you break it, you buy it.1. someone came up to me the other day, and told me
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
stop me if you've heard this one beforei.stop me if you've heard this one before2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
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
cinderella died yesterday"burn your tiaras,cinderella died yesterday3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
bury your fairy godmother.
it's time for you to grow up now, you're
no peter pan.
forget never never land.
stars are just burning balls of gas that are
slowly running out of time- they can't
hear your wishes.
cast aside your dr. seuss books like you will
later cast aside your bibles.
after all, a fairy tale is a fairytale is a fairytale.
life will teach you that.
grace, you were born into a role
only a very strong girl can play.
see, society will hate you for being
what they don't want to believe.
surrender your throne, your castle is under siege.
stop being fascinated with the sky,
you'll never go there.
keep your feet on the ground, and steady yourself
before you help another.
your brain is more logical than your heart,
therefore take your instructions from it.
promises can be broken as easily as can be made.
do not rely on something as weak as miracles and love-
and if you only have one piece of armor,
defend your back from the people you trust the most.
what you bring to the tableyou know, today i read that humanswhat you bring to the table2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are made out of stars
and i found that really interesting
because we all look up to celebrities so much,
like they’re sent from the heavens
when it turns out,
we are too.
your mom gave birth to you and
i think that’s beautiful—
the way one living thing can make
another living thing
and the second be completely different and unique
from any living thing that has ever lived before it.
but i also think it’s beautiful the way
you are made up of things older than
you can dream to be and it doesn’t define you
and it doesn’t break you and it doesn’t really change you—
you could have been a dwarf star or someone’s sun,
but now you can be anything you want and if you’re lucky
someone’s world can still
revolve around you.
worship yourself. love the bend in your spine
when you’re carrying a backpack full of your future,
the squint in your eyes from staying up too late,
your feet that without
i don't have a dog1. i get up at ten.i don't have a dog6 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
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
a litany of things better left unknownI wonder if we had a time machine, how many peoplea litany of things better left unknown8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
would go back in time and how many people would go forward,
and if that would say anything about us or not. I know
some people are afraid of the butterfly effect: when I was
eight, a girl named Alexis stopped me from a catching
a monarch, told me I wouldn’t like the way I looked
if I had its colors dusting my skin.
I wonder if God ever stands in front of a mirror
and realizes how amazing it is that He can see Himself
when millions of people would kill to be able to.
I wonder if vampires ever get lonely when
they’re sleeping and if they ever get
self-conscious because they can’t see themselves
in a mirror. I wonder if vampires ever ask people if they’re
pretty. I wonder if God thinks He’s pretty
or if pretty’s just a human-made concept and Moses has never
had to look God in the face and say, “People love You—
that’s all that matters.”
I wonder if you can lie in heaven. I wonder
Love letter to myself.Small handed girl,Love letter to myself.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you've written the truth
of your scars wherever there's
space to write it
and I love you.
They painted over
the rape you wrote about
on the front door of
your Uncle's house
and I love you.
They took the floorboards
of your bedroom out where you'd
carved the shape of your
father's fist into their
and I love you.
You shook the sand of
your fifteenth birthday out of
your hair and into a jar
you keep under the bed to
remember a girl with crooked
teeth and bony knees who
fled and flew
and I love you.
You've built yourself into a
fortress with nothing but your
fingernails and shredded skin
and you let him in when he
waited by the door instead of
forcing his way
and I love you.
if i could.1.if i could.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i’ll be honest with you;
there is a certain authority to being
somebody said once that writers struggle with reality
because we spend all of our time
constructing our own.
the truth is, life may be impermanent
but the details are not.
time has one direction
the past cannot be revisited
and history cannot be redone
with a red pen.
what happens, happens.
we are walking permanent records
that can never be expunged.
no matter how many orphans we pull from fires
no matter how many dying children we sing to
we still made our mother cry once
we still let our little brothers find us passed out
on the front porch when we were nineteen.
imagination is our primary retreat
because there, that boy does fall in love with us
and our first kiss is not spit on our chins
or misses landing on our nose
(maybe there are waves crashing in the background)
and we say everything right.
there, we have crafted a version of ourselves
that lives perfectly.
