Monday, August 4, 2008

Poem for my stranger (composed on a BlackBerry)

I hope if you could see me now,
You'd still think I was cool.
Hair piled high in a messy bun
(--I know you like it
The other way--)
A sweatshirt drags below and drowns
My hands,
Jeans muddy and wet
From the dog
Whom I hate.
Toes gritty from wearing flip-flops
Would probably poke fun at me)
On that two-hour hike through
The New England woods.
Eyes puffy and miserable
From waking sleepless at four.
Head throbbing
From crying my eyes out just before bed
and not having the energy to get up
and take out my lenses
and brush the pie I'd eaten in an attempt to cheer
myself up
off my teeth.
For reasons indiscernible even to me,
I am reading
Seventeen magazine
For the fifth listless time in a row.

I guess I hope you remember me
For what you saw me as:
Clean, pretty, cheery, witty,
Showering at six in the morning
And going to bed at eleven
Or one
Or two.
I guess I hope you liked how
I was.

On the other hand
On the other hand I hope that
Wasn't what you liked.
On the other hand I hope you remember
The sarcasm and snappiness,
The flippant lack of care for the rules,
How a notebook cover
Could not just be a notebook cover,
But had to be a canvas.
How I tried to read
The Cider House Rules
But ended up with my forehead nestled between
the pages,
Too relaxed to do anything
But lie there
And listen intently
To whatever happened to be playing
On my iPod.
When uninterested,
I would take whatever hapless piece of paper happened
to be lying there--
Drawing book, notebook, handout on which it was
vitally important
Not to draw--
And draw on it.

I hope you remember
That intense, foggy look I would get
When misunderstood
And how much more intense it would get
When communicated
To you.
Through your eyes.

My stranger,
It isn't that I could forget those eyes
But that I could forget you.
Meaning falls from a page,
Leaks through a picture,
Slips away from clothes,
Seeps out of art.
The eyes
I have.
I know.
You cannot see a stranger
And forget his eyes.
Have you ever tried?
You can't.
But my stranger,
My stranger's eyes will not only be not forgotten,
But forever ingrained
Behind mine.

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