The Love You (Actually) Deserve

I’ve been trying to write you this poem for what feels like my whole life.
They tell me that I’m a romantic,
and it’s true,
I carry Pablo Neruda love poems with me.
Tuck it in my back pocket,
just in case some bullshit fantasy comes true
and I’m sitting across from you,
your hand on my shoulder,
I’d look at you and I’d speak
slowly.
Let each word drip off my tongue,
enunciate syllables.
Damn,
poetry is kind of like foreplay to me.
I’m sorry, it’s corny.
I think about this stuff probably a little bit too much.
I don’t like flowers,
but I like the idea that there is an inherent power in love.
That it could transform two people,
Kinda fuck them up in some beautiful and sick way.
Standing at two different ends of an ocean,
but knowing a tidal wave might just be enough to overthrow them.
But they’re still willing to dive in anyways.

I think I’ve stopped looking for that.
I don’t want to admit that my life falls in phases
of men
who I carve into my heart
and bedframe.
I’m not over him.
Him,
an amalgamation of everyone I’ve ever been with.
Keep names in my stomach,
Faces stapled to my eyelids.
I’m holding onto pieces of everyone,
everyone making up me.
But maybe that’s a problem,
Because I’m trying to write this to you.
And how can I love you
if I’m busy running around,
craving intimacy,
but being afraid to commit?
So I want the ones I know will push me first
and leave,
so I don’t have to be the one to do it.
How can I give you all of me
when I’m too busy giving up
my mind to daydream?
I don’t even go out often.
I’m usually just inside,
homebody tendencies.
I’m so into solitude.
I’m so into being alone.
It’s true, I get lonely when I’m with people.
Wonder what that means
or says,
Girl,
is this healthy?
You keep writing words for everyone else,
But this is supposed to be
for you,
I’m writing this to you.
Maybe you aren’t getting the love you want because you don’t have enough love for yourself.
And it’s funny,
because you claim so much self-love
and power
in yourself,
in your vulnerability,
but you avoid the mirror in the room.
Why are you doing that?
Girl?
Focused on the next boy to pin your blues.
But you aren’t loving you,
This poem is supposed to be for you,
Girl,
I’m sorry that I use distractions for us
because when bones splinter and we fall apart
We pirehoutte,
a ballerina drunk in darkness
until we find a candle,
Or light,
Or someone just says,
“Are you okay? You haven’t texted back in a while.”
Girl,
are you okay?
Girl,
You’re okay.
I wrote you this so you’d remember
you’re okay.
I’m gonna love you better this time around.
I’m gonna love you so that the right ones find you.
I’m gonna love you because
Girl,
I should have all along. TC mark


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Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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