Strangers in Coffee Shops

you look out of the window,
on a rainy sunday, gently holding the coffee with both hands
the coffee shop is filled with noise and discussion
but you sit there, quietly staring out into the world
i wonder what would happen if i walked over to you,
if i sat across from you,
introduced myself
i wonder if we would fall in love
i wonder

do you like your coffee black or with cream and sugar
do you prefer tea over coffee
are you a dog or cat person
what habits do you have
what do you love to do
do you love fully or are you scared to fall in love at all

i wonder if we would be lost in each other
what if our lives started in this small coffee shop
if one day we would walk by this coffee shop, hand in hand,
and you would laugh and remind me of how awkward it was
but how you knew since then that we would be together forever

if one sunny day, years from now,
i lead you into this coffee shop,
sit you down where you are sitting now
get down on one knee and ask you to marry me
i wonder

i wonder what our lives would be together
you and i
how many times would you break my heart
and how many times would i break yours
i wonder what it’s like to wake up next to you
how you look in the morning
how you look at night
what your smile is like
what your hands feel like

i wonder
as you gather your things
and walk out the door
leaving behind
the what ifs
that i wasn’t brave enough to find out.
-jl

Fragile Hands

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 5.37.20 PM
Of course the world seems a little darker.
The rain falls a little harder
And time moves a little slower.

You have days when all you want to do is lay in your bed, drowning in your own thoughts. Sometimes your thoughts are so loud that you can’t hear the world around you. The world becomes a daunting task and you feel utterly alone.

These days crawl by, one after another, reminding you that you have so much to do but you can’t bring yourself to do any of them. You feel stuck and it scares you. You become weak and fragile like that good china that your mother only uses for “special occasions.” You shake at the touch of the wind and you can’t bear the sunlight in your eyes. Everything stops making sense and your heart withers away at your sleeve.

People don’t think that you are capable of love but that’s not true, is it? Your problem is that you fall in love way too easily. You fall in love with everything and everyone. You lock eyes in the streets and you imagine your lives together, intertwined within each other’s arms, you imagine futures together and you can’t shake it.
You fall in love with the sky, the way that it burns a bright blue and dulls into that orange that makes you think of famous artists that you can’t name from the top of your head.
You fall in love with the night, the darkness covering you like a cozy blanket, tucking you in and whispering words like dissolving stars.
You fall in love with the world, as it slowly tears away at your skin and erodes your bones. You give it second chances because you tell yourself that you’re in love.
You love so much but you never have enough for yourself. You hope that one day you’ll have some left over at the end of the day for yourself but day after day you come up empty.
With dark bags under your eyes, strained from the weight that you carry from all that love that you keep giving, you fall asleep, telling yourself that you’ll try again tomorrow.

You love so easily and that’s why you’re so weak. Love takes so much vulnerability. You strip down to your bare bones and you expose your heart to anyone who asks. You forgot that half assed wall you built yourself when you were 16 and you promised that no one would hurt you again. You hide behind pillow forts and under cardboard shelters while in the midst of violent warfare.
You care too much and you love with such fragile hands. Callous and numb, you keep reaching out for a love that was never returned to you. You keep searching and you become exhausted.

So of course the world seems a little darker.
The rain falls a little harder
And time moves a little slower.

-jl

The Settling

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke softly but firmly, “I just can’t.”

She drowned her face into her hands and her body moved with her breathing. Her voice was filled with disappointment and a tinge of shame. She felt everything and it hurt her. She didn’t just give her heart, she gave her soul, her body, her everything. She started to numb herself, she spent her days into neutral. She always ended up feeling empty and hollow. She entered love like a sin and flogged herself with the pain of self-questioning, leaving her bruised but hallowed.

She breathed into the air, hoping for an answer from a silent god. She felt the world seeping into her skin and onto her bones. She twisted and turned her soul like an old Rubik’s cube in hopes of fitting into the colors of the spaces around her. She couldn’t do it. She never really could get it right. She thrusted her chest out and threw her head back in a desperate attempted to feel something. She let it all in. The anger, the pain, the sadness, the memories, and finally the calm.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke weakly with determination, “I don’t want to.”

-jl

 

The Winter Streets of Edinburgh

I took a walk.
Down the rain covered streets, through the violent wind.
Passing the bars, illuminated by lipstick stained cigarettes
Light jazz music could be heard over the light conversations
Each step was colder than the last
Each breath harder than the last.
My feet moved aimlessly
Walking down the street of light
The dimly lit stairs that dangled dimly lit pubs with drunken chatter.
A casual love, a broken soul, another pint or two.
Seeking shelter from the weather, a planned meet up, another round please.
I staggered down the uneven steps, mindlessly wondering, mindlessly dreaming.
I came upon Waverley.
I walked through the hellos and goodbyes
The trains whistling in the distance.
I sat in the designated waiting room, wondering if it would be that easy to leave this place behind.
A lady was waiting, a bouquet of flowers rested next to her
Her eyes occupied the pages of a book and her mind wandered through the printed words, the flowers resting, waiting for her attention.
A mother held onto her child, his tired eyes rested on her tired face.
Two women shared a drunken goodbye tied together with an unlit cigarette.
A man stared at his phone, time to time his eyes would lift up to the arrival and departure board.
Friends held each other in one last embrace before they would go back to their separate lives.
Everyone was going somewhere, watching the boards with anticipation.
Waiting for their next goodbyes and hellos.

