i. I know I told you this, but I haven’t heard from you in a while and I just wanted to remind you that I left the ball in your court. That I will sacrifice my happiness and give you another chance, all you have to do is reach out and tell me you don't want to throw this friendship away.
ii. So by the looks of it you are having a lot of fun with your new friends, don’t get me wrong I’m happy you found happiness. But I just want to make sure that this isn’t you escaping your past and letting these new friends be a band-aid for old wounds. I am here if you ever want to talk.
iii. I miss you. I can’t believe this happened again, that after reconnecting you chose to put me second again. You hurt me more than I thought. And I know I told you that you were hurting me, and you said you were sorry; but are you?
iv. Do you miss me? Or have you replaced me enough to forget me? Because I worry about you every day, your state of mind and if you’re being kind to yourself. But when I picture how you’re spending your day, I can't imagine you missing me.
v. I am no stranger to the notion of people leaving me. I have been told ‘forever’ only for 'forever’ to expire later on. This isn’t new for me, missing people is almost routine for me. But you linger more than others. You creep up on me.
vi. I thought I would be able to move on, because you hurt me so bad. But turns out you too are a bad addiction of mine that I just can’t shake.
Texts I would text you if I ever got drunk enough and brave enough.
your body is less temple and more mausoleum when you meet him. you are sleepy-eyed and on the verge of dancing into oncoming traffic. sometimes bad intentions are better than being alone. sometimes heaven and desperation are almost the same thing.
in this dream, you don’t have to pretend he isn’t angry because he isn’t angry. here his arms are open and he is gentle gentle gentle. he touches you and it doesn’t feel like burning.
you want this, you do. this is what you tell your mother when she shakes her head and calls you crazy again. it’s the truth, almost: you want something, want someone, want to stop being a monster for a little bit.
it hurts again when you open your eyes and remember how fiery and ungentle things really are. there is so much to change but you are too tired to change a thing and so it all goes back to fire and ash and smoke and smoke and smoke.
1. timing is a very, very funny thing.
2. the universe is infinitely better at sorting out your messes than you’ll ever be. have patience and trust the fact that things will work themselves out.
3. the first boy you love isn’t necessarily going to love you back.
4. if he calls you beautiful over text message but ignores you in person, drop him. you deserve consistency and, more importantly, respect.
5. sometimes a person hundreds of miles away can make you feel better than the people sitting right next to you.
6. it is not selfish or inconsiderate to put your own needs first- it is a way to protect yourself, and the only way you’ll survive in this world.
7. your family may drive you crazy and push every button you have, but more often than not, they’re some of the only people who actually mean it when they say they love you.
8. everyone is deeply sad about something- everyone. that includes the pretty senior you walk by in the hallways and that moody boy that sits behind you in your english class. keep this in mind whenever you come across a person that doesn’t sit well with you.
9. fake it ‘til you make it.
10. love everyone with all you have. be kind, be gentle, be considerate. those are the qualities that truly make a person beautiful. but do not take it personally when someone doesn’t give you the same level of care that you would give to them. take it as a sign to put less of your love into them and turn it towards other people instead.
11. always, always, always trust your instincts. your body can sense bad energy a lot faster than you can.
12. you deserve to have people in your life who appreciate and accept you for all that you are. as soon as someone tries to change you, leave and never look back.
13. do not bare the entirety of yourself to a single person. your soul is incandescent, and humans have the tendency to destroy anything that shines.
14. life is constantly changing; the world is constantly moving. as a result, you are constantly evolving. you are growing physically, spiritually, and emotionally as a human being every single day. that takes a lot of work. be proud of it.
15. find something that starts a fire in your heart and run with it. do not let anyone or anything stop you from following your ambitions and embracing who you are.
16. you will hear a lot of advice and words of wisdom throughout your life. you will come across lists and poems and stories and books that all try to tell you how to be happy and live a good life. but the most important thing you’ll ever need to remember can be summed up in two words: love yourself. get up every single day and fall in love with the person you see in the mirror. nurture your soul and body. eat good food, go on adventures, surround yourself with only positivity. live. take care of yourself, because in the end, you’re all that you’ve got.
VOICEMAIL ONE: hey. take the words and do what you want with them, just get them away from me. i am tired of having you in my writing and my thoughts (even if it’s only the late night ones)
VOICEMAIL TWO: how do i say sorry and make it sound like it’s true?
VOICEMAIL THREE: i am not sure if i am trying to rip the pride out of my body or if it’s the one ripping apart me but either way i am a battlefield and there is nothing pretty- there is nothing left for you to want, inside or out
VOICEMAIL FOUR: anyway. i’m by myself. still. it’s hard. (still.)
I drink the sweat that drips off my face as I finish a long day of ruling your world.
You never complain.
You only look at my stack of yellowing notebooks with greedy eyes and thirsty fingers. You want to rip the pages out and stuff them down your throat. You want me burning red hot under your fingers; you wanna consume my love whole (“Ya’ know, really get a taste of the artist”.)
