stop me if you've heard this one beforei.
there is a man on the corner of my street
who gave me a bottle of bleach
and told me if i drank it, i'd finally feel clean.
but i gave it back to him, and went home to take a shower.
because i am almost happy,
and i do not want to mess that up by
chugging bleach or fingering knives or thinking too much
about that man who turned my insides cold
from inside of his car.
because this has to be happy.
this has to be what happy feels like.
it feels like god gave me a vodka bottle
filled with nature and people and oceans and deserts and seas,
cause see, it feels like i'm drunk on life.
i have this nervous habit of scratching holes in my skin
and my mother says it's because
i'm trying to find something beautiful inside me.
she said i need a psychiatrist.
my friend asked me if i needed itching crème.
i keep laughing about stuff that's probably not funny.
i don't want it to rain anymore.
used to, i liked the rain,
because if i squinted, all the lines would be blurred.
you break it, you buy it.1. someone came up to me the other day, and told meyou break it, you buy it.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that if i didn't start using capital letters in my poems,
she wouldn't read any more of them.
i just told her in a quiet voice that i was tired of screaming
at people who would never listen.
the thing with me is that i always
read too much into things-
people, newspapers, fucks, metaphors.
and usually i fall in love with things that
could never love me back.
2. i destroy the things that mean
the most to me, and i've never gotten the hang
of writing in stanzas.
most days i walk around reciting numbers
and other people's poetry, but usually
i just count the seconds i spend falling apart and
avoiding the things that make me whole because
self-destruction will always be my forte.
3. broken people seem to have a way of finding each other.
like we work under this assumption that we can find
perfect in each other's missing pieces,
even though we all know two wrongs will never make a right
"do you want me to fuck you?" yo
count to infinity before you sleep.cause i knowcount to infinity before you sleep.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there are days when
it's painful to even breathe,
your throat closing up on the knowledge
that you don't know
how much longer you'll be waiting on this
band-aided, superglued planet.
every cell in your body vying to be the next to die,
and all you have to tell them is
maybe. maybe next time.
those are the days you spend
cutting rose thorns into your palms
and clenching your fists tight around
jagged reflections and prismed rainbows.
the days you realize
we're losing so much faster than we're learning.
we're maturing faster than we're growing.
adults stuck in the bodies of kids,
moving around, making the mistakes
no one ever wants to look back on.
those are the days you realize
it's not worth living here anymore.
you're using too many burnt-like sugar words
to get what you want, a mistaken human in wolf's clothing.
your lies are becoming louder than your screams,
but if the knife fits wear it on your skin.
this is the age where you feel caught between
Confessionsthere’s a lot I never told youConfessions2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
1. I have a habit of lying, about
the simple things (like, yes I
forgot to remember and I swear by
soul mates and I’m in love
with your susurrus voice
and no, I’m really doing fine).
It was not an act of infidelity because
I believed it, too.
2. I’m infatuated with the concept
that I am more or less fictional, the
delusive beauty a million men will
dedicate novels to: I am fragile,
a dust angel sent to save the world
from commonalities and
3. Since I’m not allowed
to remember your name
I will commemorate you
in acts of escapism,
killing off the pieces
of the person you left behind.
4. I believe in a past life
I was a bird with a tendency
towards tall buildings; the sorry kind
of bird with heavy bones and crumpled wings
who never quite learned
to fly away.
5. I miss you. I used to think
you were a person, but now I know
you’re the happiness I will never
6. I'm sorry.
(the good kind of) purgingdear mom,(the good kind of) purging1 year ago in Letters More Like This
i know i've written you dozens of letters in my life and none of them have made their way to your hands, but just maybe this one will.
because this year, i will take this paper and plunge it into the earth where not a bit of your bones rest, but roses in your memory grow. on christmas, when the rest of the world is opening presents, i will drive too fast to the ocean where you sleep. i will run barefoot on the jetties you warned me never to step on until my feet string with salt and split open from shells. and this time, i will not be a self-fulfilling prophecy. i will not tumble myself heart-first into the sea where we laid you to rest, but stand at the edge and scream above the tumult of waves and your voice carrying in the wind. i will tell you i'm sorry, sorry for every time my hands misplaced themselves down my throat and found their ways inside my skin. sorry for lining myself with morse code, and never showing you a single message. sorry for swallowing sorr
criss-crossed veins for the trigger girliii.criss-crossed veins for the trigger girl2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"you're not okay."
