reject's corner

1. I want you as you are. Every scar, every pound, every last beauty mark you call defects. They are a part of you and therefore, a part of me.

2. I want you to stay an individual. If you want space, I’ll move stars and planets to give you what you need.

3. You matter to me; you mean something to everyone around you.

4. Hold my hand.

5. I want to build dreams with you. I want to talk ideas and aspirations, I want to draw the sky and fill it with the colours of your personality. We’ll paint the world around us together.

6. Kiss me like it’s our last.

7. I will be there for you until you don’t need me anymore, always.

—  what I could have said to keep her
I was born into a line of women too afraid to leave.
My mother sleeps with her eyes open in his bed
and wills herself not to cry to strangers
when they offer her a glass of wine.
I have seen her pack her suitcase in her head
as she nervously wipes her stained red teeth,
always snapping out of it and straightening her skirt
before she makes it to the door.
Even in her dreams, she is terrified of him
not having a meal to come home to.

I did as I was taught and gave
“I love you”s like apologies,
staying even when I began mixing up
“growing up” and “giving up”
never even noticing my tongue had
slipped until I was corrected.
Five pages of my journal began with
“reasons to leave” and still,
I did not tell myself to run,
just continued to scribble things
I needed to change about myself,
saying that my shaking bones did not
excuse my shortcomings,
that I needed to be more for you.

I wish someone had told me:
in the struggle to love another better,
do not forget to love yourself.
You are more than your failed relationships.
Your lovers do not shiver when you touch them
because they can feel ghosts beneath your skin.
When he talks to you about “forever”,
do not be afraid to say “no.”

You come from a line of women who
forgot what “no” tasted like,
who kept their feet out the window
but felt too guilty that someone would have to
clean up their mess to ever jump.
But you are not your mother
and do not need to put makeup on
before he wakes up
out of fear that he will see desire to be more.
You do not have to open your legs to him in sleep
because your grandmother taught you to
never turn down somebody who says
“please.”

You were born on a battlefield
with white crosses in the spaces where
love took a bullet to the chest,
but you are more than a wounded soldier.
The moon is sleeping in your stomach,
waiting to remind you that
you can glow without
somebody’s hands inside of you.
I wonder if anyone ever told you:
just because he says he can “fix” you,
does not mean
you owe him yourself.
—  I Wonder If Anyone Told You | Lora Mathis
secondhand smoke

I am secondhand smoke.
I have been breathed out by so many mouthes
that the stale smell of me clings to your clothes.

I am in your new girlfriend’s hair when she comes
home from the bar.
I am floating outside your window when you return
to our old apartment.
I am silently taking years off your life, 
although this is not a choice you made. 

I am blackening your lungs 
one kiss at a time. 

I was drunk.
I’m sorry, I know that’s
Not an Excuse
But it will have to do for
It’s my Excuse

In the absence
Of other words, better words -
Better actions,
That I would have acted
Had I known.

And if I
Could reverse and rewrite,
Make time
Take back all then I
Would. But I can’t.

So I am left
With slurred words, blurred eyes
An inability to balance,
Sobbing I’m sorry.
I was drunk.
Forgive me.

