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Laura Matthew Nov 2011
The other night you reached up to the sky for me
And pulled down a handful of stars
To keep in my pocket
You gave me the North star on a silver band
To always show me the way home
To remind me that home is wherever I’m with you
You gave me the key your dead-bolted heart
And I will carry it with me everywhere I go
On a string around my neck
Or in my pocket full of stars
So as not to let it slip through the
Sidewalk cracks of my hands.

I used to see the stars from my window every night
And send my thoughts across the reservoir to you
Like the winds that blow water into waves
Tears welling up over the spillway
Pouring over onto cold cement
Pounding like my beating heart
A storm in a teacup
A tempest inside this body of water
Inside this body of mine
And with each ebb and flow it swells
Knowing so well this whirlwind of feeling
Spinning tipsy through my soul
A gentle hurricane, a familiar flooding
Of safety and contentment and longing and warmth
Rocking me to sleep when I can’t
Curl up in your arms.

They say that all the bodies of water on this earth are blue
Because they reflects off the color of the sky
So I went down to the reservoir
With my pocket full of stars,
The ones you picked out just for me, and
Set them free, one by one,
On the waters’ edge with
Wishes tied to their backs in the hopes
That they’d make their way
To the night sky above our wondering heads
In the hopes that they’ll shine beyond
The milky light of the moon
That creates a film across the darkness
With the promise that I’ll carry your heart with me
When we part ways for the night.

These days when I lay down to sleep
My ceiling’s full of holes from fallen stars
That I’ve wished back into place
But didn’t give enough time to grow
Their roots back into the sky.
I wake up with stardust in my sheets,
Empty space where your body should be
And the water from the tap just isn’t as blue
As the reservoir’s on a clear day
And the city lights stay on too long
Keeping me from seeing the stars
When I look out my window at night.
But I still keep the key to your heart
On a string around my neck,
Resting just above my own beating vessel.
And I still wear the North star on my ring finger
To lead me home again.

For now I am your latchkey kid
Sitting on your front steps
With the key to your heart slowly
Growing warmer in my grasp
Knuckles white from mid-October wind
Rushing through my jacket.  Here I sit
Watching dusk stretch it’s hands across the sky
Looking for the pocket full stars that I set free
Waiting patiently for you to come back
And show me the little tricks to
Unlocking the door to your heart,
The way you have to turn it just a hair to the right
And push against the doorframe
An un-exact science I haven’t mastered yet.

I can picture you now, behind your counter
Selling liquid stardust in pretty little bottles
Packaged painkiller in a clever disguise
I imbibe in the hopes that stars will fall
At my feet to grant me one last wish.
And at night when you return from the closing shift
Smelling like hard work and strangers’ *****
Find me on your front steps, shaking in the cold
You take my hand in yours, guide the key
Watch it do its job, the hardest worker
Letting me into your tired arms
Where I can feel your beating heart
Crash into mine like waves.
We’ll sit here on your front steps for awhile
Watching the stars slowly float away from each other

In the reservoir of the sky.
Title credit goes to e. e. cummings, *i carry your heart with me*
Laura Matthew Nov 2011
Gravity is not my friend.
It forgets from time to time
To do its job and keep my two feet
Planted firmly on the ground.
I can’t seem to get around
Invisible stumbling blocks,
Tripping over my own two feet,
Knocking into things just by
Walking in a straight line.

Gravity is lazy,
Wanting only to do the bare minimum.
It makes my chest feel heavy when
I lay down but if I close my eyes
I feel my own untethered soul
Float up into the ceiling
And hide amongst the water pipes.

Sometimes, I think gravity gets scared
When I wish myself into something
Scattered brain and disconnected
Disassociation, depersonalization,
Derealization—these side effects on the bottle
They’re all taunting gravity
And gravity runs to hide,
Knocking me off balance and
Up the stairs and skinning my knees
And sometimes I don’t even know I’m bleeding

But sometimes gravity fights back
And my feet are stuck to the ground
My limbs can’t seem to move, my
Head feels like a hundred pounds
My body aches until I lay down
And sink into the carpet.

