pick up metaphors from the grocery, put them in shopping carts, have them packed in a paper bag of vocabulary then sprint your way out of there. hope is a ray of light but can love be leftovers in the fridge? dress your words with Givenchy but make them talk in a way that business suits and farmer hats would understand. let your phrases ride trains, then walk, make them take the overpass and bike their way home. have them excavate your brain and sing your dirty, mud-filled thoughts about seawater and leaving marks on paper. the world is bitter but with a dash of sugar an hour in the oven, it can be your favorite dessert. after you finish your lunch, read a dictionary, learn a new word for ‘beautiful’. one day, you’ll be my favorite writer. this lacks an ending but remember: who started this?
Things We Became
A vinyl player with someone else’s record. A misplaced map. Geometry class that taught about the parts of our body. A compass rose pointing to the south. That picture of myself smiling, with you on the background, walking out the door.
We could’ve been anything, instead we became these.
but look at you, you’re writing poetry already. instead of putting your thumbs on your temple to rub out the pressure, write instead. drink a glass of water. suck on an ice-cube. sit at your desk in front of a notepad with a washable marker from when you were a child and let your hands have free reign. let them go. i find i write my best poems when i have no idea where i’m going, when the little selves inside of my brain are scrounging around for images, for more dirt to kick around, for more memories and augusts to exploit into word splotches but i’m not focused on them because i’m apart from what they’re doing. the conscious self drifts off into a certain fog, into a certain dirty mirrorless lake, and you let your body take care of you. when i think too hard the words become strained. the metaphors become unruly. i lick the end of the frayed string too much and it becomes too wet and slopped to put through the eye of the needle. i worry too much about catching the golden bird and all i get are feathers and some broken eggs. “i want to do that. i could do that.” isn’t that where all writers begin? when i first read neruda when i was fourteen i thought, “maybe i can create this kind of world, too.” everything is pulsing with some kind of poetry, some kind of meaning. everything means so fucking much. everything you say is important, politically, personally, or in a realm far beyond what we can touch. there is so much to explore within our subconscious, within the world, within the spectrums of light and ultraviolet and the multiverses of senses that we haven’t even tapped into yet. take a nail to a maple tree and let the syrup run into your mouth. spit it out and you’ll find your poem. don’t wait for the gold wind, the gold bird to come grace you with its poems, its presence. put your hand to some paper and punch yourself through it.
If I was shrunk into a miniature size, I’d walk the contours of your face and stand in front of your eyes while you sleep. When you wake, I’d throw coins into the depths of your pupil and wish that I can live inside you. Your eyes are the kind of brown I was told I can paint a forest with.
irrational yet transcendent. you are so hard to define, you just had to have decimals.
I broke my fingers when you were not looking, so I can no longer hold on to the pieces of you that resembled handlebars. I’ve latched off my anchor from the sands of your sea, I’m swimming back to the shore. When you call my name again like a question, I’ll tell you she fled, that there’s no one left in this lonely, flesh abode.
Loss and Love
I like space.
But sometimes, I want to talk to you without any hint of a topic in mind, fearing the inevitable end of the conversation, both us looking as the last person’s message hung in the screen. At 3 AM, you can find me at your doorstep and I’ll read you books aloud, 350 pages of loss and love, and I’ll tell you loss is almost always nullified by love. Almost.
The other night, I should’ve told you I’m alone and northbound at 6 in the evening, I ate my first ramen with people who make art for a living and that I had wine in a plastic cup. I didn’t because I know the consequences of a one-sided anecdote trade. The stakes are high.
The person before you made me realize that loving someone means stepping out of the barricades and into the borders of the enemy line. It means leaving your armor behind during a revolution. I don’t think I want to be hurt that way again.
This is the slippery slope leading to the end. I’m left wishing for a reasonable denouement.
At once, I wanted to make you a prose that will run the length of the Hudson river, the Great Wall, the 101, the saddest travel routes and back. I want to reach the top of the highest building in the world with you, as if, at last, we can consider ourselves suspended, in midair, adrift while the rush hour made everyone below frantic. When I die, fly to the Pacific, throw my ashes to the clouds. I would fall as precipitate and evaporate to the never-ending cycle of rain.
I cut my hair every time I break my heart. Self-inflicted pain is my favorite. I’ve only ever loved two boys. Ever since, I’ve been trying to turn them into paragraphs. I’ve given up on the first but I’m still thinking of metaphors for the latter. In the dim lights of secret places, I rub my hands together. If only I lived in a world of perpetual winter. I don’t want my bones to be brittle but I want them to freeze the warmth inside my veins. Speaking of veins. I miss flying at night, looking at streets below that resemble arteries and nerves. What if we’re under someone’s skin? I still feel lonely. Do you feel lonely, too? I don’t cut my wrists but I cut relationships. When I close my windows, I lock the doors. I wonder if I still need therapy when sometimes, I think poetry is enough. I thought about this for an hour. I’m thinking about you until now.