It’s a Four-Letter Word, Too
I would tell you I love you but,
at twenty years old,
and without treating my heart like
a car company’s discarded crash test dummy,
I’m not sure I know what that means.
I stand you up next to the ones
I believed I loved,
an unrequited, masochistic line up
of offenders arrested for a perpetratorless crime.
The Coffee Wasn’t the Only Hot Thing
Finally, my second person pronouns have a face. I’ve only written love poems to masked heroes, pledging my devotion to fantasies of my own creation.
You blew in the door with the wind, backlit by December sunlight. The contact our eyes made was the safest part of the storm because I swear the room was spinning, tossing my preconceived notions like toys with its power. You blew me away.
Your gaze crossed mine, our questions matching, the final puzzle piece locking into place after a frantic living room wide search and the creeping fear the dog had exercised his uncanny ability to impersonate a vacuum cleaner. You found me, under the couch and a little dusty but you did.
I wish I’d had the courage to sit with my back to the door. It would have changed the face of our first encounter. You’d have tapped me on the shoulder and the collision would have been a perfect storm.
We’re already a dangerous natural phenomenon, an optimistic warmth dancing with cold cynicism, the truth laying protected somewhere between.
Dance with me. Our hands will meet where our minds did, fitting as if they were designed with the other in mind.
I’ll keep you smiling if you keep me honest and together we’ll take this word by storm, protecting ourselves with our violent refusal to be tamed. I promise I won’t let you sink into despair if you promise to keep me thinking because eu de stagnant mind isn’t what I was wearing the day we met and you told me you liked how I smelled.
Couples everywhere are joining hands under fireworks of pink and red hearts
and I wish I knew how they feel.
The butterflies and giddy laughter,
the stars in eyes only for you.
I’m bad at this, though,
because I lack the ability
to lose myself in a rosy future.
My fancy is grounded for inclement weather and
no more flights are making it out until morning.
Spending the night in an an airport armchair does wonders for romanticism.
I’ll get there eventually.
Seven hours stuck in an airport and forty-eight minutes waiting on the tarmac,
a couple false starts,
a deicing or two
and take off.
I’m coming home to you.
Honey, I’m home.
You’ll meet me at the gate
with a smile and a long stemmed rose that I’ll accidentally
crush between us in my overzealous embrace.
There’s few candlelit dinners but there are plenty of movies on the couch.
There’s not to many scenic getaways but there’re roadtrips
and lots of fighting with old school maps.
There’s soap fights in the kitchen and late night talks
but our apartment doesn’t have a fireplace and bear rugs are creepy.
There’s not much wine and cheese or chocolate
but there’s piles and piles of books to read
and our towels next to each other on the rack.
We have both feet on the ground, a romance with a slow burn
meant to make it for the long haul.
It’s not our style to be a flash in the pan.
You’re my today and I’m planning on you being my tomorrow for a while.
Romance heroes only go so far but I’m counting on you
to drive after a particularly shitty leg of this journey.
Take me home.
Quit the day job you call your life.
Take off and never be seen again.
Hearts are beating
Chests rising and falling
With each breath that comes and leaves.
There has to be more to it than that.
There has to be a reason that taking in air is called
As if the rush of oxygen into
Could clear cobwebs from corners
And move us to move.
Put your hand here.
Can you feel it?
That’s the rhythm of life.
Holding you down
But not holding you here.
Step out with the assurance that you
were not meant to live like this.
That the cubicle is a cage but the door is open
And you could leave.
You were not meant for a life lived out
In alarm clocks and coffee filters.
Cigarettes smoked in your stolen ten minutes.
Each day marked by the hours for which you are paid.
You have all the learned helplessness of a shocked dog
Waiting for the first and fifteenth of every month,
Positive reinforcement for your complicit obedience.
What’s stopping you from living the life you salivate over?
Only the bell that rouses you from bed every morning at 6:15
But what separates us from the bitches
That get experimented on in labs is the fact that
We can think about
And then do it.
Make the choice
Because if you don’t
It’s already been made for you.
Don’t let the faces of disappointed authority
Bar the path you wish you could travel.
Their power is illusory
A cardboard wall
Built by ghosts of generations past.
Put your head down.
Bull rush through.
Do what you need to do.
the constellations shining down every night
as we grew until one day our paths crossed
and the fates tied our strings
together for the first time.
Then came the knotting
that bound us together so tightly that,
were one of us to pull too hard,
it would be the other’s undoing.
You have been my undoing.
Our lives were so connected,
our strings so entwined,
that we could not separate
or one of us would break.
As I watch you walk away with
a straight back and steady gait,
I know it wasn’t you.
I am left with the broken strands
of promises made
tying knots to hold myself together
with this frayed thread.
I suture up my heart with the ends
that you left me and wonder:
how could your break be so clean?
Ah, my love.
Together, we were rope.