Old Poem I Found

I was supposed to write a poem
Something about your hand
I told myself I’d remember in the morning
It slipped away like most words
My cheeks were warm and I smiled against my natural current
Fishing line at the corner of my lips hiked up
A happy marionette
To be married to your pink sweatshirt

I wish I knew what to write in a poem
I wish I could crack open fruits and fill them with gems the way people on microphones do
I wish I could talk about more than love and sadness and describe them as sounds crashing against the floor
Rolling against tile
An onomatopoeia
I’ll see you when I see ya
I wish I could make someone’s skin feel the same temperature as under my ribs
I wish I could write outside of the rear view mirror
I wish I could tell a story from the windshield, from the perspective of a wiper
And when the fingertips pull the switch towards their owner
Nothing would happen because it’s fresh out of tears

Sometimes when our tongues wrestle with our brains and our hearts want to talk to the manager,
Getting more and more frustrated with slow service
The warmth of our bodies saves us
And touch is enough to remind us it is worth it

And sometimes I’m just tall enough that my chin rests on your hair
While my nose swims through our histories and makes it harder
To decide whether to let you know I am crying
Or to send you off on a train and finally walk a slow pace
When you are not there to witness

You tease me that I am always one step ahead of you
And suddenly I can’t even move
I slip back into a week like I’m made for its cellular grooves
And wait for you to pop a fingernail under me
And pry me out of my secret sulk
Because I bite mine until you give me something else to do
With my hands, those gorgeous bastards

I wish you could come up to me faster.

Curley

Curly curly curly
Yours truly
Fruit in store
Time ignored
She squeezes into the lyrics of every song
So I listen closer three times over
Even though I know them all

She fills the holes I dig
Sets a red table in my mind
I am impatient
Utterly bare
And I slow down each goodbye

Doorway Effect

Before I attach the lyrics to the first song I have spontaneously written in Y E A R S let it first be known that I used to write songs alllll the time. Now I paid a whole 36 dollars to write one! Hah! Joke. Get it? Because I renew this domain year after year to not post anything and to not review my old work because it is embarrassing in hindsight? Anyways. Here’s my 36 dollar song. I wrote it about moving to Texas and falling in love and suddenly not hating Texas, and reconciling that with my love for my past (and my preferred climate). The tough part about songs is a person can’t hear a tune when they read the lyrics. And I’m for sure not about to sing it to anyone so. I guess I’m putting this here for myself. It’s meant to be kind of slow and lighthearted. It is also the first draft. It is also an extension of a poem I wrote for my girlfriend for her birthday, which hasn’t made it here yet. So if I post it you’ll identify where the first words came from.

Verse
Ornate blouse
Whatcha doing down south
Not hard to figure you out
Do you need someone to come get you out

Ornate shirt
On my back now
Forgot what I was doing down south
That’s doorway effect for you
And oh

Pre-chorus
It’s too hot too green too tasty
To leave now
All the houses look homes oh
This is a place to grow old

It’s too dark too many stars are out
For me to think about anyone else
For me to look back through that

Chorus
Doorframe
Doorframe yeah
Aint no Orpheus
When I see a

Doorway
There’s no way out
I know I used to have a problem
I know I ask you to hold me
But I promise it’s cozy

Verse
My sweet sweet tea
Forehead’s got sweat beads
She’s looking at me
While I’m driving fast

Slow slow speed
Except on the lanes we’re free
Free from all this heat
I’m sorry it makes me mean
But

Pre-Chorus
It’s too grey too thick too much rain
To give up trying to see
And all the trees they’re bending down
And so are we

It’s too good when our bodies hit the sheets
And the fan cools us to sleep
Please love do tell me
Why would I look for a

Chorus
Doorframe
Doorframe yeah
Aint no Orpheus
When I see a

A Doorway
There’s no way out
I know I used to have a problem
I know I ask you to hold me
But I promise it’s cozy

Bridge
I stay here
Because I’m right
I know you hate to be wrong
But I’m right to love you
And
I’m not going back
Memories are strong
But they’re not themselves
Out of the past

Pre-Chorus
There’s too much love between two of us
To cut it loose
And I don’t know about you
But I run fast I can catch it

