Andrea Gibson – How It Ends

On each occasion that this poem is receited; it has a unique opening. Ms Gibson uses the actual time period elapsed; a device which provides context for the experience and connects with the audience anew. I particularly like it because it pushes the event further and further back without reducing the emotional impact. The song in the background, I believe, is DeVotchKa’s How It Ends.

Every time I revisit this piece, I am struck by newly realised imagery and thoughts – it’s one of those forward moving momentum builders that strikes a different chord depending on what’s happening in my own life.

How It Ends

It has been [X] years,
[Y] months
And [Z] days
Since the first time I saw you naked
Since the night you ripped off your shirt,
Stuck your boobs in my face and said
Touch them
I touched them like a diabetic third grader opening a Snickers bar
You said
I thought, yes I am
But you are so soft, I said,
Your lips, they’re like whale blubber
That wasn’t my best line
But it worked
Tonight in the grocery store, I found one of your hairs in my underwear
I pulled it out in the frozen food section and screamed
THAT is so gorgeous, it could kill a man!
Good thing I’m a leprechaun
Baby, I have no idea how this will end
Maybe the equator will fall like a hula hoop from the earth’s hips
And our mouths will freeze mid-kiss on our 80th anniversary
Or maybe tomorrow, my absolute insanity
Combined with the absolute obstacle course of your communication skills
Will leave us
Like a love letter
In a landfill
But whatever
However this ends,
I want you to know, that right now,
I love you forever
I love you for the hardest mile we walked together
For the night I collected every sharp knife in the house
And threw them one by one on the roof
Then told the sun,
Listen show off,
From now on, you are only to give me blades of grass;
Things that are growing and soft
‘Cause there’s this girl who says she wants to float on her back
Through my bloodstream
And when she does,
I want my rivers to reach the sea
D’you hear me, lover?
Do you know, the night you told me you had a crush on my ears,
I swore to never to become Van Gogh
And look, baby,
They are both still there
Just like my firefly heart is still right there in your glass jar
I never trusted anybody more to poke enough holes in the lid
So on the nights you sleep like a ballerina,
I try to snore like a piccolo
And I press my lips to your holy temples
And I say,
I crash in to things in the dark
Even when the lights are on
And I am wrong more often than I am writing
And even then, I am often wrong
But when my friends are in the bathroom at the bar
Rolling dollar bills in to telescopes,
Claiming they can see God,
I will come to you
Holding my grandmother’s Bible,
I will press it to your chest
And I will bless it with your breath
And when you ask if I wanna roleplay Altar boys fucking in the kitchen during Sunday Mass
I will say,
Hell yes
But only if you leave a hickey on my ass
In the shape of Jesus’ palm
So I can be sure I got nailed
You will never lose me to the wind
You are the lightning that made me fill my chest with candles
You are the thunder clapping for the poem that nobody else wants to hear
You are an icicle’s tear watering a tulip on the first day of spring
You melt me alive
You kiss me as deep as my roots will reach
And I want nothing more than to be an eyelash fallen on your cheek
Then being collected by your fingers
And held like a wish
I promise
That whatever I do
I will always try my best
To come true



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