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Posts Tagged ‘loneliness’

 

 

 

Sometimes there’s enough joy

in the day that the you who is afraid to be alone

and the you who loves to be alone

and the you who is never alone

and the you who is always alone

all sit at the same table

and share a glass of wine

and though they say nothing

they nod in easy agreement

and wordlessly toast

to each other’s health.

The wine tastes of sunshine,

of yesterdays, of giving up,

a sweetness they can’t name.

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Loneliness is still time spent with the world.

—Ocean Vuong

 

 

It would be easier if loneliness would come to me

like the angel that wrestled with Jacob,

 

if it would slip by night into my tent

and rip me out of slumber,

 

force me to be awake and alone, but

there is no room in my tent.

 

I have already invited the circus.

We stay up all night and dance,

 

me and the tigers and fire breathers.

We practice swallowing swords

 

and how to best stitch

new feather headdresses

 

and red-sequined capes. All night

the ringmaster announces

 

the next act and the next, and

though my eyes would droop

 

and my body would sleep

and my heart would have time

 

for mourning, I force my dimming self

to clap as the clowns yet again

 

climb out of their tiny car

with their garish grins—

 

how could there be so many of them?

with their horns and their tricks

 

and umbrellas and balls—

so many clowns that loneliness

 

has no chance to slip into this place

where I entertain endless acts that prevent

 

me from wrestling, from asking,

please, to be blessed.

 

 

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One Wandering

 

 

 

 

before seeing the bush

the scent of a wild rose—

the crow and I alone together

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One Unfillable

 

 

 

still hungry

the thousand thousand mouths

of loneliness

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there are blessings,

though they are wrapped

in sandpaper—

perhaps by now

your fingerprints

are nearly erased

perhaps you’ve noticed

how this

is the gift

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Even though I know you don’t read poems,

I want to thank you for calling me last night

when your living room was too big for one,

when all the ex-lovers were somewhere else

and even the kids were gone. Thank you

for calling me to say how alone it is.

For half an hour, we were alone together,

weeping and laughing in our separate rooms.

Just tonight I realized I do not know how gravity works.

Something to do with mass. And distance.

How much of what rules us do we not understand?

The vase falls and it breaks. We know that and learn

to be more gentle with our hands. It’s more

out of habit than true understanding. Our loneliness,

too, is a kind of a rule that we spend our whole lives

trying to change, but it is always there.

Eventually we come to see that everything

will be taken from us. Our aloneness is all that is left.

It is only frightening until it is not. Then it frightens us again.

Thank God we are here to explore it together,

this alarming lack of anything to hold onto.

When we say goodbye, it is gentle. We both know

what it feels like to break. There is too much at stake

not to love each other, alone and distant as we are.

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morning alone

my heart a yodeler

hoping to hear

your heart

yodeling back

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The scholars argue if it were a box or a jar.
No matter. She opened it, Pandora.
It was a gift, and she treated
it as such. And what does it matter
how quickly they spread, all the evils and ills
the gods gave to humanity? The point is
they spread. All Pandora did was lift the lid.
I read today that a red blood cell
can make a full circuit of the human body
in less than 20 seconds. Of course I wanted
to give it a name, that theoretic cell.
Like loneliness. I could imagine it rushing redly
through every part of my body, infusing all tissue
with its terrible news. You’re alone,
it says, you’re alone, you’re alone.
In a minute, I’ve heard it enough
to believe it, though other red cells
sing a different tune. Sometimes
in the face of loneliness, all other
songs turn to sand. I’m lonely,
I say to my lonely reflection,
and who will hold my hand?
And anger appears from behind
the vase. And pride shows up
beside the door. There is a box
somewhere inside me. I don’t remember
opening it, but the lid is long since gone.
I, too, was gifted with curiosity.
You were a gift, I say to anger,
you were a gift, I say to pride.
But I am too tired to believe it.
I watch myself as if my life is a movie,
watch the loneliness make its rounds inside.

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I Pushed Him Away

I pushed him away
until the loneliness in me
recognized the loneliness

in him, two awkward birds
still afraid of sky

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In early October, after the frost,

but before the long white weight of snow,

 

wade waist-deep in the raspberry thicket,

when the air is cold and the sun is low

 

and there is yet gold on the mesa’s hills,

all glitter and tremble and shine, and hiding

 

beneath the still green leaves are swollen red berries,

few enough that to find one feels like earning a prize,

 

but abundant enough to lure you deeper in,

despite the brambles, the snags on your sweater,

 

the scratches into your hands. There is no way

to be anywhere but here. The day moves no faster

 

than shadows can grow and hunger is a thing

that can be sated. The light meets you

 

exactly where you are and gives itself to you

and asks nothing in return.

 

 

 

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