I, like countless others in the vein of all things musing and artistic, am perpetually struck with a hailing of ideas, snippets of song melodies, hazy flashes of paintings, and struggling seedlings of poems that will never see the light.
I recently moved out of my first apartment. At 3 a.m., emotional and exhausted, I found myself sitting in a nest of unfolded laundry, sorting through folders upon folders of magazines, since-faded polaroids, printouts of emails, and receipts upon which I had scrawled said scraps of poems—all accumulated and shifted through six moves in three years. If you were to look through my Gmail drafts, you’d find a similar clutter. The oldest draft dates back to 2006 and contains four lines of a ninth grade poem I’ve since left sleeping:
Dates carved into almond trees,
Footprints on the wall
Humming like lost honeybees,
Dancing down the hall.
And another one, written quickly and quietly about a soft-spoken boy I’ve reminded myself to forget, circa the winter of 2009:
I don’t write about you anymore,
or our skin to skin
in the winters in the backyards, or our sharp-edged bitter whims
and how they failed us.
The most recent, followed by a lingering bout of writer’s block, reads as follows:
I looked him in his half-lid eyes, my hand on the half-shaved jawline. “I can’t solve your problems, love. But I’ll stand beside you in the photographs. I’ll swear too much and walk too slow. You’ll tell me I’m a keeper, and forget your color in the white wash. I’ll fold your socks in pairs, and kiss your eyelids, and on nights when the cold comes in behind you, and days when it almost rains but never does, we’ll keep each other sane.”
When I look through these archives I tend to feel the brush of disappointment that most of these snippets were never fleshed out—given good homes, essentially.
And then I chide myself. In the midst of a whirlwind of unfinished projects, I must remind myself that they, like nearly every other part of my nineteen-year-old existence, are sleeping almost-hatchlings, trembling for the light to fall red and warm on closed eyelids and the muffled call of an unfamiliar otherworld.