I'LL JUST STAND HERE WITH YOU, THEN
if that's okay—i love you. the first time i wrote that down i froze.
and the first time i said it outloud (that i love you) it knocked the
wind out of me. like falling on the basketball court. setting a pick
or taking a charge and you didn't help me up. you didn't know that
i needed a hand (standing) how could you. driving home, i make every
green light. i listen to songs that must've been written just for me. each
day is Everest. i am watching our show without you there is no time do
you understand? i love you. i'm still catching my breath. say it back.
WILL YOU FORGIVE ME, LOVE?
Today my skin may burn you, should
you touch it. I’m having trouble
accepting what I know must be.
The floor groaned when I rose
from the bed this morning—and
I with it. Do not think of me today.
I am much too busy, hating the ones
you choose because they are not me.
Give me time, if you are able, and I’ll
return to you. A version of myself
that you can bear.
I have had my best and worst days. And you were there,
too. At the root of them. My head hurts every morning now.
And my eyes (from the growing light) And my lungs (from
holding much more smoke than they are accustomed to)
For all of these reasons, I choose a bar you have never
I order a drink you have never tasted.
Even when I am not working, I am working. Actively
growing indifferent to your indifference. Passively listening
to the conversations of strangers (they sound happy)
I spout compliments (on glasses, shoes, shirts) with the
hope that some of their joy will rebound in my direction. I
would catch it.
I have good hands. Good eyes. Good lungs.
That you can’t take from me.
and while you are deserving only of my silence,
this poem is still for you. I am stubborn this way.
you have taken me for granted. or rather,
I have killed in the name of making more of you.
now. I am shocked by your anger. and others,
they are shocked by how ferociously I continue to love you.
I have spent my days, rationing your kindness and
the nourishment it once provided. growing thinner each day.
I take up less and less space. all with the hope that
you, one day, will choose to make room for me.
as I lose you, I overwater my grief and my succulents.
for some reason, it is crucial to me that you understand this.
understand that the fallout looked bad.
it looked bad, so I fixed things.
I fixed what I could.
THE LEAVES ARE CHANGING
changing with us. showing their true colors.
every morning, in the mirror, I have to
remind myself. that I was not, am not,
asking for too much. just more than you are
willing to give. I like The Fall. yes. both the
season, and the process of loving you.
loving you more over time. slowly, then all at
once. I like The Fall, but not the landing.
with me, facing the sky. hands outstretched,
asking you to catch me. with you, shrinking
away from my voice. asking softly, what do
we do now, as I piece myself back together.
POV: A POET IN STATISTICS CLASS TAKES TERRIBLE NOTES
Lauren Saxon is a queer, Black poet and engineer living in Portland, ME. She loves her cats, her Subaru, and spending way too much time on twitter (@Lsax_235). Lauren's work is featured in Barrelhouse, Empty Mirror, Across the Margin, Homology Lit, and more. Her debut chapbook, "You're My Favorite" is out now with Thirty West Publishing.