Can you tell that I’m well learned
on humanistic (and lonesome) capacity?
Can you taste salt water on your lips or feel
calloused fingertips on your back?
Can forgiveness come to me in waves of
sandy foam and cold, high tides?
Can you keep rhythm when gasping
down cerebral confliction and turbulence?
Because I can’t seem to internalize your god,
and I’ve washed my neck with the sea.
A clean conscious was all that kept me running,
and I’ve been waiting a while to make you sing.
I’ve never spent a lot on finding a remedy.
I guess I figured that it hurt for a reason.
I guess that’s why I’ve always turned to writing it down.
Not just in stories, but the letters in between.
And I guess that’s why it haunts the pages of everything-
I think the thing is that I shut off from everything.
From friends and family and my own ambitions.
From having fun.
I just shut off from everything.
Self-defeating? Yeah, probably.
But I don’t know that I had total control over it.
And I’m not sure it even matters why.
Sometimes things happen and you can’t do anything.
Plus, I’m the only one who deals with it anyway.
So if everyone could do me a favor and
just put their fingers down
I’d-and keep your mouths-
Sorry. I know I seem angry.
I’m not, I…I promise. I just know I did this to me.
And I will deal with it accordingly.
And I don’t need opinions from those never a part of it.
Don’t need them pointing out my problems, they’re mine.
Don’t need reminders, I know better than anyone.
And yeah, I know, I should be finding another way.
I know that I should be out seeking a substitute.
But just forgetting never really made sense to me.
So I haven’t been.
I fall in love with men unexpectedly, like an earthquake
that hasn’t shown up on the radar, or a tsunami
or some other kind of sudden crisis. I meet them in bars,
at house parties, at neighborhood potlucks
on blocks filled with cicadas making love so loudly
that even the kids playing basketball in the park
can’t drown them out. In college, picking up men
wasn’t a luxury; it was a career. My roommates
measured their own self-worth in the number
of notches cut into their dorm room bedposts.
Tonight, though, I return again to my ex-boyfriend
of over a year. It’s late, dark, the streetlights
form golden circles on his jeans when I kiss him.
Our fingers tangle like kite strings.
There’s something about coming back
to your first lover after having so many others,
like visiting home for the first time since childhood,
or Rip Van Winkle waking up
after twenty years of sleep.