Ghost Letters, p.1

Dear First Love,

I’ve realized that I’ve had trouble saying your name recently. Each time I do, I get the taste of blood in my mouth. I hope this doesn’t happen forever. I miss the taste of love on my tongue, speaking in tongues of praise. You, First Love, are the definition of a love not yet experienced. I wonder if you still think of me and the way you used to run your thumb across the palm of my hand while you held it, or the way you used to brush my hair with your fingers, cursing the day I cut it. You found comfort in calling me yours, in seeking a home within me; a safe-haven. Do you remember when you slept over for the last time? We watched a movie with the strangest plot. It was about man and a woman that find a brass teapot that gave money whenever they harmed themselves. We laid in my living room on the couch till late at night, quiet kisses in the dark. You fell to the ground on your knees and told me how much you loved me. You told me how amazing I am, how you couldn’t believe how lucky you were. You started crying. I didn’t know that this was you trying to say goodbye. It was different since then. The next month was when you ended things. I convinced you to stay with me. My friends held an intervention, saying that I was trying to hold on to something that wasn’t going anywhere. I should’ve believed them. So, you see, First Love, I can’t move on the way that you wish I had. I cannot forget everything that I had endured. I wish you had been more gentle with me. Maybe I wouldn’t still be here holding my heart in my pocket with everybody I meet. I wish you were still in my life. I just won’t admit that I miss you, or that I wished you miss me.

Love,

Your First Love

We lay in bed wide awake, hoping for a sign that we had a chance. Or at least that’s what your eyes said, at a glance. Your hands warm with the fire that burned my skin. You never stood a chance with the idea of romance. Now I sit in bed, alone in my head and I don’t want to talk anymore. I miss you a lot, and I don’t want to talk at all.

These lines were inspired by i miss you a lot (happy birthday) by flatsound. I found that this song truly covers nearly every emotion I have ever felt about him. I could not get this song out of my head for the longest time. I find that it contradicts everything that I feel, and everything that I say. At least that’s how I feel listening to it. I find that when somebody misses a person, or loves a person deeply, they can’t stop talking to them or about them. But in my case, I had loved a person so deeply, and missed them so painfully that I didn’t even want to talk anymore. I developed a silence that I could only express in writing. 

I can draw your room by memory. My hands can still follow your body. Each beauty spot, tan line and curve was worshiped by my own hand. You breath was uneasy. You told me you trust me and love me. Now your breath is still cold, and your body still holds as a place of worship, but my hands no longer transcribe the scripture of love from your breath.

I always come back to this moment we had shared. It’s the moment I knew I was in love with him. I knew I had loved him deeply, but this moment was special. I feel like I write about this moment profusely, and I continuously try to write about the same moment in a different form. This refers to the body being a temple of worship, but no longer holding me as the person of worship. I guess thinking about it now, I had an unhealthy mindset that my world did truly revolved around him. 

Last night I laid in bed listening to the rain fall. The verbatim of the drops on my window sounded like a knocking, asking me to come outside to enjoy the view of the fire being let up by the storm.

I was laying in bed one night, and for the first time in my life, I found comfort in the sound of thunder and rain. It was 3 a.m., and I thought about him outside my window. I had  imagined this as a sign that I never wanted. I recorded the audio of rain hitting my window, and had the urge to create something out of it. Create something from the sadness I felt in that moment. 

After 3 a.m., I spoke your name freely like a love poem. Your name absent in my sober thought and word. After 3 a.m., your name drunkenly spells out love on my tongue.

I found that I never talk about my ex openly unless I am drunk off insomnia. I find that when I give up the control on my mind, I start to speak about him in terms of love and devotion. My mind is always weak when I’m dancing with insomnia. 

Spring, 1999 (revised)

There is a house on the South Side of Chicago,

home to a four-year-old girl.

A house with a bright green lawn, freshly mowed,

and two large bushes in front.

You can often see flowers growing in the ground

underneath them.

The image of this house I completely contrary to the truth

 

This building was compiled of bricks, cement and large windows

and did not feel like home to my four-year-old self.

This building was made on a foundation of betrayal.

This was no home to me.

The mortar between the bricks is soft and eaten away

by insects; this house is falling,

sinking,

towards the ground—my home is no more.

 

My stocky black hair whips across my baby skin,

with tears heavy enough to drag me towards the ground.

The birds were singing again,

and the sun was hiding behind a cloud.

This weather signifies new beginnings, but this house

without the home of my father’s arms was the end of all.

