I’m an anxious optimist –
I’m the embodiment of
‘Hope for the best,
Prepare for the worst’.
I get to believe the best of people
And still be awed and surprised
When things go beautifully
And the world proves me right.
It makes me rediscover goodness
Daily, at times, and feeds back
Into that spiral of optimism,
With just a twinge of worry
That it can’t possibly happen again,
That it needs to peak
And go down sometime.
But that thought brings it down
Just enough to ensure
It never actually happens.
And if it does, of course
That’s what the optimism is for.
There are some days in life,
Precious and beautiful like jewels,
Not because you do anything,
But get to rediscover what joy feels like.
For me, i can just stay in bed,
The faint smell of jasmine
Coming through the open window,
And have you bring me breakfast,
A tray with a glass of juice,
Toast and a jar of strawberry jam.
You put on some jazz music,
And i joke that we’re too old
For this hour to be late enough for it.
You answer my jab at your tastes
By suddenly jumping on the bed.
It jostles me too much to adjust,
And I end up with juice all over me.
I pull the pyjamas over my head,
And that I can is beautiful in itself,
Just lying in front of you naked –
That I can do it without justification,
No jacuzzi party needed anymore
As an excuse to see me in a swimsuit,
No jewelry gift to see my lingerie,
No making eyes at somebody else
To keep me interested by jealousy.
You may freely enjoy my bared skin,
A touch that jumbles my thoughts
And makes me juggle the tray aside,
So I can trail kisses down your jawbone
And fingers down your backside
When we join together like jigsaw pieces,
In jagged times to match the background jazz.
There are some who find their joy in objects,
I’m glad I’m not one of them anymore
And I know that being here with you,
Just ourselves, free of judgement,
And with a half-spilled glass of juice
Makes today more precious than any jewel.
I saw a little boy building today,
Towers in spiralling, beautiful forms,
And rejoiced at the sneak-peek
Of tomorrow’s elegant skyline.
I saw a little girl painting today,
A world covered in flowers and sun,
And rejoiced at the assurance that
The towers will be dressed in gardens.
We know that it’s the silliest thing
To tell children that their worlds
Do not respect the rules of ours.
They will draw outside the lines,
And we let them do it in peace.
It’s a shame we forget, however,
To cut ourselves the same slack
And find forms that match our lines
Instead of cramming our colours
Within the stiff pre-existing shapes.
The world would be a better place
If we all closed our eyes to it,
And let ourselves imagine it anew.
If we imagined so hard we truly believed
That buildings are meant to be spirals
And curtains of flowers should adorn them.
We should believe in things that aren’t true
Or else how could they ever become?
Imagining other worlds is easy
The trick is to look at this world,
See it, feel it, understand it,
And imagine it as other, as better,
And all the ways to bring it there.
You taste of sugar.
It’s the thing you resemble most,
Sweet, and extremely addictive.
I could suck on your lips for a day
Letting your flavour
Wash through my mouth
Before I bite, just softly,
Like you’re a candy cane.
Your sounds, if possible,
Would be even better
Than that crack of pure sugar
As it comes apart on my teeth.
I could drink honey from your skin
Even before I pour out the bottle,
When you break in the barest sweat
Turning you just enough liquid
To mistake you for the hot nectar.
Or maybe it’s your chocolate eyes
That make me drown in their molten depths
And leave a trail of stickiness
Wherever they go on my skin
That you need to lick away.
You’re the sweetest thing I ever tasted
But that makes you dangerous too.
I might have had you shot
Directly into my bloodstream
One too many times, because I think
I must be turning to sugar too.
Whenever you embrace me,
I feel my contours melt a bit
And mix with your own edges
In caramel-like strings.
I wonder what flavour the two of us together will make…
You hold ends and beginnings
In the depths of your eyes,
A confusion of joy and sorrow
Driven by madness maybe,
Because I feel like I’m drunk
Whenever I hold your gaze.
You set me adrift, and half the time
I’m not sure if you’re
The best or the worst thing
That could have happened to me.
I just wish I could make a count
Of how many ends
To how many beginnings
And have an objective measure
To set my subjective giddiness against,
But it’s a complicated math
That can’t decide between
Adding and multiplying,
Addition and substraction,
A zero, a one and a multitude.
