2nd Poem Published “The Taste of Winter” in Do Not Submit

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
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Wordle #284

Even the flames of appetite

pass unanswered and unremarked

in the faux pas and arrogance of a new dawn.

You were never final,

never trustworthy,

never one to answer my prayers,

spoken or otherwise,

but in a dank and inscrutable darkness

we made use of our bodies

and created a moment

which felt very much like an always.

I watched you sleep

from a distance

and from a distance

you looked very much like love.

So much so that

I left my number

carelessly beside your phone

and put on your sweater

instead of my own.

I am that wilderness

Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

I have too many emotions.

They stick in my teeth,

in my twisted viscera,

in my glowing red heart

in my stiff grey lungs.

They are my hands and my feet

and all the spaces in between.

Feelings can’t be ascribed

to any one organ

they rise up between

the solid bits.

They are a void.

They are eternal

right up until the moment

of exchange.

I am inconsolable

whatever my orientation.

Viscous and viral

there is a wilderness

so wild and so vast

that no map could ever

hope to translate it.

I am that wilderness.

I never have

the same emotion twice.

Each emotion is its own construct.

The only thing which is certain

in me is uncertainty

but that does not

bring me comfort.

I sleep hundreds of hours a day.

I am the dream, not the dreamer.

I do not wake but every now and then

life comes pouring in like salt water

and takes me to another place

and in that foreign place

I take on the arduous task

of drowning.

Add Me

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

My heart became

a magnifying glass,

a weapon of light

and ongoing deformation.

I do not mean to burn with love

but I am desperate

and lacking in imagination.

All eyes and no soul

my heart looked into yours

and fell against its little bone door

with fear and trembling.

If I let you in

I will never be free of myself.

Eyes opened or closed

you will always see me.

Love became a thing,

an extraordinary and incomprehensible thing.

Even if I give doubly of myself

I will never be able to earn it

because that is not part of the exchange.

I always seem to be missing

something and that absence

creates a distance between myself

and the object of my interest.

How can 1 plus 1 be of more value

than 1 times 1?

Multiplication seems so powerful

until the numbers are forced

to confront the possibility of solitude.

Maybe we need each other to grow.

Maybe that’s why my value never rises.

When I think about it

I have been searching

for someone

that I can occupy.

I want to be a ghost

in your home.

To be with you,

to be seen and not seen,

to possess intermittently,

and above everything to dream.

I have been struggling with Depression fiercely lately even though I feel I have so much to rejoice and have been on some lovely adventures lately and have also received tremendous support and love.

Breathe

Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

We fell

together

like words on a page.

Breath caught;

in the margins

between our bodies.

The biggest moments

in our lives

can only be

conveyed through a whisper,

or a SHOUT. My heart

says it all.

In my mouth

a hint of oyster,

tears half-salted. I can’t breathe.

My fingers dance

through your hair and I

find a rhythm

and I think maybe

you instigated

the whole thing

but it’s still music.

The kind of music

that makes you,

fall in love.

Heart to heart. I exhale.

Bodies breaking gently,

pressing and decompressing

like waves. I hold my breath.

We cling

lips, fingers, tongue

pausing

to steal a breath.

Your skin

touches my skin.

It’s too hot

to think.

DON’T THINK.

Just smile and float.

There’s something

stuck in my heart,

to feel is a blessing

and a curse.

We are all

the people in the world

when we are

tangled up together.

We are magenta.

My feelings

feel infinite.

I push you away.

I inhale deeply.

The air is cold

without your breath

inside of it.

It’s not enough.

There was no before

because I am sure

that I didn’t know

how to breathe

until you kissed me.

You were

my first breath,

I am alive

because of you.

I am auditing a free poetry class. Just started. Trying to understand rhythm but I have zero musical sense so I am not sure if I have achieved the effect I was after.

Lesser Gods

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

If I have learned anything

it is that you can’t pull

a reflection out of a mirror.

What we call love

is simply the recognition

of self within another.

Hate is when that same person

disappoints your expectations

which is inevitable

because no two humans

are exactly the same.

I could be a sun

with my own heat and gravity

or I could be the moon

which follows.

If I knew how to be the sun

I would be the sun

but I possess

the physiognomy of the moon.

My mercurial blood burns

just as much going in

as it does coming out.

I never wear the same face twice

and my moods are always

tinged with melancholia.

A smile is just a little bird

with its wings outstretched.

Tears are punctuation

they appear whenever

an emotion gets too big

to cram into a single breath.

I am prepared to live

the exact same day

for the rest of my life.

This is what it means

to put your faith in lesser Gods.

I found myself in your eyes,

that little sliver of divinity

which speaks of union

and I fell in circles around you.

If I love this man enough

then I might just forgive myself

for a lifetime of neuroses and repetitions.

Only to forgive myself

it is necessary to keep him

and to keep him

it is necessary

to cut away the pieces of myself

that don’t fit.

Find an object to worship

and grow small with redundancy

or find the God within yourself

and become a universe

miraculous beyond measure.

Those are your only two choices.