"no, you're lying. i can tell. everyone has a trigger."
she's walking around in circles
and trying to pick up her broken pieces, but they're
not fitting like they used to,
something's damaged beyond repair.
"Why are you doing this to yourself?"
"because i've forgotten what it feels like to heal."
she regrets not cutting deeper, when she sees the life
still running through her veins, and her parents asleep
on the hospital chairs.
she comes to school the next day with a bandaged hand
and blue eyes that seem a bit dimmer.
"i broke a mirror."
her cracks speak louder than her words.
she slams her locker door and almost hits the boy walking past
and if this was a movie, she thinks, they'd fall in love
but this is real life, and she is too damaged to even
she's too broken and he's too oblivious
and it's too goddamn late, no matter how pretty h
let's pretend this never happenedbecause honestly,let's pretend this never happened3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i don't know you and this was
just a big mistake, she says
the morning sun peeks in
through the curtain as she pulls
on yesterday's shirt and i catch
my last glimpse of her thin
shoulder blades, protruding like
wings about to burst out of their
seams. she won't look at me.
the floor creaks with her weight
as she gathers her things. i've
already forgotten her eyes, wide
with wonder, and her lips, her
slender jawbone. i wish she
would turn around. i try to speak,
but words don't come.
her bare feet pad across the
room and she pauses in the doorway,
head turned to the side, as if listening,
perhaps to my heavy heart beating.
the set of her shoulders, hunched like
an eagle about to take flight, makes
me think she's going to break into a
thousand pieces, and i long to catch
them all and fix her. i long to know this girl,
this girl without a name who carries
herself like a hummingbird. i want to ask
her about the tattoo that runs along her
waking upand imagine my surprisewaking up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when my insides bloomed
into so many dandelions,
and in a single breath
tear the skeleton from his comfortzonei want to build a skyscraper, seventeen stories hightear the skeleton from his comfortzone2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and fill each floor with a story from the people who never said goodbye.
a middle child, born in 1994,
she always wanted to be loved the most
until she learned how to give a blowjob
in an alley behind Miss China’s Takeaway
at knife point.
she lost her childhood
to an ocean who always thought it was small
and never stopped pushing its borders.
he’s not sure how he’s supposed to live without her.
staring at the closed coffin, he loses the ability to want to.
it’s not fair, she thinks,
that the house creaks when she’s trying to sleep,
but when he leaves, it doesn’t make a sound.
nine months and a small coffin later,
she thinks she likes the name “amber”
“tomorrow,” he says as she passes him in the hallway—
him from math, her to english. “i’ll tell her tomorrow,”
a thought he had had for the
Audreydear girl i sit by in englishAudrey2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
this is for you.
this is for you because you are
the dreamer of impossible dreams, and the
doer of improbable things.
this is for you, because
you balance on two legs when your life
is spinning out of control
and poetry will always confuse you.
you love fudge brownies like you love
every single guy you like.
for so long, the only thing i knew about you
was the fact that you liked reptiles in second grade.
this is for you, because
you walk around swim meets without pants
and brush your hair in the bathroom before lunch.
you're a mess of contradictions and the most
securest insecure person i have ever met.
this is for you because
i still feel guilty about the reptile thing and
you once begged me to use the line,
"you played fruit ninja with my heart" in a love poem.
this is for you because
you told me in third grade that
grace, everyone has the thing they're best at—
ady's the artist, you're the writer, mili's the smartest.
what am i? what's my niche?
scar-crossed(my fingers are colder than the solemn bluescar-crossed2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
buried in her eyes. so much dead beauty,
like an ocean without waves).
she is fading and i cling to her,
and in this tiny little moment
we barely even exist.
WintergirlI.Wintergirl3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"Fuck the system," she whispered to me
the first time we met.
"Or it will fuck you."
Her eyes were as clear as a summer day.
I absorbed her meaning, her attitude.
I befriended her and we fucked the system together,
rode it like a bull at the fair
and laughed when it tried to tame us.
