30/30 Day #7, Karen’s Pick

Today’s poem comes from Long Beach poet Mindy Nettifee. An accomplished writer and performer, Mindy is the author of “Sleepyhead Assassins” on Moon Tide Press and the Founder of Write Now Poetry Society, producer of the annual show “The Drums Inside Your Chest.”

ALL I HAVE TO SAY FOR MYSELF

The last time you came to see me
there were anchors in your eyes,
hardback books in your posture.
You were the five star general of sureness,
a crisp white tuxedo of a man.

I was fiddling with my worn coat pockets,
puffing false confidence ghosts in the cold January air.
My hands were shitty champagne flutes
brimming with cheap merlot.
I couldn’t touch you without ruining you,
so I didn’t touch you at all.

Its when you’re on the brink of something
that you lose your balance.
You told me that once.
When I can’t bring myself to say what I need to,
my heart plays Russian Roulette with my throat.
I swear I fired that night, but, nothing.

Someday, I’ll show you the bullet I had for you,
after time has done the wash.
I’ll take it out of the jar of missed opportunities.
We’ll hold it up to the light.
You’ll roll it around your mouth like a fallen tooth.
You won’t forgive me exactly,
but we’ll laugh about how small it is.
We’ll wonder how such a little thing
could ever have meant so much.

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