Unfinished Ode
By Kelly Grace Thomas

I meant to write you a poem.
To dedicate lines and rhythms,  
secrets and whispers
to every memory,
that makes me compare perfection
to all the other days.
To know that cracks in fences
reveal more
than just a glimpse.
And that when you drew the sun,
I thought we were really
the center of the universe.

I hold these moments in my cabinets,
under beds and pressed between the pages of books.
Waiting for them to waltz again
with the innocence they once honored.
Or perhaps they will slowly fade,
like a photo taken out of focus,
forgotten before finished.

There are things that I should say aloud
again,
but don’t.
Things
just to make sure you remember.
Things
just to make sure that’s how I still feel.
I promised you this poem years ago,
on a night colder than I could handle.
Not knowing what it would be worth.
Not knowing that this is how it would turn out.
This story that has written itself a million times
on patios and road trips
on ski lifts and late nights,
now stands still.
Regret and procrastination are
banners of betrayal,
because with each passing day,
the heavy words gain more weight,
unearthing only heavier hearts and holes.
The light reveals the layers of complication,
showing breaks in the scenario you've imagined.
Tied up in timing.

 It is simple really.
One day, together,
we will complete this unfinished ode.
One day we will both win the game
and see what’s in the box.

Until then my Heart is a rowboat,
on your restless waters.
I wear it on my sleeve,
where straving dogs can smell its blood.
I hang it around my neck
like a dog tag in this battle.
I put in my pocket,
hoping it isn’t spent
by the time you get here.
I keep in on my tounge
and taste the sting
of the what you said at three am.
Telling me wait,
filling the dense seconds of that room
with your doubt.
I trap it in my mind,
where it somersaults.

Thinking of you.
And these words.
And those nights.
And that poem.
Which I swear,
I will write tomorrow.
All you have to do is ask.