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honesty, honestly

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

a downpour at 3am once convinced me it’s a blessing to tell the truth.

here, in this place, there is no room to be anything less than honest;

i like to think we called the rain to our doorstep—i want to think our music was wonderful like that.

sometimes we are playing;

sometimes we are making

music at a banquet with a boar

at the table. the boar is wide-eyed and living.

darkness and laps around the room;

black lacquer & one giant glowing stage where

honesty hovers below what we can touch.

motion is necessary this late in the evening;

making music—making myths.

it’s all coming from a place of urgency and the desire to be shaken awake.

what i'm trying to say is, i'm asking you to go deeper. dig up ugly. tell me some kind of truth.

tell me you can love. tell me tension won't kill us. the boar at the table, brighter still, is staring again—if i don't bare my shoulders, the boar will bare her teeth.

so, i'll tell the truth: i want to hear your voice more than anything. i like the kind of honesty that warms up a phone call when we let it: butter and language—warmth that permeates a written letter, or any communication without eye contact;

but i find it impossible to love a thing unless i am making eye contact. there's the contradiction.

there is an apple in the mouth of the boar (some sweet unreachable thing between her teeth). i want to bite down like that. like her—i don't want to give; i just want to take. i want to leave some indelible mark behind. meeting and passing—something you could carry for the rest of time, once you go.

look into my eyes: affection serves as an unbearable ignition.

there are things i can't avoid saying; there are things i can't lie about.

there are so many people i want to reach for, to touch—so often, i want to take every friend by the hand. i want to run in the same direction for miles and miles and miles...

this is what happens when we sing together.

affection spurs action before i recognize the consequence;

it makes me want to bury my head in sand and pretend i am someone else.

last night, i tried: i thought of my teacher—the wisest woman i have ever met. she might’ve been there with us, chanting “more!" and more and more...

i found myself wondering if she’d like the music; i wondered if she’d be proud. i’m certain she would’ve encouraged us to go home and sleep.

a memory is almost as true as the present moment. you were there, so far away and standing right in front of me.

as i grow, i know: so much is true all at once. every word spoken floats up and over my head; i don't think i'll ever hear them again.

when i am confronted with reality, i want to grab on tightly—shake her by the shoulders and scream a little. i want to beg her to stay. vibrance i know as ephemeral—as much as the sand my head is buried in. i feel every tiny grain escaping me, now—defining and redefining themselves along the shore—pushed around by something bigger, bluer, and meaner. memory does this inside of me.

i hear thunder and loud, loud rain still, this evening. a downpour could sweep me out through an open window, and i could wonder about where it would take me. i think god is full of humor and love, and that’s why they’ve given us rain.

"why did you come here, to this place, if not in the hope of being understood?" — mary ruefle


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