I did my first public poetry reading a couple weeks ago.
It was simultaneously the most exciting, liberating and nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done. I’ve spoken in public forums, hosted investor meetings with men twice my age without blinking an eye. Yet this, reading a poem in public to a room of strangers was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.
And I loved it.
I miss you like an afterthought.
The kind that comes at 3am
after half a bottle of whiskey,
When the sun’s not quite there shadow
Eclipses bile of longing,
Heavy eyelids that droop
Chasing ghosts of memories.
I remember our genesis:
A flash of an idea
That turned into an urge.
You became a new language
Inside my head, under my skin,
A character within my epic novel, in which
I grew up thinking that love
Was going to read like a poem.
I’ve bled over lines dedicated to
the curve of his lips, the not quite there sin of his smile,
The colour of his eyes,
The flavours of his soul.
I devoured their verses, and wondered
where my whole was.
Each dawn saw me fitting my life into genres:
adventure, romance, humour…
Each stanza representative of a new lover,
Every lover a brand new plot twist.
I thought I fell in love the day you walked
Into my apartment because it fit into my script.
The truth is there really is no way of knowing
how important someone will be
The first time you meet them.
Fairy tales happen in retrospect.
I never imagined, when I saw you –
Hair tousled, longboard in hand,
Backpack thrown haphazardly over your shoulder –
That you would ever become anything important.
When we were together,
You never inspired me to write. So,
I rewrote a new theory about love.
One that fixed why
Your laugh didn’t require sonnets.
Why there was never an urge to rhyme about
the curl of your lashes
or the way your lazy morning scruff tickled.
Why my internal monologue was silenced
When I lay, pliant in your arms,
While the tv was blaring in front of us,
Why there was a monumental lack of
A singular moment in which time froze and
I looked up and knew
That you were “the one”.
I 100% managed to fool myself,
and everyone else,
Into believing that love, real love,
Allowed me to be more
Than I ever thought I’d become.
That it wasn’t just an overarching theme within
every story I’d ever stumbled upon
because nothing about you was lyrical or idyllic.
We didn’t ebb and flow or mesh together
In a way that demanded words bleed onto a paper.
So, I wanted to believe that I lost love
the day I started writing again.
It’s easy to over-romanticize the snipping of strings
Tying people together,
Lines of fate that criss cross into constellations,
A crochet of histories, your sad eyes,
Nickleback photographs, crooning lyrics
“Remember way back when”,
As you moved to Boston and I flew
halfway across the world,
2 continents too far. Several years too late.
There’s just something about heartbreak that fills
All the spaces of ourselves, poetry in motion
Bridging the gaps between who we are
And who we wanted to be.
Somehow, believing that I’d lost you
Was the only thing that allowed me to create
Virulent verses of vocabulary nirvana, apparently,
Lost love leads to alliterations,
Senseless sonnets and soulless sibilants.
I knew I was full of shit the day I woke up
In a strangers apartment,
Sunlight in my face, reflecting off his hair,
The curl of his lashes throwing shadows upon his cheeks,
His arms wrapped around me: some sort of safety
In the silent moment, the not quite awake world
Slowly stirring. It was then that I understood what
A lifetime of reading into words did.
Monologues and insights,
Wanting to bleed over words into and outside of
Space, time and self.
Four years of loneliness plus
A lifetime of cynicism transcends
Any form of storyline.
It was as he blinked lazily awake that I finally allowed
My taboo admission:
I never missed you, just as I would never miss him.
You were him and he is you, and I
was just a girl haunted by inspiration,
And that, has made all the difference.