365 Poems in 2018: Week 6

365 poems in 2018 (4).png

I don't have a whole lot to say about this week, except that it seemed to fly by. I did have to play a round of catch-up this afternoon, as I'd missed a day or two in the shuffle that whirled into a blur toward the end of the week. I could make excuses as to why I skipped a few beats, but the truth is that sometimes we all stumble. We falter, slip and fall. We have off days, or off weeks, or even off months.

The most important thing to remember is that falling is not failure. This probably seems like a dramatic statement when the only thing on the line is some poetry, but just two years ago I would not have been in any sort of mindset to hop back on the metaphorical horse. So, this is a big deal for me; to pick up and carry on even after a few missteps. 

And with that being said, here is A Year in Poetry 2018: Week Six!


WHERE I CANNOT FOLLOW | February 5

You have gone where I cannot follow,

vanished when I could not see you,

so I have fastened rope around the middles of the lowest-hanging stars and each night I sneak into the dark to braid a ladder from the tendrils hanging down

I come away with stardust on my hand and the moon, she sighs in silver as she watches me crawl out at dusk and back again at dawn, and I cannot tell if she is mocking me or if she pities me, and I cannot tell which one would hurt me more

but each night still I meet the crickets in their song and work that rope, and I have a packed a bag with tools to carry into the sky so that I might build a door to heaven and, at last,

see your eyes.

WHAT WE'RE MADE FOR | February 6

We were not made for this:

we were made for midnight drives to nowhere, finding roads overrun with brambles and the distinct feeling that we’ve been here before -

we were made for mountain peaks and open windows, for screaming lyrics we should have forgotten but that time failed to erode -

we were made for hand-in-hand, cold sand at dusk and sea foam lapping at toes as the sun waves goodbye and the stars blink awake and the bottle between us sinks low -

we were made for photo books of memories that aren’t even pictured, but we see that one snapshot where we’re perched on that car hood and, oh, do you remember that night? the garage band drum set you didn’t know how to play and the skateboards we skinned our knees on,

and that’s what we were made for; not for this pain, but for the stories it creates - because one day we’ll look back on this and maybe there won’t be pictures but one day, maybe, when we’ve all gone gray, we’ll look back and we’ll remember how we felt and what we did and what we said, and those stories will spin stories of their own,

until we drain the wine - because that is what we’re made for.

I MISS YOU | February 7

I would say that I miss you,
but I fear it isn’t true -

I miss the you
you were
when I knew you,

when we were children
and our biggest fears
were crash-landing into
gravel at the bottom of
a backyard hill -

I miss the you
you were
when we were thirteen
and playing video games
in the dark - when the
biggest danger
lurking around the corner
was two inches tall
and pixelated,

and at twenty-one,
margaritas and mojitos
and amaretto floaters we
weren’t sure we liked
but drank away because, hey,
we could -

I don’t know the you
you are
now; you didn’t let me
get to know her,
shut me out
before I had the chance,

but if I knew her,
I think that I might miss her,
too.

CLOUDS | February 8

If I reach high enough
maybe I can touch the clouds,
pull them down,
spin them into
cosmic boats

and then, maybe,
if the stars will light my way
I can sail them home

to you.

A DIFFERENT DEPTH | February 9

I have spent too long
searching the sky for you,

you may be somewhere else:
in the sea, perhaps - a different kind of blue,

somewhere beneath the salt spray of the waves
that used to rock the dock as we sipped coffees
side by side,

talked about the weather and that one time at the beach
that I wasn’t around for, but can still recount from your
memory,

maybe it was silly of me to pick through constellations
when you had already told me that the ocean
calls you home.

A LINE IN THE WATER | February 10

I drop a line
into the water,
watch the ripples scatter in wide rings, and wider and wider and wider until they disappear in the rays of the sun stretched taut across the soft, rolling waves. On my belly, I lay across the deck, peek into that inky dark where little minnows scurry about barnacle-grown posts, flick their tails at the thin wire sinking past them,

and I wait,
the way you taught me to
when I was four years old and we spent nights right here hooking seaweed and nothing else, streaming it across the docks like party paper, like streamers to celebrate the way our lips would still taste salt for three days after, and maybe even three days more,

and I wait,
as the water ripples
sink away and the sun casts shadows over the waves that are growing and frothing sea-foam grins with every pass, a sudden rush that sends the minnows ducking for cover somewhere where I cannot see them, and the water catches in my hair and on my skin and on my lips and it smells like you, I feel like you -

and I tug at the line,
but you don’t pull back.

OF STORMS | February 11

I find home in the weather no one else likes to keep,

in the thunder claps,
the veils of mist,

the gray mornings with
slight sunbeams fighting through
cloud cover,

water in high waves
and the wind tosses treetops
against window panes,

the one warm spot,
wrapped in quilts,
beside the window,

a cup of tea -
or two, or three,

as the world outside
rages.