I think you thought my skin was canvas
(you painted what you wanted over it).
Maybe it’s my fault.
(Maybe I didn’t get enough sun), my skin became paper.
When about to share an ice cream,
you asked if I preferred strawberry or vanilla
and when I said, “either” (even though I wanted mint)
maybe you thought I was blank, I think,
I never spoke enough—
it’s only natural you’d french kiss me
just to fill my mouth with your own words.
And when you asked if I loved you and I said, “yes”
when I wasn’t really sure,
it isn’t strange you molded me into a drinking cup
you imagined and designed
when I never made an effort to give my clay skin shape.
Poetry is Vision
Poetry is universal. Even if you do not write it—you inspire it. How can you be so modest as to hate it? Probably none of your thoughts are original but it is somehow comforting to know the thinking patterns of life on this planet are shared throughout. You find your own thoughts in poetry—things you couldn’t make sense of on your own; lines of a poem, like picked up pieces of your own mind—like little lenses that make sense when compared to a different lens. A poet is an optometrist flipping lenses of the phoropter until you see clearly. A poem is an instrument to measure your refractive error and a prescription all in one. Poetry is necessary for vision.
When I come across a poem that reiterates a thought I’ve had in a more precise and articulate manner than I ever could have expressed—when I come across a poem that is able to transcribe my own feelings so that I feel a burden lifted (people are always afraid of the unknown, but a poem can make an incomplete thought or feeling a solid object able to be held and inspected and seen) than that poem becomes a light. That poem becomes a light shining on the soul of the poet—a flame that spans from them to me and on the way leaps to light the lampposts of all those who have read it and connected with it. In this way, a poem lights the darkened areas of hearts and souls and minds across the world and when we are able to see what we hadn’t before—when our paths to others are lit—we become less alone, we become filled with courage to travel them.
She was petal-rimmed blue eyes, not like mine: brown
like firewood. But they would burn, blazing
streamers stretching for the sky. You were
always watching to catch the clouds
that passed her pupils while I
would give rise to higher
air and always,
Like the Stars
You, like the stars,
gone by morning.
Your light, like the stars,
spanning a vast expanse.
Not condensed, not enough to light
the way for one—
not a moon—
never close enough to be my sun.
I always liked the phrase “catch some rays,”
I liked the idea of sun
caught like a baseball in a mitt
on the surface of my skin
as if somehow my body leapt up from the bleachers
and caught the foul ball
and just held this sphere of sunlight