"Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn." ~ John Wesley
Versis (via poeticalscience)
The first time I looked at you,
my mind went blank,
like windshield wipers had washed it clean.
The million things I’m always thinking of were silenced
except for thinking of you looking at me
and how sweaty my palms probably were so please god don’t hold my hand
and how dry my mouth was because suddenly it was so hard to form the simple word, “Hi.”
No one ever properly prepares you for what it feels like to fall in love,
but I think being brave enough to get past that first hello must’ve had something to do with it.
The first time our hands brushed against each other,
I willed my body not to shake from nerves -
we were like two children on the playground.
Touching for the first time feels like putting your hand on a stove,
but I held your hand anyway.
It left no mark; it sent chills up and down my spine,
my vertebrae caught in a blizzard.
And then, like the hot chocolate that follows a storm, it warmed me
starting in my fingertips and snaking through every nerve.
You are not a fireplace,
but a hearth.
And when you put your arms around me,
I am the world, and you are the atmosphere.
The solar system stands still for us,
pausing in its orbit so that we can have our moment
of complete equilibrium.
When I think you aren’t looking,
I commit to memory the curve of your smile,
the way you raise your eyebrows at me.
I memorize the way your hand find mine.
I study your eyes, trying to find the window that I assumed would be there
to lead me to your soul.
But your soul was in your kiss,
dragging me down, but making me fly
You sing a song in an incomprehensible key that only I can hear,
with notes that pour from your fingertips and roll off your tongue
and if that’s not love, fuck it —
I’m calling it home and singing back to you.
You tease me for never running out of things to say,
but I can never find the right words
to tell you that I love you.
Saying I love you isn’t enough, because
I feel for you with every part of my being,
not just my heart or with my brain
but the bottom of my stomach, the tips of my toes and my fingers,
I feel for you behind my knees, in the crook of my elbow.
I love you isn’t enough because you have been told many things,
"You are special.” "You are worth it.”
n someone pulls the rug from beneath you and you’re left with just an I.
I don’t want to leave you with just an I,
I want to give you my I, so that we will be an us and together - you and I -
we can find the right words
and when we do, we’ll scream them at the top of our lungs,
or maybe we’ll make T-shirts.
At least then, if my mouth becomes dry,
I will still have our words,
which I will wear proudly because I am not often speechless,
but when you look at me, my words always seem to be at the tip of my tongue,
just out of reach, so I cover you with kisses instead,
letting that tip of my tongue speak what it can
and when we lie in bed together, you can stroke my hair
and I cover myself in the poem I cannot title,
hoping that you will know
it is the best that I can do.
I was little.
My mother was a bank teller.
I called her a fortune teller.
She nick-named me Pangee.
Not Pangea. I was never in one piece.
The first time I called someone “ugly”
my heart had an ice-cream headache for three weeks.
Tell that to my future.
Say, “The moon doesn’t care to be a bully when it’s full.”
I was running from myself on empty.
Not much made sense, like the Russians didn’t like us
because they couldn’t afford blue jeans?
What I knew
is that I wasn’t killing spiders cause I was scared of them
I was killing them
because they were scared of me.
You can have a cold war with yourself
even in the summertime.
I watched the rocks get slapped by the sea.
I knew the sea was made of the same stuff as tears.
That meant if you were hurting you could understand the sharks.
Maybe carry them between your ears.
Maybe hear the word ‘love’ and start running from the teeth.
I was running around with a panic in my chest.
The teacher said, “Silence is golden.”
I wanted to say, “Silence is bronze at best,”
but I had already time capsuled my voice box
hoping someday I would be either brave or scared enough to dig it out and open it all the way up.
That’s how I got here.
In this old rocking chair
typing with my grandma’s thimbles on my fingers.
Every poem is something being sown.
Every poem is me asking “are we there yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
“Are we there yet?”
Years after they told me I was already home.
My love’s feet were still not welcome on the welcome mat,
but you’ve never seen bridges that could arch like that.
So we crossed the river to where the echo took us in.
That’s where I learned bouncing back is about being honest with the canyon.
That’s how I got this see-through skin, this glow-in-the-dark fear.
This here is my shame on a silver plate.
I know it is the one meal that all of us share.
I know how much time we spend sleeping beneath our beds ‘cause somebody told us that’s where the monsters should hide.
Y’all everyone is going to pick a side on
whether they are good or bad,
whether you are kind or cruel.
But what if the quickest root to loving ourselves is deciding its all true.
Every bit of it.
I was not a child the last time I threw a full tantrum fit in the grocery store.
I was not poor the last time I stole
like it wasn’t worth my change.
I do not need air traffic control to tell me there have not been enough flights for me to lose all of my baggage.
I am learning to claim it at the same carousel where I am learning beating yourself up is never a fair fight
only knocks the wind out of our chances to come clean through that canyon.
To be exactly who we are
so we might become exactly who we want to be.
So if our baggage is to run we will one day learn to run like we sing
like someone took apart a cello to build our hamstrings.
This is me running straight into your arms to tell you my skyscraper heart might still be afraid of heights.
Your dark side might still be searching for its stars but the acoustics are still amazing in our meteor showers.
The light will never be out of your league.
You were the first one picked for your own team.
Our underdog hearts are winning this game even when we are doing it all wrong,
even when we are falling apart.
Sometimes it takes a storm for the whole sea to start doing the wave.
I know it took a storm for the message in the bottle to finally reach my shore.
To teach me how to write my entire life using only the shift key to mess up, to bounce back, to let myself be
the hinge that keeps opening the door
to look you straight in the eye and tell you
I didn’t come here to write my heart out
I came here to write it in.
Jonathan Carroll, Outside the Dog Museum