… I can’t believe I used to want to Sappho you, Jason.
I used to want to Pablo Neruda you,
to Anais Nin and Henry Miller you. I used to want
to be O for you, to blow for you in ways
that even Odysseus’ sails couldn’t handle…
Go Plath yourself.
Your heart is so dark, that even Joseph Conrad
couldn’t see it, and it is so buried under bullshit
that even Poe’s cops couldn’t hear it.
Your mind is as empty as the libraries in Fahrenheit 451.
Your mind is as empty as Silas Marner’s coffers.
Your mind is as empty as Huckleberry Finn’s wallet.
And some people might say that this poem
is just a pretentious exercise
in seeing how many literary references
I can come up with.
And some people might complain that this poem is,
at its core, shallow, expressing the same emotion again,
and again, and again. (I mean, there are only so many times
you can articulate your contempt for Jason,
before people get bored.)
But you know what, Jason? Those people would be wrong.
Because this is not the poem I am writing to express
my hatred for you.
This poem is the poem I am writing because we aren’t speaking,
and it is making my heart hurt so bad, it is all I
can do just to get up off the floor sometimes.
And this is the poem I am writing instead of writing
the ‘I miss having breakfast with you’ poem, instead of
writing the ‘Let’s walk dogs in our old schoolyard
Instead of the ‘How are you doing?’ poem, the ‘I miss you’ poem,
the ‘I wish I was making fun of how much you like Garth
Brooks while sitting in front of your parents’ house
in your jeep’ poem, instead of the ‘Holidays are coming around
and you know what that means: SUICIDE!’ poem.
I am writing this so that I can stop wanting to write
the ‘I could fall in love with you again so quickly
if only you would say one more word to me’ poem.
But I am tired of loving you, Jason
cause you don’t know how to love me right.
And if some pretentious ass poem can stop me
from thinking about the way your laugh sounds,
about the way your skin feels in the rain,
about how I would rather be miserable with you
than happy with anyone else in the world.
If some pretentious ass poem can do all that?
Then I am gone with the wind, I am on the road,
I have flown over the fucking cuckoo’s nest,
I am gone, I am gone, I am gone.
– Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz