soft palms good suit, realtor buy-the-house-after-one-room smile, he chuckles, “yeah, but,” sniffs in like he’s inhaling a sedative, “where do you hide the bodies in a place like this,” says: a place like this,

let me tell you about a place like this because under the trees and fresh paint and cars they get detailed with a toothbrush and windows that they cover with soap just to make sure ‘the cleaning people fully do their job’ (ha, ha, ha), let me tell you where they hide the bodies

let me tell you what their kids smell like, or maybe not, maybe your stomach isn’t strong enough. in our last week of junior year bella breaks down in the hallway and says, “i’m bulimic,” and i want to say, “no, you’re bella,” but instead i say, “why, why, why? you’re beautiful as it is,” bella’s history says: this is why, this is toddler in tiara turned young girl in tiara, turned teenager with too much baby fat on her to get anything but kicked out of beauty pageants (she hated them, she hated them, but what her mama wanted, her mama was gonna get), this is girl-on-cheer-squad looking down at her hands and thinking, “would i get a crown if they saw me today” and no, and no, and no, her body floats in a toilet bowl

let me tell you the body of justin with his chattering teeth who got straight-A’s but never stopped trembling with what we thought was caffeine: one day I caught him crying in a back room, he said, “please don’t tell, please don’t tell,” he said: anxiety. he said: self-harm. he said: been pushing myself too hard for too long and now it feels like everything is crawling down my throat and setting up camp on my vocal chords and sending little spiders through my bloodstream, now it feels like no matter what i do, i can’t feel anything. he said: look for my body next to the dean’s list, i have to make it, i have to make it.

where do they hide the bodies here? in senior year the captain of the football team killed himself when he didn’t get into the college his parents had pushed him for. randi’s stomach turned purple with the bruises her father gave her. david never got out of drugs after they made him drop art as his main subject. alex just wanted to be a boy in peace but his mother’s contempt refuses to acknowledge the “he” part of “she,” was struck down and suffocated by dresses and makeup. everybody wanted to be the best but only one person could be, which meant the rest of them were left upstream with nothing but fingers they rotted through while trying to catch their parent’s dreams.

oh, trust me, they murder plenty here, but they dress up the corpse and keep it running. wouldn’t want to ruin a long-term investment. wouldn’t want the neighbors to notice something bad is stinking up their jewel-green lawns, their soapy windows, their garden-by-the-pond. nothing different lives here, not for long. either you are one of their button-ups or you were made all wrong.

in a place like this, you got nothing but bodies. the houses are all too clean and the mothers drink too much and are overly friendly and the fathers don’t come home until way after their shifts are over. oh, sure, the kitchen floor is stunning and you gotta love the failing school system and you gotta love the community and you gotta love everything, just gotta, just gotta.

a place like this. a place like this. a place full of emptiness.

—  suburb kid // r.i.d
You and me. Afraid. To love. To be together. To Live. Your mystery, your beauty and all the things that you carry. All your emotions. The deep kind of things that you think about. That no one understood. You were so much more than you think you were. You are so much more. To me.
—  Michael Daaboul
I try to write poems about saying goodbye but they all taste as bitter as the last time you said you loved me. I remember it all so clearly. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the February wind biting into my skin and I feel like I’m back when I didn’t need the sun to feel warm. It makes all the ache worth it, you know. It doesn’t always seem like it, but when I can feel the ghost of your fingers tracing their way down my skin, I’d almost let you break me again.
—  Reminiscing by Auriel Haack 

I heard you’re seeing someone new.

Last night, they asked me if we were still friends. I said no, because that’s the truth. It never worked out.
That’s when I learned about her.
I saw the pictures and you’re holding her hand in most of them and you two seem to fit together perfectly.
I really wanted to be angry but I couldn’t really find those feelings in myself. Instead I felt happy, and loosing you, stopped feeling like a loss.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, I’m happy because you’ve finally let yourself love something that wouldn’t be the end of you. You finally stepped out in the open, to meet her somewhere in the middle and I’m happy because it’s what your mother would have wanted. She would have loved to see it, you there in the open, with all that bravery of yours, of hers.
I know your mother would have been very proud of you. She is proud of you, even from up there.
I’m happy because you deserve love like that and she’s handing it to you, like it’s all she has.
I hope that somewhere you find yourself thinking that you should have done this all much sooner, I hope that somewhere you find yourself thinking that some things are worth bleeding for. I hope you tell yourself that love is always going to be one of them.

—  I Heard You’re Seeing Someone New // thewordsyouneverunderstood

You remember some moments more vividly than others;

you don’t remember anything about what your first kiss was like or how happy it made you feel but you remember that it wasn’t sexy or hot or cute or sweet and that it pressed itself on your lips so hard all you could taste was blood after,

and you don’t remember how you ended up in the hospital that one night with your family in a circle around you but you remember the streetlights and the hiding half-moon between the clouds and how you thought it looked like the face of a frightened child and how you never looked at where your feet were going,

and you don’t remember how he broke your heart or how you even found your way back to your house when he was gone but you remember how you turned your bed coffin and how you lay there for months hoping he’d walk right back in and how you always kept the door unlocked,

and you don’t remember how he found his way back into your life again but you remember how your hands instinctively wrapped themselves around his neck without you asking them to and how you held him so close you thought you had the same skin and how you never wanted to let him go again and how you never did.

—  Reena B.| Hand-picked memories and all the things they lack.
I’m sorry this had to happen. I’m sorry that I have to leave you all alone like this. We aren’t going to work. Wrong time, wrong life I suppose. We had a great time together, and I’m sorry it got cut short. Now all I can do is set you free.
—  T.G. // Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #85 
today i learned how to fold newspapers into roses.

i never knew how addicting it could be until i had a box overflowing with them. one had crooked edges as though it had been chewed on by a toothless child. another one was the color of the sky. there was one that reminded me of you with its curled edges and sly smiles.

i like these roses better for three reasons: they had no thorns, they will never die, and just because they were made today during this year’s first april shower.

despite having no thorns, they had sharp edges. i made the mistake of burrowing my hand in them, thinking it would be like putting your hand in a sack of beans in the market when the shopkeeper isn’t looking. there are just a few things worse than papercuts and i can’t think of one right now.

but upon closer inspection, these roses started to smell like old people’s hands. and the smallest of the bunch had the story of a plane crash on one petal and a girl raped by eight men in a small village south of town on another.


But then she said,

“I’m sorry, but I was bred to be a writer. And sometimes, I will only see you as raw material. No more, no less. I’ll create poetry out of your struggle, and swim in the ocean of your thoughts. I’ll fall in love with your faults, and write half a novel about how I long to live forevermore in your embrace. But then the twist of fate will strike, all that we could have been will hit me like a ton of bricks; I’ll scratch out every line that housed your name. You’ll wonder who I am, and how I changed just as you blinked in another direction. And by morning, love, I will have banished every scribble on every page, I will have wiped out all the fairytale dreams I had until last night. And I’m sorry, babe, it’s just the way I am; I was born to be fleeting. I might linger in your thoughts for quite some time, and some days, perhaps you’ll wish I had stayed. But don’t you get it, love? I am incapable of lighting up a night sky for all eternity; I burn out. Transient, I’m a human shooting star. You gotta wish hard enough and believe with all your heart if ever I’m going to come true, if ever I can come back to life.”

And that’s when I knew I had to catch her before her fire faded into mere nothingness

—  Khadija A.