I’m such a hypocrite. I always tell everyone to smile and stay strong while I’m here… crying oceans and being the weakest person I know.
—  T.G. // Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #154 // I’m not strong darling

Aries –
ice water, a bitter aftertaste, ripping apart cotton, music boxes, water slides, breathing in spray paint, glitter in your lip gloss, smoke in the high school bathroom.

Taurus –
when snakes shed their skin, catching snowflakes on your tongue, broken piano keys, dilated pupils, lollipops from the doctor’s office, teddy bears bigger than you are. 

Gemini –
freshly brewed coffee, when zippers get stuck, pricking your finger on a cactus, when the power goes out, sundresses in autumn, the ridges in your spine.

Cancer –
prominent veins, carrying around a good luck charm in your back pocket, sand stuck in your shoes, wind blown hair, speaking in your native tongue.

Leo –
laundromats at night, owls on telephone wires, a sunburn peeling & the soft skin underneath, sweet tea from the south, breakfast in bed, blurry photographs. 

Virgo –
a hangover you can’t shake & you have to wear sunglasses all day, iced coffee melting in the summer heat, the swing on the front porch, sand through the hourglass.

Libra –
a toothache, piling everything in the corner of your room, monsoons, black & white pictures, choking on a lifesaver, trying to walk a straight line when you get off the merry-go-round.

Scorpio –
silver lining, maple syrup on your fingers, walking the tight rope, cotton candy clouds, heaven in your headlights, not believing in good-byes, cutting off the frayed edges.

Sagittarius –
the way cats always land on their feet, sore throats, cheap wine in champagne classes, abstract paintings, sting of a wasp, collecting seashells, looking through old yearbooks.

Capricorn –
wishbones, the in-between level on an elevator, homesick, a peach pit, goosebumps on your thighs, throwing knives, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, conversation hearts on valentine’s day.

Aquarius –
citrus smelling hair, harp strings, when the flowers start to wilt, the salt around the rim of the margarita glass, chandeliers in ballrooms, shaking the coconut to hear the rattle of the milk.

Pisces –
the colors of a pinwheel getting mashed together, codeine laced dreams, shadow games, lagoons, lemon slices, stumbling in high heels, string around your baby tooth & slamming the bed room door to wiggle it free.

—  feeling association with the signs pt. 2, a.l.
When I have a daughter,
I will teach her 
to love the Qur'an the way my mama loves it.
She sits with it three times a day
and radiates the house with its light
when she wakes up to recite it at 3.30 in the morning.
She fills her heart with it when grieving
and tightens her grip around it
when the ground shakes so hard under her feet.
I will teach my daughter that my mama taught me
that patience and persistence are the keys
to build a lifelong meaningful companionship with the Qur'an.
If there’s only one thing I could wish for my daughter,
I’d want her to love the Qur'an like my mama loves it because
her bones itch with discomfort,
her mind screams with dissatisfaction,
and her heart beats with longing if she goes a day without her lifelong companion.
—  m-khadija, I Will Teach My Daughter to Love the Qur’an the Way my Mama Loves It. 
The day he said “I hurt sometimes,” she could barely keep herself from saying “I hurt most times.”
The pain that he felt was the kind of pain that everyone felt, the kind of pain this people would feel when their friends left them out or when the guy doesn’t call you back. But the pain that she felt was the kind of pain that overwhelms you. It’s like you’re being suffocated by the darkness, except it’s inside you.
His pain he could escape from, but hers she never could.
—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #4, 4am

I tried ignoring God for a week

but I found diaries from
elementary school
where I told Him my
secrets

I asked Him if He was real
and to forgive me for saying
I hated my sister

I wrote to Him
on vacations
like a postcard

I confessed that I’d marry
the boy Isaac from class
and asked if that was okay

The counselor called my mom
told her I was sitting alone
on the bench at recess
She didn’t know
I was talking to God
too scared to talk to the other kids

I asked Him why
my friend kept hitting me
and bruising my skin
when I didn’t want to play

why the boys laughed
and squeezed me where
I didn’t like
when I wore a bikini
for the first time

why I couldn’t go to a dance
and feel beautiful
like the rest

and He replied by shining
in a dream where I
realized
it doesn’t matter what they say
when He’s the one that
has always been
listening

And I remembered the time
my dad drove away
after a fight that made me
wonder, if he was ever coming
back
and in fear, I fell
begged God to make him
turn around
and He told me
if he didn’t
He’d be my proper father

He’s all I’ve had
my only solid
He hasn’t let me down
so no matter how much
I want too, I can’t
give Him up just yet

