3 Poems

Leana Borsuk

Just find it

That small curl always dangling in your face—it blocks me from your eyes. You wonder what color, and it’s not the color, but how it feels to me when the sun shines through, burning your eyes. It makes my blood boil, the way at night they are filled with excitement. I know you feel the butterflies in my stomach and the way the moon reflects the mood in your eyes. I just can’t get enough. I think, when will it be enough? Are you a simple puzzle I must figure out, or like a Shakespeare play—you read it over and over again while never understanding where you began and what feels like the end? The journey seems long even though it’s been a few days, but there’s no peace when you put me in this haze. The way your lips curl when you try to stop yourself from giggling when I trip and fall. Yeah, I know I’m clumsy. It feels like a fever dream, because how can one be happy when you trip and fall? I hope you’ll catch me when I fall. I know that’s not how it works.

You carry a small notebook with you. You write down your ideas, your thoughts. Do you value those thoughts or ideas? Or do you simply not want to forget things. Grocery lists, I get it. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes—a full blown salad. For me it’s not a grocery list, it’s your swift demeanor, how at any moment’s notice you can surprise me, but you’ll never truly shock me no matter how electric you are to me, like headlights on the freeway. I trust you so deeply, instincts linked, no feeling is too strong, and none is weak. Sometimes I wish you weren’t my strength and what I need. For me you’re the sunset at the end of a shitty day. That ice pack I would have gotten after the fall. Not the shoulder, but a leg to help me get through it. Oh, you’re not the light at the end of the tunnel. You are my tunnel. You don’t lead me through words, actions, or support. You lead me through faith. You are full of faith. That tinge of hope in the middle of a group of travelers awaiting to take off on the plane when there’s a delayed flight. Like the last thought you have before you go to sleep. You can’t remember it, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You’re the thread that sews the fabric of my mind together. I feel you’ve connected it for me, I really do. You stop me from thinking. But, oh, how you make me think. Your touch, I don’t think. Without your touch, I think. Like scraped hands, dipped fingers in salted water. Like fire and smoke making you tear up, like hot water in the shower that is so hot it feels cold. A campfire asking the trees to let it spread—it doesn’t want to be alone. AlOnE—well, you can be alone, but when you are alone, well fuck … YOU are ALONE. You, you make me feel alone and complete at the same time. Complete is like magnetic poles repelling each other—alone is like a magnet without its companion. My companion is the color of your hazel hair and the way your birth mark tickles you when the right person touches it.

There’s more…. You are made up of my raw fears, but the type of fears that you are afraid of before you’ve tried it. They say the best things in life happen when you least expect it. Well, they haven’t met you, have they? You’re like a chest with a special lock, you have to understand the lock to open it. That chest is filled with more value than gold. It had a hold on my soul. That chest has all the things that you have unsaid, the secrets that have been kept. I know I could crack it open, but do I want to open that box? Like I said you have the moon eyes, the sun eyes, and the night eyes, but I forgot to mention your hidden heart. It looks like the old mines, the ones people used to dig by hand… damned shovels.

You are the piece I’ve been missing. I’m hoping that you’ll let me back in. Did you leave me?
Did you want me hidden? I want to be risen. I’m in the tide of the wave. Can you get me out? I know you have the power to take me south. Will that take me back? Far back. I need room for it all to come back. You carry those thoughts, I know you do. Separated from the head, the body is left with heart. Is leaving what I need to be receiving? You’ve been a gift wrapped in a big cheesy bow. You have that side of you—oh, what an old traditionalist. But I sometimes see—oh, no, you’re a revolutionary. Like the star’s constellation aligned, all these stars are the neurons in my mind. But now where’s your key? Please, where’s the key? Is it within me? I’m not sure, but am I sure? Should I be sure? I’m looking—fucking searching. That woman walking down the street, she’ll give me the key. I don’t know if it was supposed to be you. I’m the key to someone else’s chest. Are we talking about the eyes or the fire pits? It is ok, they are both among the best of me. Stay with me and lead me. Tunnel vision, moonlight eyes, stars in the sky, don’t get high. You have it all, I know it, written down out in the open. Just find it.

The grass meadows and dark alleys

The sweet perfume of the orange blossoms
Traveling with the salty wind coming from the ocean
The crickets mindlessly rubbing their legs together
Never minded it; the sound was my timekeeper

Searching for fresh tomatoes in the potager
While they were sipping Barbera
Of course, before noon
Finished my bruschetta
Hid behind the grapevines
Humming a tune

The nightfall always came faster than I thought
The fireflies skimming the surface of the pond
From afar, The light in the dark blended as one
The lingering memories of the buzz saw
Haunting even the nightfall

Walking through the lily-pad styled stone path
Led me to the well
Where I questioned the past
Yearning to know what’s hidden behind the walls
I ran back to the house

I searched the drawers
I found in between the bookshelves
The passageway to the root of ourselves

I found the hidden treasure
It was filled with the rarest of rubies and diamonds
What was hidden behind it?
Was the fear, and the hidden violence

As you were being fed at the table
Who would have thought you came from turmoil
The moments where your eyes would water
Because you couldn’t remember

Without knowing, all I could do is imagine
The demons that followed you as they turned you into a dragon
Ambition, strength what people thought
Possessiveness and control were what you brought
Of course, I wasn’t there how should I know
You left a stamp without the envelope

Receiving only some of the truth
Was more than none
I know you were a fighter
But not always the best one

He was close to the end
Scared to take his final breath
Trapped in the cell
His crime being Jewish
And helping the Resistance

How do you move on?
How has that affected me?
Where I’m from?
It’s not a place, not a feeling, not a community
It’s what I’ve learned from others that shaped me
I came from the grass meadows and the dark alleys

Could I ever figure you out?

You can leave
But I’ll stay
I don’t think I could ever runaway

I think I’m falling like the clouds
When it rains
Touching fades so my heart tries to find a way
To create a picture with splattered/scattered paint

So many changes day by day
The world molds like wet clay
If only I could remain the same
And engrain who you are in my brain

Like an old smelly novel
That I learn from more every day
I can’t write down or say
What you mean to me
Cuz no form of art
Could ever figure you out

Like an old record player
Playing at the back of the bar
Quiet chatter, always in my thoughts, not loud enough
If I could find some storage in my mind
That could define the way you make me high
Cuz no form of structure
Could ever figure you out
You’re not just a classic statuesqued lover
But the energy of a formless sculpture

Time passes by like the fall of a car wheel
An avalanche rushing yet waiting for its destination
I’ll only ever want to hold on to how you make me feel
Is that too much to ask?
Can you be real?

Leana Borsuk is currently a second-semester student at Berklee College of music and plans to study music therapy and songwriting. She writes many poems inspired by her French American heritage and education. Consequently, Leana infuses this into her songwriting as she releases new music on different streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. Her goal is to depict, in her writings, the common humanity we all possess no matter where we are from.