A long day rings in a longer night.
It’s hard to speak when the voice
squeaking out of your mouth isn’t your own.
Are my poems working? Are they worth it?
I’m not writing about war. I’m not writing about Europe.
I’m writing about nostalgia, the taste of him
running along my collar bone.
I’m writing about love, lust, sex.
We can’t all be Dickinson. Some of us are more Neruda.
Some of us can’t shake Venus off of our shoulders.
Too much culture can quiet a roar,
reduce it to a barely palpable huff at
a dinner table at an awkward family party.
Intimidation is the most powerful contraception.
I’ll never write like them, I’ll never paint.
Look at them float their words into my ear
like gifts while I scramble to remember what
rhymes with orange. Do I look like a writer?
Can I even fill the remainder of this line?
One more to make an even stanza. Cop out.
She says to me, people want to hear the
shitty things that happened to you. She’s right.
People want to hear about love, lust, sex.
People want to hear the memories I can tell them,
full of MY voice, MY thoughts, My words and sounds,
not theirs. I cannot be them. They cannot be me.
Screw the deadlines I set for myself, the lines I
draw in my own metaphysical sand. There are only
so many words you can surround yourself with
a day until your own words start to become muted.
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW.
Is it broken? The hammer? Did it fall?
Have words coaxed the words from their mousetraps?
Is the Great Wall of China truly visible from space,
or is it only visible in China when you stand
bashing your fists against its blocks?
We will give it a try, as always. Break it out.
Thom is talking, tall and true. Piper pleads and pines.
His hands find my hip, his eyes flash honey.
I’m 14, kissed for the first time. I’m 22, reflecting in my bed.
I can hear me now.