A Second Pi Day Poem

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Another diatom (source)



It’s like, for the first time I understand Atlas,
because I would balance the world
atop my cried-on shoulders
just because it would mean
that no matter where you were,
you’d be held by my arms.
It’s like Tinker Bell
overdosed me on pixie dust
since I must be flying past the atmospheric breaking point
because it shouldn’t be possible
to be this high.
I keep asking why
because my mind is running the only track it has,
some song about endings as though my life is a book
made entirely of last pages,
last lines,
ill-timed goodbyes.
It’s like redirecting Hades’ GPS coordinates
five minutes before he would’ve broken both the ground
and Demeter’s heart.
I’ve heard over and over
that reality is stranger than fiction
but if I had read this story I would’ve scoffed
at how unrealistic it was. As it is,
living it,
I still stumble beneath the weight
of every odd stacked against even
the possibility that I
ever saw your face
what if one of us had been sick that day
I don’t want to think of how I know that I’d keep drifting,
not guessing that I could be missing
someone I hadn’t met,
the way every fossil feels the absence of an unknown organism
and every necklaced diamond
screams for rock’s face in its dreams
and wakes up wondering if jewelry is daintily disguised chains.
It’s like the first day I wrote poetry:
unmemorable and unforgettable,
a crescendo of contradiction,
it’s like realizing that there are so many parts of me I can paint
and thus making my lips neon pink
and my toenails blackened
like they’re longing for the light but can’t open the curtains
because who knows what kind of pain
can be caused by all those planes
outside the locked window.
It is treating metaphors like rubber bands
and sometimes hitting people with them when that wasn’t your intention
and sometimes it’s your own face that’s stinging from collision.
Sarah Kay once said
that falling in love “is realizing you have hands”
but I think it’s more like realizing
that these hands that you have can write.

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