POEMS BY REYA MARI VELOSO

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Remembering How You Made Love to Me

1905H – The plates are all set, dinner is ready.

(Whenever I feel all alone, I look at the bookshelf in my room and think about how strained those wooden planks may be as they carried all the sweat and all the souls of my dearest friends. I think about their words and I am slightly satisfied)

2010H – Dessert is a sliver of your favorite chocolate cake from your ex-lover’s bakeshop.

(I light a cigarette and dump it on your ridiculous turtle-shaped wooden ashtray – a stupid souvenir from your grandparents’ town. The supposed scent of your smoke-infused breath reaches my nostrils and I am almost satisfied)

2130H – I am brushing my teeth. How many times do I have to remind you not to buy fancy-colored gel toothpaste?

(My nightgown smells of nothing special at all. I told you not to send our clothes to the laundry shop – they don’t wash with love and understanding. I grab your shirt from the hamper and put them on. The stench of your milk lotion soothes me, I am nearly satisfied)

2340H – Tonight’s reruns of FRIENDS are finished.

(I had no idea where I got the itch to fly a kite, run across a meadow and laugh like a humorless child. Somewhere across the distance, you are shouting my name and asking me to pull stronger so we can reach higher. I am close to being satisfied)

0245H – There was nothing else to hold me except a dead stretch of blanket, a gift from your mother three years ago.

(I am dreaming of writing a poem for you but every time I finish writing a word and just before I write a new one next to it, the ink dissolves into the paper – an absorption of dreams, an absolution of broken promises. I end up writing the same word over and over, harder, stronger, angrier each time. I don’t remember breathing, you were nowhere to be found – lost in between the pages of my book. I am growing farther and farther from being satisfied)

0625H – I open my eyes and groan at the sight of today’s sunlight penetrating through my window, an uninvited visitor warming my cheeks.

(I hear you licking honey off your fingertips as you call out to me from the kitchen: Good morning, honey! I notice a trace of your lipstick on my forehead when I looked in the mirror to clean my face. And I thought I could never be more satisfied)

* * *

I rearranged my room, trying to find a poem

It’s 4am—
I rearranged my room, trying to find a poem
I move my cabinets around, looking for similes and metaphors
Instead I stumble upon discolorations on the floor: a light patch hidden under monolithic wooden structures

I placed my chair closer to the window, waiting for nouns and verbs to arrive. Instead, the wind reminded me of the sleep I have to go back to. There might be a symbol I still need to uncover.

I climbed back to bed and planted a kiss on your shoulder. As the dawn broke, I realized I have been embracing a sonnet all along

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