Writing About My Father, Day 4
I have been thinking these last few days about the relationship between my father and my poetry. Though not many of the poems are about my father, I’m starting to see how they are of my father. They reflect his neglect, his failure to instill in me a sense of safety, and also his gift to imagine himself into a story (though his dreams lack follow-through, but that’s another post.)
The women in my poems hunger love, at the same time they are unwilling to accept it. They do not think themselves worthy of love and are surprised time and time again when they not only find a lover, but he wants to stick around. The men in in my poems aren’t knights in shining armor–they’re broken, scarred, and there’s always a sense that they’ve left a trail of bloody hearts behind them. Each woman in my poems is always bracing herself against that moment when she will, inevitably, be left. In “My fist uncurls in your hand,” I write “You roll away. I prepare/for absence, but you are/ only diving headfirst/for my feet where you rest….”
All of my love poems are sad ones; even I’m not convinced that the new series I’m working on will truly have a happy ending though I need there to be one.
I just found this draft in my notebook. Not quite sure yet if it’ll turn into something but maybe…
Hello, you say. Hello, I echo.
I do not know what comes next.
If I let myself love you,
I will only want you to be good,
but what draws me to you
is that you’re bad. You talk of sparks,
I see fire.
You talk of the future,
I hear a latch clicking into place
as a door swings shut,
inching so slowly toward its target
it barely moves but
I see it moving nonetheless.
I do not want you
to break my heart but
my heart wants someone to break
me. It craves light, heat.
I desire only to desire nothing.
You are hunger.
I am hunger.
For once, this time only,
let that be enough.