And I wonder if you love me
#1
I look at you with new eyes 
like the first time I saw you was last night in my bed your broad shoulder catching the corner of the sheet as you drifted to sleep
like I've never woken up to the sound of your breathing 
heavy and slow in the dark or seen you step 
glistening from the shower, casually stretching your calves in the pale morning light f
a smile my way when you catch me staring at the drops sliding down your chest.

I look at you with new eyes 
still searching your face when you talk 
soaking in your voice 
pressing your words and expressions carefully into the pages of my memory like wildflowers 
and when you laugh it's like waking up in a 
new country where outside the window an animal you've never heard calls out to its mate the sound rolling 
effortlessly from its throat 
so completely foreign that it catches you off guard 
makes you hold your breath a moment so each note resonates perfectly
that is how your laugh enters my head 
a little thrill each time and I think 
dear God did I make that happen and 
you don't even know 
you just keep talking while my heart stops and restarts

I look at you with new eyes 
as you drive away to work and come home each day 
sweaty and brown from the sun
melting into my arms 
kissing me softly, unpacking your lunch bag and 
I can't believe how 
nonchalant you are 
improbably you are mine 
and it's all so normal and utterly 
unimpressive to you 

I see you with new eyes and you 
don't see me at all 
don't realize I could be gone like a 
whisper gone 
violently, instantly gone 
quietly, silently 
like that day you called me to the patio door because the sunrise was deep orange and magenta and you 
draped an arm across my shoulder and
nodded at the horizon and
the color swelled and disappeared in the space of one breath leaving a 
deep purple bruise under the bright yellow sun as it crested over the trees 
still beautiful but 
nothing we were going to stand around watching in our pajamas

I search your face for signs of awareness for the 
love and fear 
I feel when I look at you but 
your jaw is lax 
your brow smooth unfurling softly 
bent only by a wry smile as you tease me for being clumsy or 
chuckle gently at the tears that well up in my eyes because some boy in the news found his dog that was lost 
for an entire year

I search your face but all I find is 
ease 
not even a ripple in your endless irises so dark and still that your pupils are 
swallowed up in their depths

You wake up and it's the 
hundredth thousandth millionth morning and it's the same as before and it's 
exactly how you thought it would be 
I'm asleep half balled up under our 
gray and yellow patterned quilt and 
you wonder if the alarm will wake me first or the sound of the water bouncing off the shower wall or the 
clink of the door as you step out scrubbed clean into another day 
you brush your teeth and pull on a fresh pair of shorts 
you see me stir and set your soft lips on mine 
good morning 
the feel of my mouth is just like last night and yesterday morning and 
years ago when you leaned into me and 
graced me with your affection for the 
first time 
your breath on my cheek warm and smooth

You look at me with old eyes as you 
eat the breakfast I made you, three eggs and oatmeal 
sitting in that same chair 
quiet in your own thoughts 
you put your work boots on right where you left them on the plastic tray by the dryer and 
gather your lunch and the Gatorade I mixed up in your thermos with 
eight ice cubes only because 
you don't like your drinks too cold 
you back down the driveway with your bucket of tools in the 
crisp morning air the white rock 
crumbling beneath the tires as you drive away the 
last smile fading from your lips after the 
one two three little kisses you left with me

You look at me with old eyes as you 
step into the mud room after a long day 
closing the heat behind the door 
escaping into the cool familiar air of the home we share and 
kiss me your hand barely settling on my shoulder 
running down my arm
you thank me for dinner and we 
call out answers to Wheel of Fortune 
worry over the news 
laugh at the weather forecaster with his impossibly pale shiny head as he predicts tomorrow's 
highs and lows with very little certainty 
you stretch your arms wide taking up 
too much space 
inviting me in close for a moment of rest 
my skin tingles and my lungs swell with a sharp breath as your heartbeat thuds in my ear but 
you hardly notice 
with your chin and cheek pressed gently against my head 
your fingertips stroking my hair in 
unconscious little waves

You look at me with old eyes like 
everything we are always was and 
always will be 
I survey every bright field and shadowy corner of your world 
but there is no fear in you 
you are stubborn 
steadfast adamantly 
unafraid
I tunnel into you searching for a sign that 
you see me new but 
your old eyes stare back at me 
unfazed

I see you with new eyes every day the 
flames of your love bursting forth at me
crackling and stretching towards the sky 
like that bonfire we built so tall and hot we thought it might
reach the cottonwood and 
wilt its leaves 
you look back at me with old eyes
my love for you 
low and warm 
settled into you like the 
embers we leave burning 
nestled on heaps of powdery ash in a ring of concrete blocks after
long nights on the patio 
laughing with friends
our voices mingling with the 
fireflies and darkness
Reply
#2
.

