Reply To: Week 4 Posts – December 12th

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This is the poem I submitted for review this upcoming class. Sharing it here and welcome any feedback or thoughts! It’s unfinished and that’s why it just drops off at the end. I have some thoughts about where I want to go from there but am curious to get feedback before making that decision.

wrong turn down the right questions

I was all conscience and no chaos
until I fell in love with a priest.
Parka zipped so tight
tiny kids waddled better than I performed
follow the leader.

After 17 years of Catholic education,
I was used to carrying
backpacks full of regret from cloaked men
who have never been touched so tenderly
they made their bodies home.

Followed this one out of his vows
and into promises we couldn’t keep,
to conversations full of broken arrows,
to two time zones of three day old socks,
to rough edges and still no holding on,
to blue stallion statue with burning red eyes that killed its creator. The Denver airport
was the beginning of an end we’d also never see.

That Christmas I tried to wrap a balloon-
it popped.

It was love,
but it wasn’t right.

Three months later, went looking for the bullet
I was s’posed to dodge
and asked if he wanted his books back.
He didn’t,
thank god.

I started unhooking skin from spine and found
a miniature version of myself
stuck behind sternum
scraping hair from inside my ribs.
She used to scream in rage for the lives I hadn’t lived,
bottled strands of light,
threw them up my throat hoping
they’d expel “should” from the cage it made of my mouth.

Let’s call it existential
reconsideration. There doesn’t
always have to be a crisis for people to
pay attention. I learned
how to pay attention
counting the freckles on your nose
and the times you turned my ring while holding hands. But if I suppose
nothing is supposed to be
there’s a chance we can release
all these memories from the burden of reason.

Be reasonable,
no one ever thought their way
out of the dead end at the corner of caution and control.
Let’s throw our certainties in reverse and take a
wrong turn down the right questions. Don’t let the teachers fool you,
there are stupid questions like
why me?
is it meant to be?
how could this happen?
where is this coming from?
is this really happening?
The answer to that last one:
oh hell yeah,
we are really happening.

So buckle up and stop blowing
birthday candles, dandelion fuzz, and fallen eyelashes expecting
someone else to give you
everything you’ve ever wanted.