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How alien I am to me
when choosing from my wounds
to speak, from gaping hollows
left by loves perceived inadequate
they served their time, they’re
gone and yet on guard I stand
divisible, emotions made a
soldiery, my only uniformity
I snap into salute, attention
piqued when those of petty or
attractive rank show stripes
of pain that match my own, or
better, not as great! For then
I can magnanimous appear
in empathy, subordinates will
surely note my stature and remark
among themselves upon my
generosity, no scent of tyranny
emits from these well-practiced
tears spilled out in clever
and effective rhyme.

How strange I make myself
to me, how dubious a friend
when tolerant I am of less
than intimate; most talk is small
enough without my help; our time
deep-squandered bits of nothing
much—agree or not, approve
I don’t or do, so what?

Everyone deserves better!
Of them all, no one will miss
me slipping out, I’m sure, the
door was never locked from
either side, the weak applause
already out of earshot, moonlit
sky, Orion near to standing
whispers in collusion with the
evening star, no metaphors
denied. Across the sky, they’re
welcoming; this rendezvous
of me with Me is love, reunified
and infinitely true.


© Elaine Stirling, 2013
Photograph of Orion constellation
from tomsastroblog.com