“if i could,” someon
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
Laurynlauryn is the best example of the reasonLauryn2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i like writing about people.
because i have waited too long
and now i have forgotten—
because now i do not even remember
if i spelled her name right.
lauren? laurin? lauryn?
here's the three things i remember
about the girl in the back of my spanish class
who showed up late for video rehearsals,
but pronounced español like she'd been speaking it all her life
lauryn is the only person i can
remember asking me to write a poem for her.
the rest of them just sat back and thought
that eventually i would write a poem about them
that they could steal and read.
she is the only one who has ever
wondered if i had better things to write about than her.
her sleeping bag during one of the school bonding trips
was bright yellow with a spongebob face on it.
i would know, i shared a tent with her—she woke me
up in the middle of the night because she thought
she heard something out in the woods,
and "please grace, won't you go with me?"
two-fifty an hour.let me save you the trouble:two-fifty an hour.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because what i'm trying to say is
i'm not a good person.
i don’t tell valerie about how i planned to rekindle
my friendship with charlie’s best friend last year
just so i could get to him and hurt him.
(i don’t tell her how, in the end, i ended up liking
his friend instead, and charlie dated another
fifteen year old
because shit happens and what was i doing,
expecting things to go my way?)
there are certain things she doesn’t need to know,
certain things i can’t say because
putting it into words what it was like waking up,
that sort of shame that came with it –
it was like – it was like looking into a window
and swearing there’s a monster behind it
before, slowly, i realized
it was a mirror.
what therapy promises me: love yourself, forgive but
never forget, tell us your past
then let it go.
what i learn in therapy: nobody has all the answers.
we certainly don’t.
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.
Hallelujahthere is an angel sitting next to me.Hallelujah2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
her hands are tucked like wings against each other,
each blue life-vein peeking out through
too-white, too-thin skin.
a dog-earred copy of The Great Gatsby
waits in the pocket of the seat in front of her.
any other day, that might be a metaphor,
but today it is just a lonely book
whose owner is even lonelier.
there is an angel in the plane seat next to me.
while i am closing my eyes to say goodbye to the ground,
she is opening hers wider to say hello to the sky.
her spine is bending against the metal side,
like maybe if she pushed enough she could be free.
as the plane starts moving faster and faster,
the ground tells me, “see you later.”
and as the wheels draw back into the plane’s belly,
the sky tells her, “welcome back old friend.”
there is an angel sitting next to me on a plane,
and it sounds like the start of a bad joke.
she is beautiful with spindly fingers, fly-away hair,
green eyes and a feather soft smi
violatedsaying no applies toviolated10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
drugs: never boys. do not
say no to boys, they will tear out
your heart and leave your rib cage
jagged and broken, a gaping mouth
screaming its violation. they
will take your tongue, too, take away
your voice until all they can read
is yes in your actions.
this is not
this is a simple fact: do not say no to boys.
it is not in your right to deny them.
let them see the ocean of your body, let
them widen the cracks in your sidewalks,
let them warm themselves over the fire in your eyes,
until they decide to suffocate it.
do not say no, even when you are so destroyed that
your hands shake at night, holding your car keys between
your fingers like a gun with an unclear target.
even when you cannot go outside of your room:
the grass between your toes feels too much like
hades’ hands reaching for persephone, the sun’s shadow
haunting you across the concrete feels too much
like apollo relentlessly chasing after daphne.
do not say no, even when y
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
not all the way through.i read once,not all the way through.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
“Adults often forget
what it’s like being young
because they block it out.”
right after that:
“Similar to trauma victims.”
last summer, when i told that man
old enough to be my father
that i had a boyfriend,
he said “so?”
when I told him i was a minor,
he said “and?”
there are no boundaries anymore,
and don’t tell me
“boys will be boys”
because that doesn’t make it
don’t tell me
I was asking for it
because what I’m really asking for
is for it
i wish i was a person
and not numbers on a scale.
i wish i was a human being
and not the cleavage in my tank top.
i wish we would stop hating ourselves.
i wish girls were allowed to say no
and eat every day
and forget to shave their legs.
i wish boys were allowed to cry
and be ballerinas
and speak up
when something hurts.
i wish we thought
we deserved more.
