a poem for a person that's not a poetry person

I like the shapes your name makes in space 

The pixel pathways that pop into my text message queue.

And the sound of you, too. Your distinct designation that gives no cacophonous resignation. Well, except your middle name which only few of us that know you know. 

You end in L. L is unfinished. It leaves you desiring to run into the next consonant. To splash against a vowel. It's shaped like a protractor. Designed to align. I end in L too--we have some things alike! And I cling to those as if it would uncover the secrets of why we are so chemically ignited. 

I know you were fired. 

You told me you would not be my friend anymore if I told anyone. I'm telling these pages. Ok, this screen. The same one that conjures up your name.  

I play name games and mad libs. I fill in the blanks that you won't ever spell out. I fill them with hopeful assumptions. That space your eyebrows raised and filled when I told you I have never taken a writing class. Were you surprised because I'm good? You never said. 

We took a new shape. Horizontal. Yes, I did know how long you had been waiting.

I made you wait hoping you would hear the patterns in my turns-of-phrase. That it would turn you on or make you turn to me and say, "Ali, how do you make words dance like that? They have so much fun. Teach me how to dance.” 

You did not want to dance. Ever. I sat against the wall waiting for you, but never told me you would. I led myself. I just kept stepping on my own feet hoping you’d notice when I laughed at my clumsiness. In a dress I knew you liked even if you didn’t say it.

I was lonely even when we were together. My legs and face my arms around you, my teeth on the trellis below your hip bone whispering into it like a wish that it’s my favorite part of your (non-brain) parts.

I wish when you saw my thoughts naked you looked at me like that. Your eyes and mouth full and nearly watering, your head cocked. Taking in my body that trembles at your touch. My mouth around words and not on your cock. "What did you think of the article I wrote?" You suddenly look confused.

I was like a child, to you. So much potential, so much untapped talent. So much enthusiasm that gathers like fizz on the top of a bottle before the top twists, escaping in the ether as soon as the party begins. 

losing yourself

A video posted by a p t (@alisonperrie) on

I am in love and it is consuming.

I tried to find another example, but the only other one I can think of is addiction, and I have not been down the road far enough to tell you what I have seen there. But I imagine it is similar in that you are high and coasting and you lose yourself. You lose yourself by loving too much. You lose other things too. Earrings, for one. Entire conversations. My love spoke this weekend and the second sentence melted into ether as I noticed the dark velvet of his voice. And then the source of the sounds--his lips. And "I" as I knew it was gone. It feels like it is the first time--it is not. And this time, I would like to have some reverence for this love, some distance from this feeling. Staying present to it and observing it. What does it feel like? Using it in my everyday--my kindness towards others, my work, my love for myself. Remembering it by understanding it. Because this intensity only lasts up to 18 months, on average. 

In just the same way we lose our minds when something is painful--when we are hungry, or physically drained, we try like caged monkeys to escape the feeling...what would happen if we slowed down to observe it--to not squirm so much when it is uncomfortable. We are still here. And we can use that too. Oftentimes they are more useful than love, although it is not a prerequisite to be miserable to make interesting work. 

Whatever the feeling, look at it, observe it, feel it. Now act.

No seriously--go get dressed.