... And so you will use me like a brick,
to build a bridge to somewhere new,
I will become a piece in your wall
alongside your other disappointments.
But I will not cooperate with that wall,
even as a brick,
even in memory.
I will wiggle loose the mortar!
I will make the whole thing crumble
So that you will not be able
to keep the others out,
to keep the world out.
I will make you live
within an unpaved world,
and that is why
you will turn me into a brick.
Poet’s Notes: People often talk about “building” relationships, and they say that trust must be built with commitment, consistency, and time, and this language reveals the underlying mindset. We even think of ideas as “constructs.” And so we are always trying to fortify and reconfigure all the elements of our lives, for the sake of this protective sturdiness. In this century especially, we inhabit the space of our minds more than the physical reality of our habitation. A lot of our interior decorating is entirely mental. But there’s a problem with this. People are not fixed things; relationships are dynamic and risky. This particular poem is about a relationship, written from the point of view of someone who refuses to become a reduction in the other person’s mind. This poem is an insistent plea for friends and lovers to set aside their preconceived life narratives and expectations, and to instead accept one another with a fullness of dimension and heart.
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