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ASB Feb 2017
absence makes the heart grow
tired
the kind that's not resolved through sleeping.

more than your voice, more than the songs we played, more than your laughter

I miss
the stillness of you looking at me.

the quiet of nights of not-talking together.

in your silence, I once heard
the calm evening sea.
Feb 2016 · 1.1k
love & letting go
ASB Feb 2016
your smiles were contraband, smuggled
from late mornings in the kitchen;
your eyes were the deep dark green of
pine trees; bottled wine.

you were dew and early rays of sunshine
and the lightest thing I've seen.


today, I scrolled past a photo of you
and it didn't break my heart.
this is what moving on must look like:
drinking coffee without thinking
of your dress two christmases ago,
without thinking of your burnt food
and firelight laughter and slow-dancing
in your bedroom to fast music.

I still can't sleep on your side of the bed;


nevertheless

I remember you less clearly; have forgotten
what your hands felt like going through my hair,
no longer know the precise melody of your voice
when you got angry, no longer know the intonation
of 'I love yous' from your lips, and I no longer
wish to know.

and so although I am forever loving you
I am in love & letting go.
ASB Sep 2015
(photographs; kaleidoscopes)**
I tried to capture you
in words, the way you were, the way
with each relentless second
you would never be again.

2. (words were not enough)
because
a) language is a frail medium
    for the powerful; the overwhelming;
b) emotions are shifting, & imprecise.

3. (I tried, a thousand times, to say)
how I found in you the wonder I had always looked for;
always missed.

4. (we can choose how we react)
how rare and beautiful
it is — to me — that you exist.

5. (you)
your hurricane eyes
twilight smiles
shoulders

where
have you
been?

6. (define morning as a feeling, not a time of day)
what did you think about when you poured your coffee and did you feel relieved when you heard the sound of rain? what colour was the daylight; and does love ever happen to you, in the traffic of rush hour?

7. (I said)
“come on --
let me take you home”.

“I am here” she said “you are it”

8. (he asked me)
"have you ever been in love with someone you knew you couldn’t have?”

I’ve never been anything else.

9. (a single green light across the bay)
I will rearrange my life around your meaningless smiles —

when love is not returned to us,
we will never stop looking for it.

10. (holding on and letting go)
there is a space between breaths and heartbeats — an endless moment, the infinite, an entr’acte in the operas of unrequited love.

11. (simply because I found her irresistible)
and yet that’s what we do, isn’t it?
we hang onto hope —
in every hopelessly irrational way that we can.

12. (and so part of me is always a fool)
I will wait for you forever.
Aug 2015 · 938
all I really know, is that
ASB Aug 2015
you liked
red nail polish &
the smell of gasoline;
the molecular structure
of oxygen.

you liked orchestras,
dinner candles in empty bottles,
the sound of moving trains, you

stole
cheap ballpoint pens
  & you father’s new cigars.

you played philip glass on the piano,
put too much ice in your whiskey,
only ever cried in the shower.

you only owned one DVD.

you used newspapers
to light fires in flower pots but
never read them —
you got the news from the radio
in the car, when stuck
in traffic.     you ran red lights,
balanced on the edge
of the universe as if
life
was a tightrope
or some nihilistic punchline.

you had the courage of stars
and wildfire eyes — I tried
to find myself
outside of you.

you called me ‘baby’ and burnt
my lungs
with your perpetual cigarettes

&

I cannot
forget
you.
(there must be some kind of way out of here
said the joker to the thief)
May 2015 · 734
moving on: part 5
ASB May 2015
you.
talking about court cases
and history of law.

you.
casually talking about
****** connotations
in some poem or other
when I still try to find them
in your smiles.

you.
talking.

I had moved on from that
a while ago
but when you mention

well, anything, really

I still kind of
lose
my mind.

you'd think after years I'd be used
to your eyes and your hips
and the way that you speak and
your voice, how it sounds, but
I'm not, I am

always
over you.

except when you're
around.
May 2015 · 747
funerals for the living
ASB May 2015
she started crying over the phone
again and it was
as if I was trying to come up for air
and she pushed me back
under

I say it to myself at night like a mantra

I am not my mother I am not my mother

she loves me but then she left me
over and over again
she loves me but then she said she didn't want me
told me to leave told me she didn't want
to see me anymore and that is what I learned
love is.

you are not good enough (she said) (but not
in so many words)
(and maybe she didn't mean it but) it is all I ever heard.
you are selfish (she said) and
who pulled you out of desert sand, mom, who
talked to you and did your laundry and who
held you when you cried and which one of us
told their child about their dreams of suicide and
why was I the selfish one and why do I believe you?

