Copyright © Amanda Small, All Rights Reserved
a brown-eyed susan deflowered in the unmade bed of a bleary eyed boy
she balls her fists into ocean blue sheets,
she feels as if her roots are about to give
with clumsy hands, he caresses her spine
he calls her beautiful.
she is awoken by a gentle beam of sunlight that sneaks through his curtains
and kisses her eyelids
her delicate petals litter the floor
she tip-toes around them
and sees herself out.
it's time for me to go.
i'm a cloud that's grown too heavy,
you're a tree
with too thin branches
and maybe in a few years,
i'll come drifting through your branches,
kissing all your leaves
short-handed love letters
written in the daydreams of a deliberate narcoleptic.
i send you the paper plane promises of summer
(sealed tightly in sweaty palmed envelopes)
you're not one to read poetry
yet i always manage to find feather light stanzas draped across your shoulders
held down by nothing more
than freckled thumbtacks
years fall away
like too heavy eyelashes onto cheeks
waiting to be brushed away
by the callused fingers of patient lovers
our slow and natural tendencies
our lips mimic the rate of gravity
you use a box cutter
in my palm
but borrowed time
and fickle fate
will never heal heartbreak
and on nights like tonight,
you settle for the warm fingertips of sunken ship lovers
and anchored down hopes.
stars hang from our lashes
our eyes clouded over with moon dust
heartbeats on bed sheets
i never wanted to sleep alone
I want to believe in a higher power,
but I feel such a connection to the Earth.
grass caresses my shoulder blades
pollen coats my finger tips
I keep my fumbled words in a pocket book with old receipts,
frayed on the edges
and yellowed with age
they stick around hoping that one day I can do them justice.
Love letters coat the walls of my lungs
I cough them up with bits of phlegm
and spit them on the sidewalk
I press too hard on pencils
break my fingers at the knuckles
but these fumbled words demand to be written
So I grind my teeth
and paint my taste buds
with half forgotten memories.
your backbone a keyboard
memorized by lamplight,
i play 'Little Fuge' between your shoulder blades
we drink moonshine to make the stars burn
dress with our backs turned
never an early morning riser
i've settled for the love of comets and cold bed sheets
breathe your worries over my finger tips,
i'll write them down for you
scribbled in the shorthand of daydream believers
we never needed a dictionary to comprehend the word hope
in the dusk of summer,
i store my doubts on the soles of my shoes
to see if i can wear them down to childlike acceptance.
My fingers smell of cigarettes
and summer nights
a semi's taillights lead us home
we litter cigarette butts along the highway,
our interpretation of breadcrumbs.
i hope that one day
(when our skin begins to slide from our bodies)
we are able to remember these nights.
on nights when i feel unwanted
i grab my pack
in my ugliest underwear
i dance on shaking knees
a fawn eyed star gazer
blowing smoke to the clouds
enamored by the particles of my eyelashes,
i blink with appreciation of the little things
i lose myself on one way side streets
in order to get from here to there
but i always seem to be a little too late
another moment missed.
I wade into tidal waves,
my hands full of dandelions
humbled by the sun
choked up over comets
I’ve given up on sunsets
you are a supernova clad only in my bed sheets
I make a wish every time your chest falls
Virgin lungs full of anxiety
My mouth tastes like an ashtray
filled with the buts of things i forgot to say
washed down by things i wish i hadn't
Still tripping over shoe laces,
I search for poetry in pot holes.
Forgiveness in pillowcases
my eyes have trouble resting these days
So, why aren't we dancing?
Following the rhythm of our mismatched heartbeats
I clumsily waltz through misleading conversations
Curls brush my shoulder blades
reminding me of your fingertips
so I cut them down
to one word texts
and a dozen missed calls
Afraid to lie in the beds I've made,
I seek comfort in your sheets
Your morning sighs,
my springtime breeze
Mistakes rest on my collarbones
William Burroughs knocks on my chest and listens to the echoes
Catch my breath and weigh the possibilities
Navigating the side streets
we drink tequila from a tea pot while the bowl moves counterclockwise
Tuck my friendships back into pockets and carry them like loose change.
Take a penny, leave a penny
Just don't leave me lonely.
