zero.5. I think I'm afraid of sex.
It's terrifying that two people can fit together perfectly, without even really liking each other at all.
4. I'm afraid of the day I start replacing myself with somebody else in all of our pictures; of the day I'll see my reflection and wish I didn't have to.
3. I'm afraid of doctors, and medicine.
The first time I took lithium, I couldn't hold it down. So I locked the bathroom door and flushed the entire bottle.
The second time, I couldn't walk more than ten steps without falling.
Honestly, I'm just wondering why they use poison to purify me.
2. I'm afraid of the ocean.
I'm afraid of looking down one day, and not seeing the edges. Of there being nothing there.
I'm afraid of falling and having nothing to catch me.
There's already nobody. The ground is really all I have.
1. I'm afraid of breaking things.
Like, once, I broke my dad's trust in me.
Once I broke somebody's heart.
Once I broke my kindergarten teacher's favorite
short-term memory.and you'll never forget:short-term memory.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
When you realized that everybody dies alone.
When you didn't take your eyeliner off one night, so in the morning
your eyes would look as hollow as you felt.
When you spent a year blacking out the sad endings in your books.
(When you wished that life could also work like that.)
When you learnt that "We need a break" means "I am going to break your heart."
When you fell in love with the stars, and the way he says "us."
When he told you, "More than just a long time."
The first time you hung up to the sound of your father laughing.
When you walked home from a party in January, and couldn't remember
if you were still breathing.
When you begged him to let you be sad, and he smiled and said, "No."
When you saw the irony of drawing trees on paper – and how alive you've felt
after being sure you were dead.
eight things about growing up.eighteight things about growing up.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I told my brother I was going to be a fairy when I grew up. Or a bird, or sprite something with wings so I could touch the clouds.
I learned that fairies weren't real when I was six, after I tried to jump off a parking structure to see if I could fly.
That day I also broke my leg in three places and saw an angel's face in the clouds. (And don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spend all day looking for him.)
My neighbors back in Denver had a son who was a schizophrenic. After he went off his meds for the third time, he painted the windows red and told his wife she had to abort their baby because it wasn't human.
A year later, I heard that he was arrested after pointing a hunting rifle on his family. It was loaded, but he didn't pull the trigger because his mother said she trusted him.
I guess love is kind of like that, too.
Seattle didn't come until I was fifteen, in October.
My family and I took a boat ride on Friday. We listened to the captain
queen of nothing.what I've learned:queen of nothing.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I still remember singing in my room when I was six, and having my mother come down the hall and slam the door so hard that the windows shook.
Her nails hurt when she scraped the tears off my face. "It doesn't matter what you want," she'd always tell me.
Like, when that drunk driver swerved and hit her car I didn't want her to leave me, and it didn't matter.
Once on vacation I bought a pair of fuzzy leather heels for two hundred dollars, and when I wore them to dinner, I found out that
1. "Suede" is a fancy word for "fuzzy leather."
And 2. Good things don't last: That night my cousin told me that she thought 135 pounds was a little too big for five foot eight. So I tore my tights up to the thigh and threw those new suede heels in the garbage.
It felt good later, to know that they couldn't hate me more than I hate myself.
My six-word story from ninth grade reads, "If I don't laugh, I'll cry."
When I read that treating people like trash to gets them to nee
red leaves and Robert Frost.When I was young, my virginity was sacred. Entire religions pray over it and my father bought a gun so long as it meant protecting it.red leaves and Robert Frost.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We throw away half of our refrigerator each week meanwhile, 24,000 people die of starvation every day.
Hardest part is, sometimes wasting things can't be helped.
At the bus stop, before I could drive, boys would ask for my phone number while I tugged up the neck of my shirt. Asked me how old I was while I crossed my legs under my skirt.
I told them I had a boyfriend even when it wasn't true, because they'll always respect another man more than my disinterest.
Hearing "I love you" for the first time is like getting hit by a train and only feeling the angel as they pull you up to Heaven.
People who are manic can jump off roofs or sell their house to buyers who don't exist.
For me, it was fucking six guys in four days and spending $150 in three.
That wasn't good enough, though, so instead of help all I got was a smiley-face sticker and long, quiet c
was it easy?i.was it easy?3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When I met you, I would only bring tragedies up to the rooftop, or down to the street corner, or to the bike cage. You asked me if any of them were true.
"You make the saddest stories so beautiful with that pen," you said, on the same day that we held hands for the first time and I found out you smoked.
It's all we are now, though. Just more depressing words from my pen. You loved my writing that much; and that was more than me, and it ruined us.
The January before you turned twenty-one, you told me you were afraid to become an adult. "I don't want to be somebody a child will hate."
You had always smelled like peppermint, cologne, and the truth, and it made me so sure when I told you, "You won't be. You're different."
And hey it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.
We spent the summer talking about baby names and our house in Colorado. You wanted a daughter and I wanted four boys, and one of them had to be called James.
It was October when
april 18th, 2012.therapy:april 18th, 2012.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
"I'm not an artist. I'm just a kid with a keyboard."
“And, y'know, I’m probably not really sick.”
“I read a lot of books. I probably just act like this because I saw it somewhere on the Internet.”
“I just want to be more like my dad.”
“I’m really just a pathological crybaby who wants attention,” I tell you.
You say, “I think there are better ways to get attention than fake a mental disorder.”
“Maybe I’m doing it for fun.”
The problem isn’t that I need to see a therapist.
The problem is that I need to see a therapist because I dream about slamming your head into a tree.
Right after we broke up, you took me to the bike cage and promised me everything would be okay. Then you got together with that fifteen year old from Michigan and told our friends that I was a freak.
Slamming your head into a tree might be painful, but nothing will ever hurt more than kn
infinite/opposite.being an adult means knowinginfinite/opposite.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that there are things much scarier
than spiders, or snakes, or clowns.
the ocean, for one.
losing your parents.
empty tequila bottles.
waking up, still reaching
for someone who left you
a long time ago.
i live like there’s an end for me
because there is.
plants will wilt.
forests will burn down.
eventually, even the stars will burn out.
people will come to us.
they will touch us. they will hurt us.
they may keep us. they may not.
but i never hold on too tight
because when it’s time, my time,
i’ll only be letting go.
the heart has valves
that constantly open and close
giving love, taking love.
and my best advice
is to be selfish.
know when you’ve had enough.
know when you deserve better.
close the valves and
keep some love for yourself.
know that you are perfect
even if you eat that second cheeseburger
because there’s magic in this world.
we’re proof of it.
is fear o
admittance is defeatthey called you beautifuladmittance is defeat3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with porcelain eyes about to crack
and cigarette skin crumbling
away, a knotted spine and
you were never gracious.
you're slipping underneath, this
virulent smog masks a paper sky that
never allowed a dream and
you're afraid because it's soaking in
your pores again, unattainable and unoriginal;
the meaning of life never meant enough-
you were never hopeful.
there's a getaway map on the underside
of your pillow, and a lifetime of secrets
on the underside of your bones
you're a walking travesty:
your chest ticks, dull
your wrist beats, dying
time is keeping you but
you were never patient.
you lie large enough to make us believe you
don't entertain nightmares, but what if
no one could hear you scream?
remarkable, it seems
caged birds really know how
to sing out
(you were always beautiful)
numbering the steps.I'd like to count the number of times you fucked me over, but I only have ten fingers and toes.numbering the steps.3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
I never mentioned this but I really should have.
Because it was so hard that you were blowing me off, especially after the third/fourth/fifth/fourteenth time.
Or in September, when your eyes could look everywhere but mine when I finally stopped telling you, because I knew you weren't listening.
Oh, and you killing yourself last April. There's that.
(Your note said: "Tell Scarlett I'm sorry." And oh God, Charlie, please believe me, I tried so hard to make it right, I did.)
Fourteen days, two hours, and fifty-nine minutes: how long it took for us to fall in love.
Overnight: how long it took for you to fall out of it.
You loved me like a bomb loves a crowd. Like the boys mothers warn their little girls about, except you had softer hands and nicer eyes, so I never thought you could take everything when you left.
You wouldn't have come to me in January if our par
adults.i.adults.2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
The media doesn’t support a positive body image
because it’s not good for business.
They want us anxious and afraid
of seeing the numbers on a scale go up.
We’re not worth our weight in gold.
It’s what we don’t weigh
My first boyfriend, who panicked when I touched him
would say “I’m fat”
the way somebody says “I should have never been born.”
They want us spending our money
on designer jeans, instead of groceries,
on concealer and diet plans, instead of an education.
Please don’t starve yourself.
Believe me, I’ve tried
and your body will start to eat itself from the inside out and
if you let it
it’ll get to some valuable stuff.
they’ll only appreciate your body when it’s a corpse.
They won’t notice you
until there’s nothing to be noticed
they’ll mourn and wish for something
that is no longer
In the second grade, I learned that
and then, you changed.For years, you used to ask me what you were to me.and then, you changed.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And I would always say, "Nothing," until you finally understood that there was nothing you could do that could ever hurt me.
When we were children, there were no monsters under your bed. Just dead frogs and lizards from the pond on your doorstep.
You asked your sister, "Why do things die?"
"Because death is a part of life," she told you with a loving hand in your hair and a calming hug waiting for you later. But her eyes pinned me over your shoulder.
She never told you it was because Erik wouldn't stop killing them.