And your smile’s too bright to turn away from
Forget what’s behind me
When you give me sun
So fuck that

Chorus
Doorframe
Doorframe yeah
Aint no Orpheus
When I see a

A Doorway
There’s no way out
I know I used to have a problem
I know I ask you to hold me
But I promise it’s perfect

The Best Way to Fall in Love (Prompt)

The best way to fall in love is to look at your lover, look back, and go “shit maybe I’m in love.” To slowly realize your life is cohesive with another life and those two things won’t be separated, not because of a notebook moment in the rain or a declaration or a ring but because that’s just not a fucking option, sorry.

The best way to fall in love is to get annoyed when your partner whines at you for doing something they literally always do but you never even said anything before and now if you do it will be a cop out so you sit there with an eye-twitch and say sorry and maybe hug and they walk away and your lips betray you with an- “I JUST THINK IT’S FUNNY”

The best way to fall in love is to make fun of each other’s parents and exes together. To only refer to them by first names, to know each other’s impressions based on the inflections they use. Tracy with a cocked head and a slow voice and Becca with a nasally bitch tone even though her voice isn’t nasally, she’s just a bitch.

The best way to fall in love is to get way too excited about tea and candles and be confident that your partner also prioritizes tea and candles.

The best way to fall in love is to dance when you suck at dancing and laugh on the kitchen floor, to make your ugliest faces possible and still want to rip that person’s clothes off later. And know that you’ll grow old, and still want to rip that person’s clothes off, but slower and with shakier hands.

To love is to have routine, but not boredom. To get excited about nachos. To get excited about travelling to a foreign country someday. To understand that those two things probably equal each other in excitement. And that’s not sad, because there’s consensus.

To name your future dogs, to dream up how you are going to have March Madness in your house, but not with basketball, with drag queens. And your small little babies will make brackets and be required to be knowledgeable of gay culture in all its facets. Those babies might be dogs or humans. Probably both. Definitely both.

The best way to fall in love is to look over one day, and realize it has been years but it felt like minutes, and feel your relationship like a fact. You have a mom, you have a dad, you have bills, you have a personality, you have hazel eyes, and you have your person.

The best way to fall in love is to not have to be unapologetically yourself because you were never asked to apologize, and to be yourself is to also be in love with another life. Your life partnered with another life. And it is just, neat.

Sometimes that love drools, snores, or kicks you in your sleep. Sometimes that love is so apparent and stops you in place and you do feel like it’s a scene in The Notebook in the rain or a declaration or a ring and that is a bonus. Sometimes that love pisses you off and wakes you up when you nap. Sometimes that love scares you when they forget to text that they are home safe. That love is your safety too.

The best way to fall in love is to let it happen, and write a poem about it, and to not read other poems and worry about complacency or comparison because this is your love poem, this is your love, this is your best way to love.

The best way to fall in love is to fall in love in a way.

Russian Doll Prompt- Think of an Object (I Open X and find Y, I Open Y and find Z, so on…)

I open my car door and find a street with a black snake of tar ripping through like a border from an old life to new

I hobble over the tree that invades all space and reaches its roots into my waist to take hold of my stomach and whisper “hey, it’ll be okay”

I open my mind to the possibility of running before I ring the doorbell and find I am frozen in place

I open the door to find a brunette, big smile wearing my same shirt

I open my mouth to say “it is okay, that means we already got rid of our one mistake today” and I find that pressure picks up its suitcase and waves us goodbye and wishes us luck

I open the door to the Museum of Fine Arts to find frames filled with prompts for my humor

I open her hand when she asks me why the hell I haven’t held her hand yet to find this is going to be easier than I thought because she is confrontational

I open the battery compartment for the TV remote so we can watch our second movie of the day and find that though it is SpongeBob, it beat the first selection by a landslide

I open the plastic wrap off the peeps in the middle of Randall’s to find a stomachache around the corner, and go on to find that my heart won in a match of rock paper scissors and said “suck it up we still have to kiss her”

I open the mail-slot on the porch of my best friend’s house where we went in a panic because I forgot I was cat sitting, to find I am a good liar

