A Collection of Nothings Pt. 3
(a/n: All coincidentally about an elusive and insubstantial “you” whose identity I’ve yet to discover. I guess I’ll keep writing about them until I do. These are all not-quite-enough to be poems on their own, and so they end up here.)
These days I carry you with me wherever I go,
like a pocket watch or a compass,
the time always stuck at 12:05
while the direction steadfastly points south.
I carry you like dust in the lashes of my eyes,
or a dry-tongued, cotton-textured mouth.
Somewhere deep in the root of my pocket,
with lint and bits of string and an old train ticket,
tucked away against the blurred-out picture in a rusted locket,
tangled deep among the thorns-and-poison-berries thicket.
Woven somewhere in the wind I chase from coast to coast;
when I sometimes stop to wonder who is chasing who,
I think if you were here I’d still miss you most,
while the wind whistles companionably and wonders too.
The stars get caught in your eyes every time you look up.
There have been so many times I’ve tried to mirror that upward turn
of your head, and so many times I’ve failed.
The stars always get trapped in my eyelashes and can go no further.
Truth be told, I sometimes yearn for the reverse,
to get trapped within the stars.
Only there would it seem a pleasure to hold my breath forever,
barren lungs like a desert, no oasis in sight; no desire for one.
When your eyes meet earth again they shine with something
that isn’t stars or planets, but it’s somehow just as beautiful.
I want to sit here by the window and write you poetry,
with the view outside ever shifting and changing.
Yesterday a rocky hill overlooking the seaside,
today a field of tangled wildflowers,
all poppy red and cornflower blue.
There’s something like Queen Anne’s Lace beneath the window,
but there’s this inkling that tells me it could be hemlock.
It’s not a theory I’ll test out, but I’ll write about it as if I did.
Sometimes it means exactly what it means,
cutting everything up into dichotomies
and leaving the nostalgia at the bottom of the well.
How telling time is, how you always told me so,
but let the moment pass before it becomes stifling.
Even underneath the moon it’s hard to be honest,
even when the cherry blossoms are glowing white.
I’ve shown you, there’s nothing left in my hands,
I cast all those hollow things away a long time ago.
Still you’re fixated by the thought
of honesty under the moonlight,
because it’s the only thing more telling than time.
Once, in a brief slice of evening, I tried to tell you
something true, and you told me to wait for the moon.
But here the wind swoops in first
and it scatters the last petals of the season,
reminding me that things would always have changed regardless.