Just As Easily

You can write love letters just as easily to a good man
as to a cruel one. Can leave your heart just as easily at the feet of one
who’s kind.
The hands I’ve known
knew how to touch me just as well, nay better,
when they belonged to one who had not forgotten true
tenderness, who had more than barbed wire for veins,
more than remonstrations of blame and shame for words,
more than the twisting tangled serpents of entitlement and fear,
hissing forkéd tongues, for beliefs. No:
we’ll not be so unjust
to serpents. None but humankind
could tangle such hypocrisy
and call it love. No:
I left the one who demanded
Where’d you go
I left the one who told me
by his silence
he had no time for me
I left the one
who pouted like a child that he deserved
my body, as if I could be a prize
I left the one
who brought me less than he was
who chose to be less than she could be
who saw me as less than I am — 
and I went
to the one who opened doors of possibility
with me
to the one who saw my nostrils flaring at the scent of freedom and said
take it
to the one who looked at my soul and saw her own reflected dazzlingly back at her — 
to these I came like a queen and a beggar
gifting all that could be gifted
gold and crumbs
to these I came trailing light and ribbons and pain
to these I came with armies at my back
to these I came with my flag in tatters
to these I brought everything and held back nothing,
ripped my chest open
laid my soul at their feet
told them my true name, knowing — 
as I know my own heart — I would rest well
in their arms, knowing
respect would be answered with respect and love with love, knowing
I could play the part of the lowliest servant and still they’d know my Self a god
as they are gods, a sovereign as they are,
each to set our heart’s compass
by the other’s North Star.