For International Poetry month, I’m trying to write a poem a day. This is my poem for April 2nd. The prompt was: “seeing an old friend”.
Your face was always familiar to me.
The hollows of your cheekbones.
The merriness dancing in your blue-green eyes.
Your hair standing on end like toothbrush bristles.
(I remember the long phone calls about typewriters,
about writing poetry on the walls of bathroom stalls.
I remember the first time your lips grazed over mine
we both stumbled and faltered afterwards.)
I remember when you told me you loved me,
how my whole body had quivered with excitement.
I remember you holding all my pieces back together
when I thought I would have fallen apart.
Over my knocking knees you had spread a blanket.
You held me, I heard your heart beat, and counted each beat
until I fell asleep in your arms.
You told me, “always”, and that was the night, I learned
people can lie,
hearts can break.
I was only eighteen, but I carried the weight of the world
on my shoulders.
(Like Atlas, only I wasn’t sure if I was strong enough.)
Then, I saw you a couple of years ago,
the hollows of your cheekbones,
the merriness dancing in your blue-green eyes.
Your hair stood on end like toothbrush bristles.
Your fingers intertwined in hers,
a miniature you running between your feet.
Your laugh sounded like it broke somewhere in the middle,
and when I said your name,
your eyes had glazed over as though you had never known me.
As though we had never shared a bed or a cigarette or a love.
And when I said your name,
your eyes searched mine
as though trying to remember a long ago memory,
and I was just something memories were built off of.
(Because I don’t know if you knew this or not,
but I carry the ghosts with me.
So I’ve always had a part of you,
though I burnt every picture of you
and ripped to confetti every letter you wrote me.
I can’t destroy what’s no longer mine.)