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What I Remember About Matt
What I Remember About Matt
Desperation and lies
Boyish toothy grin
Farmer Midwest overalls
Neck bruised from sucking
Confused childish playfulness
Terrible trying-hard breakfasts
My thumb on his every button
Thinking control was the key
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.