This isn’t exactly a poem, but it’s short and formatted in such a way that it can be considered a prose poem.
That’s How it Felt
This is not to say that the wheat dust that kicked up behind my heels in the field behind our house settled badly. Rather, it tickled our noses and filtered into our socks. This is not to say that the fourth grade pajama parties went by too soon. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” I said one day. This is not to say that I do not regret learning that so early in my life. This is not to say that I wanted to cry when my brother told me: when my father flipped that chair, he almost, nearly, threw himself over me. I think that’s when my own instinct was born. This is not to say that watching the skateboarders across the street from the school window made me hot and tired. I saw how the sun penetrated that pavement. Still, on they skated, with more vigor and stamina than I could ever muster. This is not say that I ever hated the wind. On the contrary, I held my head back every time, every time it blew my way. I adored the feeling of my hair taking flight and the gush of wisdom that perhaps could permeate right through me. This is not to say that I, still, think of the wind as the breath of God. At least, that’s how it felt.
This is not to say that I wanted to rip out my spine when the pain drove itself into my very heart, when the little bits of bone floated in my back like halted rain, and I could scream for hours. This is not to say…I did scream for hours. This is not to say that I could feel the weight of gravity at it’s fullest. This is not to say that I do not regret it happening. This is not to say that my first plane ride took a turn for the worst. The lilt of the room, the confinement; my stomach bloomed open with a stab to the gut. At least, that’s how it felt.
This is not to say that I am forgetting the good memories and the good moments. I do not forget the taste of Sourpatch Kids and the uncanny smoothness of my dog’s forehead, the one she never liked me to kiss. Her velvet ears that stood like antennae at the window, a silhouette of up-down-up; that’s all you saw in the shine of sunlight. This is not to say that the world fell upside down at the confession that someone younger, someone I loved, was one step closer to deflowering than I, someone I momentarily hated for it. This is not to say I almost fell apart the first time I “let a guy down.” A thousand small stones hit me on all sides. At least, that’s how it felt.
This is not to say that, as now flows into next, and now it’s now, I am floating underwater. I am floating, weightless, my head all amiss; I could slide over and faint. At least, that’s how it feels.
by Catherine Joy