Silent and Starving

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.


The above poem “I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair” by Pablo Neruda is something that has tickled my soul since I first read in in the late 90’s. I could have written this poem inspired by a few women without haste. Ever since that first love letter to Cindy in fifth grade I have sought to indulge the romanic in me even though it seemed to be overwhelming to most of those that found themselves in my de Bergerac path.

I have felt these words deeply and continue to do so. I crave to love and to be loved. I spent much of my youth searching the world for this kind of love. When I discovered heartache and pain in the pursuit of romance I jumped into the church world and demanded that this kind of love be granted by the Son of God.

I poured myself into the church and for over a decade stayed in a relationship in which love was skewed and unavailable. I grew used to this and sought out relationships in which I would take anything that resembled this desperately sought after love. Anything was better than nothing.

This led me to experience this love in fleeting moments or drunken stupors. Often I found myself existing the individual object of my affection. In a seemingly endless hunger for love and the need to be affirmed in such love I drained the brave souls willing to connect with me.

I exhausted myself as well. I fell into destructive paths that chipped away at the little self-confidence I had. It got worse before it got better. I lost myself in the pursuit of love. I became incapable of loving myself.

The one person that I never loved in the above manner was me. I forgot to love myself in a manner that set heathy boundaries and guarded my heart in healthy ways. The moment I accepted this as the first step in experiencing the above love I could breath again.

With that breathe I grew in ways I always hoped for. This breathe allowed for healthy ways to filter into my life and the decisions I would make. In loving myself with a deep hunger I awakened the ability to love others in the manner without sacrificing my being.

I am no longer silent nor starving. I love myself. In this love I am learning to differentiate my need for love of others and building the ability to regulate that need when my healthy coping skills are taxed.  I am not perfect. But gone is the belief that I must be perfect to love myself or to be loved by others. I deserve love because I too love.

Published by ryan

LSCSW/LCAC/MDiv. Senex Punker. Indigenous. Anti-Racist. Pro-Karuṇā. Seeking Maitrī. Contemplative. Creative. Dad. Tacos! Powerlifter. Sex+. Selenophile

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