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The Games of the Mind
(a collection of poems from the mind and heart)
By: Tiffany Musgrove
You're standing on the front porch with your arms wrapped around yourself and you stare up at a spider weaving a web of every memory that ever left a handprint on the walls of your home. It all comes rushing back
Do you remember the night after the fair when we sat quietly on the porch swing? "I believe when you tell me you love me," I whispered for the first time. I will never forget the way you grabbed my face and kissed me because that was the first and last time I believed that it was possible for another human being to hold my demons safely.
Do you remember the time we sat on the bench in front of your house and we both stared blankly off the porch in hopes that my nervous shaky hands wouldn't upset your demons any longer and my tears wouldn't spill into your lap along with every other unsure promise you ever made me? Or have you tried to forget that as easily as you forgot how badly it bothered me when you wouldn't look into my eyes
What about the time I first realized you were using me? It was summer then, and you begged me to tell you why I wouldn't leave that Goddamn swing. I did math problems in my head as you begged me to come back inside; back inside to that bed full of anxiety and I swear our smell was embedded in every Goddamn fiber of your sheets.
Do you remember the time I had given my innocence to you? Because I do; I remember how horribly planned and spontaneous it was, but after you had touched my face so soft and told me you loved me. You told me every time after that, too, and I think that's where we confused lust and love. But remember the couch in your living room, where we had laid ever so closely after our innocence had been taken. I had never felt so close to you, and I would do anything to have that safety back.
Close your eyes and picture us back on the couch in your living room. Feel every gentle touch and every "I love you" handled between blankets that we used to keep each other warm when our bodies were cold and our hearts were even colder. Try to imagine the warmth we brought to each other between safety nets of our twisted legs and kisses that seemed to travel miles on our skin.
I try to forget the time I was an hour away for a whole week. It was our first time spending any time apart, and I had begged you to come to my rescue. You did, and I was thrilled to see you again, but we spent the majority of the time touching each other rather than talking and I guess I wish it had been reversed, because I hadn't heard your voice in days and my heart envied the attention you gave the rest of my body with your hands rather than your voice. I guess I just wished for more, and maybe you couldn't offer much more in that living room. I can't lay on that couch without imagining your weight upon me and I realize that maybe I should have given that couch more credit for keeping all our secrets locked inside it.
I can't help but remember the time you danced with my demons in my kitchen while telling me this is how things were supposed to be. A ghost in the form of steam raised from our cups as we spoke of our memories and watched each other laugh the same way we watched our goosebumps raise every time you said my name
My favorite memory of us was the first time you taught me how to Waltz in the middle of your kitchen. I was never really good, but you never stopped teaching me and your family became an audience of smiles and appreciation that was reflected within your own eyes.
but your eyes soon became puddles of tears when we grew further apart and our waltz became more of a sway between closeness and distance and the cold time floor in your kitchen was no longer covered in our footprints
Do you remember the time we had to go to a wedding, and I called you just an hour before because my hair wouldn't cooperate? You drove here as fast as you could in a fit of confusion and I still find it remarkable that you could fix all my problems, (including my hair of course), with just a smile and your creative hands. That bathroom had seen my insecurities, but you fixed them in just a few minutes. I wish it hadn't rained that day, because I felt beautiful for once, thanks to you.
your hands carefully crafted a smile on my face countless times. I can still see us laughing with our heads thrown back as we washed paint off of our legs which stained our hands more than the memory of your smile when I touched you ever would be engrained in my mind
The bathroom rug knew me well because my tears stained it's cotton the day you told me you never loved me. Was it only days before that you had followed me into the shower? I wish you hadn't; I scrubbed the smell of rubber from my skin but soon enough we were back to touch. How foolish of us to think that there was nothing more to us than the feel of another's skin because that bathroom rug knew far better than you ever will, just how much I loved you.
you undressed my body the same way you undressed my demons and stripped my heart of any walls I had ever put up to lock you out. I wonder if you still remember the way the hot water felt running down our skin or rather the way your lips felt like acid kissing my body one last time. I don't think you saw my tears through the water but my shaking body firmly pressed against yours was enough. Silent whispers of "this is all we'll ever be" came from the shower walls and I knew it was true