this poem is about you.
i write a lot of poems about you. i’m not even sure why anymore.
if someone asked me who this poem was about i would run away. i would tell them it’s for every boy who ever failed to see the poetry in his dead skin cells and then i would run away.
once upon a time Girl saw Boy and miracles were real. true love conquered all and all the monsters were slain and none of them had families to miss them. once upon a time Boy saw Girl and all the broken glass in the world mended itself and all the puzzles in the world were solved and the sunset welcomed them home. that is a lie.
i am imagining us pretending to be fire breathers but instead of fire we’d breathe the moon. and then we would spill our broken story all over it and we’d pretend to be very sorry but we aren’t very good at pretending. i am also imagining us laughing. i always do that. but I never know what we’re laughing about. probably it’s just emptiness. i think you would be one to laugh at emptiness, as though it’s not the most terrifying thing in the world. you don’t scare easily.
tell me, if you were to wish on each of your eyelashes, one after another, what would you wish for? who would you wish for? have you ever said someone’s name over and over again to yourself so you would know how to describe how it felt? and when you’re lying awake at night whose fingers do you imagine counting your vertebrae?
once upon a time Girl saw Boy and Boy saw Girl and they didn’t move. they didn’t move for a long time. and when they melted it was into each other. and it was decades before she got all of his fingernails out of her lungs and it was decades before he got all of her teeth out of his spine. that is also a lie.
i wonder what you would say if you read this poem. i wonder if you would tell me it was one of the most beautiful things you’d ever read (even if it wasn’t) just like last time, or if the fact that it’s for you would stick in your throat. i wonder if you’d run in the other direction. i always wonder when you’ll start running. i always wonder what scares you, because there has to be something. we both know there are things more terrifying than death. i always wonder why i want to be what scares you.
i dream about you like it’s a religion. like your smiles are my sacred texts, like your lips are my hymnal, like the back of your neck is my holy water. i dream about you as though you are an everyday occurrence. as though you fill my mouth heavy with the frequency of prayers. as though my knees are bruised from all the times i’ve sat next to you. i don’t know how to dream. that is a lie. i have never wanted another person’s fingers in my hair more than yours. that is also a lie. you are a lie. i am a lie. we are all dying.
yes, i said dying. we are all dying slowly. and i know that’s morbid but it’s the truth.
and no, i don’t think technically you need to die to form meaningful connections but damn, it’s got to help. how alive can you be if you aren’t about to die?
you are one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever read. you are the kind of imagery that is so good that it makes no sense when you think about it. you are dying (by which I mean living) like a masterpiece. and i know i’m no more than an eyelash on your cheek. and i know i never will be more, never was. and i’m not even sure i want to be anymore. not like that. not as the song you learn to dance to. not as the name you give the hollowness in the pit of your stomach. not as the pain when your hands heat up after being cold for a long time.
once upon a time Girl saw Boy and she spent the following years pretending he was the answer to all her open ended infinities. once upon a time Boy saw Girl and that was all. Girl keeps thinking she’s woken up. Boy keeps reminding her she’s wrong.
i got the story right this time. i’m not lying anymore. you are not a lie. i am not a lie. we are all very much alive. and we are all dying.