Writers often hit walls where they know what they want to say but they just can't find the words to say it, and it's during times like these where I've found it helpful to simply stop beating myself over the head about my incompetence and borrow someone else's words instead. But before you attack me, no, it is not stealing. What I'm talking about is Found Poetry, which can best be described as the literary version of a collage. Found poems take existing words from existing text and refashion them into a completely new piece of art. Usually, after I finish writing one I can't help but stop and think, "did I really write this?" "No, I did not." "Yes, I did. Shut up."

This poem was created from the article "For Best Hookup Results, Use Your Words, O.K.?" by Gabrielle Ulubay, written for the New York Times.


What Comes After Loving You?

My lover was never more than
a few inches from me.
We left the room only to use the bathroom
or to shuffle to the kitchen for snacks.

I kissed him on the cheek,
the temple, the forehead.
He kissed me on my waist,
my stomach, my hips.

He told me I was smart,
funny, creative.
He saw things in me
I didn't know were visible.

I had never been the girl of anyone's dreams,
not even my own.
I secretly hoped that he was the same as me,
that his chest also simmered
with hidden indiscretions.
I think about how long I've been ready
to find the beauty in the scars of someone
as flawed as me and
to feel that person reciprocate.

His goodbye was a kiss and a wink
as he stepped off the subway and said,
"I'll see you later."

He never saw me again.

Maybe I need to love myself.
I wonder what will happen
if I search for it and cannot find it.

How do I search within myself?
How do I see things in me that aren't visible?
How will I know when I have found this thing
that I never realized I lost, and
what will happen when I do?

I laughed.
I will say, "Oh, there you are.
Where have you been all this time?"
And I will set it back inside of me,
this time in the correct place.