To Be Seen

My whole life has been a perpetual question. And that is, Will you see me?

– paraphrased from Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking

As I sit alone…

in my darkened room – two glass-encased white candles burning down their wicks – I feel a tingle in that space that lies two fingers-width down from the end of my breastbone.

Solar plexus. The seat of power. WILLpower.

How can a space so vulnerable house something so powerful?

I want to say something true to the world – I want to say something unpoetically true. I want to say…something.

I want to say something to you.

But there is only feeling.

Tears spill…

from my throat to my eyes. And when I close my eyes, my head begins to spin with emotion. Tears stay locked behind lids – tingling, then burning, then cool.

I’m here – just here, wanting you to see me:

Not pretty. Not sexy. Not profound.

Neither witty nor clever. Perhaps, no entertaining company at all. My presence may not ease your worries or make you laugh, not this time.

But I am…

a fleshy brown stalk, beating heart and throat full of seawater welling up from the space I don’t speak about much.

I want you to see me. I don’t want to talk about it.

But how can you trust me if I don’t trust me? And how can I trust me with me if I’m scared to feel – experience and acknowledge – all of me…especially all of me with you?

And if I don’t trust me, how can I trust you?

And if there’s no trust where do we connect?

No melody. No rhythm. No hook. No catch.

I just want to share something…true and raw.

No glory. No accolades. No credit.

I’m getting closer…closer still…close my eyes, and I give myself the gift of you without your permission.

In my fantasy…

you are sitting on the bed – quiet, all the way through. And I walk in with the lights on, wearing clothing that takes time to remove. But this will be no striptease; it’s a proposal.

I am offering myself – not my words – my being. Not my body, my essence. Will you see me?

Nothing has been spoken, and everything is heard. Our eyes agree, and I begin taking off the layers. Slowly, forfeiting haste, lacking finesse. Buttons are unlocked from slits. Fingers pull zippers down. Snaps are decoded. Hips shake loose the confines of denim.

You are seeing the marks left from the waistband on my belly and around my waist.

Then, a wet drop…

as you look up, you see eyes sparkling with tears, but there is no word for where they have originated.

I sniffle.

My nipples look up. My eyes look down. I do not want sex. You know this. I do not want the expectation of performance between us. I want you: your undivided attention and wholehearted presence.

Just for now. Right here.

Your index finger stops the drop from trailing any further. Quickly, you bring it to your mouth. You put it on your tongue while looking up at me. Your hand reaches, I inhale quickly, as you begin to trace the outlines of a million invisible tears running up and down my body like code.

Your fingers read my saltwater braille. And the transmission thickens with content; it flows with comprehension. More tears, more stories, more seeing, more safety,, more connection.

I am dripping, drenched…

You take me in your arms and rock me.

Without words, you answer.

Oel ngati kameie


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