archives, poetry

Seventeen Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Seven Seconds.


{via Pinterest}

{Photo via Pinterest}

By Megan Smith



Part One.

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

between them.

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.

Part Two.

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,

dark chocolate,

Nag Champa,


Part Three.

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.

Part Four.

The claws of intuition are unblunted.

Part Five.

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.

Part Six.

I swallowed my throat for the “however.

Part Seven.

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.

You see,

my love is a bathtub

filled with  lavender

ginger roots,

sugared grapefruit.


ripped open,

and your  heart is just too waterproof.

Part Eight.

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.

A rainbow.

I felt the colors whisk through my skin.

I experienced a silence,

comfortable, penetrable.

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.

Part Nine.

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.

Part Ten.

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.


MeganSmithMegan 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.


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