She laughed the loudest when people said
She said that they were sheep, that they hated us
because we weren't like them.
"We're not wrong," she told me.
"Just different. Just unique."
She was infinite. No star could escape her.
Her smile stretched from one corner of the earth to the other
until the world became one with it.
She was the seismic wave that could start a tsunami,
teasing, powerful, dangerous.
People prayed to their gods for her mercy,
but only the wind knew if she would give it.
The flower of judgement searched her for cracks
to land a root in,
but it found no fissure
and died at her feet.
She owned the world,
catch the stars to remember her wishesi.catch the stars to remember her wishes2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she rememberes the little things first.
her favorite color is purple
she likes blueberry pancakes,
and leaves pennies face-up on random street corners.
even with these pieces, it feels like
a huge chunk has been torn away that she could never retrieve
there are scars on her person
she does not remember getting.
her body is a map of memories
she does not know how to read.
they say she used to be calm and collected,
but now she is hot and fiery,
and they don't know her anymore.
but that's okay, because she doesn't know herself.
she misses the sun,
and the bad school coffee and English projects
and her own bed
and the person she was before.
even though she can't remember, she misses.
when they tell her what happened,
car crash. one dead, one survived.
internal bleeding. damage to the brain.
amnesia. amnesia. amnesia.
and she doesn't remember but she flashes between images
like loose strings that she can't help pulling.
a hand to hold. a quick
half-priced whoremaybe in fifty years,half-priced whore2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
she will stop feeling his finger-shaped bruises
on her hips and arms.
stop hearing his words—you think you can stop me, little girl?—
in every passing "are you okay?".
stop feeling the wind like a ghost of his acid breath
on the back of her neck
beautiful, beautiful, beautiful little girl.
maybe fifty thousand dove soap bars later
and too many scalding showers
and dusty baby blankets and days spent lying in bed,
looking up at the water stained ceiling,
will be enough to leave the man
on the corner of anderson street and rosa parks avenue
right where she never wanted to find him.
just ask her, she knows first hand
that worlds don't end in bangs but
she knows what it's like to die with a fist
over your mouth and fear in your nostrils.
pretend she is made out of ashes and paper thin words—mourn
the loss of her innocence, her freedom, her control.
cast her out into the ocean to dissolve among the waves,
find her a god dirty enough
things you don't learn in schoolI found a cricketthings you don't learn in school2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
on the roadside, put it
in a mason jar to show the world
and called it by a first name.
He died of loneliness shortly
thereafter and i learned how wretched
it is to be forsaken.
When I was twelve, I watched a boy
slit his wrists with a plastic spork
at lunch, and though I
laughed at the irony, all i kept thinking was
"I really hope he washed his hands."
He bled tears
of scarlet red that looked
just like tomato sauce, but I just stood
there because it was the coolest thing
I'd ever seen.
The boy, he smelled of dirty
laundry and cigarettes and sorrow
and used to sit by the window
until the bell, where he'd wait until everyone
had gone outside to make sure it was safe.
His eyes were the hollowed rings
of Saturn, with freckles
like stars & cosmic bruises
up and down his arms.
If he spoke, it was of distant shores and escape,
and we believed it
when he talked of things like freedom,
hearing the scratch of gravel
roads from within his throat.
I realized one day that I'd nev
beauty is a state of mindforgiveness is thebeauty is a state of mind8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
scent the violet leaves
on the foot that stomped it;
I am beautiful in remembrance:
I am beautiful
in a body two sizes too
large, in eyes dilated
with questions (eyes
you cannot name; gray
like the ocean, blue
like the heart, green like
the fever dream I cannot
wake from) I am the
hair of a lion, a wild
thing, ignition upon
tempted glance. I am the skin
you cannot name, always fleeting;
you always see
but never truly take in.
and I know a boy
carved of ivory silence,
Wildflowers, Imperfect BirdsI breathed your name like wildflowers under vast broken skies, in wide-open spaces. The wind blowing through them spoke of dew and dirt and petrichor, and there was sunlight on the ground like a mosaic patterned by god's own hands.Wildflowers, Imperfect Birds2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I said it like a monarch claiming new land: a declaration, a butterfly breath over old earth; like it was coffee on a warm morning with the sun in my eyes, interlacing with my lashes; like it was a dream; like it was a prayer like it was a miracle wrought of air and bone and body: you, in, out, in, out, in and in and in.
