key + arrow

a life + style blog

Papered walls.


Recently, I posted a list of personal goals, for accountability’s sake, and one of them is to perform a self-written poem. I’ve since had a change of heart, and I’ve decided to write a different poem, so I’m sharing the original choice here. I wrote it, but it doesn’t feel like mine.

Plus, I’ve been timing it, and it’s longer than three minutes (the time allotted), and I like it as is (I’m stubborn like that). I’ll share my performed poem post-reading.

Papered walls.


Sometimes, though the pipes seem solid when left alone, they leak when the curves meet the rushing water. We all know how to turn a knob, how to push it back, its brass body resting against a wall papered with yellowed edges that curl — ugly but familiar. Some of us want to mend the holes, but we don’t know how. And even if we mend the pipes, and they leak again, we might not know if we can do it again. We could lose too much water. We could lose too much water. We could lose too much water.

We could run out of water
So we leave home in search of it
We look for the signs
Out on the trail
The signs that tell us
It’s around the corner in
Just under five miles
And that seems too long
But the drought though it hurts
Is strangely
It could fill us
And then what would we
Have to look for now?
No more signs.
Not the feelings
We have that it’s near
No intuition
Because the knob is resting
Its body against the papered wall
Yellowed white with deeper yellow roses
And feelings become facts
Rather than
It’s easier that way
To make them tangible.
Like when
We try to hold on to
What’s crystalized on the edges
The sentiments
Sediments left
Abandoned as the rest of it moves on
Some of it
Through the holes

I loved a man who has looked for signs his entire life.

The only way he knew anyone loved him was
By the way she packed his lunch in the playful tin
An absent note with words, but the lost crusts of the sandwich
Tell him more
By the way he praised his choices
His moments captured
Solidified in a photograph
Tangible now
Fact not feeling
By the way they show up
Around the corner
And tell him which direction he should turn


Where is the next marker on his trail
From the bottom
To the top?
Or was it the other way around?
At the end
There were no
When the rubber
Caresses the curve
Of the speed bump he once liked to
He asks,
Is she worth it?
He’s coming
To me.
One more speed bump
Am I worth it?
Another speed bump
Is this worth it?
More speed bumps, and the frame
Might shift
That’s expensive
To fix
The price to pay
Is more than he carries in
His wallet
But the money is in the bank.
He might know after the next speed bump –
The one right before
The exhaust
Scrapes the concrete,
But maybe
If he parks,
he might
Run out
Of signs
But when
He gets to
She’ll tell him,
With her hands in his reluctant hair,
The next marker
Not something he has
To look for; it’s behind
His rib
Where there is
A catheter
For releasing all the bad
Blood to make
For someone else
There are no holes in this pipe,
And the fluid,
It’s moving through too quickly
Even though he didn’t ask for it.
Slow down.
It’s too much.
There are no holes.
No escape.
No sentiments.
Fact not feeling.

Say the curve in his
Ribs may not allow
Him to see anything beyond a
Point at its peak
For lack of
Linearity, but to trust
The lack of visibility
Doesn’t stop
That curve from protecting
What is behind it.

I’m turning the knob.
Only I’ll just need my hands.

Author: lauren

author of // key + arrow // a life + style blog aiming to inspire readers to make the most of what they have today without compromising quality or settling for less than desired {all the while convincing herself} // {austin, tx}

5 thoughts on “Papered walls.

  1. Left me quite intrigued,though not surprised, it is a different or a slightly flowing perspective, as linearity hardly resembles a heartbeat.

  2. Wow… I started reading it faster and then every word reached me from a different angle. Incredible, very well done.

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