My four-year-old self cries for her father, she wails for him,

asking why he cannot stay in this strange house with her.

Her father comforts her as she cries

 

We will be together soon, he says

 

Her delicate heart could not comprehend why

he must do this, why he has to leave. She was

trying to understand why her world must come to an end.

 

As he walked away, she listened to the heel-toe click of his footsteps,

and thought to the beat of his step

there’s no place like home

                        there’s no place like home

                                    there’s no place like home

Things I Wish I Didn’t Know

I wish I never knew what it feels like to have a broken heart.

How each bone in your body feels like it’s dragging as baggage.

How each portion of food you ate never really satisfied you.

I wish I never knew what it feels like to be discriminated against.

How the color of my skin determines how I walk this earth.

How being a woman labels me as a second class citizen;

a backseat passenger.

I wish I never knew what it feels like to miss a ghost.

How the wind blowing makes me think about the way you walked.

How the leaves changing colors makes me think about your heart changing beats.

I wish I never knew what it meant to live in the world in fear.

When I walk into a home on the first floor.

When I walk down the street, thinking about the person walking behind me.

I wish I never knew what it meant to be a woman without the right to her own body.

How my right to choose is criticized; my right to make my own decision.

How I am not allowed to walk the streets alone without the fear of getting sexually

assaulted.

I wish I never knew what your house looked like.

How the stairs going up to your room is right by the door, welcoming me in.

How the kitchen was always bright—either by your smile, or by the refrigerator light.

I wish I never knew what your lips felt like against my neck.

Your warm breath as you exhale.
Your hands gripping my waist, always pulling me closer.

I wish I never knew violence.

Those cries from the mothers, wives, children, fathers, brothers. They Can’t Breathe.

Those cell phones ringing in the silence of the Pulse club.

I wish I never knew that boys pick on the girl they like.

I wouldn’t have let you pick at my bones.

I wouldn’t have accepted that I was never enough for you

Time stands still

Time has stood still for the past three years of my life. I don’t entirely know what is happening a majority of the time. I’ve written countless poems about you, and it’s been nearly three years. Time has stood still since that March. I try to remember, and I try to replay the moments we shared in my head. I think about different things that I could’ve said; about things I should’ve said differently. You told me that you were hurt that I regretted my first time with you, but it was you that misunderstood. I could never regret that time we shared together. I felt as if that was all you wanted, that my body was the only thing that you searched for whenever you touched me. We were young, and I don’t think we had the best communication skills. I wonder if things would be different if we met when we were a little older. I think about the pros and the cons. Things seem to make more sense to me when they’re compiled in a list. Pro; I’m focused on school, I have a job, I’m building myself up, I’m becoming stronger and more independent, and I am becoming more and more educated about the world around me. Con; I keep wishing that you had been right by my side this whole time. I know that most of these things would never have happened unless you were out of my life, but I can’t help but wish it had been different. I wish you had been the exception. I don’t know, I hope one day I can move on, and forget that we ever happened. It would hurt less. I would write less heartbreaking poetry about you, about us. Time has stood still for the past three years, and I’m scared that I’ll never move from this time in space.

Graveyards

My body is a graveyard of forgotten souls.

I hold funerals and memorials every year for each one.

On the anniversary of our death,

I remember you,

standing at the end of the bridge,

looking down

down at the river.

You asked me,

              would you jump in for me if I fell?

Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to swim in water,

or in love.

This graveyard holds my bones.

They hold the stories of each forgotten memory.

My spine,

my right hip,

my right shoulder.

I’m convinced that you are still

a part of me

 

I wonder if I am still a part of you.

 

Do your bones ache because of me?

Do you hold funerals,

memorials,

vigils, every year for me?

 

I hope you light a candle for me at my casket,

one for each time I ever crossed your mind.

 

I hope you set the world on fire

with the thought of me.

Skin Cells

Skin cells regenerate every 27 days. The cells in my body change every season like the love you had for me, and it’s been so long since my skin has felt your touch. Three years have passed. I have not felt the touch of a man since then. I try to remember how your hands felt around me, and sometimes I can even feel them on my arms. I can still feel those pointless taps on the shoulder, the simple hand holding. I try to bring myself to feel it again. I have not felt the touch of another living soul for three years.

You are still in the upstairs attic of my mind. You are still a resident in this body I call home. My cells have regenerated about 41 times since you last touched me; since you last kissed my lips, touched my body. My cells hold secrets, they whisper to each other on my neck, and they tell the stories of us. They have kept your memory alive.

My skin cells have regenerated, but you are still with me.