A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a poem. I wanted it to be strong, distant, in control of itself—the attributes I also wanted for myself while I was writing it. I started by declaring that my propensity for depth and affection were selfish. That I knowingly and purposefully “drown myself in the warmth of giving away parts of myself. Even to those who don’t deserve it. Especially to those who don’t deserve it.”
Sounds nice right? Creates ownership over heartbreak and the necessary foresight to not feel foolish.
“I knew they were going to take complete advantage of my feelings. IN FACT, that’s what I was planning for!”
Okay. I even laughed as I wrote that. Because why. oh. why. Does it seem so much better to anticipate, wait for, and actually want someone not to care?
When Tessa edited it, she put a large red x through the entire introduction. “It’s throat clearing. The poem starts with ‘I beg.'”
I didn’t want to beg. I wanted to control. I wanted the world to know that I had complete power over my resulting feelings of hurt. I directed it. I decided when it began and when it stopped. It was mine.
But it wasn’t. It was my burden to bear. But it wasn’t created or given by me.
Since this poem, I’ve been mad at myself, sad with myself, learned from it, made some new mistakes, and learned from those too.
I also stopped believing that if you expect to be disregarded, unseen, and unappreciated, it will hurt less when you are.
Have a poem.
It begins with begging.
to shower you with affection.
Feel the heat radiate from your skin.
Breathe the sounds of lungs and hearts.
I’ll forgive travesties and vile
for a pair of eyes to fall into.
to devour the sentimental.
I’ll ignore the words throwing boulders at my fantasized version
As you cease to be yourself.
I’ve purposefully forgotten
each of your unwanted edges.
Circuses will exist where boredom sat.
Adoration will replaced the callous.
And I’ll swim the pools of perfection
To substitute the shallow.
Until the edges of my imagination have stretched.
Beyond its admirable potential.