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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

(This poem of mine was recently published in the 9th issue of Muddy River Poetry Review)

http://www.muddyriverpoetryreview.com/

I measure time
by the number of summers
that have gone by.
This summer will be
the second summer
since we broke up.

I feel the hot air
tangle its fingers
in my hair
and breathe heavy
down my neck.
I shiver at the memory.

I remember the time
before I drank coffee,
before I cut my hair short,
before I stopped wearing
so many rings.
I thought I was myself.

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These dreams
I keep having
must be on
a conveyer belt.
I feel like
someone
is unzipping
me
and seeing
what I am
missing
deep down
in the core
of my heart’s
luggage.
And it’s not
the ex boyfriend.
It is the purring
carry-on
bag
that I never
got to say
a proper goodbye
to.
And these dreams
keep reminding
me how much
I would give
to see
him one
last time.
But the one
thing I
can’t do
is go
back.

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“Do you love yourself?” What kind of question is that? I mean, I don’t hate myself. At least I hope I don’t. That would be depressing. But if I say I love myself then that makes me sound conceited and that is a gross word to be associated with and I don’t want to feel gross I want to feel clean and warm and happy in my own skin and I guess I am but to a point. Happy with myself, I mean. But even then so, they say that you cannot love someone until you love yourself. So does that mean that I only love people to a point? Even the people that I love with my whole heart? Well the saying doesn’t say that you can only love people as much as you love yourself. It just says you have to love yourself. It does not say how much or how little but I have this gut feeling that there is no in between. I don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t know how I feel about myself. I understand myself, sure. I take care of myself, sure. But do we love everyone that we take care of and understand?

When I look in the mirror some days I feel different, and only then do I feel pretty. But it’s those other days that I have the same faded red hair with the dark roots and the bulgy blue eyes with the makeup and the bangs and the same clothes and the same necklaces and the same face. I just feel ugly and gross and boring and embarrassed and hurt that no one bothered to tell me that I look like this. This is why I get haircuts. Even if all I do is make my hair just a little shorter. It makes me feel better for a few months until this starts again. It is funny how I hate change, but I like changing myself.

It’s funny how I can know myself so well and still not know exactly where I stand with myself. The only thing I have to go by is how I feel about the people that I love and love me back. But then there are these connections I have with people who I love in weird ways and who don’t even know I love them because I feel like it would be really weird if I said that. Kind of like it would be weird if I said that I love myself. But I wish that wasn’t the case with these people. Or the people who have opinions about who should care about who and how much and in what way. People take things too seriously. Everything is about sexuality and relationships and everything being in all these categories. It’s sad that ‘I love you’ means too many things when it really should only mean one thing and just adding the word “in” after “I am” and before “love” changes everything. Love should be what changes everything. Maybe that’s the change I wish to see in myself. These people these connections these characters of my heart are not changing will not change nothing will change I hate change but if I let them in my heart then I welcome it. I’m just so afraid, so scared of people leaving me even if they did not promise to stay. I invest in these people and I shouldn’t. Sometimes I wonder if I invest in myself. I think I do. Because when I lose myself, I cry, and I cry when I lose the ones I love.

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I could never seem to get up
those steps fast enough
as I took out the key I
had to your apartment
that your mom gave me.
Soon I’d know those
steps better than I
know most people.

That summer smell
drove all of your
neighbor’s dogs crazy
and they would always
stick their noses between
my toes and behind
my knees.

I remember when I had
sunburned thighs
and I walked into
your kitchen.
Jack jumped
on my legs and
his claws dug
into my red skin.

I think it’s kind of funny
that your dog greeted me
with kisses more often
than you did.

Once in a while
I cleaned your room
and made your bed
when I waited for you
and your mom to
come home from work.

You always left
your mattress naked
and your sheets wrapped
up in your blankets on the
floor with all your lumpy
pillows half-under the bed
with no pillow cases on them.

I wanted to untangle you.
I wanted you to come home
to something that was
put together, so that
maybe
you would feel like
you were
put together.

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