You started with an end.
And that’s a bad sign, isn’t it?
Because your presence slowly
Disolved my whole life before you.
But I’m not sure if that’s only an end.
The end itself had a beginning
And that beginning was, in fact,
That you made me realize
There are other things out there
And that I might deserve them.
But then, I perhaps only tried to go
For the one possible (or impossible) thing
That had your unreadable eyes,
And your quick, delicious smile –
I have no idea how my new life
Began rearranging itself in this
Beautiful shape that
Sharpens all my corners
And hugs all my curves
Like it was custom-made for me.
Does it matter that I only ever
Held your eyes and followed you
Like you were the Pied Piper
And I was starving for your song?
Does it matter that I stumbled
Upon the right path by mistake?
Is intention relevant to mathematics?
Do two small slices of something
Hold the same equality to a bigger one
When they were intentionally cut
And when they crumbled away?
I can’t even really disregard all this
And look towards the future.
It would be romantic, wouldn’t it,
To say I only need the very last thing
To not be an end, to not be our end.
But how foolish would that be?
Because, yes, you’re powerful enough
To leave me splintered and bleeding
Not from my heart, but my soul
When you’re finally done with me.
But something tells me that
You’re also incredible enough
That when I crawl my way up
And bind my wounds and cracks –
Because I always do at some point –
I’ll find that the pieces you left behind
Make up far more of me than I was
Before I ever met you.
And maybe, just maybe,
Some of those parts would
Never have happened
If it wasn’t for you.
So maybe I’m trying to count
Apples together with pears
So that it might tell me
How many plums I’m missing.
Maybe no count is possible of life.
But I’m scared to be left without
Any objective measure at all,
Because everything in my eyes
Is distorted, painted rose and gold.
I am drunk and high on you,
And it’s getting harder to remember
That I want to be objective.
I realized quite late that I haven’t actually posted anything on Valentine’s Day, despite having this poem lying around waiting to see the light of day. So rather than let it sit and wait it out for yet another year (who even knows what would be happening in a year, right?), I thought I’d rather post it today, on the 24th.
The 24th of February is actually the date on which Romanian people would celebrate ‘Dragobete’, the traditional version of the internationally-borrowed Valentine’s, and give spring flowers like snowdrops to the people they are courting. I haven’t received any flowers this year, but I thought at least you should get a little something to celebrate Dragobete, or Valentine’s take 2 if you wish.
No rhyme could ever hope to keep,
My soul’s full, so ripe and deep.
There’s not invented such a word,
To hold the love that Heaven’s heard,
That love that ever sings in me,
That one that turns ‘I’ into ‘we’.
I could stare at your dark eyes
Till the moon and sun change skies.
I’d wish to kiss your lips, so sweet,
Running in my own heart beat.
Or just hold your perfect face
Leaving between us no space.
How could you ever complain
Could talk about such a pain?
It would be enough to see
Through my eyes, and you’d agree
That there can’t be any more,
You’d see the man I adore.
In this day that you distrust,
Let me say, a bit and just
A sweet Valentine, like you,
I want us to hold like glue.
I love you, always remember,
In your heart most inner chamber.
If you see tears in my eyes
You’re wrong to think I’m crying.
Better assume I laughed myself silly
Until tears ran down my cheeks.
Because, love, I can laugh at anything
I can laugh at the big, happy things,
At wonders and miracles of life,
At having friends and a family,
At being surrounded by amazing people.
I can laugh at the small ones too,
A fleeting joke or a tease, at the way
Light streams through a window,
Or that secret turn of your phrase,
The simple fact that someone smiled.
But what makes me truly special
Is that I can also laugh at sadness,
Laugh at myself, that I could have been
Quite so impressively stupid one time,
And laugh in relief that I can see that now.
I can laugh at my fears, and laugh that
I know they will soon be insignificant.
I sometimes laugh just for release
From the bubbling stress and frustrations.
And, if all else fails, I can always laugh
At my cuts and bruises, at my pain,
Because it means I’m alive.
Life is too short to stop laughing.