YOUR PARENTS WILL TAPE YOUR WORK ONTO THE FRIDGE. UNLESS IT’S STAINLESS STEEL. THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT YOU DID GREAT WHEN THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT CLASS YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. YOU WILL RECEIVE NO REAL RECOGNITION. THIS IS CALLED GROWING UP.
SOME NIGHTS YOUR BONES WILL CRUMBLE AND SPLINTERS OF IT WILL CUT EVERYONE AROUND YOU. THEY WILL SAY IT IS OKAY BUT YOU WILL BE ALONE. THIS IS CALLED HEARTBREAK.
YOU WILL GET FIRED FROM A MINIMUM WAGE JOB AT A SANDWICH SHOP BECAUSE YOU TOLD SOMEONE ABOUT HOW THEY DROP THEIR FOOD ON THE GROUND AND HOW YOUR MANAGER KISSED YOU. THIS IS CALLED STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF.
AFTER DRIVING MINDLESSLY FOR A FEW MOMENTS, YOU REALIZE YOU ARE LOST. YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING THE WRONG WAY. YOU KEEP DRIVING IN THE SAME DIRECTION. THIS IS CALLED RUNNING FREE.
YOUR LITTLE BROTHER WILL COME HOME CRYING. YOUR PARENTS WILL NOT CARE. YOU WILL ASK HIM WHAT’S WRONG AND YOU WILL REALIZE THAT HE FINALLY FOUND OUT WHO THE REAL MONSTERS ARE. THIS IS CALLED PUBLIC SCHOOL.
YOU WILL HAVE SEX WITH THE BOY THAT USED TO PUSH HIS HAND IN YOUR PANTS IN THE LOCKER ROOM AT THE GYM. YOU NEVER WANTED HIM TO. THIS IS CALLED DESPERATION.
YOU SEE YOUR DOCTOR AND SHE ASKS IN THE SWEETEST VOICE YOU HAVE EVER HEARD. SHE KNOWS SOMETHING IS WRONG. YOU TELL HER NOTHING. YOU ARE NOT READY. THIS IS CALLED LYING.
THAT COFFEE YOU HAVE EVERY MORNING WILL STOP TASTING GOOD. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING. THIS IS CALLED CHANGE.
SHE WOULD BE GONE. HE WOULD BE GONE. THEY ALL WOULD BE GONE. THIS IS CALLED LOSING IT ALL.
YOUR DOG WILL BE SO OLD AND HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO WALK. YOU COME HOME FROM SCHOOL ONE DAY AND YOU HAVE TO PUT HIM DOWN. THIS IS CALLED LOSS.
WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING YOU WILL WONDER WHAT SPEED YOU HAVE TO BE AT IN ORDER FOR IT TO BE A FATAL COLLISION. YOU DO THE MATH. YOU THANK YOUR ALGEBRA TEACHER. HE RETIRED LAST YEAR. THIS IS CALLED THE WORST MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE.
THE STEPS ON YOUR HOUSE WILL NOT LAST FOREVER AND EVENTUALLY YOU WALK HOME TO A ‘FOR SALE’ SIGN AND THE NEWS CUTS YOU RIGHT IN HALF. THIS IS CALLED MOVING ON.
YOU FIND A JOB AND IT PAYS WELL BUT YOU’RE STILL ALONE AND YOU CAN’T BREATHE VERY OFTEN. THIS IS CALLED BREAKING.
YOU’RE ON TOP OF THE WORLD BUT DROWNING IN YOUR EMPTINESS, COMPLETING THE SAME TASKS AND THE SAME ROUTINES FOR MONEY THAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO PAY OFF ALL THE BILLS THAT KEEP PILING UP. YOU DON’T ENJOY ANYTHING. YOU WANT TO JUMP. THIS IS CALLED LIFE. THIS IS CALLED A TERRIBLE THING.
—  This. (part I)
On Our Right to Stop Caring

Let go of the people you no longer care for. You are allowed to do that. You are allowed to lose interest. There is no life requirement which says you must write letters you don’t mean, have phone calls you don’t want to, meet up when you would rather sleep in. You don’t even have to think of an excuse. In most cases, they are transparent anyway. Don’t feel the need to embellish the truth. Swallow down the guilt that comes with preferring your own company to that of others. Why should we feel shame in that? Listen, you don’t have to have idle conversations over coffee. You don’t have to be invested in a person’s future just because you were a part of their past. Time is not a debt you have to settle, giving hours here and there to people just to spare them a sense of rejection. People move on. People get bored. Being easily bored is a part of my nature; why should I apologise for that? Am I to apologise for my heaviness too? Stop letting people cash in cheques for your attention. You are entitled to leave without an explanation. You are entitled to stop caring without good cause. Stop letting people tell you this makes you a bad person, a shallow person, any kind of person. If you feel uncomfortable around someone, if they make you anxious, if they leave you empty, it is your right to walk away from them. You don’t need any more dinner dates you can’t afford spent exchanging niceties. If a person doesn’t interest you, you are under no obligation to pretend otherwise. If you don’t want to talk, don’t talk. Do not engage with them when they ask you why. Only greet them with your silence. Anything else is a lie.

i. the edge of my collarbone will not hold you captive. My smile is not jagged, my thighs touch, I am grounded, a tree trunk winding towards the sky, slow and steady. do not expect sharp from me.

ii. I do not have time for those who cannot see beauty in the curve of my stomach.

iii. my lips would not know a snarl if it was explained step by step but god, there is strength in my smile.

iv. I will not hurt you. I will not hurt you. I could not hurt you.

v. my body cannot hold my kindness and it flows over like light, like warmth, come closer, be not afraid.

vi. I will love you with all that I have. Be prepared.

vii. my compassion is the only way I can be fierce, my adoration the closest I can come to attack.

viii. even in self defense.

viii. so go ahead. sink barbed teeth into the full flesh of my heart, graze your knuckles on the fat over my ribcage I will not hurt you I will not hurt you but

ix. your mouth will come away full of light, your sharp tongue will burn with warmth and regret.

