from the corner of your mouth,

where did you even come from? you asked one day, in the middle of laughing at some joke we made the moment before. I was walking up the stairs and I had my phone in one hand, groceries in the other. you are always doing that; you will never wait for the right moment to say something because it is always the right moment to you… and for a moment I forgot who we were in this life and I looked at us: where did you come from? we grin like idiots in love because we are, and because neither of us have the real answers.

I want to tell you that I came from a million places, that I was looking for you in this vast universe, but somehow you found me. you say eight years in your memory and I only count seven, maybe because you count the time you were in love with me and I didn’t know. I remind you of when we were apart but you say, we were just finding our way back to each other. sometimes when you say those things I just stare at you, like I dreamed you up, and maybe that’s where you came from.

 

© Alexandra Jema

interplanetary discourse

well sometimes it feels like you are in the middle of some big colossal argument or discussion or whatever and the enormity of the words does not hit you until they are out of your mouth—where it feels like there are half-sentences hanging between the canyons of space between you yet they are the same words—the desperation of trying to explain that you are both on the same side—like poles on the opposite ends of the world—that hopeless, hopeless, hopeful reach—and when the explosion is over and the moondust settles, I whisper messages on comet tails and blow them over to you like kisses

© Alexandra Jema

that one song

last night I went to that concert and they played that one song I listened to when I was falling in love with him. all of the memories with him are burned into the notes of that song, you know? but it ended all messy, fiery, like Rome burning to the ground.

sometimes I think the poet’s job is to separate each and every feeling splice by splice, like I should enjoy the happy moments for what they were, right? other times I bury the thought and think I’m happy to be falling asleep next to you.

© Alexandra Jema

a poem about writing a poem #457

This is the quick of it:
the part no one tells you of; the sliding
into a comfortable calibration,
the seat where you can string and string the words along,
and it sounds j u s t r i g h t
—no papa bear or baby bear bullshit.

And you will find (like I have) that after a while
there are strange blooms that sprout
in the least likely crevices of your body
and you will pluck them off and put them on paper and they will all just fit:
Like lacing your shoes
after learning to walk.

© Alexandra Jema

i tell you i will write a poem

later I ask (as I always do),
Do you love me?

Unfortunately, you reply, your voice still morning-heavy.

Why unfortunately?

I think it’s unfortunate for anyone to love anyone, you say.
You’re going to die someday.

For some reason this is the funniest thing in the entire world.
Oh my poor, cynical love! I used to worry the same things.
I used to think we were mortal.

© Alexandra Jema

hindsight is a bitch when you are always right

“Each time I say or do something feels like a sacrifice inside itself. It feels like I am tearing away at my chest my little chest, tearing away little holes of flesh. What do I get but not someone else’s flesh, but little tiny encouragements saying that that’s what I was to do all along. There was never a world where I wouldn’t bleed. And bleed first I may. How will I know that he is also ready to bleed? The first time around it felt like a sure fire thing. A whole fiery exhibition, a burning sacrifice. And now it feels as though I must wait, in some sort of agony, until he deems me open enough to open himself up. I think this chain is sick and twisted, yet I don’t know how to vocalize that. Last time was so cold and so hard to deal with. And the last time I slept next to him I felt so far away and humiliated and sad. I don’t know whether to attribute this to situational circumstance (we are all so stressed because of finals) or something else of the matter. Maybe he’s made a decision in his mind. I am always right, you know. I am usually always right in my assumptions.”

 

— last year’s voice.
(I don’t have to tell you
that I was right)

© Alexandra Jema