When I Was Nineteen

When I was nineteen and the world was a splinter-cell of silent
heaves, ancient litterings of words I hadn’t spoken yet
things I thought that if I believed hard enough
they’d burn a hole through the atmosphere
large enough for you to find me through.

When I was nineteen acid rain clung in my hair
like some tiptoed promise of the way
someone was going to save me
or I was going to save myself
from ever needing someone
to have already saved me.

The clouds hung on puppet strings
and cajoled words that sank into the tips of guitar strings
absorbed the truth of the moment just long enough to harmonize
a note or two (maybe three)

I thought you and I might dissolve into one another—
burn each other’s bodies in that flightless fire
that was chasing us
and live just on that other side of form.

We’d have been free
We’d have been fire and flame
and we’d have never burned out
We’d have been a black hole swallowing light.

 

THE ARCHITECTURE OF A HUMAN

The architecture of a human
and the hollowed shell of a skeleton
where I once worshipped

the way you grasped me with both hands
talons reaching desperately for someone
you were hoping I might be

the way the days clung to us
harrowed and narrowing and always placing the answer
two steps out of our reach and a little to the right

well I can tell you what went wrong
or I can tell you how my memory folds it up into paper airplanes
and shoots it across the horizon in a thousand bloody shapes
that glisten like gold in the sunset
(when the light hits it just so)

I can tell you about my repentance
about all the things I’d do differently/

am I old enough now to say I was too young then
to know better?

I’d start clear.
At the beginning
with one hand on the slow silver strength of your spine
and the other clutching gracefully onto the wind

we’d float—sails high and the sea in our favor
we’d fly, dancing little dream words out the back of our boat

I’d be clear.
Never letting the illusion of what life seems to be
drag me too far from the solid architecture of your bones—
from the ancient dream that you still are to me


LAUREN SUCHENSKI is a fragment sentence-dependent, ellipsis-loving writer and lives somewhere where the trees change color. Her poetry has recently appeared in Gambling the Aisle, Dark Matter Journal, Red Fez, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Black Elephant Literary Journal, Stoneboat Literary Magazine, The Soap Box, Centum Press, Unbroken Journal, and Five 2 One Magazine, among others. She loves to swim inside syllables.