A Short List Of Things That Are Absolutely Not Poetic

1. that song. that song which is–was–our song. the one you once played when we hung out and then randomly came up in my spotify the day you left. i don’t care if ariana sang it to perfection or the nor’easters did. it’s not poetic. it’s just sad.

2. poets. wordsworth, dickinson, shakespeare, you, me. all of them. all of us. not poetic. not poetry. take our hearts out and examine them–still not poetic. their pain–our pain–is. we aren’t.

3. cafés. sure, soft acoustic music and the bitter taste of coffee are scenic. that girl in the corner writing might be scarred. that lady sitting alone in the back with a sadness in her eyes may be in pain. they’re poetic. the café isn’t.

4. depression. irregular sleep patterns and screeches of my inner demons mixed together does not make poetry. emptiness and guilt combined is not anthology. pain is poetic. but depression isn’t pain.

5. endings. breakups, deaths, ghostings, disappearances, us. nothing ends poetically. things end and then we dress our loneliness with fancy words and the prettiest colors. endings are not poetic. they seem poetic. but they were just red.

6. that article i wrote. the one about i’m sorry i hurt you when i was hurting. my pain was poetic but our ending wasn’t. my scars are poetic but the depression i went through wasn’t. the words i put in public are poetic but the intention behind them aren’t. you reading it would be poetic but no one knows if you actually did.

7. you. that maroon shirt you were wearing with your signature flip-flops is poetic. the pain that occasionally seeped through your eyes was poetic. that sticker artwork you made is poetic. that breakup text you sent is more than poetic. you aren’t. poems stay–you left.

About the author

Emily Yao

I write because it’s the only way I know how to express myself.