My Last Message

I bought this journal for you because I thought you could take it with you. No matter where you go. I thought it could be your start, your beginning. The way into writing down the beauty in your mind. I write poems, dramatic and sad love poems to boys who will never love me back. My writing is just pain and loss, but it helps. It sometimes feels pointless, but it’s not. It lets the ache out.

I thought you could write your heart on these pages, the good and bad, the pretty and ugly, and that it might heal you. Just a little. It’s the Tree of Life, a symbol of growth and prosperity and future and past. I wanted you to touch these pages, and believe in yourself, in the passion, the exquisite tragedy inside you that maybe the world needs to read.

I know we are an impossibility, an image of what could have been, but I will always believe in you, in your incredible presence, your story, your heart. Thank you for holding me when I needed it. Thank you for making me feel again. I will never forget you, Cameron. Never. You are in my heart. Now and always.

***

I bought him a leather-bound journal for Christmas. He said buying him a gift was risky, and then he got weird. I’m mailing it to him with this message. I know it’s over. I’m just struggling to come to terms with it.

~Patience

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Out of Body

I keep having these moments where I feel like a different person, like I’m suddenly in someone else’s body. It’s hard to explain, so I haven’t tried to vocalize it to anyone. I’m not sure if it’s a product of my brain injury or not. And I’m afraid if I tell anyone, they’ll try to commit me. I’m not crazy, but I’ve changed. I can feel it. I was already changing, before my trauma, which is why I think it’s happening now. But, really, who knows? I sure don’t. I just needed to say it. To someone. I needed to release these out of body experiences, these moments of a weird amnesia where I remember what I’m supposed to feel like but suddenly realizing I’m someone, something very different. It’s weird, and these words don’t even come close to describing it.

~Patience

I Am Sad

I don’t want to forget
the taste of your tongue against mine.

I want to remember
your rough cheek,
your hard hands as they carry me backwards
to your bed.

I want to visualize
your head on my lap,
my fingers in your hair,

and I know it’s all just imaginary,
just fantastic moments where you were mine
and the rest of the world was so far away.

It was you and me
and hot showers and cold evenings
and my head buried in your chest.

It was old books and older records,
stories of when we were young,
and your face clutched in my hands.

How do I forget something I want so much?

I can still smell you sometimes,
taste you on my own breath,
and it hurts,
aches to know

I won’t feel your arms again.

~Patience

Midnight Confessions

I have these weird moments where I try to reconcile who I am now with who I was in the past. Like…I’m trying to find her in me or me in her…if that makes sense.

I do the same thing with other people too. Like you. I didn’t really know you then, only my perception of you, and even though you’ve been inside me, I still don’t know you. Not really. And you don’t know me. Not really. And the fucked up part is that I really want to know you, but I have no idea if you really want to know me. Because I’m not a good person. I’m not worthy of you and the happiness I feel when I’m with you.

And this is the worst timing. All of this. God do I know it’s the wrong timing.

I just really want to know that sad, angry boy who used to sit behind me in algebra. I want to know the man who makes me pancakes and kisses my shoulder when he thinks I’m asleep.

These are the things I think about.

I’m telling them to you because otherwise I’ll just turn it all to poetry. Like you asked me. If I was going to write a poem. I did. Two poems. Two sad, ridiculous, stupid poems because you and all your tragic brokenness are stuck inside me and as much as I try, I can’t seem to shake loose.

I know you’re probably reading this early in the morning or the middle of the night. I’m sorry to bombard you. I guess I’m too old to not just say what I feel, and this is how I feel. As stupid and inappropriate and selfish as it may be. I just want your arms around me.

***

I wrote this to a man I think I might want to love, a man I think could change me, but I’m afraid to send it.

~Patience

Sleep Kisses

You kissed my shoulder
in the middle of the night
when you thought me asleep.
Before you turned away to rest,
your lips brushed my skin,
you squeezed my arm.

I don’t know why that kiss matters,
why those moments with my cheek
pressed against your chest

keep spinning around me,
wrapping me in memories of things
I’ll never have again.

I wish you knew
how every part of you
is perfect for every part of me.

How your love of
words and work and For the Love of Cooking,
your passion for nature
and your hatred for injustice,
the way you touch me
and the way I feel when I’m with you,

it’s all too much,
all so unreal.

