LOVE POEM #62 – INSIDE THE BOX

It is hard to believe that love,

the greatest achievement in human emotion,

can be contained within four cardboard walls

like a mouse caught by children.

 

But when the string pulls out the stick

and the box comes crashing down overhead

you can’t even think to escape

before those blinders are stuck in place.

 

Or perhaps you aren’t of mice,

but are of men; a cleaner cut,

and you’ve huddled between those walls

as a last defense against the cold.

 

Those sopping, winter rains run swiftly

‘round your sweet little box

begging to enter, and it’s all you can do

to keep your bent doorway from breaking in.

 

Or perhaps it isn’t a person at all.

Perhaps inside your box are pictures

of people long past, with pretty green eyes,

dusty from years of preservation.

 

You might remember them, at the beach,

where the silky waves of seawater

wove between your feet

like their fingers between your hands.

 

But nowadays those oceans of blue

are only visited in memories

and the sea can only seep out

through the overcast lids of your eyes.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #61 – THE DAY I FELL IN LOVE

It wasn’t a radiant day, it wasn’t a star-lit night,

it wasn’t a summer sun, it wasn’t a winter light.

It was just a day. A day, much like today,

where the rancid weight of our rotten job

rolled over my toes for the fourth time in a week.

 

There was no oak tree, nor one ripe with peach,

no simple sunset, nor calm, sandswept beach.

It was just a day, much like today,

where grey-white clouds blotched blue skies.

 

And yet, in you, I found a cliché dream

hidden like rain in those sky blue eyes.

A dream of diamond ringlets, crested with rubies and gold,

where the plunder of power was too weak to take hold.

 

But that was just a day, a day just like today,

that wasn’t like to come again

So Carpe Diem; I seized the day.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #60 – BLINDED

I’m told that love is blind,

but having 20/200 vision

I know that nowadays being blind

can be corrected with a good pair of glasses.

 

The dense world of fog that seeped in

through these tired, aging eyes

made it impossible to see the problems

that were just a few paces in front of me.

 

Which is why, after the break up, I took a trip

down to the nearest Ross or Sears or Target

to try a few pairs on,

and share some laughs with my reflection.

 

But as the shadows grew longer,

I realized that my own vision

wasn’t actually so bad.

The midnight trees shading the sidewalk

weren’t quite the monsters

that my youth had cowered in fear of,

and the distance sadness of the moon

no longer seemed to hide behind blurred eyes.

And suddenly I wondered

if I really needed those glasses to begin with

 

until I looked in the mirror

and realized that my blindness

wasn’t due to my impair vision,

but instead impaired by the blindness in my heart.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #58 – THE TOP OF THE STAIRS

Falling in love is like climbing a tower of stairs

only to lose your footing on the way up

and come crashing back down to reality

with everybody else.

 

The first flight of stairs is full of life.

The suspense of togetherness in a world

devoid of individual cares and niceties

creates a shared fire for cold winter nights,

 

but come the second flight of stairs

the kindling will burn low, and it will be

up to one of you to make it whole again.

Some people don’t know how to make a fire

though years of experience often help.

 

If you can manage the second flight, the third

will be less stressful. Your body will be accustomed

to the rhythmic pacing, and won’t tire from climbing.

You might even find yourself bored

and come back down, wishing to relive past loves,

until you hit the bottom and find

they don’t come by moving backwards.

 

The fourth flight is where people often trip

rushing to what they think is the finish line—

a room with white dresses and church bells.

Yet when they turn the corner, and see

another set of stairs, their footing fails

and they go tumbling down again.

 

But maybe, just maybe, you’ll make it up

past the fifth flight of stairs; past the long last leg

of this long climb we subject ourselves to,

and find yourself on your death bed

next to the only person in the world that matters.

 

Maybe then you’ll realize the stairs weren’t love,

but that the stairs were life, and that you were lucky

to have someone there to accompany you

all the way to the top.

