Unread But Open (Letter)

June 9th.

This morning, I missed you while I made an egg. I thought of pancakes or waffles and remembered that we never made that decision. I missed you while I concealed the parts of my face I wished weren’t there, darkened the parts I wished were, and brushed my hair. I thought of your hair. It felt like feathers. Mine is coarser, but it still reminded me of you. When I walked out the door, I missed you. I remembered the immediate smile your face always forced onto mine. Especially when the weeks went by between seeing you. I missed you when I squished into the subway—next to business people in their sharp or wrinkled suits or even the business casual their hip firm has come to accept. Each of those business-goers stood so close to me I could see the subtle designs on their expensive shoes. And then I missed you. I thought of your ugly shoes. I tried to hate you once, and I used those shoes as fuel. I resented the 90’s manchild version as much as the dress shoes with jeans. If we’re being honest, I never cared about your shoes, though. I only cared that you were next to me and that time had frozen just for those moments. I missed you when yet another disappointment began and ended. He would never be you. When I plugged in my headphones, put my leather heels up on my makeshift footstool, and pretended to explain the intricacies of some court somewhere, I missed you. I sat in my chair and looked at this letter. A song had come on that forced my memory to that moment I gave up. It was the same moment I made myself hate your shoes because you didn’t tell me to stay. I missed you while I drank an overpriced decafsoyicedlatte and remembered your poor attempt to stay awake with watered-down coffee. It was the first night I met you. You told me your resolutions, and I wondered if you really didn’t know how to make coffee. When I left that tall building in my worn out shoes with their newly found hole in the sole, I remembered how misplaced you would seem next to those skyscrapers, honking cars, and me. But with each step I took, I missed you. I missed you as I stood on the pier. I missed you as I looked over the bay. I missed you as I heard a ship’s horn. I missed you as I tore this letter into pieces. I missed you as the dirty water set it free. I missed you as I turned and walked home.

When I let myself remember again, I will miss you when I breathe. When my heart beats and when my eyes see and nose smells and ears hear—I will miss you.

Unpoem

Failure grasps every scribble
As poetry seems unable to capture
You.

(My apologies).

Had words inscribed my affinity
My utmost obsession with your sincerity
(Or maybe with your profanity?)
The world would have breathed

For us.

The sea would have stirred for us.
The trees would have died for us.

And I would have written why
The universe understood
Its purpose
When our hearts caught—unable to let go
(That, however, seemed cliché.)

Paragraphs would have described how
My unshakeable devotion
To the very essence of you
Shook.

Not because it was less
But because it was laced with my humanity.
And imperfection.

I hear your smile in my syllables
As semantics cease explaining.

I remember your hands around my eyes.

I live only through those seconds of promised forever
When every vow that was impossibly unspoken.
(Every echoed beat)
Fabricated us.

So I wrote you this unpoem.
Manifested through hours of word spinning
Isolated phrases and rhythmic inability.
While electricity spread through my fingers
And black magic—in my veins.

I wrote you letters that spell, form, incarcerate
The (evidently) ineffable thought of you.

I lost my hero.

Robin Williams has always been my hero.

And I’m heartbroken that his laughter has been silenced.

I feel like mine has been too.

I loved his silliness. I love silliness.

And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve either watched or have casually thought about his roles in each of my favorite movies. His standup acts. His interviews. The silliness. It makes me love the world so much more than the moments before I’m graced with his laughter.

Robin Williams helped the world realize it doesn’t always have to be So Sensible.

And it was also him that taught me I didn’t have to be.

That I could be free to be weird. and silly.

Hook. Actually. Was one of the first movies I ever personally owed.

My dad bought it for me as a gift. I can’t remember how old I was. But it was my favorite. Until I saw What Dreams May Come. and that was my favorite until I saw Dead Poets Society. Which was my favorite until Patch Adams.

I think you get the idea.

When my dad died, I didn’t want to talk to many people or do many things. My world stopped and watching Robin Williams in all his roles helped my life find happiness again.

When my life was falling apart, I made a list of all of his movies and watched as many as I could.

I, like millions of other people, was lucky enough to be warmed by his contagious laughter.

And while this laughter was juxtaposed by the world’s darkest secrets, I appreciated him that much more.

My worst moments. My hardest losses. My ugliest truths.

