You have my heart

found_camellia

You have my heart.
I’m not sure you wanted it,
but it sits on your desk
(in the corner)
where sometimes it catches your eye
and you remember (me) for a while.
It beats (for you)
but mostly
you don’t notice.
So easy to take
(for granted)
sitting there on the shelf,
gathering dust
over the years.
I can’t seem to ask for it back,
as much as its absence pains me,
because one day
(I hope)
you’ll realize what a
treasure
it is,
how rare and precious
a gift
it is that you have,
(there)
on your shelf,
that you mostly
can’t help but
ignore.

–Charla M. DelaCuadra

Matter

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Bleu II, Joan Miró

Matter

 

I could really fuck myself up over a boy like you

(and by “I could” I mean “I am”)

with that slow crooked smile,

that kindness, that quick-witted humor that makes me smile

until you shatter me with silence.

Those stupid beautiful eyes twist me up, make me ache,

make we crave/need/want

as only a book-loving writer of a boy could (and can, and does).

 

A constant state of yearning is de rigueur as long as you’re here

yet not here, as present/absent as a quantum reckoning.

Oh, honey — you’ve fucked me up bad and I’m off to the races,

off-kilter, off in dreamland as I wait wait wait for you to wake up,

to love me, to make me feel like I matter, am matter, am solidly a part

of that life you keep close to the vest that I so desperately want to inhabit.

Thumb is out for this hitchhiker, this will o’ the wisp black-hole-dense dreamer

who loves you and might even gift you her smile

if you would only open your eyes.

–Charla M. DelaCuadra

balance point

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Paris, 2019

 

balance point

 

In some ways you are good for me
these turning twisting wider horizons
in which I can feel myself opening
broadening, stretching,
a cat just awoken.

And yet,
it pains me to be in your world and not of it
a phantom voice without sound, only words
adrift in maybes and if-onlys
hopes dashed
feelings bruised
hands bereft
of the warmth
of you.

My heart smiles and aches.
Two sides of the coin
that is loving you
from the sidelines
of your life.

They say perspective is everything.
Perhaps I feel I am haunting your margins
but in your world
I am writ large…

And yet,
there I am
falling into the trap
of maybe,
with steel jaws to crush me
if I dare hope.

I struggle in that vicious in-between.
I am too much and not enough.
You would think I could be enough, be just right —

And yet —
I am both and nothing.

If only I were to find the fulcrum,
that razor of a balance point,
I might finally
be your perfection
writ large.

–Charla M. DelaCuadra

“…than all the blue in the world.”

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Female nude, Pablo Picasso

“238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.

239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. ‘Love is not consolation,’ she wrote. ‘It is light.’

240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.”

― Maggie Nelson, Bluets

 

It is difficult, but I am trying to be a student of light.  I find I get caught up in longings, in the ways I wish things could be different.  It is a challenge to be content in the present moment, but I am working at it — every day.

On birthdays…

birthday_cake

One of the dearest people in my life has a birthday today (happy birthday to you!), which has me musing about birthdays, and the nature of growing.  Growing older.  Growing wiser.  Growing happier.  Growing up?  Do we ever really grow up?  These days, at least, I feel like I am stretching and growing into the woman I want to be.  It is not easy, though, I must admit.  Growth and change are never easy or comfortable, but I try to remember that those are the things can move us forward to new places, to new realizations, and even to new joys.  Shedding the self-doubts, embracing the imperfections, trying to make a difference in the face of injustice — these are the difficult, but worthy, parts of the journey.

New Year’s Day comes flooded with resolutions, good intentions, and reflections on the old year, but I think birthdays can be much more personal waypoints for introspection and new intentions.  There is no external pressure to make a NEW YOU and improve ALL THE THINGS the way there is at New Year’s — just you and your own personal new chapter, a new year of you, and perhaps some loved ones to celebrate with as you turn that page.

I won’t pretend that I am there yet, wherever “there” might be.  I’ll keep trying to learn and grow and be as me as I can muster, discomfort and all.  But in the meantime, I can surround myself with people I trust, bake an amazing birthday cake, and celebrate another year in the life of someone special.

One of the most decadently delightful cakes I have made is this peanut butter chocolate stunner from Smitten Kitchen.  Make it for someone you care about (even yourself!), and enjoy wholeheartedly.  Relish that birthday, and the person you are becoming.

Puppy love

 

This Monday I am musing over how grateful I am for my two dogs.  They love unconditionally, trustingly… it is so sweet and comforting to have their warm furry presence by my side.

It might sound a bit cliché, but I think if we could all learn more from dogs, the world would be a brighter place.

  • Trust more.
  • Love more.
  • Nap more.
  • Take joy in the little things.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Savor what you are given.
  • Make your pack your priority.
  • Take a walk every day.
  • Be unabashed about showing your love.

Even just the amount of naps they take is #goals, but the rest of the list is full of things I want to remember every day.  Puppy love, indeed.