Seventeen Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Seven Seconds.
By Megan Smith
The first thing I noticed
about you was
your right collarbone.
It was tucked schemingly,
beneath the hole in your carmine t-shirt.
You were elegantly disheveled.
It became increasingly clear to me
in that moment that my lips
were created in this exact shape,
supple and parted half-way for you
to place that sophisticated collarbone
Instead you gave me your hand.
After seventeen thousand four hundred and twenty seven seconds
of pretending I was a lady
while you smiled from across the room,
you introduced yourself.
And even though I’d already meticulously
undressed you in my head thirteen times
I said, “Hello,” bashfully.
Your love engulfed my heart-sleeves
so fiercely that December.
We melted the pockets
of Tennessee snowfall on my balcony,
made love in parking garages,
made love in piles of clean laundry,
made love on poetry books,
made love on our bathroom countertop,
where I placed smitten lipstick kisses
on the mirror.
Maybe it was the slight gap in your teeth,
or the fact that your skin
almost never broke out,
but I was drunk on your tongue,
sensational Scorpio kisses,
I sucked you into my lungs,
You tasted like leather,
I opened my heart like hibiscus,
felt your cold-shoulder like sunrise
and never realized the difference.
You sucked me up, hummingbird.
Pulled me apart and painted
me ashamed for my reality.
Evidently, the stories
that shaped my backbone
were too much for you.
I was more pleasant to appreciate
when I was less complicated.
So we sat soundless;
I bent my discomfort
into origami earplugs
so I wouldn’t have to hear my intuition
claw its way into my heartbeat.
The claws of intuition are unblunted.
“It’s been a while since we spoke,“
I addressed you partner,
no-roommate, no-lost lover
who used to devour my heart-strings
I watched you pour
from your faucet of silence,
your eyelids determined
to block my face
staring at you determined to this time engage in conversation.
Determined that this time,
I would tell the truth.
I would say, “I love you,“
and not swallow my throat for the “however.“
I swallowed my throat for the “however.“
I never thought I was trying to change you.
I suppose some part of me knew
that your love was a half-assed poem
shoved in the back pocket
of the pants you purchased
when you were still trying to impress me.
But I am still trying to impress you.
I am still forcing you into poems
like microscopes, hoping I can find something
in the seventeen thousand four hundred and twenty seven seconds
you have spent staring at me,
other than everything you wanted me to be
that I never was.
I suppose the goddess inside
of me was tired of being ignored.
my love is a bathtub
filled with lavender
and your heart is just too waterproof.
I felt the sunrise,
watched from an overhang
tucked away in the side of a mountain,
like a kangaroo pouch.
The sun painted over the rash
on my right collar bone
where I still find the hairs
from your face.
I felt the colors whisk through my skin.
I experienced a silence,
I remembered when I discussed the sun to you,
for twenty eight minutes I said orange,
I cannot appreciate orange without heat.
You never really had much to say.
To the next girl who stumbles
breathless at your collarbones,
yes, they are regal.
And yes, he will keep your blood
pumping vicious and lovely
from miles away.
He will make you barbeque tempeh pizza,
take you to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains,
thank you for being so astoundingly beautiful.
I know him so I know you will be.
So beautiful girl,
drink him up entirely.
For he learned the cost
of taking that for granted.
I know how easy it is to love him.
Just as easy as it is to forget to love yourself.
When I finally admitted
your love was not enough to make me happy,
I collected your ashes from my bedsheets,
shoved in my thumbs
and smudged Forgive on my tongue.
I hope when I speak of you
I can forgive myself.
Megan Smith is a writer, dancer, lover, mover, shaker, and seeker of adventure. She studies object manipulation and movement patterns as a way to express the things her mind does not yet know. She uses poetry to express the things her body is too shy to admit. You could connect with Megan via her website or on Facebook.