Every night before bed,
I think of pieces of poems I will never write.
Words strung together so eloquently, my god, I could
make someone cry. I tell you of my pain,
the pain that creeps in when I turn the light off and
can’t be taken away by checking for monsters under the bed.
I tell you of my excitement for the future,
of what I want my life to be like, all the activities I want to do,
how eager I am to kiss my love,
how impatient I am to see the sun.
I am ready for you, new day.
Every morning I can’t get out of bed,
I feel like I have a hangover although I know I had
nothing to drink. The sun hurts my eyes and I’m desperate
to shut everything out. The poems are gone from my lips,
disintegrated into my bedsheets that haven’t
been washed in a month.
Where have I gone in those eight hours? Where did
I disappear to? Who is this girl that inhabits my
body in the mornings and makes me feel as heavy
I know what I need to do to be happy.
But, there is another side of me that refuses to make those
steps. I’m afraid that it won’t work, that I’m fooling myself.
I’m paralyzed and the depression that cradles me in the
morning is just as comforting as the dreams of a life
that seems just out of my reach.
It took me twenty-one years to fully understand it.
The roughness of a hard day,
the intrusive thoughts that seem to find their way
into a mind I’ve built so many walls around. The
craving that seems to start in my chest and then
slither it’s way towards my wrists as my hands
begin to tremble – needing something to grab,
something to touch,
something to drink.
The wine hits me slow at first, but builds into
a gradual flush of numbness. It’s my second glass
but I’m already thinking about the third. I know
what I am doing but I’m not the one in control
anymore. I don’t listen to myself, but to the soft
lullabies of another sip, another daze, another
moment taking me further away.
I cannot stop the thoughts that seem to strangle
my neck as is begs for a cry that will never come.
I can feel my body craving the numbness on a day
where I don’t know where my mind has went or when i
t will come back to me.
It took me twenty-one years to understand why my
mother would reach for the bottle instead of my hand.
And for once, I feel pity for her. I can see myself in her.
I can see myself in a woman I have thought of as a stranger
The way you make me feel makes me want to cry.
I laid there, my body tangled in yours,
your arms wrapped around me and caressing my
back. Music played softly in the background,
songs of my past that you don’t quite know
the stories to yet. And I felt like crying.
I feel heavy when I’m with you,
drunk when I’m with you,
as if I could dissolve into you.
I feel full when I’m with you.
I feel peace when I’m with you.
As soon as you leave my side, my mind runs
with worry. With scars from past relationships
that you don’t quite know the stories to yet. But
as soon as I find myself in your arms, I could
sing a million songs. I find myself searching
for the right words to say, but I say none.
In fear of scaring you away,
in fear of being too intense
in fear of being too into this
I feel like a new person when I’m with you.
I’m afraid of how much I want to be with you.
I’ve never felt so much something for someone.
I’ve never been so invested, and to have that reciprocated.
It’s been a while since I’ve touched these keys
for reasons other than academics, or venting, or
speaking about things that don’t need to be said.
It’s been a while since I’ve let the blood from my
heart reach the keyboard.
I’ve been listening to songs from my past, of
nights when I wanted to die, of mornings when
I thought I would disinagrate into the floor, of
laying in my bed with these songs playing, feeling
as though my insides were falling into a black hole.
I used to be so full of poetry, so full of song. I used
to be so full of sadness, and I wonder if the two are
connected. I used to see a poem in everything – a
leaf on the street, the way the clouds moved, how a
teacup felt in the palm of my hand.
Now, it’s as though I’ve forgotten what it was like
to see beauty in everything
to feel the energy in the world around me
to feel connected even when lonely.
These songs are reminding me and my rusty
fingers of a place I used to call home. It’s not a
good place to go back to. There’s a lot of bad
memories. A lot of monsters underneath the
floorboards. But I miss the comfort of the sadness.
It has been seven months since we’ve spoken.
We met on a cold February day in a coffee shop that
looked like a Wes Anderson film and I felt like I had
already known you.
I left you on a Spring day. My heart racing with my
thoughts and a shake in my hands that made me think
I needed to see a doctor. With the warm weather, I
welcomed a life without you. I danced in the sunlight,
picnicked in the grass, went on more dates, changed
my room. I flew myself to Paris and went on adventures.
But now it is cold again, and I am reminded of you. I am
reminded of the time we flipped a coin to decide if we would
follow through with our plans in the freezing cold, or go home
and cuddle. I am reminded of walking through snow on a sunny
day to get breakfast. I am reminded of the train rides I took to
see you and how we’d escape the cold and dive into the covers,
dive into each other.
I’m trying to welcome the cold with small hands and large coats.
The dictionary says they are expressions
most commonly of feelings, ideas, beauty.
Is poetry an idea swaddled in a metaphor
so grand that it becomes indecipherable
and that’s what makes it so exciting? Is it
something personal? Like the personal
growth I’ve found myself in recently? An
epiphany that only matters to me, or a
story that is so general it connects with
any human being who comes into contact
with it? Is it a lie tied with dying flowers
and kisses and loneliness to make it seem
I’ve recently found myself in a good state
of mind. I haven’t been journaling or
writing poetry or even thinking about my life.
Almost like riding on autopilot except I’m
sitting in First Class with a glass of cheap
champagne and my heart is as bubbly as my
tongue. It’s like I’m aware of my life, my thoughts,
my anxieties, and desires, but my mind has
found a way to compartmentalize it all. For
once, my past is not haunting me, but welcoming
and I greet it with a smile, open arms, and a glass
of champagne. Please take a seat. We’ve got much to
catch up on.
Is that poetry? Is the way the sun shines into
my room poetry? Is it the first taste of a fresh
cup of tea?
I don’t know. And I’m tired of trying to define
everything. I’ve spent 19 years trying to put a label
on everything; trying to fit everything into a neat
little box on a well-dusted shelf; trying to make sense
of everything. But maybe nothing makes sense. Maybe
that’s poetry: the search for meaning in things that are
coincidental. This is it, there’s no strings attached and
no one making sure everything happens for a reason.
Things happen. And for once, I’m allowing them to happen.
While I sit on the sidelines, flying at 38,000 feet. And let
me tell you, the view is beautiful.