Jackie Ann burst onto the scene via Medium at least three years ago now and when she did, I was right there eager to read her exceptional work. When she asked to be a contributor to A Cornered Gurl,it was a no-brainer for me. Her work fits the publication perfectly. She has a way of hitting you in the heart with uppercuts but delicately letting you down gently. She is the perfect combination of power and sincerity and I am happy that I came across her work when I did. And now, her featured poem . . .
An Outstretched Heart
I thought love
was a fragile thing, a leaf
in late September;
something you treasure
for a limited time
But my love was red
of joy and pain;
the summit of strength
then a tidal wave
crumbling the mountain
What could be stronger
than the creator
and the destroyer
I thought love
was destiny, a whispering wind
at your doorstep
and no doorstep is too far
to be found
But you were not born
to be found;
you were born
to seek —
to plant seeds,
to nurture the roots
and the leaves;
the emerald veins
from fertile ground
You were born
to be the sun
and makes them reach
for your open arms
And, How It Slowly Subsides When You Know You Should Want More From The One You Want To Want You.
I let the morning pass, sip on my Vanilla Mint herbal tea, steeped to perfection and I think briefly to myself, “Should I check on her again?” I am fighting with the left-side of my brain, trying to understand the logic behind “No us.” I am losing terribly. This is always a no-win battle, and I have the scars to prove it, but something in me won’t let the thought of loving her go. I tell myself that I have been defeated many times before, that I fight well, that the scars that I have earned are healing, but I want badly to have the opportunity to have them heal further while being with her. I know… I know, radical decisions are not usually my forte’, but for some reason, I can see myself nose-diving straight into her life and landing perfectly on my feet.
How do we control what cannot be controlled?
Therapy is teaching me many things, but it is not teaching me this. How does one silent one’s heart? How does one make it be quiet when the mind has everything sorted out? I ask myself again, “Should I check on her?” She disappears from time to time just as I do when life is far too much to handle and taking breaks are the best things to do on the menu of working too hard, but it has been too long and my first email attempt has gone unresponsive.
Respect the boundaries. Respect the boundaries. Respect the…
Something could be wrong, but all could be right too. It is pertinent in life to respect boundaries. If they have been set, established, and agreed upon, respect them. It does not take a genius to know that doing this will more than likely, work out in your favor in the end. What do I mean? You will surely get over it. It will take time, but you will. And thinking of her safety, her heart, her willingness to create beautifully in the sober hours of the night will reconnect with you, but at arm’s length. You will succumb to healing and your days will get better. You will tap into the mystery of you and learn more about yourself because your focus will be on “Letting her/him go.” Your focus will be on learning to know what it is you need from someone else because you’ve truly established what it is that you lack.
It is natural to be wanted, to be loved.
But, it is important to recognize when you are on a one-way street down a highway to hell where you are the only one loving the other. Recognize that, move on, leave the place as quickly as possible, because if you linger, you’ll lose more and more of yourself every single day and collecting your meaningful parts will be harder to recover. Today, I am learning what she cannot give me, bolding every item in the forefront of my mind, and understanding that I have what I need for this time in my life.
I can give me what I need, even what I want, it’s just going to take a little bit more time.
An ice storm passed through here
last week and I thought about you.
About your voice and its eerie sensibility
of staying even when emotions were heightened.
Robotic, you seemed not quite human
in those moments.
Because how many of us can sound as
if we’re happy when our world is
crumbling right before our eyes?
How many of us will keep breathing
without flinching or changing octaves?
I often wondered if you were battery-operated.
If there were actual bells and whistles
probing you to act.
Nothing about our breakups was normal,
but then, no one would really categorize
“breaking up” as normal, especially if
they did not want to.
You were cool as one could ever be.
I never saw you cry.
Not when you failed your driving exam.
Not when you were cut from the
varsity basketball team.
Not when your parents divorced.
Not when your Grandfather died.
“What’s keeping him from falling apart?”
I used to ask myself that question for
a number of years and finally, I stopped.
“He just doesn’t get emotional.
He has one setting, neutral.”
An ice storm passed through here
last week and I thought about you. I wanted to not feel anything too.