Darkened silhouette image of woman sitting naked in the dark

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “Z” – Zenith

The following is the final segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Zenith, their zenith
Is over and done.
Time has passed and healed her, somewhat
Though the hollow of her belly still
Fights, protests
Wanting their glory restored.
The truth is that theirs was the most beautiful love,
A precious, wonderful thing
That painted her existence in vibrant ways
She’d never imagined before.
Their love filled her soul with joy,
Just as it touched his face with the smiles and laughs he’d lost—
But this vision, their future
Is gone, its tragic ending something they have yet to fully comprehend;
It’s the story they both played into,
Loving as richly and fully as they could.
For now, they will need to find other means,
Some solace in the wreckage they’ve left behind.
And so she stares quietly over their desolate landscape,
Hearing echoes of a melody that once blared throughout a blooming world
As she clutches the tiniest morsel of hope
In her hand. For what, she isn’t sure yet,
But she knows he is out there, their love lingering forever in her heavy heart,
A crystalline memory she will hold
As long as she can.
She takes a breath, lifts her head
And, keeping her fingers wrapped tight around hope,
She sets out across this dusty expanse,
One foot, then the other
Once more.

Silhouette of couple holding each other in front of window.

A Love Affair, From A to Z: “R” – Reality

The following is the next segment of "A Love Affair, From A to Z."
To start at the beginning of the poem, click here.
A LOVE AFFAIR, FROM A TO Z
by
Jade A. Waters

Reality is settling in
Like a cancer
Winding its way deep,
Seeping into her bones
In a ferocious cold spell to
Threaten an end she isn't ready for.
Over coffee, he tells her
“All the best things are bittersweet”—
Beautiful, wonderful memories that make him feel
Something, anything
But that always carry a twinge of pain.
She doesn’t think so.
She thinks good, beautiful things are worth the effort
If everyone can just be on the same page.
She sips her coffee beside him,
Listening to him speak while he tenderly strokes her thigh,
And she imagines the two of them old, together like this
Talking philosophy and love
Until the end.
She realizes then more fully than she has before
That their love is a beacon,
The sparkling star in her life,
And she’d do anything to keep it bright.

To read "S" — She Believes, click here.
Couple embracing in silhouette

Safe

Menuha ©123RF.com
Menuha ©123RF.com
SAFE
by
Jade A. Waters

She found herself paralyzed
Sick with grief
And yet not sick at all,
All of it
None of it
Too much
Too little,
And so when he came to her
She was restless,
Her body tense, her mind aching,
Startled by those warm hands,
His warm hands
Sliding round her waist.

"I'm here," he said,
"Right here. Yours."
She held her breath
But deep inside, she knew—
He would free her lungs
When he pulled her closer,
Pressed his lips to hers
Tongue seeking, roaming, finding,
Reminding her of what was,
What could be,
What they were.
"I love you, you know," he said,
And when she said, "I do,"
The words were a whisper into
The wetness of his mouth,
A gasp against the clutch of his body.

The heat fired in her,
Finally,
Again,
As he peeled back the sides of her shirt
Kissed the edge of her jaw,
Trailed damp lips along her neck
And breathed her in,
Before he met her eyes.
"So much," he said. "And I want you now.
Come back to me."
His hands pulled away her shirt
Drifted over her breasts
Circling nipples that waxed, waned
Stood for him,
Before he drew his fingers to her waist
And carefully unfastened her jeans.

At this she sighed—
It was him, her love.
There was
No paralysis,
No grief;
He was the one who knew
How to rescue her time and again.
And when he dropped to his knees
Burying his mouth against the heat
That rose between her thighs—
She tilted back her head,
And moaned it all away

For good.

*

Overexposed image of butterfly on a branch in a field of grass

Butterfly

Linux87 ©123RF.com
Linux87 ©123RF.com
BUTTERFLY
by
Jade A. Waters

Just because I smile
Doesn’t mean I’m not broken
Doesn’t mean
I’m not soft on the inside
Not a butterfly in a vicious wind
Fluttering, struggling, but keeping afloat,
Flashing my colors
Setting my course
Not a victim in this crime.

But all the same—
Just because I am a victim
Doesn’t mean I am weak
Doesn’t mean I’m not a voice
Doesn’t mean that I will cave,
That I will be silenced
Or stand here
In this tornado
As a soft, malleable thing
Shaken by your wind.

I will fight

I have fought

I am the voiceless
And the vocal one
The lost, and
The found
I have felt pain
I have felt hurt
I’ve been broken into pieces
So tiny
I didn’t even realize I was me,
And I will not stand for it
Ever again.
I will be your butterfly—
Smiling
Proud,
My wings swaying in this torrid wind,
But I will not be deterred
I will not be caught
I will not fold

I am free.

Sexy back of a woman

What You See

Ammentorp ©123RF.com
WHAT YOU SEE
by
Jade A. Waters

There is a girl
Beautiful, broken, bruised, smiling
She is all of these things
She’s got a history
You can never fathom
Though you try.
She’s moved mountains
Swum oceans
Run miles
Through thorns and rocky terrain
That
From the looks of her
You’d never imagine she could have faced.
What you see
When you look at her
Is the beautiful
And the smiling;
You don’t see the black and blue
That’s forever imprinted on her soul
You don’t see the scars
On her heart
Or all the battles she’s won.
You only see the beauty, the afterglow
The radiance she’s worked so hard to keep
Despite the scratches running the length
Of each of her veins
Marring her for an eternity.
She doesn’t flash them often—
She doesn’t need to, doesn’t want to
Because she’s earned these smiles
She’s stolen back this beautiful heart
She’s claimed a lifetime of looking forward
After what was.
But sometimes, when you look at her,
You tell her what you see
Like it’s all there is
And anything she could share with you
Is trivial and mundane,
Petty figments of her imagination
That couldn’t possibly be
Because how could a girl
Who looks like this
Have experienced that?

I hear you
I really do
It’s hard to believe something that ugly
So many things that ugly
Could have happened to one single soul,
But the truth of the matter is
They have.
So
Before you tell me it can’t be that bad
Tell me I’m lovely and happy
I’m lucky
And so it could never have happened
That way
For me,
I want you to look at me
Really look at me,
See the beauty, sure, but see the bruises
And the marks deep inside, too
Please.
I ask of you.
I’ve earned them
I’ve fought through them
They are who I am, part of me, always me
My right to feel and have
Not whatever it is you keep telling me
That you see.
That?
She’s a different girl
Who isn’t
And never was
Me.

*