—  there is strength in being soft 

Love, I saw him this morning.
He was talking to his dog with a bouquet of tulips in one hand.
I bet he’s giving it to someone special. A girl maybe, a teacher.
No. Perhaps he’s gonna give it to his mother.
I heard she’s not well.

Love, I saw him again. Just now.
I swear I wasn’t stalking him.
Maybe fate is helping me to get to know him better.
Or maybe it’s just a plain coincidence.

Love, can you believe it?
I bumped into him again.
This time he was with a little boy.
I was beginning to think that boy was his son.
Oh no, it can’t be. I mean he’s too young to have a child.
But it happens, you know. Plus that boy looked so much like him.
Those eyes. They are bluer than those forget-me-nots in my mama’s garden.

Love, it’s 2am. I’m still thinking about him.
I want to know his name. I need to find out.
His initials will do.

Love, I got it! His name!
It starts with an A.
He’s 24. And I was right. That boy was his son.
I wonder where his mom was.

Love, we’ve finally talked! At the grocery this afternoon.
I think he knows me. I mean he said I looked familiar so he said hi.

Love, we’re finally friends. He’s sad.
His son doesn’t live with him.
His mom died of depression and his dad was a drunk.

Love, how can I help him? Tell me.

Love, yesterday he told me I’m a blessing.
He told me, for the first time in 10 years he can start breathing.

Love, I can’t sleep. I’m so troubled.
I want to sneak out of this house and go to the beach with him.
Bonfire sounds great. I wrote him a poem.
I want to read it out loud and see if it will make him blush.
I’ll also give him my collection of Tracy Chapman and Bob Dylan albums.

Love, he loves me. I see it in his eyes no matter how many times he tries to look away.
He won’t tell it himself but I saw my photos in his notebook.
It was all stolen shots from the day I first saw him.
I’m so thrilled. I mean can you believe it?
All this time, he’s been meaning to talk to me the way I wanted to.

Love, he’s depressed. All the fucking time.
He said it’s wrong for him to burden me.
Tell him I don’t mind. Tell him I’d love to have a piece of his sadness.

Love, I want to fight for you.
Believe me. I still do.
But he won’t let me.

Love, I’m so sorry.
I had to let go.

Love, I wish you were enough.

—  irishjulienne, love, i wish you were enough
Tired

I’m tired.

The world cannot

make me write

not even cheeseburgers

or NetFlix

or super hot babes

can make me write

and even if I do write

I will not enjoy writing &

would rather not read it.

But if I do write it will not be

because of harpies or ogres

or a beautiful life or marauders

it will be because

of some pressure in my skull that

throbs day in day out kind of like

a sinus infection behind the eye but that never

abates and is very likely related to

whatever it was that most hurt me

sometime in the past when we all

looked good in jeans and

thought we were in love or would be.

I want to sleep for a thousand years

in a pitch black, soundless cavern insulated from

every disaster and brief joy.

Then I’d like to wake up in the body of a

cyborg who can change shape at will

or transmit all of his wishes to a

billion different galaxies and dark internets

or perhaps be surrounded

by new women who will perform

daily routines and bodily functions with

fake smiles. I want to read every book

and I also want to burn every book

and be done with reading forever.

Words exist so we can talk about

our mistakes. Why is it already Friday

again? I keep an eye out for you

every time I step outside, but I never

see you. Everyone else’s phone works

and I am tired of their phones working.

Everyone has something to say

and internet purchases to make.

Tomorrow I will go back to sleep

I’m pretty sure.

