Between These Lonely Walls

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Head Space

Black Hole

From my dark little corner, I can see it now, why you gravitate towards her like the moon is drawn to the earth. Wherever she goes, she fills the space with electricity, she brings light with her like a heavenly body in the center of the galaxy. She is so much like you. You fill the air as if you were larger than life, and you make the room revolve around you while it watches you radiate light.

In my shrinking corner, I can only watch your light touch hers, watch in fascination how two suns could melt into each other so seamlessly, how two balls of fire gravitate to each other so smoothly, how two sources of light could deprive me of my light, how you two created a black hole in my dark, shrinking, little corner where my heart is about to implode.

Mascara

I couldn’t see you through false lashes and mascara.

Maybe it was just the beer blurring my vision.

You picked a fallen eyelash off my cheek and said,

“Make a wish.”

I struggled for words so I stared at you, looked

into your longing eyes as deep as I can, and smiled.

I took a chance and blew on the eyelash.

In the morning, I rubbed the sleep off my eyes,

feeling lashes and remnants of makeup that had

fallen in them. I take them out myself, peeling off

the fake lashes and mascara.

The wish is over. My vision is clearer now

as I watched you pick up your shoes and leave.

My Heart In Your Fist

In a sea of strangers, I’ve always looked past you

But when you looked at me the way you did that

first time you took my heart in your fist, I knew

that you were the only one I could see. Only you.

The exchange lasted for what seemed like only

a second, but it ignited a fire in me that nothing

could quell. I knew then that I will always want

to be loved like the way you first took my heart.

Hard, possessive, and demanding full surrender.

Time Is My Currency

And I gamble every minute I have with you.

All in. Do I throw all my chips in, talk my

way into getting more time with you today?

Bluff. Do I throw in spare change, small talk

until we part ways, hoping you’ll bet all

your time on me tomorrow?

Time is my currency.

Sometimes I need to gamble, to give up

being with you now, for the possibility

of winning your tomorrow,

of winning more time in your life,

of winning you.

Sea of Strangers

You know that face you make

when you’re excited,

when you’re happy,

when you’re amazed?

That made me fall in love with you,

a beautiful stranger.

I can feel my heart race,

my breath shallow,

my skin turn cold.

You make me forget myself

in a sea of strangers

Writing About You #1

You, like poetry, know that words are only needed until

it isn’t. Because what is poetry without white space?

You, like poetry, understand that white space hides

more meaning behind its blank face. So you fill it up

with your own verses---verses that make sense in your life.

I try to understand your poetry, even write about it so that my name can fit between the verses, can ride the rhythm of your life, can stain the white space of your page.

Maybe someday you’ll find me there, more than a blank face in the crowd, more than a random word that has always been at the tip of your tongue.

Writing About You #2

I saw you, stared into the wellspring

of your eyes, and understood

why I write you poetry.

Poetry captures fleeting moments of you,

keeps them safe and clear between

pages of my worn-out heart.

I want to catch as many of them with you.

I want to fill my heart with your poetry.

Writing About You #3

I hate that I couldn’t catch the moment

that I first fell in love with you, hate that

I couldn’t cage you between my verses.

No matter how many cages I write,

I could never capture the same image.

But still I write. Still I write.

And hope that if I write enough verses

About every fleeting moment with you,

I could rebuild that same image for you.

And still I hope that if write

enough about you, maybe

I could become your poetry too.

Pictures of You #1

You are leaving. Out of the country. Out of my sight.

Out of my every waking moment.

As you are standing by the door, bags packed, keys in your pocket, hand waving goodbye, I find myself looking at you for a second longer, taking one more picture of you in my mind so I can have you still—even just wisps of memories of you—to keep me company until you return.

When I am ready to let you go—but who could ever be truly ready for something like this?—I turn away so the picture of your leaving doesn’t carve its face in my mind, so your leaving isn’t the last thing I remember of you.

When I hear the doorknob click, I turn back to you,

I watch you leave, I try to catch one more glimpse

of you, and I allow myself to take this last picture of you.

Every photo matters even that ones where your back is turned to me, even the ones where you are leaving me.

Pictures of You #2

You are big on pictures. You have the talent for taking them---capturing every moment in that tiny gadget

you always hold so protectively in your hand.

I have no talent for pictures so I take them only in

my mind. And in my mind, your pictures are in perpetual daylight, the sun shining on your face, the backdrop blurred as if a vignette is around you.

I take a lot of pictures of you, laughing, thinking, working, telling stories, sweeping your camera over

a moment in time that you can keep in your pocket

for when the loneliness kicks in.

You once took a picture of me, and it made me hope

that you would also hold me protectively in your hand

as you would all the other pictures in your pocket.

In the absence of real pictures, I create images of us laughing, thinking, working, telling each other stories, sweeping a camera over a moment in our life together

in my mind.

Just in case the loneliness kicks in.

Lost

It is in the quietest moments

when I am lost for words

that I find images of you

lurking in the labyrinth

of my mind

Clean Slate

I wonder if you would fall in love with me if I was a blank canvas you could paint our stories on rather than if I was this tainted page that not even I would give a second look.

I wonder if you would listen to me say, “I love you” if the words have never passed my lips before when it knew someone else’s name.

I wonder if you would look at me if you were the first one to show me what love is, what lovers do in daylight when everybody is looking and at night when they are only looking into each other’s eyes in a quiet room away from the world.

I wonder if I will be the same person I am today if

I will be the same person I want you to fall for if I were

a clean slate.

I wonder if it will be enough for you to know that

I will love you no matter how worn-out your canvas is, how many names and I-love-you’s have passed your lips, how many daylights and night-times and first-times

you’ve spent so gratuitously.

I wonder if you will let me pick up the pieces with you and rebuild love from the remnants of our past selves. We will never be clean slates again, but we would always be each other’s fresh coat of paint.

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