hope hiding in broken castles

for Morgan & Cypress Hyacinth



Your voice is a shadowy collection of ripped promises,

Tattered colors, and emptied echoing rooms

Of yet another man who has fled your fierce affection–

Your father, your uncle, your nephew, your brother, your friend,

That man, that man, and that man—you recount an endless

String of faces that have split apart your carefully silken spun cocoons



I imagine you sitting in a barely-lit Brooklyn apartment, a barely-lit cigarette dangling

From cracked purple lips, reaching out one last request for some hope and grace—

in the background, a dusty cat meows at an unkempt litter box and an empty food bowl

Because his owner is nursing a fragile cracked heart, again.



There lives No Stranger to fragile cracked hearts,

we all know the contours of Hearts pressed by death

or smothered by betrayal, Smashed by longing or

pricked by envy, Hearts that have bled for change

and ones that have run ragged from it


We’ve carried petrified Hearts in our hands, and

Watched with salt tears as they crumble to dust at our feet,

Yes, we know the shadow that hangs like a hazy curtain

In the corners of spoken phrases, the guttural grief

Leaking from us as we stare at

A Cracked Dusty Heart

in our palms, blinking

at its ridiculous existence.



But I know, too, what glorious secrets the broken heart can reveal,

have tasted the zest of lemon sunshine that hides patiently

underneath a broken shard of petrified heart,

waiting for our timely discovery;

have laughed as the bleeding betrayed heart begins to

Flow a vibrant river of seven heavenly colors and drums

That send my hips and feet to dancing, and

I know, too, that a heart cannot resurrect before it dies.



When we are weakened, we begin to hear God who all this time

While we were building castles and walls made of illusory ideals,

While we were concocting plans and devising designs for our survival,

That while we were tending to the bruises in our hearts, the whole time

God was standing just on the other side of those walls, just outside the

Waving castle flags, shouting Love to us, shouting



Look here, my Beloved, my dove, how I long for you, how I love you!

Why labor at those walls, at all your plans when look, I have built a treasury

Of castles and kingdoms just for you…



All this time while we tended to the cracks in our high walls,

God was waiting on the other side until



Love could wait no longer, could not resist chasing us,

Could not resist contouring our face, could not resist this separation

and the force of Love knocked those walls down, those shaky

flimsy walls could not withstand the devastating Force of Creator


And so we weep to see our dreams turn to dust

We sorrow to find our loves a shadowy disappointment,


But, my friend, rejoice in your soft sadness, rejoice that

These false castles have crumbled because see, there, who is

Walking toward you with Love that can calm your temper,

That can heal your sorrow, that can fill your longing, that can

Walk with you and rebuild a Kingdom made of raw and proven

Dreams, there in the crumbling castle is the face, the eyes, the smile

Of your Beloved, a vibrant cry of Life.

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