I lay in your front yard with my mouth wide open
I capture the songs of the day so we can share them in the moon light
You simply go through the motions
your mind full of figures,
while I think about thinking
I fumble through life, my shoe laces tied together
You laugh into our kiss and call me useless
use less of me.
and maybe you don't want me here.
and maybe I don't want you to want me here
and maybe I want you to want me so much that your heart hiccups
and maybe I drink to summon the courage to say it
and maybe I drink to find it
and maybe I loved you
and maybe I still do
and maybe I don't want you to see me broken
and maybe I want you to feel the shattered glass of my fingertips
and maybe you're Peter forgetting about Wendy
and maybe we're doomed
and maybe we're destined
and maybe last night was different
and maybe we'll never change
and maybe we love like cancer
and maybe we walk like Egyptians
and maybe we just need time
and maybe we've had enough for tonight
and maybe we make bonfires on bunk beds
and maybe you turned your back to me
and maybe I left
and maybe you love the hawk with brown tipped wings
and maybe common sense isn't so common
and maybe we're newcomers
and maybe we never got there
and maybe those weren't tears, but stray raindrops
and maybe all my words are lyrical
and maybe my pen is tapping out my heartbeat
and maybe I watch you watch me
and maybe we jive like honey bees
and maybe I dream of daffodils and popcorn
and maybe we've lost faith in God and gravity and poetry
and maybe I ride my bike down the narrow streets downtown
and maybe I sunbathe on park benches
and maybe I fell from my tree house
and maybe I flew
and maybe our hands don't fit quite right
and maybe I tried to recreate snowflakes
and maybe I dance to the songs you hate
and maybe you know every word from my favorite poem
and maybe I cry when I think too much
and maybe I smile at every hair on your body
and maybe I loved you
then again, maybe not.
Smoking out of your roommates' hookah,
we blow smoke rings into the center of the room as our heads press into the backs of couches.
Drinking out of plastic cups and writing "THUG LYFE" on our knuckles
we dabble in the witchcraft of half-truths.
I feel beautiful in this moment.
Wearing combat boots, torn tights and a cardigan
I stomp through your living room not giving two fucks.
I flirt with the table,
and even your brother.
Tonight is about me.
I had woken up this morning with a facial piercing and curls stuck to my neck,
my fists balled up in soft blankets.
I tried running through my thoughts with my eyes shut,
only picking up fragments of sentences and bad music.
A full moon
and a monroe
the only tangible proof that last night even happened.
I have grown accustomed to holding my own hand in public,
taking up the place that I had reserved for you.
With our lunch date canceled, I'm free to go dancing with poets and pot heads.
Twist my fingers into the hem of the skirts that tickle my knee caps,
I laugh as loud as my lungs will allow.
If you looked at the back of my throat you might see the words I am saving for a much anticipated stranger.
A beautiful doe-eyed stranger who drinks me in like his favorite liquor.
"You can never have too much of a good thing, babe."
I would rather sit back and watch Scrubs than go out tonight.
throw my hair in a bun, put on my glasses and read to my lover.
press my cold toes into bare shins
I want to interlock fingers.
sit back-to-back and guess which knee he has cradled to his chest.
I want life to be simply complicated.
forget how many seconds make up an ounce.
I want hours to be measured in irrational numbers.
making shadow puppets on our naked chests,
we make breathing look like an art form.
knotted ribs and hip bones
that's all we really are.
Winter moves by slowly.
I wrap myself in your stanzas.
I was a false prophet in an unknown land.
Things used to be better,
With my hand in your hand
I fell asleep on the typewriter and wrote this poem while I dreamed
Sprites dancing across my eyelids,
We made a game of nervous glances.
Touching fingertips like bits of flint,
We ignited fire in our voice boxes.
Screaming the sonnets of dead poets, we pronounced our love like rotting words.
Cracked, marble lovers.
breaking piece by piece
We drank gasoline and swallowed three lit matches
You started a scene when you kissed my dream
With your eyes glowing silver and your eyelashes curved skyward
you talk of UFOs and astronauts
Complex and ever-changing,
I search your lips every night, looking for a sunset.
You catch stars in the corners of your smile, you are my favorite constellation.
Normal font is me.
It was fun, Jacob.