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He Feels His Arms Aren't Strong Enough

Sitting under tall sycamores
Feelings summer breeze on exposed shoulders
She and he sit
Quietly in their own thoughts
Watching waves touch shore
Under endless lapis luzi sky

She speaks suddenly
And her soft voice shatters silence:
"What do you think of me?"
She is barely managing life
Stalled in her woman's body, she dreams child dreams
She thinks she is all hard edges
All misshapen lines

He hesitates in his reply, but
When the words leave his lips they rain warmly on the ears:
"I love you."
He is taller than she, all dark hair and light eyes
He sees himself as unable to protect her
He feels his arms aren't strong enough

She feels no comfort in the words:
"Words are hollow and fleeting--
They only color the world in grey undertones.
No, let me hear words from the heart--
How do you see me?"
She draws what she sees as bony legs to scraggly chin
And waits

And he turns those pale eyes to her
Brilliantly blue and serene
Once more his voice pours over her:
"I see you...
As soft lines and pale shadow;
You're all curves and gentle edges;
You were drawn in charcoal, then softened.
You are so delicate
And I fear that my weak body and soul cannot protect you."
He feels so shallow
All those feelings left out for mutilation
More than anything, he fears her reaction
And he can almost hear her laughter ringing in his ears

She takes a long moment to gaze
Over the water and beyond
And then her lips part in apprehension:
"I see myself as hard edges--
Rough and unlovable, tough to the bone.
But you melted me--
You made me soft lines and quiet shadows.
And I think your arms are strong enough.
I love you, too."

Under tall sycamores
Feeling summer breeze on exposed shoulders
He and she sit
Lost in tulmultulous, transparent thoughts