what i really mean is

By Charlotte R

Collage by Rachel D
Collage by Rachel D

when we run thirty-three times around
the soccer field, imagine you are running
thirty-three times around the maze of my being
and if you find my heart i hope you’ll be
sweaty enough to need a drink of water
so you can catch your breath and maybe fall in love

the way physics works or chemistry – whichever
one can prove you and i will sink to the bottom
of the ocean the day we’d rather hold each other
than tread – but what i really mean is, whichever one
makes blood magnetic, like when the veins
in ours hands pop out trying to prove
how electrically charged silence can be

but i don’t understand how bodies work
running thirty-three times around the soccer
field that is us or the abstractions
worth believing, even, the realization
you’ll never figure out the maze of my being
you won’t be sweaty enough to find my heart and fall
in love – i guess you’re apollo and i’m

daphne, each wounded each corrupted
you’re chasing me you’re chasing me
i’m scared, petrified i’m trapped
you’re in love or lust and i refuse to have
my mouth swim into your mouth
i’m treading and i’m changing

you’re kissing me but i’m a tree
you’re kissing me but i’m no longer yours
you’re kissing me but i can’t realize

but perhaps i’m apollo and you’re
daphne – i’ve been shot with the gold that
is love and oh, how i’ve made a mockery of
the word, how i’ve allowed myself to become
eaten up with the idea of your existence stapled
to my existence having your nymph like qualities
youth, beauty seep into the weapons
that guard all my cells

i’m young too i’ll tell you and i’ll
kiss you like i worship your skin and
i’ll kiss you like you’re a tree, but you’re daphne
and daphne, my god, daphne can’t love apollo – she’s shot with
lead and she can’t love apollo, she can’t love a god
he’s too serious he can’t catch her
she is so far away – i’m far away, though, i’m certain i’m
apollo because if you chased me, i’d only turn into a tree
if you also turned into a tree

you the boy, not apollo or daphne, just you
if you take me and snap me the girl, not apollo or daphne
snap me like a twig or a green bean, i’ll
forgive you thirty-three times around the soccer field
i’ll find your heart sweaty asking if i could borrow some
tape because i’m broken and i forgive you

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