This is how my soul exists:
With eyes tearing up at inked words on book pages,
minor pianissimo chords on Steinway keys,
and the homeless man with an American flag tattoo
on his bicep standing at the pharmacy corner.
With a chest containing a contradictory heart
full of regret at knowing I wrecked another human,
rage at remembering how afraid I was of his hands,
and sorrow at knowing I’ve forgotten his favorite color.
With a giggle exploding from my throat
in weird moments of connection
and intimacy when someone says:
With skin crawling in goosebumps
when trapped within a crowd,
bodies around me like an iron cage,
wishing I could be on the far edge
against the wall where I could see the stars
or hear the coyotes.
With hands grasping
for smaller hands whenever they can’t
find their parents in the grocery store,
the velvet of a horse’s muzzle,
and the crackle of fall leaves in my fingers –
constantly needing to save something,
or have one last kiss before it fades away.
With a brain trying desperately
to communicate to my heart:
“You feel too much.”
“No one wants to talk about watercolors.”
“Yes, that’s Debussy but no one cares.”
“No one will ever be able to love a roller coaster like you.”
With a sense of curiosity begging
to know a stranger’s middle name
or favorite planet
or if they like cats
or if they’re terrified of crossing bridges.
Pausing at odd intervals to search
someone’s eyes with intensity
because I want to hear their breath catch
and feel the chemistry like static.
With a mouth inadequately
trying to covey all the emotions
I want to write on notebook paper
by my own hand at 3 a.m. –
collecting and discovering
bits of history, astronomy,
Old English, and diesel machinery.
With fears as big as mountains
and hope as big as the sky,
constantly attempting to figure out
what purpose I serve.
Finding solace in trust,
joy in loyalty,
and passion in rawness
which so many keep to themselves.
Searching for a star in the darkness
as loudly as I do into the night
with paint on his hands
and sarcasm as arousing as morning coffee.
Trekking through a world,
hiding in bookstores
or building blanket forts
for moments of childish sanity.
Feeling like no man sees me
as a hard-earned saltwater pearl –
but instead observe a
in vintage dresses
and dark lashes
who dances around small talk
and dry humor
and blushes at gentleness.
Copyright © 2016 Pearl Bayou