unlearning myself

by 02:10 0 comments

I’m unlearning how to close open doors,
and open closed ones. 

Every day, I water the same flowers, 
dig the same graves, 
tiptoe on the same footsteps,
afraid, 
that the second, 
I remember how not to, 
I’ll un-remember why I need to.

I’m unlearning, 
how to braid my hair, 
every single morning, 
weeds growing along my flowers, 
uprooting them from everything they’ve ever been. 
I’m afraid that I’ll water the weeds the next morning, 
and forget the flowers that brought me to them. 

I’m unlearning the songs you sang to me, 
I want to remember those songs, 
without remembering you, 
in the lyrics, the beat, the lack of it, 
the rhythm and my lack of it, 
I want to remember the words, 
without you spelling them out to me. 
I’m unlearning the days you whispered your favourite lyrics, 
to wake me up, 
on afternoons I didn’t want to, 
on afternoons I forgot how to. 

I’m unlearning how to wake up, 
knowing that your words will. 
I want to forget how to wake up, 
only for the sound of your silence, 
on days it rains a little too hard, 
and you’re outside, 
breathing down my neck. 




I want to unlearn how to dance, 
I never knew how to, 
except when you were around, 
and my toes beat to the rhythm 
of the song that I thought you were.

I’m unlearning how to close open doors, 
a little lighter than you used to, 
loosening my hold on the handle, 
lifting the stopper a little, 
fading it into silence, 
but without locking it, 
twice.

I’m unlearning how not to feel safe with open doors 
and uncovered windows. 

I’m unlearning how not to open closed doors, 
how not to unjam the fourteen locks, 
or send letters from within the gaps, 
how not to breathe down the spaces in between the locks, 
how not to forget why I put those locks in the first place.

I’m unlearning how not to forget you, 
in between the words I keep whispering to you, 
knowing that you aren’t here, 
that you wouldn’t come back, 
knowing that after all these locks and years, 
you still aren’t home.

I’m learning how to close open doors, 
and open closed ones, 
without calling you home. 


unlearning myself.



//emmess
17/07