I forgive you, I think. I wrote a list of 50 reasons
to forgive you and I do but sometimes
my heart breaks a little under weight of your words.

you had no more to give, I think, you
did the best
you could.
the day we threw my father's ashes in the ocean, you
walked away
towards another empty grave.

he sank.
I swam.

you
were buried
alive.
May 2015 · 655
there was us
ASB May 2015
there is us.
not really, not us
anymore, but there is
you,
and
I'm here, too.

I never believed in
drowning
my sorrows
but you said you do it
because otherwise you would
drown in them.

I can't drown in mine because they are
not water, but a tunnel or maybe
a pit
of blackness.

there is you, trying
to stay afloat.
there is me, trying
to clim brick walls.

you need only to swim but you're tired -- so tired;
I need to ******* learn to fly which human beings still find
hard
to do.

and so I am trying to be a life raft
and so you are trying to be a ladder

but at the end of the day there is not
us, anymore.

there is you and me and
us
is a glass jar in wonderland.
May 2015 · 1.2k
black ink desert sand
ASB May 2015
silence is black ink and it fills the room around me
until I cannot see cannot breathe until
I cannot taste anything but your last words in my mouth.
darkness has not fallen but rather it is
dripping
from the ceiling and onto my hair, hands, my face,
spilling over notebooks and cups of coffee.
silence is flowing around me as if someone
has knocked over a jar that contained it
and as if it has been fighting the walls
of that jar
for a lifetime.

it is that empty feeling -- I'm sure you remember --
that feeling you get when you
run out of feelings and salt water and your heart
has stopped hurting but only
because it is gone -- you are sure.
there is only that gap
and it is filling up fast
with melancholy music that you play
to make you feel again
and words you scribbled down
in vain attempts to breathe again.
it is human to hurt this way or so they say
but how does the world still spin when everyone is broken
as broken
as I am?

there is nothing but blank ink
spilling from pages and pages of
where my soul used to be
filling and filling the gaps of hearts long broken
and it is silent and there is no comfort in it
this time
because it is the kind of silence that sounds
like loudness, sounds like screaming, feels like
cars driving in the desert with no airconditioning
feels like traffic jams on highways feels like drowning.

still I write because I
can't.
Mar 2015 · 2.0k
moving on: part 3
ASB Mar 2015
scheduled a meeting with you
in spite of myself.

wrote down a couple of guidelines.

    "be polite. be friendly.
    avoid her eyes, and her hair as well,
    do not look at her legs, do not look
    for flirty subtext in her casual
    conversation. ask the right questions.
    don't stammer. remember you are not 13.
    don't look at her and smile and say
    'I love you'
    when all you should be saying is
    'goodbye.'"

tried not to worry; after all, it's just
a crush.

after all, I am not really
in love with you
that
much.
Sep 2014 · 1.9k
loving you
ASB Sep 2014
"I'm loving you",
she said.
not "I love you",
which is what most people say,
which is what I would have said --
"I'm loving you."
because it was an ongoing action,
not just a passive state,
because she was loving me
while I was reading, or cooking.
it wasn't something like
"how do you feel?" "I feel good."
"what do you love?" "you, dear."
-- no.
no, loving is a verb, an act,
one that takes patience and time
and perseverance.
"I'm loving you", she said,
and her tone was casual or
almost indifferent, maybe,
as if she had said "I'm cleaning
the house", as if it should follow
"what are you doing today?",
she said the words as if they were
positively ordinary, but they weren't.
people tend to ask
"do you smoke?" or "do you drink?"
or "what do you believe in?"
-- habitually, passively --
and she said
"I'm loving
(and loving and loving)
you."
Sep 2014 · 700
imperfections
ASB Sep 2014
she has a list of all her stupid insecurities.
not an actual list, not written down,
but there are numbers of things
that she worries about, when she looks
into the mirror or talks to strangers or
hears her voice on recording or gets
dressed in the morning or enters a room
or talks or walks or before she falls asleep.

