My unripe self-love is overcome by the flaws I find, I search for.
I long to soothe, to sing myself to sleep, but 1AM stretches out
Longer than a day.
The greenness of the relationship I have with myself
Is ever so slightly warming up.
A colour of yellow or orange or maybe even a tint of red.
I try to hold all the pieces together until they are ready;
Until the glue between the cracks is just a little bit harder,
Just a little bit stronger.
You take out my hair-dryer from the bottom drawer
And offer to help harden the glue;
Ripen my self-love.
I hear the clock, I hear your breath.
I hear the birds, unbound by time.
The cars go by on the one-way street
All headed to the same place (somewhere far).
I hear my thoughts.
I hear the wind.
(I wonder if they are the same).
I wish to breathe, to remain still,
But the future whispers impatiently my name.
One of my organs hurts
Me from the inside.
I try to move, to show you where,
But you tell me to see a doctor.
I hold the pills
That He prescribed
Ever mighty, firm.
I take them slow, I take with food.
I wait for the pain to soften.
I sit, no pills.
Today I will breathe.
I approach the pain anew.
I sit, no pills.
I am by a big window
Staring at the sky.
I see light but no sun,
I feel light but no warmth.
I hear a hum.
I feel the rough carpet beneath me
Threatening to burn my skin if I move too fast.
I stay still,
A sun. Any will do.
The universe is vast and uncaring.
I could be elsewhere,
I could be here.
I am forever somewhere,
Or nowhere at all.
Like the melted wax on a menorah by the sixth night of Hanukah
I reheat to remelt
Actively letting go
Of your buildup.
He looked a little dead inside
With his eyes glazed, forward
For himself. I found
Myself tilting my head as I looked
At him looking
At the air between us.
Do you feel what everybody feels?
Or are you alone, your soul wandering,
A mended body
Something inside, like a heart
(Or a fist)
Signalling a life
(Or a suffering)
Yet you step forward each moment
Into the forgiving future
That allows you to be whole
If you wish
If you try
If you dare
I have filled myself with others’ stories.
Stories to avoid my own.
Stories to carry,
to listen to on repeat in my own head late at night,
when I am forgetting to be writing my own.
Stories of pain
and difficulty and happiness and
memories, felt or lost or forgotten
until they are told out loud.
I have been overflowing with other selves
I absorbed, mistakenly
trying to fit them into my own concave interior,
a container to be filled and shipped
somewhere far. I yearn to lock
and steal these stories inside of me,
take them to a new place where I might bury them,
and as I dig their grave, in the soil I find
myself, waiting to be lifted out and taken home.
I dance into another
Heavily trying to be light.
But he laughs at everything I say
Forgiving of – or oblivious to –
The me inside of me, hiding.
I took my pulse
To my childhood home
To expose it to old smells.
I breathed into the spirometer
Checking for my capacity
To contain the world inside.
I left your thermometer of happiness
Under my tongue for too long:
It has dissolved
And the mercury is leaking.
I guess I’ll never know how
I am doing.
I took an oral history
By talking to myself
And clarifying the words that I didn’t
Could I repeat that last part?
And how long has this been going on?
I tried to measure myself
To know who I am,
To have a language to express it to others.
But the numbers have failed me
And I am left with broken instruments
And healing bones.