For too damn long, I’ve apologized to the men I’ve loved, for not being THAT pretty. For not being THAT skinny. For not being THIS, for not being THAT. I’ve said, “I’m sorry I’m not good enough.” Since the age of thirteen, like I say my name, it’s become the default of the question, “who are you?” I am so tired of beating myself up, tearing myself down. My body is not a goddamn temple, it’s the house I grew up in, and I don’t know why I keep trying to burn it down.
—  i.c. // "Fire vs. Fire"

the sky through my window is the same blue as your eyes the last time i saw you and i’ve tried hanging up fairy lights to keep away the darkness but it turns out you lose a lot more than magic when your heart breaks into halves it turns out you can also lose your mind good god but i think i’m still fucked up over you and i have no goddamn right

"Thanks," he said quietly, "for always being there. For putting up with all of this," he motioned, "for putting up with me."

She was thoughtful for a while.

"Maybe that’s what love is," she shrugged, slipping her hand in his. "Looking at someone and thinking, ‘what’s with this guy - he’s the biggest twerp in the world’. And rolling your eyes while knowing full well that after a long day his arms are still the perfect home.

"And maybe that’s exactly it." She said, "knowing he’s a dork and loving him anyway. Maybe it’s as simple as saying ‘I know you’re not perfect but you’re mine, and I’d choose you today, tomorrow and everyday after that.

"I hope," she nodded, "it’s as simple as that. Because I’d still choose you today, tomorrow and everyday after that."

—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #62
The roads between our houses collapse, and we make bridges out of apologies trying to reach each other again. The news reporter talks about the abandoned house that burst into flames last week, and we mourn each ghost like we loved them once. Like we danced with them once and our bodies have been aching ever since. We just wanted the wars to stop. We just wanted forgiveness on Sunday. We just wanted words and the right voices saying them. We kept convincing ourselves that we waited too long in the wrong doorways, but the truth is, we would have waited longer and that’s why all of this still hurts.
—  Y.Z, answering machine

The rain was falling faster than I’d ever seen, and I was falling right there with it. Without a word, you grabbed my hand and we ran as fast as we could. We didn’t stop running until we reached your empty porch, and as soon as we found shelter, my lips found yours. The street was black and powerless from the storm, and without any clocks moving forward, the hours were ours.

I don’t know how long we stayed like that, but eventually you had to go inside. When I finally did leave your porch, the storm was only growing louder. I’d just made it back to the street when the sound of thunder clapping ripped into the sky.

And so I stopped walking.

And I took a bow.

—  Dominic Matthew Jackson, Our First Storm

I have heard it said that if you seek to truly understand something, you must first view each of its components in their most simplistic form. Only then, they say, will you gain an appreciation for the intricate mechanisms that work diligently in unison towards a common purpose.

I have found this to be true.

It was not until I had broken your heart that I was able comprehend its magnificent capacity for selflessness and unconditional love. I was able to understand and appreciate you in ways that I never had before. What I hadn’t realized at the time was the tremendous effort that was needed to reassemble all of the parts necessary to recreate the original whole. Immediately, I realized that I had made a fatal mistake. I lacked the ability to put all of your many complex pieces back together. I was ashamed of myself for breaking something so beautiful. I held my breath, closed my eyes and walked away. The only solace that I have found is knowing that someday, someone will come along with enough patience, love and knowledge to remedy what I could not.

—  || Colleen Courtney Anderson ||
Like the Rock of Gibraltar

Sometimes there are ocean waves that look like dead men’s fingertips, beckoning. That’s probably why he jumped off that cliff last Sunday when he was supposed to be singing at church and smiling and, well, alive. At least that’s what the news reports say.

Because it couldn’t possibly have been the children in his third grade class who called him burnt toast, could it? Oh no, it couldn’t possibly have been when Samantha told him he belonged in the trash or when the school janitor used to come around and they’d tell him to mop away the spilt coffee before it leaves a stain.

You met him in high school and before the other kids could call him grizzly, you gathered up the bear traps and loved him. You swallowed the sea foam before they’d start to lure him with a single gesture, the same way death coaxed that man head first into jagged rocks.

It took you a while to realise he’s strong too. You both have gotten used to the young mothers whispering into their blue-eyed daughters’ ears whenever you passed by hand in hand. You’ve gotten used to the train journey stares with his warm hands on your hips. So when the next old white couple in the park comes up to you to ask why, just smile and kiss him long and hard until they go away. They always do.

—request

I. I write in fragments because this body can only recite itself backwards. I balance your name on the head of my tongue only to watch it fall onto the concrete & into conversation. I remember eyes watching me do this, but not the color of them. I remember your eyes—lashes tipped with misery, two dark half-moons resting underneath them—how I even loved sadness when sadness had your name. Your name a gospel I used to sing back when you loved me, your name that now only crashes, breaks apart.

II. The aftertaste of love is vodka—pennies—steel. In the aftermath, in here—the heart, blood was beautiful until it wasn’t, until the body that kept it refused to die. The only marks of us fading softly into my skin as my voice thinks to dance on nails for forgiveness, but the chords snap—boomeranging wildly your name.

III. If you can’t remember it, the joy of love was never soft. I remember everything & everything hurt good or hurt bad, bruised or bloodied or pleasured or smiled with teeth. In your dreams, you were killing men without homes. In mine—& still in mine—we sit across from each other & watch as the room splinters. The tears weren’t always a punishment—remember that—& my words, my small hands trembling, remember emeralds in the sun, remember what courage was when it hid along your ribs, remember laughter & then me— remember the mirrored body of your body—the water from the same well—you almost killing you when you were trying to kill me—know how my body still stands—how both our bodies stand.

IV. This story—our September—now his. How to tell someone how you made me—how the heat turned my body into glass—how one explains the lineage of love to a lover. He calls you the past, but you still live here. Sure, I burn your memory at the stake—but when they look away, I cut you down, watch as your soul limps to the treeline. This is how I tell them how I loved you. This is where my face is pushed against a pillow. When he tells me not to move, I freeze & pray my body doesn’t shatter.

—  Moriah Pearson, letters to you: the last letter

I am a caution-taped crime scene,
and you are watching from the sidelines like your hands aren’t painted with blood,

teach me what it’s like to tear a chest open and hold someone else’s beating heart,
because for some reason I’ve only ever gotten close enough
to scrape against skin that fights back with every touch
without leaving any marks behind.

I am chapped lips and cracked knuckles and tear stains,
and you are scars on the inside of my thigh.
teach me what it’s like to linger even after I’m gone.
teach me what it’s like to be something more
than just
temporary.

—  A Story A Day #8 by r.b
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