Maybe I don’t care about anything
I told him
Because that bright spark of passion, that artist’s rebellion, that unfurling flower in your stomach that tells you, “create-”
Was in everyone else’s garden
Across the white fence
Watched over by a painted gnome
And inaccessible to me.
I haven’t felt the need to do something
to create something beautiful and better
Since I don’t remember.
Since sophomore year when journalism seemed like a beacon in the dark sea of humanity
Since writing stories that made me feel like a poet
Weaving words in a way that meant something.
I won’t blame my professors
or my boyfriend for distracting me.
And I’m not depressed or disinterested.
I still feel the thrill
of a voice onstage,
A warbling note or a word in a line of a poem that makes time stop air move makes me relish in the stillness of a moment
I still watch quietly
The crash bash bong brill shoot of a musical instrument
And fingers and mouths that I won’t ever understand
And minds that compose sounds and stories
That I wonder.
But I don’t wonder what I can achieve.
I don’t feel the siren call of a pen, anymore
I don’t want to channel art through me
Just in me.
And keep it safe and building like a dragon’s lair of gold
A reservoir of liquid shining metal that’s only mine and all the world’s
All that beauty.
But he said something about how that’s not all bad.
That maybe this doesn’t have to mean I’m empty.
He said, “maybe you have to take things in before you can put things out.”
Maybe I have to relearn to breathe before my lungs can remember how to produce melody.
Maybe this city is a hotspring
That will fill me
And rinse me
And gently turn my insides out like laundry on a hanging line
And scrub the trauma clean.