——

 

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THE SECOND HEARTBREAK

I still remember my first heartbreak. I was a child of ten, sitting on our dirty house sofa, watching Avatar: the Last Airbender. It was the episode where Aang loses Appa to the sand benders, and the weight of loneliness crept in at the edges of anger. In between the scratches of static on the TV, I could feel the enormity of losing a loved on for the first time sinking in through the empathy of my being as this beloved titan of the cartoon world was carted away into enslavement.

I felt my legs shake, and the hollowness of my house that evening began to feel much larger than it ever had before. Dad was on a flight to New York, and mom wouldn’t be back from work until bedtime. As the credits rolled, I stumbled over to the TV, and clicked the OFF button, then slumped to the floor in a pile of depression. How could someone take his love away like that? Didn’t they consider how that made him feel? Why would anyone be so cruel? By the time the key to the door finally turned in the lock and my mother entered the house, I had accepted that some people do not consider the feelings of others, and act selfishly.

I would have thought that such strong emotions would have prepared me for the first time I caught my partner cheating, five years later. I had taken up basketball, which we played after school every day at the courts next to our campus. The girl I was dating then would come watch us play every day until her mother picked her up. One day, I decided to surprise her with a group of flowers I had collected, before the practice. I asked the teacher if I could leave early and everything. I went to the flower garden, and picked the nicest five roses I could find—four red and one striking white. I rushed over to the quad her class was located in, took a seat on a bench outside her vision so I could run up and surprise her, and waited until the bell rang. When it did, I could feel jitters of excitement crawling through my veins. It was so perfect.

But when the door to her classroom opened, I saw her walk out with another guy. Tall, white, classically handsome. They were both laughing. I kept my distance. She’d never talked about someone like this, but they were walking toward the courts together. Eventually, they came to the corridor just before the court I played on. It was after practice would have started, about three minutes before she usually trotted out to meet me.

They just started going at it, like wolves ravenous for each other’s face. He pinned her against the wall, one hand in hers, the other gripping her backside, all the while she was breathing so hard I could hear it from my hiding space. He turned her around, and pressed up against her, kissing her neck and grinding against her hips. They were completely fearless of any onlookers, like they had done this a dozen times with no problems. When she fell to her knees, and brought her hands to his belt buckle, I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. My stomach was spinning with disgust, the pain in my chest felt like someone had stabbed my lungs, and tears were building up in my eyes with the hacking sobs that claim distressed children.

I snapped a quick picture, which I have come to regret, of the mouthful she had, then walked down the hall past them to practice, completely stone-faced. No words, no recognition—I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of knowing she mattered. She stood up faster than a cat in a thunderstorm, pushing him away from her and apologizing. But her words fell on deaf ears. People were selfish. I knew that.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #56 – WAITING FOR THE RAIN

Standing outside the cinema, waiting for the rain

is the perfect way to fall in love with someone.

 

First of all, it means there are a lot of people

trying to buy tickets for a brand new movie.

Crowds always seem to bring people closer together

and there, bundled up nice, breathing in the cool air,

is a great time to crack a few inside jokes.

 

Secondly, when the first few droplets finally land

you have the chance to offer her your jacket.

It’s such a simple gesture, but it brings warmth

in a way that walking inside doesn’t quite have.

Especially since the first few drops of water

always seem to land on the tip of her nose.

 

And then you go inside and see a movie or whatever.

 

Until the last moments of the date arrive

where you both walk out those big double doors

and see that the downpour paused just for you.

She’s talking about the movie, but you’re distracted

because you’ve never seen eyes light up like hers.

 

And then it’s time to go,

and you realize that you really don’t want to.

You wish you could tie a rope to those seconds

where the inevitable awkward pause arrives

and just stay there, tethered to it

like a buoy is tethered to an anchor

so that it doesn’t float off into the ocean all alone.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #55 – TRUTH LIES

I was tripping, falling in love,

when I saw you through the stained glass

of the yellow church window doves.

