Unrequited Love Poem From Purgatory

oh stranger, listen:    do you hear me crawling?  do you see the translucent paleness of my being, that lingers within this naked earth, made threadbare and broken?

I remember you; how you sat on my back porch, crying, teardrops burning the side of your cheek.  each step you walked, a fog.  and somewhere, while this broken storm spun inside of you, a woman was dancing with a man; a lonely boy sat high upon the rooftop, counting the shingles. a young woman found peace wrapped neatly in a baby blanket- the crimson skin of it nuzzled against her chest.  children ran barefoot under neon streetlights, unaware of the wars going on inside a man’s blood.   
concave, crimson, the dip of the planets in their mad tangos.  all of this motion foreboding to the final halt.  

yes, I remember it. me slipping into the waves of quiet, the earth
undressing my body.  and,
no matter how I flew,
Venus’ extraterrestrial climb
could not sew my eyes
into constellations.  

you remember it as well.  how we wrote poems on cement; the chalk scrawled against the blocks— how I tried to pry into your bones and mold them into flowers. but I was no alchemist. and you, unwilling to practice this blooming.  

open your eyes now.  remember we were made strangers again? you left me by the
fence at my house, weeping.  the woods creaked at every step I took.  each footprint became a fog.  you don’t remember this part— the part I returned to my primal state: alone.  only the oak trees’ laughed with me.  you don’t remember how I bled, and the sound disturbed the birds hidden in their dark nests.  how I left the earth the same way it begot me:

at my funeral they buried me in
a wooden casket. they said I earned my wings; but all I’ve ever gotten was waiting.

About this poem

Title explains it.

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Written on October 20, 2021

Submitted by jotterberg1030 on October 20, 2021

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:34 min read

Quick analysis:

Characters 1,753
Words 314
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2

Jack Otterberg

Jack Otterberg is 18 going on to 19. He is an amateur poet trying to find his voice in an effective way. more…

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