“A lot like you” by Rudy Francisco

A lot like you

 

I was told
The average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7
She picks the colors and the cake first

By the age of 10
She knows time,
And location

By 17
She’s already chosen a gown
2 bridesmaids
And a maid of honor

By 23
She’s waiting for a man
Who wont break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment”
Someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely
Someone who isn’t a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed
Someone
Who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one they’ve ever seen

To be honest
I don’t know what kind of tux I’ll be wearing
I have no clue what my wedding will look like

But I imagine
The woman who pins my last name to hers
Will butterfly down the aisle
Like a 5 foot promise

I imagine
Her smile
Will be so large that you’ll see it on google maps
And know exactly where our wedding is being held

The woman that I plan to marry
Will have champagne in her walk
And I will get drunk on her footsteps

When the pastor asks
If I take this woman to be my wife
I will say yes before he finishes the sentence
I’ll apologize later for being impolite
But I will also explain him
That our first kiss happened 6 years ago
And I’ve been practicing my “Yes”
For past 2,165 days

When people ask me about my wedding
I never really know what to say
But when they ask me about my future wife
I always tell them
Her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long
I say
She thinks too much
Misses her father
Loves to laugh
And she’s terrible at lying
Because her face never figured out how to do it correctly

I tell them
If my alarm clock sounded like her voice
My snooze button would collect dust
I tell them
If she came in a bottle
I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys
If she was a book
I would memorize her table of contents
I would read her cover-to-cover
Hoping to find typos
Just so we can both have a few things to work on

Because aren’t we all unfinished?
Don’t we all need a little editing?
Aren’t we all waiting to be proofread by someone?
Aren’t we all praying they will tell us that we make sense
She don’t always make sense
But her imperfections are the things I love about her the most

I don’t know when I will be married
I don’t know where I will be married
But I do know this

Whenever I’m asked about my future wife
I always say

…She’s a lot like you

 

~ Rudy Francisco has a new chapbook, No Gravity, available HERE on Amazon. Follow Rudy on Twitter.

“Every Day You Play” by Pablo Neruda

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water,
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind.  The wind.
I alone can contend against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here.  Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Curl round me as though you were frightened.
Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
Until I even believe that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.

 

The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda

“first thought after seeing you smile,” by Warsan Shire

come with every wound
and every woman you’ve ever loved
every lie you’ve ever told
and whatever it is that keeps you up at night
every mouth you’ve ever punched in
all the blood you’ve ever tasted
come with every enemy you’ve ever made
and all the family you’ve ever buried
and every dirty thing you’ve ever done
every drink that’s burnt your throat
and every morning you’ve woken
with nothing and no one
come with all your loss
your regrets, sins
memories
black outs
secrets
come with all the rot in your mouth
and that voice like needle hitting record
come with your kind eyes and weeping knuckles
come with all your shame
come with your swollen heart
i’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you.

~ Warsan Shire, on Twitter

 

“love is a place” by E.E. Cummings

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

 

“love is a place” by E.E. Cummings from Complete Poems 1904-1962, edited by George James Firmage. Copyright © 1935, 1963, 1991 by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust. Copyright © 1978 by George James Firmage.

“Little Beast” by Richard Siken

  1

An all-night barbeque. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
     The radio aches a little tune that tells the story of what the night
is thinking. It’s thinking of love.
             It’s thinking of stabbing us to death
and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
   That’s a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey and kisses for everyone.

Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating fruit pie with a buckknife
    carves the likeness of his lover’s face into the motel wall. I like him
and I want to be like him, my hands no longer an afterthought.

  2

Someone once told me that explaining is an admission of failure.
    I’m sure you remember, I was on the phone with you, sweetheart.

  3

History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
    History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop,
over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
            History is a little man in a brown suit
    trying to define a room he is outside of.
I know history. There are many names in history
                  but none of them are ours.

  4

He had green eyes,
            so I wanted to sleep with him
    green eyes flecked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool–
You could drown in those eyes, I said.
              The fact of his pulse,
the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire
    not to disturb the air around him.
Everyone could see the way his muscles worked,
            the way we look like animals,
                his skin barely keeping him inside.
      I wanted to take him home
and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his
    like a crash test car.
              I wanted to be wanted and he was
very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving.
    You could drown in those eyes, I said,
                  so it’s summer, so it’s suicide,
so we’re helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.

  5

It wasn’t until we were well past the middle of it
    that we realized
the old dull pain, whose stitched wrists and clammy fingers,
              far from being subverted,
had only slipped underneath us, freshly scrubbed.
          Mirrors and shop windows returned our faces to us,
      replete with the tight lips and the eyes that remained eyes
               and not the doorways we had hoped for.
His wounds healed, the skin a bit thicker than before,
    scars like train tracks on his arms and on his body underneath his shirt.

  6

We still groped for each other on the backstairs or in parked cars
                as the roads around us
grew glossy with ice and our breath softened the view through a glass
      already laced with frost,
but more frequently I was finding myself sleepless, and he was running out of
                lullabies.
But damn if there isn’t anything sexier
          than a slender boy with a handgun,
                  a fast car, a bottle of pills.

  7

What would you like? I’d like my money’s worth.
            Try explaining a life bundled with episodes of this—
      swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood
on the first four knuckles.
              We pull our boots on with both hands
but we can’t punch ourselves awake and all I can do
        is stand on the curb and say Sorry
           about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.

I couldn’t get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.

~ Richard Siken, from Crush

***

I tried to get the line formatting as close to Siken’s as possible. To see the poem in its original format, you may read it in a .pdf version of Crush HERE or buy the book on Amazon HERE.

A wave of thanks and gratitude to Josie F. who suggested this poem for us via our Contact page.