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1. I love catching you smiling, the way you do, when you’re looking at me. You make me feel like I really am made from stars, and maybe that’s why you’re always looking at me, too.
2. The way that you move entices me; how you say your words, play with your hands and wave them all around, when you’re talking about something that passionately pisses you off. You are a forest fire living inside of a girl, and I am the pyromaniac in love with watching you.
3. You will always remind me of summer nights, when the breeze kisses your skin and the stars shine in the clear sky. You will always feel like comfort, safety, love, and you will always feel like “home.”
4. Before you, I lived my life through white-knuckled fists and bruised ribs. A highway to a life within the distance of six feet. Now, I don’t make enemies of walls and I look both ways before crossing the road.
5. You are my anchor. I am restless; I always thought that I could never be chained to one place, but you made me want to take off my running shoes and sit to watch the sunset with you.
6. I know that we’ve both had to stitch ourselves together so many times, that it’s hard to keep it all together now. It’s okay. Even with our patchwork souls and lingering sadness, I will always hold your hand in mine.
7. You’re my favorite human being. By that, I mean that I would rather hold no one else’s waist, have no one else’s fingertips tracing my skin, feel no one else’s lips against my neck than yours.
8. I love you. No thousands of words would ever do to describe exactly how much. But, my god, I love you: completely, unconditionally, irrevocably, and even when you’re kind of an asshole. I love you.
—  She makes me feel alive again. b.l.
Bruised knuckles, broken promises, and bleeding wrists.

My father became tired of looking at my bruised knuckles and empty smile.

He was always staring at the shadows of nightly terrors that hid beneath my troubled eyes, as if he could scare them away with his broad shoulders and loud voice.

When he resigned himself to the fact that his youngest daughter was in a state of unbalance, he grabbed his car keys and left without a word. When he came home later that night, he explained to me that he had gone to the hardware store to buy supplies so he could build a solid surface for me to stand upon- one that I could trust with my heavy heart.

There was a day in ninth grade when the school called my father and asked him to drive me to the hospital because I had decided to fight off the walls that had begun to suffocate me. When the doctor was taking x-rays of my bleeding fist, he gently asked me, “Why did you decide to punch a brick wall? You broke one of your knuckles and bruised two. We call it a Boxer’s Fracture. It happens when you punch something wrong, which boxers do quite often. Why’d you do it?”

I grimaced from the pain of him moving my fingers and quietly responded, “Have you ever hated yourself so much that you wanted to break every bone in your body?”

The doctor stared at my knuckles for a couple of minutes, before looking up at my father who was sitting behind me. “Sir, can I talk to you for a minute?”

I heard them quietly talking behind the curtain, as I sat gently examining my black, blue, and red fist.

I went home that day with a bandaged hand and a note from the psychologist telling my parents that the chemicals that lived inside my brain were inconsistent. My father simply asked me,

“What can I do to fix this?”

I told him I didn’t know, and he went to bed early that night, looking tired and defeated by the fact that he could not figure out what had caused the light to go out in my eyes.

The next day, he came home early from work, sat down on the right side of my bed and stared at me until I looked into his somber eyes. He stayed quiet for a second before announcing to himself more than me,

“I am going to fix this.”

He stared at the TV absently before telling me, “Let’s go.”

I watched him turn the keys in the ignition, as his eyes settled on my wrists. He turned on the radio station that I always listened to, before changing it to a local hip-hop channel. Right as he changed it, the song “Thrift Shop” came on; I was amazed and utterly horrified at the fact that my father was screaming “20 dollars in my pocket” at the top of his lungs, with the windows rolled down. I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that we were driving down one of the busiest roads in Utah, with him singing and dancing along to the radio.

 (Might I add that I didn’t even know that song until he sang it.)

“Dad, stop!” I laughed as he smiled at me with a light in his eyes that reminded me of my five-year-old nephew when caught doing something he shouldn’t be.

“How do you even know this song? I don’t even know this song, Dad.”

He smiled at me before answering, “I don’t know. It came on once when I was driving.”

I laughed and looked at him while I shook my head. “Yeah, because you can totally memorize that song by listening to it once. Totally.”

He chuckled and ran his right hand through his hair. I saw as he turned on his signal to turn right, and finally looked up to figure out where we were going. He had driven us to Starbucks, one of my favorite places in the world.

He looked at the green sign, and said, “C’mon. We have places to see, and people to avoid.”

He ordered a grande caramel frappuccino for himself and a venti caramel macchiato with two extra pumps of vanilla and extra caramel sauce for me.

“Dad. Are you trying to give me diabetes, or are you just trying to make me fat?”

He looked at me feigning irritation and said, “Daughter, you are 16 years old. You don’t have diabetes and you’re a size 3. Shut up and drink your coffee. We aren’t done with our day.”

After he was done licking his straw of the remaining whip cream, we got back in his car and drove about a mile before he turned left. We got out and walked into a food place, then I sat down and let him order, as it seemed he was intent in choosing what we did that night. He sat down across from me and started mumbling that Macklemore song unconsciously as he checked his phone. I looked at him amusedly, until he looked up and cleared his throat.

