Magic flowed a river of printed words meandering across ivory pages passing up through grazing finger tips and pulsing along a bloodstream traveling deep into lungs and then as air molecules flowing upward and out his mouth between full lips. Magic coursed into the space between us as a river delta, pouring water into the sea where I bathed in the warm current of each magic word he read to me.
This woman always
Poured her cup
Full with fragrance:
In passing one day
She whispered to me:
Be careful where
You steep your soul.
That boy there
Is acrid brine.
You don't want to
Monday’s prompt on dVerse was to wrote a quadrille (a poem 44 words in length) containing the word steep or any of its forms.
Link to dVerse prompt: https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/28/quadrille-72/
Somewhere in this universe there exists an us
Laughing on the infinite shores of a thousand glittering diamonds
All bronzed skin and limbs under a late summer sun
And there you were
In glasses black and t-shirt blue
Cradling my spirit
In the embrace of your smile.
In the first five seconds that we met
I completely entrusted myself to you.
On the shores of infinite diamonds, we were
all bronzed skin and limbs,
under a late summer sun.
Ever gently a rose glow
caressing our eyes, saturated our world,
as light retreated beyond mountains.
On the shores beneath infinite stars, we were
all tender skin, twisted limbs,
surroundings obscured in the dark.
I dreamt of a ghost beyond my window,
Standing at the edge of my yard,
Translucent below the marble moon.
She stood erect beneath the formidable night sky.
With an upward tilt of her head, hair grazing her waist,
She stared the bald moon back with her vehement gaze.
When I opened my own eyes, I was under the sky.
Color in my cheeks and blood in my veins,
Dewy-grass feet firmly in the dirt.
And so I walked inside to dream of a blank sky.
Not unlike the blackboards the morning of Sunday school:
Washed clean, ready and inviting.
For so many weeks, months, I felt haunted. Everywhere I went, every experience, was a reminder of what had happened. That I was not who I used to be and I was not who I wanted to be. That I had made mistakes and simply did not measure up. I was empty.
I don’t know exactly when it happened or how it happened, but I felt life breathed back into me, or maybe I breathed it into myself. Perhaps it was simply that enough time had passed. (And perhaps I had just written enough poems).
It is funny how simple things can represent complete opposites depending on the experiences occupying our headspace. The moon, for example, represented something that I felt saw right through me, something that followed me no matter where I went. It was watching me and I could not escape it. Now I am again able to look at it with a sense of wonder.
It is simply the moon and it is beautiful.
Do not ask me how I feel about you,
Because I cannot answer that.
Instead ask me what I feel.
I feel warm sunlight.
Ask me how much I feel.
I feel the number of leaves on the gingko tree behind my
old Cambridge apartment.
There were warm, calm days spent across six summers looking up
from my hammock through endless spirals of leaves catching
glimmers of dancing sunshine.
The memory of those days feels the same,
As the way that I feel about you.
The words they warmed me.
As they rolled off my tongue
I swallowed them whole.
A mug of hot tea in my belly.
My love for you was honesty.
To care enough to share what bothers,
Was to want you here
With me. You and me.
My love for you was time.
A day spent sewing a pillow.
Learning with careful practice,
Then setting with tender design.
My love for you was in the details of the stitches.
Holding the edges together,
Keeping the stuffing in place.
But maybe you didn’t need stitches.
Maybe you needed duct tape – fluorescent.
To be placed exactly where you told me.
And no last minute alterations.
But if altered by you…. It’s O-KAY. Okay?
Maybe my love was as you said
My emotions were – kept to myself.
A secret book of poems that
I DON’T SHARE with anyone.
I shared just one with you.
I should’ve published a book of poems.
Maybe then you would’ve felt
My love for you.
My love for you was not a bomb.
Exploding in hot frenzy.
It wasn’t a cyclone, squall, or windstorm
With seconds-only notice.
My love is a warm
D R I Z Z L E
That leaves you drenched in mid-July
Did I accidentally give you an umbrella?
Maybe you did feel loved by me
But denied it with contempt.
Masked guilt of having prematurely thrown me
Into your hurricane.
