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Kristoffer Motil May 2016
(I know sunflowers are your favorite, but bear with me here)
what makes them alike?
it’s a legitimate question, I think
(you were both for me)
and, dear Reader, you’re wondering why.
I treated you too highly, I know that now.
You are no Queen.
(not yet)
Just a girl. With a heart, always moving, always seeking,
but never faltering in its purpose.
I couldn’t keep up.
(but I tried like hell)
You knew what you wanted. Your purpose, if not your destination.
Like roses know how to bloom. They don’t ask; they just do.
My fault was trying to pluck you from your spot.
(oblivious to your thorns)
And in doing so, I ended up hurting myself.
(but not you, thank God)
But that pain made me feel.
(it had been a while)
And I wanted more.
Always more, more, more.
The thorns became your appeal.
And I gripped all the tighter.
(until I was all but emptied)
dear Reader, I hope you know why now.
Roses and razor blades.
what makes them alike?

(they both cut)
For Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Apr 2016
before you,
there was a door, bolted shut
that I did not know existed.
Have you ever passed a door without knowing of
its existence?
Then, one day, something inexplicably extraordinary happens –
(like you)
and the door becomes your entire world, the focal point
of your life.
You question how it is possible to not have noticed that **** door
in your entire life.
(I just needed the proper key)
Maybe others have pointed it out to you before, but failed
in their charge to make it worth your while.
But you, my dear, kicked it wide open.
To the blinding truth beyond.
(And it terrified me)
(But you gave me courage)
And now, you opened a door.
The Door.
That will lead to others, I am certain.
And I am ready to walk through it.
But, oh God, am I sad.
(this unending, unyielding torrent of grief)
Because you, my sweet harbinger of Things to Come,
will not be coming with me.
I will
(I must, God help me)
leave you at The Door.
For Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Apr 2016
not because i thought of you.
most would say that would be it. most would say
that i should be doing the following:
and moving on.
(but carrying you with me)
i am trying to do all those.
(with all the strength inherent in me)
(but Christ I am so weak)
but the failure is not thinking of you.
(it wasn’t, and never will be)
the failure is THIS:
i don’t know how to
for you.
i don’t know how to
care about you.
(i am too selfish)
(i am too possessive)
(i am too doubtful)
my failure today is that i did not figure out how to love you, my dear.
not today.

oh God, not today.
For Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Mar 2016
which is perfect for what you did.
(what you are)
(what you always will be)
when you told me about sunflowers being your favorite
and I immediately wanted to buy all of them in the store for you –
then, and only then, I noticed how deep I was
in the storm you poured down on my world.
I was
drowning in your words,
(barbed and sarcastic)
your smile,
your laugh
(oh, how it curved your face into a masterpiece).
I wanted to bottle it all up, keep it to myself;
a dragon with his hoard.
(not gold, but echoes of you)
I took all of you in,
and it nearly killed me.
(so sweetly)
but now, I know how to swim.
and you are the only sea
I want to swim in.

but, it’s over now.
and you have moved on.
and the sea is drying up.
so, what to do now?
(for you)
For Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Mar 2016
i saw you in the moon

it was comforting. most people attribute their
special someone to the sun. you were never that for me.
you were many countless, irreplaceable, unknown qualities
that i wanted. none of them were glaringly obvious.
besides, i am never in the light.
i am always in the dark.
       (the deep and lovely dark)
i am never lost there. i never needed a star to guide me home –
i was home already.
what i wanted
was the steady presence to remind me
that i was not alone.
the moon is always there, you know – even when you can’t see it.
so, i look up as night falls
       (that black curtain sweeping down, down)
and hope you’re somewhere
nearby, looking at that round rock in the blackness,
outshining all the rest.
i know it’s not a star, but i make a wish anyway:
your name
       (a prayer, whispered)
followed by three little words.
For Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Mar 2016
(This pain will be useful to you one day.)

TOMORROW – there will be a girl who is not you.
I’m taking her out to dinner with a friend,
(who used to be your friend, but you ignored them until they had better sense to do the same)
(but not me, never me, until I was dragging myself through glass to talk to you)
and we’re going to get sushi.
This new girl and I are going to have fun.
She reminds me of you, but don’t think of her as a replacement. Where you were ice, she is fire and warmth. A reminder of what we had that was good, without the
problems that came later on.
But, through the smiles and laughter and gorging on
raw fish, you’re still going to show up. The uninvited

You will be sitting with us.
In the car.
At our table.
Walking behind us in the cool, crisp evening.
You will be in all the spaces
in between.

(Only if I let you, though)
I will deal with you, however. You are there by my
permission only. Not to scorn me, but so that I can show you.
Everything that could have been.
(I saw your light)
(Why didn’t you see mine?)
You are not the epitaph on my life. You are not where my love goes to die.
I will move on.
(And carry you gently with me)
Thinking about Alyssia.
Kristoffer Motil Jan 2016
Do you know this girl? I wonder if you do.
I know her now, but not as this mysterious, silent, sad figure.
What is she looking for? Did she find it? The girl in the photo.
Because she will grow into something harder and better;
Vibrant, mischievous, powerful, and ever smirking
in life. But the smile she wears now is brittle;
it glitters, but does not glow. The girl in the photo,
has a star in her eyes, and
Glows, softly, like candlelight. There is no smile, not yet,
but it shines in the eyes, and tugs the corners of her lips.
Maybe the star was her undoing.
Did she stray too close to that star, I wonder?
Perhaps she learned as Icarus did,
to trade her *****, burned wings for armor and barbed wire.
The girl I know today, her hair tips dipped in gold,
now wears a crown, unseen. She strides,
as if nothing can hurt her.
Not words, not feelings; for the beating of her heart
sounds the drums of war.
Maybe she is better now, than she ever was. A soon to be Queen.
Perhaps that star in her eyes was always burning on the inside,
forging steel out of the softness. Maybe the girl I know today was always growing,
in the shadow of the one in the photo.
She is sharpness and all edges now. Ready to cut,
anything, anyone
that blemishes her path.
But, I will always wonder about the girl in the photo.
I will always want to ask the questions,
“Do you know this girl?”
“Where did she go?”
And I am scared.
Scared, that the answer will be this:
“She never left.”
For my friend, Alyssia LaBelle.

— The End —