Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Gabriel Aug 2022
i see things in high definition colour, but
july is the only month that fluctuates—
between florida orange and, later, burnt sienna;
everything between the 1st to the 31st
is dipped in a honey-glaze of three things:
1. warm, sticky air
2. the feeling of 6pm
3. bicycles riding through fields of fireflies.

naturally, i spend most of july in my bedroom—
the heat gets to me, makes my allergies flare
and i watch movies; old, 80s, movies (or—tiktok clips
of the same movie, only broken up into thirty-six parts
that i view from my bed with my naked legs spinning vertical circles through the air).

i always forget the feeling of august
until it’s there again. july
overshadows it with the final embers, so i only realise
it's august on maybe the 5th or 6th. almost
a full week into a month that my brain—
which is never wrong about the way things feel—
sees a deep, ocean blue.

i don't write home about august. i don't hurry it up
through winter months, when i begin the countdown
to hot, hazy days. if anything, i view august
as the ending of something, of a summer i wished so hard for.

and every time, it blindsides me with love.

i love things more in august. i love the smell of summer-
rain on the pavement. i love songs i listened to in january.
i love waiting around for halloween. i love my bedroom,
the pause of heat-sick sleep, the blue-sky mornings.

i write love letters to autumn in a time capsule. i text july and ask u up?, and wyd?, and come over?

and still, when summer ends, i will never want to get what i wish for.
Gabriel Jul 2022
i’d scrub it; really, i would,
but i don’t want to get the dirt
on my hands.

it exists: the dirt.
on the floor and the walls
and the bottom of my wardrobe.
i hate the mess
but i hate cleaning it even more;
knowing it’s there, putting my hands
in it. the dirt—god, it’s everywhere.

it takes courage to clean.
it takes a hell of a lot of work
to make it go away
when it wasn’t designed to.
it feels like i’ll never be clean.
i could kiss the palms of lady macbeth
and feel like doubting thomas,
but my lips don’t want it.
my body doesn’t want it, viscerally
rejects it, and it exists.

nobody asks: did the whale really want to swallow jonah?

there’s dirt everywhere
and i am not clean.
maybe i won’t ever be clean
until i am no longer lazy and afraid.
i, coward designed, am lazy and afraid.

and so i let it settle. i’ll let it
settle like pompeii, and vow never
to visit ancient rome.

i don’t like ash, either.
Gabriel May 2022
I rest, as once more
my legs are crossed upon the floor;
the old armchair not looms but graces
the room, and our two listening faces.

Conversation leads the wane,
the world waxes, yet I remain,
the armchair not yet old but so;
solemn comes and solemn goes.

But long since years have passed me by,
nineteen there, twenty nigh,
and still the armchair's yet to fade;
in grace and hope, and heart pervade.

And silent sit I lend my ear
to stories told first time this year,
of decades past and my existence
just a spark, universal resistance.

Generations part the seas
like Moses, only I believe
in stories told from familiar tongues,
not sung, and yet exist in song.

The armchair rests in praise and strength,
the day shall pass, familiar length;
and that familiar person there
much to rely, and all to share.

In trust, in grace, in hearted love,
and stories from which I will carve
a narrative in which I fit;
one day this armchair, I shall sit.
I wrote this for my grandad when I was around 19. He has since passed, and in the latter months of his life I was his carer. I miss him every day, and that old armchair in which he sat and talked to me about life.
Gabriel May 2022
It’s always been enough to wear the same cardigan for comfort,
This old red chenille one I bought at the wholesale store when I was 15.
It’s funny—it never came with memories, but it has them with me.
I ripped a little hole in the crochet links more than once, bumping into corners and getting it caught on chairs;
I think I’ve always been getting caught on chairs. Snagging my best laid plans on what it means to be a person, wearing a cardigan, but,
It still sits in the back of my closet, in one piece.

I remember wearing it when I needed comfort. When comfort wouldn’t come. When comfort was a love letter delivered to the wrong address. When I read something that wasn’t mine, and became mine nonetheless, in worn out crochet. I should have thrown it out years ago, but it’s mine,
Tattered and torn and sitting in the back of my closet because I’m too afraid the next time I wear it will be the last before it rips completely.

