My love for her was not a quiet love. It was boisterous and booming -- a thumping, thrusting, or a shaking love, felt deep within.
I set my pen to the paper and listened to the words that were in my heart.
Baby, I'm so into you.
I sometimes called her "baby," as a term of endearment. And I wrote the phrase "I'm so into you" to demonstrate how deeply my feelings for her ran: namely, all the way into me.
You got that something, what can I do.
The difficult part of writing poetry is trying to put words to emotions that are inexpressable. That is what I meant to describe in the second line, which is about my powerlessness in the face of her ineffable positive qualities.
Baby, you stood me around.
The earth is moving, but I can't feel the ground.
All in all, this stanza came together rather quickly. I simply listened to the inspiration provided by my heart when I thought about the feelings given to me by my darling Amber. I finished the poem thusly:
You drive me crazy, I just can't sleep.
I'm so excited, I'm in too deep.
Oh-oh-oh crazy, but it feels all right.
Baby thinking of you -- this is what brings me a feeling of great comfort.
I gave the poem to Amber for her birthday. I hadn't bought a gift, because money was tight for me, but I felt the poem expressed my feelings and was, in a way, more valuable because it came from the heart rather than the store. I printed it out at the office where I used to work, where my old boss lets me use the printer there sometimes to print out important stuff.
Amber frowned as she read it. She seemed to skim it very fast, then handed it back to me. "You missed the last rhyme," she said.
I told her I didn't know what she meant.
"You got the last line wrong," she said. "'Baby thinking of you keeps me up all night.' This doesn't even rhyme."
I was a little concerned that the words I'd worked so hard to achieve weren't having their intended effects on her. "Poetry is a subjective art," I tried to explain, "directed by the heart and the soul, more than formal rules. Poems don't even have to rhyme -- "
"No." She was annoyed. "You got the song wrong." The song? "Why are you even giving this to me?" she asked.
"It's a poem," I said. "I wrote it for you. I meant for it to express my love -- "
"This is lame, even for you," she said.
"Once again, I'm confused," I replied in a state of confusion.
"I don't feel like going out tonight."
I walked home in a mood of distress in addition to the aforementioned confusion. What had I done wrong? Had I expressed myself too honestly to her? Was she afraid of comparable feelings stirring in her own breast for me? Perhaps she was just unable to comprehend feelings and ideas expressed through somewhat complicated and beautifully-written poetry, and so I'd made her feel intellectually inferior to me, or she thought that I was making fun of her somehow.
I got home and tried to call her to apologize, but she didn't pick up the phone. I called several times and left several messages, but did not receive the courtesy of a reply. My sympathy for her hardened, and I felt myself overcome with new feelings of resentment and even anger towards her. I went to bed early that night, trying to put her out of my mind, but found, to my dismay, that the intensity of my love for her was undiminished.
After hours of tossing and turning in my sheets, I realized that sleep was not soon in coming, and I sat down with my notebook and began, once again, to compose.
Baby, can't you see
A girl like you should wear a warning.
Already my new poem was taking on an angrier tone. It was the words of someone who felt unfairly scorned. I was also beginning to experiment with a less rigid form (something which I was less confident Amber would be able to appreciate, after her response to my first poem).
There's no escape
I can't wait
I need a hit
Baby, give me it
I'm loving it
Here, I expressed my "mixed feelings" for Amber, expressing the positive and negative with alternating lines. She was a dangerous drug from which I had no escape and which I needed a hit of, but still I asked for more, and even "loved" it.
Can't come down
Losin' my head
Spinnin' 'round and 'round
Do you feel me now?
These lines accurately reflected the somewhat chaotic workings of my then-current state of mind: confused, hurt, without balance. This is what I wanted to shout to her: can't you understand me? What is keeping you from seeing into my heart? DO YOU FEEL ME NOW?
The taste of your lips
I'm on a ride
You're toxic I'm slippin' under
With a taste of a poison -- what a taste indeed!
I'm addicted to you
Don't you know that you're some kind of insane substance to me?
I knew I had to call her immediately and read her this poem.
This time, she answered. She sounded like she'd been sleeping -- this is how I'd been able to catch her off-guard.
"I have something to say to you," I said, "and I want you to hear me out to the end."
"All right," she said.
"It's a poem."
"You wrote this poem?"
I read her my new composition. Over the phone I could hear her sighing repeatedly. At first this encouraged me to believe I was finally getting through to her.
By the time I finished, my heart was beating wildly. She must have been able to hear it over the phone.
When she spoke, the tone I detected in her voice was not of appreciation, but of annoyance. "Do you think I'm an idiot?" she asked.
"You screwed it up again, by the way."
"I wrote it for you," I tried to explain.
"I don't know whether you think so little of me," she said, "or whether you just have some kind of a brain problem. But this is deeply annoying behavior."
I told her I was just trying to express my most deeply-felt feelings. I told her my new poem was called "Spellbound: An Addict's Lament."
She laughed and hung up the phone. She wouldn't return any more of my calls after that.
I felt lost, confused, and hurt. Why had my poetry been so brutally rejected? I wanted to take up the pen right away, to prove her wrong, to uncage the poetry which lay there in my heart, beating on the inner walls, screaming to be let out. But there was nothing inside. I couldn't hear my own voice -- I could only hear Amber's, like she was pushing me out of my own body. I felt like a sucked-dry plant.
I thought, she must know how she hurt me, how she played with my heart. Did she regret it? Did she get lost in the game? Or was less innocent than one might at first assume? Did she lie in bed at night, the lights dead, the silence pressing against her, and regret what she'd done? Did she feel sorry for the way she hurt me? Did she drift off to sleep, only to wake up with a shot, gulp down air until she could be sure she was alive, and cry out, in anguish and sorrow, "Oops?"