Desire: First Love Poem

by Beate Sigriddaughter

Where do I begin?

My parents whisper
in ways I cannot imagine.
A birth with snow and candlelight
is easier to grasp.

We all come from desire.
Desire trumps wisdom.

Your long dark hair fanned out
across my threadbare clean sheets, you
so in love so many years ago
even my cigarette mouth
didn't matter. We cannot go back,
not ever, though in dreams
I go from time to time.

Now, so much older, I walk down
a dry riverbed with you. I carry
some of your stuff into the wilderness
you have chosen.

Farewell, my love. There are places
we must walk alone. It is difficult
to say goodbye between stone
walls, juniper, and primrose. You
in your plaid shirt and wide-rim hat
against the sun whom we both love
but also respect in the desert

Be well, my love, in the wild
places you belong. Soon
you will sleep under stars. One day
you will take me with you
to the places you belong.

Oh, one more kiss, so soft, then off
in different directions, you
to the beauty of your wilderness, I
to the beauty of my words.
One more curve
in the riverbed, one more wave
goodbye; my love, we have chosen,
you that, I this.

On the way out I get lost.
Not long, it is all so obvious
when you pay attention.

Later that day I dream I am lost.
At times you are with me. Maybe
this way? At times I am alone.
Maybe that? I know I am going
in the right direction, but I am plagued
with gnats of impatience and
a wish for effortless perfection.

Perhaps the best part of my dream?
I didn't mind being lost.
t was interesting. I was focused.

But in reality I do not stay lost.
The way is past the alligator log,
then through the saddle between
two gentle hills; follow the crest
of a ridge, yes, then finally the cairn
just beyond the Indian paintbrush
that luckily no deer has eaten,
then home where I find
I love you.

And I never want to leave
or change
this gentle place of knowing.