September | Sunday Poetry

WORDS BY JESSICA NAUTA / @JESSNAUTA
VISUALS BY ZOE GILLIGAN / @SAOLZOE


I wrote the majority of this poem in late August/early September. At the start of my senior year of high school, I was in a place of uncertainty. I spent the better half of the summer searching for some form of validity or comfort. I didn't know where I belonged, and I wasn't certain of anything. Now, some three months later, I could lie and say I know who I am and where I want to be, but that's not the point. For a long time I knew the poem was unfinished, though I wasn't sure how to end it. I finally finished the poem in the last few days of October with the last couple of stanzas.
      Now, in the first week of November, I understand I have made little progress in my search. Maybe I'll reach a feeling of belonging in December, maybe January. Whichever way, I'll see you then.

September

I ask you who I am

I can feel myself losing sleep even
as I drift.
You speak
you tell me I look tired.
You tell me you understand.

I do smoke, yes
I am not a smoker
I've written you word after word
In the late hours of Saturday
or early Sunday (who could know)
though,
I am not a writer.
I am nothing in particular
and I'd like to keep it that way.

You tell me I look tired.
You tell me to wash out my liver.

You are a coward
and in a way I am glad
and yours is not green;
it's withered for years.

We'd hide away from the
prose-speakers and the rib-watchers
but
September must come again,
we must grow older.

Meet me in a room up there
in 35 years
so I may tug gently at the corners of
your mouth
and kiss the rest.

Steps by O'Hara
and that feeling creeps up in my chest
I know it well
I've known it for three years
(or is it four now)

I think it's just your hair.

And your eyes
still look deep and blue
even on a sunny day
even in September

Read me Steps and Meditations and
Lunch Poems
I have learned of your voice
and I never want to be sober again.

Idiots! What idiots we must be
for even fools know to write in pencil.
We do not question anything
and I'd like to keep it that way.
I'll saw off my hands and offer them to you
put them to use, write about how we
used to be.

Instead, you write of the scar on my left eye,
how I never finished my Ham On Rye,
how I never woke to see you off.

I tell you I'll write you
but you are not a poem.

I look at you and
I feel certain of something

I define myself in you.


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