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.
criss-crossed veins for the trigger girliii.criss-crossed veins for the trigger girl3 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
sometimes i feel like a superherothe house across from my bus stopsometimes i feel like a superhero2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is a temporary funeral home, but back when the Yankees controlled the town,
it was owned by a family whose daughter rode bareback
twenty-seven miles in the middle of the night to warn her
rebel leader of a lover that the Yankees were coming for him,
the Yankees were coming, the Yankees were coming,
the Yankees are coming, John, get out, quick!
and maybe she tripped and fell,
or her red cape got tangled up in her stirrups and ideals,
because by the time she rode into the neighborhood,
the houses were already on fire, children were already
crying for their mothers, and her John
was already hung up on the gate as an example
to the other rebel.
the next morning, the Yankees strung her
dead body up next to his.
no one ever told them life wasn't fair.
maybe that's why when i first tasted lemonade
i spat it out onto the ground,
and didn't drink it again until i was twelve years old,
and feeling biter and sour and in need of a little sugar.
when i was little,
for magdalenei think i’ve figured out the reason you’re sad all the time.for magdalene8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
it has something to do with your mess of a tongue, bitten through
and scarred from the times you’ve tried to hold your words inside.
stop doing that. let them out,
they’re not worth the blood in your mouth.
neither is your parents. and i’m not going to try
and tell you that they’ll understand one day
because some moms and dads never will.
but you’re always gonna have a skyline, you’re
always gonna have something to look forward to.
believe me, the world never ends.
not even on the days you want it to.
not even on the days when you’re looking
for gods in the weirdest places, like the broken
spine of the book you’ve read thirty-four times,
the front seat of your brother’s truck, the gap growing
between your niece’s front teeth, and all the other things
you find holy.
the world doesn’t end; and for that matter, neither do you.
the only thing i learned
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.
Audreydear girl i sit by in englishAudrey3 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 ató
ady's the artist, you're the writer, mili's the smartest.
what am i? what's my niche?
fake it till you make iti don't want to live on this planet anymore.fake it till you make it3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so i'm packing a rocketship to mars
(no you're not invited),
where the seasons don't change and
the people forget.
i can learn to forget too just give me some time.
i can write an entire book on how to lose your memories,
if you want.
you might want to find someone else
to help you make those memories though, because
i'm the kind of person who's never seen a shooting star
but sits in the dark
when there are meteor showers outside.
i'm also the kind of person who ignores your phone calls
and hides under her blanket.
maybe for the same reason.
make a paper crane. burn it, starting with its head.
the wings should be last, don't make something that can't fly.
(i can't imagine being a penguin.)
build a wall. anywhere.
maybe you can even tear it down afterwards.
change your favorite color from his eyes to
something that can't hurt you- like maybe
grass green or baby blanket yellow.
maybe buy a n
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
(the good kind of) purgingdear mom,(the good kind of) purging2 years 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
pumpkins, pogo-sticks, and lip-to-lipdear october.pumpkins, pogo-sticks, and lip-to-lip3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the leaves haven't fallen yet.
maybe this year, they will not.
i am sick of things dying prettier than they live.
i am walking streets full of dead carcasses
and making sure to step on them to feel the bones crack
beneath my feet and it makes me feel powerful
and alive and deadly and beautiful.
i am three months away from january
and my unfulfilled new year's resolution is still
sitting heavily on my collarbone, trickling down my ribs
melting into the soles of my shoes.
last year, i celebrated the new year in my friend's friend's apartment
in india and two minutes after the countdown was over,
people set off fireworks outside the window
and i grabbed my shoes and ran down to the balcony
to watch things explode, drunk on
the hope of things changing.
one- keep the scissors from my skin.
two- hold on to my hope in my palms like lifelines
three- first kiss
four- let go.
right now, i am used to time running out
and stepping over lines that would have broken my mother's
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,
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
scar-crossed(my fingers are colder than the solemn bluescar-crossed3 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.
