I’ve been waiting for you…

Breaking Bread

Sheniz Janmohamed

I’ve been waiting for you.

Sit with me a while,

dust off the dirt from your shoulders.

Unburden yourself from the weight

of your worries.

Place the compass of your heart

on the table.

You won’t need to know which direction

it points to.

You have arrived.

Come, sit.

Break bread with me.

Re-collect the stones of your journey

and I’ll show you where I’ve been.

Look at my hands. These lines trace themselves back to nameless rivers,

rivers skeined by dragonflies.

Look at my face. These wrinkles curve themselves into forest paths,

paths that vanish into fog.

Sit down.

Break bread with me.

Pour the wine of wanderlust into my cup,

Tonight is not a night to be sober.

Let’s toast to triumphs and troubles,

to tomorrows that will never arrive, to

this very table, for being sturdy enough to

support our stories.

Cheers!

Cheers! to the sun-soaked laughter of your childhood.

Cheers! to the golden-gleamed smiles of your lovers.

Cheers! to the rain-dampened dreams of your past.

Now, let go.

Break the stone of your memory

Let the pieces scatter on the table

and hold each one up to the light.

Opaque, iridescent, tumbled, or faceted,

hand over your most precious one.

I promise to protect it, preserve it, pocket it.

I will turn it over and over

in my hand,

until my fingers memorize it.

Like bone,

Like blood,

Like breath.

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