Closure: Tomorrow, when the war is over

inner child BM.jpg

You came to me in my sleep last night when my defences were down.  

You. The catalyst for the ashes before my phoenix.

The one I think of almost never. Almost.

You came to call, creeping in under the cover of darkness for the first time in forever.

You came bearing a gift I could likely never have received in the waking world.  

You moved me in ways unknown in real life.

You brought me a piece of your heart and laid it gently at my feet.

The boy in you, met the girl in me, in a dream state where the adults had no weapons to fire.

You. Me.  Us. A figment co-created from both of our deepest childhood wounds.

Nothing real. An imaginary war with human casualties.

If abuse and abandonment took life as an avatar, that was us.

Trauma begets trauma, hurt people, hurt people. So they say.

I’ve known love, and we; we were not that.  Ours was a loveless, barren landscape.

I can still feel the electricity from the first time I touched your hand.

Humans aren’t meant to feel that charge. A sure sign of impending fatalities.

One month to the day, you said I love you, and I replied I know.  

I was lost for words.  You snatched the breath from my lungs with words I longed to hear.

What you couldn’t know was that my heart wasn’t ready to believe that could be true.

Because it couldn’t. You didn’t. And I knew it.

Your heart felt the slap of my inability to articulate the depth of longing for that false truth.

Bruised, rejected and wounded, the next day you slapped back. Hard.

In a way I could never have foretold.

The marks have only just faded. The scars now gone. The fear has finally subsided.

What I now know to be true, is that neither of us could have loved back then.

Not with the toxic and twisted metal that passed for our hearts in those days.

Love doesn’t live in the mind, it can’t exist in an idea of love alone.

Love can’t survive on hope without prospect.   

Love can’t survive without oxygen.

And when we were in the same room, there was never any room for air.  

We were alchemical napalm, reality nowhere in sight.

Obsessive, possessive and collectively on a one-way path to nowhere.

At once both everything and absolutely nothing at all.


The destruction was total.  Mutually assured, and signed on for in advance.  

Played out in every physical realm known to us both. Body, heart, ego, mind.

Shame-laden strategies deployed at will.

Unsafe and unanchored, we sought to destroy any possibility of kindness or remorse.

Collateral damage sprayed across the continents.   

Fragile egos, armored hearts, and volatile minds suffered terrifically terrible blows.

Two warring factions fighting for a love that never existed.

And in this earthly realm, never should, never could, never would.  

For the hearts involved never had a chance.  

For this reason, and so many more, I never thought the day would come when I say I love you.  

And mean it.   Truly mean it, with all of my heart.

But here we are, and I do, and let me tell you why.  

I see you.  I want to say your name as I say that, but I don’t.

It’s been so long since it passed my lips, it won’t come readily anymore.

But it’s not you, the man, that I love, that day is long long gone, if it ever actually happened at all

No, it’s not your body I hold dear, nor the sum of your physical parts,

It’s so much more than that, the magnitude of this love is unbounded by physical laws,

It’s unfettered by our humanity, with all it’s gnarly foibles and flaws,

It’s your little boy’s heart that I love, the heart that still lives in the age of your innocence.

You know, your heart from a time before the world corrupted your gentle soul.

The purity before the pollution.

In a time before the bombs, razor wire and landmines were put in place to keep it safe.

Before you drew up the castle gates, and closed him in for good.  

Yet for a single moment in dreamscape time, I saw your soft and sensitive soul.

And truly you have never been more beautiful in my mind’s eye than you are today.  

I was sure I would never again see you as human, humbly and magnificently human,

I had consigned you to the deepest recesses of my memory,

Committed to the confines of my mind, there you remained alone in the darkness,

Where you belonged.  You deserved it. Didn’t you?

No more than me.  I permitted your abuse, as much as you permitted mine.

From the day I first felt our electricity run up and down my spine,

From the moment I felt the first ring of the alarm,

I committed to going to the depths with you, despite everything screaming NO.

I did this.  Just as much as you.

I can see now, see so clearly, the things that have eluded me for years.  

I see you, and I see me.  I see us both. Exactly who are we are.  

Gentle, tender, afraid, vulnerable, nothing but pure love.

Yesterday, before the war began.

I can say I have never truly loved you until today.   

I have never truly seen you until I opened my eyes this morning.  

I have never truly known you until right in this moment.

I had never really seen you until just this second.  

It all fell into place with the force of a freight train at full speed.

A freight train filled with the love of a collective heart only we could have broken together.

A heart filled with the love that we could never create despite our bumbling best intentions.

Not on this earthly plane, not in this lifetime.  

I have never loved you because I have never really met you.

I have never known you because I have never really seen you.

I have never seen you because I have never felt your heart.

Until now.

Last night you came to me as I slept.  

With my eyes and mind closed to the world, waking life long receded into the distance,

You walked into my dream world, and knelt before me on the floor.

I was unafraid of you, not like I was in life.  

The soundtrack to you and I was always the steady beat of fear.

But not now.  Not here.

My pulse steady, my belly soft. I smiled.  

You smiled in return.

I know you, but I don’t.

You, the avatar of the body you actually occupy, looked deep into my eyes,

And as if seeing you for the first time, beneath the skin of the man I know, I saw the little boy.  

Little you.

Timid and trepidatious.

I saw him.  And he saw her.  

Little me.

She, shaking with the enormity of it all, but unafraid to unfurl her fragile heart.

So it is here in the landscape of the dreaming,

For the first, time, the people we actually are in our souls met in the gap between the worlds

And with the warring and wounded adult selves dispensed with

Out came the inner children we never ever let each other see

Playful, smiling, laughing and free.

Hearts wide open.  

Nothing to fear, nothing to keep locked away, nothing to be protected with barbs.

Not a trip wire in sight.  

No limbs lost, only love pouring into crevasses where once there were wounds.  

Only joy and delight in being able to finally see what we had shut away in the dark.

It was so tender and generous that even the thought of it makes my heart swell.

Our eyes never left one another’s.

You held me close as you stroked my hair.

No electricity, no charge, no reason for being their other than melt our hearts together for a single moment in time.

This is what our love would feel like without armies, borders and boundaries.

Pure soul love of two small angels without agenda.

I saw you, all of you.

Your fear, your depth, your longing to be seen, your ache to be accepted,

You were soft, tender, and held my hand like it would break.  

As the tears rolled down our faces, we finally saw what our human selves could not.  

You are beautiful. Utterly and heartbreakingly so.

My heart swelled, the two beings that needed to be seen, finally met in a dreamscape.  

Where all is safe, and the warring adults could not intervene.   

That will forever be enough, I can love you, truly love your soul,

Love you enough to let you slide seamlessly back into the river of my past.  

I don’t need you stay, I don’t need anything, I have all I could ever hope for.

I have seen your light, I have seen your heart, and in this life, that’s enough.

So my darling, this is what true forgiveness feels like.  

Forgiven are the adults, suspended by pain, that hurt those beautiful children beneath.  

I love you, wholly and completely, just as you are,
It’s with a full heart that I release us both back into the ether from which we came to this planetary plane.

Angela Cook