What I’m getting at, is an excess of emotions balanced by too few words to describe them


For Tara

In first grade
Everyone drew the sun
as a big yellow cookie with
orange triangle arms.
I picked so many fights
over how incorrect that was.
But I have the same problem
when trying to describe love

My love
wears the face of worry
Which manifests as
I hear your voice around
every corner
and see your face
in places I know you are not
My butterflies are cannonballs
playing hopscotch in my stomach
I swallow rocks
to keep all this emotion
And how
many pages were torn
for me to get this book tongued
for me to get this binding spine
This is a true story
of a young man who loved
so hard
he could quote Shakespeare at you
and mean it.

There comes a time
when my words are not enough.
Some days I lick newspaper
and eat sentences right out
of my close friends’ mouths
to make use
and make language
like paint
I mix words
just to make sense. You
send my senses
to the base of my stomach. You
are the penny in my dryer.
I would have to
swallow rocks
if I ever thought
I wanted quiet.
If I ever wanted to quell the riot
you’ve got going
in my body. I’m
not blinking so much
to shut
you out
That’s my eyes
fighting to give you a
standing ovation.
If I turn sideways
I’m not looking at anyone else
that’s my ears trying to hear you
loud enough
That when you’ve gone away
I can still hit replay
But I’ve got to be careful of
what my mouth does. Listen
you should know this
I have spoken love
so hard
I might have broken love
This is a warning:
I am typewriter fingered
and I talk
a lot
I know you know this.
If you notice
that I repeat myself
I apologize
in advance
Sometimes my heart beats quicker
than my mouth can move
So when I run out of ways to say “love”
don’t think that means anything about you

I’m trying to teach myself silence
I’m not great at it
I know you know that too.
If I ever get it right
it’s just practice
I still have the world to say to you.
And when I get it wrong,
on the days
that you want
to tell me
to shut up
and I keep name-dropping “love”
That’s because
I stopped eating those rocks.
I want to feel this.

In first grade
I was asked to describe the sun.
So I stared directly at it
And when my teacher asked what it looked like
I said ouch
It’s really bright
I can’t see anything right now
Talking about love
or you
is the same thing
Blinding in all your bright
I still don’t ever miss the night

One thought on “What I’m getting at, is an excess of emotions balanced by too few words to describe them

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