He won’t let me title it poetry, anymore

And now I understand why you wrote bad poems that made no sense and made us all listen to them. And why my snowflakes glittered on the page but had no bells to voice their waltz, and why I sat and listened, and stewed like Thanksgiving dinner at the rooster’s cry.

And now I get why you needed to blast the vocal shadow-play of paper dolls pretending to be ripped and ink-smattered like you, crowding up our ears in the dark dorm room. It’s hard enough to hold on to a rope bridge swaying towards heaven, let’s make it easier with a whipping gust of wind to jostle you along the path.

And now I see why your friends smelled like skunk dung on the bottom of a shoe yet spoke in lipstick donuts iced into fantastical shapes, and now I know why your eyes needed to burrow between mountains of lash and kohl and why your hair needed to roll like the last river dancing down the planet’s pure white skin. Because when inside is a black desert, you feel you will blow away in dust if you don’t construct a sharply tangible husk to hold you outside when the wind picks up.

And now I comprehend as a native speaker the riddles I once hated out of you. And now out of me they are a blanket of sugar-snow, a swell of sea-jeweled music, a swirling handwritten stanza dripping like chocolate sauce out of a fountain pen.

And now I get why you asked me where I was going but never wherefore. I understand

perfectly the pain

that prevented you from giving a soft-buttocked damn

about my pain. I couldn’t give

a softer-buttocked damn about yours. Now,

I have graduated.

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Image credit: By Lambtron – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37808953

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