ep·i·gram·ma [n]
1. Any witty, ingenious, or pointed saying tersely expressed.
2. A brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement.

The Thing About Clichés
If this were a cliché,
A poem, or both
It would be about sparkling midnight skies and heartbeats and flowers.

There would be oceanic eyes and rain that tastes like tears. We’ll throw in anxiety-riddled murmurs and metaphorical bullets and allusions to sharp objects for pity.

This is not a cliché anymore.

So instead I wrote about the flavor of emerald and the fragrance of April hope. I painted pictures of a perfect pencil, poised over a blank page.

If this were a romance,
A message in a bottle, or both
It would still be cliché, to capture electric fingers and longings locked away with skeleton keys, and drugs.

We’d find footprints in the sand and read angels into them. We’d collect rejected roses, tarnished rings, and hopeful held breaths where the tides washed them up, tie them up with ribbon, and cork it all away for someone else to worry about.

This is not a romance either.

So instead I baked coffee cake while it rained, and picked the leaves from the garden to display in crystal carafes. I inhaled the moon when the clouds parted, and loved myself alone.

If this were a slow-dance song,
A diary, or both,
Our ballet shoes would get dirty after too many last calls, enough encores already, and our hands would cramp up after calligraphy, too, became cliché.

Which is why I’m tired of writing roses and champagne and fairytales, and pouring senseless images on your head like cloudbursts. I’m bored with the old evening gowns and hinting at seduction, and sick of lonely letters written from the highest tower in the castle.

This is not a song-and-dance act.

So instead I’m trying something new. It’s sleeping in the sun and eating ice-cream sandwiches under the bleachers, and driving around barefoot because crazy things make me smile. It’s paper-clip necklaces and yoga on beach towels in the backyard.

If this were a cliché,
A suicide note, or both
It would have capital letters at the bottom which said THE END. It would be about changing seasons and candles burning out and taking life’s clichés into your own hands. It would be bittersweet irony, but it would still have been just one in a long line.

I am dead serious. The thing about clichés is that we’re all stereotypes in high definition and living is just a chance to blow the subs. Because truth be told, I’m just an idiom of blue eyes and black-and-silver dreams, and I love walks on the beach and scenic drives on the moon.

This is not a cliché, because it admits to being one.

So instead I’m stealing every old starry-eyed platitude and flaunting it at my fingertips. Because the truth is that we don’t know the truth, and we’re all dying, and we’re all burning like stars, and all we have is emotion to separate us from vegetables. All we have is screaming and crying and dancing until we collapse, all we can do is laugh and bleed and hold on tight, all we are is feeling.
And sometimes that’s enough.

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