If Our Beginning & End Shared a One Bedroom Apartment

      The day they move in together the End will say,
      I know how ugly I must look to you, but baby,
      my entire existence is because of you & for so long,
      you didn’t even know that I was alive, but I,
      I watched you. I watched your lips
      like train whistles taking off their clothes
      so they could collide with everything
      that was in front of them, watched you
      Desert Storm your way into the thick Middle
      fencing us off from one another. I thought
      it was because you wanted to touch my face, trace
      full moon-shaped patterns around my navel, baby, you
      were the most beautiful when you wore your bravery
      like an open trench coat running across a packed stadium;

      & the Beginning, the Beginning will be terrified,
      her stomach will flip over on its back, she’ll feel
      like a welcome mat in front of the infirmary,
      & she’ll say nothing. She’ll say nothing
      because everything she ever believed to be true
      already crossed the great divide without her.
      The End will try so hard to get her to speak,
      will try to kiss the words out of her mouth,
      will whisper all the good stories that came
      between them into her ears but her lips
      will stay pressed together like two books
      on a shelf, like two frigid legs.

      Every morning, he’ll sit her up in bed,
      bring her a cup of tea to try & warm
      her hands hoping that she’ll lift it to her lips
      just once. He’ll get out the record player
      in the afternoons & dance around the bed
      like a brush on canvas trying to get her to
      bloom into him but there will be nothing,
      there will be nothing but winter behind
      her eyes.

      Every night, he’ll settle down into the couch
      like a string of red balloons hanging off
      the arm of a tree, strung up & deflated,
      wavering in the wind & whispering
      over & over again, baby, please— please try
      to remember how much you loved yourself
      before you met me.

This is my first poem from April’s Poem-a-Day Challenge following the 2014 April Poem-A-Day prompts at Writer’s Digest, check out the Poem Your Heart Out anthology that Words Dance will be publishing this summer in correlation with the challenge! I’m sharing most of my poems inspired by the prompts on my Tumblr. Happy Poetry Month!

Amanda Oaks is the founding editor of Words Dance. Her works have appeared in numerous online & print publications, including Stirring, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, Glamour, Elle, Parenting & Artful Blogging. Her chapbook, Hurricane Mouth, was published this year by NightBallet Press. AmandaOaks.com