The Place Where You Are

by Shaun Terry

Woman in Nature

Soaking in the softness of her azure irises;
a pale, pleasant morning
before a torment of questions and born-hollow doubts.

Pedestrians pass her by and smile:
their eyes
manipulated by the weight of her
gentle, lovetrap face,
supine to subtle, incidental seduction
in long, limber, elegant limbs.

And boys and men
and girls and women
try to find some bit of something
to say,
hoping that she’ll
look on them
with something
more than pity.

But they don’t
see her;
they see what they want
her to be.

They don’t see around
rounded corners’ creases in big blue eyes,
calling for
the kind of conversation
or homily or footnote or patterns in pavement or jester’s song
that leads to
fountains of forgiveness
and forever-forgivenness
and open hands
and open hearts, ready-made
for placing her just so;
she’s wavering,
blind to tricks and traps,
fighting to find space where she can just breathe:
her tender, ripened, crimson mouth,
reaching to pull in air
that grows a her that is hers, alone.

They don’t know her eager ambitions,
they don’t know her fears and revelations;
too dumbstruck
by beauty and benevolence
to realize that
she’s already all there.
She has all that she needs.

From what corner of this place did you find me?
Who held your hand when you were four,
and who wiped away tears
when your universe was unkind?

I am each person here, and I am not them.
I own their motivations and weaknesses,
but I see filaments and fragments
of what they mostly miss.

I want to smooth a path so soft
that you might find
yourself free from suffering.

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