Hi Shelleshell13
(are there really 12 other Shelleshells?)

The sentiment is clear, and honest, but
frankly, there is too much here. An awful
lot feels like repetition, and the language
seems largely in one register. Nothing wrong
with simplicity - this, for instance, I really liked:
the last smile fading from your lips after the
one two three little kisses you left with me
(fun, familiarity, routine and love in two lines) -
but the only really novel image for me in was
the 'animal outside the window' section.

I don't think your title does enough, and
the ending lacks dramatic resolution or
revelation. (You've got to reward the reader
for their effort Smile ).

I think you could develop this into a
tighter, more focused piece, perhaps along
these lines.


With New Eyes


the first time I saw you was last night in my bed
shoulder caught on the corner of the sheet, drifting
to sleep. I've never woken up to your breathing,
heavy and slow in the dark, or watched you
step from the shower, stretch your calves, smiling
when you catch me

when you laugh it's like waking up
in a new country, outside the window
an animal you've never heard calls out
the sound rolling from its throat, so completely
foreign that it catches you off guard
you hold your breath so each note resonates
perfectly that is how your laugh enters my head
each time a thrill and I think did I make that happen?
and you don't even know, you just keep talking.

I see you though you don't see me at all, don't realize
I could be gone - in the space of one breath - like that
time you called me to the patio door, the sunrise blood orange
and magenta and you draped your arm across my shoulder,
nodded at the horizon, the colors swelling and vanishing
leaving a bruise under the sun as it crested the trees. beautiful
but nothing we were going to stand around watching
in our pajamas

I search your face for signs of awareness
of the love and fear I feel when I look at you
but your jaw is loose your brow smooth
? bent only by a wry smile as you tease me
for being clumsy or for my tears because some boy
in the news found his dog lost for an entire year
I search your face but all I find is ease

You wake up and it's just another morning
and exactly how you thought it would be:
I'm half balled up under our gray and yellow quilt
and you wonder if the alarm will wake me first
or the sound of the water bouncing off the shower wall
or the clink of the door as you step out
you set your soft lips on mine the feel of my mouth
is just like last night and yesterday morning
and that day when you leaned into me
for the first time good morning


Best, Knot.


.
Reply
#3
Thank you so much for the feedback, Knot. I have always needed a red pen taken to my work, cut cut cut, and I'm happy to do that. Always just need that first push off the cliff. I think the initial attempts at imagery are there, but I can definitely up my language game here and give you something novel as well. I hate the title, and I'm stuck on the ending, but your suggestions give me somewhere to start. I appreciate the effort to make it through to the end... I was hoping if I could get just one person to invest in it, I'd get enough to go on. Thank you kindly.

(07-12-2019, 01:57 AM)Knot Wrote:  Hi Shelleshell13
(are there really 12 other Shelleshells?)

The sentiment is clear, and honest, but
frankly, there is too much here. An awful
lot feels like repetition, and the language
seems largely in one register. Nothing wrong
with simplicity - this, for instance, I really liked:
the last smile fading from your lips after the
one two three little kisses you left with me
(fun, familiarity, routine and love in two lines) -
but the only really novel image for me in was
the 'animal outside the window' section.

I don't think your title does enough, and
the ending lacks dramatic resolution or
revelation. (You've got to reward the reader
for their effort Smile ).

I think you could develop this into a
tighter, more focused piece, perhaps along
these lines.


With New Eyes


the first time I saw you was last night in my bed
shoulder caught on the corner of the sheet, drifting
to sleep. I've never woken up to your breathing,
heavy and slow in the dark, or watched you
step from the shower, stretch your calves, smiling
when you catch me

when you laugh it's like waking up
in a new country, outside the window
an animal you've never heard calls out
the sound rolling from its throat, so completely
foreign that it catches you off guard
you hold your breath so each note resonates
perfectly that is how your laugh enters my head
each time a thrill and I think did I make that happen?
and you don't even know, you just keep talking.

