In which I try to write a poem about someone who tries too hard and perhaps wants too much

An Apology

You never understood what it was
About banana walnut pancakes for breakfast
That I needed to hear about.
It’s not like you invented them
Or were having them for the first time in your life.
And what’s new about bumper-to-bumper traffic
On your way to work? It was always
The same thing anyway, no matter what day,
No matter what time you left.

And what was so important about
What you dreamt about last night
Or what tie you’re wearing now
Or which pen you’re picking up to write with?
So what if the little boy in the elevator
Reminded you of a childhood friend
You never saw again after you moved away?
What do I care if you think
That tea doesn’t go with milk
Or that people shouldn’t leave
Their homes with their hair still wet?

So when you tell me, “This new playlist
I’ve been listening to is growing on me”
And I play it all day until I can hear it
Even in my sleep, and I could feel
The weight of every word as though
You had chosen it especially for me,
You just shake your head,
Pull me close and, ruffling my hair,
You plant a kiss on my forehead.
“All you need to know is
I’ll pick you up for dinner at 6.
And I love you to bits.”

I don’t think you’ll ever understand
Why I take mental snapshots all the time
Or why I’m always ravenous for every morsel,
Every tidbit of you that I can find.
Pardon me if your life is not just something
I’d like to gloss over or skim when I have the time.
Pardon me if I don’t wish to just thumb through it
Absent-mindedly, like it’s a dog-eared
Back issue of a teen magazine in a hair salon’s lobby.

Pardon me if I’d rather dig in than nibble
On the edges of your life, if I’m not one to push away
The stuff that most people do not want,
If I want every single bite in my greedy mouth.
My love is the kind that rips you open
And holds every piece to the light.
It’s an insatiable beast that feeds
On what is pure and true,
What is real and magical,
What is you.

11 March 2014


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