The Writing of Amanda Hatton

Seeing You

I tried to see across the ocean.

Eyes on the horizon.

Staring at the wavy line where cold water met grey sky.

But I didn’t see you there.

I just saw the curl of your hair and your left ear.

 

So I tried to see across the desert.

Eyes on the horizon.

Staring at the hazy line where hot sand met harsh sky.

But I didn’t see you there.

I just saw your right hand and your worn out shoe.

 

I looked back and forth trying to see you.

Only seeing pieces.

Seeing more that wasn’t you

Than that was you.

I should’ve known.

I should’ve seen you.

Standing so close I couldn’t see you. 

Understanding the Way Einstein Did

Einstein understood it.

Seeing people as they really are.

Not as we imagine them to be.

Not what we want them to be.

Not what they will become.

Just as they are.

 

But my hair lies flat against my head.

Maybe that’s why he understood it better

And I’m just learning.

Maybe it has to do with the height of your hair

Or the wrinkles on your forehead

Or how far you’ve come from where you started.

 

But my hair lies flat.

There are few wrinkles on my face

And I’m just learning.

I’m just learning.

I’m just learning.

Forgive me. 

Truth on the Tide

I stared down into the ocean water

Trying to catch glimpses of who we were.

 

I thought I saw reflections.

Nearly perfect truths of our humanity.

But they were sea foam and seaweeds.

Curled in the shape of pilgrim hands.

 

So I took a second look.

And I thought I saw the depth of the ocean

And the depth of our souls.

But it was simply the black that comes when human eyes fail.

 

So I just stared at the horizon.

I watched as the Portuguese-men-of-war clustered round.

Stared as they traveled towards me from off that line where water and sky meet.

 

But one of those little black dots wasn’t a jellyfish.

It was the ship you sailed to me in.

 

And I saw you.

And I don’t know I could’ve mistaken you for anything else.

 

Honesty brought by the tide

Truth brought by time. 

Rain on the Windowpane

I’ve read enough inspirational quotes for the night.

The British woman crooning in these headphones is growing tired.

The rain outside the window is puttering out and the wind is dying down.

I’m sitting here

                                                                     naked

Naked in a way that is neither physical nor emotional

Butbothcompletely

And sleep will come soon enough.

But in this moment I will think of you.

Think of you

Think of you

Think

Of

You.

and imagine you are here beside me.

So you could see me as

I Truly Am.

Because I’m tired of trying to say it with my eyes,

and with my voice

and with words that are so twisted that they don’t have the same meaning as I meant them to.

                                                Can you see me where you’re at?

Can you see me where you’re at?

Can you see me where you’re at?

Because I can see you.

                                                                                   As You Truly Are

And you’re beautiful.

I Thought of You


I thought about you for the first time

The first time in a very long time.

Thought of you as you really were.

Not as I imagined you in that snow drift haze.

Or as I imagined you in the last few months.

The thawing out and burning of a desert sun.

No.

I thought of you.

The you that opened up to me late at night.

The you that cared about what I thought.

The you that meant something.

But then I changed you.

First I imagined you much greater than you were.

Some secretive lover.

Some harlequin romance that was only communicated in hushed tones and sharp whispers.

Something greater than you were.

I thought there was an undertone there.

I thought you’d live up to it.

I thought if I thought the greatest of you you’d step up to it

Just like in all the movies and books I read.

But then you ruined it.

I don’t blame you for it

I wouldn’t want to be held to the standards of a better me.

Wouldn’t want to be forever in the shadow of an unreal persona.

So I decided that you were worse than I imagined.

I imagined you lower than the low

Some dog on the sidewalk

Some dead beat with no moral compass

Some spiteful disgusting thing I was too good to speak of.

But you weren’t that either.

You didn’t notice the venom in my eyes that night

But you were never one to notice.

So when we parted ways you thought I still held you on that shelf

Shelf of golden heroes to be worshiped and adored.

You didn’t notice I’d taken that statue

Rubbed it in the ashes where I’d fallen

And thrown it in the Atlantic because it was the deepest darkest ocean I could find.

But tonight I thought of you.

Thought of you as you really are.

Not better not worse

Just you.

And I missed you.

I missed the boy I talked to.