My friends say I got a thing for boys who lay down on train tracks and bet God their lunch money that they’ll survive another day. They hang their heads in shame when I refuse to see the problem with that.
(They pick my body off of the ground and carefully use their eyebrow tweezers to take out the shrapnel that his words left in my body.)
I got knives with my name on ‘em. I got a pistol for a mouth. My body is weapon, babe, I can defend myself.
But, God, those scares on your arms are hot. And the way your knuckles graze my face so lovingly yet destroy so mercilessly shouldn’t turn me on as much as it does but…“Wow, when did this room get so hot?”
My temperature is 103.5 and I swear it’s my body trying to get him out of my system; I swear I can go to school; I swear I can keep going, don’t make me stop, don’t make me rest; if I rest I’ll have thoughts that will fill my brain that not even the strongest of antibiotics could treat.
Please don’t go, please, please, please, please, my dad will kill you but who cares? We’ll all die someday, let your last breath be captured between my lips as your hands slide up my hips and our eyes lock and our voices falter and the angels sing and the sunset shifts to sunrise and the first time becomes a promise of the next…and the next…and the next…
This ain’t a love poem.
I’M SUCH A LOSER; YOU’RE NOT EVEN REAL.
I. you kiss me. I tell myself this is nothing. your lips taste like longing. I am taken aback by the way your hands feel on my skin. It’s been a long time since I felt anything so gentle.
II. before you unbutton my jeans, you ask, “can I?” I almost ruin the moment by tearing up. I stare in your eyes, trying to drink in what it feels like when someone asks permission to touch you.
III. afterward, I leave. I tell myself not to get too attached. I remind myself of the poisonous words hurled at me, all the reasons I should be keeping you at arm’s length. it is all too easy to convince myself you deserve better.
IV. my friends ask if I’m keeping my options open. I lie and say yes.
V. I watch you drink and dance and laugh, feel an inescapable smile boil over on my lips. I kiss you. alcohol blurs the edges of your face, sharpens the truth I’m trying to ignore.
VI. we stay out by the lake watching the moon eat away at the shadows. “tell me things about you.” I am compelled to apologize whenever I talk about myself for too long, but with you the words spill out without all the familiar self-consciousness.
VII. I spend the night in your bed. I hold you as you fall asleep, amazed that my arms are allowed to hold something so precious. we breathe kisses over each other’s old wounds. I wish I could protect you from any new.
VIII. at some point along the way - maybe watching you stay up past midnight to help a friend in need, hearing the compassion and excitement in your voice as you talk about what you’re going to do for the summer - I realize that I am lucky enough to have fallen in love with an angel.
IX. the color of your eyes makes me think of the summer my family went to Anna Maria Island, the summer I turned twelve, the summer I spent reading Nicholas Sparks novels and thinking nothing bad could ever come from falling in love. looking into your eyes, the water is an immaculate crystalline blue and I could dive right in.
X. I tell you I love you. I tell myself this is everything.
i. you were born back when people still believed in beginnings, in fresh starts and re-sets, and trying again, all over. you are no quitter. you wouldn’t know how to quit love even if you tried; even if it was suffocating you and you were sure to die. no, you’re no quitter. (january)
ii. you are a child of melting snows. you are a child of the future. you do not live in the now, you do not settle, you do not make plans. one day you will love. when, all else is right. you are a child of melting snows, but darling, in life there are always fresh snows somewhere, spring is always not-quite there. (february)
iii. the earth smelled like frost when you were born. you have a razor-sharp mind and a quick tongue, but some people still get under your skin. and like frost under your mother’s feet, you crack, you melt, you become mist. (march)
iv. april showers bring may flowers. you are forever preparing the world for other people. your friends for their true best friend, your sister for your brother, your lover for the right one. you only love in interludes. (april)
v. god you are everything. the grass is never as green and the sky is never as high, and the breeze never as soft. you are perfection. but life does not deal in absolutes, and love is flawed. you will not find what you are looking for. (may)
vi. you are everyone's favourite afterthought. you are what tenderness feels like. darling, you are a field of dandelions swaying in the wind. you fix people. you let them build homes inside you. you make them whole. you are an afterthought. a rest-stop. it hurts in a place no map leads to. (june)
vii. when you were born the earth was scorched. you are a child of heat. you are a child of desert. you can do without love almost as long as you can do without water. and a little, a little goes a long way. it’s a good thing too, because baby, your pride makes loving you so damn hard. (july)
viii. quiet is how they describe you. they don’t know of the song you carry inside, of the screams unsettled in your lungs, of the poems and stories you have under your belt. you are the quiet one - the quiet revelation, the surprise, the coming out. the becoming. (august)
ix. melancholia. you are rain, you wash people clean. you are a builder, you help them rise. you are the wind, you help them fly. you are everyone’s best friend and no one's favourite lover. you disappear under the weight of good deeds. saints are revered, but not loved. it is difficult to be with someone on a pedestal. (september)
x. you are a shape-shifter. you do not know your face. you have been lost since you can remember. sometimes you are found at the bottom of a bottle, or in thick smoke coming out of his lungs. sometimes you are found. but not in love, no in the ashes of love. you are what endings look like. (october)
xi. the clouds were so low when you were born your sister thought she could reach them. overachievers. nothing is ever good enough. no one is ever enough. people are just a promise of what’s to come. how does it feel to live your life in the promiseland? (november)
xii. when you were born the sky was white. not light blue, not powder blue, but white. you are pure love. you are the one. but people are always looking to go back, to start over, to re-set. you are the one, but all it does - is make people realise they do not want to become. (december)
It’s been 3 years since I’ve last written a sonnet. It’s been 3 years since I’ve truly picked up a pen and bled.
