I do believe there is nothing quite as sobering as having someone you love tell you they were diagnosed with cancer. But, for me, she is not simply a loved one. I don’t let a lot of people in. I thrive in extremes, so I either uphold a person as someone of incredible value to my life, or someone that can pass through aimlessly as they please. Of course, with the latter, I don’t give much care or consideration but ample freedom and an available ear. I struggle to manage the intense responsibility I feel for the people I love, so I limit whom I give it to. I have been disappointed too many times at people’s lack of integrity, that I keep most people at arm’s length. They say that love is an infinite resource, and although I would love to agree, I cannot. Personally, my love is finite. My heart is a capsule with only so much room. I divide it amongst the few people I would die for and I love them with reckless abandon. She’s one of them. She’s a warm, soft cashmere. She’s a radiant light in a world full of dim, flitting embers. She’s strong as oak; yet, presently a trembling leaf holding to the branch with but a thin stem. I can’t protect her. My loyalty can’t make this better. My steadfast dedication can’t shield the cold zephyr of the shadow at her back. I can’t do a fucking thing but watch her fear and watch her fight. I feel like a rabid dog on a leash with nothing to attack but an apparition, a crazed bitch barking at the air. He’s holding my leash and keeping me steady, tethered as I bark tirelessly. Tethered to my greatest source of strength. Tethered to my beloved.
The largest portion of my heart belongs to him. He is my King, and I am forever the warrior at his side. If I lose him, I die. There is no in-between. No survival. No desire. No life. Not because I can’t survive, but because I won’t want to. She held the other spot of the greatest value and some fucking ghost permeated my defenses and is threatening one of my two greatest allies. Powerless, a resonating message keeps repeating itself in my head:
Time is dwindling down your army, warrior. Time is an impossible weapon to fight.
I’m grasping for resources and there he is, at my side. My battle tested right-hand man. My life’s purpose. He’s here, and at least as we watch each other age, I see nothing but beauty in it. We have our spears in hand, and with each kiss we thrust forward, piercing through fear’s frail skin. I have you, I have all I need.
In the darkness of our room late last night, you pressed your lips to mine. The full, softness of them comforting a beaten soul, a tepid cloth to the wound. I pulled you on top of me and wrapped my arms and legs around your body like a cocoon to the moth. Entering my body, my embrace pressing you as close to my flesh as materially possible. My body’s feeble attempt to physically convey my undying dedication to loving you, protecting you. As if acknowledging that I cannot fix her, but I can block anything from getting to you. My love a forcefield from all the specters that threaten you.
Get me first. Here I am, you fucking phantom! You got one; but, you let him be! Phantom, get at me!
And I held you there within me, gently rocking my hips into you, running my hands up and down the muscular terrain of your back, flooding pleasure over the pain affecting both of our hearts. The breath of your life upon the nape of my neck to the pattern of our swaying bodies. Your breath permeating the very thickness of my skin, you breathe life into me. In turn, I dedicate my life to you. I give my body to you. I’ve handed over my very soul countless times. Here I am again, offering you all that I have. You always want me. You want me even when I’m broken. I am forever yours. Yours after time claims all my pieces. Placing my body over yours, it will need to get through me first. Yours before and after my final battle with the wraith.