The poem below started as a paragraph, then as an experiment in spoken word. But that’s the usual: the poetry morphs with the emotion as you’re writing it. I started this piece as a draft on Gmail last Friday (stopped at the line, “Close enough to hurt.”).
|What it looked like before making the final poem format.|
I finished it tonight. I do hope you enjoy it. I suggest reading it dramatically, and sighing before each number in the countdown. Oh yes, it will be grand.
finished April 11, at 10:15 p.m.
We put our trust, our faith, into strangers:
bus and taxi drivers,
women holding cups of coffee on the T,
steam fogging up large-framed glasses,
as mine do when I move from
hot to cold.
We do this without a second thought,
handing over our life in dollar bills and itinerary pages,
packing our souls into cargo holds.
Making a mess of ourselves,
of our instincts.
Because we don’t make the time to meet these people,
these men and women riding
What I do know is
I do not know them;
shocked to find a bare breast
offered up to a baby’s lips,
a man spinning tracks into the air,
earbuds playing music,
mind only partially there.
But he has more rhythm than I do,
as I walk through life without a dance beat,
moving my feet awkwardly,
through routine trust.
And the people we love?
The people we hold close?
They have to earn our trust;
no tickets for this train,
this ride to nowhere,
barely there in everything.
Close enough to kiss.
Close enough to distrust.
Close enough to hurt.
much like pebbles,
in the dirt.
And if we so choose,
our trust is not the only thing we lose
when there’s an incident.
seconds to think it through.
To say “it’s through.”
Or to say you love me.