i’m not afraid to say it,
i need it out there so the world knows
how much i love you and how much i treasure you,
and how i’m not ready for you to go
but you deserve to be free of pain
even if life won’t be the same
i’m so thankful you kept your daddy happy
long enough for me to meet him
and that you two shared so many memories
so many journeys, so many stories
and i’m so thankful you became my baby girl too,
that the memories you two had together
are memories you let me see,
and so thankful i have my own memories of him and you and me
i’ve loved you dearly, even when you were naughty
and i’ve loved you as you were happy, playing with the hose
i’ve loved you as you sun bathed
and as you’ve cuddled with me in the cold,
and i’ve loved you as you ate treats
and got excited for fresh meat,
i’ve loved you jealous of the new puppy
and i’ve loved you bright and smart and sneaky
and i love you now as you tell me you’re ready to go
and i’ll always, always love you, more than you’ll ever know.
it’s been a long time, old pal
does the pen grab your hands with fright?
i used to read your poems and songs
like they were lullabies and holidays,
soothing me to sleep and escaping the days,
have you forgotten how to put pen to paper?
how to make fingers type?
is this what it’s like for all the poets whose words weren’t borne of pain?
thinking too ******* what to write, what to say
if they’re not tears, they don’t flow naturally
these words are hard to create
you’re all out of practice
nothing to compose that feels genuine or profound
are you a liar to yourself? have you lost who you once were?
are you not ready to give up what’s already gone?
maybe you’re not a writer anymore
working 6 for 7 in a bar, big boss boy now
happy but frustrated, making money you have no time to spend
but it gets spent anyway
with no quality time to show for it
and you, lying there, awake
staring at a blank page hoping the words will write themselves
wondering if you’re a failure for moving onto something else
do you even want to write anymore?
or do you just miss the freedom?
i feel like i don’t have anything to write about anymore and i think it’s partially because i’m in a better headspace these days and partially because i hardly have any time to myself
i feel like all my poetry was so easy to write and so easy to be heartfelt because i was so depressed
now i want to write and i’m struggling, and i feel like maybe i’m not so creative after all
maybe i was just sad
maybe i’m not a writer anymore
maybe that’s okay but i’m just having a hard
time accepting it
or maybe i am still a writer with an exceptionally long case of writer’s block and no time to work on it
my happiness looks like this:
three staffordshire bull terriers that keep stealing all the blankets on the bed,
and a fourth back at my mother’s home who cannot contain his excitement when i visit
grey winter morning light leaking in from behind the blinds—
i hate winter and i should be asleep,
but still my happiness includes this:
the hours i lie awake,
still insomnia ridden as i was when i used to write the nights away in sorrow,
i watch videos of people who like the same pretty colours and the same pretty furniture as i do,
decorating their houses and building
i put a little more spare cash into my savings each week
and squirm impatiently for our first home together
ours. mine and his.
the main picture in my montage of happiness
is the man lying next to me, sound asleep
an arm cuddled around our oldest girl,
both of them snoring and snuffling in their slumber
sounds i loathed from other people
are sounds i cherish from him.
i kiss the tip of his nose,
the curve of his forehead,
the point of his chin
and settle one more on soft, lax lips
my words don’t feel so beautiful
because all life’s beauty, i find in him.
i don’t have poeticism to spare for writing
when all my love letters are spoken to him
and he embodies everything beautiful
from eyes to smile to skin
down to the soul within
someday i’ll release a sigh of relief
that’ll be a breath of fresh air
that’ll filter through the trees
carrying a numinous optimism
for some wandering soul
that’ll reveal to them a secret:
there’s more than growing old
of a life well lived, i’ll leave behind
some marker or essence
that says i lived my life
and it was hard and i was tired
but i was so happy too
grateful for the time i had
that granted me you
found in my drafts from August 2020 and happy to say that it doesn’t hurt because I’m still with this person and still happy
my body is not a line you can draw parallels to
i am unfamiliar, and distinct, all curved and cracked edges
i am not straight.
my body is not a line you can draw parallels to
but i'll still find a way to sketch our similarities, a comparison;
shirts off and tracing the patterns of conventional beauty
like a dot-to-dot that doesn't align with the mass of me,
all my dips and swells:
a child that can't colour inside the lines
sometimes the ***** of my nose makes me wonder
how often i must lie to myself,
and my reflection repeats "i'm a real boy"
and we repeat, and repeat, and repeat until the mirror breaks.
i am real.
fingertips pressed to my cheeks, and then
squeezing at the flesh of my hips
i push and stretch and pinch
this way and that
messing, fiddling, curious and carping;
but when i'm done, i don't ... do anything
other than walk away
despite the critical caricature of my image
this is not a confession of self hatred, but in fact
the opposite is true.
this is self-acceptance.
this is love.
this is learning.
this is healing.
i didn't notice when i stopped trying to please my eyes
i just know that i did
and once i focused on me, not my mirror
i was happier with what i saw anyway
see, my scars are more visible in my eyes than on my skin, but
if you look closely enough
you can see the trajectory from despair to kindness
wounds dressed with watercolours, and smiles
and a promise that i'd give myself a second chance
and life got one too
god is dead; his body's in the attic
i didn't do it, though everybody's at it
this isn't blasphemy, it's freedom from fanatics
all that dark sky, light leaks where we cracked it
don't pray, your palms cannot clasp the chasm of your heart
your redemption's only received if your sorrow's sketched in art
frame it, mail it, burn it; give your love a fresh start
you don't owe apologies to god, only who you've wronged
you didn't need to cry yourself to sleep
all your words could be ours to keep
what you can't admit, i know it's deep
but ignoring the wound will make it seep
there's no shame when mistakes are confessed
i'll forgive you once the crime's addressed
but keep lying to me? lies will be undressed
the world a ****** to the guilt you've repressed