“and Anna begins to fade away.”
~Counting Crows, “Anna Begins“
I think I’m going to stop writing about you.
It’s not like you ever read my work anyway.
Not like it ever truly mattered to you.
Or I ever mattered.
I always wanted you to read. You knew this. And you would hold out your not-reading as a carrot, dangling just out of reach, waiting to see if I would jump for your attention.
You always wanted me to ask you. I knew this. And I would hold out my not-asking as withheld attention, waiting to see if you would ask me first to ask you. Me, steadfast in my stubbornness in my unasking.
If I have to ask you to read my words, my emotions, my self poured on paper,
is it real?
If I have to ask you if you love me,
is it real?
If love is given only as a response to an appeal,
is it real?
Do my words cease to exist if you don’t read them?
Do my emotions cease to exist if you don’t feel them?
Do I cease to exist if you don’t reach for me?
Do my exclamations revelations confessions of love disappear
If they don’t reach your ears?
Did I ever truly forgive you?
Did I ever even try?
I said I did. But what if you never heard me?
Did my forgiveness cease to exist?
I said I did. But what if I was lying?
Only seeing if you believed me?
If I believed me?
If I could believe myself into forgiveness?
Do I have to forgive in order to love? Or do I have to love
for forgiveness to even be possible? *
Was my love ever real?
It’s been so long I’m beginning to believe I made you up.
That I painted my watercolor love with invisible ink across your charcoal heart.
If I can make you up, can’t I make you disappear?
I can erase the charcoal.
I can dilute the watercolor until it runs clear.
I’m so tired of agonizing over words.
Words you won’t even read.
Tired of revising revamping rephrasing.
When you don’t even care.
When there are others who do.
If you wrote, don’t you know I would pour over your words?
Stalk your sentences?
Hunt for hidden messages?
Some sort of sign of love of hate of lust of insanity
of any emotion at all.
Don’t you know I would want to know what was going on in your head?
What kept you awake at night?
What you held so close and tight to your chest that the only way you could release it was to hide it in poetry and layers and lyrics?
You always needed things. Needed tokens. Needed claiming, like someone’s coat.
And, funny, all I wanted was you.
And you kept asking me how to a question I had answered a thousand times before.
Until I caught on.
You just wanted me to ask.
So you could deny me.
So you could pretend you weren’t listening.
So you could win this game that only you knew the rules to.
I’m done playing.
I should go back and rearrange this.
Make it poetic.
Make it make sense.
But I won’t.
Because this is me.
And I’m not poetic. Not really.
And I don’t make sense. Not really.
Not when it comes to you.
Not when it comes to love.
I don’t know how to write love letters.
Not in permanent ink.
Besides, why should I care?
These are words you’ll never read.
These are words that will cease to exist.
These are penciled love poems that time will erase.
These pieces of me are already fading away.
I wrote our story in invisible ink.
There’s nothing left to read.
No words to erase.
We were never here.
* These two lines are from “Poplar Street” by Chen Chen.
“I Don’t Remember Loving You” by John Conlee
Christy Anna Beguins
I’m beyond thrilled to feature a piece written by my blogger bestie. I’ll finish my fan-girl gushing at the end because I want you to hear more from her first.
An excerpt from her “about page” at Anna Beguins.
This is my place to write and experiment with poetry, photography, fiction, and other stuff that I have no business writing or experimenting with. But that has never stopped me before.
“I am not worried, I am not overly concerned.”
Some of this will be truth, some will be fiction. Most will likely be a mixture of both.
“Wrap her up in a package of lies, send her off to a coconut island…
I’m sure there’s something in a shade of gray or something in between”
Some of you know me as Christy, some of you are meeting me as Anna Beguins. I guess that makes me Christy Anna Beguins. My pen name, like my writing, is part truth, part fiction.
“I can always change my name if that’s what you mean”
And, yes, I love early Counting Crows. “Anna Begins” is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. The lyrics. Sigh. The lyrics. If you get it, you understand, even if you don’t get it, you still understand.
“Every word is nonsense but I understand”
I’m Anna, this is my beginning, and these are the things I try to tell myself to make myself forget–and sometimes to make myself remember–before I fade away and disappear.
“Oh lord I’m not ready for this sort of thing”
You’d think the adjectives and flowery verbs would flow from the keyboard, but Christy has struck me speechless. I am beyond grateful and humbled that she agreed to share this personal and poignant “not really a love letter” with us. Think of the people you have loved, who have influenced you–inspired you. What do you say to those people? How can “thank you” ever be enough?
Christy and I “met” in 2013 not long after I started writing. From the beginning, we clicked and bonded over dogs, Daryl Dixon, and frosting right out of the can. It’s no surprise that this talented writer has been published multiple times in addition to being Freshly Pressed. She writes and curates for multiple sites, and is heading up a new team-writing project at The Lovely Fire.
She has given me wings, and second chances. In addition to my husband, she’s believed in me the many times I didn’t. Christy has gently pushed me to write beyond my safe spaces, and has remained the voice of reason when I get distracted by the next shiny object. She was the FRIST person I wrote a guest post for, and now she and Cayman are coaxing me into the land of fiction and poetry. Christy is genuine and kind, and my life is better because she is in it.
Thank you again, dear friend, for sharing your words with us. I can’t wait to have you back–I’ll bake a cake. xo
Lil Mama’s Love Letters: “Stop Drop and Love Letter was inspired by a combination of our affinity for love letters and the beauty of discovering something wonderful and unexpected in the world.
I’m hopeless romantic without a poet’s quill. Start with Nicole’s inspiration, and let your love show. Do you have a love letter penned in your heart? To a child? A parent? Your adoring spouse? The one who got away? Whether it’s to someone in your life now, or someone who used to be – write to them and seal it with a kiss in this space. They never have to know…unless you want them to.
Programming note: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m accepting submissions for Love Letters through January for February publication. Please send via the Submit page. I will be away from my blog and inbox January 1-10, but will review submissions and respond after January 11.
Be creative! Share your love–let us see your heart. I double-dog dare you.
ETA: just testing