This is the poem I referenced. I wrote it months before we broke up. The cadence is odd, but the exercise really pushed you to get creative. I find it interesting that I wrote about this topic, though. I was grateful for every moment because I knew it wouldn’t last.

Golden Shovel Writing Exercise: every word in Gwendolyn Brook’s original poem is used in sequence and serves as the concluding word in each of your poem’s lines.

I thought I was just alone, then we
Became real.
I learned to use warm thoughts of anticipation to protect myself from the cool,
Through hundreds of moon rotations and intention settings for we
I felt behind. Discarded. Left.

I finally chose to embrace the quiet. Because here in my school
There are lessons to be learned from everything and there is no we
Without being certain of who I am first and my shadow does not lurk
It leads me to places I would’ve never explored because the world was worried about me being late.
Without me and myself, I could’ve never given birth to we.

I don’t worry about losing myself in you or the heartbreak that will inevitably strike.
I can wander down paths that aren’t straight
Because when it ends – and it always ends – there will be plenty leftover from we.
I will first cry – longing for the sound of your voice – then use my mouth to sing
Songs of praise, redemption, and recounts our glorious sin.
I will regret nothing, from having been your we
I will hold my warm memories close and promise to keep my grievances thin
Dissolvable, drowned with a toast of whisky and gin
I pledge to be better for we.

I welcome it all, because aren’t the blues a form of jazz?
I can’t tell whether my face is wet with tears or warm raindrops in June
They’re all souvenirs that I was a once a we
Remnants of a cast lucky die
Where I emerged whole from a we, where you departed too soon.

Copyright 2022.

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