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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