You Could Try

“You Could Try”- 1-16-14

The only way to my heart is with a knife
and surgical precision
open me up and hurt me-
remind me how I start things and never finish them
(tell me about all the books I haven’t written)
say how I let everyone walk all over me
(and how it has driven me to anxiety medication)
call me fat
(that my thighs touch and my belly isn’t flat and my ass is in desperate need of more lunging)

because I think there is too much
scar tissue to get to it any other way-
but you could try
sending me flowers
you could try
to remind me that hourglasses
are more interesting than stick figures
and I can do anything I set my mind to-

you could try.

-jessicagadziala

China Doll

“China Doll”- 1-14-14

Maybe I should switch to around the calendar
long sleeve sweaters and only ever
make love in the dark
because every lover has turned away
when they’ve seen the scars-
the tangible ones- on my legs and arms
caused by a careless blade and a self-loathing hand-
and the ones out of sight but there
like phantom limbs
or ghosts creaking the floorboards
when you know you are alone at night-

every inch of me is covered with
red, barely-healed
pain
and anger
and regret
and fear-
every inch of me is covered in his name
and the memory of him telling me he would never
speak to me again if I ever took to
cutting myself open-
but he had already tossed me away
and he was where I learned the habit anyway-

and then last one wrinkled his brow and said,
“It doesn’t look like nothing”
then never looked at me the same again-
like a china doll made less valuable by
a face crumpled and reglued
like my brokenness put me in the clearance bin
like a house with cracks in the foundations
and he wouldn’t be able to live with the idea
that with all my weaknesses
I might collapse under his feet.

-jessicagadziala

China Doll

“China Doll”- 1-14-14

Maybe I should switch to around the calendar
long sleeve sweaters and only ever
make love in the dark
because every lover has turned away
when they’ve seen the scars-
the tangible ones- on my legs and arms
caused by a careless blade and a self-loathing hand-
and the ones out of sight but there
like phantom limbs
or ghosts creaking the floorboards
when you know you are alone at night-

every inch of me is covered with
red, barely-healed
pain
and anger
and regret
and fear-
every inch of me is covered in his name
and the memory of him telling me he would never
speak to me again if I ever took to
cutting myself open-
but he had already tossed me away
and he was where I learned the habit anyway-

and then last one wrinkled his brow and said,
“It doesn’t look like nothing”
then never looked at me the same again-
like a china doll made less valuable by
a face crumpled and reglued
like my brokenness put me in the clearance bin
like a house with cracks in the foundations
and he wouldn’t be able to live with the idea
that with all my weaknesses
I might collapse under his feet.

-jessicagadziala

And I’ve Never Been Any Good At Writing Love Poems

“And I’ve Never Been Any Good At Writing Love Poems” – 1-9-14

It takes six kisses to get from your mouth to your ear-
nine, ear to collarbone-
fifteen, collarbone to hipbone
where you are only ticklish when you are overly tired.
And you hold me like a promise
and kiss me like forgiveness-
for constantly pulling away
and keeping my heart in a jar in the pantry just beyond your strong fingers-
for always making you reach for my hand first-
but I swear all I want to do
is lay on your chest- tracing figures on your skin,
stealing your warmth
and waiting for the day I can tell you
that there are sixteen scars on your fingers
and I want to know the story of every last one.

-jessicagadziala 

Cupcakes

“Cupcakes”- 1-5-14

You have to learn
to not listen to that voice at
three AM telling you how the
calories wont love you
and that empty feels more powerful
than giving into temptation-
because sometimes the cupcakes
have the answers
and sometimes the answer is in
getting out of your
too-empty-to-sleep-in bed
cracking eggs into flour and sugar
and turning up the music until
it drowns out the noise inside-
and it is always easier to sleep
after having created something and
with that warm sweetness filling
your belly for a change-
and sometime you will have to learn
that maybe the calories
are a way to prove
you love yourself.

-jessicagadziala

Oh, The Places You Will Go (But Let’s Face It- Only In Your Imagination)

“Oh, The Places You Will Go (But Let’s Face It- Only In Your Imagination)” – 1-4-14

You should be sitting at a cafe in Paris
sipping a cappacino and writing your novel
then falling into bed with a man who calls you
“une belle femme”
after gleefully consuming too much red wine-
instead of scrubbing floors and
chasing other peoples’ children
and trying to scribble poems in between
the humdrum banality of everyday life
and the crippling self-doubt.
You should be taking cruises
and things for granted
and chances-
building bridges to exciting, exotic places-
instead of always burning them down-
you could be kissing boys because they
called you clever
and not because they look so sad and broken-
getting tattoos your family would never understand
and falling in love with
yourself for a change.
But you are probably just going to
kiss the kids goodnight and stay up
writing about
places you may never see and
things you might
never do. 

The Ungrateful Earth

“The Ungrateful Earth”- 1-4-14

I can count the times I have used
the scene of him giving my heart back smashed with a hammer
as a reason
to never let someone else hold my hand on
the Christmas lights I am taking off the tree-
and no matter the fire hazard of thirty strands- I would run out
of colored bulbs before I would run out of
excuses.
And you come along with your
strong hands, good heart, and insufferable patience
and it pushes me beyond the pale-
So I turn away- but forever stuck on this axis-
I find myself pulled back toward your light
because somehow I still need you
I am the ungrateful Earth
You, the radiant Sun
and someday I would hope to be
worthy of the warmth.

-jessicagadziala

The Ungrateful Earth

“The Ungrateful Earth”- 1-4-14

I can count the times I have used
the scene of him giving my heart back smashed with a hammer
as a reason
to never let someone else hold my hand on
the Christmas lights I am taking off the tree-
and no matter the fire hazard of thirty strands- I would run out
of colored bulbs before I would run out of
excuses.
And you come along with your
strong hands, good heart, and insufferable patience
and it pushes me beyond the pale-
So I turn away- but forever stuck on this axis-
I find myself pulled back toward your light
because somehow I still need you
I am the ungrateful Earth
You, the radiant Sun
and someday I would hope to be
worthy of the warmth.

-jessicagadziala