I’ll never have my shit together. There will always be days where I sob in the shower; where I let the water scorch my back and run down my cheeks in rivulets. I’ll have my dry spells-I’ll have times where my back is arched from the pain of simply existing, but I’ll make do; I always make do.
HER writing may always be more sophisticated than mine.
Maybe I’ll be saddled with my teenage angst well into my twenties.
Maybe my mind is only capable of concocting convoluted plots of girls with too many feelings and not enough outlets. HER words were made to be spilled from powerful lips, and to resemble that of nuanced wisdom. Mine were made from honey and blood and spit and the codeine coated tears of an ap student running off of 3 hours of sleep.
“And there’s this haunting song. This, beautiful, breath-taking, haunting song on. And we’re just cruising down Ford Ave. ya’ know? Not doing much of anything; not looking for anything in particular. B-but it’s like, in that moment, where the song was nearing it’s end, and the car was slowing to a stop at the light and he started humming the words. It was at that moment where I wanted to clutch onto his arm and beg him to take his foot off the brake, to hit repeat, to never stop humming, to never stop being here, in this moment, with me.”
There are lessons to be learned in madness, like:
How to keep the blood from rushing out of you when someone’s words cut deeper than expected.
How to keep the food down when the urge to feel lighter comes.
How to float on freshwater in the spring time when the pollen seems to clog the flow of life.
How to keep breathing.
In and out.
Over and over.
In and out.
big fact- your heart never broke. you never cried over me, you never woke up at night feeling like I was missing from you, you never felt that feeling deep in your chest saying “this is wrong this is wrong she should BE here.”
another big fact- mine did. my heart did break over you, every message that wouldn’t send was like a punch to the stomach, every morning you decided I wasn’t worth it was like relearning that I meant nothing.
meaningless fact- i had a dream about you last night.
small fact- i’m never going to call you again.
big fact- you don’t care anyway.
knowing the truth doesn’t make it any easier– lily rain
1. This town, with its bleeding jaw, gutted my childhood. I buried my grandfather last summer in a citrus field, and I have not been able to eat oranges since. I still remember his cloudy cataracts, his gentle hands. He told me there was beauty in being untouchable – this is why I lock the doors.
2. Some love is soft, I know, but not this kind – this kind slams drawers and ignores the screaming. Your mouth was like formaldehyde. Your hands were silver scalpels, were ragged teeth. Do not touch me with your liar’s bones. I hope she tastes the poison you keep tucked under your tongue for the girls you want to break. I hope that, when she leaves you, you have no one to pick up the pieces. I hope you rot in this town.
3. I spent sixteen tangerine winters in this city like split knuckles, like an open wound, and I can still taste the burning. I want to eat Manhattan and climb through its throat to Chicago. I want to touch the very ground God walked upon. When asked what I want for Christmas, I say miles, miles, miles.
4. I keep breaking bones just to get back up. The band aids on my knuckles are from punching walls and slashing tires. They never have the chance to heal. I do not know what I look like without violence on my palms.
5. This town – bleeding jaw, split belly. Town like childhood, town like funeral bells. Town like angels dying. Town like your eyes, bruised and blackened. You were not gentle with my heart, so I hope that you rot in this gutted city, with your mouth clasped to hers. I hope she sucks out your soul: I want you broken. I burnt down your heart long before she loved you – you are a monument, yes. But you are not beautiful, your ribs are a ruin, and when you kiss, it tastes like smoke. This is why I left you. This is why I lock the doors.
when i think of california, the first thing is the shape. i think my heart is this kind of jagged but not so beautiful. i think my body meets the sky like a wave in the bad months and by that i mean crashing.
the second thing is the summer i existed beyond the violence of my body and lived as a word on your lips until i didn’t anymore. holy but not too holy. loud but not calamity.
the third thing is the end of things. the relapse into myself. the end of me as a piece of your heart. the cavity after you, gaping.
finally, the suture. the dent in my mattress has flattened. the loss in my stomach is silenced. i am not wanting anymore.