there is a list of things I do not love about her,
and there are two things on that list:
1) she is more than I can resist, and
2) I'll never have her.

so while she is off worrying about her weight,
about the way her hair looks,
about whether or not her nose is too big
and does her shirt match those shoes
and is she interesting, funny, charming enough
and does her age show, and is she pronouncing
that word correctly,

I am worrying about how I love her,
love her,
love her.
Aug 2014 · 608
it should have been you
ASB Aug 2014
you taught me how to slow dance
in the streets of spain
to the music of our friends
discussing football teams
with a group of boys from ireland,
and I taught you how to read
Shakespeare out loud without
stumbling over the words.
you quoted Neruda to me
over the dishes.
you took me to plant trees
in your grandfather's back yard,
I showed you how to make
a good martini,
and we talked about our childhood fears
and recurring dreams.
(no. we didn't. we never did
any of those things -- I remember
conversations with you
that I only ever had in my head
and fell in love with you over
fictitious memories. we never danced
together or watched the stars
or had *** in the backseat of your car.
I learned to slow dance in spain
from a boy whose name I can't remember,
I quoted Neruda to myself when I was drunk
and couldn't sleep,
I made memories with other people
and photoshopped you into them
because
it should have been you.
but who writes about that, right?
who writes about the ******* truth?)
Apr 2014 · 788
lost in translation
ASB Apr 2014
you talked to me in sonnets
or metaphysical poetry --
you said it all, in little words.
I was never any good at it,
unable to describe you in
only 14 lines, unable to
describe you even in novels.
writing about love is like
translating Shakespeare --
the subtleties are always
lost -- and in my many
inadequate attempts to
put you on paper, I've
never managed to make
you understand what
happens to my heart
each time you smile.
ASB Mar 2014
I gave you my heart
and when you left, you gave it back.
(carefully; you tried not to break it.)
you did it so that I could give it
to someone else but my god, I wish
you'd kept it. (it remembers you
like worn-out furniture, it remembers
your shape, and no one else could fit
that way.)
Mar 2014 · 1.3k
failures
ASB Mar 2014
I've added 'getting over you'
to my long list
of inevitable failures
and of all the things
I couldn't do
(like play basketball
or drive a car),
my inability
to not-love you
still haunts me
when I've forgiven
all
the rest.
Feb 2014 · 748
"promise me"
ASB Feb 2014
promise me,
you said,
promise you'll be happy*
and I did,
and I promised to love you
and to breathe without you
and whatever else you needed
to hear
and I kept my promises, I did,
but my god, if missing you
could be measured in tears
I could fill
and refill
every ocean.
Feb 2014 · 782
the last time
ASB Feb 2014
i kiss you like you'll leave me,
every time like it's the last time.
you stay with me;
and always spell
"I love you"
with "goodbye".
Feb 2014 · 681
the songs in my head
ASB Feb 2014
you used to hum the songs in my head
and only those songs remember us now.
ASB Feb 2014
(I wrote you
the same **** love letter over
and over
and over again
and I will keep
writing it)
(until one of us understands)
(it starts with your beauty and ends with 'I love you')
Jan 2014 · 961
I like you
ASB Jan 2014
here's what's going to happen.
we will sleep together
a few nights a week
for a few months.
we will talk on the phone
and our conversations will be
brief -- just to hear
each other's voice
at least once
every 36 hours.
we will get incredibly drunk
and we will believe
we miss each other
but we really won't
and we will believe
we are in love
and perhaps we are --
but after those months,
I will get used to
the crack in your voice
when you talk about
your family
and you will get used
to the way I cry
over films with
or without
happy endings.
your smile won't mean
as much
and there will be few
surprises
and love will have become
a habit -- and we won't
notice it anymore
even though it is
still there, sitting
at the coffee table
or between us in the bed.
we will amount
to nothing --
but I don't mind.
Nov 2013 · 849
until the end
ASB Nov 2013
not all problems can be overcome,
not even in love, not even
with love
like ours, but

we were beautiful
(though always temporary),
we were infinite
in our limited space.
Oct 2013 · 677
chaos
ASB Oct 2013
our time was always
borrowed,
our lives weren't
our own,
all we were meant to have
were hours,
and what a mess
we've made
with those.
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