happy national poetry day
i’ve been holding myself back from writing this post. telling myself that perhaps the signs and flags have all been translated wrong. but in the grand scheme of things i know this is hopeful thinking only: my words aren’t coming very much anymore. it has been three weeks in counting since a poetic thought has crossed my mind. blue eyes don’t spark up the beginnings of 4 am love poems and i don’t find myself being bombarded by snippets of inspiration at ungodly hours. its a curse. i’ve heard before that madness comes from voices inside of your head….but my madness comes when there is none. i find my grade wilting in english class because the poetry unit is battering away at me. i’m told to write a poem in a week and i would typically let an inner voice scoff. not this time. this time i find myself panicking and using websites for rhyme and scouring my mind for inspiration. it’s not coming. there has been a shifting in the plates of my world, a tidal wave of change that has hit me at my weakest. i can’t look one of the girls i called my best friend in the face……..but then again, she hasn’t been meeting my eyes for a while now. bath bombs fizz into colored water as my thoughts fall like stones into nothingness. music makes a smile wobbly on my face precariously. the truth is: my poetry is coming. i’ve tried to force it out and will keep trying for tonight. perhaps a bad poem will slip out and i will celebrate. but perhaps nothing will happen at all. writer’s block affects everyone differently. but for me, it feels like an ocean i once complained of turned into a desert. all i know is that i can’t make myself face a pair of certain hazel eyes, numbers are cluttering my frontal lobe and i find myself falling for a boy with makes me want to start dreaming again.
dear r., here is a letter that you deserve. here are some sentences that i’ve tied together with the red string of fate from the Chinese legend and i hope they will be enough. contrary to belief, i believe in soul mates. i belief that love can make everyday life magic but you shouldn’t depend on a person for that. i know that the sentences in some of your letters run through my head and i let some of your words come off of my lips daily. to clarify this in an apology and a searching explanation. i am sorry for the times i have ranted and let my words spill over each other in a torment. i consider myself a person who has so many words but only a few that really matter. truly, i think that you perhaps know a few of those words, and are closer to finding out who i am than even me myself. to counter i belief that i know you. i know your favorite is a stereotypical deep blue and your love for aviator sunglasses is unrivaled. i know that you will maybe never read this and our start with pitter off until only a few letters are left of our breaching conversations. so i apologize that my letters haven’t formed into tidy rows that are sent to you. to be frank, i haven’t yet discovered what words to say. i want to ask you where the wind comes from and you and i will both probably change the discussion to the Baltic coast where we both dream or owning cottages. i loathe the word sorry with a passion and so i will simply say that i haven’t yet found the words that are fragile and long enough to describe our relationship and the distance. if ever there a day comes where i find such words then maybe this post won’t be shelved with all the others. maybe r, we have a chance. but maybe isn’t a word that helps my fingers write to you and as the fifth day comes to an end i wonder. i wonder if have missed me. my crazy words and wild stories. i think why i pull away is that i hope that people notice. few people hardly ever do. fewer still remark upon it. i know you have noticed because you can’t be a constant part of a person’s daily life for over a month and not miss them. while the denial comes from the mouth of the brain and the heart tell a different story altogether. as a writer i can try and make it sound poetic. how i pull away and see who will come after me. comparing me to an ocean now isn’t enough. an ocean always returns but not so much with me. for an example, now r, i find myself drifting. the shadows on the wall and the lactose-free milk on my tongue mingle into nothingness as my fingers itch and i apply lip balm. to a stranger, i would appear that i am thinking but in reality, it is the absence of thought. this nothing has lasted for days now. i could compare my life to a spider web. except i am not the spider and i often spend my days wondering who is. the spider i compare to people. yet they are always different and some days they seem more like flies, the helpless prey like myself. as of tonight the spider of society. sitting on it’s web of sticky lies that have caught so many innocent and coverted all the rest. i apologize r, because it seems like when i finally sit down to write to you the words come out fleetingly slow but in great number. so while some might assume you will skip a few lines and summarize this, we both know it is not true. you read every one of my words as a caress and that is why i almost afriad to write to you. i ponder if my words are strong enough to be taken off the page and then fall from your mouth. but i will just have to trust like i do all my fairytales. before i go and finish the letter by apologizing once more, i have something else to say: don’t stay with me if i don’t make you happy. because while i have learned to take happiness from simple things, like blue early morning skies and freckled fingers, you have not learned this. and i am not worth sacrficing happiness for.
