I Tell Myself

When she is written
I am read

When I’m a space
She is a line

When she’s hello
I am goodbye

We were not meant
For rhyming lives



There are lessons like the alphabet,
People like handwriting,
Memories like speech

It makes sense for them to matter;
So much sense, I rarely think of them

And sometimes there’s the lesson
In a memory of a person
That’s important for no reason,

Like a paper done last-minute
For a class I never cared about
That counts as half my grade


You’re needy; always listening and staring

Over-tested voices leave your mouth
Entirely articulate,
Most of them unheard of
Or uncalled for

You’re affluent; starved of silence

When your idle eyes and the sounds
Made by your breathing speak for you,
And someone answers
Without waiting for a question


You look at our intertwined hands
Like they’re letters you meant to reply to
And never did

When I tell you it’s fine to let go,
You turn my corners in and fold me
Into the shape of your pocket

Whole or in pieces
I’m still just a tree you were falling from;
One you never meant to climb

But I let you keep me anyways
Even out of sight,
Because I can’t hold onto myself