I feel homesick
with no home to return to.
I have a house
and there are people in it,
“loved ones” they are called.
Only, they love a stranger.
Eight years ago,
they let a daughter go
and expected her to return
but that girl is lost forever.
I have taken her place
and become an intruder in my own home,
an imposter in their daughter’s skin.
I passed behind the Jewish graveyard, as I often do, but this morning the path was empty. It was cold and sky wore a silver mist. Dew glittered like sequins on the graveyard’s wrought iron fencing. Everything seemed more beautiful in the silence.
Silence gives you a chance to think. The quiet gives you a chance to see and feel the things you normally ignore or push aside.
For the first time, though I’d taken this route almost daily, I noticed the stone angels perched on pillars and mausoleums and I thought how incredibly beautiful they looked, eternally bent in prayer for the dead. Or were they praying that God forgive the living? I wondered about this as the winter mist rolled in and formed eddies at their feet.
Then I thought how my thoughts seemed a little morbid and I wondered if that was okay. No one wants to be friends with the sad girl, with the girl who finds beauty in gravestones and mourns for the living. It’s not socially acceptable to think that way.
And then I thought some more. I thought about how I was tired of thinking. I thought so much that I crossed the street without looking and as my foot touched the opposite pavement, I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was that I’d made it safely across.
They say the word
and I fold myself
into any shape
to carry their message across
I did not choose to be here
(one does not choose to be born)
but if I must play this ridiculous game
I will do my best to feign enthusiasm
Right now, I can’t use my words.
I will be found out, disqualified.
so lay low, play along too,
until I find new ways to reach you.
I will take charge someday
and rewrite the rules in our favour.
We turned on the radio at 3 a.m
to drown out the silence.
The summer heat would filter through
our open window on those restless nights,
on those sleepless summer nights
we sat on the windowsill
sifting through my loneliness
and your heartbreak
the same way we’d sift through our coins,
gathering the silver to buy midnight snacks.
No one told us then we were worth more
than silver and gold
and fifteen tasted so bitter-sweet…
I wouldn’t wish it back
but I’d wish us back to that windowsill
if it meant things would stay the same between us.
[missing an old friend tonight]
There are some voices inside
I thought I’d silenced long ago
but they begin to whisper
at the worst of times
and grow louder
before I have the chance
to smile at the mirror
I want to tell that girl she is beautiful
and that I’ve always loved her
but the voices soon reach a crescendo
drowning me out
so I guess she’ll never know
Not, unless I scream
Missed opportunities scratch at my heel like thorns.
Under duress, I let my dream wilt like a flower in late summer.
Silently, I weep for the barren fields
I could not nurture in my youth.
Crushed petals in my hands, the fragrance of regret.
At night, I am the only one who tosses and turns.
I know this because our house is small
and we keep our bedroom doors open.
There are no secrets in this house.
We are what we are –
at least to each other,
at least on the surface.