Flowers die, too. So I flattened them in your schoolbooks for you to find.
And you thought it was romantic. You showed them to your friends and told your sister you had a secret admirer.
I often wondered how you would've felt if you saw their ashes blow away with the wind, when I later burned them out on the deck.
It took you two years. You left a note in my locker junior year asking if I wanted to go out
a confession1. in eleventh grade, our teacher told us disney was fucked up. she showed us some video where all these little girls said they felt bad for belle, but if she had listened to beast, she would be okay. she should let him hit her so they would be okay. so they could get married. but then all i could think of was how i remembered ariel gave up her fins and her voice for some boy. and all i could think of was how fucked up it was i would give my legs up for you, too, like i was used to strapping them to your thighs. that i learned not to speak, but move and wail. and that’s what love was.a confession3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
2. meeting you was kind of like meeting that part of myself i had forgotten. like i’d dropped you when i was walking to class one day. then i came back to you, through the arbor of the rain, soaking wet and on my knees, begging, my hair and eyes a collection of weakness and water. and you were a new kind of jesus, complete with blue jeans and a crooked smile, nailed to the bed, your halo a pil
a picture of a plane.The day her daddy got sent away, the whole neighborhood fluttered with closing curtains and eyes watching through cracked doors. His wife called it a mistake, the cousins called it rape and said he was a pedophile.a picture of a plane.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And she just kept dipping her fingers into paint and dreaming about kites and the eyelashes on dolls, because she didn't know what any of those words meant.
A year later, he came back, and she washed the sidewalk so he couldn't see that she was drawing their secret in light blue and petal pink chalk.
"Those are nice pictures, baby," her daddy would tell her, but she hated it, because he always sounded sick, and he would rub her back with those big, rough hands until the neighbor's blinds twitched like the nervous wings of a bird.
Aleksander finally made her daddy stop, because he sat on his porch all day with a scratchy blanket in his lap, saying prayers beside a full ashtray.
"Why does he do that?" she asked him in July. "I don't like it when he does that."
He patted her
dichotomy.i.dichotomy.2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
there’s a monster inside of my head.
it moved in four years ago, but they say it’s always been there. my daddy has one. so does his mom.
they say that’s where i got it. dad says grammy’s monster made her beat him until he was seven. dad says his monster made him drink until he blacked out, for twenty years.
they all say, “don’t let it in.” they all say, “it’ll control you, because you are weak.”
(actually, they say “vulnerable.”)
they tell me its name, so i can paint it on my wrists, on my forehead, along the curves of my ears. keep out. no BIPOLAR DISORDER allowed. they say it notices loud things. capital letters, for one. or crying children. or hatred. or fear.
they do not tell me what it’s like to see it. they do not tell me what’s it like, to feel it burrowing under your skin.
when it came to me, i pleaded with it. i said, “please go away,” and it didn’t listen.
listen:1.listen:2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
People will let you down.
You’ll love them, anyways.
Don’t let anyone romanticize
It won’t be beautiful
when somebody breaks your heart
the first time
or the second
or the eighteenth.
Pain is not beautiful.
Maybe on paper
but not inside of you
not in numbers.
A million people
but you’re still here,
and that's important.
You're doing something
My father told me
“Be selfish –
if you don’t take care of you
I liked to think
that this is the reason
he ignored me
I don’t have good advice
on this one.
Because the people who let you down,
are the ones promised to save you.
Are the ones promised to love you
and protect you
and I’ll tell you,
nothing quite hurts
like waking up in the morning
to the police in your doorway.
Nothing quite hurts
like being eleven
and hearing a cop say
“Poor girl had to live wi
pipe dream.dreams:pipe dream.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I’ve always wanted a boyfriend
I could watch porn with
and drink straight vodka with
until we’re too drunk to know
who took who
I’ve always wanted a boyfriend
I could ride
without feeling embarrassed
that there’s a freckle on my breast;
a boyfriend who could make me fall in love
with his eyelashes
when they’re wet with tears,
with his breakdowns and daydreams
and every honest, vulnerable little thing.
I’ve always wanted a boyfriend
who could make me believe in God
because miracles were real
and I didn’t need evolution anymore
I didn’t need to believe
that things were destined
to change –
that I didn't want them to change.
(I just wanted it to be perfect.)
You called me heroin
because you were addicted.
“You ruined my life,” you’d say,
drinking straight out the bottle.
