Retaking Freedom by Roy Neyman

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Retaking my freedom
I stand before the crowd
Shadowed ranks of friends and strangers
Risking their derision
Their laughter
Their pity
While I hold my heart in my hand
Outstretched before me

It is a shattered honey pot
Golden drips of pain
Oozing sweet and sticky
Through shards of glass
Tattered foil
And drapes of bright liquid
The lost trappings of love

Visions yet wander through
Haunt my waking dreams
Some within reach
Of an open embrace
Where visual lust
And the vestiges of restraint
Tip in the balance
Woman’s curve of hip
Pressing soft against my hand

Their close approach
Evokes even more vivid memory
From just a kiss-breadth away
Blue eyes flecked of gold
Smile perked up at the corners
Pink tip of tongue begging
Come nearer still
Where sight becomes only touch

I feel your warm curve of belly
Under my hand
As your body spoons back
Into the curve of mine
It all dissolves
Into slow warm swells
This humid clutch
Absorbs us in slow
Waves of heat

How could you bear to toss me aside
An answer hovers
Nagging my conscience with guilt
Were these intimacies
So deep and basic to me
Familiar to you
Familiar as the echoes
Of all the admiring
Lustful boys
That trail in the wake
Of your beautiful youth

I imagine bewildered wonder
A young girl’s curse
Finding power in beauty
Power in sex
What a hard curse to find
Innocence transformed
To an alley wall of desire
Furtive shadows of boys and men
Passing by with paint cans of lust

How it must have rankled
Trust placed
In that first passing artist
He seemed more genteel than most
Granting him license
Instead he took ownership
Physical and moral
Leaving his mark
In unreadable scrawl

Was this story relived
So many times
It became expectation
So oft repeated
It numbed your feelings
Til a deeper expression
Felt alien

Is that what you saw in me
Felt in my touch
Sensed in my care
Another shallow longing
Or did the depth of my desire
Feel alien

Playing hope’s horrid game
I claim before all
That I know you now
After it is over
Still clinging to hope
As it diminishes in the distance
I replace it with a prayer
I must not
Become like you