I cried it out like an earthquake between lip and lip, continents that don't quite fit: your name, a fault line that doesn't know how to apologize.
And I whispered it like it had grown nothing where there should've been feathers, no wings to fly it on, like my lips were the nest it would always call home.
So I breathed it,
And I whispered it,
And I said it,
And I sang it,
Like a castle; like a mirror; like it was the big bang and ever
heavy humansour breath mingled with the bittersweet burnheavy humans2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of summer breezes and flushed our faces with
the sort of scent that nourishes nostalgia on
weary winter evenings.
the clatter of our bodies on the wooden porch planks
reminded me of the way my bus driver collects false
appreciation in her back pocket until she is uncomfortably
spilling out of her seat; basking in guilt that pleads
with your hips until you submit to feeling it.
waves of truth broke on our shoulders in patterns
as we struggled with each other's mistakes.
our bones severed themselves into swords
that our muscles swore never to use.
(better safe than sorry,
although they seem to go
hand-in-hand these days)
my heart was child's play, so you hop-scotched your way
over it again and again until you created a path more
war-torn than the highest of my convictions.
someday, years from now, the ashes of everything
we once were will flutter to the ground in a gentle
disarray and we will still be bending backwards for
all the wrong reason
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.stars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
scraps and sacramentsyou,scraps and sacraments2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
beautiful siren girl with melodies
entangled in her hair: you are
shell-shocked and sea-struck
even though you cannot stand
the sensation of sand beneath
you have fingers for prying, picking,
pulling at your skin and nesting
in that hollow space between
your bones. and if anyone asks,
you will swear there are monsters
sleeping in the concaves of your ribs;
there are ghosts beneath your tongue,
embittered, and you are not the words
they say there is an answer, little girl
(sometimes you begin to believe you are
a scarecrow on the border of reality
begging people to turn the other way;
and the mirror will agree)
how far have you gone? a feather in
the breeze who won’t promise to return
again; there is a wandering warmth in
the hesitation of your harbored fear.
where will you be in six months when
the future has become itself and you
are still astray? little one, no one is like you
in the way you sway to the cadence of a
dissonant night. no one knows your
i don't have a dog1. i get up at ten.i don't have a dog4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
this is an accomplishment.
by eleven, i’m awake enough to miss you.
to be honest, that part never goes away—
but eleven is when the typewriter grows fangs
and threatens to swallow everything i am
if i don’t put a name to the feeling. even the dog’s
tail does not wag. he keeps watching the door.
he will not even touch his food until the sun has
set as deep as possible. he is giving you every
chance to come back.
i try to tell him there’s no use,
that you will never come back.
but dogs don’t understand things like that,
don’t believe in the concept of ‘never come back’.
they believe in the sound of a key turning a lock
and the inevitable stomping of feet on the welcome mat
no matter how many times they’ve heard
the car engine start and the crunch of gravel as it pulls away.
2. this must be what missing you feels like.
i have lived lifetimes in the minutes i keep breathing.
i keep breathing. this is an accompl
fishbowl reality.the boy next to me just diedfishbowl reality.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but he pressed play again and started
to chase his tail across a screen of purple blocks.
five seats away, a girl is trying to draw a human heart.
another girl is trying to finish her test.
"this class ends at 2 and it is 1:55."
the boy next to me has given up and
is checking his e-mail, while still others
pull out their computers to start clicking
away at letters that will never fade.
i am sitting here, wondering how to tell my mother
her sister tried to commit suicide.
some people say that an umbrella turned upwards
is a sign of bad luck, but there is a lot of bad luck
that has to do with umbrellas
so i just want to stand out in the rain
and deal with wet clothes and no bad luck
but no good luck either.
people ask kids what they want to be when they grow up.
(an astronaut, loved, a cowboy, a doctor, happy)
no one ever asks what they want to be
when they die. i guess the answer is obvious:
i like reading poems
from the end to the
bad days.on my bad days,bad days.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.