I want to write about how it felt to be six
and jumping on the bed to 60’s music
alone in my parents’ bedroom
at 2 Michael Fields, Forest Row, East Sussex.
What it felt like to have a British accent that year
and to truly believe that I might be
The Best Dancer in the Universe.
I want to write about how
my heart grew with each explosion
the first time I saw fireworks on the Mall.
How that summer I scrawled
countless drawings of colorful swirls,
not wanting to forget that I had been there,
that my heart had felt too big to beat.
I want to write about the days
when my deepest bluest shame
was that I could not swim.
And how sometimes I would leave the sinks on
in our lower school bathrooms,
in hopes of draining the Atlantic Ocean
so that I would never drown.
I want to write about returning to England
in my second year of high school
and failing to pick up the accent
or catch anyone’s eye,
but succeeding in learning to drink what I was given
and stumble through streets
singing new songs with new friends.
I want to write about what it feels like
to get married in your twenties
to get divorced in your twenties
to question everything in your twenties
and yet to still feel so fondly
of these stupid twenties
that you’re not quite ready to let go.
I want to write what I think of apps and poems –
How I like them both,
but really only need one.
I want to write about how tonight
I ate bacon and watched the Olympics
And felt completely in love with my life.
I want to write about it all.
I’ll write how I missed my mom
when she flew to her high school reunion for 2 days.
How ten years later I slammed the car door,
and stomped off without saying goodbye.
How ten years after that I held her quiet hand
and felt all hope ripped from my chest.
She hadn’t said goodbye.
I’ll write how
I will never stop writing.
Because otherwise what is all this living for?
What are all these moments
if you never look at them?
What are all those negatives
if they never make it to the darkroom?
When we leave this earth,
how quickly most of our legacies disappear:
That job we did.
Those memories we held.
But my pen fumbles to scribble the outlines
of those first fireworks.
My voice begs to still be heard
when my heart grows too big to beat.