Wooing Women in Public by CDZA
You are the prefix to our first breath, and you breathe sunshine on days that are darker than the Great Depression. You whisper floodlight when rolling blackouts disconnect the power to our dreams. You see men, we are like towers erected over crowded streets. Women you are like the steel beams in the building that hold us in place, but often we forget that we can’t stand without you.
Sometimes we just don’t remember that you hold the key that opens the entrance to the earth. We openly worship these earthly things instead of the gatekeeper that opened the door to let us in.
So if this poem is for the strong women, this is for every woman who knows that it’s far better to be single than have a man that will never understand your worth. This, this is for the woman who’s not afraid to cut a man loose if he’s not doing his job.
This, this is for the women who get hated on by girls with insecurities tattooed to their faces. Sweetheart they hate you. They hate you because their confidence is crippled. They got handicapped thoughts and self-esteem has never ever, ever been ADA-compliant.
This is for the strong women. This is for the women who will never danced half-naked in a hip-hop video, because they understand how sacred their bodies are. This, this is for the women who look in the mirror and see the closest thing on this earth to God. I said this, this is for the women who remind me of my mother. Remember this world wasn’t built for you. So if need be you tear it to the ground, resurrect it in your image, and make sure that it’s just as beautiful as you are.
I was told the average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of 7. I was told she picks the colors and the cake first. By the age of 10, she knows time and the location. By 17, she’s already chosen a gown and a maid of honor. By 23, she’s waiting for a man who doesn’t break out in hives when he hears the word “commitment,” someone who doesn’t smell like a Band-Aid drenched in lonely, someone who is more than a temporary solution to the empty side of the bed, someone who’ll hold her hand like it’s the only one that he’s ever seen.
To be honest, I don’t know what tux I’ll be wearing. I have no idea what my wedding will look like, but I imagine, I imagine the women who pins my last name to hers will butterfly down the aisle like a five-foot promise. I imagine that her smile will be so big that you’ll see it on Google Maps and know exactly where our wedding is being held. The woman that I plan to marry will have champagne in her walk, and I will get drunk on her footsteps. When the pastor asks me if I take this woman to be my wife, I will say yes before he even finishes the sentence. I’ll apologize later for being impolite, but I will also explain him that our first kiss happened 6 years ago, and I’ve been practicing my yes for the past 2,165 days.
When people ask me about my wedding, I never know what to say. But when they ask me about my future wife, I always tell them her eyes are the only Christmas lights that deserve to be seen all year long. I tell them that she thinks too much, she misses her father, she loves to laugh, and she’s terrible at lying, because her face never figured out how to do it correctly. I tell them if my alarm clock sounded like her voice, my snooze button would collect dust. I tell them that if she came in a bottle, I would drink her until my vision is blurry and my friends take away my keys. I tell them that if she was a book, I would memorize her table of contents. I would read her cover-to-cover, hoping to find typos just so we can both have a few things to work on, because aren’t we all unfinished? Don’t we all need editing? Aren’t we all waiting to be read by someone, praying they will tell us that we make sense? She don’t always make sense, but her imperfections are the things I love about her the most.
I don’t know when I will be married, I don’t know where I will be married, but I do know this: Whenever I’m asked about my future wife, I explain her as best as I can, and she always sounds a lot like you.
My lost love, they say the third time’s the charm or not. You are a most visited memory, the one that I walked away from with my head hung low and you, my heart, behind me. You are a collection of memories that haunt me on those lonely nights, the embodiment of the thoughts that consume my mind as I attempt to create new memories with another. You never left my mind, created permanent residence, claimed real estate on my heart, and ignored the eviction notice of our breakup.
And I know that not everyone can be with their one lost love; so I put my emotions attached to a safe, and I locked them away. To attach and toss away the key, I keep it in my back pocket in a store that’s safe beneath my bed. And every once in a while when no one can make me feel the way you did, I open Pandora’s box of lost love, and I momentarily fall in love all over again. But when the feelings get too deep, I close and lock the safe of memories, slide it back beneath my bed, and slip the key into my pocket for safekeeping.
I push my thoughts into your backs; my subconscious allow me to occasionally dream of you—lust. Because you found someone and you’re settling down and following your dreams with her, so I keep my distance. Your respect for your relationship, I don’t reach out to you as much as I would like; so you can tell your girl that I’m not a threat, just a piece of your past that’d never fly away like a feather in the wind.
I’m grounded with you whether we like it or not. We are eternally connected, because a connection like ours usually takes a lifetime to build and even longer to dissolve. This could be a once in a lifetime thing, and I usually don’t have the best odds; so I won’t risk losing you. I’ll hold you close, close enough that our connection still holds true.
And as hard as it is for me to allow these words to escape my heart and find their way to your ears, I think you found someone better suited to love you. So you can tell your girl that she won the prize: the rights to your ring finger and your heart. I just got the constellation prize of the connection. So I’ll be around but never in between the two of you, and I’m okay with that. I’ll walk tall with my paper mache heart away from the memories, away from you.
Dear lost love, thank you for the memories. Thank you for showing me that I can be naked without ever losing a piece of clothing, for allowing me to keep my promise to God but still make love to you, because my purity ring it never came off. You see me in ways that no one else has. Thank you for relating our conversations that would lead to whole new explorations of me and what that meant at the core. Thank you for allowing me to pour my heart, mind, and soul out to your watching process and set them slowly in a glass if you wanted to savor it and hold onto me just a little bit longer than most.
And thank you for letting me go when you did, for allowing me to get attached enough that I could still let go, for loving me unconditionally, for now being my voice of reason even during my last day of judgment, for showing me that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, because I see you doing big things, and I’m really proud of you. I admire your drive, your honesty, and your beautiful unchained mind. I’m thankful for you in so many ways for so many things. Most importantly, thank you for teaching me that there’s life after lost love.
Stephen R. Covey
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.
What was the worst nightmare you ever had?
My worst nightmares usually involve domestic abuse taunting me since it takes a toll on me personally, but my other nightmares usually turn into weird dreams. Take for instance my terrorist dream. I was sitting in a circle with other people in what appeared to be a rehabilitative meeting, which was being held in the loft of a building that looked like a hybrid of a Christ the King church and a New York train station. This warmly lit space seemed quite peaceful until my group members franticly rushed to the stained glass window, only to report back that there were Middle Eastern terrorists making their way toward us with their weapons in hand. My mind must have been feeling rather racist that night, because it envisioned these men covered in their stereotypical ensemble from head-to-toe—no racial! My group leaders then hurried us to hide in this secret attic that reminded me all too much of Anne Frank’s annex. When I awoke from the dream, I wasn’t sure whether I should have felt anxious or strange.