drowning

“Desolate and empty

the sea—”

how come we are all drowning

and we cannot see each other

gasping for breath under water?

You could have done something

for him, you know,

all you people dressed in black,

crowded around the urn.

but that is what he

must have been thinking too

and perhaps his voice

must have been a whisper,

a smiling ghost surveying the room.

 

© Alexandra Jema

reminiscing on summer memories

I am always inside a moment,

feeling it, breathing it, breathing it in

and I can feel the caress of the air

like she is acknowledging that I am so aware in this moment

that I forget I will never live it again:

the camera inside my mind thinking

I will rewatch this over and over;

I will paint you with my words

so the memory will never die,

just stored and forgotten.

 

© Alexandra Jema

divinity

I wanted to be dazzling,

like Venus in the late June sky,

glittering gold in the evening,

named after beauty personified—

and now I am twenty-five

and all the things in the poems make sense

and all the songs too

and everyone just gets better and better

at lying

including myself,

so good, I don’t even know

when I am telling the truth

 

© Alexandra Jema

twenty-five

I stopped smoking and I stopped eating

so the skin on my chest stretched thin

I watched my heart bob up and down, trying to count the beats per minute

thinking I had palpitations

but I guess when you are young and empty and full of possibilities

it is only your heart keeping you afloat

 

© Alexandra Jema

death by water

sometimes I pretend to be the hanging Sybil

(sometimes I am, wanting to die)

when I was little I was a prophet,

but now my dreams make less sense

 

how many more days

how many more days can I spend

this close, gazing over the edge

running a hand softly to ripple the

still destruction that could drown me—

 

to ask myself the question would be

like standing naked on a jagged rock shore,

waiting for the ocean spray,

or a tsunami.

 

© Alexandra Jema

an early morning poem

a controlled bleeding, like an

expensive experiment, like trying to squeeze

my heart for words when they come from my head,

rolling around like tumbling babies I would never have:

feeling like an accidental mother in the morning eyelid fumbling

something missing in the middle,

cut out, torn, invisible.

© Alexandra Jema