Generic Love Song in the Key of Existence

by Maggie Odom

the first time i met them
was on some street corner
next to a crosswalk sign counting down from infinity.
there are things that i will never reach,
     that i will never have the poems to understand.

when i die, i want to be burned up
in flames, scattered around this earth,
fall like rain
everywhere that i ran out of time to go while i was
but the priest
says, if i do that
God won’t be able to find all my broken pieces
when he comes to get me.
i said, isn’t that
     the whole point of God?
that he’s supposed to collect all the shattered glass
of your soul,
super glue it into a vase that catches
the sunlight streaming
in through the cracks in your dirty windows?

i used to think i wanted to fall in love
with someone who would put me back together
but now i don’t think i want to fall
at all,
because once you go down
it’s a long way back
with your skinned up knees and heavy
heavy heart,
a tin can on the bottom of the ocean.
     if i waste my whole life looking for another half
will i never be whole? 

i’ve spent so long
crying for my six year old self
because i’m not who i thought i would be.
i am nothing but God
trying to clutch the ashes of myself
in these tiny
tiny hands.
i thought i would always have the wingspan
and the words to carry this
weight of existence
but instead i am already burning.
     (how could you not fall in love with that?)

my God i am
drowning in
but even in the shallow end
there is
not enough infinity left. 

i wanted nothing
more than to tell them i loved them
that night we drove circles on a one way street
but instead all i could say was
we are too small for this world.

how will i ever begin to apologize to myself for all of the things i will never become?



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Maggie Odom

Maggie Odom is a 16-year-old poet and playwright from Hawaii. Her work has appeared in the Oahu Fringe Festival and the Women’s Voices Festival. She has won many awards and believes in the power of conversation and communication to make the world a better place.