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Meryl Wisner Jun 2012
This weather’s got me writing poetry again

                ; because it’s making me think of you.

I like your storms
splattering raindrops and
               thunder that cracks open the sky
but I want to be with you on your grey days.
I’ll laugh with your sunshine
and swordfight your lightning,
but I want to be with you on your grey days
; when nothing much is happening—
            except your eyes are clouded over.

I can’t stop comparing you to weather
which sounds ridiculous,
except for the way your personality is like the wind
I can feel it
             I can feel it
                          I can feel it
but I never seem to be able to catch it,
or do it justice with my words.

It sounds ridiculous
except for how you’re a forecast for my day.
            When your eyes reflect
bright blue sky and fluffy cumulus clouds,
I don’t remember how to frown;
and when your storms rage
            I know to stand strong against the wind.

on your grey days
as much as I’ll want to persuade that sunshine smile
to come out to play,
I’ll sit quietly with you if you want,
and let you be nostalgic,
in that way that
                                          always makes you sad
                                     but never makes you cry.
like how mist isn’t quite rain.
Meryl Wisner Jun 2012
I’d like to climb the clouds
Leave footprints in the sky
so I know I’ve been there
and it’ll have something to remember me by

I want to see all the longitude lines
that are nothing more than constructs of our minds
Have you ever turned the map upside down?
Maybe the US is only hanging on to South America
by a hook called Mexico.

You don’t get what you see
because Mercator
wasn’t quite right with his projections.
Boy, was he ambitious though.
He took something
not even a quarter the size of the Sahara
and dreamed it big enough
to kiss all the corners of Africa.
I want that kind of determination.

I want to stop filling my imagination
and start filling my eyes
with realities of cities and seas,
valleys and villages.
I don’t have to move mountains,
I’ll go to them.

The continents are playing coy
and just because I’ve seen them more than once
doesn’t mean I know them yet
I want to learn their favorite colors.

I want to go far enough away
that I’m not afraid to never come back.
You know wherever I am,
when I close my eyes,
all I see is the horizon.

I’ll draw my own map across my body.
Haleiwa, Hawaii on my chest.
The hottest day in summer, her
shave ice melts into my heart to keep me cool.
Paris is on the inside of my knee,
so I can protect her, keep her on her pedestal,
like you always do with your first love.
Tanzania circles my throat like a Maasai necklace,
it glints in the sun and jingles when I dance.
Dublin’s like a freckle under my chin,
it took me a while to find her,
but now I know there are things worth looking for
And I’ve got plenty of space left on my skin.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
We kissed before we knew each other
in a ***** garage and a drunken haze
and I only brought it up when I wanted to do it again.

I don’t know if you remember the day
       I sat in the sun,
and you lay with your head in my lap.
It was the first time I played with your hair,
and I was maybe a little in love.

We would be a disaster
self-conscious and cynical
meets all you need is love,
opposites exploding, but
our fights would be quiet
passive aggressive like nothing else in our lives.

Still I almost kissed you at 5 am.
As we drove, we saw the sun halo the back of a mountain,
                                    but I almost kissed you in front of the airport,
air congested as engines idled on the curbside.
We hugged and I spun you
and letting go did not seem like an option
did not seem like a choice I would ever make
if I wasn’t forced

                                 Let’s be our own catastrophe.

You’re the first girl I ever wrote a poem about.
The days you asked what was wrong
were days I most wanted you to kiss me.
I want you to stop playing at quiet oblivion
and realize I’m just using your tattoo as an alibi
so I can press my skin into yours.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
I don’t remember if we were enthusiastic enough
for our teeth to clink together.
if it was rough
or slow, quiet or gentle or excited
I don’t remember if you leaned down,
or I leaned up,
or maybe we met in the middle.
Your lips felt—maybe chapped,
or smooth, tingling, soft,
I don’t remember the moments,
the details,
but I remember the whole of it.
Kissing you, and
kissing you, and
kissing you.
I don’t remember how my body felt
but I remember that time seemed
thick like molasses
moving slowly enough you might not notice.
I didn’t trust the way I felt
until you smiled at me.
That moment I remember.
I remember thinking, *thank god.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
i want to be forever