You never drank with me,
so I always knew it was you
who was too drunk
to get my je
you never knew.Every summer in Munich the rain used to fall in buckets tepid, luminescent rain, like crystal slices, sluicing through the green trees leaves and loosening the earth around the mountains so much that the smaller towns had to evacuate. It slicked the city streets and made the sky as gray as them. I went out every day while the adults sat indoors around fireplaces to complain about the wet weather, and lied and said it was only because I liked to watch. My mother would shake her finger every time I dripped warm rainwater into the house and my brother would warn me in whisper that if I stayed out too long, I could drown.you never knew.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I only half-lied. I loved to watch, watch from under the loose flooring of the porch as the rain came down. But Sam loved the rain more, and that was part of why I loved to watch. Loved to watch him watch. As we got older, more and more he would venture out, and sit in the grass as the rain fell around him, his face turned to the white sky. Sam liked the peace and
She always fell for boys who needed saving.She always fell for boys who needed saving.She always fell for boys who needed saving.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Giving them kisses in the dark
to numb their headache from
drinking too much and yet
not enough to kill lust.
She was always adored by boys, who,
if given the chance, would rebuild
the world for her.
But she wanted to be the heroine
and refused to see
she needed saving, too.
PressureSomething broke.Pressure3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
A hard CRACK while sitting in
a soft chair. No pain registered.
The absence of it
is like watching explosions in space.
You follow the curve of your skull. You remember
how skulls are formed like tectonic plates.
Your head wants to be a planet,
volcanic, living, in change.
You continue to your left shoulder,
the one with all the problems.
But today, it has nothing to say.
Your rib cage moves
like oceanic waves, expecting a storm
that hasn't come.
You stand up,
you consider your legs,
nothing feels wrong,
But you can break
more than your body.
caterpillars will become butterflies.You called it a whole other world.caterpillars will become butterflies.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"It's a fortress," you tell me when we sit at the bay window, thrown wide open.
The spider webs would cut thousands of crystal strokes under my windowsill in between rainy seasons, and each morning we'd sit out in the yard and I'd watch you sketch the dewdrops ebbed in the tiny satin tightropes. Your father hated them, but you wouldn't let him touch them.
"Everything so geometric and miniature. It's amazing."
The structure of my bones became geometric and miniature, too, so you could trace every line sitting in that window, with the curtains billowing like butterfly wings.
But I never noticed that you never noticed the butterflies.
You called me your little fairy girl.
"Little fairy girl," you tell me in the kitchen. My mother has just wed your father and I already like you. "Little fairy girl, so small and fragile."
Couldn't you see it, Jeremy? Couldn't you see how I followed you like a moth would to flame? You plucked me from the vine an
a meaningful poem about nothing.this is a poem about how fixing peoplea meaningful poem about nothing.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is not romantic.
we’re not meant to be somebody’s answer,
we’re not meant to make someone feel alive again.
this is a poem about why you shouldn’t kiss him
because he’s broken
because you want to save him.
save yourself first.
kiss him because he holds a place in your heart, not
because he's the only thing making it pump.
kiss him because he’s in your life, not because
he is your life.
hold him, but don’t hold onto him because you believe
(get to dry land first.)
this is a poem about how i find poetry in everything.
breakups. my dad telling me i mattered.
nightmares. my neighbor’s insomnia.
how it drove him crazy.
how he swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills to fix it.
my neighbor’s funeral.
this is a poem about the split-apart theory.
the idea was that when humanity became arrogant
toward the gods, we were split in two
and were doomed to spend our live
things i want you to know.0.things i want you to know.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is a picture in my living room
of my parents in their twenties, in sunhats,
there is a picture of my father holding me
when i was two years old.
there is a picture of my parents
on their wedding day.
there is a picture of me when i was
ten, eleven, twelve.
i’m seventeen now and
i won’t let my mother
take any of the pictures
i need to believe that, at one point,
this house was more than just
i was born on the second-to-last day
i weighed seven pounds, two ounces,
and it was ninety-nine degrees out.
four years before that, in 1992,
the officers who beat rodney king
within an inch of his life
five years before that, in 1991,
a cyclone in Bangladesh killed
138,000 people and made 10 million
ten years before that, in 1986,
a fire in a Los Angeles library
damaged more than 400,000
and on that day, april 29, 1996, i was born
and i’d like to pretend
that it was a go
and i have tried to make it right.i.and i have tried to make it right.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
let me tell you a story
using six words.
their names become parts of statistics.
let me tell you a story
using six words.
“suicide is the easy way out.”
let me tell you a story
using six words
that will never be told.
pain is not a fucking
do you still pray,
knowing there will be no answer?
see, i cannot speak for those
who have no voice to give
but, sincerely, these are the six words
i respond with:
i wish i could save you.
we live our lives being told that
there is always a safety net -
that there are people designed to protect us.
i’m going to use six words because,
the saddest stories
take the fewest words to tell.
for them, there was never anyone.
blades can cut wrists but
here are six words:
blades can cut stories short, too.
i have approximately 250,000 words
to choose from
to try and describe to you what suicide is
but i don’t