things i couldn’t tell you: pieces from an incomplete love story
By Lamia Rahman
A series of poems offer a small window into a passionate and debilitating relationship, of which our narrator discloses the intricacies and afflictions of the love she endured.
ⅰ. when i loved you i do and say all of the wrong things i am a klutz, an idiot i am fumbly with my words but so were you the only difference is i like the things you say — oh, how i fantasize about our meeting when we do. where we do. i hope it’s somewhere nice and i was only a bit older, and you were younger and there wasn’t miles and years and things out of our control separating us i can only tell my love through these hidden words and i know you despise poems but would you give mine a chance? it doesn’t matter, these words are too sacred and real to say and my mouth might get me in trouble so i’ll keep it here, unread but what’s the point when it’s as clear as day one day i’ll be able to know the warmth of your skin the curves of your smile the blue in your eyes and taste of your mouth it’s wildly inappropriate but you’re mine in my head and that’s all i choose to handle right now these words are brave enough. one day i’ll be there and you’ll be here and we will be everywhere, but not together maybe my words will resurface by then, i’ll be drunk enough on my loopiness to do so ⅱ. when you were mine can it be 3am forever? right here and now can we stay frozen in time, just you and i when the world is half asleep and our eyes, half closed our lips, swollen and puckered our bodies, flushed can we stay like this forever? with our fingers intertwined and our souls locked in where i can feel the beating of your nervous heart and i can only answer with the trepid rhythm of my own where our breaths contain unspoken truths that we love each other here and now can it be 3am for all of our lives together?
ⅲ. when we broke apart i saw a person today i wanted to collapse, as if gravity was rebelling against me but i stood there, sat there, did whatever i could to stay still as i saw your cheshire smile delightful and goofy, as if laughter lived within your muscles. when they left, i was scared i’ll never see you again but i see you everywhere now and my brain is no longer doing me any favors ⅳ. when i was yours you have left me gasping for air when i drowned with your silence and you teased me like i was a foolish cat red light bouncing everywhere, like your words at every nerve in my brain and then i’d hear them ringing in my ears, see them tattooed underneath my eyelids and soon, bleeding through my wounds and then i feel your breath and my eyes flutter and my hair stands and then i remember the red light, and i wondered where it was until i realize you shone it right at me, scoring a hole right through me — instead of ripping into my chest and taking my heart out, leaving it defenseless and me lifeless you kept your hand in, and squeezed until it burst your hand bloody and me left with the damage there is no longer a heart to be seen you made sure of it — i once thought bitterness was the absence of taste to never experience the sweetness of honey and saltiness of cheese an absolute tragedy but really, it’s just an unwelcome and nasty sharpness that erases the beauty of mint and vanilla on your tongue i once believed bitterness was the absence of goodwill and kindness but it is not just that. it’s the spite and rage that lived in your bone and blood humanity never lived there, you’ve never known of it i apologize for being so crass but i’m afraid i don't know how else to talk to you i think i was meant to meet you so i wouldn’t ever dare be curious of what i’m without
ⅴ. when i began to heal i will tell you a story of when i found myself the most beautiful i was at my lowest, having been strung out of tears my voice strained and gone, my body weak and fatigued my hair drenched with tears or sweat or drool my clothes rumpled when i finally composed myself, i looked at the mirror and the person i see felt almost uninvited but not unwelcome she was a maniacal joke she didn’t look vulnerable or fragile even with her soft lips and although she had frazzled hair and bruised cheeks with her glossed over reddened eyes she was resilient this isn’t a travesty and i refuse to lie to you. with sincerity, it felt like the universe gave me a present “here, you went through the worst of it you survived. see how luminous you are, having fought all of that you got this.” i wish i could see this particular beauty less, but my comfort lies in the most arbitrary entities
Funnily enough, I have never been in a relationship. I strictly had unrequited love, which may explain the intensity. Along with my acute crushing, my inspiration is derived from my turbulent relationship with myself. I am currently on a journey of self love, and my last poem is definitely a representation of that. I tend to write at the dead of night because that’s when my imagination lights up like a Christmas tree. And most of my writing would be in my Notes app, like you can see here. When considering what I should create for my submission, I immediately thought about my poetry. I always wrote freely and mindlessly and knowing this, I created a piece that I am very proud of because of how authentic it is. With that said, I hope you enjoy.
Lamia Rahman is an American writer and poet based in New York City. After high school, she plans to study English so she can write confidently for the masses. In her free time, she reads 800-page books and watches films that make her angry or elated. She then proceeds to talk about them endlessly to her family, friends and Twitter.
A War Between The Mind & Heartby Shamu Ward