(*Authors Note: I entered this poem into a contest on Sherman Alexie’s website, and it was a finalist! The rules were that it could be no longer than 10 lines, and had to include the words skyscraper, robust, apple, lavender, and hate.)
When you walk away,
I’ll want to shove your volatile soul from the tip of a skyscraper,
Watch your body fall like Newton’s apple,
Pop open! One hundred robust watermelons,
Coloring the pavement with all of the “I love you’s” that you took from me.
Today, I wanted to write a self-righteous poem about hate.
But all I can think about,
Is the lavender that would bloom from your wounds as you bled -
How when you walk away,
I won’t actually wish you dead.
I think about how sad love made us;
We inherently knew that we were setting ourselves up for loss.
I think about all the awful things I said;
I wish I’d loved you better –
But I also know that I loved you honestly –
With consuming, raw, naïve, sweetness.
You were my love, my darling, my everything I’d been waiting for,
But like most transcendent things,
You were fleeting.
And now you are just
A name, a memory, a distant dream -
A letter in a bottle,
Sealed with a cork,
Bobbing over swells and tsunamis,
in the heart of the ocean.
Roots colored like tar sprout from my eyes.
My body is a spider web of missed connections.
Moments of symbiosis along subway tunnels
Full of lonely travelers.
One stumbled into my cavernous heart.
He made his home amongst the beet red arteries of my soul.
Now I’m trying to put it up for sale.
But the market is slow
And a part of me doesn’t want to let him go.
Can I cough him up if I just
Slip my hands far enough down my throat?
Well here I sit
Gagging on my fingers
As the roots
Criss-cross my skin.
My face is starting to blur.
He’s stopped thinking about my lips.
The lines etch themselves faster into my skin.
And I’m missing out on these small intimacies
With other people.
Of loneliness again,
Shall I be Queen.