I thought it might be easy for me
to stop loving a lunatic,
and so I had to learn to write again,
with a piece of paper and a pen,
just to get my thoughts out,
as if seeing them in ink
might actually help me undo them,
but so far, it still hasn’t.
I know, an archaic practice,
where I remember how the institution
forced me to write each letter
of the alphabet in a constant trace,
over and over, all twenty-six of them,
until by fifth grade, I had completely
mastered the shapes
and could reproduce them
in perfected artistic mimicry.
But even then, with my handwriting
near perfect, my teacher still found
something to complain about,
and told my Mother, if I didn’t
learn to hold my pen correctly,
my hand would fatigue, when later
in life, I’d be writing things such as
letters, essays, dissertations,
and novels, but hell, never poetry.
And so I tried to please the woman,
took the pen and tried to hold it
like they showed in the diagrams,
but every time I did, my hand could
never quite grip it right; the pen,
slipping time and time again, until
all the letters started to lose their shape
and my penmanship, it faltered.
And so I did what any fifth grader
would do; I rebelled,
and told my teacher,
I had to hold my pen this way,
as though it were the last thing
I’d ever hold in my life; like the rope
one clings to in a death grip
in hopes they don’t fall, but eventually
I know, we all do.
At the time, out of my short-lived life,
I think this was my first rebellious act
against the institution,
and probably too,
why I still love a lunatic
even when I don’t want to,
or maybe I do.
Hell, nowadays everything is typed anyway,
and so as they say,
penmanship is dead.
Dedicated, with love, to Mrs. Sharp