do not talk to me
as if i do not
how the cycles
of this world work.
how the moon turns
how the sequoia
trees grow their roots,
how the honeybees turn
flowers into sweet nectar.
i do not pretend
to be able to see
the fabrics of the universe,
i do not claim
to analyse every
atom in your name
under a microscope.
i am not a child, wondering
how the birds are always
able to find their way south.
how the salmon know
they were born,
how the sun moves
across the sky.
would you still love me
if you realized that
my tongue is ringed like
the centre of a tree,
my finger-bones are as
sharp as stalactites,
my mouth is as salty
sweet as the ocean.
do not talk to me like
i do not already know
that you will drift
away, eventually, like
anything i ever let slip
out of my fingers
and drop - plop! -
into the river’s depths.
we’re too tired, but we’re awake anyways --
as if no one will ever see
the sun rise if not us,
as if no one else can feel
the pain we force on aching bones.
as if, we are the only ones
ever to feel this empty.
we pile on excuses
like layers in the winter,
scratch out our dreams
onto scraps of old paper.
we can only scream when
our heads are underwater,
and they wonder why
we haven’t drowned yet.
the truth is, we don’t know.
we kick and scream
at the thought of giving up.
of being alone, of being with
someone, of being alive.
how have we held on so long?
someone must be the one to try
and hold the world up,
somebody must be the one to witness
the pink sky at four in the morning.
and if not us,
an old poem from this summer that i still feel in my bones.
there’s not much that we can do
to stop the world from turning.
it goes - spinning, and twisting,
and we try to hold on for dear life.
the children in the playgrounds
point their hands at the sky and cry,
“the moon, the moon! do you see!
she is coming to visit! see, see!”
as she tumbles down towards us.
some days we exist without sunlight
and some days the sky is blue and pink,
and green and gold. when the northern lights
first escaped from our bloodstream,
i thought the world was ending.
when the colours first pooled in the oceans
and in the corners of your eyes,
the painters didn’t know what to do.
when our lungs started to collapse,
when the cars won’t start
and the streets are filled.
there’s junk growing in our rib cages and
we’ve still never fallen in love.
did you hear the poets praying?
did you see what it looked like,
right before we doomed the world to die?
our daughters and sons never forgave us.
the children in the playgrounds
bounce the moon like a basketball
and the sky becomes quiet once more.
where did all the people go?
the streets are empty
and the sky is dark,
and all of the poets
lie awake in the night.
my heart is made up of a thousand lakes
scraped into the earth three million years ago
my body was made by glacier movements
and oceans tearing away my topsoil
my heart is tall with jack-pines and spruce
my hair is wild, nested with song birds
my lips painted pink with bright sunsets
and sometimes i am enveloped by this world
and other times it is what makes me
feel as alive as i do right now
step outside, take a breath
of the fresh sea-salt air and
tell me, honestly, do you
believe that true love exists?
just look at this world around you.
your rosy-tinted glass eyes
light up the dark like christmas lights
draped unceremoniously over city trees.
you could wake up every morning
in the mouth of the ocean and you
would still return to me,
dried sand on your skin
and salt on your lips.
i could dedicate my life's ambitions
into studying you, this miracle of nature.
tell me, how can you see this world
as wonderfully and pure as you do?
teach me this magic.
tell me how to let the sea swallow me whole
and the trees to grow their roots around me
and maybe then I can believe
in the same love that you do.
how much longer can we dance
oh so closely
this barrier of smoke and air
feels electric, jolting, shocking –
this voltage that i imagine you
carry gently on your lips.
i would bend myself in half
once, twice, three times,
in the hopes it would help you stand.
it’s been so long now of imagining
your hands soft on my face that
you barely need to whisper my name
i am finally yours,
i am yours,
i am yours.
— The End —