I, on the other hand, have already ripped completely.
Because I could only stay in the closet for 19 years.
I miss that red chenille cardigan. It was there when I was there, in the closet, being me when I shouldn’t have been me,
And it stayed at home when I left for somewhere I thought was better.

I visit my parents. I suppose I still live there, in part, with that red cardigan.
Stuffed into a space that’s small but safe,
The way plants grow withered but tall without sunlight
Or the way I ended up so independent I became lonely.

I define loneliness by how well it wears a red cardigan.
I judge it by how much the snags and small unravelings stick out;
I love it for that. For the sticking out. For the unravelled yarn in place of my tangled emotions,
For the staples that I put in it because I didn’t know how to sew.
My mother could have taught me how to sew, but I exist in a whirlwind of quick fingers and dropped stitches,
And my woman’s place is not the same as hers.

I wish she’d taught me how to make flapjacks, how to repair cardigans, how to love a man;
I wish she hadn’t taught me that my father loved me.
I wish my father had seen an old cardigan and thought of repairs, instead of the old donation box it could be thrown into,
But he was never the type to try and fix things anyway.

I’ll fix his mistakes. I will keep that cardigan, that old thing,
And I will not repair the imperfections that have given it character.
What am I but a red chenille cardigan? Held onto but never worn?
What am I if not something to be contained at the broken seams in hopes that I can preserve myself longer?

So, I am preserved. A fossil. An old relic of Pompeii, frozen in ash, wearing a cardigan that I don’t really fit into anymore,
A wash of red amongst the black and grey wreckage;
Oh, how I have a home in the wreckage. How I am a cardigan atop the ashes.
It doesn’t flutter. There’s no wind to carry it.

In another life, I’d be the wind. But we’ve already established the story, haven’t we? I’m the cardigan.
I’m nothing but thread that’s woven itself into something of minor importance at best.
So, here I am. Minor importance. Worn cardigan. Here I am, wearing it all. Can you see it yet?
It’s riddled with holes, but still in one piece.
I wrote this with my girlfriend; we took turns writing one line each. I'm forever in awe of her command over words. She inspires me every day.
Gabriel May 2022
i look at the sky and i love you.
it's pink and purple and maroon and yellow.
and i think oh
how beautiful is that?

you're walking down streets
that i don't walk down.
you're living a life;
and i'm logging onto my phone
to tell you how well you're doing.

(we're miles away.)

but isn't that just so wonderful?
i see a sky you haven't seen
and i send it to you. (think of you.)
you show me a love
from miles away.

i breathe. (in, out.)
and i think
oh, how beautiful
to be loved from a distance.

but you're close.
you see me, you're close and far
and oh, i see it. how close you are.

i look at the sky and i am loved.
let it always be pink.
let it always be purple.
let it always be maroon.
let it always be yellow.
let it always be,
until we meet,
and find patterns of friendship in the clouds.

until then, my best friend.
until then.
(i'll smile as i wait.)

the sky will be beautiful.
a poem about long distance best friends, for my bestie kait
Gabriel May 2022
Ambrosia makes you a man, Apollo,
And to me, bring forth the ancient sunrise;
Go! You go, and ever shall I follow,
One man in your eternal light disguised.
Too short a time I have borrowed for you,
And from you, forever a single breath;
Your honey-thick glory mine to pursue,
Chased and captured, birthright to timely death.
Those Biblical tales I shall now forsake,
For no God but yourself shall e’er be prayed;
Angels—I shun them; their eyes I unmake,
I look unto you, and be not afraid.
Do not grieve for me: I will not be gone,
My Apollo, I will be in the dawn.
a sonnet from a story i wrote
Gabriel May 2022
I think of you, and I think of sirens
But not of shipwrecks. Of lighthouses
But not of dark shores. Sometimes, I
Think so much that it hurts,
And then I stop thinking.

I think of you, and I think of sunshine
But not of night. Of the moon
But not of the tides. Sometimes, I
Want to sit by the ocean
And swallow it whole,
And then I stop crying.

I think of you. I think of you.
I see the world,
And I think of you.
from a story i wrote
Next page