Sunday, October 26, 2014

"The Temporary Guest"

[FUN FACT: This poem, along with "Firsts", has been published in the Spring 2015 issue of Hypertrophic Literary. You can buy that issue here on Amazon if you're interested! There are also cool works from a bunch of other people too :)]

I wake up before you; a general recurring trend.
I normally sleep well but my eyes open wide
- wider than our potential -
because everything is sweeter when nothing is promised.
I memorize your humble abode faster than I ever have for school;
the colors of the painting on the wall,
the way your clock doesn't have all the numbers.

The leaves and dirt my boots left on the floor
are incongruous to the rest of the room,
as unwelcome as my expectations are
in the places where I meet people like you.

The uncomfortable truth is that I would rather look everywhere but behind me -
I'm afraid that if I look at you for too long
I'll ascribe poetic beauty to your features
and fall for them until they are a source of hurt.
I'm afraid that if I look at my past,
I'll know that the right thing to do is to leave
Before you can leave me without having been present.
I don't want to leave because it's cold outside;
at least it's warm when you hold me, even if you're not towards me.

Every Friday, we become generous individuals,
giving up our inhibitions,
our time,
half a bed,
our personal space,
anecdotes to put a story behind the face,
but not the fear of commitment.
Every Friday is the best thief yet;
they always come and go without a trace.
Fridays leave no messages, no desire to happen again.

The sun comes up and we intertwine fingers.
I like this. I try to differentiate that from I like you
and I tell myself I would still enjoy this if you were someone else.
But I don't like that this thought is reciprocated.
Does that mean I like you?

I lie here, realizing I've got your shirt on the wrong way round
and I could say the same about my head.
I put your shirt on the right way and will my head to switch likewise -
it's Saturday. On Saturdays, we wear indifference;
we pick up the walls we took off last night and get dressed.

"Thanks," I say as I get out of your car. "I had a good time."
I shut the door behind me
Knowing that was also the moment I left your world
for I was only a temporary guest.
I clutch my small bag of amenities;
your words, which I will replay and recount to keep Friday alive,
your phone number, which I will never call,
my unjustified confusion,
and go back home.