You invited me to meet your mom,
& your dad, & to swim in their pool

but then you second guessed
the request, out of normalcy,

& I wondered why
I was not intimidated
until I second guessed
the request, out of propriety

& the presence of a full back tattoo.

Twelve years ago, I took a step
two decades in the planning:  This embracing
of an image to capture the pairing
of eastern philosophies:  The balance
of Phoenix & Dragon. 

I was innately borne by Phoenix,
her creativity, her resiliency, her rebirth,
her elements of wind & flame.

At times, I listened to Dragon,
his wisdom, his strength, his solidity,
grounded in earth and still water.

Perhaps it was Libra Sun that yearned
for more:  Equality, consistency, accountability
to be led by the qualities of both.  Perhaps
(I imagined) wearing the two on my flesh, I might
remember to espouse attributes in accord,
rather than swing like a pendulum
to polarities.

A psychic, a friend, once met me
while traveling the astral lanes
& there, my back was bare.  She said,
             It is behind you—you don’t see
            & you don’t remember so it’s not
            a part of how you envision

You invited me to meet your mom
& your dad. & to swim in their pool

& what began as self-awareness
of seeming yakuza semblance
in a tattoo,

self-awareness of a change
from then to now; 

with so much behind,
somewhere between,
                                        I became
what I’d sought
to obtain:  Balance.  Peace
between flying her fiery wings
and swimming his cool depths.

Sitting here before dawn, writing,
waiting to see which way you lean
on the decision for our day, I know
why I am not intimidated, but wonder
why I am not surprised
to realize how much
I’ve changed

or that it all had to happen
before I received
your request. 

I wait for your text
& the beginning

of all that will come
bearing both

feather & scale.