I miss you in ways beyond understanding.
I miss the peace you bring.

There,
on the farm,
in the circle of your arms.
That is where I belong.

~Patience

Air and Fireplaces

We yearn in quiet rooms
filled with wild voices,
familiarity staring back
while loneliness winds it’s way
around our roots.

Smiles remain real,
as in genuine,
as in true,
yet sad eyes,
those gray blue patches of sorrow
hidden beneath
echo back,
scream my name
as if I’m the only real piece
of the world
left.

And I dream of your arms
or waking up inside them
when I know the last time
was the last time.

The crackle of the fire
and the rain-tipped grass.

It’s like a fucking fairytale
that can’t even possibly
exist alongside
vows
and
rings
and
histories.

Yet.

Yet,
it’s the fantasy
I’ve always wanted,
the reality I thought a dream.

It’s you
and a cabin
and fireplace-mornings,

and I can’t quite
get over
how impossible it all seems
while still feeling
it’s all more right
than air.

~Patience

Do We Know?

You sort of know when it’s over,
when anything is, really.

Time warps for the slightest instant,

and poof,

you know.

Like the sound of your voice
that last time on the phone,
the shudder that said
what your mouth couldn’t.

Or the way his messages seem
to become shorter,
less frequent.

The way I seem to vanish
every time I try to be seen.

And we just know,
don’t we?

Sometimes it takes a bit to adjust,
to recognize the finality in
that kiss,
that whisper,
that look,
but it’s there.

We all can feel it,
right?

That emptying-out of things,
the pouring away of time spent
in learning instead of building?

It goes.

And we know it will,
but we grip until our nails rip
from their beds,
hoping for just
one more second

to hold on.

One more moment to remember,
to change our minds,
to change theirs,

but we know hopeless when we see it
even if our hearts pretend we don’t.

~Patience

Cottages

Why do I have to feel so much?
Want so much?

I just end up eviscerating everyone,
tearing out their insides,
and devouring them like candy,
and I wonder how anyone
could still want me.

But they do.

So many
love me,
want me,
desire me,
need me,

and all I am is
dust and bone
and pieces of broken flesh
smashed into a body I don’t even know.

It’s strange to let myself want,
to let myself be okay with wanting
a different kind of love.

To be okay with
different,
strange,
new.

But I do.
I want it.

I want you
and your cottage in the woods.
Your rough skin
and those light eyes
hiding under dark hair,
dark thoughts.

I want you more than I thought I could
after him.

I loved him (still do) in a way
that aches in my bones,
and missing you feels the same.

I think I could love you
in a way that

burns,
yearns,
spurns

all other attempts
even though I pretend
they make me feel
like you feel.

Even though
I know
all I need
is you.

~Patience

Beautiful Nightmares

I have these nightmares
disguised as dreams

where we are cooking dinner together,
music playing, loud,
and your laugh fills me up
each time it rings out;
we dance and eat
and make love until we are
blurry and exhausted.

Or where we are driving up
some country road lit with dappled sunlight
falling through the canopy of trees above;
you’re holding my hand,
and you bring it up to your lips
and kiss me soft.

Or the two of us,
old and white,
reading in some warm room
with a bright, crackling fire,
your arm around me
as you read me a line or two
that struck your heart.

Nightmares disguised as dreams
where I am yours and you are mine
and things are how they’re meant to be
long before we knew it.

They are beautiful which makes them sad.

Impossible is always sad.

~Patience

Stupid Things: A List

I keep thinking about stupid things like:

throwing my laundry in
and regretting washing your scent
from the clothes I wore last time we touched;

how I haven’t yet washed all of them
so I can remember any trace of you
that remains;

wondering when I’ll have showered enough
to no longer feel your fingerprints
on my skin;

doesn’t your dermis completely renew
every seven years? So eventually it will be
as if we’ve never known one another,
as if we’re strangers.
Again;

the way you talk to me
in broken sentences,
half lyrics, half poetry,
your voice filling every syllable;

am I changing this suddenly,
this drastically,
all because of one day,
one man?
Because that’s how it feels;

how scared I am to want
the words,
the talking,
the pieces I never had,
the parts I crave more than sex;

wondering how I am supposed to go on
pretending I am not changed
by knowing you,
by feeling you inside me,
body and mind.

~Patience