When I Say I Want You to Love Me
what I mean is – I want you be reckless.
I want you to throw rocks through windows of abandoned buildings,
and make love on the shattered glass
just so we have a story of how these scars covered our bodies.
I want us to spend months creating a garden,
only to rip it the heads from the flowers
uproot tomatoes and leave them to rot
and start over because we got bored.
I want you to buy me every flavor of cotton candy
because you weren’t sure that I’d like it,
but knew I’d like one.
I want you to dance with me
on top of a mountain top
in the middle of a wildfire
until smoke fills our lungs
with no guarantee the firefighters
will be able to save us.
I want to swim out so far,
my arms grow tired and sink under the waves.
And I want you beside me.
I want you to dye my hair
a different color every week of the year
until we have created a palate
with every color ever known.
I want you to sit in the audience
mouthing the words to all my poems
the way you’d sing along to the radio.
I want a road trip with no destination,
just a hand on the wheel, and your hand in mine.
I want coffee dates that change with the season,
and you to always remember my order.
I want you to say yes to every idea I’ve ever had, to be first in line for the roller coaster,
hands in the air, hair free flowing in the wind.
When I say I want you to love me,
I want you to make the entire universe revolve around me.
Which means —
I do not want you to be gentle with my heart.
I want you to make it burst.
He tells me as the bleach bleeds out of my hair
as the roots become more exposed by the hour,
that I am gorgeous.
When he pulls me into him,
I feel his heartbeat hammer against my face.
He tells me later,
he wanted to kiss me.
He says, we can wait we can wait we can wait,
and for the first time
I do not rush.
Awaiting Further Instruction
He tells me he is a blank page
waiting for me to scribble on,
he asks me what I want next.
I want to say,
my the inside of my thighs,
my hips, my collarbone…
Want to peel off my skin
and offer it as an instruction
manual that reads everywhere, everything.
His chuckle is an electric cord
and I am water,
begging him to touch me.
Lynne Schmidt is the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, and mental health professional with a focus in trauma and healing. She is the winner of the 2020 New Women’s Voices Contest and author of the chapbooks, Dead Dog Poems (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press), Gravity (Nightingale and Sparrow Press) which was listed as one of the 17 Best Breakup Books to Read in 2020, and On Becoming a Role Model (Thirty West), which was featured on The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed for PTSD Awareness Week. Her work has received the Maine Nonfiction Award, Editor’s Choice Award, and was a 2018 and 2019 PNWA finalist for memoir and poetry respectively. Lynne was a five time 2019 and 2020 Best of the Net Nominee, and an honorable mention for the Charles Bukowski and Doug Draime Poetry Awards. In 2012 she started the project, AbortionChat, which aims to lessen the stigma around abortion. When given the choice, Lynne prefers the company of her three dogs and one cat to humans.
feature photo by Shaira Dela Pena by Unsplash.com