metaphorliteral: (Default)
You were in my subconsciousness
deep as a fault line,
and with your absence comes a trembling
as the tectonic plates of what I know to be true
slide together uncomfortably
and set my whole mind shaking.

There's been an earthquake in my head
and it looks like the buildings are still standing
but everything's been structurally damaged--
there is no water running, no electricity,
nothing left to connect these disparate broken thoughts,
and the gas lines have all burst,
leaving some of them quite flammable to the smallest spark.

All these beautiful historic buildings,
all the architecture built in place on a foundation of love,
all the open windows looking into trashed rooms,
all the sturdy doorways opening onto rubble,
it'll all have to come down now,
razed to the ground once the aftershocks die down.

The tremors are still happening, though.
I can't do anything to rebuild until the ground quiets.
Perhaps the tectonic plates will settle
without the buffer you made between the jagged edges.
Fault lines don't just disappear,
but if I'm lucky this one will lie quiescent for the rest of my days.

Fidelity

Mar. 20th, 2014 04:46 pm
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
Call me pathetic,
maybe it's true--
This unswerving loyalty I hold for you
like a dog waiting for her long-gone master,
instincts drawn to the sound of your voice--
Call me and I'll come.
Call me from anywhere, I'll come.
Only call me, please, call my name
and I'll find you, if I know you want me,
if I'm not kicked to the curb
to roam the night like an unloved stray.
I was wanted, once--
You wanted me, once, kept me close,
said my name fondly, like it was precious to you.
I'm good enough to keep, aren't I?
Someone would take me in
but I'd just steal out and wander the streets
howling for the one I love--
the one who loved me once--
neither leashed nor collared but cherished all the same.
Let me be yours again, I swear I'll be good,
won't bite or growl, won't beg for petting,
just let me curl up at your feet,
let me guard your heart,
give me a place beside you to rest my head.
Put your name on my tag
so everyone can see where I belong,
so they know I'm always heading home.
There's no place I want to be but home--
at your side, at peace: home.
metaphorliteral: (Default)
They say you can't love anyone if you don't love yourself.
I stared long and hard into the mirror's surface
and eventually I started to accept the flaws I never
thought of as lovable before I had learned to stand
on my own two feet, even if I could only stand for an hour.
I found myself in a field lit only by stars,

found the single one I would call my star,
found my star every time I couldn't love myself,
coming back night after night to the field that was ours.
I walked by the water and saw myself below the surface,
walked on the ice to make a stand
against this frozen side of me that could never

thaw enough to feel the warmth of flame, never
find the spot of sky that holds my star,
never reach out far enough to take his hand.
If I wanted him, first I had to love myself,
so I pulled my frozen side through the surface
of the ice, held her in my arms for hours,

told her my history, hers, ours,
and slowly melted the ice that had bound her forever.
It felt like holding my breath under the surface
of the shining sea of light, witnessed by my star,
becoming one with this newly loved part of myself,
feeling the chill as my hand touched her hand

and overlapped, as we united, and
it took a year, or maybe an hour,
but at the end I loved my entire self
with a frantic single-mindedness I never
should have turned upon another, but like my star,
he'd been my constant reminder of why I had to look beyond the surface

of my teary eyes, delve beneath the surface
of my shallow thoughts. He was why I loved myself,
and how should I not have loved my lucky star?
I brought him to the dark field I considered ours
and showed him where I'd looked for comfort, ever
finding his brightness to turn me back to myself.

He never had trouble seeing past my surface,
but never saw me as a shining star,
and never told me how he saw himself, for all we talked for hours.
metaphorliteral: (Default)
This isn't good for either of us
but you're not the one being consumed.
You flare bright, shower sparks
and at your slightest touch I burn
and burn, and burn, and can't stop burning
and won't stop until there's nothing left of me
but smoke hanging heavy in the sky
and the burnt-out remains of what held me together.
This isn't good for either of us
but it's too late.
I know your touch.
The fire's already raging through me.
Maybe you'll recover, collect yourself,
maybe you'll delight different eyes,
but there is no after-you for me.
There's only this fire, until I'm burned up,
until you leave me ruined behind you.

