Home (In 4 Parts)

I

This is not home.

My chest feels tight and I stare at my mom.

This is not home.

Home doesn’t make me cry.

Home isn’t across the country.

Home doesn’t trap me between four concrete walls.

Home doesn’t remind me of a prison cell.

Home isn’t dirty with dirt of students’ past.

This is not home.

The walls are closing in and they’re leaving

They’re leaving

They’re leaving.

Home just walked away.

Home hugged me goodbye

Home told me I would be fine.

Home had to leave.

Home had to reunite with the house.

This is not home.

I’m crying while doing the dishes.

My new roommate will be here soon.

I count down the hours, not because she isn’t here, but because home is getting further away.

1 hour.

4 hours.

8 hours and we stopped at a hotel.

We love you.

This is not home.

 

II

Home.

The word is ripped from my mouth before I even know it’s coming.

Home.

But it’s not referring to the home I meant it to.

Home.

As in, I’m heading back to my crappy residence apartment.

Home.

Not as in, I’m heading to my family, comfort, and house.

Home.

The word tumbles out and along comes the guilt.

Home.

What would my mom think if she knew I called somewhere else

Home?

Why did I call somewhere else

Home?

I don’t want to.

Home.

That word was my last resistance to this new place – new

Home.

 

III

I’m back.

Back at home.

The real one – the OG.

The home where I’m comfortable and taken care of.

The home where my dog lays his heavy head in my lap and the other 4 animals make it too difficult to breathe through my nose.

I’m back.

And it’s a long visit this time.

A month back home over the holidays.

Home after a month of living through the November sadness on my own.

Home with my favourite people.

I’m back.

I don’t want to go back.

Back to the school and the stress and the question of whether or not this is what I should have done?

Back to feeling lonely and disconnected.

Back to therapy.

I’m back.

But it’s time to leave soon.

I can’t fall asleep and sneak into my mom’s room.

I whisper that I want to give up – that it’s too hard.

My flight gets cancelled.

I’m back.

 

IV

I can’t wait to go home.

Back home after classes for a short springtime visit.

Back to my dog and cat; my parents and the vault.

Back to the busy-ness of the city (and the air that hurts my skin).

I can’t wait to go home.

Back to my new apartment and planning for Hawaii.

Back to you and my friends.

Back to the red cliffs and dark blue sea.

Home is here and there.

Home is where I grew up and home is where I’m carving out my own life.

Home is Toronto day trips and home is exploring out East.

Home is the sense of urgency and home is the need to slow down.

Home is here and there.

I am split between my two homes.

The groundedness of the city and the freedom of the island.

The sight of flying above endless lights and flying above a calm sea.

How lucky am I to have two homes?

 

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Homesick

Missing you

Does not make me a failure.

It makes me human.

 

Missing you

Does not make me a failure.

It makes me a person with many homes.

 

Missing you

Does not make me a failure.

It makes me someone trying hard to have new experiences.

 

Missing you

Does not make me a failure.

It makes me aware of our geographical difference.

 

Missing you

Does not make me a failure.

It makes me blessed to have a family worth missing.

Thoughts

You’re not in my darkest thoughts, but you’re definitely in my dirtiest.

Sheets tangled around our legs,

Your whisper in my ear,

My tight grip in your hair,

The feel of your tongue on my —

 

You don’t consume me, just appear when I’m lonely.

When someone asks me about you,

When the holidays come and I want someone,

When the throwbacks remind me how close we were,

When the realization hits me that we could have been something if I had just —

 

I’m happy for you, until I’m not.

I was too quiet, then too casual, then too late,

She’s adorable and I’m really happy you two are together,

I think about you to torture my soul,

I wish I had taken the chance when —

 

No.

You’re not there all the time,

But you’re there enough.

I think you’re my new favourite what if.

I Blamed it on the Solar Eclipse

You popped into my mind and I almost drove through a red light.

I blamed it on the solar eclipse.

It has nothing to do with me still knowing your birthday.

 

My thoughts drifted to the feel of your body pressed against mine.

I blamed it on the solar eclipse.

It’s not because I still think I might love you.

 

My stomach feels empty and I turn away from the food on my plate.

I blamed it on the solar eclipse.

I forgot that I don’t eat when I’m stressed.

 

My eyes have been puffy, red and sore all day.

I blamed it on the solar – actually I blamed this one on my allergies,

But one pill and four hours later and the pollen levels must be pretty high – I didn’t spend the whole night crying.

Knots

There’s a knot

Of anger and sadness

Seated deep in the pit of my stomach.

During the day, I bury it with food

Or try to sweat it out

Or ignore it by turning my music up too loud.

But at night, when I lay it bed, I can feel it

Twisting and growing.

I poke at it.

I think about it

And it grows more and more.

And when it’s too big for my stomach, it reaches up and grips at my heart too.

There’s a knot

Of anger and sadness

And I don’t know how to untangle it

Poem

I’ll be your poem,

If your tongue can be the pen.

Write your words across my chest

And down my neck.

Let me hear the rhymes play behind my ears

And the rhythm sway my hips.

Long lovely lines licked along my lips.

Slow sultry sentences stretched on my skin.

I’ll be your paper

Your audience

Your craft.

You be the poet

The speaker

The heart.

You’re moving gently down the page; pen

Pressed against paper so soft

Dip your pen in the ink.

Swirl it around

Find the spot.

The passion over takes you

Faster and faster.

The sounds of pen touching paper create the music you get lost in.

Almost there.

One more line.

All of this

Is mine.