From Rachael to Leah: A Love Song by Tawni Vee Waters

“So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah.”

We are tied by our love for him, the way earth is tied to sky by a thin line of horizon.

Enemies, and yet you come to me in my dreams, the way my unborn children do, the way he does.  Is love the only thing that can bind minds through time and space, or can hatred do that too?  At first, you threatened.  Now, you beg.

Nemesis mine, scream at me.  It’s easier that way.

My secret.  Some nights when air is thick with honeysuckle and heat, I cry for you, wishing I could leave him be, let you keep what you think is yours.  I am not a cruel woman, or mad, as you paint me to be, using every drab color in your pale pallet.  The truth is he was mine and I was his long before we met in this world.

If I were you, I would paint me mad too.  It’s easier that way.

People say you’re pretty.  I don’t want to know.  I visualize your mud brown eyes, say you’re a squinting, shimmerless thing.

You paint me mad.  I paint you ugly.  It’s easier that way.

Sometimes, I think I will make a fine second bride.

Never mind.  His concubine.

Never mind.  His whore.

I will lie beside his body half the nights.  I will cook and call you sister.  Sister, this love is wilderness unto itself, and we are all lost inside it.

My curse is this.  I must know while I lie alone at night, our husband curls up beside your body.

Your curse is this.  You must know while our husband lies beside your body at night, he wishes you were me.

About Tawni Vee Waters