26

Being me is not enough
for someone like you.
If all my affection piled up like
an avoided accordion file,
you’d say I was too much
with no folder big enough
to carry the burden of
such an expansive heart.

I called you once, in a huff
ready to say everything I had pent up–
that you were selfish and cruel,
how dare you try to shove my wild love aside
because it was more than what you wanted.

If my worst trait was being “too much,”
then maybe it was your worst trait, too
that you couldn’t carry it.

I’ve read universes of books to know
someone telling you they didn’t hurt you
has no business in telling you so.

I’d yell and yell and yell
and you’d say “are you done?”
like waiting for the beep
you’d leave your message
while I sat on the line, listening
to everything you weren’t willing to hear
but it’s different, coming from you

All you’d say was “my, me, I,”
and all I’d hear was the dial tone.

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17

The overwhelming ache in your stomach
of missing a memory in real time:
summer camp planetarium
status: away from keyboard
phone left at home
sorry, no wifi
looking for: validation
arising from stoking my own flame

August night, northern town
guided telescope
they told us using red flashlights
keeps our night vision unhindered
and boy, could I ever see

Salt shaker, spilled
stars, meteor shower
car splashes pothole
stars like mud splatter on my jeans
and I’ve become the canvas.

An archive of my life spent
trying to get sons
to like me
that starry summer, I prayed
those dead suns were proud of me, instead

Boys used to tell me I gave them a hard time, boasting,
“I’ve never met a flame I didn’t like,”
but they didn’t know I was fire
or maybe I was that red flashlight
doing exactly what was needed,
on my own terms.

14

“If you were still here,
we could’ve become something.”
“I know.”
“I could’ve made you happy,”
“I know.”
step on my feet,
slow dance

We walked together everyday
after school stroll
cobblestone cul-de-sac
I went the long way
so I could match your stride

We walked each other home
our whole lives
but as we grew older, we never
walked into a home
we shared.

So let us toast
the saddest speech:
to all the childhood loves
who loved each other,
but never at the same time.

13

A measure of success:
family to love
feast to feast
warm cable-knit hugs
mistletoe, misty eyed

Overflowing guests
pouring in the front door
wreathed in balsam scent
nose hairs sharp
breaths puffed.

H’or d’oeuvres line the linen
pine tree, immaculate
tangled twinkle lights
creaky bathroom door
dinner bell ding.

The first quiet when all the guests
kiss goodbye
the nice China plates back in
the nice China cabinet.

I want this
the din of tinsel and bulbs
like December twenty-six
to twenty-nine
when I’m too happy to
take the tree away
when we have
no where to be, but
in our house, with each other.

 

 

Thank you for over 500 subscribers.
Thank you for nearly 3 500 visitors in only three months of being live here at elleguyence.
Thank you for providing a creative medium for us to share our lives with each other.
May your holidays be blessed with softness, kindness and health.

Love,
Elle

12

Missed connection
two cups on the ends of the thinnest string
dial the tone, set the mood
the scent of pine tree sap
strong against my blue nose.

Cold colours control
evening’s fireplace warmth
we welcomed December
as kind as we could
but still we sit,
frozen.

Sometimes, I think
your scarf is wrapped too tight,
you need to let yourself breathe
more than you need to fear the cold
seeping into your duvet seams.

Please, come in
(you’ve been here before)
soggy toes versus
fireplace crackle

“Home has always been here,
as long as you are, too
you can always stay
I’ve always wanted you
(to stay)”

The coffee machine’s stubbornness
to not burn the coffee
just once, please
please, just once

4

Pawn me off like
grandmother’s engagement ring
that shone and glistened in the right light
until his life
went out.

A value, inherited
of a time soft and kind
but all you see is all the benefit
it doesn’t offer you.

All you ever did was take what you need
and discard the excess
but I was born of oriental poverty
and western opportunity
I was taught the importance of not being wasteful
and to be resourceful, steadfast, gracious
and all you taught me was doubt.

That all my parts that weren’t picture perfect
weren’t meant to amount to much.

And since those days of self loathing
I have learned to clap my hands
for even the parts of me
that I don’t like;
because it’s not the end of the world if you hate me
but I am nothing but endings if I hate myself, too.