NaPoWriMo, Day 0: Midnight Jasmine

Prompt: “So today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the form of a love letter . . . to an object. Ideally, the poem will be a kind of riddle, where it’s not totally obvious that the addressee is your beloved childhood pogo stick, or a dish of pad thai from your favorite restaurant, until near the end. This is a great opportunity to play with some of the clichés and tropes of love poetry. But while this kind of poem can be a great way to explore humor in verse, you might also surprise yourself with just how deep and true your feelings toward an object can be. Happy writing!”

 

Midnight Jasmine

I blame myself.
The years that keep going by,
the countries between us,
the many hands
that have touched you since,
the many lips.
You, who were so new.

They say you love what you lost.
My loss is a desert of books,
furniture, people.
And you.

How could I have known
I’d miss you? It’s easy to leave
someone behind.

There have been others. Numerous
and forgettable.
I left them, too.

Remember that winter night
in the kitchen, hot
jasmine tea poured
slowly, a dreamlike draught,
my clumsy hands
warming your porcelain skin?

Or was it the other way around?

Were you the one holding
my gaze, the spoon
stirring endlessly and in vain,
our promises rising
like steam
as we began to forget them?

Where are you now? Who has you?
Is it too late to say
I want you back? Is it so wrong
to picture you lonely,
forgotten
at the back of some dusty
cupboard,
waiting for me?

 

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