Happy National Poetry Day! ♥
I was drawn to writing ever since I could remember. I fell in love with words, with stories inside books, with the way the pen meets the paper. And then, for five years, I lost that. I stopped creating art. I stopped listening to my voice. I didn’t even recognize it. I am so glad that I found my way back.
To celebrate today, here’s a look at the first poem I ever got published:
Windowed your split view,
Like the exterior of my conversation with vodka-
My words, tumbling from strawberry chapstick lips
“I wouldn’t lie to you, I swear.”
You search through limbed teeth just in case,
Not believing reassurance I found in the shot glass.
Then, rake up my tongue because it’s keeping hidden truth.
My tonsils become the rough bark of our argument-and there!
Hit realization, by eventually looking out from inside your living room:
I bear no fruit; aging and losing branches.
Stepping outside like I always knew you would,
disgust feeding that chainsaw hypocrisy,
You cut down the divided tree of my naïve mouth.
White lies don’t shed to be forgiven.
This poem was published in Issue 2 of The Blue Route when I was a freshman in college, circa 2009. (WOW!) See it in print here.
And P.S. It is funny how life gets distorted, isn’t it? Our paths twist, people in our lives mislead us. The view we had can end up being so inaccurate from where we currently stand. Learn to morph, rise after buckling at the knees, speak through the garbled noise. Remember that pivots are necessary. Remember to stay true.
I make my home for the next eight hours in seat 22C, separated by an aisle from two French girls with honey woven hair, their words bubbling over the soft cries of a child behind me.
To my right- a blonde, straight-faced younger man. He copies my dinner order on our overnight flight, and I exchange names for time to kill.
Ryan from Indiana, graduate from Nashville, selling engineering equipment on a business trip.
I tell him I am Kara, almost 23, a bird fleeing from the suffocating nest of corporate worlds
And how I will travel.
He said I inspired him to do something spontaneous
But he is not yet ready to canyon jump in Interlaken
Or abandon ship from the security of a 9-5 office,
That 35,000 feet in the air is more than enough risk.
I laugh as we talk of past education, and our families back home
He is 27. No kids or wife, he says.
Conversation is a coffee-carrying flight attendant still meandering
As we touch down in Frankfurt, our throats scratched from conversation.
He jokes that he better be in my book when it is published
And my eyes smile as if to say, “You will.”
Weeks later, I will remember this journal entry and look up Ryan from Indiana
To find two blonde toddlers and a wife plastered in his pictures
And will need to steady myself from the turbulence.
Why did you have to invent a story to a woman you just met, leaving out the woman you wrote it with?
And stash oxygen masks from your children as you suffocate them with your silence?
Why lie at all?
Maybe you needed to feel the desire of fresh attraction,
Or try on a shade of single to cover up what you left behind.
But hiding your wedding ring, in a foreign country, telling your wife you love her when you’re flying white lies fast out of Germany…you make me wish I could think up a plane crash for men like you.
P.S. Here you go, Ryan. I wrote about you.