(and don’t tell me
none of this is sup
you are, you will bethis is meant to be heard: https://soundcloud.com/c-e-moore/you-are-you-will-be-by-your-methamphetamineyou are, you will be1 year ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
try again with more
conviction this time.
my body is beautiful;
its curves ascend more than the rugged
fall like contradictions from a politically
incorrect statement, my body is the
pavement of my mind's highway but these
trapped under the debris of
(not self-esteem, that requires
a mind-heart team effort)
my lips have kissed all kinds of
royalty; my hands have polished enough
crowns and sworn fealty to the right
people. my loyal legs once opened wider
for you to go deeper but I don't like
thinking about that, I don't like
start over and this time,
my body is beautiful; have you
seen how my hipbones curve like
(when you find me stuck between your
gravestone-teeth, will you promise to be
break me homolytically?)
seen how my thighs purge out of
you loved someone.i.you loved someone.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Chloe is nineteen when she dies.
She ends it with a shotgun
the night her brother gets out
They say he molested her
he raped nine women
ten eleven twelve women
they say no
it was nine little girls
ten eleven twelve
little girls, kids, the bastard.
he was a bad man
“No wonder she did it.
If he was my blood
I’d’ve done it, too.”
You go to the funeral
because that’s what good people
because your mother asks you
“You want to go to Heaven,
without looking up from her knitting
and you would laugh in her face,
but she’s your mother
and you love her
so you go.
A man you know stops you –
a friend of John’s –
John, who is not yours anymore
(even now, even in death,
you know he’ll keep her
longer than he kept you)
on your way to the bathroom.
“John really loved her, y’know,” the man says
as if you wouldn
emergency exits are for quittersviii.emergency exits are for quitters3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"you coming back?" he calls lazily from the bed. you still love me?
there are bruises on her hips, and her mouth is slick with someone else's spit.
her hair is ratty from being clawed at, and her eyes are messy
from a love that hasn't been right since winter
she leans her head against the hotel door and stares at the emergency exit map,
and its big, bright, red exe-
you are here.
(maybe that's part of the problem.)
i'm sorry. i'm not strong enough for you. you've broken me.
you've hurt me. i'm sorry, I'm sorry but
i can't love you.
"you look like an angel when you cry," he says,
catching a tear on the pad of his thumb
and she half expects him to lift it up to the light,
to see if it's real or if it's just caused by him.
they both know the answer.
he's a mess of mind games, liquid courage
and a sword of words he doesn't know the sharpness of.
he's 999 origami cranes, and she wants him to know
ily2i wrote a poem for you becauseily22 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you make me believe in happily ever afters,
romantic suicides and the fact that one day
i might not break everything i touch.
i don’t know what i’m going to do in four years
because i can’t comprehend a life without you.
and i hate you for it.
you’re just so—
you adjust my skirt and give me a pair of jeans
and say, “don’t let society make you .”
you stay up late with me to watch the sun set
only to wake me up early to see it rise.
you guide me out of the way of
already-broken leaves and
piggy-back me straight into puddles and snowdrifts.
you steal pieces from every one of my jigsaw
puzzles and call it a metaphor.
you’re beautiful and amazing and
if anyone ever tries to tell you differently,
it’s because they’ve never seen you
laugh at two o’clock in the morning
or spend days trying to figure out how to knit
a scarf for your step-sister’s birthday.
they’ve never seen you ba
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
i gave up on trying to write about youthere are millions of poemsi gave up on trying to write about you1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
detailing the beauty of another’s eyes,
but your eyes, my love,
put all their cherry-picked words to shame.
ew, that verse is disgusting.
way too sappy.
I’m no good at love poems.
okay, hold on, let me
just start over.
you’re freaking excellent
shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
thou art more lovely and more temperate
i can’t take credit for that.
sonnets aren’t my style,
shakespeare beat me to the punch
four hundred some years ago.
uh, i mean, you’re funny
and really cute, like
i seriously love your eyes
because there’s meaning in there
and, and, you make me laugh.
you’re so hilarious.
and I have the drawing you gave me
two years ago, still hidden
folded up in my notebook.
plus, i mean, you’re everything to me.
no big deal, right,
considering the fact that we never
really speak anymore.
oh my god that doesn’t
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?