I never felt close enough bracketed in your arms
So I worked myself a place under your tongue and between your ribs
Crawled inside of you.
Hands in your hair, fingernails gripping into flesh –
Choked by the need to live between your bed sheets
Suffocated by you.
I swallowed down the words that made their way up my throat like sick,
I let blood and tears and sweat come out of me –
(I fucking hate running but I ran every day for four months to get my feelings for you out of me through my pores)
But the only thing that made sense for us was language (sometimes).
Each day I'd sit in a classroom and make up stories and all of them were about you.
(I kept a dictionary next to my bed for a year to find new ways to explain love and heartbreak.)
We wrote letters and tried to make metaphors but nothing was enough
Nothing was good enough for you
Everything was too much for you so I tried to make a home for you
Between pages and between classes and night shifts and in the flowers I sent you.
I ran until I vomited on the side of the road once.
I don't think there's a word in the dictionary for that.
It's been over a year and finally –
Finally I'm okay not following you.
Do I know we're not right?
I have four years worth of debt to prove my commitment to my craft and my commitment to the arts. I didn't just want words to be a hobby, but wanted it to consume me, take over my whole life, make my body ache with language.
I had a teacher who announced it'd be ideal to fall in love or to break up with someone before writing poetry. She stood in front of the class and everyone laughed, but I wrote it down like I would get graded on it. I made it my mission to come with a HD in love and pain.
The time I spend alone–when I don't have a significant other or a lover–allows me to grieve for love lost. But most weren't even 'lust', let alone love. I was reaching for inspiration. Sitting in cafes and talking and I would be staring, wondering how I could explain their freckles or their eyes and whether I could talk them into falling in love with me. Wondering if I could write my best poem yet. I stare at people and think about words.
Even though I told you last night I'm in love with you, I'm not sure I even believe myself. I mean, I do love you, but in the same way I love my best friend. Aka: please don't kiss me.
Don't flatter yourself with how I've confessed my feelings to you, like, six times now in the three years we've known each other. It's probably boredom. I'm pretty sure I'm just trying to make my teacher happy and following instructions–even though I got a HD in poetry–and I'm making sure the thousands of dollars I'll be paying off for the rest of my life pays off.
This is the worst poem I've ever written and if you're the inspiration for it, that speaks volumes of my HD-worthy feelings and love. Aka: I know we're not right.
These are some questions I've been sitting on for a little while, and right now seemed like the right time to put them out into the universe.
Spending time sitting with each question, and working through each question, then sitting with each answer is something I both dread and look forward to. But why should I dread my answers? They're my truth. I'm working toward being more vulnerable and learning not to be scared of what I might find within.
This little online workbook is as much for you as it is for me. Feel free to jump into it, or run from it.
- What does it mean to love someone who may not be right for you, may not be healthy for you, may not provide positive energy? Someone who doesn't bring everything you want into a relationship?
- What does it feel like to be in love? What makes you sure of it? What makes you want to commit?
- What gives you closure? Why does it take a different amount of time to move on from/let go of each relationship?
- If you know something isn't 'good', what makes you still want to try? How does it feel to deny your gut instinct? How do you feel when it (most of the time) doesn't work out, when your gut instinct told you it wouldn't?
- What does the pull between your head and heart feel like when they tell you different things? How do you navigate that feeling? How do you make peace? How do you make decisions? Do you trust one more than the other? Why? Does one speak louder?
- Are you stuck in any negative or unhealthy habits in regards to relationships and/or love?
- What do you fear in love?
- What do you love about love?
Where else will I see you?
In a museum that's showing an exhibition we both want to see. A library, staring at books, staring at each other – my arm around your shoulders. A coffee shop, sharing a pot of tea, me itching to reach out to hold your hand.
I was never allowed to touch, so I settled for sending text messages at midnight and sending your favourite flowers to your doorstep.
Where else will I run into you?
I’ve seen you once this year – at a concert. We stood right next to each other at the bar. I thought I was going to die. You didn’t look my way.
I couldn’t look away.
Where else would I see you?
In another city? In another life?
Maybe this one wasn’t meant for us.
I dredge up the past, beat myself up, and cut myself down. I stare at developed photos of you that I keep in envelopes and allow myself to cry for weeks.
Memory lane is the only street that allows us to exist because no one else did. It allows me to acknowledge that I loved you. It’s the only place I can still see you.
I thought something different might be nice. A bit of poetry but with my voice? I don't have a nice, soothing voice. It's more rough.
This video might not lull you to sleep (or it might, my video-making skills are subpar), but I hope you like the words.
I wrote this poem last year, and sometimes you need to give a good thing space for it to be the right time. Or for you to realise there was something good in it.
See you at the finish line.
See you at the finish line.