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
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
catch the stars to remember her wishesi.catch the stars to remember her wishes3 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
sempiternali saw you today, for the first time in months.sempiternal3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
i admit, it took me a few seconds to remember
all the words to the song you played on repeat in
your car, the one you couldn’t sing with open eyes.
the music used to come so easily to me,
but when i saw you today, i could only remember
the chorus, and it stuttered its way through my head
over and over again. for the life of me, i don’t know
what comes next.
i have spent years picking up the pieces of you
that you left behind, years spent memorizing
the echo of your heartbeat and the rhythm of
your breaths. your favorite color is purple.
you like sunflowers, autumn, and the creek
that flows behind your house. you like movies
and popcorn, you like ferris wheels and candy apples.
you love your mother and miss your father. you’re
afraid of alcohol and terrified of yourself. there
was a point in my life when i thought maybe i’d
be able to grow old next to you.
i know it’s stupid, but i’m afraid of not knowing
2014January.20145 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
she has maybe five new year’s resolutions
and they all sit heavily on her shoulders.
she takes a step and smiles at a pretty boy
and three of them slide off.
he gives her chocolate at the right time
and smiles at the right times.
so she lets him take off her clothes,
and lets him stay the night.
march is spent sticking fingers down
her throat, twisting
in a way she swore she forgot.
her boyfriend breaks up with her.
he wouldn’t have if she wasn’t—
if she was—
it’s like this:
she gets out of the hospital
when they think she’s survived her april showers.
she’ll be a may flower, they say,
but she knows better:
getting high with strangers
doesn’t change anything, but it’s the first time
she’s laughed since—
then a guy asks her if she loves him,
and it’s not hard to say yes.
On their fourth date, he boasts tha
Clichei. true loveCliche3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
& you were that one famous line
of a love poem 1863 sonnet
scripted down your spine, verses
of sternum & shuddering heartbeat.
i remember the sheets twisted blue
as the eventide, your eyes like thelassia,
that species of ocean grass. we swayed
to the music of galaxies colliding.
our song was the day the tides
finally curled round the moon's face.
eventides, thelassia eyes, moon
great and heavy as that one lucky coin
that refused to land, to grant a wish
or let luck decide for us. there were
star crabs scuttling under your
oragami skin. & i never realized
all the ways that you folded
until the doctor came back &
you folded into yourself,
please don't tell me it was disease.
please don't mention the fact
that there was a constellation
blossoming underneath your skin
as if it excuses the metaphor
of your candle-eyes dimming.
i was there for the treatment.
you weren't, rag-doll girl. you
hung limp as wet clot
wrists that roarmama sayswrists that roar3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
pull down your sleeves
they'll see, they'll see
but no-one's even looking
i say mama
tigers are proud and strong
and tigers show their stripes
so today i'm a tiger
and who says
i can't be a tiger
when razors made me fierce
and secrets kept me lonely
i can't tiger-roar
when everything unsaid
ripped my throat raw
i made my stripes
with tiger-claws and tiger-teeth
so damned if i'm not a tiger
and damned if i won't roar
mama, i'm a tiger
mama, hear me roar
starvetoday, i don't hate myself enoughstarve2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to deny the hungers for -
a cup of coffee that will treat me like sin dancing to the pulse of my bloodstream
the absence of guilt
cracks in personality
screaming poems silently at my reflection
today, i will gorge
on the things i vowed to give up.
today, i will break vows.
today, i am a glutton
for relapse and binge cycles,
for starvation and changing reflections.
tomorrow, i will wish
i could be the skeleton that
hangs in my closet.
[ leave the tears where they lie,
take the fallen stars and ripped up wings,
do not regret spinning circles
around vices. ]
I would love to give upi.I would love to give up2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
'there's a second hand that holds mine, and stuffs the words back down my throat.'
her voice a crack--
sticks & stones breaking
between her teeth
but when she tries to find the sound
her pen runs dry
[can someone flip the switch to 'yes' or 'no'
i've been so de
& my head is saying 'maybe']
(i would ask myself,
but i don't trust liars)
she tries to string the words
down a thread
but they always c r u mb l e
(& the cinders burn
with the same old questions)
but when you turn
she'll be gone
there are rocks in her throat when she asks you for help.
the words grind to sand on her tongue.
smoke in her head
smeared across her hands
her fingers are broken;
o k e d
she reaches for some kind of
at the corner
& turn of each & every page