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.

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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.

Juxtaposition

Her vapid look replaces fire.

Clammy hands. Stumbles. Sterile lulls.

Juxtaposing.

 –

His illicit mutter of ecstacy.

Those ican’tgetenough

Bites.

Those icouldneverexistwithoutwantingyou

Those ineedyousomuchit

Burns

Those whatifhedoesn’tseehowperfectwecouldbe

Together

Pausing.

That moment I know

to hold her.

So I do it.

To be polite. To seem sincere.

(You can’t be rude when she’s lying right there.)

Realizing.

Gut retching fear

When a dayandahalfhaspassed

since his

Last word. Last breath.

I hate

But I crave

Every moment of uncertainty.

Ache to know what he

Thinks.

And sees

in us. (Is it what you see in him?)

Is it the way pulses catch just thinking his name?

Then.

Her simplicity.

The mirror in which I glimpse

A piece of myself.

It’s in her face.

I find the unbroken memory of myself. The me

I could have been if life hadn’t drowned hope and left

it gasping for air in the front seat of a pickup truck.

Lied. Abandoned. Disregarded.

Her grace and sensible smile.

That sickly sweet touch and soft voice.

Guides that kiss goodbye.

Shutting the door.

Sinking to the floor.

Remembering the fire of believing.

The combustion of combining.

The life. The unrefined

irreverent beauty created

By the needing. The wanting.

By every ounce of his imperfection.

I can begin with begging.

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.

I beg
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
of you.
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
I’ve created.
To substitute the shallow.
Until the edges of my imagination have stretched.
Beyond its admirable potential.

january.

the world has fallen apart

carefully crafted

perfectly placed.

and beautifully demolished

with silenced little girls

and sad little boys.

As time has tried

to mend the broken names

mixed with

the forgotten faces

we’ve hidden our loneliness and

we’ve carried our burdens as

our disheartened dreams

our unlivable hopes

are haunted

by children dying.

part of me is made of glass

part of me is made of glass

the kind that shatters,

ruins photographs

the kind that cuts,

opens veins.

part of me is made of glass

the part believes

in ever afters,

in perhaps

the part shatters–

–curling itself

with desperation

the part fractured

your face.

while.

attempting.

to mend the broken parts

of my glass made day.

the splinters stretch

across your face

as i crumble

into the parts of me

that are made of glass.

i hear them cracking–

–carving life back into

the bleak source

of oxidized vexation.

the glass edges burn

yes.

but self-inflicted fire

is more edible than

emotional fragility.

i broke the perfection of your face

staring from the past’s last breath.

i broke bits of useless armor

stinging from

glass bites.

part of me is made of glass

the part fell and shattered

the part bled with ease.

part of me is made of glass.

humanity

you ask where my humanity

went.

i drank it

it tasted like iron and forgotten desperation.

it smelled like admiration.

and even without its

soft voice and forgiving nature

 i can still hear the music

pulsing

over the chemicals

giving me the ability to fly

to soar

to kill

you ask where my humanity went

just give me the gun

it said

and baby i’ll take care of all your worries

blinking

once.

or twice.

but truly

that’s equally unlikely.

also– ha.

i’m lying.

my humanity would never utter those words

it told me to go back to bed

to put down the coffee.

to calm myself

and unplug the rhythmic beats.

you ask where my humanity went.

i buried it.

i set it on fire

and threw it farther than even i could imagine.

i didn’t like the way

it fit

it said i should take a breath

but really.

who has time for that.

you ask me where it went

(my humanity that is).

i sold it

so i could walk in front of cars

just to hear their brakes

squeal.

you’re shivering.

you say.

well

that’s what happens when your humanity

tells you

that

everyone bleeds.

but i don’t.

i can’t.

i lost that ability

i forgot it on a corner

so it could try to sell itself

for diamonds

and dollars

and after it was through

i suffocated your worries

danced them into a grave

along with my humanity.