Ask me.

Mon, 12/01/2014 - 15:09 -- ylm9794


I have been writing for almost a decade now and what I’ve learned

Is that poetry is damn dangerous,

But it is the only safety I’ve ever found in my life.

Contradicting it’s hazardous potential, it’s my safe place.

Composing sheets of words to create a symphony of a poem,

Stowing away to only endanger myself to what I create.

You never know where I might go, where my words might drag you.

Sometimes I’m afraid

Of what old sutures I might tear open,

Or the fresh wounds I might come to carve on my heart.

Let me tell you,

I know they won’t be my initials;

Perhaps they might be a eulogy for whatever grief that has sunk its teeth into my bones.

Ask me what grief looks like.

My English teacher’s boyfriend died in a plane crash

That killed an entire high school basketball team.

A handful of decades later she still hasn’t been able to write a poem about it.

And when a plane crashes, do you know how many people die?

It was not just a dozen teenage boys but their families,

It was their generations before, crying out in anguish,

Screaming almost as loud as failing turbines and forest fire flames.

It is the extinguishing of futures, of sons and of daughters,

It is a town falling into ash and debris.

Ask me what grief looks like,

And I will tell you that is a blank page staring back at you,

Your psyche trembling at what it wants to say

But can’t.

And god bless anyone who spends calendars trying to catch one day

In the blood of a pen.

God bless the body that could only be a host to nightmares.

And God bless poetry for giving me a fighting chance in the ring with my sadness,

For letting me cut open my veins and bleed,

Without ever having to cut open my veins and bleed.

God bless the space I have to place my grief,

To hollow out the flesh from this skeleton and read the elegy

Tattooed onto calcium.

When I hold my baby boy in my arms for the first time

I will sing his name out like poetry,

Like it is the most beautiful verse my body has ever written.

And when he’s sitting shotgun in a shopping cart,

Daddy racing with him through the parking lot
I will love him and

His giddy toothless grin.

The song my heart plays on my ribcage like a xylophone will be the most beautiful poetry.

When I get older, and I am sitting shotgun in his car

Singing along to oldies from the early 2000’s,

Our window-down-bellowing will be the most beautiful poem.

Ask me what grief looks like,

And I will tell you that it is the poem that has never been written,

Ask me what grief looks like,

And I will tell you that it is the heart that wants to sing

But has a knife in its voice box.

Ask me what grief looks like,

And I will tell you that it was me

Before I found poetry.


- m.c. 7/14/14



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