I say hey come help me with this the door is locked

I open her hands once more and set her things on the floor when her back is turned and after dishing out commands and summoning the most courage I can I give one last order:

Kiss me

She opens her lips in that breath-snatching smile and we find that a year and a half later we never had to close ourselves from each other because like that date nothing happened for so long but everything happened so fast

and life is tailored to us

The Saddest Word I Know

The Saddest Word I Know

Is hollow

For I’d rather be filled with 1,000 wasps

Or perhaps trapped in my own tailored punishment prescribed by Dante himself

Recognized by me because I am someone with a body to tailor punishment to

Someone with a mind to torment and a heart to break

Than nobody at all

When I graduated my teacher assigned me a word with speed, derived from lyric

And she called me an active participant in my own life

And I never felt a more beautiful assignment, a compliment with more weight

Than that of a comment with density and interpretation

Because I’d rather be non-stop

I’d rather take a turn too fast and hit the wall

Than to stall

I’d rather be my biggest fan and my worst critic

Than to have nobody read my name and to have life, or death, assign it nothingness

In silence tell me that my servitude was worthless

 

And I’d rather be filled with 1,000 butterflies

And feel my illness at its peak, and to turn in my sheets and watch the clock climb with struggling old limbs

Than to never feel worry with its partner excitement

To never hear them argue with each other before a speech

To never hear them make up and take a vacation and hire a babysitter named peace of mind

 

And I’d rather love at 1,000 times the normal amount to love someone

And accept 1,000 times more risk

Or love even 1,000 people and open myself to loss

Than to live this life without connection

Than to feel emptiness not only in my ribcage

But to have bones like a bird

And fly above the connection darting like movie magic on the level where people walk and exchange smiles or even peripheral awareness of each other

I love these heavy bones and this loaded transcript I carry in my synapses

The saddest word I know is hollow, and the implications that follow

Spinal (A Poem on Loneliness)

Solitude feels like an itch between my vertebrae as I am unjustifiably exhausted from routine

It smells like nothing because I don’t catch smells from the air, I only breathe and I only know this because it is the last standing measure of my living, I only see grey and white and I only speak longer conversations with the future and shorter words with myself and others in present time

It feels like clean hands because I am not digging through emotions searching for remedy

It is less sleep and blurry vision

It is losing grip on the ability to ask for someone’s language and with that their time and their care

It is losing the ability to reason that they would care if you can’t

It is a passive, secret longing kept from even yourself

It is craving without remembering the taste and without conjuring an image to match it

It is mute     and      slow       and         a silver veil between yourself and the world you don’t necessarily despise

I just fail to notice or invest myself because I do not see a reflection in high definition staring back at me in the dreary oval above the sink

I do not see that which to invest

I only feel the spinal irritability and the longitude of time

I am only a submissive participant, a cameo, an extra, in my own life

Smell, Singular

I boarded with the deed tucked in my pocket next to my self interest

Untitled.

I have to wonder if the lace I wear is damaging her.

My self interest is that I’m interested in only her well being and it is my deed to get us there

I presume I have 7 flights between me and the vision of her city coming to fruition again

Between me and the tears due in time being late for once or perhaps entering for a different reason with a spring in their step because new worries sometimes wear a face of peace

An owl has night vision, it turns its head 180 degrees

My head is turned Southwest in my duty to fall asleep with her figure etched in the darkness of my eyelids

Like when you close your eyes in repose under the sun and see fireworks and warm colors dancing and it whispers burns but you want to stay for the show

Only the opening act for sleep is outlined in thick dark marks in monochrome with hope

My coat hangs in its place and I don’t take out the crumpled paper because I don’t want to know if her signature is there

Each day I send 2 or 3 LED messages that are jettisoned to her titanium like magic, with the words flowing as easily as before and I wonder if I should feel guilt and then I feel it deeply in the absence of guilt

Each day I fool myself when I think I mastered the game but I am my own set of standards and I typed the instructions myself

Pain creeps through veins and scratches the surface of my confidence which I bought with a vow of my blood, and I scream that I’m not listening because I promised I would not

The iron triangle of this world of mine is the figure of my love and God

Checks and Balances between 3:00pm relief like morphine making my illness seem a fairytale and a 2:00am search for answers in micro-editing my prayers so they have to be answered

I think I’ll steam out the wrinkles when I know we made it, 7 flights from now

The tricky part is I believe we already have.

