Renewing Old Poems

Lately I’ve been revisiting older poems that I wrote when I was in my late teens and early to mid 20s. Some of them are so cringe-worthy that they’re beyond help, some I think are perfect the way they are, while others are somewhere in the middle. I’ve been working on a few in the latter group, remembering what prompted me to write what I did and thinking about how I relate to them now.

This is one of them.

I remember writing most of it in my head while floating in the small above-ground pool in my family’s backyard. I was feeling angsty, frustrated that my life was starting slowly (in my mind, at least). I was several weeks away from going to Washington, DC for an internship, which both thrilled and terrified me.

July 1997/January 2019

At the time, I was only out as gay to a small number of very close friends, and walking the line between the closet and the entire world was mentally and physically exhausting. I was always worried about being found out, which was ironic since there wasn’t much to find out at that time. But I was terrified, and just wanted to breathe.