Dinner Party Memoirs

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"I like the color blue and I like to read," I say.

They do not know it is the somber, 

Stormy blue-green of buried thrashing waters that I like. 

They do not know I fantasize of a modest house full of timeless leaves and wilted pages

To kill the hours of existence with music, art, literature.

 

Instead of telling them that the brisk breeze reminds me of my numbness as it whooshes through me

(In and out and in and out),

Instead of saying the crushing lightness of dusky skies takes my breath away and anchors my veins,

Instead of admitting that the idle, soundless streets ensnare the distracted glint in my eyes,

I nod in reply, 

"I quite enjoy cold weather."

 

People are too submerged to discover that the aroma of homemade food

Makes me think of my grandmother and her heartbreak. 

I don't blame them. 

 

They inquire about my plans for the future.

I shrug.

They ask about school and the weather.

I can’t help but give into the emptiness.

"I'm really tired," my arid mouth responds.

It isn't a lie.

 

I apologize to the people who commit to listening 

To me manifest that when I was eleven

I hoped to propagate knowledge and joy and hope. 

I am utterly sorry to those 

Who descried my plunge into destructive desolation.

 

Do I tell them that I am often ashamed to be human?

That there are times when I curse the sun,

The moon,

And all the stars?

 

Should I say that I so wish

To watch fourty-four sunsets in a single day?

Should I tell them that I have known them for seventeen years

Yet I do not know them at all?

 

Perhaps, it is I whose existence is faltering,

Sputtering amongst ebony cogs and thrashing wings,

Trickling into gaunt, meandering rivers.

My tangible human body cannot clench onto what I am.

 

Do you wish to talk about the triviality of life?

The abhorrent ignorance of humanity?

The absolute inevitability of oblivion?

Would you like to talk about the beauty of it all?

 

I am the space between what I want to be and what others want me to be.

I am the galaxies beneath the skies of lustful hopes and fated fantasies.

 

But this is all too much to bring up at a dinner party

And I am content with not being understood. 

To be misunderstood

Is much easier on the heart.

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