A helpful tree for grieving

I want to leave nothing left unsaid Leave

Nothing to chance 

If only, at close of day, there were no ellipses

But I know I’ll forget something important

That

We’ll talk about the meaning of life but I’ll forget to say I love you

Or maybe

I love you is all I’ll get out

See

Despite Shakespeare

An entire life can’t be condensed into a single soliloquy

All the things I should have said won’t get said and one day you’ll be gone 

Or

I’ll be gone

Whoever goes first, there will definitely be a loss 

And 

I am not equipped for that unprepared ending

I am not prepared to say goodbye before I’ve told you that I love the way your hair smells like summer vacation 

That

Yours are the strongest hands I’ve ever held 

That you’re my swan in Monet’s water lilies and you’ve always been the lighthouse guiding me home

If the number of things I have to tell you was directly proportional to the amount of time I’d have to tell them to you

I’d read you every entry on google in every language ever spoken 

But

That’s not how it works is it

One day you’ll be gone

Or

I’ll be gone 

Whoever goes first there will definitely be a loss

And

I am not prepared for the ending 

-EJoveJohnson

Stranger

Every day in every way I grow
Stranger
In this body stranger than the mind it does not know
Soul deed and countenance so wholly out of tune
A glimmer in a mirror glimpsed so utterly askew
Whose is this face, whose are these thoughts, in whose mind do they belong
For mine is surely not the one from whence these wild things come
Who is this person growing here wild in her cage
Why is this person sentenced here, apathy her stage
A stage a cage a half filled page familiar yet unknown
How is it that I am here, so very far from home
A place I don’t remember well, perhaps one I’ve never known
But home is more than place and time
And I am more than she
A girl who grows within a cage
It’s walls she cannot see

Anthony

In confidence he spoke of angels
Transcendent beings who whispered in his dreams
They told him how to save a life
Not his
But, a child’s
So
He drove his motorcycle off a bridge
And
She lived
– Though the doctors said she wouldn’t
So did he
– No one’s quite sure how
But
That wasn’t the point
He wasn’t the point
Theirs were not the secrets of longevity
They spoke of sacrifice
A choice
To balance some incomprehensible cosmic scale
Until
They found the right dose of seroquel
And
They never spoke again
Because
Angels aren’t real
Unless you’re mad

Relativity

I always start my poems with grand ideas

Condensed down into single words

So full

They can ONLY be understood in abstraction

The heavy lifting of MY human existence

Outsourced in pursuit of transcendent literary greatness

Only

I’m just an impetuous girl from New Jersey

Damn near three decades in and sometimes, the person I undress at the end of the day is not the one I dressed at its start

I have no idea what I’m capable of, or what I’m not… or even who I’m going to be two weeks from now

This poem

Was supposed to start with

“Time”

How you need more of it

And

How I just don’t seem to have enough to undo what you spent a lifetime learning

It was supposed to prove that taking the next 50 years on faith is as easy as breathing

But

It isn’t is it….

It’s the rest of forever as far as we’re concerned

The entirety of our human experience signed, sealed and delivered

It’s the end of our youth

And that.. just… doesn’t seem fair

I’m in no rush to get to the end of our story

I know I don’t wanna glue anyone else’s dentures in

But

I want those dentures to be as far away and abstract as the words I use to start my poems

You’ve already taught me more about who I am and what I’m capable of in three years than I was able to figure out on my own in the preceding 24

And I want to spend the rest of my days exploring your depths because I have never in my life met someone so utterly captivating

This poem hasn’t gone where I expected, but then neither has my life so far… or yours

Somehow all those twists and turns and tears and tribulations

All those decisions large and small

Lead us to be standing in front of each other, that night, several years removed from this moment where our story began

This poem came into being as an explanation of the relativity of time

How three years CAN measure up to fifty and inform your choices about forever

I realize, though, that it was NEVER about grand ideas like time or even relativity

It was about an impetuous girl from New Jersey who fell in love with a quiet boy from Brooklyn

How she loved him so much that, perhaps selfishly, she wanted to claim him for all the rest of forever

That the magnitude of love she felt for him made her want, for the first time, to share that love with a being of our own creation

Really

It’s about how a quiet boy from Brooklyn taught an impetuous girl from New Jersey that in the universe of moments that are the rest of our forever time -, as a linear pressure cooker of frantic expectation, – doesn’t exist

We set the pacing of our story and before we get old together we should be young together first

-EJoveJohnson

Lullaby

I,
am fear
Not yet,
not ever, given name
Relentless whispered companion
Singing your certainty of regret
You, yourself, you fed me
Born in indecision
Bred in indiscretion
Ever chasing the smoke of someone else’s flame
Genuflect at the consecration of failures you ordained
Our world, your manifested weakness
Child of your gilded cage
I, alone, will sing you to your sleep
Requiem lullaby absent even dreams
-EJoveJohnson

Immortal

The eternity lens of examining
Deeds done
And
Loves gone
And
Words perhaps never given weight of sound
Battling the absence of existence is totality
I do not fear you
God
Or gods
Whatever your incarnate appetite for subjugation
While you
Higher power
Are burdened by this notion of omniscience
I, am burdened by no such forever
My world however defined by pleasure and pain is
Finite
I, will end
I
Therefore
Am potent beyond your wildest imagining
It is you, unending moment, who should fear me
-EJoveJohnson

Evyl

All the words you should have said
A fingertips breath from asylum
Yet, quiet
Obscenity silence luxuriating in wanton void
And I am here feeling without you
I hate your impetuous immaturity
I love your soul in soft moments
Ever the game with no rules
Building my Eden and salting my earth
Why
Must you break me beautifully
How
Can you impose such exile
If you must, hurt me
Do so completely
Leave nothing left to ache
But, to forget me
Cruelty beyond measure
Equal and opposite
To the heaven I taste at your side
-EJoveJohnson

Self

I am hollow
Space
Void of strength to save my soul
Filled, with
words I have not written
Images I have not taken
Places perhaps I’ll never see
Medicated with
Activity lacking intention
Aggression lacking passion
The waste products of convenience
That my chest would mercifully cave under pressure
Yet
Here I stand
Marveled contradiction
Dreamer of worlds beyond imagining
Prisoner of myself
-EJoveJohnson