“Sorry.” He mumbled, and put away his phone while smiling like a little boy. “Are you feeling any better, fighter?”

“Oh, shush. My hand isn’t even that bad, it’s just a little bruised. And yes, I am.”

He looked in my eyes as if trying to find out what exactly had left them forsaken and cold. I looked down, and he reached across the table with his calloused hands, now examining my left wrist. I noticed how he was trying to hide the fact that the prominent, semi-vertical scar on my wrist saddened him. He looked out the window and watched people walk by, and smiled every time he saw a little girl with her parents. He looked back to me, and I smiled at him, even though I knew that my smile was as desolate as the dry plains.

I could tell he was trying to find the right way to say something, another trait I had picked up from my father along the way.

“Look, this world… It’s hard. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that it’s all happiness and peace, because it isn’t. Some days you will come home wishing you had never gotten out of bed in the first place. Some days you will come home with broken bones, bruised ribs, and a bloody nose. Some nights, sleep will evade you and when you finally find your way to it, nightmares will rattle your bones until you are left breathless and clutching at yourself in order to hold it all together. But you know this, don’t you? I don’t have to tell you about those days, you know all about those days. Instead, I have to tell you about the good days. The ones that make it all worth it. Because it seems to me that you haven’t seen the light in a really long time, and I need you to know that you will. Soon, you will.

There are days that are good enough to make up for 100 sleepless nights. They will make up for all the nights where you have cried, and all the nights where you barely survived, and all the nights that drove you insane. I know that your mind isn’t a particularly good place, so I’m asking you to live out of your heart. You have a good one. You have a resilient one. You have a heart that could give endless amounts of love without ever asking for any in return. Your heart is strong, from all the time you’ve spent running away from all the ghosts that have haunted you. I know that you are a good person, I don’t care what anyone says. You’ve gotten lost, and you just need a little time to find yourself. I know my little girl is still in there.

And on another note, I also know that you love your best friend. I know that you are in love with her, because you’ve compared her to our favorite constellations. I know because you write about her more often than you write about bones, and you’ve begun to say her name more times than you say “Starbucks.” So, I’m telling you again, live from your heart. Because your mind will try to point out all the reasons why you should think “No. You can’t.” But your heart will always whisper “Yes. Yes, you can.” You just have to listen to it, because at the end of the day, your heart is tied to the one you love. Not your mind.

Do you remember that story you read to me a couple of years ago? The one about how we all have one person who is made for us; how we all have one person who we are tied to by a red string? I think that she is your Red. And I think you need to fight for her.

Daughter, I know that this world has been a rough place to be. I know that people have criticized you and have made you believe that you are not good enough. You are. You have always been more than enough. So screw the voices in your head. Screw the weight on your shoulders, and screw all the scars you have. Because you are not them. You are not tragedy. You are my little girl. You are a beautiful soul. You are someone I look up to. So screw it all, and follow your heart. Follow it until the very end.

And always, always begin with love.

For Isaac,

I stopped believing in the sun,

but I’m tired of living in the dark

because the dark is a scary place and 

I don’t have any friends

when even my shadow is missing.

I try not to look at the cracks in the wall

or the blood in the news, 

but I can’t help but notice how beautiful it is.

‘Cause the walls have been broken

from years of holding it together and 

the blood has been spilt to remind us we’re alive.

We’re alive.

We’re alive and we’re wearing headphones

for hearts trying to drown out the sound

Of tears flowing like rivers

from the eyes of that son

as he watches his father

drink himself numb again.

We’re alive and we’re throwing our brains

into washing machines 

while the politicians all brand us

with barcodes that become who we are.

and I made you pinky promise to love me forever

but I guess that doesn’t count

because you’re three and you don’t know

what you’re talking about.

and there are monsters dressed as humans

and I think one of them

planted a seed in me.

How do you love a monster?

Do you love him when you see

the tears staining his soul

all because his teddy bear lost an eye

while running from the scene of a crime?

But just as monsters

the humans are playing dress up too,

because they’ve been hurt

too many times before,

So their lives became tainted

and they constructed a mask

from the bullets lodged in their backs.

I’ll never forget the day

you saved me from myself,

reminded me that battle

scars are there to show me I’m alive.

I survived.

I’m addicted to your innocence, 

like the day you asked for a band-aid

when you could’ve broken your foot,

because you thought it would fix it 

how it fixed your cuts and bruises.

I want to take that innocence

and put it in a jar,

I’ll tuck it behind that skirt your grandma

bought me for school,

so I hid it there and she never found it.

I hope you never dream with

a broken heart, 

when the wings of birds have been burnt

and their feathers fall through the dark.

and if you do, I hope you remember, 

that even though they can’t fly anymore,

they’ll still sing from the ground.

