This poem all started with me wondering if I'd ever cry at my father's funeral. My father is man who was either never around, or was unimaginably cruel the days he did decide to bless us with his company. Naturally, death made me think of Emily Dickenson's famous two verses "and because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me," which I allude to in my opening couplet. However, and since my father is actually alive and well now, I took it upon myself to murder him prematurely, in my poem, in order for me to see how I would handle the idea of life without him in it. After my experiment was over, I noticed that I did end up shedding a few tears, and I discovered that I do feel love: not towards my own father, but rather towards the idea of the *father figure* which I still resiliently believe exists, and hope to one day - through my future husband - provide for my own children, the way my mother never could for me.
My name is Jessy Bissal and I am a 24 year-old Armenian
Lebanese currently living in Lebanon. I have a minor in
Creative Writing, and a BA and an MA in English Literature,
both of which I earned with distinction from the American
University of Beirut in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
At present, I am a University Instructor, teaching English at various institutions in Lebanon.
Poetry is something I do on the side. I never have, nor ever will make poetry my 'job' because
if I were ever to do that, I feel I would have tainted the one release that brings me such joy in
my spare time. That said, finding the time to write is easy for me, because I never force
myself to sit down and write; I write when the words suffocate and slither their anacondabody
around my neck, pull tightly against my lungs and force me to spit them out.
While admittedly macabre, that is why I ultimately share my poetry: so you, dear reader,
could read my words and my verses, and, if but for a few fleeting moments, see the world
And because I could not stop for this poem,
this poem kindly stopped for me.
It begins, as all poems do,
with church bells, and sins.
glass cups carefully placed
under running tap water,
the drip drip drip incrementally
till it reaches a lull plateau;
with every droplet diving into
into soft tremors
"blood is family"
now retaliated with
"family is blood"
I think of how they reveal
an exquisite taste in
music and Berettas-
the twin shell casings
as deleterious as corroding keys;
of a placebo
to the multitude
of possibilities present
in every "someday", "somehow",
and some corner
of this strange cosmic universe
where our thoughts are likely
to have "met"
as though they had been
United Nations representatives.
It is certainly
that the poem should end
still falling sideways,
a slightly-backwards-tilted head
as the reservoir can only fill up
before it overflows
on its aggressor.
A kind of Stockholm Syndrome.
And I love you.
I love you.
But I am conflating
the idea of you
with the actual corporeal
entity of you.
And I am still blinking
to the stars,
the city lights,
and the cars,
and conjuring up my stories
while thinking of you
and thinking of how
indeed I love you,
but it is not you,
it is not you that I love at all.