“You’re so lucky,” they say. “The words come so easily to you.”
This poem took me three days to write
and I carved out my insides with a pen like a serrated spoon attacks a grapefruit.
The hopscotch jump from bottle to cigarette to coffee to knife drawer…
My every sentence a secret suicide note written in the blood type of ink.
Pushing past the hunger in my belly that punches me like a fist,
Convincing myself that if I can only keep writing the desire to eat will fade,
The fear of poverty will evaporate,
That the Universe will move so that my rent will get paid
Just this month…just this month…just this month…
Words don’t just “come” to me like a sheepdog bounding towards his human companion –
They are chipped away from each of my bones like ice from a wedding sculpture,
Melting before I can even hold them in my mouth.
Poems do not arrive with grace:
I pull them from me with tweezers and rubbing alcohol like splinters from infected flesh.
When I stand before you with a piece in hand,
I am more propped up than a corpse in a Victorian memento mori photograph,
I’m leaning on a bewildering sense of self-satisfaction that comes from stringing sentences together like patio lanterns.
It’s easy not to write another poem.
It’s easy to believe that the new poem will never be as great as the last poem.
It’s easy to believe that words are like bombs and that poems are PTSD flashbacks.
It’s easy to believe that no one reads what you put down on the page and that you will be forgotten.
But the words…
The way the words come…
The way my thoughts manifest into lines for you to read…
Those are anything but
Image by Mr Fox Composting
This work, “Easy” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.