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.

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

Blood Pressure

When the doctor takes your blood pressure with the new fancy machine

You feel your arm tighten and hold still at the tip of your finger

Where they put that clippy thing, and you’re not completely sure what it does

Or at least I’m not. I’m studying politics.

They put that sleeve on you and at first what you feel is simple: cold.

With every pump of the little balloon comes a pressure, at first it is comfortable

It’s like light relief

It accelerates and makes you crave the next –

 

Pump.

 

And then comes the next compression, the binding feeling with you and this rimy sleeve engulfing your skin but it starts to blend between discomfort and subtle reliability-

 

Pump.

 

It strains, fastens itself, clenches against you approaching a threshold cornering you into a blur, a blur between the potential energy of pain and the uninhabited space of repose-

 

Pump.

 

Ow! Fuck. Pinching. Pinching depriving you of the preferred annoyance of manageable pressure pinching seeping through your fortification of blissful ignorance- pinching is a feeling, a feeling of peevish pique, acute and centered around a fine point you can’t neglect-

 

Pump!

 

You can’t turn a blind eye just glance around the room exploring for an enclave for your attention as this god damn squeeze manifested into something so restricting you can’t decide if it’s excruciating or preferred… preferred to pinching… this one lasts the longest and the silence between you and your trivial, routine result is vociferous.

 

Come on doc. I don’t care about the number. Tell me 3 digits over 2 or however it goes I suppose I’m writing a poem about blood pressure because the tightness in my arm, so conventional, unremarkable and anything less than a surprise equates to this feeling I get when conflict constricts me in its menial itching manner until the cramp competes with my sanity and I can’t tell which stage made for a more irritable sensation

 

The comfort, the merger, the pinching, or the silence in maximum restraint.

All the while I hold my finger still. Unbothered. Sometimes, I stare at it and wonder what its purpose is, what is the point of me holding out my fingertip in prolonged pause, as if waiting to tell a story, or waiting to call on a human for help. Always still, always a chance for redistributing my thoughts during this awkward puzzle of time.

 

What is it telling you, that the pump of pressure isn’t?

 

Can you read more from my extended finger, than you can from my eyes darting around discomfort, than you can from the wretched trapping feeling itself.

 

Sometimes all it takes is a light cap on the fingertip to pull you away from vexatious space, no matter how unjustifiably bothersome.

 

Oh I just love searching for metaphors to excuse my psychology.

 

Am I witty and adroit in emotion, or do I just need to do some push ups?

 

It’s interesting, I still love getting my blood pressure taken.

 

 

 

Writing Workshop- Using Colors on a Paint Chip (purples, timed 5 minutes)

Newport breeze.

We were peering over stone walls with Gatsby to our backs. The waves collided with granite, or I think it was granite, I wasn’t paying attention because my eyes only alternated between you and the cave below, with shadows of purple, ranging from Naples Sunset to Rock Harbor Violet.

The hydrangeas tickled our arms as we leaned further, joking about hitting the water. Or I think they were hydrangeas, I don’t know my flowers and my arms were alternating between the coldness of the shaded stone and the heat of your skin brushing mine.

It was an ocean but I treated it as God’s wishing well, and I wished we would come here again, only there would be spring lilacs because it would be March. Or I think they would be, I don’t know, my mind is alternating between this idea, and the fantasy of being yours forever.