For too long, I spent my years searching for a tundra within me.
(Looking for Alaska.)
I wanted to possess a coolness I lacked. I wanted to be frigid when I knew I ran hot.
I begged myself to surrender to ice. I pleaded with my soul to chill. (I ran too hot.)
When I was young, I learned to be cool was to be
disenchanted, blasé, nonchalant,
so no one wanted to be seen with the girl who ran too hot because they were all looking for Alaska.
Alaska wasn’t me.
That boy who sang Bob Dylan songs called me Kansas (flat and boring, he had said, flicking a brown curl away – like a cigarette ash).
I showed my cards too soon.
I was too naïve to bluff.
What I felt was displayed. I have said before
some wear their hearts on their sleeves, but
I wear my heart as a locket.
(Exposed to the elements, it tarnishes and rusts, but it is my own all the same.)
If you are searching a tundra, a frozen heart, looking for Alaska, keep getting lost in the snow because the last time I froze, I lost myself until I thawed in front of a fire & found myself
I kissed him after he breathed fire. His lips scorched mine, and he whispered
but he lied – forever was just a branch thrown to stoke the fire, feed the flames.
My heart smoldered when I met you.
The embers had lost some smoke, but you reignited
I thought I had lost. My heart was paper and frightened by the prospect of fire after living through an inferno.
But I surrendered to the magic of flames when you held a matchstick to my lips & whispered
You told me that goodbye tasted like sulphur. I thought it was a stanza from a poem not yet written, but the way you clung to the firewood and flint, I started to see some promises keep
& some people aren’t looking for Alaska.
Some prefer a place where their shadows aren’t forced to wear mittens & they don’t have to bundle up in winter coats.
Some prefer a place where it isn’t season after season of frozen oceans & sweater weather.