“I am watching a cat chase its tail” // a poem

This summer is passing by too quickly. I remember thinking about all the things I wanted to do. I made a bunch of lists. And now, here I am a month later and I haven’t done many of the things on that list. But that’s okay because I feel happy.  Also that isn’t to say that I’ve done nothing at all because I’ve been writing a book for Camp NaNo. I’ve also been reading obsessively in an attempt to catch up on my Goodreads challenge goal of 100 books. And I’ve been working to feel more at peace with myself – mainly through yoga and meditation (I recommend headspace!). So to sum up this summer, I’ve been waking up and feeling grateful that I have this time to relax and unwind without worrying about what will come next (hint: leaving for college!). 

Today, I finally want to share a poem that I wrote in January with you. I spent a few months chipping away at it – editing lines or phrases here and there…until I realized that the version of the poem I wrote late at night, while feeling sad and stressed, was the version I wanted to keep. I submitted this poem last minute to Lancaster University’s  Writing Awards and months later, discovered that I placed third in the poetry category. (Sidenote: You can read my work and that of the other amazing finalists on the website here.) And if you would like to receive emails containing poems like the one below, please subscribe to my newsletter.

Dull

Another dream where I’m trying to prove something.
The night chases itself until there is only light streaming

through the thin, white, curtains. My eyes are closed.
I can’t remember how I arrived at this moment,

asleep at the desk in my bedroom, floor slick
with an oil spill of my blood. Behind my closed eyes,

I am watching a cat chase its tail. It is amusing, 
this mess I have made. So much heaviness rests inside me,

I remain dull like the wet blade of a kitchen knife. 
The open and shut of a window stirs me.

It is unnatural for the wanting to cease but
the hurt has escaped me, taken flight through a window.

Another dream asking the same questions:
Why am I like this? What if I deserved less?

The cat is playing with a mouse, as gentle 
as a mother pouring salt onto a cut.

I am distracted by the paint spilling onto my bed,
staining my sheets turquoise, verdant, rose.

All this shimmering loveliness laid out before me and
I am too astonished to feast. Only days before,

I attended the rehearsal of my death, so tedious and
full of anticipation. There was little time to practice completion

or the art of filling a vacant body with color. 
Not intending to keep my promises, I drank the paint.

This is another dream I trust will come to an end. 
Still, sleep is all I need. 

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