list poetry

7

A Black History Month reading list with fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoir, and even a musical tie-in edition. 

THE DEFENDER: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America by Ethan Michaeli. Veteran reporter Ethan Michaeli tells the story of Chicago’s iconic black newspaper, the family and the journalists who made it great, and the hidden history of black America in the twentieth century.

THE BLACK PRESIDENCY: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson. A provocative and lively deep dive into the meaning of America’s first black presidency, from “one of our most graceful and lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today” (Vanity Fair)    

THE TURNER HOUSE by Angela Flournoy. A National Book Award shortlisted novel centered on the journey of the Turner family and its thirteen siblings, particularly the eldest and youngest, as they face the ghosts of their pasts, the imminent loss of their mother, and the necessary abandonment of their family home in struggling Detroit.

UNDER THE UDALA TREES by Chinelo Okparanta. Inspired by her mother’s stories of war and Nigeria’s folktale traditions, Under the Udala Trees is Chinelo Okparanta’s deeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly.

FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES by Charles Blow. A gorgeous, moving memoir of how one of America’s most innovative and respected journalists found his voice by coming to terms with a painful past. 

THRALL: Poems by Natasha Trethewey. The Pulitzer Prize–winning Native Guard explored Natasha Trethewey’s relationship with her black mother. Thrall takes on the uneasy relationship between Trethewey and her white father. It charts the intersections of public and personal history that determine the roles to which a mixed-race daughter and her white father are consigned.

THE COLOR PURPLE (Musical Tie-In) by Alice Walker. the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.

RULES TO YOUR FIRST BAD BREAK-UP:

i.) You will hate them, probably forever. Even when you tell yourself you’re over it, you will always find reasons to be angry with them. But deep down, you know you can’t move on when you’re still standing on a shipwreck. So let them sink. They are no longer yours to worry over.
ii.) You’re going to hate yourself for a long time. Words will have been exchanged that you’ve never heard in your life. Neither of you will have meant what you said but we all know you can’t take back the bullets that are shot from your mouth. Let the shrapnel fall from your skin. You aren’t perfect but these wounds were meant to hurt you, not kill you.

iii.) You’ll never fall in love again. Or at least that’s what you’ll say. You’re wrong. There is always going to be someone who will remind you that love is not a dead end. You did not go so far just to let your heart rot in your open palms. You will learn how to piece it back together, and you will find someone who will make you glad that you did.

iv.) You won’t forget the broken feeling. Like a permanent marker scrawled over your chest, you might feel like this relationship defines you. It doesn’t but it will stick with you. Take the pain as a reminder of what you can handle and be appreciative of how you can grow from it.

v.) You’re going to miss who you were. Every awful break-up will come with some sort of change and you’re going to wonder what’s wrong with yourself. But nothing is. People learn from their biggest mistakes and who you are today has got a lot to do with all the bad times you have ever faced, heartbreak included. Don’t wish that you could go back to when it was easy, before you knew how hard love could be. There is something bigger waiting for you out there, and it will be ready for the person you’ve become.
—  RULES TO YOUR FIRST BAD BREAK-UP
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.
—  16 things i’ve learned in 16 years
7

How to Make a Ghost of a Poet:

i. Give him his words and take away his voice. Make him chase his muse into the thirst of Tartaros, parch him with your memory.

ii. Leave your thumbprints on the trigger of his heart. Laugh as their battle lines start to fade, like a crime scene committed in a hotel room where the air was thick with the sweat of wanting more.

iii. Look at him with that light in your eyes, tell him the name of a road that leads to home. He will travel down the veins in your eyes, searching for pomegranates.

iv. Make him apologize for falling in love, make him apologize for feeling human again. You never cared about what I deserve. You never cared about what I deserve.

v. Write someone else’s name on his gravestone. That way, the love will almost reach him.

vi. Pretend it wasn’t a crime scene, then take the nearest exit home.

vii. I’m sorry for Room 2429; I just wanted to love you better.

(please don’t remove caption/source)

1) I wish my parents would have told me that things can change so abruptly and sometimes so painfully and that all you can really do is just sit and stare blankly back at it. They never warned me about losing someone you loved and simply all the closure you can seem to get is a “I don’t love you anymore, I’m sorry.” and half of a wave goodbye.

2) I wish my parents would have told me that sometimes there is no fixing a person. That sometimes, a person simply is not broken. You can’t fix something that isn’t broken. Sometimes you are the person that is broken and needs the fixing. But humans are not medicine. They aren’t going to mend your broken bones or soothe the pain in your chest.

3) I wish my parents would of told me that just because you have an idea of a person, it doesn’t always prove to be the reality of that person. Sometimes the best liar can be your mind, intoxicated by attraction.

4) I wish my parents would have told me that not everything is as simple as we believe it to be. That sometimes, you have to continue to work and work at something, only to be shot back down again. Getting back up time after time can be difficult, but it wouldn’t hurt so god damn much mom and dad, if you would have informed me of its existence in the universe and the large roll it plays in our lives.

5) I wish my parents would have told me that among all of the drugs they tried so desperately to inform me of, the strongest known to mankind was love and the second, lust. More importantly, I wish they would have explained to me the difference between the two.

6) Finally, I wish that my parents would have told me that there is no avoiding getting hurt in this world. That I myself alone, am the hero of the story and I do not need to be saved.

—  6 Things I Wish My Parents Would Have Told Me
1. Everything in life is temporary. That is both a very good and a very bad thing.
2. You know yourself better than anyone else. You don’t need anybody’s approval or validation of the choices you make. 
3. The universe is always sending you signs, pay attention to them.
4. Trust your instincts and listen closely to your heart. They will always lead you in the right direction. 
5. Say what you feel. Always. Be honest to people about how you feel about them. It hurts so much more to silence your emotions than to just spit them right out.
6. You deserve love in the purest of forms. It should not be tainted with arrogance or pride. 
7. Beautiful words mean nothing if they are not backed up by beautiful actions. He could tell you he loves you three times a minute, but if he doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated, his words have no value at all. 
8. Never put anyone or anything above your well being. This includes school, work, friends, relationships and anything else. Nothing is more important than your health and safety.
9. Learn to love the person you see staring back at you in the mirror. She is capable of such miraculous things. 
10. You are here for a reason. You might learn this reason at age 6 or age 60, but you were undoubtedly put on this planet because the universe believes that you can help it in some way. Never lose faith in that.
—  10 things I remind myself of every day
1. You will compare. You will compare your new partner to your old one. They will do things differently. It’s okay. Don’t let it make you sad. Maybe they aren’t your musical soul mate. Maybe they aren’t the type of person you can watch movies with all night. Don’t dwell on that. They will have qualities you love that your ex didn’t. Recognize that. Don’t try to make them into your old flame. That burnt out. Time to start a new fire.
2. You will compare. You will look at your ex and their new partner. You will hurt. Your stomach will drop. You will wonder if they are better. You will think they are better looking than you. You will feel like shit. You will feel like shit even if you moved on as well. Don’t. You’re beautiful. You’re going to be okay. Stop checking their pictures. It will only hurt you. Be strong.
3. You will go past places and you will remember. You will remember the places you ate at, the memories made at certain spots. It’s okay to remember. But don’t live in it. Don’t let it destroy you. Your memory can be your enemy if you let it. Remember and then let it slip your mind. Create new memories.
4. You will second guess yourself. Did you make a mistake? Did they? Should you try fixing it? Maybe. But if they hurt you and you know deep down you deserve better don’t go back. Please. Be strong, you made it this far. Don’t settle.
5. You will have your bad days. It’s okay. You will cry. You will question what you are doing. That’s what happens you really loved someone. It’s okay to hurt sometimes. Of course it will hurt. Don’t give up. Don’t think you can’t do it. You can. It won’t always be this way. You will be okay again. And you will also have your bad days more than once. They are just days. They will pass. Don’t let them define you.
—  5 things that happen when they move on
1. I can’t believe you’re gone, I want to sleep until someone pinches me awake with an April fools smile on their face because they’re lying, I know it.
2.The service was beautiful, everyone cried when your mother read us the letter you wrote your last words to but why was it even needed, you should have told me when you could. I’m angry at you for leaving me alone and angry at myself for being so selfish.
3.I shouted your name across the bridge on Winter street today, that rusting blue one we used to smoke unfiltered cigarettes under when we fifteen and convinced of our coolnes. I don’t think it remembered me.
4. Josh misses you. We all do and today was his birthday, he’s grown up so much baby, you should see him.
5. I got angry at your God when someone handed me a flyer on forgiveness because they should be asking me for some, not the other way round but I know you loved Him and I’m trying to remember that when my praying hands become fists pounding against the wall.
6. I got a tattoo of a bird on my chest in the hope it’ll remind me to let go every once in a while, I didn’t think you’d mind I used your drawing.
7. That girl you met in hospital died this morning, her mother just called choking on tears and I didn’t have the words to give that would stop them.
8. I haven’t stopped writing sad poetry since you left.
9. Jake is marrying Emily tomorrow. They asked me to be part of the wedding but I couldn’t because they’re all going to be so happy and I can’t stop crying because he’s your brother, and you should be the maid of honour, and we should be getting drunk on the steps afterwards together toasting their happiness in vodka.
10. I’m sorry for all the things I never had the time to say to you and for not looking at your art work because I had a paper to write. I’m sorry I put people before you because I always assumed you’d be there to come back to at the end of the day.
11. Why the fuck did you have to die, we were supposed to be nineteen and invincible.
12. There’s still days I wake up hearing you call my name and it opens healing wounds like a knife, and I am haunted by the idea I could have saved you and you’re screaming in my dreams.
13. I bought a puppy today, the doctor thinks it’ll be a nice outlet for me to try to care for something you’ve never touched or laid eyes on. I’ve called him Atlas because he’s carrying my world on his tiny little shoulders now.
14. I drank too much coffee today, and it tasted like the last kiss you gave me, bitter and longing, I had four more until the strings in my heart tripped over themselves.
15. It’s been three hundred and sixty five days since your heart stopped beating a love song to your bones. I hope you don’t mind that I’m getting drunk.
16. You had no right to make me love you and not love yourself enough for us to be together, you had no right to think I’d be better off without you, I’m not. I’ve spent eighteen months trying to scrub your fingers from my skin and unwind the memory of you from my mind.
17. There’s more drugs in my veins than I am proud of right now and you’re still stitched into them like cancer.
18. I don’t know how to stop being broken and I’m twenty one on Sunday and you didn’t just die, I think I did too.
19. Is it okay if I come to find you?
—  A.S (Cemetery conversations).

1. I sit at my desk, a pen in hand but the ability to blend words into meaningful sentences has, like you, left me wondering what I can still possibly be good at.

2. I read lots and lots of books, imagining you are He and I am She, stopping only when the two characters are finally joined together. That is when I stop, frowning. I know how this will end and fiction is always neater than reality. It’s unfair, I think to myself over and over.

3. I open up our message thread and re-read past comments, trying to remember what it was like to be loved by you. I hover over the “delete” button but can never muster enough courage to say good-bye so permanently.

4. I stare at old photos of you, trying to find that person, My Person, but instead your eyes look strange and your smile unconvincing.

5. I take long showers, deep condition my hair and shave my legs even though it doesn’t matter as these nights, I sleep alone.

6. I think of taking walks through familiar neighbourhoods to meet new people. I think of smiling at strangers and striking up conversations with elderly walkers. I don’t actually leave the house because missing you is the only activity I’ve signed up for and it’s utterly exhausting.

7. I listen to friends muse over their OkCupid accounts. We laugh and I encourage, pushing them towards imagined scenarios that could become polaroid memories. I imagine what my profile would read. Five Things I Can’t Live Without: Still You. I imagine meeting someone new and feeling their fingers on my skin for the first time. I imagine basking in their admiring glances. I realise I will never love someone the way I loved you. I realise that’s a good thing. I am unsure of why that makes me so sad. I don’t set up an account.

8. I think about messaging your friends just to ask how you are. I try to word things casually, hinting at a friendly demeanor. My best friend reminds me that if you wanted me to know how you were, I would know. I hit backspace until the message is empty. I close the box and Facebook altogether.

9. I cook meals that aren’t anything like the ones we shared. This isn’t on purpose. I use cilantro instead of coriander, bell peppers instead of capsicum. I enjoy each bite, sharing them with the cast of Parks and Rec instead of you.

10. I think about cutting my hair or colouring it pink just so I won’t look like the girl that you used to love. I realise how trite the cliché is. I don’t care and book myself an appointment.

—  How I’m Getting Over (the Idea of) You - breathless
1. you don’t ever need to write in cursive, no matter what your third grade teacher told you.
2. no matter how many times your health teacher tells you about the kid in the town over who died in a drunk driving accident, some of your friends will still get trashed off nips at one in the morning.
3. everyone has a story and everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. remember that when you come across someone you don’t get along with.
4. it is possible for a boy to break your heart even when you aren’t together.
5. you are allowed to put your own needs first. forget pulling an all-nighter to try to finish that essay. watch an episode of your favorite TV show on netflix then go to bed early. it’s okay to put your mental health before school.
6. your friends will fuck up really bad one day and the most you can do is be there for them. they dug their own graves, it’s not your job to get them out.
7. people change, and that includes you.
8. people will hurt you, and you will hurt people. learn to apologize, and learn to forgive.
9. no one can save you but yourself.
10. do what you can about your mistakes, make peace with them, but don’t dwell on them. you can’t change the past, but you can determine what it makes of you.
11. prince charming doesn’t come riding in on a white horse. he’ll be wearing unfitted jeans and an old t shirt, and he won’t give you the happily ever after that you dreamed about when you were 11 years old.
12. you will go into your freshman year with certain friends, but by the start of your junior year, you’ll have totally different people in your life. and that’s perfectly okay. people are meant to grow apart.
13. have faith in the fact that everything happens for a reason. you’ll look back over the last few years and realize how everything happened in order to get you to where you needed to be.
14. people aren’t just black and white. there are always shades of grey.
15. always doesn’t mean forever.
16. you deserve so much more than someone who doesn’t know how to respect you.
17. make as many mistakes as you can, it’s how you learn. but be careful, some mistakes are unforgivable and more importantly, irreversible.
18. some of your best memories will be made with people you barely knew 3 months prior.
19. all it takes is being at the wrong place at the wrong time for your whole life to be flipped upside down.
20. you’ll graduate sooner than you think. you will never see most of your classmates or teachers ever again, and that is both a good and bad thing. so enjoy it. cherish your youth. cherish every damn minute of it, because once that graduation cap comes off, you’re in the real world, and there’s no turning back.
—  20 things I’ve learned in high school

You don’t hear them enough, so here are some reminders: 

i.) If the moon were to shower you in its silver light, you’d be no different from the stars. The only thing separating you from the universe is the vast expanse of space but that doesn’t make you any less important.

ii.) The beauty you seek for in mirrors does not compare to the beauty that shines within. You are gorgeous inside and out but remember that there is an indescribable allure to who you are, not to just what you look like.

iii.) You are loved. By people who are close to you to the strangers that smile as you walk by. By the wind that sings your name to the sun that kisses your skin. You are loved far and wide from the fingertips of those who held you to the fireflies that light up the night sky. There is not one thing that would be the same if you weren’t here in this life.

iv.) Your flaws are not a bad thing. You are not a Roman sculpture, you do not belong in Greek paintings; your idiosyncrasies and imperfections make you human, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

v.) You will be okay. All your worst days might still be hidden in the back of your mind but all your best are still waiting ahead. Don’t let the temporary burdens make homes on your shoulders. Hold your head up high and take a deep breath. The only way from here is forward and there is nothing out there that can hold you back.

—  Reminders for those who need a pick-me-up

1. Im tired of lighting cigarettes when i really just want to light my insides on fire.

2. Im tired of kissing boring boys and girls.

3. Im tired of drinking 20 cups of black coffee hoping the caffeine will stop my heart.

4. Im tired of taking white and blue pills, white lines, shots of vodka and bong rips to hold me over for a couple hours.

5. Im really fucking tired of shaking between highs, head between my knees, breaking into a cold sweat.

—  Im tired of being an addict

1. I finally bought the underwear you’ve always wanted to see me in. Too bad you never will.

2. I’ve counted all the times I’ve missed you since you left. I’m at ten.

3. Goddamn you for everything we did. I can’t look at myself in the mirror without thinking of you.

4. Thanks for making me realize it’s okay to want things too.

5. I was never mad at you for leaving. I’m not that possessive. I was mad that I cared when you never fucking did.

6. Whenever anyone calls me pretty, I flinch. I haven’t figured out that no one’s swinging at me anymore.

7. I am so much warmer without you. The problem is, I’m not sure that’s what I want.

8. You are going to wake up one day and even if it’s only for a second, even if it’s only for a minute, you will miss me. You will hurt over me and that’s enough.

9. I hated that you were too stubborn to take the cd I had made for you, so I gave it to someone else. They asked why there weren’t any love songs and I told them that I had been trying to send a message.

10. God I’m so close to forgetting you. I’m so goddamned close and it terrifies me.

—  The things I’d say if I could– Lily Rain

1. When I look at you, I swear it’s like my heart is a machine and it’s leaking breaker fluid at a rate so fast, it will only be days until I lose control.

2. The first time I looked at the ocean, my eyes were so wide and my chest so heavy, I watched the infinite depths of the world rise to greet me with the salty taste of reality. I never thought I would understand the sea until your arms pressed against me like a tidal wave.

3. Is this all we are given? Is this life, this breath, this tired beating in the darkest corners of our beings the only answer this Universe can offer us? We are not study guides, but I am writing your name inside constellations as if yours is the answer.

4. I have only days until these feelings turn to something more. I feed it like a cancer, knowing that if there is life after death it exists somewhere within the clasp of your hands.

5. For many years I have written the coordinates of the places I call home on this shelf of bone that protects my heart. Lately, I have been making room, forgetting the past places I felt safe just to document every inch of ground your feet walk upon. Soon, very soon, I hope you find yourself at home.

6. Do not talk to me of anchors if you have not looked at the people you died for, and forgiven.

7. Do not talk to me of the rain unless the way their words stung you smelled as petrichor the moment they walked away.

8. Do not talk to me of the wind unless the breezes of past heartbreaks stirred around you and settled the moment you fell for someone new. I looked at you, and the winds of who I used to be sent shivers down my spine, knowing this time around would be more painful than the last.

9. For you, I will stare at the moon, and forgive.

10. I care, and it hurts so much more than you can imagine. I am an atlas of hurt, and every time you touch my skin, a million bruises disappear.

11. It took being heartbroken to know my heart is always yours. I give you my permission to do as you want with me.

—  7-weeks//11 Ways to say “I love you” without using those three words.

i. when i was sixteen i learnt that it was possible to end up loving somebody too much, i didn’t realise this until another year had gone by and i looked back on when my mum tried to warn me that it probably won’t last forever. i wish i didn’t drown out the sound of her voice last year and now i’m sure she would say i told you so. i always knew that things come to an end but i think maybe i ending up loving you more than you loved me to the point that if you drove me to the end of the world and told me to get out the car and jump i would kiss you on the cheek and close my eyes and scream i love you on the way down and thats how i learnt that sometimes it ends because you’re too fucking in love.
ii. i loved you so much and i’m sorry that you couldn’t feel it but i think i’ll only have myself to blame for the fact i didn’t hold you tighter and i didn’t scream it as loud as i should have, i’m so damn sorry.
iii. i swore that if one day you woke up and didn’t care about me then i would let you leave because i didn’t want to hold you back but now i only realise that’s all i’ve done for months because i’m afraid that i’ll watch you fall completely out of love but i’ll still cry at every sunset for you to come home even though i know you never will.
iv. it’s been a few months since we started to fall apart and the memories of your hands on my thighs and your lips on mine have engraved themselves upon my mind just like the image of my grandmothers casket, i wish i could shut out the images of us the way we shut her it that day but how do i mourn the loss of you when you aren’t even dead? the ghosts of who we once were won’t stop haunting me.
v. it was my seventeenth birthday and my mum took photos of me blowing out my candles but little did anyone know that i wished none of this had happened, i think our dreams have already been blown out but i wished upon them anyway.
vi. i need to stop referring as everything I do as what we’re doing, it’s not our dreams anymore it’s just fucking mine.
vii. remember the night that i cried a pool of tears and told you that i couldn’t find a reason to stay alive anymore and you promised that everything is temporary but i didn’t realise that you were talking about yourself. you were the one thing i didn’t think was going to be just a temporary person in my temporary problems which only seem to be haunting me months fucking after, that’s not what i thought temporary meant.
viii. your eyes always reminded me of a cold sea but it’s not fair that when i was drowning you had no choice other than to sail away and now we’re left within frozen pieces of what we once were with miles apart but the worst part is we didn’t even leave those pieces to lay out and thaw and thats what cuts so fucking deep.

people say your first love never dies and i never knew what they meant until now.
monday may 4th 2015.
21:18

1. He isn’t like you thought he was and there’s barbed wire growing in your stomach. don’t let it wrap around your heart and choke you from the inside out. he isn’t worth this.

2. he will stop loving you on a warm summer day where the thick air settles in your lungs like fog. he will leave you on your front porch so you can’t even go home without tasting heartbreak, hot and metallic in your mouth.
go home anyway and spit out the blood on your steps so everyone can see what he did.

3. this is a kind of pain you aren’t used to. the kind of pain that could cause a person to make yarn out of veins but don’t sew yourself a sweater of heartbreak because you won’t always feel this way.

4. he might not feel bad or he might lay awake at night wondering what went wrong. that doesn’t matter because you will never stop loving him if you keep waiting. you say you can’t get over him, you say you’ve tried but honestly tell me if you’re still waiting for him to show up at your window in the pouring rain. tell me if you’re still waiting for him to come back.

5. he’s not coming back and even if he does don’t let him because he left you in pieces once and he’ll do it again.

6. you still haven’t even found all of your heart yet and I’m betting if you check his pockets it’ll be in there.

7. im betting he never planned on giving it back.

8. take it back. steal it if you have to. prison has nothing on the hell you’re living in right now.

—  destroy anything that tells you you need him– Lily Rain

A list of unfinished poetry I found in your eyes:

I. The light, it shivers; succumbs to you, like millions of ghosts are trying to find their way home again. Sometimes, I think of you as holiness; sometimes, I think of you as sin.

II. Us. You and I and you and you and you until you are all that is left.

III. I never understood why we lit sparklers on the Fourth of July until you freed me from my former misery. America, the mischievous; America, the brokenhearted.

IV. But mostly, we are skin. They say our skin cells could cover the entire globe, and I ache for us to travel the world in eighty days.

V. The way you look at her is nebulaic; to describe it would be sin. In the church of this desire, I will not apologize.

VI. It should have been us. It could have been us.

VII. Room 2429, and the way the light glowed softly from the frozen surface of the window. Thank you for thawing me, but the light bends too fast at the taste of your name.

VIII. Is there a feeling, an expression, for the way my bones bruise a little heavier at the weight of your touch? I think it’s called love. I think it’s called love.

IX. When I tell you I love you, I do not wish of you to love me back. Just let your eyes glow. Just let me know I can feel warmth again.

X. We are light without heat, I’m just praying for a firework to happen.

—  7-weeks//I wrote this with the lights turned off