—  I tried ignoring God - c.h.
But this body shows up, everyday, with the sun. This body has allowed me love, wind, rest. This body partitions for water, nutrients, nectar.
This body grows scabs. This body sheds the old. This body knows how new i am. This body knows rebirth. This body knows forgiveness on the cellular level. This body knows beauty as a birthright. This body can feed you new fruit. This body practices god. This body is. This body is. This body is. Mine.
—  Donte Collins 
song for all those marble statues we clawed apart

i.

girl in a pink dress with a swollen tongue. a hollowed out wasp nest. two dozen white swans. you wanted the truth so here’s the truth. you wanted my knuckles peeling so here’s the blood. welcome to sainthood.

ii. 

we’re at a party in the middle of a river. all of the fish are belly up. the beer tastes like piss. you are laughing at something someone else says and i am giving myself gills. everyone is talking but no one is saying a word.

in twenty minutes, the river will dry. in twenty minutes, you’ll take my hand and pull me to the grassy bank. in twenty minutes, my advil will kick in and i’ll be too drunk to remember the sound our clothes make drowning.

iii.

tell it to me straight. i once washed my hands in bleach. i once promised a dove it wouldn’t die. i once cut open a rabbit’s heart. i once heard my neighbor slap his wife. i once spent two months reading the same four words over and over. i once burnt an ant. tell it to me straight: i don’t want blossoms or ribbons of song or decades of dreams and dreams and dreams.

iv.

in the hospital, i didn’t read any books and no one saw me drink all the apple juice. remember 06′ in the poconos? i didn’t know how to ride a bike. there was a dirt hill, trees long as legs, a sack of wood chips. we played cards every day. 

there were a lot of things i don’t remember. a lot of things my body forgot before the rest of me did. a coyote with yellow eyes. a broken window. cigarettes in mouths that shouldn’t smoke. uncles with sour, slurred breath. there was a a boy who kissed a boy behind the pool fence. i didn’t say anything. not until now. mosquitos sucked welts onto our skin but we pretended they were hickies. you wanted love and love and more love. i just wanted to keep up.

in the hospital, they played the same csi episode over and over. it was the lawyer who killed his wife. you never called. each time hurt like the first.

v.

but in the beginning, there was a wasp wing and a broken wrist and a story i needed to tell. in the beginning, there was a mouthful of water and no more tomorrows.

you’re leaving now,
but that’s okay – 
well, no it isn’t,
but it will be.
i’ve learned the hard way that letting go
is sometimes the endgame of falling in love
and that although i love you,
i’ve learned to accept your absence.
i’ve learned to accept that once you’re gone,
a part of me will be missing
and my heart won’t ever feel the same again,
but it’ll be okay.
if i had the choice, 
i swear i’d rather drown than to go on without you;
not a day will go by where i don’t miss you,
but it’ll be okay. 
and i had never met anyone like you before;
you brought out the best parts of me
just to bring out the worst in me,
but it’s okay,
i’ll be okay.
don’t you worry about me,
just don’t forget to remember me
every once in a while;
please don’t erase me from that mind of yours.
just look up at the sky and remember who you are
and be the person you always strived to be;
happy.
and then i will be okay. 
and it’s been a beautiful ride, sweetheart,
with a heartbreaking ending,
but it’s okay,
and so long goodbye.
—  it’s okay, i will be okay. - n.h.s [percussionhearts]
You shouldn’t use distance as an excuse to why we can’t be together. It doesn’t matter if you’re right next to me or 900 miles away, I still feel the same. I still want to be with you. I still love you. You’re still my end game.
— 

-Distance is temporary, but my feelings aren’t.

-m.t.t.

He paints me with purple acrylic; draws
careful bruises in the form of orchids
blossoming across my ribs. He mixes in
black and blue, pulls more blood to the
surface, more passion.
I look like a train wreck, but god does it
feel good to be battered by plush lips.
—  brushstrokes // Haley Hendrick

Please don’t make me love you,

For I cannot stop once I begin to love.

—  Don’t start a fire if you’re afraid of getting burned
I knew I loved you then.
You were sitting across the table from me during breakfast, stirring sugar into your coffee mug and I smiled. 
Because really how many people get to say that they’ve met the person they want to spend the rest of their Tuesday mornings watching the sunrise with?
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that I was so lucky to have found you. I have been so lucky to love you, I mean really love you. You have given me the kind of love that doesn’t go away.
You have given me the kind of love that one day, years from now, I will remember during breakfast. I will remember your smile, your ocean blue eyes and the way you laughed at me for not being able to make coffee. I will remember how I asked you what your favorite Beatles song was and how we both said ‘Hey Jude’ at the same time. 
I will remember the sunrises, and the sunset and the first time you kissed me. How the fourth time you kissed me I told you that you tasted like cigarettes. How the world became different with you, how the cars started making noise and I began hearing the laughter of the world with you. How everything in life means more because of you.
—  Everything in Life Means More Because of You / thewordsyouneverunderstood