Wednesday, November 4, 2015

You Should Bring the Flowers

Because somewhere hidden behind the sound of the keys clicking this out is the desire to write it long hand, pen against paper, shorter lines caressing the longer ones, rubbing the feelings in
Because if they drip down my face, my tears should smudge something 
Because tapping my screen to end the call will never be as satisfying as hanging up was

Because, while I have exchanged awkward phone conversations and barbed text messages aplenty, I have never slapped the faces of any of the men who have mangled my heart 
and some days I really think that both of us would be better off
Because Etsy jewelry never looks that good in person
Because I am knitting a blanket for my nephew and it is not as pretty as the store-bought ones and I have spent too much money on it and it has taken a long time already and I will know that it will stand up to the winters in Alaska because it is too warm for my lap and I have to knit sitting sideways so that I won't be under it
and he will be my mother's grandson and he must be warm
Because I cried when I realized that her purse didn't smell like her anymore
that nothing smells like Mama anymore
and some mornings that still wakes me up sobbing

Because there is no video of my neice running to me through a crowd, arms stretched out ready to catch my neck that will tell you anything about the feel of her tangled braid against my cheek 
Because one day my nephews will all be taller than me and (hopefully) stop asking to be picked up and swung around
Because it is my father's old work shirt that I always reach for first when I'm sick
and I will never be able to use words to explain why I must always keep that portrait of him that really looks nothing like him

Because this poem has been interrupted repeatedly by a malfunctioning device lagging so far behind that I had to stop typing
just to give it time 

to catch up
and this was what we were doing
just typing

that's it. 

Because that's not really a problem with pens
even less so with pencils
Because the "Not Responding" message is always met with my resounding NO SHIT uttered with such fervor that it disturbs my tea

that's just sitting there
doing nothing

like this device.

Because even if you talk to me on the phone every single night and text me all day long and say it over and over again, nothing will reassure me like the memory of that time 
you grabbed my hand, interlaced your fingers with mine, and didn't let go
Because every time after that
Because I still remember my first slow dance
Because I don't remember my first email or text message
Because even middle school phone calls were nothing compared to the notes he passed me in the hall
and I'll never forgive myself for so cavalierly getting rid of them before I got old enough to really appreciate them 

Because I can tell you about every detail of my day and still miss the way that my face looked when I threw my head back laughing at the friends I'm just barely cool enough to have at work
Because what I want tonight is my brother sitting next to me on the couch watching superheroes save the world on TV and he asks me to go make him a pie
or sandwich
and I tell him where he can put his pie
or sandwich
and we laugh way too loud because we are way too loud
Because reading this won't help you understand why that's so funny
or the correct inflection with which to read that last line

or how good the pasta was tonight at dinner
or the way the rain sounds on the roof
or the way the moonlight through my window when I was a kid woke me up being so bright
Because I have heard those three little words so many times before
Because they turned out to be fleeting and maybe I should have noticed

Because they never came with flowers.