HOMECOMING

It is hard living on the edges of things. Try building a home on the precipice of a cliff. Tell me you wouldn’t live in constant fear of a sudden tectonic shift. I have learned that, when the body needs to be held, it makes a big deal of making sure the need is known. The body demands the security of a tender touch. Perhaps this is why, trembling outside your front door this morning, I felt my heart pounding straight through every insulated layer of my winter coat. I swore the buttons would snap, that my insides would spill out all over your steps, my pathetic need collecting in human puddles at your feet. I have learned that, when the heart needs to be tended to, it cannot stop itself from screaming. It is true; the heart never grows up. It is born young and stays young, a perpetual infant forever in need of being held to another chest. The heart cannot live at the edge of love. It is driven to madness by the need to be pursued. This is why, when you finally opened the door, my heart pacified. As if it knew yours would steady mine— no shifting, no need to scream, no cliffhanger required— just you and yours and me and mine. Try building a home in someone else’s heart. Tell me you wouldn’t live a little easier.

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