A "Could Have Been"


There are times when I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be human

After disappointing dates and fall days so beautiful they hurt

My friends beginning their lives,

The diaspora of my tribe

My inability to open up

It’s hard to tell if it’s always been this way

But I know that I feel safe in the lap of my mountains

Walls that bring on early sunsets in the winter

like warm, familiar hands

Driving home never fails to take my breath away

I don’t know what that means

I’d like to be back on the porch of that house in the mountains, summer 2014, cool morning with a cigarette and a cup of coffee, hazelnut creamer, quiet.

I thought I had something precious, born under skies filled with silent lightning

Two batteries that found a charge in one another

A way to keep the lights on, maybe make them even brighter

Apparently not.

I came out on the other side of this summer with nothing but a short circuit

When the obstacles are invisible and impossible to articulate

When heartbreak is a misnomer because you weren’t in love

(not yet)

More like a misjudged step in the dark

And my silent champion,

The one who named me “fighter”

Awkward in his manner, in his praises

(like me)

Well, he was a lot younger than he let himself admit

Took the path clearly marked, “DO NOT DO THIS”

(sometimes we can’t help ourselves?)

And now he’s gone

I wonder if he remembers the good things,

Lets himself remember

I don’t know.

I don’t have his book anymore,

It’s in somebody else’s bedroom,

Probably on the dresser

I hope he thinks of me whenever he sees it there,

Like a neon sign that says “CALL HER”

Why is it that I feel the safest with the ones who are fighting monsters?

So I won’t say out loud,

That I think I’d probably still forgive him

Re-light that match

Despite the certainty of a quick and bright burn-out

Strong winds are like

Breathing new life into me

Remind me of things I can’t remember

Living at the edge of my peripheral vision

slam poetry
Isabel Siobhan
Isabel Siobhan
Read next: Poem: New Life
Isabel Siobhan

21 / student / criminology / history / Colorado / improviser / poet / scorpio / spooky girl

See all posts by Isabel Siobhan