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Emiline Koljonen Dec 2017
And when he does not love me anymore,
I will build him
one last altar,
and decide to burn it to the ground.

But will only get as far
as lighting the match.

Thinking about how he used matches
for something.
Sometime.
Probably.

I'll brush my teeth,
thinking of the gaps between his.
How really,
it's a great metaphor for the distance between out hearts
or something stupid like that.

But in the end,
it's not a metaphor,
or an analogy.
They're just teeth.
(That could never quite come together
kind of like us)

I will crawl into bed
imagining an alternate universe
in which we have started a life together.
One where I wake up and reach across the bed for him.
Get the kids ready for school,
which is funny
because in this universe I never wanted children,
but in that universe,
we created something out of nothing.
Something with his eyes,
and my nose.
A manifestation of the love between two people.
Proof that it happened.
That is was real.
And it was resilient enough to breathe life into a world
that only offered it death.

In that universe,
our hair turns as silver
as our wedding rings.
And each wrinkle,
is a space where our skin just wanted
to hold the other person even closer.


But here
in this harsh reality,
time only pulls us apart.
And we will likely grow gray
with other people now.

In this universe,
I learn to say goodbye
to him.


I will build him
a library of poems.

And decide to burn it to the ground.
A poem on letting go.
Apr 2017 · 796
7.16.16
Emiline Koljonen Apr 2017
National WWII museum,
New Orleans,
summer.

Somehow
we have ended up here.

1,387 miles from home.

Here,
where war is so close
yet so far away.

I look at this boy
and for a moment
I swear his smile looks just like v-day.

And his laugh sounds like peace.

And when he calls my name through this crowd,
It feels just like a homecoming.
I didn't intend to not post any poems these last two months.

Back in February, I made a promise to myself to write a little bit every day  (even if it's terrible). And surprisingly, only two-and-halfish poems came out of it. I'm been writing a novel that may never be published, but I write anyway. Knowing that writing shouldn't be about publication, even though it would be nice. So, while I brush up those two-and-a-halfish poems, here's a short little something that I wrote in the gift shop at the National World War II museum about a very innocent and hopeful crush.
Emiline Koljonen Feb 2017

People say you can tell a lot about a woman's style by what her nails look like.
For my mother, acrylics with baby pink sparkly french-tips.
For the blonde sitting at the nail dryer, coral.
Something about the color
looks strange with her new engagement ring.
She talks about how the second time she hung out with her fiancé
she asked him to paint her nails.
Her mother, who she insists she'll pay for, gets french tips.
They look new and fresh in contrast to her tarnished wedding ring.
The little girl with skinned knees and bug bites sitting in the chair across from me asks for blue polish on her toe nails.
Her mother tells her she should get pink.

2.
The act of women getting their nails done reminds me of warriors being armed for a fight.
long acrylics,
pointed,
rounded,
squared,
all fit for different types of battle.
Pointed for the woman who has to walk home alone at night,
rounded for the woman in the workplace who must work harder than her male co-workers,
and square for the woman at home raising her kids to know that strength and kindness
are the same thing.


3.
The women who work here speak better English than most high school students.
And their accents tell stories that I will never know.
An older woman speaks loudly and slowly,
she treats them as if they do not understand.
She will not speak to anyone but the owner; she wants him to translate what she wants to the salon workers.
What she doesn't realize is
that she is the only person here who doesn't understand.

4.
The little girl's doll is named Tessa.
She tells me that she likes my hair and shoes,
even though she has been told not to talk to strangers
twice in the last hour she has been here.
She asked her mother for change,
we all assume it's for the gumball machine in the corner.
She puts all of it in the charity jar.
I hope this girl never changes.

5. Having bare nails in a nail salon
feels the same as being naked in public.

6.
I feel terrible for laughing at the women trying to walk in those little salon flip-flops.
Some look like ducks,
others look like trained Barbies;
marching
newly polished,
ready for the world to chip away their coating
over,
and over,
and over again.
A bit of an untraditional poem, heavily inspired by Facts Written from an Airplane by Sierra DeMulder.
Jan 2017 · 1.0k
A Girl Named Winter
Emiline Koljonen Jan 2017
One day you'll wake up
and find she has covered the entire house
with handmade lace.

It's things like that
that you love about her.
Even though they make it so difficult to get to your car.

Nothing about her has ever been easy.
She is both peace and upheaval.
She is sleeping in white cotton sheets
and putting your car in a ditch.

She smells like pine and sugar cookies,
and she makes you want to catch snowflakes on your tongue;
but she's also the reason you're stuck at home
running out of food to eat.

But after the memories of her,
of frost bitten noses and chapped lips,
of crowded holiday parties, and apple cider that burns your mouth
have all faded away,
you will meet this girl
and her name is Spring.
A poem written during a blizzard.
Jan 2017 · 590
Vacancy
Emiline Koljonen Jan 2017
My body feels like an abandoned house.
There are scattered polaroids on the floor
and children's birthday decorations still and in the kitchen,
faded.

It's the kind of place your mother
would tell you not to play around.

But I want you to know it wasn't always this way.

Once,
the coffee table double as a blanket fort,
and the the old radio played nursery rhymes and lullabies.

Before the cobwebs
and mold took over.

I am learning to reinhabit this vacant house.
I'm opening the windows
and tending to the flower beds.

There is still life to be found here.
I wrote this poem on derealization syndrome (also know as depersonalization disorder), which is an mental illness I've had for most of my life. It leaves you feeling like a shell, a shadow, or sometimes
a vacant house.
Jan 2017 · 505
Vita brevis
Emiline Koljonen Jan 2017
When she walks into your kitchen crying,
put down your half scrubbed ***,
turn off the faucet,
wipe the water off of your hands with a white dish towel.
Like her eyes are trying to dry themselves on her pale cheeks.

You wrap your arms around her
and let her cry into your hair.
You feel like a mother
comforting a child who has just lost their favorite stuffed toy.


Her grandfather just passed away,
and this is the first time she has left her house since that night.
The night she couldn't drive fast enough to say goodbye.

You don't wipe the tear from her jaw line.

You're afraid your water wrinkled fingers
will remind her
of him.
I wrote this a few years ago and it's a perspective retelling of encounter with my friend who came to my house in a state of mourning a week after losing her grandfather.
Jan 2017 · 1.5k
The Poet is a Fool
Emiline Koljonen Jan 2017
Maybe it's the poet in me
that believes
that after all these years,
and miles,
and songs,
that you might untangle yourself from her arms,
tug on the string I tied to our fingers before you left,
and find your way back
to me.

Your heart
is pulling you across the ocean,
to ports with open arms waiting for you;
and I'm left here wondering
why it wasn't enough
that I would have tore out my rib cage
and made it into a boat
for you to sail yourself there in.

I would wait here,
at this port
that is both where you have been
and where you still are,
until I turned to stone.

It's the poet in me
that can't let you go.
A reflection on things that almost were, what will likely never be, and love of only the slightly requited kind.

— The End —