being alone and finding it the most delicious thing in the world.
This poem was read aloud both at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center's "The Round" on February 13, 2018 and on "The Appetite" podcast, in a bonus episode set to release on March 7, 2018. It was written to be read aloud...so if you want to hear it read to you like it's storytime...check out the link below and hear me chat about the process.
Biting into the tangy flesh of a peach
while standing on the side of the street.
Laughing in my own head
as my torso leans forward so the juice can drip where it may.
I love having no one else around to distract me
from rice krispies in milk,
during that two minute window
when temperature and texture are at their highest contrast:
cold, crackly, and worthy of my ravenous mouth.
I love a cold plunge into rushing waters,
my breath panting to catch up—
that deep relief.
Being alone and finding it the most delicious thing in the world.
Being alone and wrapping my thirsty arms around the container of my own body:
making my own space
for writing in the morning without worrying about a thing.
for lying around sideways, upside down, and covered in glue.
Making my own space
for a meticulous record of each inkling,
my own private poetry slam.
Beers in the bathtub,
and dancing on the sink.
I like my alone-ness.
I love, my alone-ness.
I could schedule out my days,
hour by hour
not enough hours in the day
all the dates
I’d make with myself:
An hour for rising slowly and watching the light on the wall
An hour for coffee, and a crumpet.
Three hours to write.
Two hours to bathe.
Two more hours to write.
An hour to stretch
Two hours to dance
Stretch again. And run!
Lie on the floor alone.
Think some more alone.
Need to reach out to someone?
Write a letter alone.
I am so hungry for myself.
Ravenous for my own insides
But I gut myself out and give me away,
empty myself out like a horse for its rider.
I cannot keep life inside me if I offer it as a blanket to everyone else.
Yet I am such a hungry thing.
There’s a pit in my stomach
that says it’s not ok to find myself
But maybe for now,
I’ll stay smothered
in the tangy flesh of peach
that I’ll let drip
and drip down my wrist
and between my fingers
covering my chin in streams of sweetness,
keeping me for myself.
- Carter Umhau