The Oliver Sonnets: I-V

To my ex-boyfriend, Oliver Peckham. I miss you.


When I have failed at things within my life,
I leave my peers and friends and mourn alone.
I don't trouble them with my pain and strife;
Self-pity is a problem all my own.

I sometimes wish that I could change my place
With one of those girls whose lives seem so carefree
And switch my blotchy, puffy, tearstained face
With one of someone happier than me.

But then I feel as though I have no right
To stay so maudlin when I might contented be,
So with drying tears into the starry night
I call the one I love: I call to thee.

And with your words so soft and sweet and slow,
You take my pain – and give more than you know.


(Note: The first line of this one is taken a little from Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. I acknowledge that. I'm not just arbitrarily plagiarizing.)

I suppose your eyes aren't much like the sun
And I suppose your voice like velvet does not sound;
But I can guarantee you, life was sure more fun
And had many fewer tears with you around.

I wonder if thunder misses the rain
On stormy days when cool drops will not fall;
Do the heavy clouds realize they call in vain
Or does it even matter much to them at all?

I know this – I miss your laughter and your smile
And the way you'd get quiet when you were mad
And I wish I could have you back for just awhile
Maybe then you could tell my friends why I'm so sad.

But I suppose that pen, paper, and tears must do
Since I've lost the friendship and the love I'd found in you.


Question: am I not supposed to miss you?
It seems as though my friends and peers agree
That I should want anything except to kiss you
And dream of anything except you kissing me.

I should instead chase after other boys our age
Who see me as no more than a study aide,
But guess who I'm gazing at from here onstage
On opening night after the spotlight fades?

I'll know you're the mastermind behind the lights
And I'll look up to you (as I always did)
Working in the techie booth; and when the brights
come up, I'll still see your face the glare has hid.

But when the stage lights and the cheering die
I'll still sing on for you – for you and I.


Shall I compare thee to a blooming rose?
Thou art as lovely and as like to hurt;
But then, the pollen from them irritates my nose
And I've never really liked to play in dirt.

Maybe you're more like to coffee strong –
Dark and bitter and like to make me ill.
(Sometimes it matters not that something's wrong –
With all you've done to me, I love you still.)

A fallen angel I'd compare you to,
But melodrama never was your thing,
And even though my time with you is through
And you're more like to make me cry than make me sing,

I don't know what I can compare you to, but to start,
I guess you're the keeper – and the breaker – of my heart.


Can one really break the laws that nature makes?
Can we defy gravity, and soar into the sky?
Can we stop our breathing in order to take
A moment to dream at the clouds careening by?

Can we tell our nerves not to feel the pain
And to only let pleasure and comfort through?
Can we tell ourselves we do not love in vain?
Can I tell myself that I've stopped loving you?

For I've tried, believe me, and nothing's been as hard
As not crying when I glimpse you from afar;
And it seems convincing myself that my heart's not scarred
Is as futile as trying to douse a star.

So it seems gravity's keeping me here on the ground
As long as my misguided love keeps my heart to you bound.