moth [poem] 

we two are the epitome of a moth to a flame
but I can’t quite tell which of us is on fire
and which is drawn to a burning end
I used to blame myself
assumed the weakness was mine
that I had tattered wings hidden on my back and
the inability to turn away from your unholy light
but I did turn away
only to find you wandering
returning to my sight
with an unexpected flutter of hurt
at my extended absence
tell me how to warn you away
all I’m good at is shining brightly
a furnace of life refusing to die out
not even to save a moth like you

-poem by Larissa Lee

the kind of woman I  married [poem] 

I married the kind of woman
who knows how to put me in my place
that is to say
when I forget myself and
start to act the part of peasant at someone else’s feet
she readjusts my crown and
reminds me that I’m a queen
and yet
if my reign should ever turn sour
leave me a disastrous dictator or
with the false belief that I am anyone’s god
I know she’ll quickly bring me back down to earth
down to my knees if need be
always love the kind of woman
who sees past the masks you wear
the kind of woman who can help you
take them off at night
so you can breathe

-poem by Larissa Lee

on being a lesson [poem]

I’d like to think
I taught you how to love her right
my laughter taught you how to make her smile
my tears showed you how to say you’re sorry
and mean it
I’d like to think
I was the best lesson in loving someone else
that you will ever have
maybe I’m such a good teacher
she’ll never need to know
the lengths we went through
to build you into a better person
just for her
it’s not like I’d ever really considered
keeping you for myself

-poem by Larissa Lee

don’t let me go [poem]

they say
if you love someone
you have to let them go
I think I could stand to be a little less loved
my hugs could be just a little bit harder to leave
I wish someone would hold onto me
with tightly clasped fingers
and refuse to follow the rules
because I’m tired of being let go
loved with open doors and quick goodbyes
as if my heart is just that easy to lose track of

-poem by Larissa Lee

I need you [poem]

I need you
the way every wounded heart needs a medic
your touch
the only balm that heals me
you are healing me
when I climb down into the darkest caverns of myself
you are the rope that leads back to the light
you are the light
the reminder to laugh at
grey skies and muddy boots and life
you are life
at least to me
because I need you
because I will always need you

-poem by Larissa Lee

paper heart [poem]

you can try to get rid of me
rub an eraser across the scribbled mark I’ve made
on your scrap paper heart
but you’ll never remove the proof
that I was there

that you loved me

even without the looping letters of my name visible
there’s still a mark
an indentation in the page
you will never be the person you were before we met
your notebook will never be pristine again
because you let me in
a writer with a pencil and love
and a story you can never forget
but if you do
just check the notes I marked in your memories
I’m sure you’ll find they’re written in
impossibly permanent ink

-poem by Larissa Lee

time travelers [poem]

in examining my failed string of relationships
I’ve come to the conclusion that time
has never been on my side
or rather
those at my side have
never had the same time in mind
I’ve been loved by men who cling to
the memory of someone I was years ago
as if that version of me isn’t already long gone
those men love in limbo
trapped in the paradox of
having me but not really having me
confused when I’m more stranger than lover
they are drawn to the ghost of a girl I’ll never be again
I’ve been loved by men who always
watched the horizon
their thoughts seven moves ahead
while they worry about being remembered
and finding fame
loving me becomes a crutch
something to hold them back
by virtue of my unwillingness to shoot
for the same distant stars
you see
I’ve never been one for time travel
never felt the need to live and love in anything but
the present tense
and so I’ve become this odd convergence
a fixed point in time that lovers pass through
on their journeys forward and back
none of them ever staying here
with me
this is what it’s like to love a time traveler
to be left over and over and over
until the reasons they give you all sound the same
the faces blur together
a dozen men or a man with a dozen faces
either way it starts to feel like time’s just repeating
in an infinite loop of almosts and near misses

-poem by Larissa Lee