Wordle #282 Hiraeth

A raw overcast sky

hangs softly outside

of my insolent, unblinking window.

A milkshake of monochromes

and bald-faced satellites

march unseen

behind the ashen veil.

I can feel myself sinking

with every breath.

My thoughts are heavy and insistent.

My hands are caged birds

weakened by tension

and fragile as they pound

fruitlessly against my pillow.

No one but me

can hear the cracks

taking hold of my heart.

No one but me can hear

the terrible, taunting hiss

of my liquid pain released.

The stars

count my wishes.

Wishes that I will

someday follow

from one adage to another.

Wishes that must be forgotten

to reach fulfillment

because more often than not

I get in the way of myself.

I am not patient

the way nature is patient.

I would rather destroy

something than contemplate

the hours between

one moment and the next.

The space between us

feels especially solid,

it has fangs and claws

and if I let you in

too deeply

I know your absence

will consume me.

We will always have

the moon floating

like a pumice stone

on top of the water

by the lake.

The leafy hands

of a primal nation

extending towards

our bare legs

like needy children

as we spin in circles

from one end

of your unkempt yard

to the other.

As I sit here,

in a state of hiraeth

and mild panic

I wonder

if I really have what it takes

to belong to someone,

to have memories of someone,

to be at home with someone

and not get lost

between the words.

What is your reason for living?

It has been a while since I have had reason to live and it is getting harder and harder to come back from the Depressions. A lot of what I wanted to do in this life I have done. Some of my goals are quite small and not really the kind of goals that get one out of bed in the morning. Some goals are beyond me. Like getting married again. Finding employment. Believe me I have tried but I have lost hope. I need something big enough to motivate me, small enough not to crush me, close enough not to exhaust me because I am beyond exhausted. My test results reveal again that I have antibodies against my thyroid which is the sort of thing you monitor but don’t treat. So there is no reason why I feel so bad physically. I feel really bad but it is almost certainly sadness and stress and I don’t know how to stop being sad or stressed. I can tell you after the endoscopy I won’t be going back to another doctor in my lifetime. Depression apparently makes you immune to everything and immortal, so no need. There is no one who needs me. Maybe I would be missed but as I learned after the divorce that is a temporary thing. A few months max and anyway my ex and my daughter have already missed me so they are passed that now. I used to live because I saw good things in other people’s lives and in the world but it is like everything is bad all around. I know my Depression is normal and it’s not so big it needs treatment but it is hard for me anyway. I know all people are sad all the time because doctors have told me that, so sad is just the base human feeling. I don’t know why I have a hard time getting use to that.

Sunday Confessionals : Hello

Dear Heart,

When we first met my life was in transition but instead of changing I just went on pretending that I was a mountain. High and mighty. Immovable. Distant. Jagged and worn. I can endure just about anything. That is my superpower. I should have been fighting to save myself but instead I just went right on living the same way even though the life I was living had ceased to exist. It took me quite a long time to realize that the only home I have and perhaps ever well have is my own body. Wherever my body goes I follow. 

Knowing you has changed me, profoundly. We’ve gone on adventures together. We’ve played like children in the park. We’ve had firsts. You are the first man to take me on a snowmobile, to take me kick sledding, to let me drive a tractor etc. You invited me into your home. Into your family. You brought me with you to Norway. Sometimes you do not even deny that we are a couple. My emotions have more layers now. My personality is bolder and more nuanced. I have found reserves of courage and energy I did not know myself to possess. I have never known such depths of anger, joy, love, disappointment, despair, gratitude, surrender, freedom.

The hardest thing about all these new feelings to accept is that I am the one feeling them. I am the one living outside of my skin while you are safe inside yours, beside me but not totally immersed in the experience the way I am. When you look at me you don’t see forever. I am not a potential lover or wife. I am a woman who is accessible, loved, but unnecessary. I am not your ideal, even though you show up again and again on my list. I have no real power over you. It’s incomprehensible to me that no matter how deep your heart goes, your intellect will always be capable of digging it out again. When you do decide to find the right woman, you will go on, you will have a life without me and that life will be enough for you. I will feel your absence with every part of me. Maybe your absence will be the thing which finally breaks me. I think I could let you break me.

I have a lover who will never make love to me. I have a husband who will never marry me. I have a boyfriend who thinks kissing feels too much. I have a partner who searches for me in other people and tells me so. Maybe one day you will find a me, who is not me, and she will be to you what the universe is to a person, everything. 

I am the person you love most in the world. I am every hour of your day. I am a majority of the people in your life. I occupy every role, male and female. Sometimes you even forget that I am not you. When you leave it feels so final, so definite. Then you return again and I am there, full on and critical. Some days you love me with a sincerity and a ferocity which makes the impossible seem possible and I think now he really loves me, now we have surpassed “almost” and “what if”, now we are finally living our lives whole-hearted and then we are half-way all over again and I remember that I am the only person in the world. Everyone else is everyone else. I am only me and I don’t know how to handle a human heart.

Thank you for the almosts,

forever yours, forever mine