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