Georgia Cranko
...a beautifully volatile and disabled existence of raw humanity, art and activism...
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Poetry

[the heaviness of our shared language…]

I attempt to be clear, 

And concise in everything

I say. 

I don’t want more people -

to become equally dizzy as me.


So I attempt to be careful -

with others’ limbs and minds,

For I travel -

through too many mazes myself,

I think -

in too many circles, 

I don’t want to make more people’s bodies -

equally heavy, wounded or twisted with words.


You and I were already too tired -

Our bones were too heavy years before we met,

Yet, we have come to carry each others’ English dictionaries -

in our back pockets,

In our heads, 

With our favourite words and big sentences,  

We also carry our scars and our sprawling journeys -

inside our exhausted hearts,

into our own realities.

But with all that we carry,

we’re somehow still lighter for knowing each other.


We sat on my couch that day -

with cups of tea you made,  

Already misplacing  our breath, 

And I mistakenly inhaled -

the potential meaning too quickly.

I didn’t choke until much later though. 


Still, I was hesitant -

About the hue, 

About the temperature, 

Wondering whether it was too hot -

to digest,

to  touch or move.

 

I didn’t really want to drink,

I  did want to really hold something though -

you in particular, or something squishier.


Just you and me -

lost together 

Uncomfortable but secure -

and laughing. 


The space between us shrunk -

It became truly silent,

Not full of words -

for once.

No dead white men to quote,

No room between us for theories or fairy tales.



Your arms just felt safe - 

Against my skin,

I believed -

in that feeling,

As I cradled -

your weary head in my hands, 

you relaxed.

Hoping -

you would let it rest for a bit.



But you don’t rest -

ever. 

You notice almost everything,

Want to know how things work, 

Take them apart -

destroy them,

to understand their existence.

That would be our fate, or would it? 

I worry that this is the fate for yourself though.



But for now -

you just told me to not be scared,

And you just made salad,

I grated the carrot, cut the cucumber

and did the washing up,

(you were trying not to think 

about how we would fit together. Or maybe you were thinking how you could do these things more efficiently)

You were just flailing about with chunks of meat, 

Stuffing a bit into my face. 


It didn’t matter that my mouth was full, 

You regularly have shared conversations -

 without me there, 

without me needing to be. 

Or that’s what I let you think. 

Not like a mad man -

like a best friend. 


I  smile at your way of supervising me -

getting grumpy, but not saying anything,

You tease me about how I check the dishes -

 three times before putting them down to dry. 

We laugh at these things, 

This is some sort of poetry - 

this is some kind of life. 


My mother thought poetry could be my greatest teacher. 

It could -

teach me. 

How to use one word - 

to convey ten, 

To arrange my thoughts to conserve breath -

and meaning.


I never felt I had to arrange anything with you, 

 I knew you would understand,  

So I use too many words -

you find my specific intonation,  and my tedious use of English funny, 

You laugh,

I laugh.


You and I preference silence over words, 

We have driven for hours -

to nowhere in particular, 

Coexisting, accompanying, just listening. 


You read of the broken, misshapen, cruel, failed -

and artfully connect it to yourself,

connect it adamantly to who you are. 


Never to me. 

It is never me -

who is the one that needs fixing,

who breaks someone’s heart repeatedly, 

Or wants to move countries -

to chase a well-established fantasy,

to try to beat my vulnerability,

to try to beat it out of myself. 

Never am I too immature and brutal.


You feel it’s always you. 

You feel like you’re more reckless with your humanness, 

Or maybe that I’m less generous with my callousness. 


All I know is that we make each other better -

More light.

More present.

Less alone. 

More kind. 

Or maybe  I am just talking for me, 

I am definitely only talking for me, because otherwise you would be here. 


You once told me that I didn’t have to ever find my words for you, 

But if I wanted to, and was too tired, you’d always help me, 

That was really nice.


You’re not just nice. That’s an act you consciously perform, but you’re one of the kindest people that I have ever known, 

That I have loved. That I love.


Maybe I just wanted to explore the unfamiliar -

to chase a well-established fantasy,

to try to beat my vulnerability,

to try to beat it out of myself. 

Maybe I wanted to trust you weren’t so lost in your own mazes, and dedicated to the circles your mind likes to take you on. 

Georgia Cranko