Poem: Drowning

Poem: Drowning

Minnesota in the hot, hot sun
I’ll write a memoir, like I’m a film star
Like my words are fiber nectar & galvanized tar
I wish I could join the assembly line
Not to find out, not to decay, but to come out bright white & crystal, grey clay
To become transparent in the grand scheme of things
Be able to extrapolate meaning from my own devices
Tell you how I find human beings so lifeless
Wrapped up in their due process of mind
Fingertips on roses, your hands on the arched back that is mine
Fever dreams

I know the road is farther than it seems
I’ve seen the bitter resemblance of what’s paved underneath
My eyes blur, I can’t see, I can’t see a thing
Wouldn’t you like to have a dance with refined me?
I’m mesmerized by nothing at all
Nobody pays attention to what I want them to pay attention to
I’m violent, I got this, I’m gutless, I’m thinner than the fabric
Screaming my insides out, I’ll eat you alive
Won’t find me on your bedside
You said, you said
You said, you said
Your goodbyes so hazily
Tell me, how do you wish to be portrayed?
When they paint you wrong, are you dismayed?
What are you proud to take to the grave?
I’m taking the dreams I made

I have this one song, I get a lot of meaning from it
The way it blankets me in security and
A freedom I’ve never found in a single human being
They’re tar-stained, they’re charcoal remnants
They’ll gaslight you and then say that you’re gaslighting them in return
The apprehension is near, I told you the car was far away
I didn’t see it coming my way
Somehow I didn’t mind
I had this dream, I saw the glass-slipper ball gown
The one I wore when
You said, I swore, you said
You said, I swore it, I swore you said
Wouldn’t be there
Star-crossed lovers
Awake with hesitation
Marvel at my presentation
Scattered in assembly, grief like parasites
Do you know anyone who sees you in the right & softest light?

I’m thinner than fabric, I’m tougher than fossil fuels
If it’s confusing, it’s only confusing to you
Me – I know what’s going on
Write you a grocery list of things to bring
A sustainable sparkle, a delicate sapphire
An element of surprise to add to the details and decor
Horrors of society seem to fade when we turn the television on

Melt me like aspartame in Coca Cola
Ignite a funeral home
Tell me what you find transparent
Covered in frost, I’m not vaguely processed
I’m rarely understood and I think I know why
I think this life is mine to apprehend and find
I lose my keys over and over again on purpose
Locked out so I can write
But I thought you said, I thought you said
But I thought you said, I thought you said

I have this one song that makes me feel more like myself than anything else
I play it on repeat because I’m sick of hearing about my diminishing health
Drown out the noise, fiber-glass, can’t see, my vision blurs
The ocean is my lord & savior
I’m not even surprised by their behavior
The evidence is real because it’s written on parchment paper

It always ends
It always ends like this
I’m in the shower, white roses and pink carnations, I feel true bliss
You’d be obsolete
In a thousand years
We’re connected by the fabric
The sheer and hazy stillness
Do it on the daily
Hate you a little, just maybe
Match my evening glow

If you hate me, that’s not a well thought-out decision
You have your fears and I have this one song
That makes me feel more like myself than I’ve ever felt before
And I play it
I play it all day long
When the noise drowns me out, I sing along
You wouldn’t say, you wouldn’t say
Anything to conclude the grime and the dirt you brought to my doorstep
A cave’s internal diameter
A concave, arching sky
The exact shade of your brown eyes
My skin is softest on the tops of my thighs

I don’t hate anyone
I don’t hate anything
I don’t hate anyone
There’s just nothing left to sink
Drowning in the deep end because in the water I’m completely occupying my body
I don’t hate anyone
I don’t hate anything
I’ll let the water have me, on purpose, on purpose

Does drowning make you nervous?
Does real love make you hesitate?

Does drowning make you nervous?
Does real love make you hesitate?
Does drowning make you hesitate?

Does real love make you nervous?

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Love poem: May birthdays

Love poem: May birthdays

May is the month of Springtime flowers
But when you leave, the atmosphere is sour
And I’m alarmed
That you don’t believe in a higher power
When it’s sitting across the table from you

I was listening to a podcast where a guy said he went on a date with a woman that was exactly “his type,” so to speak, & he was driving home realizing he couldn’t pursue her because he didn’t want to fall into the same old patterns.

I thought of that statement when I saw you angrily crushing the buttons on your phone
That you call “a stupid machine”
Just like he did
Unreasonably angry in disregard for how beautifully my lilac, dreamlike eye shadow was blurred upon my bare eyelids
Not suited for the evening where we were supposed to celebrate your birthday
Which felt more important to me, than to you
I’d spent the previous evening looking for the most suitable birthday card in the CVS pharmacy that’s a few neighborhoods away, imagining they had better cards than the one several streets away from my residence
Half-wondering if you would display it
Half-knowing it’d be tucked away in a drawer

Do I want to be that girl?
Do I want my eye-shadow to go unnoticed?
Or the sparkle in my eyes to be diminished when you’re preoccupied with something external to yourself?
Do I want to write questions instead of statements on my own poetry website where love is the theme and I’m somehow not the main character?

