your love’s the cool air

Love Haiku #14

your love's the cool air
settling down on the back
of hurricane winds

O is for Optional

Originally published April 17, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge. A version of this poem will appear in Chapter One of the novella, when Jessica looks at another “option” from Whitmore on her blind date with Bruce. ūüėČ


Optional
A poem by Jessica Ryan

Relationships are optional.
You cannot mandate my marriage
to cure your loneliness, and I
do not need your love
to make my life complete.

I’ve kissed more boys
than I can count
and have loved less.
My feelings intensify and
fade like the seasons.
Do not mention marriage in the summer
and never children in the snow.
Laugh at my jokes and I’ll
pretend your confessions of
undying infatuation don’t amuse me.

I do not require the world,
only a small park bench outside where
the wood can rot; the paint can chip.
Sit next to me and hold my hand.
Ask of nothing; demand even less.
If mandates spew from your lips,
eliminating my free will,¬†I’ll add you
to my list of boys I’ve kissed
and never loved.

—Nortina

 

N is for Nice Guys

This poem, originally published April 16, 2015 for the A to Z Challenge, received a major revision last month (see “Chivalry is Dead”). The revision will be in the novella as part of Chapter 2. In fact all of Chapter 2 will¬†see some significant changes from the A to Z Challenge. While I didn’t break the original challenge up into chapters, G is for Girlfriend Whisperer, I is for Insecure, J is for Jealous, and this post are all part of Chapter 2. When I finish the novella, you’ll see how¬†much they’ve changed. ūüėČ

While I did revise the poem, I still enjoy reading the original. It describes Whitmore and his “priorities” so well! I hope you enjoy it too. ūüôā


Jessica stared into her blurred reflection as the steam filled the bathroom and condensation accumulated on the mirror. She thought about something that Alex once told her:

“It’s the ‘nice guys’ you have to watch out for. They think that because they don’t curse, or drink, or smoke, or do drugs, or beat you, or cheat, or do whatever, they deserve special privileges. And when they don’t get those special privileges, when they don’t get the girl, when they don’t get the mind-blowing sex from the beautiful damsel that misogynist TV promised them, they go nuts. Whitmore is a ‘nice guy,’ and he’s going nuts right now because you won’t give him what he wants.”

Whitmore wasn’t a nice guy. He wouldn’t be so cruel as to make a woman feel guilty for not loving him. She did care for him in the beginning, but it was so hard to fall in love with a man¬†who tried to make¬†her become¬†his personal savior, who would die if¬†she weren’t near. Why put her under so much pressure? Why give her so much control? Why have his life and happiness so dependent on whether she loves him back?

“Nice guys always finish last,” Whitmore had told her¬†when they were still getting to know each other. They were on their third date and had arrived to the movie theater half an hour early. Jessica¬†had suggested they play in the small arcade in the lobby while they waited. Because that was the type of woman she was. She liked to dive back into her childhood whenever she could. She wanted to race, shoot hoops, play air hockey, battle in Mortal Kombat,¬†swing her hips and jump on arrows while Dance Dance¬†Revolution played “It’s Raining Men.” Whitmore was too serious. After she beaten him in a motorcycle race through the streets of Los Angeles, he wanted to talk about why all his past¬†relationships failed.

“I think it’s because we go for the wrong kinds of women. The ones who can’t see how lucky they are. They’d rather chase the dirt they’ve been with most of their lives¬†than cherish the¬†good thing they have in us.”

Jessica turned around and unplugged the tub drain for the second time that night. At this rate, she would never take her bath, but she needed to write how she was feeling while it was still fresh on her mind. Maybe a poem could assuage her torment better than a hot, bubble bath.

 

Last in the Race

A poem by Jessica Ryan

He runs.
And runs.
And keeps running.
But there’s never a finish line.
Never a blond, busty babe
Waving a checkered flag,
Indicating he’s won.
And why should there be?

Why should he expect the
Congratulatory kiss from
A woman who’s last love interest
Was his reciprocal?
A 6’5 delinquent who
Blanketed himself in tattoos,
Wore his hat cocked to the side,
Held his pants up by the crotch
Because he didn’t believe in belts,
Had a drawer full of wife beaters,
And become one himself.

He runs.
Runs towards his unattainable dream girl
At the end of the tunnel.
A woman he believes he can
Save from all the heartbreaking, abusive
Cheaters of the world.
His heart driven only by
the smile on her face.
Until he realizes heartbreak and abuse
Are what she craves.
She jerks her hand away
When he leans to kiss it.
She speaks of feminism
When he opens doors,
Guides her through.
Chivalry is dead.
Chivalry is an excuse for men
To treat us as objects.
She breaks into hives
When he sends her daisies.
She complains.
Why ask me what I want all the time?
Stop being so nice.
I can’t stand a Yes Man!

He runs blindly,
Chasing after an angel
With a devil’s attitude,
Not realizing her independence
Will drive him away,
Too desperate to have
Her lustful appearances
Strike jealousy in the hearts
Of the boys back home
Whose definitions for beauty
And booty are the same, and
Intelligence is of no relation.

He competes against able-bodied men
Who can hoist their conceited winnings
Above their heads
Without trembling.
His only trophy is an hourglass.
Each grain of sand
Falling to the base,
Counting the hours, minutes, seconds
He runs in a race he’ll never finish.

H is for Heaven’s Angel

Originally published April 9, 2017,¬†this¬†poem was written by Whitmore and dedicated to Jessica. If you read the prequel post, “Love Poetry,” you¬†know that “Heaven’s Angel” was edited down to just four lines:

When the sun sets, I still have light
Because your moon brightens my nights.
My precious angel descended from Heaven above,
saved me from the heartache of unrequited love.

Since Whitmore actually proposes before the novella starts, these lines will appear in the novella in a flashback memory.


Heaven’s Angel

When I thought God
Had abandoned me,
Left me to wallow in pity,
Heartache consumed
My body in darkness.
I had no pulse,
Until an angel
Descended from heaven.
She kissed me with lips
Red as apples.
She resuscitated me
With her magnetic touch.
She shocked my skin with
The electricity of her love.
Fresh blood raced to my heart
As she breathed her divine
Oxygen into my lungs.
And I arose.
Living and breathing
In the silk-clothed bosom
Of heaven’s angel.
May she never again
Let me plummet
To the hellish grave
Of love unrequited.

—Nortina