Manuela. And Two More


Poetry by Celeste Ramos

 

Manuela.

 

I want to go back to the way things were,

back before I understood that I wasn’t appreciating things,

and appreciate them. 

 

I want to be on time for things again, 

not so early that I have no shadow,

not so late that I miss my own smile. 

 

I used to know so many people. I used

to want so many things. 

All that’s flaked off with the years, 

just like I heard it would. 

 

Now it’s just me, with I, and sometimes you. 

Running so fast in the dark, 

calling and calling in the dark, 

throwing up flares in the dark, hoping

that these forests are nothing like their trees – 

so sharp, so knowing, so mean. 

 


 

visitor

 

Now I tiptoe into each year, like

I maybe have the wrong room; 

visiting a party I’m not invited to. 

 

feel less and less like

I should be around, 

the older

and older

I get.

 


 

Two-way mirror

 

I wonder what you do in hell. 

Probably watch the door like a dog,

waiting for me to arrive. 

Probably press your ear to the wall

and listen to the news turned up loud on the TV.

I bet you lie still and look at your skies of blood and stone

and think about the last time you saw me grimace

because you don’t remember what it looks like to smile.

 

I bet you give yourself points for thinking about me

at all.

I wonder if this wonder reflects yours. 

I watch the door and wish someone would arrive,

in the name of friendship or love. 

I press my ear to the wall to hear birdsong and traffic. 

Try to picture the real world. 

I lie still under my old ceiling

and think about the last time I saw you cry, 

because I can’t remember peace in your eyes. 

And I give myself points for thinking 

there could ever have been room for that at all.

 

This poem was written in response to our Stories in the Time of Covid19 project.

 


Celeste is a writer from New York City based in London. She writes poetry, fiction and short film.