You were standing on sunset grass

bidding farewell to the preacher,

and as I crossed the brown tile

the sunlight engulfed your features.

You looked like Apollo’s angel

and if I am to know myself,

then it must be that I know you.

For your eyes held the vatic health

that prophets see happiness through.

And though I’m no sight for sore eyes

you’ll find my love is where truth lies.

——

 

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THE TWO DIMENSIONAL WOMAN

I dream myself, one night, inside the seams of the wallpaper, looking in on our house. It was a wonderful feeling—to be utterly flat, and without a care in the world, living in the second dimension. My family was there, staring back at me, like a crayon picture that had learned to dance about. There were all sort of secrets that I learned about behind the closed doors. My son hid candy he had stolen beneath his clothes in his second drawer. My daughter had a very handsome boyfriend (that was a shock, speaking that he had never come through the front door)! Whenever my mother would stop by to visit, she would comment on how the couch pillows didn’t match the rest of the household, but only under her breath when everyone else was out of the room. It became quite a life.

I eventually figured out how to move from wallpaper to electrical wire, street signs, and so on, until I could make myself useful and run errands. Nothing like getting groceries—two dimensional hands don’t work to well with carrying things. But I could deposit checks, and when I figured out how to walk inside the computer, I really made my way into a different world. My husband would open Word documents, and I would get to rearrange the letters he typed on the page. It made for mischievous fun, and great laughter.

But then I found out a secret that I wished I hadn’t. One that, living in three dimensions, I had never had to worry about. My husband kept a journal on his bedside table, and I had never looked at it before, since it was personal, but while trying to learn to transfer from wall to paper, I accidentally fell into the pages. The first few pages were beautiful. He drew, and wrote, and occasionally scribbled. There was a poem about me. It was like walking in a field of daisies.

It wasn’t until halfway through that things took a bad turn. The daisies were replaced by dead roses, and the sunny skies became covered with thunder clouds, and the beautiful words grew harsh and jagged. He missed me; resented my freedom. Jealousy, anger, loneliness, depression, stress, and all sorts of real world issues fell on his shoulders in the place of mine.

To relax, he had taken up staying late at work. I had never check in on him there, because overcoming the rocky hills he was stationed in had proved too difficult. Apparently, there was a woman he worked with, Stephanie, who had recently transferred from Washington. She had been staying late with him, and they had been entwining together as I entwined with the paintings in the living room.

Which is when I woke up, feeling lonely in the middle of the night, to see him laying next to me. There’s nothing quite like cuddling up with someone after feeling like you lived a whole lifetime apart from them.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #49 – SCHADENFREUDE

The Germans made this lovely noun,

which we adopted into English

somewhere in the mid 19th century,

precisely so I could talk about you today

 

with the utter respect you deserve.

You have spoiled me these past years

with your tantalizing lips, your perfect

hair, and your illustrious body. Too long

 

have you called me your sun and stars

behind closed doors and through keyholes

only to remind me that when we walked,

we could never walk together. Not while he

 

paid your rent. Not while you needed him

to get through college. Life is expensive.

That’s what you told me on the mattress

between sweat sessions in the apartment

 

last Tuesday morning before classes. Yet

the only expense I suffer is your big smile

every time you see me down the hall,

trying my best not too look at him

 

standing with his hands on your hips.

You don’t even hesitate to reach up

and pluck a ripe, juicy kiss from him then,

just to make my day taste sour.

——

 

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SWAYED (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Foolish

I have found, in love,

That being brave is akin

To being a fool.

 

Swayed

The Dean Martin Sway

Creates an infectious mood.

Reminds me of you.

 

Out of Time

The automatic

Ticking of my Burei watch

Is growing slower.

 

Alliteration

All authors avoid

Alliteration as an

Ant avoids a boot.

 

Intent

The mind of murder

At the crossroads of passion,

Blistering with hate.

——

 

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