Saturday, January 11, 2014

A picture is worth a thousand poems.

Though it pains me to admit this, there are times that I get insanely jealous of those people who can draw and paint and bring things to life in that way. Instead of letting jealousy eat away at my insides, I do what comes naturally and use my words to tell a story. I give a voice to those people captured in portraits and paintings. And you know what? There is merit in that, too.

Take this as an example of "art skills that make Jenn jealous":
You can buy this. You should. It's stunning.
How could I not get lost in her? How could I not think about what she's feeling and what put that look on her face? After I waded through my initial reaction to this piece, I took the next logical step and told my version of her story. The words came pouring out almost faster than I could write. (Thank God for computers, auto-saving, and spell check.) Admittedly, there is a little of my story in there. Maybe a little of my friends' stories in there. Maybe you'll see a little of your story in there. But that's the most amazing thing about art - whether it is a painting, photograph, or poem, there's a good chance you'll recognize a piece of yourself in something beautiful.

Here is where I need to give credit where credit is due: I am humbled by the fact that the artist who created this gorgeous piece let me post his work to this poetry blog. Obed Raimundo is a ridiculously talented (and an all-around wonderful) guy. You should check his stuff out immediately (here or here or here ) after you finish reading this blog post.

Alright. You've come this far. Here's my poem:

See Me

While rocking myself to sleep, I hold my heart tight and force the tears back down.
The words are burning in my stomach, scratching my throat, and clawing to get out.
You stare and I reach for the flashes of contempt, but drown in a sympathy I don’t want. 

There is nothing I wouldn't gladly give to have my eyes and gaze haunt you.
My ghosts following and wordlessly demanding you to recognize the here and now.
The maybes, what ifs, could happens, and mights. 

Must you live in the whys and hows of history?
How can you set my lively spirit aside to make room for the dead ones in your past?
Can’t you give me just a few days of your present? Tuesday evening will do.

What are you seeing when you look through me?
I want to know the things you’re searching for on the other side.
My body feels hollow; your gaze is sharp and it cuts through flesh and bones. 

Focus. You must see me. Perfectly flawed, but willing and wanting you.
Would it help if I touched your face? Ran my fingertips over your lips?
These hands are not the cold ones from your nightmares. These hands are warm and curious. 

This is me begging. Look at my face and deny the truth living there.
I dare you to read my goosebumps like braille.
You’ll find all of my secrets rising up through this skin. Given to you freely, but with consequence. 

Are you afraid that these straining muscles will make you come undone?
That these eyes are mirrors; reflecting the thoughts you’d rather not think? That the words you are scared of hearing will fall out of my mouth? Drip right off my tongue like the sweetest honey. 

My lips won’t tell you lies - - they will show you the truth.
My dreams are dancing on the edge of reality - - can you trust me to take the lead?
Hold my hand and know that I can’t and won’t do this or be this for anyone but you. 

In the darkest part of night, when you try to forget me by pushing your face into pillows and blankets, remember that we pray to the same God but are simply asking for different things:  
I ask for strength and guidance. You ask for protection and healing. 

Such a thin veil between my dreams and your reality.
My happily-ever-after and your worst-case-scenario; the devil is in the details.
I live with ghosts and you fight demons. 

Why is it that this love haunts me, but terrifies you?

(Thanks again, Obi. Muah.)