You cannot promise me
That I will not lose everything
Find it dirtied, have it snatched from me, spoil
What is important to me, valuable in this world –
Perhaps all too important.

You cannot promise me
that I will not be attacked,
stripped, ravaged, ravished,
eaten by disease, weakness, death,
tortured in body and soul.

You cannot promise me
that I will not hang upon the cross with you,
hands, feet pierced, torn, my heart crushed,
barbed wire pulled fast around my thoughts,
darkness around me, and not cry, scream, "Where are you?"

You cannot even promise me
that I will be preserved, prevented
from running into the catcher's snare,
to tumble, darkened, blinded on ways
which splinter my soul even further.

But you promise me
that the flame will never end
that the glow will never be completely quenched.

In the deepest dungeon of fear
when I think I will never find you again
your heart, filled with pain, burns
brightly for me from behind the clouds.

In the driest drought,
when I beat on you with words like fists,
there hangs upon the rim of the emptied glass
a single, last little drop
of my love for you, upon which you feast.

This one thing
will always be protected –
and however much I weep, curse, rage,
pull at my fetters, think to fade,
to freeze to hopelessly cold ice,
I say deep inside: It is enough.

about him
is endearing,"
"the most beautiful
among ten thousands."
For my identity is