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

prism [poem]

I love people for the littlest things
the kind smile of an old man
hobbling by with his cane
the innocent questions of a little kid
who’s never seen bright green hair before
the snarky mouth of another cashier
as she makes me laugh
love is beautifully diverse
a range of gentle pastel interest
to deep jewel toned passion
I live for the rainbow effect
of loving a little bit of everything each day
call my heart a prism
in the light of each new day
I will always love in an explosion of color

-poem by Larissa Lee

loved in pieces [poem]

there was the boy who loved my body
but only tasted me with his teeth
the boy who loved these writer’s hands
but never wanted to be a character in my stories
the boy who loved the home inside this heart
big enough for him to crawl into
there was the girl who loved my shadows
but cast no light to see them
the girl who loved my constant loyalty
but wanted nothing of being loved so thoroughly
people have always loved me in pieces
crumbling away so much of me
to find only the parts they liked the taste of
I might spend my entire life
looking for a collector
someone who wants to love the complete set
the entirety of me

-poem by Larissa Lee

I call you love [poem]

I call you love
but you are far more complicated than a lover
you are friend
secret keeper
audience to my stories
when I feel the need to tell them
you are sunlight and rain to my chlorophyll heart
I drink you in
to root myself in living
in loving
you are puppy
fluffy ball of cuteness
in a world that sometimes overwhelms me
with its gritty reality
you are tattoo
a permanent reminder of who I was
who I am
and who I want to be
you are coffee with the right amount of cream
a touch of sugar
caffeine waking up my weary heart one more time
with a bittersweet kiss on my tongue
you are more than magic
and mayhem
and heartfelt prayer
you are warm sheets and a light on when I get home
you are the last cookie on after long day
you are love

-poem by Larissa Lee