I see you though you don't see me at all, don't realize
I could be gone - in the space of one breath - like that
time you called me to the patio door, the sunrise blood orange
and magenta and you draped your arm across my shoulder,
nodded at the horizon, the colors swelling and vanishing
leaving a bruise under the sun as it crested the trees. beautiful
but nothing we were going to stand around watching
in our pajamas

I search your face for signs of awareness
of the love and fear I feel when I look at you
but your jaw is loose your brow smooth
? bent only by a wry smile as you tease me
for being clumsy or for my tears because some boy
in the news found his dog lost for an entire year
I search your face but all I find is ease

You wake up and it's just another morning
and exactly how you thought it would be:
I'm half balled up under our gray and yellow quilt
and you wonder if the alarm will wake me first
or the sound of the water bouncing off the shower wall
or the clink of the door as you step out
you set your soft lips on mine the feel of my mouth
is just like last night and yesterday morning
and that day when you leaned into me
for the first time good morning


Best, Knot.


.
Reply
#4
The poem bristles with sharp observations
I don’t know if the line breaks help. If anything, they force pauses where not necessary.
So much of the poem is about picture painting, , that the pauses sound like the narrator intruding.
For instance:

you are stubborn
steadfast adamantly
unafraid
I tunnel into you searching for a sign that
you see me new but
your old eyes stare back at me
unfazed

This might be better as a prose poem?

Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing

Forgot to add: thanks for the read. This was magnificent
Reply
#5
Thank you so much. I haven't written anything in a very very long time, so this was tough to post... Not sure if it's amazing or horrible or somewhere in between. I'm glad you liked it. Some of the line breaks are not where I want, just couldn't get them to fit across this particular page. But others I chose and I agree with you-- especially in the example you gave-- they do feel like an intrusion as I read it again. And I like the idea of considering a prose poem format. Thanks for the helpful critique!


(07-12-2019, 07:25 AM)busker Wrote:  The poem bristles with sharp observations
I don’t know if the line breaks help. If anything, they force pauses where not necessary.
So much of the poem is about picture painting, , that the pauses sound like the narrator intruding.
For instance:

you are stubborn
steadfast adamantly
unafraid
I tunnel into you searching for a sign that
you see me new but
your old eyes stare back at me
unfazed

This might be better as a prose poem?

Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing

Forgot to add: thanks for the read. This was magnificent
Reply
#6
hi 13 Smile

i read this few times and there's an overall depth in the thing that kept me reading it. some great lines:

pressing your words and expressions carefully into the pages of my memory like wildflowers

I survey every bright field and shadowy corner of your world


to mention two, there are more.

and some not so good lines:

your breath on my cheek warm and smooth [ a bit cliche]

again there are more.

a suggestion would be to cut away all the excess wordage you can, create a bit more imagery. at present it's lots of tell [a story] and little show, [not a lot of imagery/ metaphor/simile.] there are lots of places where you can turn some of the lines into imagery. we feel imagery and read non imagery.

i'd also go over some of the line breaks which at times made me pause when i felt i should be rolling along.

all in all i'd say you have a really good piece here that could be a lot better with a few judicial edits. thanks for the reads.



(07-11-2019, 11:00 PM)Shelleshell13 Wrote:  I look at you with new eyes 
like the first time I saw you was last night in my bed your broad shoulder catching the corner of the sheet as you drifted to sleep
like I've never woken up to the sound of your breathing 
heavy and slow in the dark or seen you step 
glistening from the shower, casually stretching your calves in the pale morning light f
a smile my way when you catch me staring at the drops sliding down your chest.

I look at you with new eyes 
still searching your face when you talk 
soaking in your voice 
pressing your words and expressions carefully into the pages of my memory like wildflowers 
and when you laugh it's like waking up in a 
new country where outside the window an animal you've never heard calls out to its mate the sound rolling 
effortlessly from its throat 
so completely foreign that it catches you off guard 
makes you hold your breath a moment so each note resonates perfectly
that is how your laugh enters my head 
a little thrill each time and I think 
dear God did I make that happen and 
you don't even know 
you just keep talking while my heart stops and restarts

I look at you with new eyes 
as you drive away to work and come home each day 
sweaty and brown from the sun
melting into my arms 
kissing me softly, unpacking your lunch bag and 
I can't believe how 
nonchalant you are 
improbably you are mine 
and it's all so normal and utterly 
unimpressive to you 

I see you with new eyes and you 
don't see me at all 
don't realize I could be gone like a 
whisper gone 
violently, instantly gone 
quietly, silently 
like that day you called me to the patio door because the sunrise was deep orange and magenta and you 
draped an arm across my shoulder and
nodded at the horizon and
the color swelled and disappeared in the space of one breath leaving a 
deep purple bruise under the bright yellow sun as it crested over the trees 
still beautiful but 
nothing we were going to stand around watching in our pajamas

