I Write About People I Don’t Know

man and woman on window drinking together
Wenni Zhou / Unsplash

I wrote about you after our first conversation. I wrote about you before I even knew you. I looked at you thinking I was looking through you- thinking that I knew you, so I wrote about you, to you.

I wrote about you and what I’ve experienced through you. So little, seeming like a lot, so I wrote thinking I knew. I didn’t.

I wrote and when I was finished, I stepped back, looked at what I wrote and then at you. I did not know you. The shells, I knew- you, not so much.

I wrote about you because I thought I knew you. Too soon, I know, but my hasty self does not learn from past-haste.

Maybe I wrote because I did want to know you so soon. Knowing you is something I want but will not want to have. I wanted that intimacy of writing about each other; the intimacy you shared with the “her” you wrote about. I wanted to share something with you and time was not there, so instead I wrote for closeness.

I wrote you into a poem that had expectations between every verse because I wanted so bad of you to become the verse in the poem that I later fell for. I wanted you to be what I thought you were.

I love that poem but it’s untrue.

That counts 7 untrue poems on my shelf. 7 silent fallings, 7 painless crashes. You don’t break when you fall for words. Especially when those words end up being a concoction of your own inability to wait.

I wrote about you to spare myself your truth. Here you were and here I was, rushing to preserve the good in you and painting the rest of the picture myself to have the only “you” I wanted for myself. Not you; “you”.

I wrote about you because my words are gentler than you’ll ever be to me. The untrue poems know… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Mariam is a yogi by day and a writer by night.

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