home to my self

with you, i lost my self.
i drifted slowly, inexorably…
bound by fear and hope,
intertwined and inseparable.
tethered by convention and covenant
and by my need to satisfy myself:
i will have done all that i could do.
together and yet alone,
the one to make accommodation,
subsumed by your expectations
of inexhaustible understanding.
time and again you extracted
my pledge to stand to you.
and stand to you i did
— to my own peril.
oh, yes! i was useful.

and at the last i saw you —
unmasked, naked in your contempt.

you may not yet know,
but you are undone.
and i am reborn.
for without you,
i have come home to my self.