Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fall/Winter 2015

Poetry Selections from Club Members

Look for a new posts throughout late November and early December.

The Phone Call
by Diamond Johnson

Saturday night on October 24th, I felt this profound desire for him.
I longed to hear the sound of his voice.
And so I asked if we could talk on the phone, if it wasn't any trouble.
Even if it would only be for a little while.
Though, I secretly knew whenever we said a little while, we'd stay talking for nearly three hours.

And so you called,
And we talked about it all.
Small things.
Random things.
Little, light-hearted stories from the past.
A few quietly uttered I-love-you's, statements implying that we'd last.

And then there were big things.

My usual rants about how
nobody really cares.
to me,
it doesn't matter
that I don't matter
to others.
Because nothing's more scary
than the thought of not being wary
of the fact that calling someone a friend
doesn't guarantee
that they won't be temporary.

And then his silent sorries.
His quiet that
carried a cargo of care
which caressed my hurt
through the cadence of his vocal chords.

Oh, how he depicted his ability to understand it all.
The way that he told me his take on the topic.
He explained that, for him, no matter how close he had been to his best friends,
he always had this fear that when they all went their separate ways in life,
drifting apart would be inevitable.
And I cried.

My eyes welled up with tiny waters
waiting to make their way down my face.
And then they fell.
And moving the phone away from me to block the noise, I sobbed.
I did not mean to.
Nor did I want to.
But he said it in such a way that made it impossible for me not to.

There was no patent presence of pain in his voice,
but I knew a worry was there.
The words were so real, he truly believed them.
And I didn't want him to.
I guess you could say that it hurt, listening to him hurt.
So I stood silent for a seemingly long period of time before he declared that he was okay
and that those were just some 'sad thoughts'.
I tried to collect my voice as I choked out, 'yeah, those are really sad thoughts'.
And he kept asking me
with a tinge of alarm in his tone,
as if he was taken aback, if I were crying.
And I answered ‘no’.
My uneven voice repeatedly recited,
everything's fine,
I'm okay'.
And it was true, I was okay.
But I had been crying.

I was a bad liar,
I didn't want him to know
because my tears felt invalid.
Why, it barely made sense.
Until that second,
when the ridiculous reaction became rational:
Although being very emotional,
it wasn't because I was
too sensitive.
It was the simple fact that I loved him
with every essence of my existence.
And it shattered my heart to know that he felt this way.
It wasn't an overwhelming sadness that had taken over,
it was just this thing he dreaded.
It was like he knew it was bound to happen
no matter what,
and there was nothing he could do about it.
Like he had lost this hope that was never needed to begin with
because not a doubt in his friendships had even existed.
Not until now.

And it is just insane
how something so small
could have this much control over how I feel.
Because anyone could tell me their sad story.
People that talk to me in school have their own lives outside of what I know about them.
They have problems and things going on that probably hurt a lot.

And sometimes they'll tell me these things.
they'll pour a fraction of their heart out
to a semi-stranger like me,
and I can only offer a partial amount of hope
from my half-full cup of optimism.
On the worst occurrences, I have witnessed my acquaintances cry.
But the best I can give is a few comforting words,
and a reassuring embrace
that might result in a thanks
that we both know is feigned,
because I can't make the situation okay.
But with my loved ones,
their pain elicits the most extreme, emotional reactions
on my end.

no matter how big or small,
a dejected account from you
will not result in a simple response from me,
it's always going to hit hard.
and that is why I couldn't control the overflowing pools that had taken form.
Because when you love someone,
it pains you when they are hurting.

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