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

winter, 2012

part 1

I never knew I would come to love the way your sweater fits over your head or the way you don’t get up right away in the mornings. I savour the long nights in your bed when we are too hot from the blankets but too cold without. Your cologne makes me cry sometimes. In January I always just want to sleep all day. You bring me coffee but the sadness is still there under the sheets with me. Sometimes I don’t want to open my eyes and I get stomach aches. I write poetry to pass the time and you are all over the place. Your old sweater is my tear catcher. When you leave at night I always run upstairs and watch you drive around the corner. I want to see you leave, just so I can make sure you never do. All I want to do is not become the sadness in your heart, that frost on your chest.

part 2

the darkness descends

deep, it settles on my bones

like ominous snow

 

 

© Alexandra Jema

witching hour

there is this bruha who lives inside of me—this child with stringy, tangled hair and teeth filed into points. she casts spells to send me back in time, trapping me in dreams of the past. I wake up and tumble into the next dream, and when I leave my bed I am not really sure if I am in the right universe. I feel like I have been in this ribcage before, bent over, heavy hot, tired of life. like this is the curse: this is the price paid for cheap quick magic, all the lipstick. no matter what I do I don’t think I could ever get rid of envy’s wicked fingers, always around my throat, choking me when you look at other women. something in me screams, don’t you know what I do to look this good? you could probably see the wild underneath the painted fingernails. the lipstick doesn’t fool anyone but it’s my favourite trick when it does.

© Alexandra Jema