Fields of Frozen Flowers

frozen rose
Photo by Nikolett Emmert on

Here is a poem about loneliness.


I don’t know how to explain this “normal.”

I think you have to live this,

it’s like explaining smells to someone who can’t smell

it’s like explaining childbirth to someone who’s never given birth

it’s like I have lived here,

and wept here,

and told myself I’m normal here,

and found courage and light here,

and hoped to find others like me here–

but in my words to convey to you

how I have learned and rooted myself and grown

in this place alone,

you hear only the language of an alien from Eris;

cold, tiny, so far out that you can’t travel there in either of our lives.

Dear humans I hope might understand:

this road doesn’t go two ways,

if I am an alien

I am an alien immersed in your country,

blending in

to public restaurants and parking lots and bathrooms.

If I am an alien from so far away,

it doesn’t make sense how I got here

but I did

I was born here

I am as human as you

I’m just making metaphors of aliens blending in

because any other language in your ears loses my heart in translation.

Do you hear me?

Not just hear; feel me?

Do you know how my hands tremble in terror

at the thought of telling you point-blank how I feel, out loud, with my mouth?

I think I know how you feel: your day went poorly, you were scattered, tired,

you saw an old friend,

you dealt with a headache,

you thought the discussion was so insightful,

you stressed out over teaching,

you crave chocolate

you think sugar rushes are real.

Tell me, is this the belly of how you feel?

Do I hear how you feel correctly?

I want

to explode

with all my feelings

I want you

to read these books I carve from chunks of my frozen fury and love

I want you

to feel what I feel

(is this ache so bad?)

I want

all your shallow hurts you think are depths

I want

my shaking wrists to be still,

to be strong enough to steadily stitch me up from anything, because

so many ways into an open heart

are with a knife blade,

I want to have words ready in my head

to parry your silly apologies

you think are bandages

but they strike with nettle barbs,

“What is a heart?” “Sorry I’ve never heard of Eris” “Whatdya mean you’re an alien but also human?”

Humans I hope will understand,



I’m so deeply mad at you

at the same time I’m easy on your mistakes

I’m so deeply terrified of you hating me

so I pretend like I am like you

disliking how I look,

yet here I am

where all my bottled words keep coming

I’m so sad

I’m so sad

I just wanna cry

and take a single day off of existing

do you feel the irony of these pages,

how I want you to understand but you haven’t, you won’t,

I don’t want your nice words

but words are all we have

I want your resistance

to smash my anger upon

but I don’t want to break you

I don’t want to break you

I want life to break you

so we can want the world together,

the world that never loved us,

you and I,

double the alone-ness of just I,

two more eyes who get us,

please will you get how

I’m so sad,

I’m so sad,

take the darkest scene from a movie

and don’t laugh at it or say “oh my,”

oh my heart,

what are you,

what do we do in this country

where we’ll be named a terrorist

for exploding all our feelings?


Take a knife

and cut up fury,

and package it between my teeth,

say I love you,

stay okay,

how is your day,

I’ll play the small talk game,

and I’ll keep running

deeper into my stories


crawling beneath the sidewalk

rising up

and displacing you


know how I feel

and sometimes that’s enough

to keep me from needing people

who are too busy to come

and too bored to stay

and definitely don’t want to play

this game where you come crawling

into my fields of frozen flowers.


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