seven year itch—courtney marie

i want to talk about how we shed layers of skin 
for years until we are no longer ourselves

i am interested in this rebirth

i am afraid of the space i take up
whether invisible or on display
               a mockery or ghost
sometimes too much

often not enough

i picture a snail 
slow moving and simple:
               are they also always thinking of things 
               that are safe versus things that are not safe?

i started a list of things i want people to know
without ever having to tell them:
               the new common language

               & i will read it to you if i ever have the courage to spare

the truth is i am on a side quest 
to learn every definition of loss
so i can remind you we’re not yet gone

               that there are things in this world older than fear
               & that to be soft is (sometimes) to be unbreakable

my secret is to pretend for a moment
               that i am in love with everyone i meet

                                                                           i am in love with you

& wonder in which ways 
we will ask each other to change

courtney marie is a writer & artist based in denton, texas. they are the author of don’t get your hopes up (2018, Thoughtcrime Press) and have a forthcoming full-length poetry collection to-be-released in 2021 with Goliad Media. cm enjoys making weird & sentimental art with/for their community, exploring the world, and playing pinball. they live with two three cats, cry all the time, and are forever writing letters & sending snail mail in a desperate attempt to connect with the outside world. cm is the co-founder & director of the artist collective spiderweb salon.

photo by Olga Drach (via unsplash)