I Wish I Could Shut Off My Mind When It Comes To You

Tommy Tong

I wish I could shut off my mind when it comes to you, close my eyes and breathe and not hear the sound of my thoughts crashing against the insides of my skull. I wish I didn’t lay awake at night, overthinking every little thing, re-remembering conversations we’ve had, inserting unspoken words into every sentence.

I wish I could just drown out the sound of my fears, make them fade into the folds of my brain, categorize them into little folders that I could choose to open later if I wanted, but never do. Instead, throw out the key and forget about each doubt, each hesitation, each lie I’ve told myself. And step closer to you.

I wish I didn’t have to pretend I was okay, all the while hushing the little voices in my head. I wish I didn’t have to force myself to take deep breaths, to slow down, to stop letting the way I’ve always processed and analyzed my life lead the way I love.

I wish I didn’t spend so much time fighting my heart about you.

Because what my mind doesn’t understand, is the way your skin feels under my fingertips, how your hands are warm and strong and alive under my palms. What my mind doesn’t understand is that your eyes make me feel dizzy, that your laugh makes a smile unconsciously split across my face, and suddenly everything’s easy. So easy I don’t even have to think.

What my mind doesn’t understand, is that there are some things you just can’t explain—a wild heartbeat, the passion of a kiss, the soft calm of simply hearing someone’s voice—love.

There are some things you just can’t analyze, can’t make sense of, can’t overthink because once you do, the magic’s lost. And that’s my biggest fear with you, that I’ll lose all that I crave so much, simply because I can’t stop my stupid mind from thinking you away.

I wish I could just stop. Stop worrying so much about where we’re going, who we’ll be, and just exist in the moment with you. Stop imagining all the ways we could unfold, all the ways you’ll run, all the ways I’ve always been, and always will be too much.

I wish I could stop telling myself that I’m somehow less, that you’re somehow no longer interested, that we’re somehow going to fall apart and I’ll have to find my footing again. I wish my mind didn’t spin me in circles, making me so disoriented I can no longer remember how to simply be.

I wish I could just shut off my mind, an off-switch, a button and then let my heart be the guide. Let my little heart beat and bloom and be bold for you. Without hesitation. Without thinking. Without fear.

But I don’t quite know how.

I’ve always been one guided by both her head and her heart, processing words and emotions in her mind, writing poetry in the moment unintentionally, making memories carry weight and permanence from the moment they first begin.

I don’t know how to stop my mind from wondering, questioning, overthinking, but I guess I’ll start by taking steps towards you in faith. I guess I’ll start slowly letting go of the past, of the doubt, of the blanket of fear I’ve carried on my shoulders and stand before you, open and willing to let you in. I guess I’ll start by trusting—in you, rather than the voices in my head.

I guess I’ll start by writing you this. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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