Happy Thanksgiving! There were so many choices to decide from for a post today. I even sat and wrote a brand new poem and considered posting it. In the end, I decided to post this poem. This poem was a true gift to me. It came at a time when I really needed a win. It’s probably one of my favorite poems. It’s a poem I will never quite be able to have an objective opinion on because it really came when I needed a win (so I might be partial). As a writer and as a person, I find the juxtaposition of things that are often at odds to be beautiful. I think sadness can be really beautiful. I think joy can be really messy. I think this poem captures that, especially in regards to being in a relationship. The idea that it is ugly and it can be messy and after all that it’s someone beautiful. On this day of giving thanks, I am giving thanks to all that is ‘ugly,’ and ‘messy,’ because it’s how we grow. It’s part of our every day. Without the ‘ugly,’ and ‘messy,’ I wouldn’t have a lot of experiences that I’m really thankful for. So, whether it’s a relationship, or a friendship, or just a time in life, today I give thanks for the ugly and the messy. It’s all part of being present in life, and I’m giving it it’s gratitude today. I hope you like the poem as much as I do. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ugly and Messy
We spoke ugly and we made words messy.
We lay in empty parking lots at dawn sharing last cigarettes
Talking about the joys being of being by the ocean and leaving.
I knew who you were. It just took me a while to believe it.
The cheap bottles of wine, the very ordinary experiences
Of hearing you say my name in the darkness.
In the keepsakes of my silences and my speeches,
I knew I could find that part of myself I was quickly losing grasp of:
The keyless guy with no commitments to be pocketed.
You let go of my sadness and ugliness.
You let me know they were once a part of me, but now I was myself.
I wanted to see me at the beginnings of your chapters,
And in the endings of my own.
We taught each other that silence doesn’t have to mean loneliness
And there are days when you can’t silence your own disordered behavior,
Yet someone can still wake up next to you and love you.
We didn’t know it then, on that night in the parking lot sharing that cigarette,
But there would be future days when all we’d do was spend our moments
Wanting to be ok enough for someone to count on and believe in.
I had to let you lean back into your own learning curve
And trust that you you wouldn’t knock yourself unconscious and forget about me.
You had to allow me to dedicate my own story to myself.
We gave each other ordinary days,
When the world taught us to expect extraordinary ones when in love.
We took buses to nowhere and let the identity of the trip tell us where we were going.
When I asked you for a drag of your cigarette,
No part of me wanted a moment of revelation.
I just wanted to share, as I was learning that lying awake every night on someone else’s sofa
Was like taking the same train to a different nowhere.
There, in that parking lot, you made an old city feel new.
I told you years later I walked neighborhoods for days unable to place my feelings
Among the old rentals, familiar bakeries, same cars parked in same driveways.
We together learned there are hearts for people like us
With large storage spaces of feelings that don’t fit in a lot easily.
We had great conversations at hours of the morning the rest of the world hate.
In between sun up and moon down, we both accepted we may never find ourselves,
But we pinky swore to never stop looking for the views that change us.
You seemed to understand that all I have is my words and my voice
And even then there are words I will never be able to give you.
This excited you in the same way it excites me,
As it means- we will always have something to write about.
We laid there together on that night
And for the first time I detached from my own solitude,
Stumbling on your name,
Which just kept telling me,
I’m good at wandering and you loved that about me!
And I loved that for a moment,
A brief moment with you,
I stopped and asked
‘Why such a hurry?”