After Love

poetic_star's picture

*sorry it's been awhile but I watched Geography Club and was inspired :)

Your cheek pressed against my arm,
making it go numb.
I watched as your
eyelashes tattooed
eagle feathers onto your flesh and
counted the freckles
along the bridge of your nose as
you fell asleep next to me on
an unmade bed in a room
that was once a basement.

I think I'm too far gone in this stupor,
in this trance I'm in whenever
you come over and we play
stupid video games like
that's all we ever think about,
like that's natural;
an everyday thing.
But boy, we both know
I'm not your friend
in the ordinary sense.
I'm something you crave
in your shadowy mind,
something I can't stand
but still reciprocate.
That's just the way it is.
I'm uncomfortable with your secrets
but you get used to mine right away.
How is that fair?
I want to be just as brave.
Inside, I'm nothing but
pieces of lost childhood;
bottle caps,
bubblegum wrappers
and pink stickers that say,
"Sometimes I'm lost
but I'm still a boy,
wanting to experience
the Spectacular Now."

Is that possible,
how my thoughts
can say so much
when oftentimes,
I can't even stutter out
a response to your questions?

Are you mad at me
for taking your hand
that day on the doorstep
of your parents' house?
You never said a word
but now I'm wondering..
Did I scare you, boy,
make you think that
this is more than just basic fun?
Well, I'm sorry.
Maybe I acted too quickly.
Maybe you kissed me too hard
and that made my head spin,
turned me into someone dumb,
poured some type
of loony bin wine
out of my thick-skinned soul
and made me weak.
God, I hate that feeling, don't you?

After love,
what comes is catastrophe,
a denial of all things silly.
Suddenly, it's not just about
lying with someone who
understands you;
who you want to
connect with for a moment,
not a lifetime.
Suddenly, it's scary and
I'm not sure I want to
deal with that right now.
After all, I'm only
eighteen years old.

I'm only figuring out
what I want out of
this demanding world.
And you feel so good,
sometimes, boy..
Your arms are
athletic and warm,
circling my shoulders,
pulling me down
so that my cheek
hits your chest and
I hear every unsteady
beat of your Aries' heart.

But there are surreal
moments when you
look at me like you
expect me to say
those words out loud;
the gritty ones
that make everybody
sick with longing,
so tragically unfamiliar
that they can't
even recognize
their own blurry
reflections in the shower
steamed mirror.

Boy, I stand here
in my underwear;
looking scrawny and scared,
thinking that maybe I can
make myself stop
caring about you
if I try hard enough
to break this chain of despair,
wanting to make you
feel what I feel.
It's unbearable..
It makes me seem so small
in comparison to
all those people
walking around
our neighborhood
with your name in
their daily agendas.
Do you know what
I'm saying here?
Everyone wants
the golden boy;
the star child.
Nobody wants
a dirt-bag like me
and that's okay because
who needs that
kind of pressure, anyway?

Why won't you just leave;
turn off the light and close
the cellar door,
tell me that my veins,
orphan muscles and
poinsettia lips
aren't worth remembering?

I could live with that.
I could be just a shadow
of a plaything in your memory,
something to recall
only when you're drunk
because that's better
than having nightmares
about prom week,
thinking, "Will they let us
dance together or will we
be attacked like on television;
be struck down with a baseball bat
just for kissing out in the open
under Cajun stars and
clouds passing over our heads
in the shape of Christmas elves?

Am I insane?
I'm sorry..
See, it's your fault;
for being so handsome,
for getting inside my head
and twisting my thoughts
around like laundry,
wringing out all
the magic water
so that in the end,
I'm nothing but
scraps of white fabric,
smelling of rancid
flowers and car exhaust.

Boy, let me go,
if you know what's
good for both of us.
Forget my shirt,
lying on your carpet back home.
You can throw it in the garbage.
I don't mind at all
because after love,
comes destruction
and I don't want to
wake up one icy morning
in November and
find myself sprawled
on the sidewalk,
covered in the debris of
paper hearts and
Shakespeare rhymes.
I don't want to find out
that you care too much,
that I let myself down;
kissed you too hard,
ran my fingers through
your autumn blond hair
and listened to you play
the piano after dinner
at your parents' house
like some demented admirer,
anxious to catch your smile
over the treble clefs and half notes.

Boy, I'm not saying that
you're invisible to me now.
I'll say hello in the hallway.
I'll always be polite because
I feel like I owe your mother
that, at least, but I can't
stomach the thought of
this going too far because
everyone knows what
happens after love;
the birds get drunk
off spring and
forget how to fly,
they hit the sidewalk
and die in bursts of
feathers and songs;
ending in un-punctuated
sentences and not-
so-sweet choruses.

You're the only thing
making me insane right now
with your unconventional
embraces in the locker
room at school and
promises of hope in
the unexpected rain.
Just let me go..

After love, there's only
cigarette smoke and
a tightness in our chests,
not worth losing our minds over.
It's for the best, you know.