Monday, February 13, 2012

"A decent love poem."



This morning my English teacher told me I could have extra credit if I wrote a decent love poem (and extra extra credit if I gave it to the person it was about, but that's another story). I like poetry, and I like extra credit, so it's finished already.


It started out as one poem about one person, but it became one poem about more than one person. Then it was six poems about six people, even though I wanted to write about seven people, but I couldn't figure out how to write poem number seven, so I didn't, and then one person got cut because they were fouling up my poems, and then it was one poem about five different people at the exact same time.


I think all poetry means one thing to the writer and a thousand different things to each and every person who comes in contact with it. So this is my valentine to you, each of you. Take a piece of it, make it yours, from me. This is about you. Happy Valentines Day.


Untitled (But About You): by me


You have eyes like stars and a voice like the sun 
and fingers that become hands that become wrists that become shoulders 
that become you. 


This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 


I always know when you hit the door, 
because you smell like coffee and like the weather, 
sometimes like sunshine, but usually like rain, 
which is fitting and also good for when I write poems about you. 


You're not beautiful, but you're beautiful -- 
it's what you do; it's what you are. 
You don't want your name on any records, 
but I think you still think about God, 
like I still think about God, 
and I can't count how many times I've sat down and 
written the words "This is not a love poem," 
and then written a love poem, but this? 
This is a love poem, and I'm saying it all, 
because life's short, dang it, life is so short. 
This is a light, weightless love poem, 
because I don't want it to weigh anything right now.
I just need it to be something beautiful and made of feathers,
so don't take me too seriously.


I do this thing where I say, 
"I love you," before I hang up the phone, 
like my parents always say to me, 
but I do it no matter who's on the other end, 
and do you know that you're the only person who 
makes me think before I say it? 
Maybe just because it's true (simple as that) 
or maybe because it isn't -- yet? 


I like it when you laugh at my jokes. 
Do you think I'm funny? 
Do you buy your music legally or download it illegally? 
Do you read the bible, do you read books, 
do you like dancing, do you like chemistry? 
This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 


I'm thinking about the way your fingers played my sides 
like a piano, and this is about that moment 
when you smiled very suddenly about nothing at all, 
and this is about how I can't stop thinking about that. 
This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 


I'm thinking about your hair and the line of your jaw and
your skin and the way it's warm against mine. 
I'm thinking about your hands and 
I'm thinking about the way you laugh 
and how it doesn't happen often enough, 
and how I'll think that no matter how much you laugh. 
I'm thinking about the way your lips might feel, 
how they might taste, 
what do I have to do to get them to find mine? 
This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 


I'm thinking about the way you move in the light and the way you
move in the darkness and the way you move when I'm around,
the way you move. 
I'm thinking about the way you look on Saturdays 
and the way you probably greet strangers and the way 
you complain about serious stuff, 
but the way you don't sweat the small stuff. 
I'm thinking about the way you eat, which isn't as
weird as it sounds; it says a lot about you.


I'm thinking that I'm very happy I met you.


I'm thinking about the way you played the guitar, 
the way you play the guitar, 
the way you may never pick up a guitar in your entire life. 
I'm thinking about your universe, 
how I understand it, 
how I don't understand it at all. 
This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 
It's you, you know? I'm thinking about you. 


I'm thinking about you the way empty gloves think about empty hands
and the way empty hands think about the stars: 
my hands want to be filled with stars. 
I'm thinking about you like school children think about summer,
and the way summer children think about 
becoming school children again. 
I'm thinking about you the way someone 
who's never taken a sip of alcohol 
thinks about alcohol, 
the way an alcoholic thinks about alcohol, 
the way someone who is genetically programmed to be
an alcoholic thinks about alcohol. 
I'm thinking about you the way Kennedy thought about the 
missile crisis and what was he supposed to say? 
I thinking about you the way the Trojans thought about that horse. 
I'm thinking about you like silence 
thinks about sound and vice versa.
I'm thinking about you like the whole world thinks 
about waking up on Monday, 
how the sun thinks about waking everyone up on Monday. 
I'm thinking about you the way ice cream parlors think 
about keeping the temperature down in there, 
the way the women on the subway think about changing their shoes, 
the way December thinks about snowing,
the way angels think about playing their trumpets in tune. 
I'm thinking about you the way giants think about ants. 
I'm thinking about you the way a blind man thinks about sight, 
the way a paraplegic thinks about dancing, 
the way a deaf man thinks about music, 
the way old men think about being young, 
the way old men think about death, maybe. 


So here: my fingertips and my words. 
This is about you. 
This is about how I don't really know you, but I think I do. 
This is about you.


What if I had three eyes and a lot of wisdom?
All my love,
Addy

5 comments:

Rachel said...

This is brilliant and I love it.

sarah said...

i love this. so much.

Anonymous said...

beautiful.

Morgan said...

I love you.

And Ms. Barnhart. (I'm writing my love poem to her.)

Sorry, this comment is ruining your INCREDIBLY STUNNING poem.

You're so good.

Brooklyn Renshaw said...

brilliant and gorgeous and magnificent. never stop creating.