Hollow and concave
Rich with vengeance
Who your enemy is, is probably unknown to you, me, or the population at large
But the gap I fill, gets bigger every day
But my body does not
So I sit in it, hardly occupying the space
That I wish I could cover like a desert storm would

Unreasonably empty for the evening
Watching you almost punch your steering wheel
Is this where chaos lands me
Is this the dream that I have been chasing down
Like I’m unsure of myself
Don’t know what to do with myself
Have gotten beside myself

Sitting at my desk
Writing, waiting
Wondering what my father would say
If he knew my teenage antics
At my sharp age of near-thirty

Every woman has a man that brings her down to a lower degree
I don’t want to know who I am beneath
The sweet girl I am when I get ready by seven in the evening
To celebrate a birthday that is more important to me, than to you

May is the month of Springtime flowers
But when you leave, the atmosphere is sour
And I’m alarmed
That you don’t believe in a higher power
When it’s sitting across the table from you

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Love poem in blue: Like doves

Love poem in blue: Like doves

I can tell
I can tell in my own poetry
When I’m slipping into cracks
In the asphalt
The rendition of your worst dreams – concave nightmares
Existing perfectly intertwined in cooler but violet & violent, amber tones
Softly, gazing
Barely awake and hardly credible
Flashes of cyanide to intoxicate the evening and ruin the damage that’s in disarray
So perfect, it all always seems to be

Somehow I’m always awake when you are
Or you’re always awake when I am
Or we catch each other at the right times

Like doves passing muted harmonies back and forth
Into the night

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Love poem: Playing my cards right (all night)

Love poem: Playing my cards right (all night)

I have to be very careful
Because I’ve been
I’ve been in these rivers before
I swallowed marbles and bubbles and committed acts you’d say were inhumane
I was a small girl
I was in pain

I have to play my cards right
Because I just want everything to be serene, the water clear
Everything to be perfectly alright
I’ve been waiting
I’ve been waiting for you
I’ve been waiting
I’ve been waiting for you

I’ve spent long nights
Just thinking
About everything that keeps me away from you
And how
The line is so thin
And I think
I’m going to cross it again
Like an avalanche in my brain

I’m looking at you but you’re not even
Not even looking at me
I’m looking at you but you’re not even
Not even looking at me
Like I’m too blind to see
Like I’m too naive to believe
That you would be in love with me
Not even looking at me
Are you in love with me
Why won’t you, why won’t you tell me
Not even looking at me

Million, million, million, million things I could say, now, in this field of wildflowers
I can’t find my landscape
You’re all I ever dreamt of
I’m falling asleep while I’m awake
I don’t know, I don’t know
How all you do is take
How all you do is take

Like an avalanche
I spread my wings and pick them off, one by one
I have “feelings” and you don’t have “emotions”
I wish I could sit with a typewriter and feed words into your head
Things I want on a handwritten note
Delivered to me by mail
Always on time, without fail
A napkin from a fancy cafe in Paris
Baby, I can tell you all the right things to say
Why, why can’t things just go perfectly my way
Is it unsettling
The way things come into play
The way night turns into day
I can’t look away

You can’t convince someone
You can’t convince someone to stay
But you look so good
So good
So good
So good
So good
When you walk away
When you walk away

When you walk away
The way night turns into day
Like an avalanche in my brain

Poem: Love it any less

Poem: Love it any less

He tells me
Not to get too excited
As we sit alongside the deep-blue riverbed
But me – I’ve been counting down the days
I saw my chamomile flowers bloom, then close, and fall apart in the duration of one week
As I hadn’t changed the water
I was distracted by the sparkle
Of the morning’s horizon
As it painted me in shades of pink I couldn’t quite capture on film

California outlawed flavoured vape products
I know, I’m mourning it heavily
Now I find myself smoking non-menthol cigarettes in my parking lot
Like my father did, in his
Amber tones of his skin shining like
Diamonds you pick back up from the jewelry store
That line your blue-tinted watch with a brand painted in cursive ink
Like your mother’s Russian handwriting
Soft in all of the
Roughest places

My afternoon gaze is
Thick with gloom and hope, both at the same time
I’m wrapped in my navy ‘Windy City’ sweater that I bought at a Walgreens
Where it took four cashiers to properly ring up my alcoholic drink, too
Because the cashiers were mostly underage
But we were on the same page
Laughing about how liquor makes the turbulent flight go smoothly
And how I’ll wrap myself in bridal magazines and read the new Forbes “thirty under thirty” list
Knowing I won’t make it on there in less than three years
Cutoffs are so harsh, isn’t it maddening
Life is so funny sometimes, at the right times
I’ll fade to November grey like a collapsing sky
I’ll lay my head down and never, ever wonder why
I’ll endure the gradual passage of time

He adjusted his collar
And we laughed about who is taller
Because me, my small frame, I take up so little of space
Though I feel like if I spread my fingertips, they’ll reach the mountains
Surrounded by cherry stems and cascading fountains
Waterfalls along the trail where my senior terrier walks on her own self-created path
My glimmer of hope in this brittle, dark night
Made for a hollow tin of little coloured cards stolen from the paint store
Where we wrote our biggest dreams on
Gathering the courage to set them on fire
And not intending to burn down the park grounds down with our miniature vision boards

I found a poem I published for a boy three years ago
On his birthday
It was called ‘I wrote you a poem’
My mother laughed at how cute that was
I did too
I think back to those years and how he never came through
And somehow that didn’t make me love him any less
Probably even more so

I have to get better with taking derivatives
Along with the vitamins in my medicine cabinet
I finally bought a parking permit for university so I could stop
Getting tickets
Even though the traffic cop is such a sweetheart
He asks about my navy ‘Windy City’ sweater
Things like “so when are you going to finally end up there?”

The piece of rose-tinted, painted card-stock
That I’d never set on flames
I keep it in my wallet
To know that
I’ll get there

I’ll get there
Until I’m at the drugstore again with the cashiers
That are of-age, by that time
And I’m buying wine

And Chicago will treat me like it’s been mine this whole time
And I won’t love it any less
Probably even more so

© Elle Silvestrov

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