We Must Marry Ourselves

we must marry ourselves. we must marry our toes, our pockmarked skin, our memories of walking terrified down the halls of our elementary school. we must marry our reflection in the mirror but even more, we must marry the angles we’ll never see ourselves from.

we must marry our eyes-closed, mouth-wide-open laughter, our scrunched-up faces when we’re crying, the face that we make when we’re sleeping. we must marry the version of ourselves that once ran away only to hide by the side of the house and later waited for hours for someone who never came.

we must marry our need to be touched softly and sometimes roughly, and we must marry our unmet needs. we marry the parts of ourselves that are filled with petty disgust and rage. we must marry our wet and aching bodies which are tired and want to lie down in a soft bed.

we must marry our hearts. of course we must marry our broken, shielded, hidden hearts. we must marry our jilted and embarrassing hearts which seem to ruin many evenings. we must marry our bruises and stray hairs which clog the drains.

we must marry our disguises. we must marry our ways of pretending we are not hurt when we are, our distrust of authority, our pathetic submission to people who intimidate and beguile us. we must marry our willingness to say no and our struggle to do so.

we must marry our continuous contradiction. we must marry our good intentions and our intentions which disregard the feelings of others. we must marry our self-centeredness when our shame shrinks our vision and our absolute grace when we are naked and generous. we must marry our moments of stepping into electrifying unpredictability and somehow doing the best thing.

we must marry our desire for comfort, our best and worst fashions, our second and third overdraft fees, our accidental destruction of what was otherwise a perfectly lovely meal. we must marry ourselves after smarting off to the receptionist who didn’t deserve it and our tiniest, quietest breaths which fog up the window as we stare out at the city on our way home.

we marry our kindness to animals as well as our indifference to the suffering of the world. we marry our cynicism, the fact that we have accepted half-lies as a part of speaking truth, and we marry our idealistic disillusionment.

it is easy to marry our dreams and we must marry ourselves when it is easy. we must also marry ourselves when we have not slept, when we did not do what we said we were going to do and we are paying dearly for it. we must marry our long, long process of healing, which is also called remembering, which is also called a life.

we must marry our ideas about what a good person looks like and our failure to resemble that image. we must marry ourselves as if there were no other option and yet we must acknowledge our choice. we must marry our inability to define care and our attempts, which drill through like repetitive violent baptisms, to express our love for others fully so that we may rest well and be emptied.

we must marry ourselves now and for good, and we must never stray, though we will stray, and we must never leave, though we must. we marry ourselves the way a bird marries the air, the way a newborn grabs the giant finger of its mother.

we are afraid of disappearing and yet we are disappearing. we are afraid of being alone and we must marry ourselves there. beneath and beyond where we marry another, we marry ourselves. we must marry ourselves.