The distance between us
Stretches itself,
Vast and measureless,
Presenting the appearance of a thousand miles
Or more.
In reality I can bridge it with a word
(I know this from the things they've said--
The girls with spidery eyes)
But the word is lost
And will I ever find it again?
It is gone, it is gone,
And I have wasted ten thousand words
In reaching
For the right one.
~
And even if I find the word
To bring you unto me
Would your face be horrified,
Seeing the terror in my own,
As I hastened to cover and disguise
The naked pain behind my eyes?
Explaining and apologizing,
Putting on my mask,
Hiding behind a granite smile.
I would recognize it in your eyes
When I turned at last
To face certain rejection,
That you had touched the truth,
And the masquerade was through.
The ink on my script had smudged and smeared,
Ruined by the running of my tears.
~
So the link to you eludes me still,
And still I smile
And still I peel myself away in layers
Accustoming you to my heartaches one by one
So that if you should see it all laid bare
At once, one day,
Perhaps the horror would not seep so soon
Into your eyes.
~
I have been on the streets too long,
Flaunting my lonely heart
Holding my hands out
Begging for love.
And now that the prince has rescued me
Can I show him the rags
Beneath the velvet?
~
I have no wish
To spend never-ending nights
Warming myself by the fire
Of another's mistaken love.