Static Electricity

This is one of those poems that gets written really fast with no editing. Some of them work, most of them don’t– for better or worse, this one’s published.


I.
When it gets to this time of winter, everything is dry
And every time I lean against a wall
My hair sticks to it
Because the static is everywhere everywhere everywhere
When I pull my sweaters off I see a bajillion sparks
Pop pop popping against my cheeks
Sometimes I wonder if this is what the Big Bang felt like
Sometimes I imagine if this is what being kissed by stars feels like
But mostly I cringe
I do that a lot when gets to this time of year
Another thing I do is punch:
I start punching everything before I touch it
Because getting shocked is easier to deal with when it’s against your fist
Instead of your fingertips
I am not joking–
I punch the light switch
Punch the keyboard
Punch my toothbrush
Punch doors before opening them
But I can’t punch people
Obviously
So every time I have to shake hands
Or take something from someone
Or just touch in general
I am cringing cringing cringing to the alarms in my head
There are some things you just can’t avoid
Or protect yourself against

II.
It’s always easier to go at things with your fists
Instead of your fingertips
Avoid avoid avoid
When I was younger I would have to leave the room
Until after the toast was done
Because the toaster was far too startling
Avoid avoid avoid
Nowadays I hate being somewhere with balloons
If I have to stay with them I will cringe
And curl away from the potential loud
Until I am nothing but human-sized fist
Avoid avoid avoid
When I was younger I would make friendships without ever unclenching
Because my hands were far too afraid of the electricity of connection
Maybe that’s why I hit so many people in the third grade

III.
They say there’s a reason your heart is the size of your fist
You need to fight with it
But I have spent enough time punching
To know I would rather offer my heart as an outstretched palm
Everything is more startling that way
But I want to feel this life with my fingers instead of my knuckles
The joy pop pop popping against my cheeks
The shocks gathering at my fingertips like traumas
There are some things you just can’t avoid
Or protect yourself against
Like handshakes in the middle of winter
But I will take your hand
And you will take mine
Despite the shock
Despite the ache
(Despite that I feel like a lizard because it’s the middle of winter and I don’t moisturize)
I want to feel the press of your fingers and be reminded
That there will always be soft among the jolt
There will always be things I will not have to punch
Things I will not be afraid to touch
Things I will not have to avoid
And I will say to myself
Feel
Feel
Feel.

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One comment on “Static Electricity

  1. Punching your toothbrush was a funny image.

    Like

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