In the tumult of the past weeks I have completely forgotten about this little scrap of information: Poetry Potion published my entry for their a-poem-a-day challenge on 3 March. It marks the first time my poetry has appeared anywhere other than this site. Below is Seasonal Love as it appeared on Poetry Potion.
Would it be alright if I kissed you
on your perfectly asymmetrical lips?
Turn around and let me risk you;
hold my breath with your fingertips.
Would it be alright if I missed you
and the curve between your spine and your hips?
Raise your head don’t let me forget you;
I’m not quite ready to abandon ship.
Is it alright if I can’t resist you
when you turn your voice just like this?
Hold my bones don’t let me regret you;
I have too much to lose, but not my grip.
Where do you draw the line, they say.
This is where I draw the line.
You don’t call,
so I don’t call.
You don’t text,
so I don’t text.
You never looked me in the eye
so why should my coffee be stained
by the storm that is always brewing in yours?
You crossed the line
when every interaction became a reaction
a filthy spade
carrying the bones of our shared past.
The sluggish dismemberment of nearly a decade
clings to your violent silence,
uncanny and brutally beautiful.
In the shared sorrow of losing something old –
set adrift aeons apart
as though it were not one thing
but two –
blossoms a red space for something or somewhere new.
Articulated more fully by carefully curated spikes of rage
boxes of polaroid patriarchy delineate the passage
from snow white to the darkest tundra
a revenge march rent asunder.
And as the great beast spreads her wings to draw
that final breath before casting off
a graceful arc from thesis to synthesis
to savage antithesis and back again
the uncomfortable ease of quietude grips us
and we sink ever more deeply
into the ebb and flow of this jagged and broken age.
I have to constantly remind myself that I am not
the sum of our interactions;
remember the time we argued about the importance of “you” and “me”,
and how you called me a radical individualist–
the invasive words glided out of your larynx
and got themselves tangled up in mine,
dripping aloe vera with a hint of pepper.
I never liked the way you seasoned
your food or your words or your age.
How forceful the bite of your blind malice,
calmly, facetiously, graciously:
“I didn’t know you wrote so well,”
the devil is in the detail and his throne sits on your brow.
The softest words often carry the heaviest sentence;
“I love you, please stay.”
That’s not mine. “I’ll pay.”
Our “we” turned blue when I realized that the thing you loved
more than me was the way you had made me love you.
The rise and fall of your shoulders caught in a hiccup
no longer signifies the natural rhythm you and I belong to,
but the hackneyed tune we have been repeating for far too long.
I can’t let you leave before having my say,
but the words have drowned in my gullet
and I need an ambulance and a good chef to stitch them back together,
so that with a little help they might tumble clumsily into your lap.
All that just to deliver a small message, unintelligible and rather bland:
It’s not your fault.
These days I feel like everything I do
is an act of remembrance, a conscious
decision to greet everyone who
might think I owe them an apology.
Like Beth, who wanted a favour, and
thinks we’re now even. No, Beth,
now you owe me one too.
Please, don’t cry at my funeral.
It’s a tough act to keep it all together
when you’ve got it all figured out
but not in the way you’re supposed to.
My five-year plan is to reduce CO2 emissions
drastically by reducing my oxygen intake
and maybe also the use of my car.
My two-year plan is to grow a tree,
preferably one with thorns.
There is no way to say sorry
that will accurately convey my deep sympathy
for our loss. I can only say that if
it could have gone some other way
I’m sure it would have. But at least there’s this:
these days I tend to forget the bad memories
and care less about the bad people.
I’ll take only the good with me.