Limerence

Jun. 25th, 2012 10:14 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
I don't have to put it in words again.
I spelled it out quite clearly the first time:
I love you more than I know how to bear,
and perhaps I can't-- not gracefully, at least.
How many times did I resort to tears?
(But never in your presence, oh no,
I did my hardest work trying not to manipulate you.)
How many times did I lie awake all night,
failing to put thoughts of you from my mind?
How many times did my opinion of myself fall,
thinking that I should be stronger,
that I should be able to content myself with platonic love?

I wish I'd known this word a year ago,
wish I'd known I could put a name to my feelings.
Would it have helped me to see it defined--
intrusive thinking, need for reciprocation,
fear of rejection paired with hope--
or would it have made no difference at all?

I'll never know, having resolved it before naming it.
I'll never know, and never need to know,
now that you've given me what I needed so badly,
now that you've dispelled my fears.
I'm limerent no longer-- I've become beloved,
and now, perhaps, I'll find I can be graceful,
bearing up under the (much-lightened) burden of love.
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
Something golden-sweet
tantalizes my tongue.
Did I imagine it?
A taste of honey...

Golden as summer sunlight
and sweet as you, my love,
dripping slowly off the spoon
before I stir it into tea.

Once upon a time, this
was the most sweetness
anyone would ever get:
a taste of honey.

Now we've got cane sugar
and high fructose corn syrup
but this is still the best--
licking one sweet drop from your skin.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
summer day
eating ripe cherries
and thinking about your full lower lip
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
My ship has come in
after I spent so long in my lighthouse
guiding it safely to shore.
For all those nights I blinked my light
hoping you'd see and understand
a message of hope--
and then-- sails on the horizon
steadily approaching my quiet beach.
I didn't sit here waiting.
It's hard work to run a lighthouse
but it's vital--
maybe I saved your life with my beacon.

Maybe I saved my own.

Come into my harbor, where I wait on the dock--
throw me a rope, let me secure you here.
Show me what you brought from distant lands,
unload your burdens.

Stay here a while
and write your name on the white sand beach
in stones and shells that will stay
long after the day you sail away.

untitled 3

May. 14th, 2012 06:17 pm
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
You disarm me.
For you, I'll bare my throat.
For you, I'll submit.
For you, I'll show my vulnerabilities
and beg you to take advantage of them
shivering under your fingertips when you do.
For you and no one else
I will lay down in your arms
and close my eyes, and sleep.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
Usually logic and emotion don't work together.
You either listen to your head or your heart.
Most people aren't balanced-- one or other holds sway,
and instead of being whole they only work with part.

I let emotion guide my rationality,
measuring decisions more with heart than mind,
but I'm decent at synthesizing both sides
and that's how I contrive to usually be kind.

You're a logical thinker, almost exclusively.
Getting swept up in emotion's not an issue for you.
You look at different angles to solve a problem,
and once you start a train of thought you tend to see it through.

So when you qualified "I love you" with "logically,"
and showed me the criteria, proofs, and facts,
I could see how your brain guided your heart
though both routes resulted in the same impact.

I fell in love with you like a bolt from the blue.
You deliberated over love more painstakingly,
but now we're both wearing the same silly smile.
Emotion and logic both got us where we need to be.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
My body isn't traitorous enough
to be uncomfortable when yours
is resting on it.
I can (and have) been
your pillow for hours on end
without a single nerve cell
falling asleep.
How could I waste
a moment of contact
when I count every embrace
as dear as I do?
No, I stay aware,
pacing my breath to yours,
trying to memorize this feeling
of sweet contentment.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
hands entwined
let me lead you down empty corridors
peek into rooms filled with antiquities
show you the truth behind rumors
pick the locks and discover treasures
delighted by what we find
let's throw these doors open
shine our flashlights into corners
walk boldly through these hidden places
go places maybe we shouldn't go
satisfy our curiosity if we can
if you think we can
I don't think we can
but let's try anyways
together

timepiece

Apr. 11th, 2012 12:50 pm
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
At last, I've been deconstructed,
every part scrutinized with a jeweler's loupe,
then put back together by careful hands
painstakingly, fixing the worn-down places,
replacing the broken-toothed cogs
and the cloudy piece of quartz that kept me running.
I've been upgraded-- now my heart's a diamond
refracting rainbows in the spotlight of love.
Take me in your hands and hold me up to the sun
to see the sparkle of affection light me up.
I've been reset-- keeping perfect time
to the measured beat of your racing heart.
Wear me in your pocket, take me out at intervals
and check my unerring tally of the minutes I've been yours.
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
You could be just what I need.
Play with my neurotransmitters,
toy with my hormone levels,
make my heart beat faster.