it’s funny how things change. and the ones you want to don’t at all. i’ve always had an impulsive streak threaded through with tinged jealousy and i have always had the anger of an untamed wild thing. over the years i’ve learned with careful training that i could but mask my flaws with a smile. a half twitch of my facial muscles or a spurted out joke to soften the awkward air. i like to say that friendships don’t work for me. they never have. i come on too strong or so subtle that i am over looked. i’ve has friends lie and leave. ones that denied knowing me in a group chat they knew i was in. they are the reason i grew up believing that i was a wrecking ball and to be with me was to be chained. i think some girls live on doubt like food and they loathe it so much they want to pass it. whatever the case i have grown up in the firmly cemented belief that i was meant to be alone. loneliness along with hunger because a well known feeling. but this summer i found all my piece. i found ones that had drifted away, like my occasional gentle smile. i gathered these all together with the intent to piece together a girl that i both wanted to be and could. i have always been good at puzzles. so slowly i pushed the last perfect piece in to form the imperfect beauty i call myself. i finally felt worthy of friendship. i was armed with the power of a laugh or sassy retort. i has built myself up from dust and that was a heady invincible feeling. so when high school started i found friendship. i’ve always been a social butterfly masked as a girl. what i didn’t realize was that maybe i hasn’t changed that much. and maybe my choice in friends hadn’t either. when you get broken hearted by the same people over and over again you start to recognize the eyes. of course i am naive before i am wise. i am selfish in the way that you tell me offhandedly that you tell her everything. yet you leave me with few if any information. if i was a well i would be constantly empty because time after time i pour my heart out to you. i tell you my every worry and trouble. you have talked he down from panic attacks and more. yet i always find when i turn the same questions on you and offer you the same advice i am left on read. it hurts to know that while my first choice is always you, that is not returned. i am horribly selfish, i admit. but it hurts knowing that she comes before me. i know that life isn’t a contest but i often feel i am just a person on your checklist. a big black check. conversation, check. hello, check. your time has been split between him and me and her and people. i no longer call myself a wrecking ball. i have found friends i love more than anything. and you were one of them. yet i find it amazing how you assume and don’t ask me what’s wrong the one time i want you to. i find irony in the fact that your love has turned so quickly to hate. i admit i miss you. i know this almost-emotion isn’t returned. but i miss you. so many times my fingers have flew quickly to your contact name. i wanted to tell you about this new boy i met. how the cavity of my stumach is filled with grief from what, i don’t know. for the first time in my life i am uncertain if we will end with a period or if our combined wills can turn it into a comma. a semi colon. or even a question asking me of the feelings of jealousy i didn’t reveal to you. for the first time in my life i am a uncertain writer. stuck. writers block. what happens next?
Dear friends, I am sorry that I have been a little more distant this week…..or maybe you didn’t notice. No one hardly does. There is no appreciation for the effort of slapping a smile hurriedly on my face whenever expected. So maybe you didn’t notice at all. You didn’t notice how my smile has become barely more than a twitch of my lips, and how all my nervous little habits have come back. My fingernails are chewed down to the nub again, and my fingers twist themselves tightly into knots. And my nervous yawn has come back. Or maybe you didn’t notice those things.
Did you notice perhaps how I cut my hair short again? How the edges jaggedly brush my shoulder blades as I pace the tile in the foyer of my house, clenching my fists and listening to piano music.
Have you noticed that the sweet little index cards, with flower doodles and kind adjectives, have stopped popping up? They don’t peek out of your math textbooks and get stuck in your back pockets anymore.
Do my wrists seem barer, without the usual array of neon bracelets?
Dear friends, have you noticed anything at all?
I am not the kind of beautiful that stops you in your tracks. My smile doesn’t cement you where you stand, and my the freckles by the corners of my eyes don’t draw your gaze. The first adjective that comes into your mind when you see me, isn’t beautiful. And I don’t want it to be.
I don’t want to be called beautiful before I am called strong, courageous, or alluring.
I don’t want people to look at my almost-bobbed hair and find it charming. I want them to ask why I keep it at that length. I want to sit down with peppermint hot cocoa and tell them how I lost myself when I was twelve. And how I mourned the only way I knew how: by letting go.
I don’t want people do look at my freckles and find them cute. I want them to stare at my cheeks and hold my wrist, where they form constellations. And I want to tell them of the times that my freckles were cut through with black ink because there was a pain inside of me. And I want to tell them of the days in eighth grade where my hand was covered in doodles because I needed color. And I couldn’t look at my freckles and think that they were beautiful. I want them to ask me so I can tell them of how I ran in the sun and played barefoot in the woods. And I want so badly to close my eyes and tell them of the time I remember being happy. Because once upon a time I was happy when I got these freckles.
I don’t want people to think my laugh is wonderful without hearing the story that shaped it. I want them to tilt their heads, and me to hold their gaze. I want to cling to my fuzzy pink blanket that lays at the end of my bed, and I want to tell them how my laugh was made. How for a long time, I didn’t have a laugh. And this new laugh that I have, was sculpted out of pain, sadness, joy, and freedom. And then they will feel better about making me laugh.
I don’t want people to look at my metallic golden sheen on my nails and think that it is sloppy. Or unique. I want them to grasp my hand, and trace the imperfect paint lines. And I want them to ask why gold. And I want to tell them why.
I don’t people to look at my smile and think that it is wonderful. I want them to ask about the tiny crack on my left front tooth. I want to tell them how I got my smile. How I found out how to smile again, after a time that I swore I would never smile again.
I don’t want to be called beautiful. I want to be called art.
We fall down.
It’s human nature. There are not any of us who have not fallen down.
Bleeding knees in Preschool, etc.
And I know I promised myself that I wouldn’t anymore.
That I couldn’t.
And I know I swore that I would be better, and that I was past it.
But today I couldn’t stop it.
And the worst part was, it was a normal day.
Feelings rose and rose, higher and higher.
Tears clawed at my eyes.
And I told myself I was better, I told myself I was still ok. And I said I would not break again.
But just like glass, I’m gone again.
I had just found my shape, my purpose, and my dream.
And it’s all gone again.
By god, how can someone live like this? How can I? Always fearing relapse, and then when you finally think that you are happy, it just happens all over again.
Is there no end to pain?