March 4, 2017

What if I Tell you that I Want you to Stay? {Poem}

I have seen your back  
more than I have seen your face.
Because the truth is that
you always leave.

And every time you leave,
you know how to make your absence
a breathing presence.

You drizzle me with fuel,
spark your matches,
and you set me on fire…
then leave.

You keep me burning
until you come back.
And though I can put out my fire,
I never do.

I burn,
and I let you go.

But perhaps the reason
you always leave
is because I never tell you
to stay.

The reason why I see your back
so often
is because you don’t know
what your face means to me.

Perhaps I’m the one
giving you the fuel
and the matches,
and barking out at you:
“Burn me!”

I can’t help but wonder,
what if
I tell you
that I want you to stay?
Would you still burn me?
Would I see your face
More than I see your back?
Would you stay?

Here is the fuel,
and here are the matches
Look at me as I tell you:

Would you still burn me?

If you stay,
I’ll show you the map
that leads to my soul.

If you don’t,
I’ll show you the fuel
and my matches.

If you’re leaving again,
I’m not letting you go.
I’m sparking my matches
to set you on fire.

Burn with me.
Feel my fire.
Let’s burn in our flames.

Let’s stay.


Author: Elyane Youssef

Image: Comete El Coco/Unsplash

Editor: Caitlin Oriel 

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