December looks the same to me
Come its arrival very year
The month I waste on longing
For an end to dreaded tears
I rip it out in calendars
And I hate to say its name,
For December is a constant
That puts my heart to shame
A pinky promise, a kiss on the nose
January fools me every time
Has me thinking this might be the year
When winter begins to feel just fine
But every time the last month
Comes back around to show his face
He breaks my naive heart again
To put me back into my place
I told you to leave, that I didn’t care,
but now your absence is everywhere —
kisses still caught up in my hair,
the smell of you that’s always there.
I spoke too soon, now I can’t bear
our two goodbyes still up in the air.
I’ve always been loved in fragments,
love letters half written and
never surpassing drafts;
I’ll admit I write these things myself,
but never forged reality
to take after my craft.
He tells me he’s in love
but never says with whom,
he holds my hand, invites me in
but I’ve never even seen his room.
I await the day I’m bold enough
to rid myself of this tired game,
the one where he’ll finally say “I love…”
but won’t stay long enough
to say my name.
And I know you only see me
in that 3am “U awake?” message
that I read with glassy eyes
and an itchy mouth
But I see you in the galaxies
of my iris, in the flecks
of dust that filter through
The sunlight by every window
And sometimes, I even hear
the notes of your laughter on my neck
in the dialogue of strangers
that passes through the breeze
I guess what I’m trying to say is:
I know you only remember me
on the nights your body’s racing
too fast to fall asleep
But I couldn’t not remember you
even if I wanted to
and God knows
And my grandma always told me
I was a tough, tall tree
with roots indestructible
But I can’t help but see myself
in the fallen leaves you step on
with such ease.
What do you think of
when you hear the crunch?
Every time a room gets too quiet
I find myself ducking for cover.
Feel more like bombs
Waiting to burst
Your heartbeat is a countdown
To my own destruction
I flinch whenever it strikes
One more hour gone
One less I have
To run for my life.
Twenty years ago I became a product
Of two souls willingly entwined.
I want a love that holds on
Like the magnets on the refrigerator,
One that welcomes you in
Like the mat on the front step,
That grows with the passing days
As if they’re not getting faster.
One that tumbles through adversity
Like clothes in the dryer,
And is always as warm
As the second they’re done.
I don’t want the kind of love
People write poems about.
I want the kind of love that raised me.
I feel myself outgrowing you
Like the jeans I used to wear
I feel you stretching at the seams
Threatening to tear
You’re like the sweater
I refused to retire
Though it was decaying
(too many spins in the dryer)
Your threads are fraying
Sagging, fitting me too loose
But I refuse to part with you just yet
No matter how obtuse
I am content with sitting in silence
Until someone can complement my quiet.
For I will not settle for any sudden voice,
Polluting my peace with meaningless noise;
Hollow words, supposed to be vibrant,
Ruined by your white noise, a mouth uninvited.
Ask me how I feel
when the time I thought would still be ours
Is spent with someone else a year later
And from the day we first met
I replay our timeline in my head
And watch you rewrite history
You paint over our memories with brighter ones
Heartbreak graffiti, like we were never even there
Like nothing about us mattered
Because I was just the rough draft
And she is your perfect final copy