i’ve tried to write this poem a lot of different times.
my love poems are never my best work.
they always come sounding a little bit off,
like i don’t know what the **** i’m talking about.
maybe i don’t.
i’ve got an apology where my mouth should be.
i’m sorry i love you and i’m sorry i’m so bad at it.
affection tastes like blood in my mouth,
sometimes, and i try to talk in between it.
talking to you feels like open heart surgery,
sometimes, and i don’t have steady enough hands
to sew myself back up.
and sometimes i think of telling you,
when we sit together and you end up with my fingers
against your mouth in a parody of a kiss
and your eyes are somewhere else
and we are so good in the quiet that it almost hurts.
i never loved someone so up close before,
so up close i can taste your name in my mouth.
i’m always too much with my heart, too greedy
and always reaching, and eventually people walk away
from that when they can’t stand the sound of
my heart beat in their ears anymore like tinnitus.
too loud. too loud. always too loud.
so maybe you don’t make everything about me
always feel quiet, but you never reach for the volume
to turn me down and that feels like the same thing.
no one loves me like you love me
and it always comes back to that, doesn’t it?
sometimes you love me too much.
sometimes i don’t know what to do with it.
sometimes i think i am an *******.
i want you, but i also resent being tied to anyone,
i resent feeling so in love and pliable,
willing to break and build the world for you
and i don’t know how to explain in a way that
doesn’t make me feel cruel.
in my english class, we read a story called
the husband stitch about a woman with a ribbon
around her neck and a man who wants
to possess every piece of her.
i think i was both of them.
in the story, they **** for the first time by a lake
and they don’t drown and all the ghost stories she tells
come half to life, like necromancy.
sometimes when i miss you, i keep you in my heart
as a zombie. reanimated. fictitious.
nothing more than disembodied hands in the dark.
it’s not pablo neruda writing free verse about your feet,
nothing so romantic, it’s just that if you were here whole,
i wouldn’t know what to reach for.
sometimes i am a coroner.
sometimes i want you in bits and pieces,
can’t handle you all together.
sometimes i want to rearrange you, just barely,
and i know that’s not fair.
sometimes i still want you love me more,
love me differently, love me in way
i don’t think you love me
and i know that’s not fair, either.
going through bits of poems and retrying them in new ways