How a Libra Copes with Aries Season by Libby Root

January 27 was the five year anniversary
of the first poem I ever wrote you.  So, basically,
my love for you could have raised a kindergartener by now.
I’m sure if I really wanted to, I could pull out

the notebook I spat all of my words for you into
and I could re-read all of the poems from the beginning:
poured from my fingertips onto your freezing tongue.

If only I had known you were only burning on the
outside, and inside there was nothing but cool, jagged stone.
If only I had known what it was like not just to fall,
but to be pushed headfirst over a cliff, towards that stone.

I’ll tell you what it was like:
it was sitting on a couch, shrieking with laughter, two feet apart,
and wondering when my heart would stop buzzing   (it hasn’t)
It was hunger.  It was biting down, hard, and sucking.

It was grasping and grazing and gazing across
rooms set on fire without any matches.
It was five am, skin on skin, the top down love,

And then it was a sweet holy
Nothing, nothing nothing nothing.
It was my hands after dipping them into your body
of water. Cold.

It was drilling:

Why Don’t You Tell The Truth?
When Will Your Actions Match Your Words?
How Is That Fair?
If You Really Love Me, x y z

If only I had known it would be like pushing a dead car off the freeway…
it took the lifespan of a dragonfly for me to build
up the courage not to talk to you,
just to touch you, and even then,

my heart kept buzzing, like a drag race
of wasps landing on your shoulder,
though I longed to feel that sweet holy Nothing.
Don’t move, your spinelessness is showing.

Trade a lion for a jellyfish; trade balloons for anvils.
Trade every tender word I have ever written in your name
for line after line of white static, and that’s all.
I guess it’s been five years, so happy

anniversary to the only thing to make me
swallow my pride and spit it back up.
I wish you a lifetime of long, thin legs,
girls who end everything

in a question?
Girls who don’t know who Charles Bukowski is,
girls who don’t know sh*t about your body,
girls who are not me.

I wish you a sweet holy Nothing.



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