your smile

For whatever reason,
I can only remember you smiling at me,
it was like our past slipped away like a childhood
and in Nietzsche’s abyss that stares back at you,
all I can see
is nothing.
It’s like the steps to growing up and apart
crossed over to part broken glass
so that so many of our lessons
would only be taught after things were broken.
Where habits replaced before they thought to fix
and in a mix this bright
we lose sight over anything past our own faces,
like the fences at the edge of our touch,
or that compulsive blinking
when our eyes dry this much.
Now there are limits to our understandings,
but we’re dying for a few scars
and to be seen like stars
in contrast with nothing but the space between us,
but for whatever reason, I can only remember you smiling at me.
It’s as if from at the start
my mind was only taking pictures apart from life
and all the ones that I didn’t like
got neatly placed into a shoe box and got burned.
I can remember all the reasons and the work it took
for us to stay together,
but nothing of any of the walls we built
when the snap of our fingers turned to leather
and it was at some point in time
when those fingers began to point, rather than touch\
and our smiles no longer ran with eye contact.
It was like the contract was up,
but I cant remember why,
or even to try and untie these knots,
because yours make you from water,
your knots come with sea legs,
they’re strong enough to hold ships together,
but they loosen with a single tug
and I’m still trying to untie mine,
but they only remind me
that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Because I can only remember moments
and like some 90-pound girl
who thinks she needs to lose weight, so she does,
I’m watching these memories thin out through changes
and I know they’ll either disappear, or die over time
and there’s nothing I can do about it.
It’s a sinking ship that’s caught my leg and I’m drowning
watching you swim like a dancer
in the only place where sunlight sparkles
long enough to be disturbed
by all the air I couldn’t hold in,
so I want to remember broken plates
at a time when there were no accidents,
I want to remember what it was I said
that convinced you that I’d asked for this
and I want to remember things that don’t make me miss you,
through those misused tissues
and the difference between using those tissues
for crying, or for materbaiting
either way
you’re cleaning up emotions,
like those love potions
on the poems that I only wrote for you,
but for whatever reason
I can only remember is your smile
and that smile is like miles of food
and I’m starving,
it’s kept me from trusting other trust worthy women
and I have been teaching myself to cope,
but this rope isn’t long enough for me to get there
and I am aware
that nobody can live up to somebody else’s hopes,
like that grope of an implied ownership
where it feels like bodies don’t just have to stand,
they have to stand the test of time,
through the bitter and the sublime
through winter and past the signs
where age has us sagging like we were reaching to the ground,
because gravity tries harder every day
and after all these attempted situations,
I’ve left myself going it alone
as if my bones were already ground to dust
and known to trust only the wind
where I can always be found
right where the ground meets the sounds I make
every time I think of you.

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About Sean O'Gorman

Spoken Word poet from Ottawa. View all posts by Sean O'Gorman

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