old gods and lovers

[written after visiting gloucester cathedral, and hearing an all-too familiar voice…]

i go for months without thinking of you
and then there you are

and again
against my will
i want you.

seduced by a memory
of space and time
redolent with whispered secrets
and ancient prayers,
certainty and promise:

i’m yours
i hear my echo
bend me
break me.

familiarity enfolds me
in a tissue-thin layer
of endearments and nostalgia,
wrapping a once-full box of promises
with the gift already taken.

i know myself here
but it’s not a self i want to know.

This is the power
of old lovers and gods

made from a time
i was naked before you
whispering my dreams
into a space
i did not know was unsafe.

i wrap myself tight against the memories.
i will not let them be enough.


  1. ben

    Hey cheryl,

    i read this in switzerland, and again in france, and again now i am home.

    i dont understand it, but i understand something about myself in it.

    its really an amazing piece.

    thanks for sharing it.

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