What I Remember About Matt

What I Remember About Matt


Desperation and lies

Slightly hidden

Boyish toothy grin


Farmer Midwest overalls

Shirtless

Neck bruised from sucking


Confused childish playfulness

Terrible trying-hard breakfasts

Playing adult


My thumb on his every button

Thinking control was the key


Pathetic innocence

Cajoling and apologizing

Stealing Monopoly money


Crooked teeth, gang signs

Lack of social graces

A strange likeability


Father an image with shackles on television

Sister with a baby on her hip screaming at the neighbors

Mother asking for money


I thought I could help

I thought that I had to


Two birds covered with a dusty cloth

Screeching until they stopped

Found dead in the morning


Omaha, Colorado, Tucson

110 miles per hour without a license

Missing bank cards and fibs


Denim forbidden at the gates

Quarters for vending machine snacks

Fortune costing phone call "I Love You's"


We both deserved better

I hope you found it, Matt


Explanation of a Poem


Sometimes it is really tough to try to take a poem that you’ve written from the heart and to explain it in prose. Sometimes you just want the poem to speak for itself. That’s how I feel about this poem, What I Remember About Matt. But I’ll try to provide some back story about the personal history that led to the poem.

Matt was one of my early boyfriends, and the first long-ish relationship that I had as a young adult. I was living on my own and he moved in with me and we played house for a little while. We were trying to be adults but we were still just kids in so many ways. A lot of what I remember about him is about that, about us trying to learn what it was like to be adults together.

It would take tomes to explain who he was and who I was and how we ended up together. And it took therapy to deal with some of the effects of that relationship and my choices on the person I was to become. But in the end, most of what I remember about him is actually rather simple. I remember the flaws in who he was as an individual and I remember these really cute little things about the person beneath that he was trying to become and that I could see in him.

This poem is about some of the things that I remember, especially about the little ways in which he tried to be a good adult boyfriend even though he was really just a messed up kid at the time. He came from a messed up situation and he ended up in prison and there were a lot of things he did that I disliked about him for a long time. But in the end, after all of that has passed, what I remember is laughing over terrible breakfasts in bed because neither of us actually knew how to cook yet.

The format of the poem is designed to show the simple troubles and the simple joys of that young relationship side by side. I used a semi-controlled format of three lines, three lines, three lines, two lines to exert some form of the ideas in the poem.

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Comments 5 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Love your analysis, Carlon!


Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

Gurlfriend. Amazing poem. I needed no explanation. The relationship as a whole was defined so beautifully in your writing. I've been there. I saw your images and mine as well. The hope. The helplessness. The guilt. The desire. The playfulness. The raw sexiness. It was all there. Beautifully done! Smile!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

that's an amazing poem. Absolutely incredible. Simple, effective, harsh and empathetic. Loved it!


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

I agree with Frannie's comment. You chalked it up for a very useful experience, later on, but you'd never want to do that again. It sounds like it could have been a long, bad road you were traveling down, so I'm glad you got yourself free of it. I feel a bit sorry for Matt, too. You both might have had issues but his were not the kind that gets straightened out as you go through life.


Frannie Dee profile image

Frannie Dee 5 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

Looking back you are probably glad you had this experience in your youth yet today you would steer clear of such a character to avoid danger. I guess being young and in love is dangerous. The bad boy attraction wears off, thank goodness. Enjoyed this.

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