When I first met you, I didn’t think I would have any good days to categorize from the bad. I also didn’t think you would give me both.
There were six million ways I loved you but you left me for the one way I didn’t. I still can’t erase you from my heart. I can’t reach it.
If our lives happened to intertwine again, maybe I’d do it different. Maybe I haven’t changed but my love has. It feels like years I’ve been begging you to come back because you’re the reason I don’t have a home.
I always say everything reminds me of you, but hell, you should test me because I’m really good at tracing things back to you and the way you left.
I wish I could peel my skin off my body, because maybe then you wouldn’t recognize me, and I could see how I don’t recognize myself anymore.
Time was irrelevant when I was with you, but now it seems to drag me around by my shirt collar like you used to when you kissed me. Please guide me home. I haven’t been sure where to go since I was kicked out of your warm heart. I’m sorry, I can’t seem to do things on my own anymore.
Your toxic love was like quicksand, and I don’t think I can get out.
—  sometimes I just need to write about you
Letters To An Addict

Caffeine and nicotine, wrapped up in pretty paper and fitted with a bow,

because addicts see the beauty in killing things and what could go better with death

than a good old cup of Joe; real, caffeinated, strong-scented coffee, none

of that half-caf, decaf bullshit; you’ve got to have that kick in the end,

the aftertaste that washes over the welcomed feeling of not-you-ness

and blends with the nicotine that wisks you off, letting you float

up to the sky on days when people are tying cinder blocks around your ankles.

You like the burning, but perhaps you’re just preparing for hell

since you’re told you’ll end up there anyway, so go tell people

to cart their dirty looks away, you can even have them wrapped up in pretty paper

and fitted with a bow, they can’t begin to harm you, you’ve handled that part yourself.

You broke down on a sunny day, when everyone else was happy and you felt like

you were in a shitty movie where fake smiles are slapped on the actors between takes.

It’s easier to be miserable when everybody’s miserable, when the rain plummets down

as if God were trying to put out your cigarette, not realizing that you’d just come to my house

and lie on the nicotine-stained couch cushions where we’d smoke and fuck and cry.

I didn’t say anything, wouldn’t try to make it better, because I myself had no life preserver to offer,

so I sat quietly and lit a match for you, waited for the tears to stop. I love you enough to know

that you don’t come wrapped up in pretty paper, fitted with a bow and people have been tying

cinder blocks to your ankles since the day you were born but you are real, all your sunken, miserable

preparations for hell, all the caffeinated fucking and smoke-filled apartments just prove

to me that the mess on my couch can make my heart race like any cup of coffee would,

and none of that half-caf, decaf bullshit.

I.

I know nothing but love for her the way she knows nothing but the desire to run.

Today her eyes can’t decide if they’re blue or green or grey. They settle on overcast and fly shut, eyelashes resting on a bed of crushed violets. I have nightmares about kissing the most secret parts of her— back of a knee, crook of an elbow, inside of a thigh— and accidentally breaking her. You know, touch her and she’ll bruise. Touch her and she’ll crumble.

Or touch her and she’ll pull away, dizzy with nostalgia for solitude, and swim away like smoke.

II.

Tomorrow I will erase the existence of the word ephemeral and tomorrow I will burn all her shoes. Tomorrow I will chop off all my hair and tomorrow she will love me like a stranger.

When we fuck she will bite and she will scratch and she will leave marks, as if to say yes, I am here. We are here.

From a girl without a heart, To a boy without eyes:

The best thing about you is that you can’t see me at all

So I don’t feel a thing, and so I don’t miss a glance

The best thing about me is that I can’t feel a thing

So you don’t need to see, and so you don’t need to ask

Since ever since I was five feet tall I knew well and perfect that there were boys like you and girls like me,

And I knew what we looked like, but you didn’t (As you cannot see)

As well it is that I don’t wait on baited breath and you don’t blink to miss a change

A perfect pair we ought to make, the universe should thus arrange

For I won’t miss the moment and you’ll never see it at the door

For you’ll never see me leaving and I’ll never wish you’d offer more

For when I’d leave you’d never notice and when I’d stay I’d never haunt you

For it’d be a wasted day if you could love me or I could want you

The best thing about you is that you can’t see me at all

So I can’t fall short and you can’t leave me empty

Empty, what a pair we’d be

With my hollowed out chest and your eyes, the Dead Sea

Floating, taking nothing, leaving nothing

Never drowning, never fishing

Never seeing hands or wishing

Since the best thing about you is that you can’t see me at all. 

last night i danced alone

in a field of wildflowers that some would call weeds

and wore the summer breeze like an evening gown

and the music of the hill was my soundtrack

the notebook in my hand as beautiful as any corsage

i danced alone

because the movies always told me

that dancing is how you fall in love

and i am desperate to fall in love

with myself