I search your face for signs of awareness for the 
love and fear 
I feel when I look at you but 
your jaw is lax 
your brow smooth unfurling softly 
bent only by a wry smile as you tease me for being clumsy or 
chuckle gently at the tears that well up in my eyes because some boy in the news found his dog that was lost 
for an entire year

I search your face but all I find is 
ease 
not even a ripple in your endless irises so dark and still that your pupils are 
swallowed up in their depths

You wake up and it's the 
hundredth thousandth millionth morning and it's the same as before and it's 
exactly how you thought it would be 
I'm asleep half balled up under our 
gray and yellow patterned quilt and 
you wonder if the alarm will wake me first or the sound of the water bouncing off the shower wall or the 
clink of the door as you step out scrubbed clean into another day 
you brush your teeth and pull on a fresh pair of shorts 
you see me stir and set your soft lips on mine 
good morning 
the feel of my mouth is just like last night and yesterday morning and 
years ago when you leaned into me and 
graced me with your affection for the 
first time 
your breath on my cheek warm and smooth

You look at me with old eyes as you 
eat the breakfast I made you, three eggs and oatmeal 
sitting in that same chair 
quiet in your own thoughts 
you put your work boots on right where you left them on the plastic tray by the dryer and 
gather your lunch and the Gatorade I mixed up in your thermos with 
eight ice cubes only because 
you don't like your drinks too cold 
you back down the driveway with your bucket of tools in the 
crisp morning air the white rock 
crumbling beneath the tires as you drive away the 
last smile fading from your lips after the 
one two three little kisses you left with me

You look at me with old eyes as you 
step into the mud room after a long day 
closing the heat behind the door 
escaping into the cool familiar air of the home we share and 
kiss me your hand barely settling on my shoulder 
running down my arm
you thank me for dinner and we 
call out answers to Wheel of Fortune 
worry over the news 
laugh at the weather forecaster with his impossibly pale shiny head as he predicts tomorrow's 
highs and lows with very little certainty 
you stretch your arms wide taking up 
too much space 
inviting me in close for a moment of rest 
my skin tingles and my lungs swell with a sharp breath as your heartbeat thuds in my ear but 
you hardly notice 
with your chin and cheek pressed gently against my head 
your fingertips stroking my hair in 
unconscious little waves

You look at me with old eyes like 
everything we are always was and 
always will be 
I survey every bright field and shadowy corner of your world 
but there is no fear in you 
you are stubborn 
steadfast adamantly 
unafraid
I tunnel into you searching for a sign that 
you see me new but 
your old eyes stare back at me 
unfazed

I see you with new eyes every day the 
flames of your love bursting forth at me
crackling and stretching towards the sky 
like that bonfire we built so tall and hot we thought it might
reach the cottonwood and 
wilt its leaves 
you look back at me with old eyes
my love for you 
low and warm 
settled into you like the 
embers we leave burning 
nestled on heaps of powdery ash in a ring of concrete blocks after
long nights on the patio 
laughing with friends
our voices mingling with the 
fireflies and darkness
Reply
#7
Thank you, Billy. I appreciate the concrete examples of what's working and what's not. I'll take the pen to it and see what comes out. Thanks for the words of affirmation and critique. Very helpful.

(07-12-2019, 12:47 PM)billy Wrote:  hi 13 Smile

i read this few times and there's an overall  depth in the thing that kept me reading it. some great lines:

pressing your words and expressions carefully into the pages of my memory like wildflowers

I survey every bright field and shadowy corner of your world


to mention two, there are more.

and some not so good lines:

your breath on my cheek warm and smooth [ a bit cliche]

again there are more.

a suggestion would be to cut away all the excess wordage you can, create a bit more imagery. at present it's lots of tell [a story] and little show, [not a lot of imagery/ metaphor/simile.] there are lots of places where you can turn some of the lines into imagery. we feel imagery and read non imagery.

i'd also go over some of the line breaks which at times made me pause when i felt i should be rolling along.  

all in all i'd say you have a really good piece here that could be a lot better with a few judicial edits. thanks for the reads.



(07-11-2019, 11:00 PM)Shelleshell13 Wrote:  I look at you with new eyes 
like the first time I saw you was last night in my bed your broad shoulder catching the corner of the sheet as you drifted to sleep
like I've never woken up to the sound of your breathing 
heavy and slow in the dark or seen you step 
glistening from the shower, casually stretching your calves in the pale morning light f
a smile my way when you catch me staring at the drops sliding down your chest.

