My English teacher always tells me
that poets choose their words carefully;
they always pick the best possible words
to include in their poetry.
That they spend long, endless hours
laboring over word choice.
That they don’t just write a poem in one sitting.
So I guess I’m not really a poet,
just a lonely girl spilling words onto paper
without really knowing what words to say.
And I guess that’s okay because
I usually am writing
I went to church today.
And as soon as I walked through the open doors
I couldn’t breathe because
it smelled like you.
I realized that it wasn’t the church
that smelled like you,
but that you smelled like the church.
And I wonder how many hours you have to spend there to
go to class,
and still have an unreachable,
scent about you.
So I decided,
when I sat down in that wooden chair,
that I would treat you like a deity,
and let you alone
because I would never
to spoil something so very
Mama, I said
He wants to kiss me
And he won’t take no for an answer
She turned to me, eyes blazing
God help me, she said
Who taught these boys you are something to be had?
Don’t they know that your name means strength,
That your father gave it to you knowing what a force you would be?
You’re a wildfire, don’t they know?
You’re the entire ocean, not a puddle
They’ll come up choking for air
Next time you turn your head away from his lips and he turns it back,
Tell him your mother taught you that your body is a temple
Let him kneel before you
Let him pray in a whispered fervor
Let him swear his allegiance
Let him prove his devotion
Honey, you’re a goddamn wildfire
You choose who you burn
it’s funny how
people you don’t even know become like your best friends
when their life has ended.
and so sometimes i sit in my room,
staring at the ceiling fan and think
why couldn’t i save them?
you drove my car last night,
much too fast for winter when the deer come out to play,
and i laughed when you made sharp turns on dark back roads,
your smile infectious in the small space.
and i guess the only thing i regret is not stopping to really look at you,
the way your eyes crinkle at the edges with your wide smile,
how your hands settle on the wheel in that familiar way i’ve never seen before,
your sleeves rolled up and tie loosened because you really hate dressing up.
your head barely touching the roof because you’re a lot taller now,
your hair falling into your right eye because you style it differently than before.
talking about how the lord of the rings is a great movie and that i need to watch it soon.
i don’t know why i didn’t just look, even stare,
maybe i wasn’t thinking at the moment.
living in the moment, rather, enjoying the swooping of my stomach
(though whether it was from the speed or your smile i’m not sure).
and i can’t think of any other reason,
except that i was scared
of what i would see,
and what i might fall in love with all over again.
Your mother always told me that one day,
smoking would kill me.
So I lit up another one,
making sure to stomp out the blazing ashes
on her front lawn while you hugged her one last time.
Your mother never liked me.