Heartbreak is the risk one takes

when seeking citizenship in a land not your own.

Emigrating from the island of aloneness

to the possibility of partnership

demands a mix of courage and foolishness.

It calls forth an inner ethic of trust

as well as a comfort with

not knowing

that appears and disappears

like morning dew

weighing down blades of grass

on a still, spring morning.

Vulnerability is the preferred currency

one must exchange for safe passage,

though even the most noble of coyotes

will tell you that there may be no more

treacherous terrain over which to pass

than the wastelands that separate persons

who may be as close to us as our own breath

and yet who took up residence in some other land

while we were away gathering food for the winter.

Reaching the shores of intimacy with another

asks that we synchronize our respective paddle strokes

on opposite sides of the boat,

or else, due to uncoordinated effort,

find ourselves moving in circles,

empty horizon in every direction.

Love's refugees

occupy space

between leaving and arriving,

courageously and foolishly

hoping our next step may be our last.

Krister Whiteheartbreak, poetry