I strolled down the once filled streets of Princes.
The Christmas market was empty, the once inviting rides now chained off,
The ice rink was being flooded with the rain, the skate sign still illuminated, patiently waiting for tomorrow.
I stared down the empty, dark streets. The kiosks shut tights as the wind knocked violently against them. It was easy to forget that when morning came, these streets would be filled once again with new and old faces.

Princes was darkened now and people were briskly making their way home.
Lovers huddled against each other for warmth.
Others kept their heads down against the sharp rain and fought against the violent gusts that filled these Scottish streets.

Making my way back home, I took one last look at Edinburgh.
The city that beat my heart and ate it.
My eyes were filled with wonder as I whispered my regrets into the wind.
I could walk these streets forever.
My feet have already made their home on these cobbled paths.
The rain soaked into my hair and clothes, the cold held my hands like a jilted lover, leaving icicles on my bones.
I couldn’t cry even if I wanted to.
The wind would wipe them away before they left my eyes.
Edinburgh was my unrequited dream.
Scotland was a beautiful love affair that left me an empty shell.
I laid out my bones on the Royal Mile and buried my love in the meadows.

I could’ve walked those streets forever.

-jl

Daffodils

A poem inspired by my lovesick heart and my dislike of flowers.


I fell in love with daffodils because I fell in love with you.

I remember walking with you through the park,
You stopped and crouched down over a bed of daffodils
Your eyes lit up and the most perfect smile was painted across your face
“Daffodils are my favorite,” you said, looking up at me with childlike wonder.
You asked me what my favorite flower was
I said, “Daffodils.”

I remember standing nervously at your front door,
Holding a bouquet of daffodils.
Your face stretched into that smile that I was so madly in love with.
“I got you my favorite flowers,” I said jokingly.
You laughed as you gentle placed the flowers into a vase.
I still hear your laugh when I see daffodils.

I remember begging you to stay, to not do this.
Standing at your door steps, holding your shaking hands.
The air was brisk and our breaths lingered in front of us.
Your eyes watered from the smoke of the bridges you burned.
You closed the door behind you and I caught a glimpse of the daffodils I gave you,
Withering away to show too much time had passed and we were different now.

Even with the pain of loving you, I still love daffodils.
Even though it hurts, I can’t stop loving them.
Even after everything, they are still so beautiful to me.

So when someone asks me what my favorite flower is,
I think of you
and I fall silent.

-j.l

The Art of Never Saying Goodbye

Hey guys, double posting, I know, after months of not posting anything. What is this madness?
But I just wanted to post this poem because I’m feeling it. This was inspired by my good friend, Lauren Irwin and her post for the Odyssey.


When you left, I wish you would’ve closed the door. I woke up to the cold breeze and empty promises you left, forgotten on the counter.
You shouldn’t have kissed me goodnight and left me in hopes that you’ll still be there when the morning light crept through the blinds.
Now what do I do with the empty spaces you abandoned? Outlined with dust, there are still signs that you once lived here.
As I smooth out the creases of the bed sheets where you once laid and I wash the pillow of your smell, I feel my shoulders aching from still having to carry the life of us you left behind. As you walk through the streets, weightless and free, I am condemned to live with this sentence with no period.
Am I still in love with you? How can I still be in love with a ghost?
No, I am wiping away parts of you with every step I took towards the door but like a ghost, you still haunt me from time to time.
As I fall in love with another, I am still smeared with colors of you.
It seems that I am unable to completely rid myself of you. In my words, in my actions, in my thoughts, you still remain. Ever so slightly altering my heart’s desires.
I am reminded of you every time I slowly make my way out of bed, collect my things, and carefully tip toe to the door.
But I will not let you win.
As I leave, I will smooth out my own creases, I will kiss my lover on the head as if to rid their mind of ever loving me, I will dust away the memories of me as if I was never there, I will wipe away any colors of me I left behind, I will not carve my name into the walls, I will leave no permanence behind, then finally, I will close the door so no one will have to wake to the cold welcoming of silence.

-j.l.

The Streets Were Never Made For Standing Still

Red velvet, draped on the ground.

Flashing lights illuminate the grey walls in intervals.

Like the flashes of dreams left behind,

the streets are ignited into a frenzy.

Limited viewing, we still glance for a glimpse

Unknown origins and dissolving futures.

People move on quickly,

after all, the streets were not made for standing still.

 

Red sheets, draped on the ground.

Blue lights flash in intervals, timed to the beat of world

The air is uncomfortably cold

The skies are tinted in colors only seen in tragedies

The city roars on but the world remains silent

Gather yourself, lift your intrigue and step away.

We were never meant to stay for eternity,

so we carry on,

After all, the streets were never made for standing still.


 

I wish I knew a better way to start this.

I don’t really know what’s all happening, I don’t quite understand everything.

We all have days when it feels like the sky is caving in and the world is just out to get you. If not, then keep it to yourself.

I wish I knew better words to describe how I feel. 

I have seen many things in my life that have truly stuck with me. Today I saw a dead body. The body was covered so I wasn’t really able to see but the police surrounded the area. As I walked by, I looked to see what it was all about and I saw the body lying in the middle of the taped off area, covered in a red sheet. I stopped breathing for a few seconds and I felt every bone in my body shake. I don’t know what happened and I don’t think the police would’ve told me if I asked. 

I know I promised a less intense post but I also kind of have to get this out. I can’t seem to erase the image in my head. I have never seen a dead body before and I never intended to see one. Today has been a very strange and numbing day. Today has been a day I wish to never live again.

So I wrote the poem above while I was pondering everything. I’m not a poet. I truly believe that my writing sucks. I mean I try but I rarely succeed. These were just words I had to get out of my head.

-Jonny