I may be lost but I think it’s about time
……..I took out all the tools again the
……..ones with sticky fingerprints
……..and chew marks and traded in
……..an object I rolled around my mouth
……..and didn’t intend to swallow
……..bops up interruption every now
……..& then again and again
……..rubs up perfumes & stains me
……..masks but never becomes my skin
……..all aloof cool & too much packaging
……..races to an invisible finish line
……..flails & spoils the ending
……..thinking it’s outrun itself
……..shrinks things to fist sized
……..blinks & takes the view
……..makes rounds to all my friends
……..but stays awake unshaken
……..I don’t know
I spent the night unresting
all these questions
unpinning all their marks
sentenced a guess to their origins
and played a way to start
I thought I was ready,
I woke up from a dream once with a fervour and your name in my mouth. The week where I saw your absence at a party. Felt your presence at a mixer and thought. The signs were obvious. And all year I had been saying. I am accepting signs. From the universe. And. Intention was the name of the game.
You see flags and call it your own “self-sabotage.”
I see flags and call them chaos.
We like to break. Patterns. Disrupt nature’s rhythms. Especially. When we think something is not working. On a subconscious level. She. A girl it feels like I’m dating. Just cheated on her girlfriend. She loved her partner. She doesn’t know why she did it. I think that she did an awful thing. Because she needs. Time to be alone and process. And should be careful. Not to replicate patterns. She admits. She is attracted to me. I admit to myself. I used the app. Yes. I was lonely. But also. I believe in chaos. As much as my dreams.
And to signal to myself. I am not ready for you I:
- never sent the playlist I made to go with the letter.
- What If, I’m Ready and Love and Affection
- never said. Would you want to go on a date with me? Like I planned to.
- deleted the app after you told me. Yes. But also meeting new people in a pandemic made no sense.
- I am still interested in new people.
- don’t put on makeup for our date. Do put on makeup for the party. I notice. You have done the opposite.
- I see you. Vulnerable. Careful. And me. Selfish. How I think I am ready yet my hands are itching.
- keep being late for our dates.
- On a subconscious level.
- Both times I was with friends. With shared brief romantic histories. Thinking I might do something awful.
- This week. The same week you tell me you like me. Was so good because of a temporary roomie/friend
You point out Wednesday. The letter seems intentional. And our conversation casual:
- I keep saying. I didn’t follow up. Because. I was nervous. But. Before the app. Before the roommate. Before getting dressed up to go out alone. I knew. I was still looking.
- Last night. My dream without you said. I hope you keep getting lucky and the whole street was littered with bills for me to find.
Elizabeth Mudenyo is a poet, artist, and arts manager based in Toronto, Canada. She was a fellow of the 2018 Poetry Incubator in Chicago, and a participant of the 2020 Hurston/Wright Poetry Weekend with Danez Smith. Her writing has recently appeared in Plenitude Magazine and CV2. Her first poetry chapbook, With Both Hands, is forthcoming through Anstruther Press.