I want to fall in love with poetry again.
I started writing poems regularly when I was 16 years old. My pieces were delicious. Mostly lusty, and full of luxurious language. I kept a thesaurus with me at all times, peppering my poems with new and exotic words. I wrote about my awakenings, my dreams, my hopes, and nature.
Eventually my poems became more narrative, less dynamic and abstract, and were ultimately used as a healing tool to overcome trauma and protect my mental health.
This 30/30 I would like to reconnect with that original playfulness—to write for joy and explore the beauty that always surrounds me. I have always found it easier to tap into my creativity through pain, but my challenge this year will be to write more hopeful pieces for the next month to remind myself that there is light here.
There is always light
I want to leave one of my teeth
On every continent on earth to
Confuse future archeologists
I tell him my plan
He tells me he loves how my brain works
And it’s the best compliment I’ve ever had.
We spend the evening singing Beatles songs to each other
He wears women’s pants and Harry Potter glasses
Flowers in his hair and beer on his breath
Rosary in his hand
Looks at me like I’m made of molten gold
Like something meant to be worshiped
He stands me naked in a full length mirror
And makes me tell myself
how beautiful I am
He forgets his own language
To praise me in ways only I understand.
Two weeks of this—holding hands across the emptiness
Between hostel bunk beds
Philosophical conversations, ancient churches and poems peppering our tongues
Couldn’t believe I could be so lucky
Wished my heart would stop beating
Wished to die in his arms
Wished the movie would end
I drop one of my teeth
In the river
In his hometown
The last time I was there
He tells me all he wanted was for me to be happy
That he thought I knew
What this was.
That people don’t fall in love on vacation
They only create memories
Out of the best versions
Let me go he says
Like a fragment of bone
That will never
Sprout into a person
Plant your teeth in my skin
But do not expect anything
Things I do when no one is looking:
1. There is no greater feeling than farting loudly in the privacy of your own home. It’s a satisfying noise. A food ghost haunting your nostrils.
I marvel at my body’s ability to let go like clock work 6am alarm leading me straight to the toilet bowl and a release that reminds me of all of the shit I’ve gone through.
2. Privacy is safety. It is just me and the emotions and even I don’t know how to handle myself most of the time. I don’t remember the first time I slapped myself in the face. Only that I Never wanted to hit myself hard enough to leave a mark. Just hard enough to sting. The pain isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Just enough to remind myself I’m still living, I still feel like I hold back when I let go. Like I’m not ready to lose myself completely.
3. I am always two drinks ahead of anyone. Two steps ahead of the steamroller. I love late nights alone, just me and $5 bottles. 3 packs of cigarettes and a novel of mistakes to obsess over. The want for company but knowing I’m the worst kind company to have.
4. On the way back from the ultrasound when the doctors told me the fetus would only leave me when my body was ready to let it go, I start balling on the bus and no one once looks up from their iPhones. That’s when I decide that God doesn’t want me to be happy. That perhaps I was never meant to have the things I wanted. That I aimed too high. Always trying to play out of my league.
5. Why are my most favorite moments the ones no one is there to see? Is it because I’m convinced no one else sees what I do? That maybe life is about the moments we can’t document, but still stay with us, still moving through us.
6. “Dance like no one is watching” but I dance hoping someone will watch. Hoping someone will see the parts of me I want to embody. Hoping they can convince me I’m loveable. That I’m fuckable. That I’m important. That I’m special.
7. People only see what you show them, but only acknowledge what they are willing to accept. It is a lonely feeling to know there is no one who knows me well enough to see me at my worst.