When I was a girl I daydreamed
about the one who would become

I loved to imagine what it would feel like
locking eyes from across a crowded room
everything else fades away
until there was only us
at last

Like that scene in the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice
where Elizabeth and Darcy finally dance
Contemptuously gliding past each other,
trading quips
barely touching
the passion palpable

I was enthralled
my 14 year old heart beat wildly
longing to be hungered for
like that

But I just rewatched that clip
eager to be swept up
and now it seems so transparent
the suspicion and disdain are masks
for their heartache and fear
armor and ammunition

I recognize those masks
8 years of marriage and we have a vast collection 
hard looks
weary sighs
pointed, accusatory glares

I wonder why I couldn’t see the hardness
back then
Maybe it seemed romantic to look past it
to the possibilities
to the tidy ending

Now I see the romance in our hard won realities
the walls of our stubborn ways
the wounds that even time and therapy cannot fully heal
We hurt each other over and over
intentionally, carelessly, cluelessly

And yet – marriage is so much more than just a masquerade
It continues long after the exchange of rough glares
when the guests are gone
and we are alone
people undone

There I find the embrace of my beloved
Masks chipped away
free to be unfinished