There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. -- Tolkien, The Hobbit
. . .
How gently you ask me
to peel back my ribs
and reveal what's inside.
To really believe
I'm a reflection of the one
who will never cast me away.
-- Rachel Barenblat, “Beat,” 70 faces
No, there is no magic about me, despite your kind words,
what I have is the ordinariest human kindness, and the gift
of holding still. When the blundering is past, the love remains.
The light pours, sticky sweet, through cherry branches,
putting me in mind of cordials and liqueurs, apéritifs
that only promise opening. Crème de cassis as drunk
by the great Hercule. How gently you ask me to peel back my ribs!
There are two layers to the pericardial sac
(the packaging is worse than what you find at Walmart,
also referred to as the cod or scrot);
but what we find, after all this shying and sidling
is that we were naked all along, and loved
in all our awkwardness: not in spite of,
says God -- not in spite of, but because.