Three Poems – Brooke Potter

Brooke PotterBrooke Potter is an emerging poet, yogi, dancer, ukulele player, and student at UAlbany in the Social Welfare program. She also works full-time as a mental health counselor.

 

The Blacksmith

You’re always forging me,
to see how far I’ll bend.
Hammering me down,
to see how low I can go.
Your heat dances close to me,
but I can’t let everyone down.

Though you terrify me,
I would probably still let you cradle me
in your cast iron vice grip
and sing me to sleep,
like Louis
like Ella
crooning,
when I can’t breathe.
You could reel me back in
with the promise of
creating something beautiful
and maybe not feeling so
empty and alone
all the time,
but I can’t let everyone down.

Your atmosphere sucks at me
and I’m dragging my feet through your sludge,
plodding forward with my eyes cast down.
You know when my mind wanders
or when I’m filling my voids,
so you can sneak in through the cracks
and take your place in my subconscious,
but I can’t let everyone down.

I try to remind myself
why your comfort isn’t worth it;
like peaking out of my blinds
or chatting with insulation
(pushing me towards one last line)
or fearing the world outside altogether.
I’m scared because I know
that you’re the only thing
that has ever felt like home to me,
but I can’t let everyone down.
I can’t let everyone down.

 

Homesick…

… for somewhere I’ve never been.
None of the places
I’ve used to store my shit
and myself
have ever made me feel anything
besides temporary warmth.
None of them have felt like
the relief that spring air brings
to my tired lungs
after a long, cold Upstate winter
when bitter turns sweet
and change is unexpectedly welcomed.

All these structures,
these secret keepers,
have never made me feel
like a dog in a field
or a child with a new toy
or the heavy sigh you let out
after another long day
of getting pushed around by the universe.

But before I die, I swear I’ll find it –
a place where time is elusive
and I don’t follow the clock
A place where the firing of synapses
aren’t littered with cyclical logic
caring too much, or not at all
and every day is warm
like fresh laundry
and the sun shares its good graces
on the back of my neck
and this place will finally
earn the title “home”.

 

27

I hate the fact that
you ruined so many things for me.
Every album you played
while I drove you home
(which made me late for work)
while you showered
(to avoid apologizing)
while I was slowly waking up
(much earlier than preferred)
make up the soundtrack
to every awful thing you made me do.

I hate that when the air outside
feels like fall disguised as spring,
it smells like you laying beside me
bottoming out after a night of Jameson
and me still awake from the previous morning,
dialing the numbers to emergency responders.

I hate that black coffee and marb reds
taste like your mouth
and take me right back
to that bathroom where I hid,
waiting for you to fall asleep,
because you wouldn’t let me
sleep in my own goddamn bed.

I hate that
I probably still love you
after all you put me through.