on learning to like after you

green eyes has good teeth,

i should’ve been a dentist, he jokes.

seat mere feet from seat, four palms

two occupied with frosty clinking glasses,

(no salt on yours, he says, freeing one palm with a grin)

he takes off his rimmed glasses and wipes them,

“you look nice without those,” i say, he smiles.

your eyes were brown indoors and hazel in the sun,

your legs were short,

your shoulders, your gaze

cast towards your small quick feet,

your words sped when our tension thickened,

sludge-like with the absence of words until

our bodies found their ways to separate places.

Feelings best translate to the nightmarish segment of a childhood funhouse, the tunnel right before the end, it revolves in an ongoing circular motion, and through it you scamper like a gerbil in a wheel, attempting to remain upright on your two frantically blinking light-up sneakers, but the omnipotent presence of gravity trumps all. There’s an immense O-shaped beam of sunlight pouring through and perhaps your mother or friends or somebody is flinging a wrist left and right, casting a frivolous beam of laughter up at the skies, oh she’s so precious, look she can’t walk right!

Feelings best translate to the contrast between emotions upon placing Piketty’s Capital in my shopping cart on Amazon, and struggling past the first ten pages. Tackling Capital seemed like a remarkable idea until I realized my lack of time, patience, and intelligence. Feelings are my useless economics degree, and you are a 600-page Amazon bestseller. But you could be any book, really; you could be Harry Potter and I’d be both the robe-clad girl in line for Barnes and Noble at midnight, and the bible-thumper who thought Voldemort to be satan. You’d be Twilight and I, both the twihard and the English professor raising my nose at lowbrow literature; the soccer mom flitting through Fifty Shades, and the Jezebel columnist condemning its misogynistic nature. Through and through, you are the book, demand exceeding supply and comfortably nestled at the top of all lists.

Feelings are necessary and you are the sufficient; if it were diagrammed, it would parallel a logical reasoning argument like the ones on the LSAT. If I went to class, then I got out of bed. Getting out of bed is necessary, going to class is sufficient. If I think of you often, sometimes with no clothes on, sometimes with your lips on mine, sometimes with your arm around me or just even doing none of those things and talking, smiling, laughing, showing each other the things we know the other would like, and then maybe kissing on the lips and each other’s necks and quietly giggling about how nobody else would ever guess that this thing could be ours, then I have feelings. Feelings are necessary, you are sufficient, and perhaps one day those dizzying feelings will dissipate at last. After all, you are the latter half of an admissions test diagram, you are the wheel that challenged me against gravity, you are the geekonomics summer must-read I couldn’t handle. Because some things that once felt so radically innate, like asking to spend time with you, suddenly place me at odds with the bare bones of nature’s power itself, as though gravity is gracelessly rolling me off my rubber soles.

[skies]

let us go then, you and i
when the evening is spread out against the sky
with words and stars woven between and blanketing our
20/20 vision, even peripherally, all that’s left to see is nothing but
blankets over our eyes, blinded,
my grandmother knitted me covers for my eyes so that I can look
up at her at night, her soul interwoven into
each star, each glimmer, and yet
i am so small as well, just
one in a plethora of
ground and water and endless expanse.
let us go then, you and i,
gazing at blankets above our eyes,
of stars and grandmothers and past,
i am a past, a dream, a future,
a reason you are floating,
i am selfish and yet selfless,
yet nothing.
let us go then, you and i,
venturing our sights into the skies,
looking forward and backwards and the places we don’t know,
let us exist.

[new here]

It might be crazy, but I’m the closest thing I have to a voice of reason. Irrationality swims around me in currents, sometimes when it seams that the water’s entirely still it just falls apart, rips at the seems like the way we did when your personal insanity took over; it’s not you, it’s me, seams they slowly tear into pieces and drift to the cafeteria floor like confetti falling from the sky on new years,..
I miss holidays, holy days, days I’d look forward to but I’d lied to you all these years, mailed a sealed envelope to some heavenly divine obese figure residing in a fictitious place, how do your seams hold together around an entire global populace’s cookies and milk, how do you store it, how doesn’t your belly button pop and cookies and milk just flood the earth, a typhoon of joy sinking into the minds of youth like your words sunk into mine, it’s not you, it’s not you… it’s not me, I’m just another believer, drowned under the weight of a bursted knot of a once tied umbilical cord,
I used to envy outie belly buttons. Mine was an innie since day one, perhaps the doctor stitched that one in too far when I finally washed ashore in july 1993, my presence comes in waves, political analysts say democracy comes in waves, calculus artists or mathematicians or gods of the numerical universe say that sine and cosine come in waves too. The universe operates in a back and forth motion, sways in, falls out, and thus I fell out with an innie belly button, tying these parallel universes together, and therefore I was stitched.
And I envy outie belly buttons because you look slimmer, as though your waist isn’t exploding with the plagues of the universe, swollen lipid cells expanding and never shrinking back, it’s the one evil of the world that doesn’t come in waves. Fat grows on, expands cells, and they remain that way. You diet and pray to some higher power that it’ll someday shrink back down to the 23 inch diameter once stamped on a piece of paper, but for now we are nothing but swollen cells of lipid. Coagulated fat cells melted together, not stitched, because it can’t burst the way I can.
And yet I’m bursting, it’s me, it’s me… things spilling onto the floor like confetti falling from the sky on new years’ and they spill from my mouth but it’s not you, it’s me; it might be crazy, but I’m the closest thing I have to a voice of reason.

Internalized.

And somewhere in this fucked-up clump of lobes and sensors clumped under my scalp, I’d like to selfishly hypothesize that when you told my roommate about the girl you liked, it was that you cared for this dismal hollow thing clicking away at a keyboard, but I’d hate to let you meet these oozing thoughts and beating sentiments, sickly contained little things that make me want to vomit with the ideas of romance whenever you ask me those words, damn rhetorical questions, did you finish that paper, and I just internally fume, you don’t understand the sickening process of elimination I’ve gone through to try and scientifically conclude who she is, but every time my roommate shakes her head no I can’t tell you, whatever ounce of soul is left in this glamorous frame slides up my throat, like maybe one of these days, it’ll just spew down the bathroom stall on a bad Friday night and I’ll be entirely hollow at last– a scientifically operating heap of sensors and veins and guts and transmitters.

I’ve forgotten how to write.

I’m just throwing together sentences using big words to express psuedo-emotions; feelings that were once there but now fabricate by the clicking keys of a run down shitty laptop in a run down shitty university. You don’t know what it feels  like to have that sentiment escape from you, to have every bit of talent you once took pride in, disintegrate into pretension, until all that’s left is some half-assed attempts that maybe, just possibly, may result in something to make another state writing competition judge crack a grin.

It’s not even about that anymore. I don’t want to write in exchange for 1/500th of a ream of Staples paper, it cost me more to write it anyways. More time and effort, and even paper bills than your meager photocopy of a congratulations. A few cents, really, and perhaps a couple more in ink fees. Libraries charge ten cents a print, is that the value of my presumptuous bubble of hot air to you? Some useless bubble of hot air that swallowed everything I once knew about writing, in exchange for a library photocopy, I hope you’re happy now, not that you know it’s your fault; you were simply rewarding me. A fair barter, really, but through cynically tinted goggles, everything is a commodity and all I seek in life are the merits.

So then we have a fair exchange. Passion for paper for a fifth of the paper in exchange. Occupy writing competitions.