I recently came across two poems that I’d pretty much forgotten about. Since I don’t think I’ll be publishing them any time soon (read: ever), I figured I may as well release them to my humble merry band of followers, for you to pick apart or enjoy as you please.
Poem the First
Amor non est aequus
Just Africa, just astrophysics, just atomic warfare
You say these words as if emotions were clay,
but you are not a just friend.
The sight of my just friends doesn’t change my chemical makeup,
doesn’t turn my knees to gelatin, my stomach to fire,
my brain to dust.
Their names are not a python, their silence not
I do not toss and turn to the point of destruction
over words and intentions of just friends.
When just friends tell me we’re just friends
I don’t feel like I’ve grabbed a live wire,
tripped over a landmine,
held fast to a hand grenade.
I don’t shed tears until there is nothing left inside
and then shed even more
over just friends.
You can’t erase two months of coffee cups
and suddenly be a just friend.
You will never be just anything.
Poem the Second
Death of a Friendship
It was a sudden demise, but
cancer had been eating way at
her bones, her liver, her brain –
her, really –
for a long time.
You tried to ignore the signs –
the forgetfulness, the strain,
the mood swings, the pain –
but when you woke one day
and you were there and she was not
it was a long-awaited surprise.
You laid out the body, dressed it,
did everything you’re supposed to do.
A fistful of flower petals, a handful of soil,
black heels and saltwater pearls.
You tried to feel appropriately –
to mourn, to sigh,
to grieve, to cry –
but all your heart feels is relief
because you no longer have to pretend
that she isn’t dying.