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he looked at me so honestly it made my heart quiver. what do you want? he said. tell me, what are you wanting? | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

he looked at me
so honestly
it made
my heart

what do you want?
he said
tell me
what are you wanting?

and i go quiet
getting busy
because i am terrified
to admit
i don’t know

you see
i have loved
and i have seen
we all do love differently
and as i reflect back
i feel the breaking
deep inside of me
and when i look forward
all i see is
blank space
literally nothing
in front of me

when i met
the man
i married
i had dreams

that blank space
was filled
with possibilities
and fantasies
so real
i was certain
it was my destiny

my favorite fantasy
was us in bed
with the comfiest of comforters
bright white with tiny blue stars all over it
the room was filled with the glow
that only comes from the sun rising
casting warmth over everything
And there were children
two to be exact
one curled up between us sleeping
the other at the foot of the bed
talking passionately
with lots of hand gestures
and excitement
as kids are prone to do

i remember being captivated
and happy
in that moment
all was pure
and good
and it was vivid
so vivid
that even when things
began to fall apart
i was certain
things would be okay
and i would see my fantasies

i was so attached
to what i thought would be
i couldn’t see what was right
in front of me

when things blew up
i remember being sad
that he left me
but mostly
i was devastated
that nothing
i had dreamed
came true

and i remember
never ever again
to let myself
attach my dreams
to somebody

i have since broken
this rule
i admit
i am easily
by imaginings
and find great pleasure
in late night planning sessions
and early morning list making
with men i am dating

but with all the endings recently
i find it harder and harder
to see a future
i find it harder and harder
to enjoy the dreaming
i once drew
immense joy
and inspiration from

and when
i go inside
to see
what is going on
with me
it’s so
boringly obvious
that it’s my dear friend
blocking me

slowly eating
away at the places
where i thought i knew
ever reminding me
of how so much
of what i once thought
was true
was misconstrued

and i let
the doubt
creep in
till i am convinced
i am clueless

till i am certain
i no longer know
what is true
because there is a part of me
that would rather not know
than be wrong again

this weekend i was home
with family
talking future
when i got something
i once knew
as true
coming through

i really don’t regret
that i have been through
i used to, for sure
my family does sometimes
but me
not me,
not really
not at all

i have been able to make
out of once-crippling heartbreak
out of romance gone awry
out of blatant mistakes
out of embarrassment

it’s all worked out
as long as i have been willing
to work it out

and so it becomes less a question
of what is the right next decision
and more a question of
if i truly wasn’t afraid
of failing
if i sincerely trusted
i could make good of anything…
what would i do


i have heard this before
a million times
it isn’t new
it feels new
to feel its truth
in my body
and to see
all the times
and all the ways
in which
i have made it true

and so that night
as i closed my eyes
for the first time
in what feels like
i saw colors
behind eyes

i saw shapes
then images
and i saw myself
living in a completely
different reality

and just as the doubt
began to creep
propelled by fear
i felt a rush of joy
scream through
“you’re not welcome here”

dear fear
you are not welcome here
not in my dreams
not in my fantasies
not here

may you honor fear
without letting it guide you
may you respect fear
without letting it shape you

i’m turning the page here
my friends
and i hope you do to

lots new
coming from me
to you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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