Tired of Writing Love Poems & Wishing I Were a Terracotta Pot Instead

Late afternoon, August 27th.
It is sunny and the time when
the garden looks like it might be Eden.
I am thinking that you might be sick of me,
as one gets sick of days dragged on and
mundane conversations had in lobbies and hot,
muggy waiting rooms.

I am reading modern
poems about love and they are so all-consuming
and simultaneously soft,
the swaying silk on a drying rack that obscures
a lover’s half-lidded gaze,
perhaps squinting in the sun
perhaps risking blindness to see
the one that is worth going blind for.

and I am thinking that
I do not know
if love is like that at all. All I feel is
             the violent desire to press myself into you like an extra lump of wet clay against a
terracotta statue about to be fired or
             feeling fire & sun like it is moisturizer to be applied & reapplied each night each morning when you wake up
             when you wake up I volunteer as the wind chimes that gleam with the dew &
             do you love me adore me go blind for me are you blind for me will you lean in,
gentle as silk, to kiss me, only to let me
             lunge for you to weld us into a torrent of hands, ribs, skulls, molten bone bleeding into one another like another summer into another autumn &
             pretend that we are not each other’s ANOTHER & forget how to count say I am your first kiss again because
             we cannot bear the passing of time quickly won’t you let me suffocate in the crook of your neck before I become just another silhouette standing in the doorway &
             stacking as much wet clay molten bone as you want but knowing you cannot sculpt a shadow cast on your floor by something that is no longer there
I am sick of writing
love poems. I would like
to write about
the rain for once,
the hyacinths. But I
             look at the flowerbeds & I think you would like these colors that the patterns remind me of the freckles on your back &
             how love can be grief or dissection or dissociation or the fired feeling of fresh fury but all-consuming and simultaneously soft

About the Author

Vanessa Y. Niu is a first generation Chinese-American spoken-word and page poet who lives in New York City. She has also written text for the modern composition scene at music institutions such as Juilliard and Interlochen.