The walls are lonely and the sky is an attack when I wandered out 3 times watching my own breath and I feel crazy because there is grass

She always answers and the voice ties a line I can feel tugging lightly on the base of my phone

It’s sweet like honey and I realize it is home

7 flights from now I hope and fight to arrive at her house where she lifts the lid off a silver plate

And presents me with her lace

She spent 200 something days carving out of the flag she wrote into her brain

And I’ll rejoice and say by God the banishing of tears was worth it

The worry I buried will disappear from under the earth and the dirt will return rubbing its eyes, blinking twice, and wondering what silly thing must have just occurred

Fleeting problems like those I was never allowed

And in a blink of an eye we’ll laugh in the gentle kiss of light transferred from our window about how once upon a time we thought our love was not invincible

And every date Levi brings home we’ll treat like our own because maybe she’ll be the one, who are we to deny them that wish

The window’s light will take the smell of our house

Our very own smell

Silly us to think we’d never have our own identity in a scent and now it will never wash off our clothes

Levi’s friend returned his hat and said it didn’t have a name but he knew it was his because of this

I do hope our smell is her smell and in ceremony it becomes me

She sees me as a savior and I hope one day she climbs the stairs to kiss me on equal footing

And says baby I love you so much don’t ever leave

And I’ll remind her, when have I ever?

Maybe then I’ll turn out my pockets

And the signature on the deed will not matter

Part of my vow is that I never look because it should hold no importance

And it doesn’t.

Because what I just fantasized I see as a truth, that is my hubris and shall it kill me that I be wrong…

I wouldn’t change what I built that’s unbreakable except not to let it spring from my palm even if she pries open my hand

I play my song to her tune and I will until it kills me to

And I will be proud of myself for my zipped coat pocket and cramped fist

Monopoly

They bought Boardwalk and Park Place

Hotels on each

No they didn’t buy it in competition they were theirs before the rest of us passed Go the first time and collected 200 dollars

They broke the bank and I have

What is it?

A House on Atlantic Avenue

They have 4 railroads too

A Monopoly

On a game of self love

An arm wrestling of who gets to hurt

Who has the pulpit

The banker is their own reflection

In their inflection they seem generous

I know they are but I am not a recipient

I spy the utilities left unmarked but in trying to pursue this any longer I will not own, but I will be

The Water Works

Oppression olympics

Their piece moneybags

And mine a shoe, tattered because it’s rusty

The catch is I could flip the board I could call the hypocrisy I could break out the manual

But I am an adult

So they will never know my story

It hurts that if they did I would feel okay and I know they would rejoice in the power of learning the notes behind my name

They will never see the bills I’m hiding in a towel draped under the table where the game is played

They have a monopoly and I sold my equal opportunity I sold a friendship I’m hiding my wealth and my stories and my earnings because I don’t believe I need to throw dollars on the board

I don’t want to buy Park Place and Boardwalk

I’m trying to walk

I’m trying to breathe

And I’m trying to give them the privacy that was denied me

I want

I want socialist monopoly

Let’s all just own our respective property

I’ll have houses on North Carolina and Tennessee and when it’s someone else’s turn I won’t pretend I own their colors too

They’re all different and it’s turns

It’s turns

We roll dice and we take turns

You listen to me

I listen to you

What a world that would be equal opportunity monopoly

Played in the course of the instructions

But everyone hates a person who reads them aloud

So I’ll burn my wealth I hid under the towels

I’ll say “you’re right I don’t understand, I have no pain, and you are the most important person on the board”

I’ll lie that the banker didn’t keep me up for 7 nights

And that their house isn’t a place where my heart gets tight

And I’ll pretend I’m fine being water works

And knowing they will never know and will hold a public speech based on the non information They accumulate by seeing me as a passing face

I’m a poor old shoe

But nobody will ever see

Because I am an adult

And I fucking hate monopolies