The bitterness I was feeling as I wrote this cannot be masked. It amazes me how when I sit down to write one thing, it feels as if it has a mind of its own. What started as melancholy began to ooze resentment. When I think of my last relationship, at times I feel my stomach turn. For a while I believed my ex lacked the self-awareness he needed to control himself and to recognize what was happening. As time passes, my view of him has yet to soften as it has with other ended relationships. Everything now feels intentional, vindictive, and dark. Other times I think I must be crazy for thinking this way, as if I am the one lacking the necessary level of self-awareness. There were times he was so full of kind gestures and actions, it’s hard to reconcile my opposing views of the same person. I’m still trying to work through it and make sense of it. Writing has been the most helpful form of therapy I have yet to find.
The moon it follows me.
Peeking over clustered roofs,
Through branches and quivering leaves.
I saw it in my window last night, I swear !
It’s bald face staring down at me.
I ran down to the ocean
To beg the sea to take me away,
But there it was,
Its brilliance in light,
Scattered all around me.
I’ve been to the moon before (and unexpectedly stayed awhile).
Moon air filled my lungs,
Silver dust coated my skin.
Its scent soaked into my hair.
Of gunpowder, did you know?
I placed my two hands on his bald face to feel what makes him whole.
I laid my wrists across cratered scars so he may feel the beat of a pulse.
I let my tears fall onto chalk skin so he too could learn the texture of water.
He gave my pulsing blood a tide and presented a magnificent earthrise.
And now I cannot unsee the most beautiful sight my eyes have ever seen.
One day I happened upon his farther side,
The side you cannot see.
It is darker and colder than you could ever imagine a place to be.
My footprints on the moon, now forever far from me.
I left the moon, and still — the moon it follows me.
My Heart swells for you.
As a plant takes in water
and the leaves become full
turning lush green,
my cheeks grow pink
from blood pumped by
my swelling Heart.
I wrote this poem for my ex-boyfriend several months ago. He was away on vacation and I had a community acupuncture date with a friend. I had never tried acupuncture before and was excited to give it a whirl. Seated in the room with a dozen strangers, all in cozy chairs and blankets, I suddenly felt trapped and anxious. The weight of the cotton blanket feeling more like the lead aprons used at the dentist office when taking x-rays of your teeth. I was acutely aware that I couldn’t make noise as I would disturb all the quiet, meditative people around me. After what felt like 50 minutes, but was probably 15, my big eyes pleaded at the acupuncturist to come over. “Had enough?” he said (apparently aware of my discomfort). “Yes, I need to go.” He took out the needles, and then I went to shed a few tears in the bathroom. I was confused and did not understand why I felt this way. A woman who came in the bathroom as I was leaving expressed that sometimes acupuncture can feel unpleasant if we have a “block” since acupuncture can release those “blocks.”
I sat outside on a stone bench. Late winter. Heavy white somber clouds pressing down on my head. I took out the acupuncture flyer in my bag and wrote the above poem on the back of the flyer. It completely captured how I felt about my boyfriend and the effect he had on me. When I was done, I placed the flyer in a random page in a book of E.E. Cummings poetry that I had in my bag. Later that evening I took a look at the page that I had randomly selected and found that the E.E. Cummings poem so beautifully expressed what was happening in my relationship with my ex (conflict in love leading to a “blossoming” of two people)… or so I thought at the time.
My relationship with my ex ended over five months ago. It lasted seven months in total. During the first three months together, my experience with him completely changed the way I viewed romantic relationships in the most positive and beautiful way I could imagine. Then it dramatically changed. The second half of our relationship was punctuated by intensely loving moments often followed by anger, confusion, and volatile behavior. In the months since the break up, which is now almost equal the time we spent together, I have struggled immensely to let go. I went into my relationship upbeat, happy, and active in my life. Weeks after I chose to leave the relationship, I felt like an empty, broken shell of myself.
This blog is a place for me to send my thoughts and emotions out into the world. I plan to share more than just thoughts on my ex, as he was only a blip in my life, but for now this is the starting point.