Through the lens of a camera, everything appears far away. It's easy to feel nothing when you designate yourself a spectator.
My girlfriend was a spectator. All the time, she was carrying a camera in her delicate, pale hands. My mother had a name for delicate and thin hands: "artist fingers." My girlfriend used to call herself an artist.
"Mom, do you think Rebecca is a good girlfriend to me?"
My mother looked at me. Her glasses reflected the light from the living room lamp. I couldn't see her eyes. I was petting my cat while I spoke to her, and as I looked at my mother, my grip tightened. She opened her mouth to speak.
My girlfriend broke up with me via a Skype call. I watched her through the camera. She didn't look at me. Our relationship lasted a year and a half. I sobbed. She didn't look at the camera. It's easy to be a spectator. It's easy to not look at anything.
I raised my eyes.
My best friend was watching me. "Can you move your leg a little?"
Once I did, he lifted his camera. He took some pictures of me.
"Vincent... can I talk to you about something?"
He paused, and then lowered the camera.
"I had a fight with Rebecca."
Something in his eyes changed. If you hadn't been paying attention, you would have missed it.
January. "She said bad things about you."
My heart beat a little harder. My lungs hurt.
"I don't care."
I didn't look at him.
We were lying side by side. I looked at her. I had given her a necklace of guitar picks. It rested on her collarbones.
Suddenly, I said, "If we break up, promise me you're not going to throw away the necklace."
She looked at me. She had blue and green eyes, so beautiful. My mother often said that she had striking eyes.
I remember how, during our dates, she used to take pictures of the sky. I found it cute.
Vincent always thought that it was cliché.
My psychologist was watching me. "I'm not judging you."
I was silent. I looked at my fingers. Thin. Fine. I was an artist too. But she was the artist.
"How can you know that I'm not judging you if you don't look at me?"
A moment. She leaned back in the chair. Another moment. I remember that I could hear the ticking of her clock.
It came quietly. "Sorry."
I was at a party, talking with a pretty girl. The noise of the party seemed muted, somehow. Suddenly, she took one of my hands.
"I like your hands. You have such beautiful fingers."
She looked at me.
"Like an artist."
I looked at her. She had brown eyes, like dark chocolate. Striking. She was smiling just a little bit. If you hadn't been paying attention, you would have missed it. I laughed.
"Like an artist..." I repeated.
She laughed too, a little embarrassed. Her laugh was joyous, almost musical.
so i know this isn't a poem per se, but i wrote it for a short story class and i wanted to share it. enjoy!