in this frozen moment

sun-smeared skin

and the gentle buzz

of ***** and friends and the start of summer
Meryl Wisner May 2011
I realized I liked girls
in the middle of 8th grade
volleyball practice.
My coach’s fingers slipped against mine
when I handed her a ball and I was
It was sudden but I was certain.
So after years of dreaming about
my wedding dress and what type of suit my husband would wear
it turned out I liked girls, too.
I spent half of practice
berating myself for being
weird, being
not being normal,
even though I knew it was okay.
I knew nobody important would
love me any less.
But those first few minutes,
I was too scared to let it be all right.

In high school I went on a date
with a girl without realizing that’s what it was.
We held hands and kissed in the park
but I was 14 and my life was so
I thought we were just friends.

In college I learned to get drunk
and let nights end with
sloppy girl kisses even when
my boyfriend was in the room.
Too drunk one night and so I
stuck my hand down her shirt.
When she took it off I marked
her everywhere because I knew
she’d want to forget it in the morning.

Still in college and
friends with so many variations of sexuality
I don’t notice anymore.
I knew you liked girls and I did, too
but I forgot that people only give free **** to someone they want to ****.
I was 20 years old and confidently bisexual and
my life was still so heteronormative I didn’t realize you were chasing me.
I turned 21 and held your hand under the blankets
and everything clicked.
We became motion
It was like putting on glasses
and realizing everything I
hadn’t noticed I was missing.
You were movement
and we went fast because
no one wants to find the
brake pedal when the windows
are down and the sun is out.
You curved diagonally across my
bed and asked who wanted to be straight.
We laughed and kissed
and you taught me how to touch you.

It was the best lesson ever.

I’d like a Ph. D. in how to
make you loud
I put more effort into you than into
any class I’ve ever taken.
You make me want to tattoo poetry across my ribcage.
You liked to leave hickeys on my shoulders
and I liked to let you.
The world was suddenly like
Loud and beautiful and
I couldn’t tear my eyes away
from the sparks lighting up your skin.

But it turned out to be a solar flare.
We burned bright and hard and fast
When we ignited I swear I could see to the ends of the earth
but the light died too quickly
and you gave up before our vision adjusted
You left me grasping in the dark.
I’ve lost my glasses
and everyone is blurry and it’d be okay
except I know what I’m missing now.
We were motion but now
I feel stagnant.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
Every story I write
has a quiet boy who loves words
and a girl he doesn’t quite understand.
She has a laugh that ricochets
and she makes the quiet boy smile.
She looks like algebra but is more like calculus.
She is deceptively hard to solve.
You don’t see her fault lines until you think you already know her,
but her plate tectonics only cause aftershocks,
never full earthquakes.

I always thought she was me,
always thought I wanted to be
that kind of captivating.
Enough to make the quiet boy happy.
But then I met you
and your quarter moon smile.

I always thought the girl was from some coast
but the first time I saw you in a bikini
I realized you don’t have to be from California
to have drops of seawater glow like individual suns on your skin.
I want you to drip dry
on my clothesline arms.
I’ll hold you up to the sunlight,
let your bare legs dangle in the wind.
I want to straddle your fault lines
and hold you through the tremors.

I always thought I wanted the spotlight
but I’m content
being the quiet one beside you.
I thought I loved the boy who loved words
and I wanted to be enough to inspire him to write
but you make me want to get published just to share you
with the world because
something so beautiful should not be kept secret.
You said you wanted to make the history books
and you will, but for now
I hope my poems are enough.
You are rainy day inspiration.
I thought I was the girl
but it turns out I’m just a quiet boy
who needed someone to
inspire me.
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