[Image description: Art by Merrie LeMaître, titled "Sorry I Forgot What Loving Me Felt Like", next to an ink drawing of a faceless person surrounded by foliage.]
Written by: Merrie LeMaître
Poems about last Summer.
I wasn’t feeling my best this summer. I knew I was okay/good at writing, that I’m a good person, that I’m beautiful inside and out, but I just wanted to hear it from one person. And when you need to be validated so badly and only from one person, you become an addict. One compliment would leave me feeling better for a week before once again I plunged into hating myself. I replayed every action I did “wrong,” picked it apart. I was drowning in “what ifs”. I couldn’t stop stalking accounts on Instagram which would only make me feel worse. I don’t know when all my self confidence became wrapped up in one person. I AM enough on my own. I don’t need to be called beautiful to be beautiful. But I didn’t realise that. I’m only just realising that now. I write poetry to work out what’s going on inside my head. It clarifies it. So this is the poetry I wrote about being insecure, jealous, a bad person who overthinks everything. I want this to be published even though it’s like getting undressed in front of the public, simply so I can look back at it to remind myself not to attach my self worth to one person.
The point is, I cried a whole lot for a whole month with no reason and then realised I loved him. That’s the meat of it. We won’t go into the way I tried to pick myself down to the very bones until I became the right type of lightie. We won’t go into the way he turned up in every damn dream like a long lost mariner. Into the signs that turned to red flags then morphed into full stops, dead ends; I was a bad person, the worst and you wouldn’t have wanted to know me then. It was monsoon season, and it went to my head, that’s my excuse, hazed up with rain and the end of summer.
You want the yes yes yes you want the likes the “fantastic” the “stunner” comments beneath your posts. You want him to mouth “I love only you” you want him to whisper that you’re perfect, beautiful, wonderful--you’ll last a whole month on that, that fuel before you grind to a halt, start hating the jiggle, the soft, the eyebags, the everything. Hate the mornings, the cravings for him, his voice coming crackly through the phone, all of it. Waiting like gutted fish for someone, anyone to love you, so you can love yourself.
You are not your mother: look at this look at the thin hands the selfish selfish selfish of you look at the lust for everything that hurts. Look at the high cheekbones, undersized nose the thick of you that would turn to fat so quick
The knees that never see the church flagstones. who
How do I turn this brain off put it on silent nighttime mode where are the settings everything is so loud I can’t even hear the I love yous only the sound of your footsteps leaving wait you’re right here I’m sorry so sorry but why do you want me? I’m sorry but
Dimple! Sunset! I’m scared.
I can’t hear anything can I drown this out with 2010 Rihanna? Yes/no/maybe I’m sorry but I adore you but do you hate me? I just want to know. Sorry. I need to go to church. To confession. I miss you. Don’t lie to me. Lasagna! Gold hoop earrings! Will everything just shut up?