Disability Studies Quarterly
Fall 2002, Volume 22, No. 4
page 164 <www.dsq-sds.org>
Copyright 2002 by the Society
for Disability Studies


Voices

Lorre Leon Mendelson
LIGHTNING Consulting



Sweet lovekisses decorate my neck, his cheek, our heartbeat.
Hands lovingly entwined as we seek out each other's tender places.
Hot, slow, fast, deep love with my husband: my beloved-waited-until-I-was-46-and-found-the-right-man-husband, now sleeping in our warm, winter bed, cloaked by quilts of down, wool and a "babe I am the luckiest man alive" glow.

I, once joyful in our lovemaking (was it just 2 hours ago?). Now feel numbness setting in my legs, sudden-like with not a single warning alarm visible to any other late night soul. Fast and furious like Colorado hail. No longer do I hear the music on the radio, with teasing southern drawl inviting me in: the rush of silence blocks my ears.

I am glad he is asleep, my thoughts leap out as voices only I can hear, grateful that I don't need to say, just one more time - really honey, I'm okay, I'm just feeling a little off tonight, just a little depressed and just a teeny bit anxious because making love with you is an act of love and spirit and all things good that I cannot enjoy for more than a moment's reprieve without my body recalling years of violence by a stepfather-man-monster whose only gift to me was a time reference of before and after.

I listen to voice for they are stronger, much stronger than I. I hold breath, fighting voice; I stand in river to change its flow. But they rush me: I cannot hear their individual voice nor can I find my own. Overwhelmed, knowing I fight this war without comrades: I alone hear. I set shield down and retrieve acceptance - Oh; yes that is what you look like. I had forgotten, you are CLEAR!!

I embrace voice, this voice I hid from
...self
...others.

I still hear voice but now I also hear you too, heartbeat, you husband, turning in the night, the rain on leaves outside the window where I stood just a moment ago - looking in, always used to be looking in. Now, I am in. Alone in darkness-morning, fear clings for a moment, surrenders to compassion.

My thoughts unssssstick and I can
breathe.



Copyright (c) 2002 Lorre Mendelson



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