Words March 6, 1988

I continue to revisit old poems.  This was written a few days after I turned 22 and was a senior in college.  I was in an open, long distance relationship and struggling with some deep unrequited feelings for another friend.  Let’s just call things complicated.

I have had such a hard time with the words lately

I feel that they should flow easily or at least

Trickle gently and steadily past your ear.

It should be poetry- the words I share with you.

Words whose flow and rhythm and connection

Make them more than words.

They should be feelings and thoughts and colors.

They should be the past, present and future.

They should be the sun, moon and sea

All rolled into one coherent lyrical phrase.

But how can I write you poetry?

How can I express me, my very soul, in something like words

When I am not sure of who I am or what my heart and head are saying?

Who am I to write you poetry?

You are the poetry, but you would be the last to see it

Your lines and curves and rhythms flow and ebb

Sometimes stumble, then rush like a tidal wave

Or am I just confusing you with the way you make me feel?

It is so difficult to say the words

That would let you know in the moment

What I want, what I see

No matter how simple my wants and feelings are.

Our discourse, our interactions

Expand and contract, expand and contract.

The boundaries, like my feelings, are always shifting.

I catch glimpses of you.

Glimpses of me.

I get lost sometimes

But when I find myself

It’s always in some startling new light.

That leaves me exposed.

It terrifies me sometimes to think

What your perceptive eyes see.

Can you tell that my world is upside down?

Or perhaps position is relative.

Perhaps this is really right side up

For me.




Categories: Poetry

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