My Everest

I would tell him I wrote enough words

to assemble and stack into a mountain -

that he is why I know how to climb -

that he has always been the mixed metaphor

my foot catches on and trips me up -

he is the fall

he is the bruised arms and skinned knees -

I would tell him he’s the words

“get back up” and “try again”-

He’s the sky I’m always trying to reach

and the stacks of worthless poems on paper in my way -

He is my Kilimanjaro, my Everest-

he is the cold, the hunger,

the exhaustion -

he is the probable failure

but the will to go on.

 

“My Everest” – 4-4-14- jessicagadziala

The Hanged Man

It comes down to this:
I can’t die in your world-
I would rather live
in my own
and alone with a bed that
stubbornly stays empty on one side
and arms only ever full of poetry books
and lips that are too covered in
classic red lipstick to even care that
they aren’t getting kissed-
because I could have
contorted and conformed
and you still might not have wanted me.

“The Hanged Man”- 3-9-14-jessicagadziala

Olfactory

 

It bothers me that my pillowcases
never smelled like you- the scent
doesn’t linger when the lonliness
creeps in at night and I find myself
not sleeping again-
over thinking again-
and the voices in my head are screaming
that I should have tried harder-
or tried at all-
even though I knew he would never
want to spend weekends with my family
or sit and discuss
books
or music
or art
and that he could never see the
self-inflicted marks on my skin
as a testiment to my
strength to recover- not just
proof of a soul that sometimes
cant handle any more disappointment.
And it bothers me that
I don’t have a note to cling to-
love words to read over when I
cant help feeling like the tiny
inconsequential speck of stardust
that I really am.
But instead of diving into the
memorabilia of better times,
I fall asleep listening to
break-up radio and trying to remember
how you smelled like
sawdust
and engine grease
and you…

“Olfactory”- 3-3-14- jessicagadziala

Lemons

Try to remember all the times 
he reached for your hand first-
not the times you felt completely 
alone in his company-
it wont do you any good searching for
lemons to suck on-
sour has never been a look you’ve worn well.
It’s easier to allow the last 
six months of 
frustration so thick you couldn’t even
think clearly through it
to cloak the memory of the time
he pulled you close and told you 
you were beautiful-
but rewriting history creates a 
monster where there used to be someone
you cared deeply enough for to share
your body with night after night-
Refuse to cheapen your former self
for the present need for somewhere to
place the blame. 
Be mature enough to realize
that like the seasons wane and wear
so do the tethers binding hearts and
caprice isn’t a synonym for carelessness-
love changes and feelings fade
but there once was beauty
and security
and endings breed new beginnings.

“Lemons”- 3-3-14- jessicagadziala

Lemons

 

Try to remember all the times
he reached for your hand first-
not the times you felt completely
alone in his company-
it wont do you any good searching for
lemons to suck on-
sour has never been a look you’ve worn well.
It’s easier to allow the last
six months of
frustration so thick you couldn’t even
think clearly through it
to cloak the memory of the time
he pulled you close and told you
you were beautiful-
but rewriting history creates a
monster where there used to be someone
you cared deeply enough for to share
your body with night after night-
Refuse to cheapen your former self
for the present need for somewhere to
place the blame.
Be mature enough to realize
that like the seasons wane and wear
so do the tethers binding hearts and
caprice isn’t a synonym for carelessness-
love changes and feelings fade
but there once was beauty
and security
and endings breed new beginnings.

“Lemons”- 3-3-14- jessicagadziala

Pay Attention

Pay attention-
people may not always be capable
of telling you how they feel about you-
You, yourself, have often found your mouth
silent when it should have had the strength
to carry three miles of dense forest-
And you cant expect absolute truth
tripping from clumsy tongues.
They will, however, show you how they see you-
when you wait for him to call on a Friday night
in a party dress, heels, and red lipstick-
and your phone never rings-
when he spends his weekends at a beach club
and tells you he would never be seen in
public with you wearing your one-piece bathing suit-
when he gives up trying when you need him most.
It’s not that it has been a year and a half
and he still hasn’t found the words
“I love you” or “you’re beautiful”-
but that he leaves you alone often enough
for doubts to creep in-
and his hand still hasn’t found yours in public-
it’s the constant, crippling every-day proof
that to him- you are a side-thought,
a back-up plan-
only good enough to keep around
but not good enough to commit to.
So. Pay. Attention.

“Pay Attention”- 3-1-14- jessicagadziala

breakups

I could be stalwart- standing strong
with a heart numbed from necessity or
a puddle of pain on the floor.
And breakups always seem to happen to me
when I need support the most-
when my walls are pushing in- and I cant breathe.
when my foundations are crumbling- and I have
nothing to grab hold of to keep my on my feet.
when my nerves are shot- and I dont even have time to cry it out.
But maybe I didn’t need him so much as I needed
a chest to finally rest on-
still the absence stings like February air on
exposed skin and there isn’t the hope
of a thaw in sight.
But maybe one day someone will love me enough-
hold me tight enough to help keep all these
pieces together- and ward off this chill
because this has been the longest winter of
my life and I am losing sight of warmer weather.

“breakups”- 2-25-14- jessicagadziala

hey johnathan

hey Johnathan-
tell me I am wrong again-
tell me I should have held on until
my fingers bled or broke-
You could have pushed a little harder-
made me face my fears and admit that I needed you.
Because this silence breathes as devastating as
you forgetting to even call me on Valentine’s Day-
and screams as obvious as the box of chocolates
bigger than my arms can encircle sitting in my
bedroom that I refused to give you after.
and, oh, hey Johnathan-
maybe you could have told me you loved me-
a year and a half feeling like I didn’t
know where I stood had me inching ever
closer to the door-
and you should have introduced me to your friends-
instead of hiding me away in the shadows like a secret that
made my self-conscious mind pick myself apart until
every insignificant flaw felt exposed and so
painful that I was afraid to
make love to you anymore because there was nowhere to hide them all away.
(And you stopped calling me beautiful six months ago).
So, maybe, Johnathan-
you can understand that my pride wont allow me
to call you anymore-
and that maybe if you had treated me just a little bit better-
I would have stayed by your side
even though I knew that like a
pretty size six on my ugly size ten feet-
we were never going to fit.
I would have let myself spend my life
squeezing into a mold that
would always pinch me tight and uncomfortable-
and I guess- Johnathan…
maybe I was right
again
for letting my grip slip and allowing you
to fall away.

“hey Johnanthan”- 2-25-14-jessicagadziala