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In the silent bridges
between conversations,
between acts of love,
you can actually
hold still and
hear us evolving.
We are getting better,
to being two people
who are more likely
to face this mad world
and survive it.
We need it,
this emotional pruning,
this fine-tuning,
this search for the parts
of ourselves that are
not as securely bound
to those of the other
as they should be,
and fixing it,
with the requisite
cursory grazing of words
sharper and tones
of voice raised higher
than what is comfortable
and what keeps the peace,
the necessary
minute bleeding
in places where the shell
that protects your soul
and keeps it inside
must be cut open
so they can be grafted
to mine until we
can feel the same pains
and heal the same way,
we need it all
because love
is only the beginning
and this world will not
be kinder
or softer
or offer a helping hand
and we have to be
on the same corner
all the way
to the last round
even if it means
I have to introduce you
to my monsters,
even if it means
you have to hurt me
by telling me I’ve been
fighting them all wrong.
We have to show each other
where we bruise
and how we scar
and all the other ugly,
painful sides of us
that nobody else knows
because only then
can we belong to each other
more than anyone,
only then can we have
a fighting chance at making
what we started with
just enough
for a lifetime.

“Brooklyn Bridge Engagement”
by photographer Carmen Santorelli


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