Thirteen things I never got around to telling you

I think adjectives are underrated
and I am very particular about prepositions

I have been to Samarkand, I have seen a courtyard
decorated for a wedding, long tables set out
under the trees, all the place settings adorned
with oranges and Coca-Cola

I am not very fond
of any of my names

I have a sister, I have ten living cousins
and one dead, I know the full names
of all my great-grandparents, I spend too much time
thinking about how genes are sorted and combined

(Some things go here
that can’t be discussed in public)

I appreciate how elephants communicate,
over great distances and in such low tones
that no one but other elephants can hear them

As a child I spent a lot of time in the attic
visiting the unwanted things

I am clumsy, I can’t throw balls
or catch or hit them, I’m always falling,
I have bruises I don’t understand,
I’m always bleeding somewhere,
learning the steps of the simplest dance
is utterly beyond me, when I stand
and talk with people I’m never sure
where to put my hands or head,
I’m never really sure
where any of the parts of my body are anyway

My car is yellow,
my bedroom is purple,
I dream in color

In the first dream I remember
Dracula chained me in the attic
and flew in every night
to see how I was getting on

I don’t like birds I might just be jealous

I read the same books
over and over, always order
the same thing off the menu,
hardly ever take up
with anyone new,
do you understand
what I’m saying

I sleep on my left side. I am lying on it now.
It’s cold in this room, the window might be open,
it’s November now, it’s dark, the cat
is pressing herself into my leg, my birthday
is in February, I’m a winter child, did I mention
I’m cold, always cold, and this poem
is shuddering with cold
and terror

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9 thoughts on “Thirteen things I never got around to telling you

  1. You made me think …

    I am not very fond of any of my names

    I have nine living cousins and one dead, I know the full names of all my great-grandparents

    My car is black
    my bedroom yellow
    I dream in colour

    I go to sleep on my right side, wake up on my back …

    Thank you Melissa – we could make a whole world poem from this one of yours, and every one would be different!

  2. Peter Newton says:

    haven’t been right since the election
    hard time writing
    kind of requires hope doesn’t it
    or maybe it’s the hope when there’s not much to be found
    but I knew it was still there somewhere
    your words
    your poem
    reminded me: okay maybe I can write my way through this

    great stuff and liked your otata poems too.

      • Peter Newton says:

        Perfect World

        a small collection of optimism
        from a winter cynic hoping for hope

        first snow
        the thought of it
        before opening my eyes

        scraping by
        another white Christmas
        in a one-plow town

        our long beach walk
        takes most of the morning
        shortest day

        fake news
        hit on the head
        by a piece of sky

        the snow globe
        drawn into its
        perfect world

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