I hope you’re a pheonix,

or a hummingbird,

and that you never become a crow 

crying, “Nevermore!”

and I hope that when you read this,

you’ll think it’s all fantasy because,

you’ve only ever seen beauty…

Beauty

Remember, there’s beauty

In the way your heart sings,

I’m alive,

I’m alive,

I’m alive.


Copyright 2012 

Indecision: This One's For You

I often think that perhaps

we met at the wrong time

Perhaps, there is no red string

attached to our fingertips

holding us together.

Maybe, it got so tangled along the way

that someone opted to cut it  

instead of patiently combing out the

knots of our destiny.

Maybe, I only had that one day

to hold you in my arms,

and I will forever embrace

that Hollister hoodie.

Because I don’t know if I am a crow,

or a penguin- flightless or cold,

but I know that you’re a pheonix,

that you’ll live after my death,

that you’ll rise from the ashes of our indecision.

Run

My body’s been running on caffeine,
the way it used to run on
vodka and morphine
now it runs on,
“Quad-venti-hold-the-foam
with-whip-cream
two-sugars-stirred
skinny-three-pump
peppermint-mocha..
Better yet, just a venti Double Americano
two creams, three sugars.”

and my mind’s been running on bad poetry,
the way it used to run on fear and adrenaline,
now it runs on
“If you were the sun,
I’d tape solar panels to my body,
so that I’d never have to be without you,”
Who are you?

But from all that running,
I don’t know where I’d land,
it’s like the soles of my shoes
have been having millions of
one night stands
while I’m stuck here alone

And worse yet,
I don’t know where I’m running to-
or if I’m just running on a treadmill,
and my sneakers have never known the feel
of kissing gravel
and have only known the deception
of movement towards somewhere unknown

So now,
may I unknot my laces?
Beacause I’m tired of running to no destination,
I want to rest and enjoy the scenery and
Who knows? Maybe I’ll meet another set of Nikes
who’ll kiss gravel beside me.

The Last Wednesday

I’ve been trying to write you a letter for 11 months now.

I’ve been staring at blank papers, keyboards, and phone screens; but I just can’t find the map that leads me to my words.

In fact, I’ve been trying to write to you for 2 years now, because I never really told you what you meant to me.

So, this is my apology:

I am sorry, that I never looked in your eyes. I am sorry, that I always acted like I didn’t care. I am so sorry that I let you go and I let you down.

On the nights when my monsters let me rest easy, I sometimes run away with you to the moon with no address; where our demons can’t find us.

Sometimes, I dream of you

running,         

running,        

running.

And all the things that have been weighing you down can’t catch up to you then. I dream of your blue eyes being happy again, and sometimes I dream of your lips grazing mine.

I am sorry, that I never told you I loved you. And I’m sorry that I keep saying I’m sorry. I just can’t find a way to right the fact that I let the perfect timing with the perfect person go.

I hate the fact that you are under so many hardships right now, but more than that I hate the fact that our talking has turned as fluent as molasses flowing back and forth between, “How’s the weather?” and “It snowed again…”

I wish I could go back to August 2011 and keep the promise I made to you,
“I won’t change.”

The truth is, we both know 76 Wednesdays will wear you down until only a fraction of who you were is left.

I am sorry that, again, I can’t finish this letter to you.

I guess we will always be unfinished business. 

It’s time to move on.

Devil's Mistress

Hidden beneath the breath of the Devil

I have burried my ink and paper.

The crossroads came,

and mimicking the Bermuda Triangle,

you abducted my soul

with a single kiss.

I utter the notes branded on the keys of my ribs,

where your hands once played the

beautiful music of

Beethoven and Debussy.

I’ve been etching into my skin the picture

of the first time I knew that

I’d have to carve out my heart

to make room for you.

Now evil takes your place

as I fight it off

with Michael’s sword and Buddha’s word

and it won’t be until I’ve completely destroyed my

Thoracic cavity that

I can begin to build skyscrapers

from these broken ribs.

“More, please.”
You beg as I pour another shot
of amnesia
into that Dave and Busters
shot glass
while my throat
Burns,
Longs,
Hopes,
For the same forget in a bottle.

I keep pouring for you,
Trying to extinguish the fire that
Burns so bright in your eyes,
All I’m missing is the heavy suit
And oxygen mask.
I know all too well, though,
That pain cannot be quenched
As easy as
Alcohol,
Bruises,
Cuts,

“How do you make someone happy,”
You say in a voice
That reminds me of
Avalanches and meadows,
Sharks and butterflies,
Vulnerable and strong,
“If you aren’t happy yourself?”

Flashbacks of green-blue eyes
(sometimes blue-gray)
Saunter their way through
My blurred vision and
Burn,
Cut,
Shoot,
Stab,

“I don’t know,”
I whisper as I
Pour another shot of
Short-term memory loss
And watch the fire in your eyes
Turn to glistening sand
Under ocean water
And slowly slip
Into the night sky
Of a big city on a
Cloudy night.
“I don’t know.”