libretto for a love song

note: once again going through the archives, pleased to find this old dinosaur in the purple prose school of overuse of adjectives. nice to know that one’s ideas of romance do change over time. ~acb

MAN:

Come to me as you are.

Your glimmering breath enveloped mine from afar,

and I swear to you on the air we share that I will never try to change you.

You are not broken.

Flawed glory, cracked perfection,

you are real in a way I have never known.

Contradictory, complicated, ornery and wild:

after years, I have finally found you.

Those eyes let me dwell in joy uncomplicated, clear.

Let me swell into the man I hope to be in your sight.

Promise me this, and I promise you the same.

I will free you from your cocoon so gently,

and you will expand your crumpled painted wings in the sun,

become what you could be.

I will stitch your name into every one of my unraveled sleeves.

Radiance unknown before this night,

I do not know well your wild ways, but I will learn.

Your ruddy spark of life so stubbornly still bright in the wind

will glow brighter when I give it shelter, room to become an all-consuming blaze.

WOMAN:

I breathed alone before you. My lungs can bear the weight quite well on their own.

But if you will carry me to heaven and back again, trip over diamonds on that staircase,

roses in my hair, I will bleed thorns for you.

You are wonderful if you can remind me that I am full of wonder.

From fathoms upon fathoms deep, I have cried of men too often to realize

that the depths held glorious multitudes of gleaming miracles I did not learn to see.

The kiss-collapse of longing is too much for a frail heart.

So hold me gently as you let me glow, and I will make us blaze, blush bright.

I will learn to see my own sparks, if you will teach.

I know they are there, but I blinded myself long ago, unknowing.

The whole truth of me is that I am soft and frail where I do not know it,

and iron unexpected too.

And if you are cold and stone some days, alone in the hard prison you have made

—I see your eyes, I know this—

I can rescue you. I have saved myself more often than you know.

I never expected much from you or anyone, but if you promise,

I will take all I can and give as much and more.

BOTH:

Hark! Can you hear? I have been deaf too long.

Listen, here comes what is now mine. Her/his steps are the song of my trembling heart.

I never had what I had now: losing in the space of a day the nervous flinch away from desire.

We are not always undone by each other, though time bears that truth proudly.

We have been hurt before. But perhaps we will make each other fine:

the soft touches between us make firm

a love that will endure and give us joy.

By contradictions we will find the secret out, and keep it close.

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