learning you, unlearning – Sarah Little

learning you

some days I’m certain that I
already know you.
on the days I’m unsure,
I sit and list,
count the ways I know you.

one: I know the green-grey
of your eyes. two: I know
the curve of your
jawline, and
three, the way you routinely
stay up past midnight.

four: the timbre of your
voice after a
long day. five, the way
you grip the steering wheel
and six,
the ringtone you assigned me.

seven: the way you tell me
you don’t know

you sit with me and count
what I don’t know.
and list what I should

one, the music you listen to
when I’m not around. two,
the list of draft messages saved
in a folder for me (to never read) and three, your temperament at
six-forty in the morning.

four, how your eyes look when
you’re concentrating.

I could learn
five, the way you organize things
and six, what to cook
next time you come over.

seven, the pile of books on your
coffee table. the ones you’re
only part-way through.

I could learn all these (and more)
and still
not know you.

(bring me notebooks and pens
I’ll get started now)



pull apart the notebooks.
chop up the pages.

all my careful notes are
no good now.
I’m already
out the door
and you’re not the one I  need to know.

tear my list into confetti ,
strewn across your bedroom
floor and swirled
across the threshold.

I’m leaving the windows
ajar as I go
(you always preferred
them open.
something about letting fresh
air circulate.)

see, I have learned you
after all.

it’s time to unlearn you.
forget your movie night  rituals, or
how you get up
early to cook at

I’m already gone
and the memories could
pull me under (if I let them)

I pull myself out of my mind
and start to drive.

(when you’re unlearning someone,
everything becomes
a diversion)

Sarah Little is a poet-storyteller. When she isn’t conjuring new tales or trying to keep pace with her to-create list she blogs, knits, and sometimes goes looking for shenanigans. Her work has appeared in Moonchild Magazines, Riggwelter Press and Memoir Mixtapes, among others. Her second poetry chapbook, Not Your Masterpiece, was released in January 2018. Sarah is on Twitter and Instagram as @tuckedinacorner.

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