Day 1 / by Amanda Dissinger

i am: a personal poem revisited after seven years

all those years ago 
when i said i was like wildfire, i was more like a brush fire 
when i said i was an artist, i was in love with the idea of art 
and now 
i am still
i am bare bones
i am too true
i am too fragile
i don’t exist in full form yet
i cut off all the hair you weren’t sure about that i still wanted
my body is too much
my vessels are too new 
i wear 11pm on a saturday the same way i wear 8am on a monday morning
i am too Columbus

it sometimes gets so hard wearing this goddamn smile on my face 

i want a steamboat
i want a green garden
i want to not trip on black ice 
i want to want the things that other people want sometimes
i want to know you exist out there somewhere 
and i am not Juliet
i am not a bombshell
i am not the girl you will go up to at a bar for one sole purpose 
(and am i any less for wanting that sometimes?)
i am not beautiful, i am only smart 
but what happens when i am only smart sometimes?
what happens when the closest thing to happiness is loneliness?

and if you wonder how i am 
i look exactly the same, i am the way you left me,
i am the way you didn’t want me
if you wonder how i am,
i will tell you i am more cultured now
i will tell you i feel less, so i can get on with more
i will tell you i hardly think about  you
(i am a great architect) 

the last thing i’ll ask is
would you have thought i was more beautiful if you met me when i wasn’t eating?




This poem is from Amanda Dissinger's first collection of poetry, 'This is How I Will Tell You I Love You,' out now via Bottlecap Press. The book release party will be taking place at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday June 6th at 1pm with poetry readings (including Potluck contributor Eric Silver) and musical performances. More info is available here.