"We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
— John Keating
i just thought there would be more
that’s what the mother says at the end of the movie
boyhood. the whole theater grows tense and stiff
like wilting petals. you can feel it in the air, the
shared disappointment. they thought there would
be more too. so did i.
but five years pass and here you are, ten years
pass and there i am. all of this— and for what?
some flashes in the darkness— a long train ride to
the city, sticky ice cream in the summer, fingers
grazing your thigh. a deep, impressive love that
nestles inside you and keeps you warm in the
he’s careful with his hands and you like that. he grips
the steering wheel with such pride and precision that
for once, you feel comfortable in a car. like always, he
puts his hand over yours, sings you the song on the
radio and then wonders why you don’t smile as much
anymore. you just thought there would be more.
this is how simple it could be: a glass of orange juice
in the morning, a quick kiss on your way out, a small
bed holding two warm bodies curled together, becoming
one in the darkness. there are no easy goodbyes. i
stare in the mirror until i don’t recognize myself anymore.
on long trips, i forget the smell of home and that’s okay.
it’s not a bad thing to leave yourself behind from time to
time. it’s okay to find new homes and new ways to smile,
to discover a version of yourself hidden beneath layers
of bruised skin. sometimes i find that i don’t even know me.
this is how hard it is: dirty dishes piling up, lonely lips,
a bed that’s too big for just one person. in the early
morning darkness, a ray of light through a slit in the
curtains, falling on the empty side of the bed. blinding.
"My genes, my love, are rubber bands and rope - make yourself a structure you can live inside."
— Aimee Bender
i imaged it might feel like nothing at all, a gentle
numbness that takes over when the years start
to blur together like ruined photographs. our
third summer together- or was it our second-
we sat on a rusty old swing set and imagined
the world coming undone around us. i spent
the rest of the month pricking my fingers on
sharp objects to see what might tear me open.
the human mind has a faulty memory. we forget
appointments, old friends, the plots of books.
i’m piling up the intricacies. i’m keeping track of
the small tokens of gratitude. i’m holding in my
hands the affection, stretching and changing.
my memory is merely flawed and ordinary.
how will i ever remember all these long,
beautiful years with you?