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Mikaila Feb 17
I think of you
A collapsing star
Your pain like the day the world began
So powerful
Your mind like
The day it will end
Scalding pure.

My heart is like a furnace tonight  
Blue white
And my bones are full of rainwater
Cold now
But heating up

Shame
For all my shrieking
I am whole
Like an egg
Uncracked
I do not think anything
Grows
In here
But the shell
Is smooth
And that seems to count for something.

Still
I am buried
And the soil above me
Churns—
The skitterings of beetles
Something with wings that whir.  
I grip the door frame
That dark mouth
And wonder if I am coming to life
Or leaving it

I am iron
A tea kettle starting to boil
It sings and screams
And hisses out a thread of steam.

The burns slide up my arms like little snakes.

And yet you are here
Still
Here like a sun
Calling the blood in my veins
And it answers
Pounding—

It would rather be with you than me.
Mikaila Jan 2
I read somewhere that names
Fix things in place like pins
And that to be nameless is to be
Free.

There are some things in this world which can’t be spoken
Can’t be captured
Can’t be named.
As artists,
As human beings,
They call us
An unstoppable force
An indefinable drive
Onward-
That deep tug in the center of your chest
The gnawing need to create.
They are things we chase
Things we aspire to
Things we even worship sometimes
Writing long into the night
Carving wood and clay and bone
On our knees in the dark
Smearing paint, desperate to understand
Desperate to make something
Half as beautiful as what we
Feel.
Since we awoke as a race
We have created
In service of only that drive
Only that obsession
Half awe and half hubris
Half joy and half shame
Half triumph and half
Defeat-
The expression of something
Inexpressible
The naming of something
Too sacred for language.
We know we can never arrive
We can only
Search
And the search is the reason
For our cities and our novels and our symphonies
An aching search
A humble search
A sweet journey whose end-
No matter how much we pretend otherwise-
Is only
Death.

You are like that.

I’ve tried for hundreds of pages
To explain myself
To express my love and longing but
You
Are like a thousand of those unnameable things.
I think you might be
Made of them
Somehow.
I think they live in your skin and your bones and the timbre of your voice.
I can write all day
About the magnetic beauty I see in you
About the way you make me feel
And list the things I love about you
But it always feels
Insufficient
Always as if I am writing around something
Bigger
Something with no words to describe it-
None that even
Come close.
As if I can only write about what you do
Not what you are
Because what you are is too vast
For thought.
I write as though I have pressed my hands to glass
Trying to sing to you through it
But you are on
The other side-
Even the most beautiful art
Even the sweetest music
Even the most tender poetry
Could not pierce deeply enough
Would be a disservice and a reduction
Would fall hopelessly short
Of what you really are
And how you really move me.

I try to tell you why I love you
I try to tell you
How.
I know you wonder sometimes
I know you wonder if I only love
Things about you
Things I could find in others.
I try to explain but it’s like
My thoughts catch in my throat
And fall like shadows on the floor-
So hopelessly inadequate.

I search and search
I sit up nights
Trying to find the words
Trying to make the words
But there are none
Not because you are ordinary but because you are
Unnameable.
What I love in you is deeper than reason
Deeper than touch
Deeper than ideas or memories or the little moments when I stop and gaze at you
Transfixed.
I love you in a way that reminds me
That we are not just flesh and blood
Because if we were there would be a word for what in me
Falls to its knees at your feet
And what in you
Makes me want to build things with my hands
And never stop

And that is
Maddeningly
All I can say
Because although I think by now I may have truly tried
Them all,

There’s not.
“To love another person is to see the face of god.” -Victor Hugo
Mikaila Nov 2018
I know weariness.
I can see it at the edges of me, always
Waiting to seep back in like
Chloroform for the soul.
I’m young
And passionate
But I am not stupid.
I know it will return.
I know my days are numbered
And that when my time here is up
I will have to make the exhausting choice again
To go on
Purposelessly
To continue
In a gray, flat world
And blindly wait for something to spark interest in me once more.
It is not faith that keeps me alive in those times.
It is not love.
It is not a feeling, at all-
It is a dull, stolid persistence,
An instinct from an older time
That I am simply too tired to fight against.
I crawl forward,
Blank.
I am
A machine which has run this long
And continues on with no driver and no destination
And will
Until such time as the fuel runs out.
It is not a youthful thing to know
So intimately.
That gray quiet has touched me in places no lover ever will.
It has permeated my very flesh.
It lives in me like smoke,
Always,
And it will,
Always-
The knowledge that the one thing to which I will constantly return
Is that bland, cold, mechanical existence.
I tend myself
During those times
And I feel like a farmer who has planted
Stones in the ground
Foolishly watering and weeding,
But I
Do it anyway
A habit that won’t break.
I survive
And I am too weary even to search for a reason
And that, I suppose, is a blessing
Because I would not find one if I did.
I go on, always,
And in the mirror during those times
I see the blue-white blindness of the eyes of an old dog
Who has felt the steel tipped toes of too many boots
To care if one more swings at his ribs-
He is too tired to move from his spot on the porch
And would rather endure the pain than endure the
Fear.
I am like him, and I remain like him
Even when I am full of joy
(I am full of joy in that surprised, flinching way
In the way of something that has been around too long
Not to know that eventually
Something has to give.)
You call me young.
Everybody does, here.
And I suppose they should-
They have never seen that in me.
I hide it well, even when it swallows me
And anyhow they’ve only seen me in love,
The full and complete opposite.
They see my thankfulness
For a reprieve
And mistake it for energy,
Mistake it, even, for innocence
When really it is the stark, clear memory
Of months and years of colorlessness
Of waiting around for something inside to grow
When there are never any seeds nor any sunlight
Of deciding every day to go on,
Even when there is no reason.
It is far away now, that feeling
That awful cold emptiness.
It has rushed from me like the tide receding
And while it’s gone,
I’m not wasting a second
Not me.
I’ll look stupid,
I’ll look naive,
I’ll look reckless,
But I’ll swallow my pride
And open myself to every feeling that comes my way:

To be anything less than as passionate as I can would be the deepest blasphemy
When I have known hell
Not as torment but as blankness
And will
Again.
Mikaila Nov 2018
I want you to crash into me
Like the ocean.
Tonight when you kissed me
I thought I’d drown in you
And I was
Happy to be lost at sea.
No wonder the ocean loves you
You are kin
You are the same:
You both need someone
Unafraid to be pulled under.
Mikaila Nov 2018
There is no cure for my self.
I will sit up nights
And read poetry aloud
And cry harsh tears as my words fall away into the darkness.
It is my nature.
A voice of sorrow lives in me
And it speaks, always.
It murmurs beneath everything like a brook.
It sweetens my days
And swallows my nights.
It is not without its merits
But it is
Painful.
I am a sad person
Always have been.
I ache, and always will.
Love soothes and frightens me
But beneath it grief runs steady
The only thing
That is always there
Heedless of any other turmoil.
It presses into me-
A small trickle, less than rainwater-
But it has carved me deep over years
Deep, deep,
It has cut caves into me.
It is the heart of me, the softness of the stone
It is my weakness and the source of my life
And I have hated it for as long as I have known it was there
But it
Doesn’t care:
It only knows how to continue
Not how to feel.
It doesn’t stop for love
Or for anger
Or for joy.
It gouges a path through all of them,
A deep, steady drumbeat
A persistent crawl
And I am witness to its slow erosion of me.
I watch with apprehension
An unwilling subject
A reluctant vessel-
For I know that as gentle as it seems
It has stripped away all this so far
And will go on
Until nothing remains.
Title is a reference to the poem Elm by Sylvia Plath.
Mikaila Nov 2018
I think it’s hardwired into us
To wonder what our purpose is,
To search for meaning and for comfort,
To feel
Lost.
I’ve wandered a lot in my life.
More than my share, perhaps,
For the years I’ve spent on earth.
This feeling
Takes hold of me
And pulls me after it.
Like a string around my heart
Thin but insistent
It has led me
So many places.
I’ve boarded planes
With little plan
And crossed oceans following it.
I’ve emerged from sleep
Onto shadowy country lanes
Chasing the silver the moon left on the ground.
I’ve walked out in rain
On dull, slick cobblestones and watched
Unafraid
The underworld of London
Surge topside
In the dead of night
And swirl around me like the mist that clung to my heels.
I have walked and walked
Through fields shrouded in early morning dew
Met the eyes of animals in the dark
And held them in a moment of
Understanding:
We both of us are lost
Both hunted
Both free, but uncertain.
I have followed this feeling wherever it has led me
And it has always led me somewhere I could love
But never somewhere I could rest
Until now.
My heart pulled me to you
And I thought I would be out at night again
Scouring the streets
Searching for meaning,
Searching for
Sustenance.
I was ready to live that again,
Ready to embrace that odd agony of feeling,
The secrecy, the doubt,
Ready to leave a trail of blood behind me
As I staggered through the night and into dawn.
But you
Surprised me.
You saw me.
You
Loved me.
These nights, I find peace in my heart
And for once I do not wander.
I savor the warmth of my own skin
Content that soon your hands will bless it,
Will travel it like a map of the world,
Will bring
Light.

I don’t know what my purpose is
But I can guess.
When I look at you
I suspect my purpose is to be right here,
To love and love until I run dry
And simply fall to dust.
And maybe that scares you
But it doesn’t
Scare me:
Sitting here,
Curled up with tea
Writing poetry for you
Dreaming of your smile
I think of all the other callings I could have had-
A call to arms
A call for blood
A call to action or revenge or martyrdom.
I could have been called
To serve
To teach
To sacrifice,
To survive or to
Destroy-
And I look at this love,
This love that I would gladly let
Fade me
Like a step worn down by the shoes of someone familiar and welcome
Like a favorite shirt gone pale with washes
Like an old newspaper clipping in a frame in sunlight
Cherished but worn
Crumbling with time
Known as the back of your hand
Known as your fragile heartbeat,

And I think
To love is not such a bad purpose
After all.
Mikaila Nov 2018
Even though it’s cold here
It feels like summer
When you laugh.
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