This one kinda came to me out of nowhere. The day I wrote it, I was feeling a little melancholy. Not a bad melancholy, but a reflective, sensitive, & calm melancholy. I felt like the world was in hyperdrive & I could feel everything around me. This is the feeling I always get when my brain is starting to cook up a poem & I know I will *need* to write that day or I’ll miss the fleeting moment of inspiration. It is an intense time of being in tune with my surroundings & being inspired by anything & everything. So, the day this was written, I wrote a few lines when I first woke up. Then, about every half hour or so I’d think of another few lines. Then I’d remember some random sentences I jotted down in a journal a year ago or scribbled onto a gum wrapper the week before & somehow these old, unused lines fit so perfectly into this new poem. By the end of the day, I crawled into bed & read everything I wrote & to my surprise I had written a complete AND fully legible poem. The poem was obviously inside of me somewhere, complete & ready, but it came to me in unclear & broken pieces. Then, as I wrote what came to mind, it reformed itself naturally without me having to do hardly anything. To me, this is a metaphor for life. Things come to you in unclear, broken pieces, but they naturally form themselves into something that is collectively prosperous, true, & good. These are the poems that I live for. These are the poems that lead me to self-betterment & leave me feeling tired, but divinely peaceful & refreshed. I realized that this is one that I needed to recite. The words needed to move & breathe. So, I recorded it & I’m finally sharing it. The video recitation is at the bottom & here are the written words:
Everyday, I live.
Walking around, breathing more dust into my lungs,
Growing & packing more age onto my body,
Each year carrying a heavier weight.
It’s like, for every new layer of wear & tear, I am given a medal,
And my frame is pulled further down every time I place another one around my neck like a yoke.
It’s not exactly the prize you’d hope for.
Yet, I wake each day unbloodied,
My hands unbound,
My body unbroken.
I survive, still, even while open to the elements, unprotected.
Don’t lungs ever get tired of breathing?
Seems such a tedious job,
Over & over, with every breath, all the capillaries inside having to intermingle with the outside world.
“How exhausting.” I think.
Having your sole purpose be to constantly work yourself raw to keep someone else alive.
But then I remember,
That we all essentially do the same thing,
We‘re always putting so much effort into keeping ourselves living, thriving,
Along with keeping others out of danger too.
Reciting comforting aphorisms in our sleep,
In an everlasting state of recovery.
Life is so fragile.
Life can change in an instant,
And it causes us to live & love with so much fear.
At least I know I am wanted by the earth.
It continues to hold me in its gravity & hasn’t let me go, yet.
The world around me seethes up & down, back & forth,
In & out, like breathe in my lungs.
It reminds me of ocean waters,
A stormy swell eddying.
Maybe someday I’ll be as beautiful as the sea while I turn & shift.
Maybe someday I’ll see the people lined up on my shores staring at me & marveling at my current & flow,
Finding solace & inspiration in my changes & movements.
But, I have not found my flow just yet.
I haven’t mastered my sleight of hand.
I still scramble & fumble every time something new & unexpected happens.
I find it impossible to grow used to things.
I’m always surprised & caught off guard.
Everything we experience always has an effect,
Life imprints it’s marks all over us.
Like how there’s a worn down ring from the glass of water you always have at your bedside.
Or how the lipstick crescent shapes on the wine glasses never quite come off.
We’re always being shaped, molded, & influenced.
All the moments of our existence build up, one by one,
Superimposed like thousands of overlaid film exposures,
To reveal one jumbled, unrecognizable photo of life itself,
And in the end we’re left with a faded reflection of everything.