Sometimes I wonder if you feel it too
If gravity and you are on the odds as well
With all your liquid confidence
And substances to keep you happy
And your tales of falling down stairs—
You fall down, I fall up.
We bob together in a sea of regret
And change and past and
Present and future and lust
And hate but most of all love
Nursing our wounds through
Self medication until a very fed up gravity
Pushes us down, down down down.

Sometimes I think if gravity
Were a little more benevolent
We’d never have hit
These bumps in the road.
I could stay grounded,
Feet planted firmly.
You could stay buoyant
Far above the surface.

But no,
Gravity is a very fickle beast.
And as you’re leading me
Back to my room
For one last goodnight kiss
I trip

And float away.
Nov 2011 · 622
Veritas
Laura Matthew Nov 2011
Our lips are not for speaking truth
beyond the barrage of empty words
that flow from their parted caves.
I’ve taken to holding open my ears
because there is so little you can hear
when you rely on deceptive soundwaves.

The truth lies somewhere within
the silence of two lovers on
a king-sized bed in a rented room
smelling faintly of *** and
someone else’s faded dreams.
It lies somewhere in the electric touch
that travels on the closeness of skin
as two hands quilt their fingers together.

Two hands melt into one
sharing a pulse that speaks volumes
louder than anything the lips
could ever try to spill out into the air.
Listen not with your ears, but
with your fingertips along the curves
of her body, the open chords on
your guitar, make her sing your name.

Study her like the holy books
you never bothered to pour over
in search of authenticity,
in search of meaning.
And when you crash together
harmonizing strings of pleasured profanity,
gasps, sounds that almost form words
It should feel the same as
holding her hand.

And even long after you finish
return to your sides of the rented bed
collapse near into sleep with a
frenzied exhaustion
don’t let go. Right between your
fingertips lays the closest path
you will ever have to hearing
words of candor.  The truth
Lies between two lovers.
Nov 2011 · 770
Treble
Laura Matthew Nov 2011
I.
Last year’s winter left a blanket of snow
So thick that all I see when I close my eyes
Is pure white icing and the taste on my lips
Is that of snowflakes dissolving on your tongue
You came out of nowhere into my winter storm
Crashed your truck head on into an innocent telephone pole
It was lost, I think, and can’t be blamed for you
Leaving your tire tracks in my slowly melting snowbank
Of a heart—oh who am I kidding, it was
Hot blacktop this whole time, perfect canvas for
Swirling curves of your fountain pen tires,
No *** holes, no frost heaves, just flat black tar.
And magically you found a shade darker than dark
With which to leave your pavement tattoo.

II.
I am a ghost in your house
Haunting shadows, for some reason even
In the light of day I still feel like I’m in the dark
And the silence so thick it smothers the blaring
Television and echoes so loudly I think my ears might
Fall off should I decide to take one false step across
Your floors and wake the dead.
My funeral was forgotten.
I died before my foot could even step above the
Threshold, six inches from the mahogany porch
That would still be standing should earthquakes
Shake us in our boots and dig up our roots
And your house could be razed to the ground but
This porch would stay,
Along with me, standing here, hand poised
Afraid to knock.

III.
I met you somewhere in between the
First hard frost of November and the first real
Snow of the holiday season—either way there was
A glaze of something cold across the whole city
And I swear to you I’d never recognize the place
Where you watched me flirt with disaster
And I watched you live out the end of
A chapter of your life in half-time.
If you showed it to me in broad daylight
It would be nothing but another quiet
Empty room for my spirit to haunt with
Linoleum floors and the faint smell of Jack Daniels’.
You could pour me a glass but
All I’d taste is snowflakes on my tongue.
Hey everyone, I'm looking for feedback in general.  Love it?  Hate it?  Anything I should change?  Let me know.  Also, for this particular poem, I sort of want a new title but I'm at a loss of ideas for it.

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