A short poem about being a plant mom.
The hardest part wasn’t surviving it, but convincing my brain that it’s over.
I ignored that loss, never grieved someone whose existence I never acknowledged.
The broken and healed parts of me meet where I help others.
I want you.
I crave you.
The thought of you permeates all the passive, dormant musings my brain lulls in its resting state.
You waft into my lazy Sunday dreams. I don’t summon you. You’re just there. My skin embraces your notion like bees to pollen, like its my cell’s job to marinate in the thought of you.
I want you to want me.
Like a little girl begging her dad not to leave, I want you.
I want you like water in a dessert.
But I don’t think you want you.
That’s the problem.
You have to want you before you want me.
I’m asking a flight risk to stay on the ground, and he doesn’t know how to land.
He has to learn to land first.
You can’t build a home if you’re still outside of yourself
In the sky.
Every person I ever loved tells me I compliment them too much, that my tongue is an infinite unraveling spool—thread words sewing the few inches between us. I don’t know … Continue reading The Mushy Poem
I use “you” as a pronoun for more than one person though each is special. Each of my yous makes my heart beat in another key. Some keys aren’t as common now. Some haven’t played in years. For those yous, the ones I’ve lost touch with, this is my love letter to you. This is how I remind you that even in the silence, I am rooting for you. The void between us is filled with well wishes from me to you.
Mysterious forces make magic of some meetings. The way your eyes made gold circles around your pupils in the sunlight transfixed me. Some people peel away everything life coached me to acquire. Some people dissolve time with their words. You encompass both forces of nature. My armored manners fell to silly sentiments when I met you. We were a pair of poorly behaved third-graders: all jokes and joy. Words spilled with the ease of decades around someone I’d known for minutes.
Rapid closeness triggers our walls. Trust hasn’t been established and suddenly, we both feel the resistance of life around us. We saw each other left, were reminded in little intermissions that we each had lives before each other. Connection motivates people to overpromise, but we were both promised to so many other things. Our time never felt like ours.
I don’t want my “what’s up” to trespass on your space. If this is more bind than connection, let the silence untether you. I know friendships go both ways, but do I dare disturb your peace? Your privacy? I interpret your unanswered texts as stop signs. I cannot chase your absence without betraying myself. Life itself is an interruption. People create the time for things they value amidst the chaos. I’ve reminded you how my time is available for you, my calendar is an open book for you. But even open books close, collect dust, flip through months of marked engagements.
I hear your name in cities neither one of us sleeps in. I miss you. Without wish or agenda, I treasure your existence. I hope life is gentle with you on the days I don’t hear about. I hope the sun still lights gold halos around your pupils and you’re laughing loud these days. I hope life conspires to reunite us, but if she doesn’t, if this friendship was meant to be momentary, I’m glad I met you. When the concrete chants your name or I see your favorite movie, only joy arises. We lost touch but are always linked.
You think I am a fragile thing.
My gauzy skin,
The words I speak are kind and raw—
Audible apple slices,
The plum bite of my feedback,
Berry compliments staining all my interactions.
And all you see is my garish smile—
Engulfing my whole face.
It’s hard to hear past the grin.
But sun shines over tragedies often.
Hello past my Versailles looks,
My Elizabethan curls,
My Shirley Temple mannerisms,
If your greeting travels far enough,
It will find where I am titanium.
That my anatomy is more ferocious than flesh.
When I beam, I’m also bearing my fangs— how I’ve torn through every tragedy intent on making me it’s victim.
I’m as gauzy as barbed wire,
As soft as sandpaper.
Some princesses are savages in disguise,
Their crowns are just another weapon,
The thrown is not a place to be adored but a moment to perch before all that has ever tried to break me and gloat, “Despite your most ruthless armies and soulless tactics, I am here. You came to break me only to bow before me.”
I am an intoxicating idea,
But a dizzying reality,
Some untamable force people want with two hands,
But have no idea how to hold on.
I wonder if I am a tall tale in someone else’s narrative–
Some summer camp personified,
The girl with red hair and pretty words.
I wonder if they gawk at how all of me is on fire.
Perhaps I am the cautionary tale of saying too much,
How my mouth became Pandora’s box, and all my truths have taken on lives of their own.
Maybe my admissions are Greek tragedies some other storyteller now claims.
No girl gets to be the author and the muse–
She is always the object, even in her own stories.
Because the fiction is better than the female.
The story doesn’t speak back.
It cannot cry, cannot disappoint.
They are just words, after all.
And the words are better than the rest of the woman,
How you can take them with you after you leave–
The lightest library held in your heart.
You return for my words like they are paradise,
But your hometown is elsewhere.
Somewhere more tap water than tequila.
There, in your hometown, my affirmations cradle your loneliness. They are your lullaby, although you never tell me that.
There, you tell stories about me until they run out.
Until you return to me just long enough for your hands to slip and your granola house calls your name.
And then, you are gone.
Another tourist disguised as an immigrant.
Feet raging against the floor,
Hips commanding the music–
You should see me when I’m dancing.
You should see me when all the forces of nature I am awake.
You should see me when I make spectators of every one of my demons,
The inertia of my turns pinning them against the wall.
Bodies like this aren’t celebrated by cameras,
Are hidden in the spines of glossy magazines.
I am too much woman for such a small world.
My jiggly thighs,
Ones so ravenous they swallow my shorts.
I refuse to ruin my groove by pulling them down.
Too many years,
Too many songs,
Too many dancefloors, I wasted my joy in hiding.
My energy belonged to my starvation, my purging, my insecurities.
You should see me on the dancefloor.
That’s where you see my recovery–
The softness of my body is a symphony in motion.
The percussion of my feet against the floor rivals any drumline.
Every song is my song when I’m not starving.
And my smile, my energy,
All of it,
exclaims, “How lucky am I to have lived through everything to be this?”