October 6, 2015
My pillow collects my dreams. And sometimes at the end of a long day, I drop my head on my bed, and they puff up into the air like fairy dust, floating over my eyelids. Some seep into my hair, making my brain smell like vanilla orchids. Or the nightmares that taste like blood in the back of my throat, my eyes scrunching tighter. I turn, facedown into the feathers, and scream.
November 12, 2015
In Which 36 MPH Winds Are Insomnia
You’re the high winds crashing against my bedroom windows. Rattling the branches of trees, and dominating the air at speeds that unsettle me. I know it’s hard for you to be tame, for sweeping things off their feet is all you’ve ever known. I know you are no match for my windows, nor my walls, and yet it is hard to breathe. But I’m trying to sleep. I’m trying to sleep. And yet it is hard to breathe.
I think much differently when I can’t sleep. My mind bends in ways that create melodies—only these are not lullabies. These are not songs I want to fall asleep to. They resemble broken sheet music that wedges you between every bar. You’re just a space heater for the cold spots, manifesting in places that are usual warmth when I’m fully awake. That’s the only reason you exist in the wind.
November 24, 2015
I no longer communicate with people directly, because everything is filtered through this warped mass of dark rain. The cold shatters the inside of my skin, and pierces my inner walls like acid. It’s erupted in size—a tropical depression building and building into a roaring storm that tells me everything I need to know about love. What I deserve. What I don’t. And it’s scary, the way I find this stuff out. Something I may never know is how to start over, how to keep these warm waters calm, and from collecting in a war against me. Where do I start? How do I make up for lost time? The chemicals that are charged like lightning between our chests are hard to ignore.
But all the mistakes run through my veins like blood, and there’s nothing I can do about that. I’m not allowed to interpret for myself how your hand feels on my cheek, when there’s a storm brewing in my own eyes. But I’m also afraid you can see the dense clouds circling within me. And you will stand far enough away to watch the hurricane take siege over my body, as it’s already done to my mind. There’s nothing harder than trying to mingle with another’s soul while your own is tangled up in the winds.
Last month’s column: Love poems that includes every season. Read “Love Like the Seasons, Love Like the Colors” here.