Could always be shadowed with lighthearted silliness.

Even if only slightly.

Some things sound funny. Swearing at inappropriate times is liberating. Changing our voices to make them squeak and sound like people very unlike ourselves. is entertaining.

I rejoice in our sparks of madness.

And it was Robin Williams that helped me realize that this was okay.

That it should actually be celebrated.

My heart is broken. But that’s the way it should be.

The world lost one of its greatest laughters.

And I lost my hero.

quadrupled.

Deep breathing returns
our even spell of sanity.
But in its pause—

I appreciate
inappropriate appetizers,
backward glances,
awkward stances,
time retold,
and mistakes redone.

Stolen syllables
and feigned excuses
anticipate our alliterations
and readied followed rhymes
but while our code

is drenched in silence
and stumbled laughter
forms us dual liars,

tangled words distort believing
no one can hear
(not even the other)

excessive thumping
artery pumping
or see quadrupled fire

of hoping. of wanting
dreaming of loathing.
fashioned of craving.

it’s filled with your hands

…can you see

that the way you move

unnerves me.

(it continues).

and that

the way you breathe

reminds me

of what it’s like to be

speechless.

i stumble around

for short phrases

of.

i can’t even remember

the words.

they’re hidden somewhere

behind the

heartbeats

filling my ears

(i think they’re mine?)

but as

i miss each step

each silenced word

attempts to remind me

how to

.

string letters

.

together.how to make the curl of the s

the lines of the L

the cross of the–

–and then.

.

my pen stops as my entire mind

runs out of ink

it’s filled with your hands

and every sentence

i could only wish to complete

is interrupted.

by your eye color

i don’t even know what to call it

since language

coincidentally.

has stopped.

i try to practice

rhyming

and

scribbling

but your warmth

tricks me

into omitting syllables.

my cursive falls to the floor

along with my rationality

i think yours too

has fallen

somewhere in the pile

of forgotten bits of

paragraphs in

all my lost

adjectives and each

of

my neglected nouns.

you’d think that symmetry wouldn’t be so hard to find

my carelessness artfully constructs

the forgetful moments

that transform time into such a beautiful

trivial, emptied

substance

(thankfully-

it remains

 undoubtably refined).

i’ve captured the dirty colors of each heartbeat

circulating the much appreciate blues and oxidized reds.

i’ve swished and remembered

the scents of each mouth

i’ve curiously stumbled upon

in an effort to bite

the world’s must

precious

secret.

but my towers of beautiful ether

are crumbling

with this slightest touch

of irrevocable hope

 such a noun

is easy to disturb

as the word is paired

with disappointment.

but each sip of your voice

feels more perfect than any other

inhalation

and i’m cemented.

i can’t escape from

this air of perhaps

of the maybes

that each syllable is searching for.

in a world built to mirrored itself

you’d think that symmetry

wouldn’t be

so hard to find

but as each step taken to my left

echos each small whisper

the branches and the leaves have been uttering

the ants and the stars have been mumbling

the sky and the dirt have been moaning

i can’t help but realize the misaligned nature

of everything else

compared to your melodious

breath.

but through the catastrophe as i might be can you see that the way you move unnerves me.

Dear Muse,

let me use you

suddenly and promiscuously

as a means to my own heart.

let my eyes linger

so i can abuse

the too sweet nature

your pheromones ache to choose.

let me kiss thee

in dreams most heavenly.

please

muse.

candy of my eye.

 diffuse my struggle

while i

pretend you’re not.

everything i shouldn’t even

think about

while i see your eyes colliding

with my eternally terrible unexacting anticipated and unexpected belittlement–

–my tendency to break

anything.

(this is why you can’t have nice things)

i was told.

but through the catastrophe as i might be

can you see that

the way you move

unnerves me.

and that empty look

of all the

broken pieces of your being

shattering with every step you sought.

please.

muse–

i want to fill it

even if i shouldn’t.

i want to carve out every organ

and replace them with promises.

dig a place in myself

for your every nerve your every breath your every spine.

diffuse me,

muse–

if that’s all you can

actually be.

 your everything

is too perfect;

beautiful;

and breakable

to allow me and my heartaching tendencies

anywhere near it.

so: please.

diffuse my wants.

muse

use me.

confuse me.

i’ll be anything you need.