Your rejection is one of the most beautiful
double edge sword gifts you’ve ever given me.
The cut contact, cut ties, cut pictures,
is the sharpest cut I’ve ever seen on a gift bow.
Your indifference wrapping paper is the perfect compliment
to the glassy ice cold sellotape,
carelessly and economically placed on the sides.
The emptiness within the box is packed so neatly,
How did you manage to get it all in?
And the reverberating silence that bounces back
when the dialling tone comes to a
after unravelling the layers of decoration
and the death cold room temperature
that reminds me of my own source of heat and energy
How did you manage to get all of that into the emptiness?
The jagged velvet skirting of the blank card,
and air bubbles trapped beneath the wrapping,
bulging with the pressure,
I can see you’ve already squished them down
I imagine a thousand different messages you could have written on that card
I imagine the invisible ink bleeding into its thickness
but you were right to leave it blank,
all the right words could never have fitted onto this little card
Your gift is not desirable, it’s necessary
And those are the best kind of gifts to receive.
I didn’t want this nakedness
that has forced me to feel so lonely
that I had to remember what it was like to build myself up,
to remember what it was like to be alone before you came
but there was something therapeutic in stripping all the layers of wrapping paper away,
its bareness almost heals,
It forces me, reminds me, that I do not need you to be whole,
that I was whole before you came.
I used to be naïve,
Your last gift was packaged in a much smaller box
bearing a glimme-ring rock
with a much bigger card, ‘ti amo per sempre‘
Now I know that there is no promise,
no obligation that external love should become a permanent tenant in my household
Back then I had met you, only as far as you had met yourself
This is not a love poem for you,
do not think for one second it is,
It is a love poem for myself,
for the tears I shed for myself,
for the part of me that I’m mourning,
the part that I lost when I lost you,
tears of joy I cry for the rebirth,
the rediscovery of self
that became so clouded, so engulfed, in my search for the gifts I wanted
but were not needed.
Today, I’ve met myself again,
So thank you,
for allowing me to give the most beautiful,
and necessary gift I could give myself.