3AM Physics Lesson – Poem Submission by A Johnson

In a world where people rather spend time fighting against love than looking for it, a young cyborg by way of the Bronx trys to fashion the romance back into our lives where it belongs: neatly in our shirt pockets. Ashley ‘Ajay’ Johnson is the author of one book of poetry (Love and Other Black Magicks) and founding member collective Red Ribbon Army.
3 AM Physics Lesson

Sometimes I’m convinced we were a dream
The sleepless nights have made my memories impostors

But you never forget the things that matter

The last night I held you
Your body shook, shivered, and sweat
Turning the bed we shared into an unfamiliar storm

I vowed to never leave you in your rain

My pulse called you home
Felt your skin billow as your body rejected the safety of my arms
I guess you were dreaming of all the things that matter-ed

I wonder if memories have matter the way they take up space
Can matter be a verb?
Do our memories—

Is my smile heavy on your brow
Or are “we” lost to the wrinkles of time
and what of forgiveness?
Does forgiveness—

If anyone’s ever been honest with you,
You know that the truth has time limits
After the expiration date
the things you “let off your chest” become explosives—
with the power to destroy all the things that matter
and transform your words into rubble

There are some things better left unsaid
And the weight of the unspoken brews tempests in the blood

You left me in an unfamiliar storm
Wet and weary
Gifting my tears to the ground

I have buckets worth of our past
My tears, they “matter”
I can’t even remember the last time I cried so much

I never read the letter you forgot to write
But still think of you in my mourning
sometimes find myself looking for your body wherever my name is written
Forgetting without paper
Words don’t matter


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