j e n e v i e v e
Jun 20, 2016 · 3 min read


Ming Xi photographed by Will Davidson

I want to unlearn the color of her eyes

and the times we sat at dinner tables,

mouths unmoving, plates untouched,

devouring each other in the silence of an unspoken language

our chosen dialect was not blinking,

lest we lose too many half-seconds to the fading impossibility

of not knowing we were there

her eyes were a lighthouse

and these days I try to hold a candle steady in the dark

so I might retrace the fine edges of her jawline

from muscle memory and soft tissue damage

I wonder if she still thinks of me

half as many times as I think about her irises

lost, half-swirling semi-circles

reaching for a hand to hold in the pitch-black nothing of her pupils

I wish I had told you when our tongues were still strangers

that your eyes had already become my default color palette

when I repainted Monet’s Waterloo

in the hopes that we might cross that bridge together

these nights I fall asleep to the slow burn memory of her eyes closing,

too tired now to love a little longer

too quiet to tell me she was leaving soon

but I still try to keep mine shut

long enough to forgive every lash on hers

I still wait for every day’s golden hour to remind myself

that she bound our book in copper wire

and told me to try and love the bookmarks

where she kept her apprehension tucked between the pages

like pressed tulip petals looking for a way out

close your eyes and count backwards from 56

is this the place you envisioned for us?

or were you always sleeping with one eye open

long enough to see that I was getting too close

to rewriting our definition of loving with the lights on

there was a version of me when I was with you

that didn’t need to hide

but every turned calendar page

reminds me that she stopped playing seek

when I stopped waiting to be found

your eyes taught me to see beyond myself

and into the nocturne rhythm of us beholden to no one

but there are times when my nightly salt water ritual

is not enough to wash away the way your eyes bathed me

and made me know I was here too

I’m trying to find a new route home

one that isn’t almond-shaped and hazel at dawn

and in the blurry half-existence of my eyes regaining focus,

I hope you know how long I would have kept my eyes locked to yours

how quickly I swallowed the key

how often I wish I could still feel you watching me

on days when I want to keep mine shut and forget

every shade that colored yours

my eyes don’t see much these days

besides the next handful of minutes I spend

remembering the way you blinked back love one too many times

but I hope one day I see why you looked away,

and I hope in that breathless clarity that

I might untangle myself from the bramble of your eyelashes

long enough to find a way back to myself

Enjoy the Poetry of j e n e v i e v e

~ And Poetry After Dark


-Closed to Submissions- Poetry of love, passion and desire. Come and enjoy yourself. Established May 2016.

j e n e v i e v e

Written by



-Closed to Submissions- Poetry of love, passion and desire. Come and enjoy yourself. Established May 2016.

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