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

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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

10

Pursuit of perfect
I didn’t always strive for
until I realized
I breed disappointment in myself
for not being enough
for me.

Black and white
every question has an answer
every achievement
has another, waiting
that I need to earn
and I will
(because I have to).

You’re a tsunami
blatantly blasé
of how my life is full of rulered lines
I’m a chart and you say you’re art
but you’re making a mess.

Aching for admiration
vying for validation
I’m exhausted from
mending myself.

Your life is malleable
and mine is solid concrete
I don’t trust your architecture
to hold me up;
so thank you for the offer,
but I have things to do.

 

This week, I did the Enneagram Personality Test and discovered I am Type Three: The Achiever.  If you’re interested in taking the test, you can find the one I did here under “Classical Enneagram Test.” What type are you? Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

9

“Say ‘lettuce’ and spell ‘cup.’”

We see those photographs of us as children teasing each other and we call them keepsakes. A time we can’t return to, snapshots of the smallest versions of us literally experiencing everything for the first time in our lives.

Does that suggest that, because we are recycling the same emotions again and again, that we are not actually becoming bigger versions of ourselves, but the same tiny kids experiencing mutations of the same things—some stronger, some weaker?

“Stretch your mouth and say ‘pirate ship.’”

I’m taking pictures everyday. The way the wineglass sweats on the nightstand, the sun peeking through peonies, drunk spills at the bar. I used to be enamoured by the thought that a picture could keep a memory alive, and capture the people inhabiting it in a moment where they will never be the same people again. But I’ve come to realize that, upon flipping through old albums, these glossy photographs haunt me with everything I have ever lost, and all the people I used to be.

I remember a childhood April afternoon, when we flooded in from recess and my blond crush stood by his locker across the hallway and mouthed that he loved me.

“Stick out your tongue and say ‘apple.’”

But I have played these games before, and I knew if you thought about the words and warped your mouth in your mind for long enough, you’d never be bullied again.

I turned away from his smile and headed for class, because I understood that even the ones you want to love will always fit into elephant shoes.

8

I don’t know how
I want to love you:
like breath,
so integral to life
you forget I’m here?
Or like a warm winter jacket
you boast to everyone
and never regret the purchase?

Forever in my head
mulling the maze of
overbear versus undervalue
hurdles of head/heart.

I wrote this scene myself
envisioned our dialogue
and even now we’re still
only dress rehearsal.

Ideally, the noise tapers
room: illuminated
me: alleviated
until my dream drops
to the pit of my stomach.

Lump: rises
mouth: opens
“I want to love you,
but I don’t know how.”

 

Sleeping At Last – Neptune

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.

3

“Remember when you used to put me in the basement and close the door, when I didn’t eat all the food on my plate?”

“You never thought to just turn the doorknob. The door was never really locked.”

“I don’t want to be alone like that again. I don’t want to lose you.”

“I combed your hair until you could comb it yourself. It was always…your hair was always so soft, so long.”

“I wish I had spent more time with you. I wish I
loved you more often.”

“You’re my only daughter.”

“Everytime you made me dinner as a kid, you didn’t speak much. I used to think it was because you had nothing to say. But now I know it was because you didn’t need to say anything. The silence
it was nice.”

“I love you
so much.”

“I remember family Christmas parties and falling asleep in the car. I remember you would carry me into the house and pull my shoes off. You’d let me sleep in your bed. You said I reminded you of mom when you were younger.”

“I wish that your mother and I were
were better parents to you kids.”

“I wished for no other happiness than you loving me as much as you do.”

“Children are meant to outlive their parents.”

“I didn’t think it would be this hard. When you’re gone, people will remember you as my dad. I’ll remember you as chauffeur, chef, superhero,
the man who killed the spider, lifted the heavy boxes, always forgot to bring his coffee to the car but always remembered to bring my bear for me, laughed so loud, sneezed like an elephant, called when he thought it was getting late, shook all my boyfriends’ hands, made the pancakes, the man who said ‘Happy Birthday’
on every birthday. But what now?”

“I pray that you choose a man that treasures you, the way I have.”

“You can’t leave me.”

“I have taught you all that I know. I have lived all my life. It’s my
time to go.”

“How am I supposed to continue if you’re not here?”

“Please don’t love me like this.”