I missed the boy who could spin my mind like a top

With the way he understood my background.

I missed that night in the darkened corner of a friend’s apartment

When you told me about your family

And I told you about mine

And we realized we were much the same.

I miss being understood

And understanding in return.

Because all of our friends may claim to understand

But no one gets the quiet, almost silent, agony

That we both endured

Still endure.

No one gets it quite the way you do.

So I wish I hadn’t cut all ties when I jumped ship.

I wish I hadn’t spit at you that night and walked away.

I wish I hadn’t cursed your name so many times

That I can’t say it without the ring of hatred coming through.

I never really hated anyone till I hated that idea of you.

And I never really loved anyone till I loved that idea of you.

And since then I’ve faced demons.

I’ve hung off sheer cliff faces.

I’ve been to hell and back

With your name scrawled upon my wrist.

And now I think I’m finally ready to accept you.

You.

You the boy I knew at first.

You the person I wanted to be friends with.

You who became my friend.

So if he still exists

If he still endures somewhere inside you

Tell him I thought of him today.

Tell him I thought of him and I missed him. 

Battle Worn

It’s funny how I fell asleep to the thought of you before you gave me permission.

I clung to the happy memories I tacked to the corkboard in my head.

You and I walking through the demented places we frequented.

Smiles over shared meals with shared friends.

Funny conversations when no one else could hear us.

With those I could turn any dark and stormy day

Into a night curled up with you next to me.

A night with your legs intertwined under my blankets

And your voice reading aloud rather than just mine.

You never realized what all those late night text conversations

Were being turned into in my head.

You never realized what you meant to me.

You never realized what those walks and meals and funny conversations could be turned into.

You didn’t see the fine silk they were made of

Or the beautiful tapestry they were begging to be weaved into.

So I still think of your head on the pillow beside mine.

I still wish for your hand to hold while I drift off to sleep.

I still imagine you here to protect me when I cower in the dark.

But now I know I don’t have permission.

Now I know I’m standing up against the armies of your heart and mind.

You made your choice and you made it clear.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll back down.

It doesn’t mean I’m defeated.

No, it just means I face you.

The combined cavalry and artillery of both brain and heart against all of me.

Against the full force of my whole body.

I’ve got a veteran general heart

Been through too many battles to count.

It’s got scars on it to mark each battlefield its faced with its soldiers

And where it’s never won but where it’s led my fights.

And right now its suiting up.

I’ve got a strategist for a brain.

It can tell me which fights to pursue and which ones to drop.

A brain known for pressing the troops until they faint.

And right now its screaming a rally cry.

I’ve got a body that does not quit.

These limbs are the soldiers of this army

All well-worn battle-bruised brigands.

All ready for whatever action their general and their strategist should call for.

All willing to lay down their life for this.

And right now their lining up with weapons at hand.

So I don’t presume to win the war

But baby I will fight.

I will fight until my weary heart’s beats slow.

I will fight until my strategist mind tells me it is hopeless.

I will fight until my body is broken and tired.

I will not die upon that battle field.

But I will come close enough that you will have no doubt.

Have no doubt I truly loved you.

And every night, from now till then,

That I fall asleep to the thought of you.

Every day I spend with you wrapped up in my mind.

Every conversation I trick you into

Will be a battlefield.

A battlefield you unwittingly stepped upon.

So watch out boy

Because my coquettish ways

Will blow you up like a land mine.

And my sweet demeanor

Will arrest your heart and keep it as a prisoner of war.

So I will dream of you.

I will keep your memories up on the corkboard in my mind.

I will still imagine you beside me.

I will text you till we both fall asleep.

I am not one to give up that easily. 

Common Place Art

You stand on the outsides

But always facing in.

Pointing fingers at the commoners

Laughing at our childish din.

 

You say we know not

Of what beauty lies beyond the walls.

But how much of it can you have seen

When it is us your eye draws?

 

And under the sound of your laughter

And the hiss of your ridicules

Is the sound of our song

And the beauty of our world.

 

You think it common place

You think it trivial

You think you’ve found something better

You think you’re superior.

 

But I’d rather be common

With common heart and common dreams

Than be someone like you

Too busy ridiculing

To see beauty in all of these common things.