I have been wondering if I should publish this or not. But it’s one of the more honest pieces I’ve ever written. I wrote this from a very vulnerable place. I don’t even really know what it is–a poem? Not quite. I also don’t know why I didn’t capitalize anything. I’m sharing this because I think it could help someone feel less alone. I hope it does, or that you at least enjoy it. This isn’t about any one person in particular. This is a lot of things. I don’t even know how true this is. Okay I’m gonna shut up now. Much love to you all!
i always could taste the melancholy on your skin and smell the sadness on your breath. i didn’t mind. i did not see you as my joy factory. i was in it for this and this alone: to see you. i thought that this was the whole point.
within hours, i peeled back the skin of my chest, opened up my ribs like sliding glass doors and said, look, here it is.
but sometimes you would look off in the distance. sometimes you asked if i could put it away.
i understood. too fast. too much. too broken. too dark.
i kept trying. sometimes daily. but even things close to my surface scared you.
so i learned to be patient.
in this manner, years went by.
i birthed five million words of how worthy you are. poems, letters, lists, and birthday cards that told stories of your goodness. i told you over countless glasses of wine that you are made of magic. while cooking dinner i would remind you of your divinity. i made lists of the people who are in love with you and ran out of paper. my pen went dry. my voice grew hoarse. but i still shouted all of it from my car with the windows down. as we made love i whispered that you are never alone. i held you, i saw you, and i put you back where you belonged–among the redwoods, among the wild mountains. but you never could sleep. we walked through the neighborhood at 3am. you did not want to hold hands but you wanted me to be beside you. we ended up in the park, you laid face down in the grass. that’s how you always were. with your eyes fixated on the dark earth, you did not know that the moon was at your back. she was illuminating the skin of your elbows and glowing your hair. i told you all of this. this is what i sang to you. it became all that i did.
all the while i was so curious about your closed doors. i thought if i showed you mine, you would show me yours. i wanted to so badly to see the places where you did not want to be touched. i wouldn’t touch them, i just wanted to know them. i wanted all of you. i begged for your darkness and craved your bermuda triangles.
but you did not know how to not be alone.
the way that i wanted you angered the place in your spine that told you stories of unworthiness. because of this, you never really liked me. i was too honest. i was a mirror. i was that tiny voice in your belly that you hadn’t heard since you were a child. i was the part of you that still loved yourself.
i wish i could say that i was never afraid to fly away, but i was. i was an addict for this. i wanted to save you because i saw gold in your eyes, and because i wanted to be the hero. i needed someone to be and you gave me a hat to wear that felt important.
eventually we just got too tired. our hands withered. our ankles got creaky. our throats like a hangover. i pulled my heavy body into my bed and slept for not nearly long enough. but i can laugh. i can speak your name. i am feeding myself.
and i trust my life.
you are the mystery I never solved. you are the question I never answered.