There’s a lot I could say about this poem. I think sometimes things speak better by themselves, and I’ve thought about posting it before and I pulled back several times. I started to write a bit about it and I just get this feeling from this poem that sort of says, “shut up.” I feel like there’s something within it that wants to speak for itself, so I’m just going to give it that right.
Summer of 2018
That was the summer I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a person
And what seemed like a good portion of the US was unsure they wanted to be democracy.
I punched a drunk guy in a bar for trying to lift up my shirt in public
& my therapist stated the mood disorder might be PTSD.
My anorexia wanted an encore. My heart wanted to get stoned
In the bathroom at work. Then leave and head down to the docks.
I was always told when you need advice ‘find the water,’
but I was so far from the question, all I could see was a far off horizon.
After religion beats your ass, there’s only so much you can do.
Sometimes it’s a coin toss on whether you miss or should forgive yourself for your youth.
I was so sure what I needed was love, I became a valentine.
The thing is you never know the intent of the buyer or the need of the receiver.
Sweet music and alcohol, a slow dance between two dying souls
Resting each breath on a body too weak to carry itself.
Beneath their feet, an earth, I knew too well:
The kind you’re constantly terrified will break.
I wanted to free them from the myth I helped them make,
Manufactured romance they could die for if they leaned in too hard.
That was the last time I made myself a valentine.
I fantasized constantly I was hungry, but I was really starving.
Two people sat and talked about the miracles of the Lord,
While I sat beside them on a couch staring out the window.
I smiled a lot because there just was not much to say.
Buzzards of hunger constantly circling above me.
On TV, they try to sell happiness in the idea of buying a product.
Everything is a promise until someone’s truly dependent on it.
I read about the bees disappearing and wonder where they’re going.
I see human decency disappearing and stop questioning where the bees went.
In that summer, I renewed my vows to my mental illness.
Standing in the present, I remarried my traumatic past.
I took on a house of feelings, that crumbled like cards
Every time someone breathed.
I had so little faith in the structure,
In which, I was living.
The neighbors were married to their bad decisions.
I was married to a fear of a vision that everything was unsafe.
It seems silly to be afraid of things you know you’ve lived through before,
But time convinces you there’s going to come a time and place.
Where you’re not going to be strong enough to carry the materials to keep the walls built,
And your bones, your heart, your head will crush in on you, smothering your breath.
That was the summer I was scared to be a person.
That was the summer the United States seemed uncertain whether it was a democracy.