eyes
And my bonfire heart
You, so close
Enticing all actions
But those I take
Space makes room for us, but time divides
Like a gulf; a hollow canyon where I wait
Listening quietly for echoes of your voice
To sooth my wild mind

And me, in constant battle with myself
To open up my devotion, or to reserve
To express, or to store up my affections
You wonder whether I might spend these things elsewhere
As if such a currency was not unique to our own world
A world of two in a cosmos of questions
In your eyes and words I find islands of hope
Though I remain adrift in the night
On surging waves of sleeplessness
I am swimming to you

In our abundance we starve
To share a breath
In our wealth we seek the alms
Of a moment alone
In our affluence we seek the riches
Of wordless being
These things we must fabricate out of the scraps
Of what we can find of the day’s ruins
Sudden paupers unfamiliar with such poverty
Secretly destitute, wondrously impoverished

Uncertainty, like some phantom
Walking behind me, shadowing each step
Waiting for me to fall, or cry out for answers
But I am a fresh foe, newly equipped
With some part of your spirit to light my way
I console myself with the knowledge
That you are there in my world
And that in my darkest deserted moments
Something of me may be, at that same minute
Finding itself safely embraced in your heart

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