Why I Write Poetry, in 17 Years or Less

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Sometimes when I’m alone, I like to pretend poetry is still one- dimensional The all-inclusive “thou art” and “twas” statements of poetry Are still neatly folded in the pages of hearts around those who write Not write Live for the relief and release of poetry Sometimes when I’m alone, eating, of course I sit and wonder about a simpler time, A more gloves and bow-tie time When poetry meant more than good wording The Harlem Renaissance time Where all my inspiration came from Until now I love her with the type of love that wakes me to wake her up at 4:27am Just to ask if she’s sleeping Even though we fall asleep on the phone together in the first place I broke my glasses for her I chose not to drug my vision with modern medicine To be able to see her for who she is, without judgment But no one seemed to understand except me She is the lily in my valley of confusion The potter to my parole officer The skin to my peach Wow, it just so happens that she’s from Georgia I mean, I could’ve sworn she said she was from Savannah Am I rambling? You would tell me, right? If you won’t, she will She holds my secrets like God holds hands with broken life lines I trust her like like Noah trusted his architectural skill And we all know it took a true follower to let Something lead him to build When he didn’t even have his Associate’s Degree in Intelligent Design I have my faith in her She is Helen of Troy in the form of dark skin and brown eyes Red lips and an orange ora But there’s just one problem To her, I am and will always be toilet seat lint Because she knows I’ll always come back I write Not write I live for the broken heart in young men Who aren’t afraid to put their lives on paper Let alone into the ears of those who dare listen My inspiration is more than Poe and Collins and Fransisco More than archaic vocabulary choice More than the way light hits the glass in a Victorian chandelier I put on paper for that boy in the mirror who had nowhere else to turn except for away I express for the fingers that feel uncomfortable unless a pen grazes against them with tears breathing down the cracks I long for the day when poetry becomes less contest and more contestants who only find the joy in searching for the perfect verb To show no one but the skeletons in his closet And the demons of his past I live to write for me

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