Author: Emily K Smith

Emily K Smith is a writer and multimedia artist based in Oakland, CA. She is a senior Writing & Literature major at California College of the Arts. Follow her on Tumblr.

Unsent Apology in my Gmail Drafts

it’s okay
to dream about a person and hope
she dreams about you or at least cyberstalks you
daily so that your profile pic flashes in that liquid
space between her closed eyes and falling asleep
with all the weird floating things

like i will never
be able to talk to you
in a serious voice for more than three
lines but we can speak in the swimming pool:
you ask questions and i duck
hide in the deep end with ghosts

i want
to draw uneven hot pink polka dots on top of aqua aqua
all around me like this is just an enlarged ms paint file on the comp
at nancy’s house in 1998 we’re so small
we’re so excited
we’re about to make a new one
but first save as

Whole Life Unrequited

whole life summarized as “half of a banana left in the fridge
for two days; a little brown but i’ll still eat it”

whole life spent pouring Kix on the kitchen floor and watch-
ing them race for the dishwasher

whole life carefully observing body language

whole life saying, “I mean, either way”

whole life imagining clipping my toenails in your bedroom
and not putting them in the garbage

whole life: “can you not”

whole life hovering over an imaginary life superimposed
and duct-taped onto what I’ve referred to as the
incredible potential

whole life chasing ants out of the bathtub

whole life in a couch stain the exact shape of
my first grade teacher

whole life trying to convince you i’m actually
actual and you are the hero-monster
in my dream please don’t kill me

How I Write A Poem

I am eating Nutella in bed.
I am reading messages from men OkCupid.
I am not responding to them because in this poem,
playing hard to get online is easier than IRL but it’s still good practice.

I am taking photos of myself using my Macbook webcam and I am
adjusting their contrast in Photoshop.

I am telling myself it is not narcissistic to place my body in a poem
seeing as this is the only body I have.

I am drawing diagrams in my head of all the emotions I have felt today.

I draw my emotional body. It seeps into the carpet.

I am color coding instinctual responses and habitual behavioral patterns
and filing them into folders entitled ‘yes’ ‘no’ ‘maybe’ and ‘stop’

Before I was writing this poem, I had saved a photo of a person I miss
to my desktop.

I am looking at the person in the photo and this person is looking at me too.

We are making eye contact and in this poem it is not uncomfortable.

I refuse to be the first to look away so we do this until the battery dies.

I am lying on my back and looking at shapes and indentations in the ceiling.

In a poem I used to be a child in a national park with very Big Trees.

In a poem I was four years old and I bathed with my mother.

In a poem there are only blue things.

In this poem I do not live alone. I fling the doors open.

I remember how you are when your body is in front of mine.

I reconstruct you to be how you were when you existed near me.

After I write this poem, I will zoom in until you are not a person anymore, but
blocks of color like
melon and dirt
and urgency
and lack.