The Longing in Everything
Piece by piece you find the things that house you.
They give you life, they open your lungs.
At my grandparent’s house,
dust never settles into the lines.
The smoke ashes never make it beyond the garage.
But when that house is empty it sounds like screams through a pillow case.
It’s a settled sorrow,
one that longs to be danced upon.
Homemade wooden floors that are thirsty for spilled liquids
walls that yearn to be colored.
I would run circles, elated for the life within those four walls,
the china cabinet clinking along like it has a tambourine in hand,
The house emits a different energy each time I step inside.
Every time you walk in, you feel something else.
You feel the age you are, and the weight of the memories past.
That’s a grandparent’s house.
dense with the weight of knowing there will be a day
when those loved ones will be faint laughs in the back of your mind.
I’ve been prepared since age five,
“Courtney, honey, throw my ashes into this river when I die'.
I promise, grandpa
There’s the blunt love,
The absent love, the rushed love, the melancholic love,
The hopeful love.
There are ones who deserve a poem,
ones who quaked my heart to the point of eruption.
Ones who straddled my inner weaknesses, resisted when I pulled back,
fought me like I was a man.
The blunt one had me at hello.
I kept coming back to the sugary sweet until the
Sweetness rot holes in my teeth.
Hair orange like a house on fire.
Body tall and lean like a wire.
The blunt love told me I should do some sit-ups.
So I shed layers like they were wrapping paper.
And when the summer was over,
I floated back to the east coast.
The paper I tore from my limbs and my torso
made me weak,
my bones were weak,
my heart beat more slowly.
That’s when the absent love swooped in to finish the job,
and unwrapped me bare.
The absent love,
makes you feel like
a rarely used tea kettle
in grandma’s china cabinet.
When you are taken out,
it’s for special occasions and under small
He uses all the tea
then sets you back on the white linen.
You feel exposed when you are on the table
the chandelier peering down on you,
But when you are tucked away, no one bats an eye.
The rushed love,
makes you feel whole before you
feel it in yourself.
He’s a rental car,
you have the steering wheel,
you feel free for a moment,
maybe weeks or months,
your vacation ends and you go back to reality.
You know you wouldn’t be able to afford that car if you hadn’t rented,
but you wouldn’t want to afford it.
It’s too high maintenance.
The brakes need to be serviced every three months,
And anyway, the status you felt was feigned.
The melancholic love
is really not much to mention.
it’s the boat anchor,
as you float lonely out at sea.
But there’s no water,
and you aren’t a boat.
The hopeful love,
Is one I’ve found
lays you easy
on beach sand.
You don’t have to worry about sunburn
because the hopeful love
gives you SPF that
quenches and protects your
You can even fall asleep
on that hot sand.
You won’t stay up worrying
where that hopeful love is. He won’t
disappear into the ocean,
he won’t leave you lying there
vulnerable and open.
And you realize the decision was that simple all along.