Return to sender

by BlueJay   Nov 13, 2017


Return to Sender:

I'd love to pull a pen from my drawer
and use these veins as paper for you.

I read your letter, but I

just can't bring myself

to hold on to it longer than
you needed me to. Darling,

I'm sending this back to you
without a reply, but here it is

anyway, cause I've gotta get it
off my chest and out of my heart.

This time around I am not going to

respond with all the love in my heart,

but I suppose after all this time
you do deserve a free fall drop
as if you were one of these tears
welling in my shattered crystal eyes.

Did you know I write to you
in every piece I've ever etched?
That there's something about the way
sun shines and streets flood that both
bring me back to your house all over again?
That I was more at home in your bed
filled with books and anger than
at home with my own joyful family?
That you are a tree in my garden
with a trunk etched in initials and stories
surrounded by roses soiled in memories
watered in your unspoken names?

A response such as:

I

I need you to know that
I fashioned your latest letter
into a lullaby I'll sing myself
only when there's no one else
to hear for miles. (love like ours
is meant to kill not sting).

II.

You carry enough weight
in the ink you bleed for
the both of us, only you
forgot how to pen my name
the way I forgot your address
when you moved closer.

III.

Sometimes I want to write back
so I can let you see the pain
you've caused, but to give you
a type of healing I was never offered.
To paint your face from memory
and replay your voice from starsong
are two of my greatest dreams...

and fears.

IV.

Please, return to sender.
Without a response letter

12


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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by Meluat Meluat

    Wow. I'm speechless but enjoy every line of your poem. Thank you for sharing and congrats

  • 1 month ago

    by Emily Wacker

    Beautiful and congrats!!
    -Emily

  • 1 month ago

    by Dagmar Wilson

    Congrats on your win

  • 1 month ago

    by hiraeth

    “Return to Sender:

    I'd love to pull a pen from my drawer
    and use these veins as paper for you.”

    I’ve always associated writing on one’s arms with you, for some reason, so this is extremely suiting. I’ve always found veins/wrists, extremely personal (ahh my hemophobia is slightly kicking in lool), and I’ve always wanted a tattoo there, but I don’t think I could go through with it. Sorry, already rambling lol. You start the poem off with so much intimacy, and it only grows as the poem progresses. I know I already prodded you into writing this, but can I also push you to paint something for this? :D I also don’t know why but reading this, I felt like I was atop a cliff looking down; feeling a rush of adrenaline & introspection.

    “I read your letter, but I

    just can't bring myself

    to hold on to it longer than
    you needed me to. Darling,

    I'm sending this back to you
    without a reply, but here it is

    anyway, cause I've gotta get it
    off my chest and out of my heart.”

    You’re increasing the amount of intimacy in this poem tenfold; that’s what I love the most about your poetry – how genuine it is, each poem is full of life and this is testament to it.

    “This time around I am not going to

    respond with all the love in my heart,

    but I suppose after all this time
    you do deserve a free fall drop
    as if you were one of these tears
    welling in my shattered crystal eyes.”

    …seriously do you see why I want you to paint something for this as well? This part is dripping with imagery, with genuine feelings. Remember how I said in the beginning, I thought of a cliff; the imagery here perfectly fits (maybe I thought of a cliff subconsciously after rereading this for the umpteenth time, but that’s besides the point). My hearts in free-fall reading this, I so, so, so love the amount of intimacy here, seriously.

    “Did you know I write to you
    in every piece I've ever etched?
    That there's something about the way
    sun shines and streets flood that both
    bring me back to your house all over again?
    That I was more at home in your bed
    filled with books and anger than
    at home with my own joyful family?
    That you are a tree in my garden
    with a trunk etched in initials and stories
    surrounded by roses soiled in memories
    watered in your unspoken names?”

    I love the imagery here <3

    ‘That there's something about the way/sun shines and streets flood that both’

    ^ this part gave me the visual of the soft haze of sunrise through a bedroom, something like this (https://goo.gl/uh4o5M) and the streets flood made me think of a quaint little street being washed out. I know there’s a probably a specific memory that you were thinking of while you were writing this. I just wanted to say I somehow relate to it, the intimacy of those warm feelings.
    ‘That you are a tree in my garden
    with a trunk etched in initials and stories
    surrounded by roses soiled in memories
    watered in your unspoken names?”’



    this part left me in awe, and I had to reread it each time, reading aloud quietly, reciting it. I’d argue this is the zenith of the poem, but it’s not, every stanza after this point fights to be the zenith. I love the metaphor of the tree in the garden, I love the imagery about it, I love the diction, and I just love it <3 it made me think of a bonsai tree, something so fragile being tended to with great care, thriving for years, as long as it’s being tended to.

    “A response such as:

    I

    I need you to know that
    I fashioned your latest letter
    into a lullaby I'll sing myself
    only when there's no one else
    to hear for miles. (love like ours
    is meant to kill not sting).”

    In ‘bouts of sonder, I’ve always wondered if there’s a certain song/melody that people hum, and how often that changes. You admitting to it the person’s last letter is just an intimate fact that makes me as a reader feel equal parts uncomfortable (feels like im spying on you with how honest the speaker/you are being in this poem) and privileged (that you trust the reader enough to let them know). Also I cannot help but hang on ‘love like ours/is meant to kill not sting’; do you mean that your love was never meant to be temporary (the sting) and something that was meant to be till death, or rather that you were expecting yourself to become undone at the seams from the sheer amount of intensity that you love the other person, unsustainable in every sense?

    “II.

    You carry enough weight
    in the ink you bleed for
    the both of us, only you
    forgot how to pen my name
    the way I forgot your address
    when you moved closer.”

    …just when I thought the poem couldn’t get any more intimate. I’d argue bleeding ink is the most intimate thing you can do as a writer, which is why the next couple of verses just linger in pain.

    “III.

    Sometimes I want to write back
    so I can let you see the pain
    you've caused, but to give you
    a type of healing I was never offered.
    To paint your face from memory
    and replay your voice from starsong
    are two of my greatest dreams...

    and fears.”

    This just might be the stanza that resonated the most with me; i know too well about not getting the healing that you need. It really says a lot about you as a person, that you’re offering that healing out of kindness, to spare them from feeling what you’ve felt in the past, the creeping pain that slowly grows into a chronic condition, cradling you from dusk till dawn, palpating you. That verse really struck a chord with me. Apparently, one of the first things to from memory is someone’s voice? There’s something bittersweet about those random twinges of nostalgia; feelings rushing back and you’re left feeling a bit more hurt, vulnerable each time. Going off on a bit of a tangent, but I really appreciate the intimacy.

    “IV.

    Please, return to sender.
    Without a response letter”

    <3

    You already know how much I love this poem; the honesty, the intimacy, the imagery, just everything about it. you deserved this win

  • 1 month ago

    by Michael

    all praise to you Bluejay on a lovely winning piece :)

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