a friend criticizes me constructively so i won’t today speak of bruising but rather the humming absence in healing

i’m thinking of practicing 
intentional celibacy. 
including an abstention 
from solitary sexual
pursuits. perhaps this 
practice might bring about
a better understanding
of desire and 
need.

now, i 
understand that i am 
difficult, even 
“mentally ill”. i struggle
with trust and self-worth,
have habits of being 
harsh. habits
that inevitably encourage
people away. and
this is a postage stamp town, 
in a pandemic. and
i’m an introvert with 
a hollow social 
circle; even in the 
healthiest of times, 
meeting someone who wants 
to be present, is not 
a common occurrence.

human relationships seem
transactional:
we offer each other good 
will and good humor and
conversation and 
companionship. we 
play games together or 
cook together or like to 
play music or sports 
together.
maybe we like to
have sex together, casually or
with conditions of monogamy. 
and we also manipulate 
each other, to get 
what we think we 
want. what we need. 
i am sure
i have. 

of course all of this is to say;  
i am astoundingly lonely.

lonely, just another 
word for possibility, 
unhindered. 

and emptiness, like 
loneliness, another word 
perhaps misunderstood:
absence is fecundity, 
the birthing grounds for
presence. 

so in our every 
empty moment exists
both absence and 
presence. exhaustion, 
and a limitless 
ripening. 

Elisabeth Sonrel. “Portrait of a Renaissance Woman Holding Roses”

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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