The Gray Areas


My post after considering “Kerry’s Word Family Post” at Real Toads.

I am going to run with this idea because there are two things I want to write about (and each one is a prompt from someone or someplace else).  I am going with an ambiguous scene between two potential lovers, also using the word family of “Ambiguous.”

here goes, not sure what I’m going to do ….first draft :

We are in that grey area aren’t we, I am asking. In the beginning it was easy-applying the hard fact of you to a tender space in my toughened gut, not as a salve, but as if it had belonged, all along. And I question now if what had belonged all along is really only the part of me you brought out, and I hadn’t seen it. And to resemble what is in your eyes–that is something.

Calculated and cool, punctual and all equations, coming through the theater doors up the aisle from me, I see your dark silhouette from this empty stage with the curtains left open for you  –the dancer sitting at the lip of the stage, shoes off, hair undone, audience dispersed, incandescent lighting turned to the stark overheads that show every blemish, every wrinkle. You see me this way and I hold my breath, the ever-present fear a lover will see nothing and you have made up an illusion, a self-evident pill you must swallow that you may have stopped being honest with yourself. It happens, when you depend on someone to charm you–as you age the real charm is the ambiguity and complexity of being an honest, real, flawed, disordered, loud, quiet self.

I see myself clearly through your eyes, and as I am only learning to love and appreciate what I have become by my hand’s design, you, though have I never admitted, have rendered me speechless and swelling when
you value my worth in comments you do not realize you are making–as if you know deeply that I already know these things–that I am smart, that I understand, that I …am maybe beautiful. We do not question each other, but challenge only ourselves. To be better.

You move toward the stage and then it is not a stage but we are on a steady plane and no one else is there, dropping my notions of romance and love long ago, I merely want to be seen as an equal, exposing every scar, every embarrassment, every vulnerability, every secret of a strength to you. Not for you. To you. And that is the difference–your reactions are yours and I am not to be measured by them. I am not asking you to accept me, I am saying this is me, these are the facts, these are the equivocations of all I’ve been through, all I’ve felt, and beneath those there is much more, as the evidence cannot lie, and maybe


maybe you’d like to see what happens within a mind and body when it decides what to do with all these fragments and parts that make up my mind and heart. Maybe you are curious how I love. You missed the recital. But maybe.

I’ve watched you watch me for a while now. And we still circle the arena, perhaps both a little too cautious for something that feels far too good.  And this distance, and stance, I find I am not pulling myself together because myself is this solid thing now, sutured together at the many people I thought I was. And you’re the first person that sees me. You see me. And it’s enough to catch my breath, knowing I am not invisible. That I am somebody.

And the dance of words begins, every secret we tell is behind the letters–hidden in word placement in the sentence, in the alliteration and roots, in the tone of voice, in the cadence, in the best words not chosen so as not to reveal too much.

I cannot tell where these conversations stop and I start; I cannot tell if you worded my mind into collective adjectives or if I want to kiss you.



13 thoughts on “The Gray Areas

  1. I love how you started this.. the ambiguity is what surrounds us, and when that grey zone enters, it’s almost like a mist that both pull us together and yet keep the distance. There is so much we can do ourselves, yet we have to requires something from the other. So very insightful yet so tragic that life is not simpler…

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  2. And the dance of words begins, every secret we tell is behind the letters–hidden in word placement in the sentence…

    I think this is what I was trying to achieve with my prompt, but you have worded it so much better than I. Thank you for sharing this spectacular dance. I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative and was especially struck by the conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes I think all poetry is a love song. Other times I think all poetry is a letter to the dead. Maybe they’re both, dancing like the naiads and the sicklemen in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” Imagination’s dinner show before the feasting begins. And the constant recitation and revision of poetry is the ever-sharpening pencil behind the truth of this encounter, that so-often repeated, stumbling, humbling, stellar depth of I and Thou. Does the beloved change as we change? Does the encounter find more apt names and naming, or does that simply broaden the mystery of it all? Is fate a waylaid kiss or a cruel joke? The nakedness of your poetry comes to this adult encounter ready to start from a real beginning. Maybe that’s all we can ask of poetry, or love, in order to begin our dying. Anyhoo, the prose stanzas work well, for this is an essay of the heart, and explication of perhaps new territory which needs “collective adjectives” in order to pucker up for a kiss.The stage is apropos as proscenium for all to come. Who knows … we look forward to the news.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beauty in written form. Truly, if a first draft, it draws my attention for a final form ever more. I loved the part of dropping ideas of romance and love. And the ending is delicately beautiful. Move on with it, please, so I can read it again!

    Liked by 1 person


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