Wednesday, May 15, 2013

love's the only place that i don't want to go

steve and i share a mutual hate of our long distance

i'm standing in the air
i'm smelling early spring
your smile is everywhere
you're haunting everything

the tail lights never end
rain drops on your car seat
we held our kiss too long
i can't believe you're gone

i am invincible
when you're next to me
i'm trying to wrap my head around
where i want to be 

love's the only thing that i know
but love's the only place that i don't want to go

you put on that song
you showed over the phone
i danced like i had never
heard it when i was alone

we read from history books
in last-ditch libraries
you sweep me away
i dream of sailing seas

love's the only thing that i know
but love's the only place that i don't want to go

i can swear your here
when i wear your hand-me-down
is it harder to let go
or harder to hold on

i couldn't love you more
but i couldn't care less
my dress is on the floor
my life is a mess 

love's the only thing that i know
so love's the only place that i don't want to go

i'm standing in the air 
i'm smelling early spring
i'm asking you to stay 
i'm trying anything

raining on the steps
we're so soaking wet
i hope i don't forget
you were the sweetest end.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm your favorite because I am in love

The results are in. My English class voted my poem as the best in the class. Here is my edited version:

Our Parents Keep Telling Us to Grow Up
Lying flat
on our backs staring at my ceiling satisfied
us more

than anything. In my high school bedroom
listening to Say Anything on my CD player
thinking we owned the town and talking about how

sweaty your hands were. Sounds like our love
story. Football towns
in the Upper Peninsula weren't ready

for our forces. Nowhere
provided the alternate
paths we craved.

Maybe not ending up at UW-Marinette
or with babies or as a hairstylist or in Green Bay like everyone else
was our only goal

Until I grew up,
I didn't realize how much cold
air I wanted to breathe or how

fast I forgot my sister's voice
and why calling Kalamazoo "home" caused my parents
to correct me. When I grew up,

we were both on our backs
exhausted with the burdens of growing up
that held us back. Knowing

that nobody but
us would know that living eight hours away from home seemed glamorous as highschoolers, but was harder than it seemed---and made it difficult to admit to people that we almost broke up my freshman year because I couldn’t handle long distance---after everyone talked about how “cool” we were for doing it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Autumn Leaves

Authors note: This poem was originally written as a song about a long distance relationship I share with my boyfriend. It's about the nostalgic feeling of hurt because I'm so far away from him. We've only experienced the fall season together through short visits. However, the leaves remind me that I'm one season closer to seeing him again. In my song, I wrote "The leaves make sounds of memories that I can't remember, but we'll make more when we can." The nostalgia of not having very few fall memories together brings pain, but also a hope that if we can make it through this distance, we can make it through everything.

Trees outside my window grow
And nobody notices but they provide
Shade caught in their 


Fall down in autumn
But spring brings them back to shade
The summer heat

The girl inside that window
Grows and nobody notices
But she only holds the love he wants

Miles apart are spent
Sharing the times my hair tickled
Your cheek or sparklers at dusk when the light 
Revolved around me
Or they’re spent silently
Remembering your face so
Patient on the pillow when I counted
Hours on the clock, and on my fingers, before you left

Before the summer ground
Can miss the leaves, autumn drops
Its shade from branches

It’s how I know I’ll see you again. The seasons.

My heart hates the fall; everyone says the distance is necessity
but they've never left our football town. The fall leaves
Trees so stripped of summer and all its
Smell of you and taste of your cold popsicle mouth

But I begin to see clearly
Through the branches to the
Sunlit sky knowing I’m another

Season­­­­­­­­­­ closer to you.

The leaves are consistent and I rely on their promises
Of you picking me up and spinning me so beautifully like a summer sparkler
A light around you

Like the
Rings in every tree another
Year in the trunk is­­­­­­­­
One more for us

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains

Suction from black mud sticks and pulls at the grooves in my sandals. Underfoot, a summer rain captured in hot puddles gives us a flailing dance.

Sunlight beneath shadows of the old growth forest beams on the dead pine needles like a flashlight.

Nothing but out breath is hard, is heard. Leaves fall softly and we tread lightly. We are strangers in our own land.

Climbing the Lake of the Clouds in places we never complained about.

Reaching rocks so high and big, every upward pull sends elevation screaming to our ears.

Who needs friends.

Monday, February 27, 2012

No girlfriend deserves to see this

Inside dark walls, a girl
hides between broken shades
and witnesses

Two boys with guns, no
fists, beating with rage
and fury into the skull
of another.

Who knew the library held
such youth? The numbers
fell underneath tables.
One by one, done

and the security
cameras, like my eyes,
captured it, witnessed it
all. In silent motion

they grabbed his long hair
and pulled it up to punch
another victim in their list.

The kid who wore Nike, the girl
who said “Yes.” I believe
in God. They killed her right

away. I turned into a woman
that day. My eyes saw violence
in a new way. The boys who read books made their idols and
the boys who didn’t were
their own.

Columbine wasn’t
a place to die, but my eyes took it in
like another page in a history book.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I saw a man from Sangren

Walking home, I saw a man from Sangren walk
outside the steel construction fence and down
the hill in front of me.

What is his name? Dirty boots, black jeans, and a black sweatshirt with
an Igloo cooler strapped to his back. Did it hold a sandwich
his wife made him?

He fashioned a makeshift
backpack using red tie downs I saw my dad use
to reel in the boat a few years back. Did he have
a hard life? A milk jug, half-filled with water and attached

to a ripped white T-shirt
was fashioned as a purse that swung on his shoulder
hitting his side each step of the way. Did he chug the lukewarm water until his
stomach hurt sometimes? The way

he walked made me feel bad. As if each ounce
of pride left him as he saw students stare
at his dirty clothes and white hardhat. I wanted

to talk to him. What is his name? I missed
my chance. He was young, though. One of the mildest
winters on record kept him that way.

Maybe I'll meet him next
Monday: the man
I saw from Sangren.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What happens on Academy Street

           which means: a fictional retelling of an actual event, you could call it a legend.
           Courtney, Meredith and I are squatting in Meredith’s room. Actually, I’m squatting and they’re sitting on her bed. I just got home from a 10-hour workday at the newspaper. Naturally, I’m scarfing down cereal at 11 p.m.
We started talking about how gross our downstairs bathroom was. We have a cricket problem.
“Meredith, we need to clean our bathroom,” I laughed. “I found a dead cricket in there and I haven’t picked it up for two weeks.”
“I haven’t put it down in two weeks,” Courtney said.
“I haven’t put you down in two weeks and maybe I should, you jerk. The crickets in the bathroom have rigor mortis. They look like this.” I managed to contort my arms and face to fashion myself as rigor mortis cricket.
“Meredith, give me a good quote I can sent o Miguel on Skype,” Courtney said.
Miguel is her boyfriend. Fifty percent of their conversation happens, I swear, on Skype.
“Guys, look. LOOK.” Moving my cereal, I straighten out my legs, curl my hands, and draw my arms in like I’m trying to hide my armpit sweat. I do my best to copy the cricket I found in the bathroom.
Courtney starting laughing so hard she frickin’ cried.
“I can’t believe you moved your bowl for that,” she said.
By this point, we were all cracking up. I almost peed.
“Yeah, I did,” and copied what the cricket looked like for the third time.
Later, we were looking at Youtube videos of Stuff Nobody Says. Things like “please touch my computer screen.”
Courtney says, “Hey Erin, can you impersonate that cricket again?”