When you take this vow,
be conscious of who I am.
In front of you is the youthful beauty of love,
no matter what my age.
Yet, I am many people behind this veil of passion.
I am this moment in time;
the sunlight on my cheek,
the loved ones at our back,
our hearts bursting,
like the birds who greeted me this morning,
my senses awakened to the promise I will make.
I too am awakened.
When we choose to walk this path together,
we will each sacrifice, like little, tiny paper cuts,
parts of ourselves, who were not consulted about this decision.
Who don’t want a mate.
Anything but that pressure.
Who desire to love when and where they want,
fearful of being bent by and for the will of others.
I stand with you in that pain and fear.
When you look upon this face, with smiling eyes reflecting your own,
know that I am the pimple faced, shy teenager,
ashamed I am not good enough to be loved.
I will be them again throughout my life, for they live within me.
Do you love this one too?
Brash and impulsive,
disobedient and soft,
tender because I have never been broken.
This one is afraid of you.
Afraid this love that you offer will be taken away,
ripped from me, like childhood,
a safety and way of seeing, that I can never return to.
I vow to love and protect all parts of you.
As our hands touch,
and I feel your warmth and you mine, and a tingling grows in my groin,
know that I am the remorseful parent,
who has just scolded their child,
afraid of the harshness,
the cruelty of the voice that emerged from the depths of generational history.
Not wanting to be that person, and deeply grieving that I am.
Will you still want me then?
When I scorn you because the wound is too raw.
Yes, I will still want you. I will wait for you.
Speaking these words, and seeing that sparkle in your eyes of deep creativity and truth,
I am someone you may hate at times,
ugly and harsh,
demanding and proud.
Someone who could forget,
in my pain
and destroy something precious.
Will your eyes shine for me then?
When you feel the hate, and can’t get the image out of your mind.
My eyes will shine for the possibility that lives in you.
I know a secret.
You too are all these things.
The old mammal, sad at the continuous loss of competency,
you can’t even remember what you feel for me.
Yet I am someone you know,
or maybe not.
I will still love you then.
This is the promise I make today.
When I am old too, and pained, and cleaning up your shit,
and feeding you from a spoon as you shrink from the world,
I will remember that you are the strong and fierce protector of our love.
This one who knowingly commits, today, to a life by my side.
This one, who has gone on before the body.
This one who leaves behind stones unturned on an overgrown path because you chose to walk a path with me.
To this I say yes.
I take this risk to be with you.
The possibly of being broken, of having my will bent, of smiling at you when you don’t know my name.
Because this path that we are on is our life.
And I want to live it.
With you at my side.
And that sensation in my groin.
With a full heart.
And sunlight on my face,
lit from the passion of our love,
the voracity of our anger,
the depth of our joy
and striding, into the unknown, fearful, but strong, together.