You're a dopamine rush,
100% approach motivation,
a flood of oxytocin,
a direct line to my amygdala.

You're better than antidepressants,
more pure than medical opiates,
the sweetest high I've ever tasted.

Neither of us keeps eyes open when we kiss.
Every embrace is a double-blind experiment.

You could just be a placebo,
but even sugar pills work sometimes.
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
I can't be honest with you
looking into your eyes,
which isn't to say that I lie
because I never lie to you--
except for when you ask
"what are you laughing about?"
but the words I can't speak to you--
that's the source of my poetry.

One day, my beloved muse,
one day soon I will hand you my poems
and you will understand
why I laugh,
you will know the truth
of why I smile when I see you.

One day when your golden hair's gone grey
you will take my chapbook from the shelf
and remember the woman
who laughed out loud
and honestly loved
every terrible pun you told,
every wry twist of your lips,
every time I couldn't tell you something

and poured out poetry instead.

xenophile

Mar. 29th, 2012 10:16 pm
metaphorliteral: (typewriter)
I'm talented at seeing things from others' point of view,
but I don't know how the world looks through your eyes.
You're a foreign language, mellifluous and incomprehensible.
You're a different species, the last surviving gentleman.

You're a recipe with one unreadable ingredient-- I can't get you right.
So I ask and ask and try to interpret the look on your face,
checking eyebrows and lips against my mental lexicon,
deciphering your expression and frequently getting it wrong.

Forgive me when I say "you look tired" or "are you okay?"
Forgive me when I study your features like a map.
Forgive me when I get lost in translation--
I may be an expert at reading people but I'm a novice at you.

Talking to you is like walking on the moon--
exhilarating and terrifying, cut loose from gravity.

lullaby

Mar. 29th, 2012 10:12 pm
metaphorliteral: (play crack the sky)
close your eyes, dear one
let me quiet your mind
lay your fears to rest
talk you through the dark hours
convince you you're all right

whisper legends in your ear
catch your favorite constellation
and hang it from your ceiling

to watch over you while you sleep
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
Is this the legacy I want to leave?
A year's worth of lovesickness,
the slow progression from thwarted desire
to almost-fulfillment and back again?
What will my heirs think of my college notebooks?
Will they know the source of my inspiration?
Will they blush to read about his kind hands,
or roll their eyes, dismissing my words as hyperbole?
Will anyone take the time to pull out my yearbook,
searching through faces until they find the one?
Or will they decide it's someone it wasn't?
All the passion, the frustration, the longing,
misinterpreted, utterly misunderstood?

Does it matter if I'm misread?
My clumsy interpretations of the masters notwithstanding,
so what if no one can pin down my Maud Gonne?
I'm no Yeats, my muse starts no revolutions,
my love ignites no firebrands, just the solitary torch I carry,
my little candle guttering as summer draws near.

Still, maybe one day he'll pull out my chapbook
to show to a daughter or a son with an artistic bent,
or take it down from a shelf once he's gone grey
to remember the woman who loved him so long ago.

a new high

Mar. 29th, 2012 09:59 pm
metaphorliteral: (we bleed the ink of subtle allegory)
I cling to sobriety like a last resort
rather than a first line of defense.

Intoxication has failed me once again,
wine tying my tongue into knots instead of loosening it,
weed dragging me down rather than getting me high.

I'm swearing off the lot of it.
I'm pouring liquor down the drain by the bottle,
I'm throwing baggies onto bonfires and walking away.

Only one thing works any more.
I'm strung out after one hit, trembling for want of it,
shaky like a junkie just remembering that trip.

Just put your arms around me and let me feel your warmth.

Kiss my lips once more and send my head spinning through the stars.
metaphorliteral: (in the process)
Touch me.
I won't ask twice.
Let your hands go where your eyes wander.
Do what you like.
I'm saying yes.
Yes.
Please.
Please me.
Don't overthink it.
Let's make this happen here and now.
Want me.
I know you want me.
Don't you know how I want you?
Take me.
Make me yours.
All I want is to be yours.

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