i don’t have the words to tell you about the cacophony of feelings that tiptoe to me in the rain, in the dark, in between the pages of books. i’m a writer so i should know how to talk about feelings by now- almost all of my poems are about sadness and stress, but sometimes i still struggle to paint words into constellations that will make sense to you. i have secrets buried deep, but i didn’t keep the treasure maps. i’m not sure when the boardwalk was built above my little nests of unspoken words and stories, but now i walk, gently, bare feet brushing against the sandpapered wood. i walk along the boardwalk of my heart, i feed quarters of self-doubt into tourist telescopes and watch memories appear in the binocular hollows. i sit on a rusted bench, resting, glancing, waiting. i’ve forgotten what i’m waiting for but
sending messages into space: i’m not used to potion-ing feelings, but lately the only signs you leave are recipes for love, revenge, hope, and better skin. i’m not sure who you are, but when my name appears on envelopes (stamped with ink from other continents), there is never a return address. covered in glitter, i ask you to please tell me why we love so tenaciously. i forget when i’ve been hurt because it’s complicated and you might fix it without having to know what’s wrong. i depend on you to keep me happy, stabilized, homeostatic. keep me from turning inward, reflecting on my real thoughts and not the ‘pretty’ thoughts or the ‘prayer’ thoughts or the thoughts i think i should have because it would make sense and be easy. i ask you now, lying on broken glass from my wrongdoings,
if i wasn’t a writer, there would be smashed glass all over the wood floors. i would carry a bat and a pocketknife and swing my arms as fast as possible at the most breakable objects- if i wasn’t a writer, i would scream at the neighbors because they don’t understand my problems and i just want people to know how i feel. if i wasn’t a writer, i would tattoo your name all over my body and trace over the ink with my fingertips because that’s the most destructive thing i can do without saying i love you. if i wasn’t a writer, i would wear shoes that don’t fit me because that’s edgy and being edgy is dangerous and apparently i’m a dangerous person when i haven’t written a poem in a few weeks. if i wasn’t a writer, i would watch Netflix shows without imagining a poem that summarizes the second season without directly saying the name of the show.
all of my words are fighting. they bicker and shove one another, they toss lit matches into barrels of gasoline because maybe it will catch my attention. my words are in a struggle for their lives. when my earbuds aren’t playing music, i hear the words desperately climbing over one another like ivy, reaching for my ears, reaching for my eyes, reaching for my hands so that they will be born. i am their creator yet they command me to make them stronger. add a metaphor next to me, one cries. add a metaphor on both sides of me, another shrieks. stampedes of words who would kill for me to choose them. the only moment they live for is when i pick up a pencil, grasp it tightly, pull a notebook closer, and finally write down all the words.
i’m mastering the art of saying hello in Korean; the days walk past, nodding over their shoulders at me in greeting, casually ignoring the reality of what they hold. today i learned how to introduce myself in Korean. i repeated the syllables one after the other, until they fell together in a mash of sounds that my mouth isn’t used to forming. i’ve been talking to my dog in Korean. when he barks, i say anio, hajima! when i wake up, i say, annyeounghaseyo! i go through my day remembering the Korean words and writing about my opinions on taxonomy and atomic warfare. is this what my teenager life will become? i don’t know how long i'll study Korean. i hope i'll continue until i’m fluent, but i also know that at some point the episode will end and the final credits will scroll,