worn knuckles

this town breaks people, don’t you know?


but he’s a firecracker, that boy.
crackling spitfire mouth over freckled porcelain, shows up
piss drunk to a fight and leaves with knuckles worn red,
happiness violent-smeared across his face and you think,
beautiful, you think,
destructive, and you think
he is invincible.


he holds his chin high, teeth sharp.
head cocked just so, eyes hard like bullets.
bandages wrapped like a promise.
fists like a prayer.


it is not until you see the fuse stamped out,
not until the fight comes to him and he’s too sober for it,
not until you have to teach him how to cry, to spill sorrow
without shaking apart that you realize not everyone
has the luxury
of being vulnerable.


so slot your mouth against his, that boy you love.
smoke the unfurling terror out from inside his gut.
wrap your arms around him and think,
like a promise, think,
like a prayer, think,
be safe be safe be safe.


it is hard to live in this town, don’t you know?
it is easy to survive.


see, that boy,
he holds his chin high as though treading water.


he lowers it only to kiss you.

—  CODEPENDENCY // h.x.l.
(for @firstnameagent)

rey is the rasp of knuckles against a punching bag. she is loosed hair blowing in the wind and breathlessness at the top of the stairs. she is the smirk of confidence in a knife fight; lithe and feral, a wolf girl battling for her life. she is plants growing on windowsills, doodles in the corners of notebooks, the last whisper before falling asleep. she is cold water running down your throat and the scent of earth after rain. bared teeth, bruised knuckles, worn down boots. the abandoned petals of a forget-me-not, the ache of leaving home.

finn is courage resting at the back of your throat; unspoken and lethal, a silence more dangerous than fists. he is handwritten love notes and the laughter at the end of a story. he is bravery at the beginning of a battle; straight-backed with aching arms raised for inevitability. he is ocean tides warmed by the sun, squeezing a hand in reassurance, the wanting before the break of dawn. haunted brown eyes and pious self-sacrifice, calloused hands, a crooked smile. 


poe is heart-wrenching loyalty; pure and unfaltering in the face of adversity. he is coming home to someone you love and sweater sleeves that are too long. he is a shout of victory at the end of war; shoulders slumped in relief, left-over adrenaline filling veins. he is feet splashing through rain puddles, unplanned road trips at midnight, hands kissing skin in dark corners. careworn leather jackets, bitten lips, sleepy smiles. the warmth of being surrounded by friends, the witty comeback thought of just in time.

—  we live in a thousand moments | s.m.b.