The (A Poem)
I don’t remember how the last line of this poem goes,
But the end cannot find us if we never begin.
Written from the same hand,
You and I are living stories of a different kind,
Each day giving us a new story to stain a fresh page,
Trying not to lose our minds,
And I’ve got a little something left to live,
Leaving ink to dry a line at a time.
I’m folding down the corners of the memories that burned and meant the most.
Like losing her at the end chapter 2 and stumbling upon solace in the midst of storms I tried to undo.
I’ve underlined the stories I want to go back and read,
Crossed out what I can’t erase,
Found your polaroid tucked between chapters 7 and 8.
But it’s the words that paint the picture as proof, bringing me back to spring in the south,
Outside your brick house
Where the flowers grew north,
Blooming without a doubt like we did at the end of chapter 9.
It’s all been written down with swords and pens,
Blood and ink reminding us of the narratives of how we used to act and think.
And it is living, like writing, that drives us towards home,
Leading us down roads of mile marker memories and cable line collections.
We’re all just a constant work in progress, stuck under construction, slowing to another detour never planned.
Foot on the gas, it all reminds me of my past — of what was, of what I’ve become.
I drive to keep from coming numb,
Like writing, it’s how I deal with how I feel.
Pen all over my palms,
Hands on the wheel,
I’m checking my rearview mirror once more, wondering what it be like to rewrite chapters three and four.
If I had made a right where I went left, would I be left feeling like everything is right?
The quiet things no one knows are written in chapter five, and I’ve torn out those six senseless pages so many times I’ve got paper cut battle scars and new memories on both hands.
And if I could go back and rewrite, maybe I’d get it right, but our ink is dry and I guess, I guess this is life.
And I won’t ever forget how good it felt to scribble down chapter ten,
And I can’t help but think it wouldn’t feel this way if it wasn’t for way back when —
Back when I was writing with faded ink from a chewed up pen,
Misspelling with passion, living inside present time instead of tracing over what’s been.
It’s the chapters we can’t erase and the ones we want to frame.
The days you tried to keep up and the ones that let you down.
It’s the silent moments no one will ever hear,
And the days your lungs shout to disappear.
It’s about learning how to come alive when you’re bored to death,
And how to write in a comma when you need to catch your breath.
Having written through the rain and fear, it’s all becoming more clear.
Living isn’t about the last line, but continuing to write the story in full to the end.
We’re all living notes from the past,
Passing them back and forth with looks and glances,
Sliding smiles under the table, shooting crumpled up chronicles at the can,
All while hoping part of our story will last,
And don’t we all want to be a remembered man?
To be read again by future writers and poets,
For our lives to be known beyond what we understand?
Write it well, let the ink of each piece dry in peace.
Scribble in grace where the darkness seeks a turn.
Re-write hope, etch in forgiveness, and
Replace hate with love.
Write it well, let the ink dry in peace.
Let the ink dry in peace.