I look at you with new eyes 
still searching your face when you talk 
soaking in your voice 
pressing your words and expressions carefully into the pages of my memory like wildflowers 
and when you laugh it's like waking up in a 
new country where outside the window an animal you've never heard calls out to its mate the sound rolling 
effortlessly from its throat 
so completely foreign that it catches you off guard 
makes you hold your breath a moment so each note resonates perfectly
that is how your laugh enters my head 
a little thrill each time and I think 
dear God did I make that happen and 
you don't even know 
you just keep talking while my heart stops and restarts

I look at you with new eyes 
as you drive away to work and come home each day 
sweaty and brown from the sun
melting into my arms 
kissing me softly, unpacking your lunch bag and 
I can't believe how 
nonchalant you are 
improbably you are mine 
and it's all so normal and utterly 
unimpressive to you 

I see you with new eyes and you 
don't see me at all 
don't realize I could be gone like a 
whisper gone 
violently, instantly gone 
quietly, silently 
like that day you called me to the patio door because the sunrise was deep orange and magenta and you 
draped an arm across my shoulder and
nodded at the horizon and
the color swelled and disappeared in the space of one breath leaving a 
deep purple bruise under the bright yellow sun as it crested over the trees 
still beautiful but 
nothing we were going to stand around watching in our pajamas

I search your face for signs of awareness for the 
love and fear 
I feel when I look at you but 
your jaw is lax 
your brow smooth unfurling softly 
bent only by a wry smile as you tease me for being clumsy or 
chuckle gently at the tears that well up in my eyes because some boy in the news found his dog that was lost 
for an entire year

I search your face but all I find is 
ease 
not even a ripple in your endless irises so dark and still that your pupils are 
swallowed up in their depths

You wake up and it's the 
hundredth thousandth millionth morning and it's the same as before and it's 
exactly how you thought it would be 
I'm asleep half balled up under our 
gray and yellow patterned quilt and 
you wonder if the alarm will wake me first or the sound of the water bouncing off the shower wall or the 
clink of the door as you step out scrubbed clean into another day 
you brush your teeth and pull on a fresh pair of shorts 
you see me stir and set your soft lips on mine 
good morning 
the feel of my mouth is just like last night and yesterday morning and 
years ago when you leaned into me and 
graced me with your affection for the 
first time 
your breath on my cheek warm and smooth

You look at me with old eyes as you 
eat the breakfast I made you, three eggs and oatmeal 
sitting in that same chair 
quiet in your own thoughts 
you put your work boots on right where you left them on the plastic tray by the dryer and 
gather your lunch and the Gatorade I mixed up in your thermos with 
eight ice cubes only because 
you don't like your drinks too cold 
you back down the driveway with your bucket of tools in the 
crisp morning air the white rock 
crumbling beneath the tires as you drive away the 
last smile fading from your lips after the 
one two three little kisses you left with me

You look at me with old eyes as you 
step into the mud room after a long day 
closing the heat behind the door 
escaping into the cool familiar air of the home we share and 
kiss me your hand barely settling on my shoulder 
running down my arm
you thank me for dinner and we 
call out answers to Wheel of Fortune 
worry over the news 
laugh at the weather forecaster with his impossibly pale shiny head as he predicts tomorrow's 
highs and lows with very little certainty 
you stretch your arms wide taking up 
too much space 
inviting me in close for a moment of rest 
my skin tingles and my lungs swell with a sharp breath as your heartbeat thuds in my ear but 
you hardly notice 
with your chin and cheek pressed gently against my head 
your fingertips stroking my hair in 
unconscious little waves

You look at me with old eyes like 
everything we are always was and 
always will be 
I survey every bright field and shadowy corner of your world 
but there is no fear in you 
you are stubborn 
steadfast adamantly 
unafraid
I tunnel into you searching for a sign that 
you see me new but 
your old eyes stare back at me 
unfazed

I see you with new eyes every day the 
flames of your love bursting forth at me
crackling and stretching towards the sky 
like that bonfire we built so tall and hot we thought it might
reach the cottonwood and 
wilt its leaves 
you look back at me with old eyes
my love for you 
low and warm 
settled into you like the 
embers we leave burning 
nestled on heaps of powdery ash in a ring of concrete blocks after
long nights on the patio 
laughing with friends
our voices mingling with the 
fireflies and darkness
Reply




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