with sleep still carpeting my mind in
dew, I drop heavily upon the seat,
slippery grey material barely supporting my
tired frame. pulling the backpack
from my shoulders, I hug it against my chest.
a boulder - why am I clinging to it so tightly if
it will pull me down beneath the waves?
my friend across the aisle raises
an eyebrow. "hey, how's it going?"
if my response seems tired, blame it on
a lack of sleep.
"pretty good. how was stage
just let me guide the conversation away,
like this, like a gravel path
slippery with morning mist and
ocean breeze. don't mind if it's muddy,
it leads to the beach.
where I can see the moon's reflection, a
malformed ghost again the broiling water.
I gaze ahead at the dirt-scuffed
chair back, footmarks of second graders
unable to reach the ground, so they slide
down the plastic seat, posture like a crescent moon,
trying to touch the hard, peeling floor.
maybe I'm more like them than I
think, trying to touch the full moon,
nothing short of perfection;
don't look closer, don't do it,
just admire the shining silhouette from
afar, don't reach for the telescope with
a dusty lens.
but am I stretching for the sky or are
the tips of my hair dipping down into the glassy
water? perhaps the silvery reflection is more
perfect than the moon itself.
with more thoughts in my head than
letters in a novel, I am
nestled on a faded yellow bean bag,
secluded in a corner of the library.
my body creates a crater in
the crunchy filling.
the paperbacks piled in front of
me fight for my attention with their
gravity. some are able
to capture my emotions, twirling them
into lopsided rings.
according to NASA, these are true
books - they can catch their reader in orbit.
but I'm a dwarf planet, constantly
revolving around the sun, too weak to clear
a path in all the cosmic dust.
I get lost in it, choking on the debris;
the particles scratch my eyes and
and yet I am strong enough to collapse
inwards, all the light lost in murky black.
"how are you?" the librarian
asks, and she is a dwarf planet as well,
unable to bend my trajectory.
"alright." and holding up my book,
"do you have any others by
I sprinkle questions like stars in the rough black,
knowing that there are two
vastly different constellations to see here.
only one is easy to find - don't try too hard to
connect the dots, draw crooked lines,
don't look for an eraser; it will only
smudge the ink.
if everyone drew in pencil then these
mistakes could be undone -
they might leave an indent in the wrinkled sky,
but pen makes permanent discolouration.
it's lonely on this dishevelled bed, cover wrinkled
from my unmoving weight. I always
thought that loneliness was
a silent void. I never knew it is deafening -
like a tornado, twisting logic and memories,
shredding duvets and littering feathers in disarray.
in this storm of feathers, the distant silhouettes
of friends morph into people they aren't.
I gaze, starving, at the defective
representations of my friends, the poorly lit
faces on my screen; cheap webcams stain hues and
pixelate features. I try, but I can't
hold an image's hand - its flesh melts through
the desperate grip of my fingers.
"how're you doing?" someone asks me
at a lull in the talking. roaring wind
claws at my ears and I barely
comprehend: "I'm, I'm fine." I smile, but this is
a crescent moon, rocked by the gales, barely
clinging to the sky; imperfect.
one extra gust and it might be knocked to
the ground; don't tug, it will shatter.
"I don't believe you."
the storm dies suddenly, and I
feel dizzy in this frightening peace.
panic fills the silence. I fear
I could be trapped in the
eye of the tornado, never to escape.
but perhaps it doesn't matter if the world around
me is spinning in a blinding mess
of thunder and lightning - I fight my way out
of the feathers I'm buried beneath, holding tight
to the disbelief, extended like a hand to cling to;
maybe that was all I ever needed.
the fluffy down floats through the still air,
and I could imagine it to be a spiteful
snowstorm - but I'd rather believe they're stars, falling
from the sky, to grace me with their light.
A/N: capitalization is stylistic, and I'm quite happy with how it's working in this poem, so I'd prefer you didn't comment on that - but I would like to know if you thought the disjointed line breaks/enjambment worked well or if it got too repetitive!