walking in both directions

[note: if you’re picky about the formatting of poetry staying the way I wrote it, please click on the post to view it with the original spacing]

I wish our falling out was like Hiroshima
that mushroom clouds stretched in fine grey carpets
for miles in each direction,
and that when we spoke to each other
we could hear worlds burn.
But this, this cool dissemblance
logical, discussed, like a thick needle pumping blood
from my arm into a bag: I
will not, I can not lie still. 
Small, sharp pains, fleeting–
our heartbeats keep us rocking back and forth,
holding aches in both hands.
This story is written as it writes itself onward,
and we burn with fever-eyed desire
to tear out the pages;
to flip forward
or back
anything but this blind fumbling for answers–
but our hands keep slack at our sides.
I am walking in both directions, both towards
and away from you
and neither of us have the heart to stop
and ask for directions
because neither of us want to know.

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a feline diagnosis

the back of my throat tastes
chlorine, hard
slick with tears and disbelief
i want a sledgehammer
to rule out all word
give me back my quiet
pain
and take away this raging unseen terror
let me mourn her
not her
give her back
give me her back
i want her curled against my shoulder sleeping
not trailing plastic tubing
and dragging paws.

© Emily Bragg 2013

a small sad, a strange: hug

i am strange today
usually the case, but now
see, i’d like a hug.

this strange is quiet
unsettling, almost sad
hell of an ordeal.

but not my ordeal
or is it? i’m relative
relative, right.

but relatively
i’m not too sad, as sad goes
i just need a hug.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Grief is a Strange Animal

It’s a lurking creature. You never know when it’s going to strike.

Earlier today, my grandmother passed away. She had been having heart complications for the past five weeks, and although we thought she was recovering, she suddenly took a turn for the worse yesterday. My mother and my uncle flew out to go be with her and my grandpa yesterday evening, and they were able to spend hours with her before she passes. Mum says she recognized them, which was important.

I’m not sad now. I might be, in five minutes, or an hour, or five days. I’m aching for my mum. I’m aching for my grandpa, because he’s lost the woman he spent his life with. But I’m not sad that she’s gone. Right now.
Right now I’m not sad that she’s gone.

There are people who you love because they’re incredibly nice, giving, generous people. There are people you love because they’re quirky, affectionate, friendly, because they have that special something that makes you click, and there are people that you love because they’ve stood by you in the hardest times of your life and made you laugh.

And then, there are people you love just because they’re family. I loved my grandmother because she was family, because she was human, and because of that, I can forgive the things she’s said. There’s no use holding grudges against those who are gone of this earth. I can forgive how she hurt my mother, I can forgive the things she did that made me burn with hatred because I don’t even think she knew she was doing it. It was how she learned to do things, I guess.

My favourite story of my grandmother was one she told me herself: the story of how she and my grandpa became an item. She was out with her girlfriends one day, eighteen and giggly, and a group of young men walked past. My grandma pointed at my grandpa, and told her girlfriends “That’s for me. That one’s for me.” I can still remember how her eyes triumphantly sparkled as she told me this story, finishing with “And now he is.” She had her heart set on him from the minute she laid eyes on him, and it’s with that kind of sweet romance that I’m going to remember her; as the young lady who swiftly chose her own man with all her heart.

I hope you hear me, grandma, somehow, when I say that I do love you. I’ve always loved you. I hope you give ’em hell wherever it is that you are, because lord knows you raised enough of it while you were here. Goodnight, Grandma Carol.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Apology Epoch

I’ve found myself apologizing to people a lot lately.

I’m not certain if it’s because I’ve been more offensive
Or I’ve just noticed my actions
And the way I can sometimes be both a slap and a distraction
To people.

The attraction of risking others’ emotions is
The Attention, the resultant direction of
Eyes towards my antics, my words.
I’m the first to admit it.

And too often
I don’t look at what I’ve said
Until the later hours, when someone says
“Hey,
That really hit me hard.”

And then I apologize
Because at that point there’s no other words
To make it less stinging, less hard;
Even “I’m sorry” really won’t heal that much
Of the scar.

I say scars, but only ’cause it rhymes;
Maybe there’s been a few times
Where I’ve been so unkind that it cuts so deep
The surrounding tissue puckers and heals awry,
But mostly they’re bumps and bruises,
A few paper cuts.

Don’t think I don’t care, I’m
Scared of what I do when I’m not looking
To the people
I care about.

I know the best solution to my apology condition (my
blatant inattention) would be to
Tone down my actions.
I’ve never really done that.
I don’t know how to backtrack or which
Words lack the stinging smack of
Unintended harassment.

The only solution,
The only viable battle plan is to listen
Instead of speaking
And try to swing it so I don’t seem sullen, don’t attract
Attention with my silence.

Some of my favourite people
Are completely understated.
The ones who say the funniest things
In the quietest voices.

It’s not in my blood to be that way.
But I could quiet what I do,
Save the energy for emergencies and
Say better things.

Draw out this marrow and
Replace it with
Liquid quiet
So I
Have
An endless internal supply.
Quiet
Replicating cells of
Quieter quiet. It grows
Quiet.

I grow
Quiet.

© Emily Bragg 2013