boys who love their grandmothersnever fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.
he will be too gentle with your lips,
too sincere when he whispers blessings into your ears
pleading that he doesn't deserve you.
his tongue will not slither between your teeth.
instead, the heat of his mouth will melt your scar tissue
until there is no trace of your travels.
never fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.
he knows patience.
you will try to convince him
that it is one of the many virtues
you don't yet possess,
but he will dig through the flesh in your ribcage
until he finds it lodged beneath everything
you're too scared to confess.
he will teach you forgiveness, remind you that you are not a mistake.
he will wipe the trails of tears that always seem to decorate your cheeks
and replace them with rose petals, saying that he chose the color red
to match the passion he knows flows through your veins.
never fall in love with a boy who loves his grandmother.
he will trace the freckles on your skin
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.stars10 months 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
02. nomad, nomadi set my good intentions down02. nomad, nomad8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
for an impossible duration to
make myself sleep sounder.
i strip myself naked & rough;
my frail convictions flow out
like acid rain droplets
on the sill.
and i am not a breeze, but a sharp gust -
wind blown into an envelope like a
29-cent secret never meant to be kept
and you were not a mistake, but
destroyed yourself before
i was given the chance
to undoubtedly do the same.
what does it mean to lie in someone's wake?
to be in the ever-presence of another human,
to feel breath short and isolated against an empty chest?
you showed me patience,
but never how to recognize hopelessness
when you stretched it like a glove,
testing my hand at tolerance.
i march across Chicago
from bus stop to bus stop
attempting to prove resilience.
i am fooling no one.
i wish i was colorblind
so i could experience you in black & white.
admire your ink-stroke eyelashes like artwork,
read your cracked-skin palms as if they were poetry,
Therapists, I don't like their taste.i.Therapists, I don't like their taste.6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
in 7th grade
i didn’t know depression
until she told me her name,
carving forever scratches
along my limbs like
little love notes on the bark
of a tree.
she stole my rings
and left me hollow.
i had only ever met anxiety
in passing, until one day
he handed me power and told me
to hurt someone else with it.
with an uncontrollable
quivering in my fingers,
he whispered, “ to survive,
you must learn quickly.”
as i shoved the bevel of a needle
into a strangers arm.
so, if a therapist
could talk away my scars
like iodine disinfects,
guide the ships
through the storm of my mind
like a lighthouse-
instead of pills,
if a therapist could
give me the strength
i might just
take my chances.
wastelandthe difference between alone & lonelywasteland10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
was one of them needed me.
i recluded back into the embrace
of someone who didn't deserve to
trace the wings in my lungs into
butterflies, all because of my
selfish desire for solace.
see, i am not practiced
in the art of loneliness.
or maybe i've wrecked enough
solitary canvases to stretch
me all the way back to the
fallen leaves of last october
when his arms constricted my mid-
section; a noose for my stomach.
i wanted to forget
how it felt
to be left.
so i let him stroke my shoulders
in an attempt to rebirth necessity.
september's winds brought
whiplash & slick hands.
he snaked in between my
2 good legs and robbed me
his eyes half-smiled with
permission & lust rolled
into 1 smolder.
i am still heavy with sin.
even though i want to,
i will never forget him.
the similarity between alone & lonely
was i wanted both of them.
swimming in spacelet's ask the stars to build us a castleswimming in space11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
so we can rest our shoulders like royalty -
put the weight of all these words
for a few millennia
and just breathe.
our lungs could use a few hits of truth
to open themselves up to the calming hymns of the heavens;
breaking ourselves apart shouldn't be too difficult.
(our wrists mean war - forests of insecurities & impatience)
wait a few more months
for distance to build itself a bridge between our arms,
saturn is stretching its rings across your chest,
deeming you responsible for all the black holes
and stray planets enveloped in the universe.
i went swimming in your blood stream,
no diver came in after me.
i dreamt that i was drowning in your veins,
the chill of september's rains still haunts my bones
from time to time.
colors without names flash before my eyes
making themselves a mantra of sins under my skin.
we lifted our heads in unison and crafted a tragedy
from all these mistakes.
the riverbed & jesu
bed sheets hold more than bodiesi engraved the curve of my fingernailsbed sheets hold more than bodies4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
into his shoulder blades, his tongue
sweat with lust. we touched,
real this time.
linens are scrapbooks: snapshots
of midnight and kush smoke
and breathing speech.
i cried oceans for lips that flowed like rivers.
i moved mountains for men
who were often obstacles of their own.
uncut grass and dusty mattresses,
warm liquor and bruises.
someone else's shadow is not for hiding behind.
my mother mistook me for chastity,
men mistook me for a chalice;
both drank me dry.
i took for granted the time i had another body
next to mine and now
i realize his absence with startling certainty.
truthsi.truths10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
there are 2 things that not even the most
forceful of rains can cleanse me of:
sometimes, i feel like a caged lion.
only with a lot more impatience
and a lot less resilience.
i have yet to discover what it means to be content.
i am either too stagnant or too fluid.
no middle ground.
i have mastered the art of leaving.
it's the idea of moving on that still haunts me.
i fear that the light in my eyes is so dim that it will burn out
before even i have a chance to see the world with it.
i am not as clever as i pretend to be.
someone needs to teach me that
i don't need reassurance; i need self-assurance.
that someone should be me.
my greatest fears are loneliness and cancer.
the second because all my beauty is in my hair.
the first doesn't need an explanation.
i am still discovering what it means to be a woman.
everything is confusing me.
i am secretly afraid of massages.
feels like i'm being stabbed.
we all know how that is.
ashthe first time i looked into your eyesash7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
was one year after meeting you.
my toes barely dipped into the pond
of blue before i realized there wasn't
much to swim to.
i fooled myself long ago into thinking that
if i was ever brave enough, i could plunge
into your endless depths and bathe in purity.
soak up your little-boy grins and weave laughter
with you, creating the most infinite soundtrack.
but when our irises finally connected,
i felt the make-believe ropes i had looped
through your fingers snap like convictions
too heavy to maintain.
it was the first time in a while
that i had a name for the reason
i was broken.
i shook in a rhythm so violent
our bones couldn't dance to it.
instead, they cracked in half
and crumbled to ash; remains
of what we never were.
Storybook EndingHer ink-stained lips have kissed too many a forgotten page,Storybook Ending10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and phoenix down]
And her Prince Charming has yet to come,
shattering like stars]
So all she can do is gaze out her tower window,
concealing poisoned apples]
Clutch that corroded and timeworn blade,
tearing down castle walls]
Toss her childhood fables to the waltzing of the moon,
[even broken wings
wish for happily ever afters]
[once upon a time
there was a girl who became her own hero.]
You're Not?You're anorexic if you're thinYou're Not?10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
You're not? Then you're obese.
If you're different, you're insane
You're not? Then you're a fake.
If you're happy, you're hiding something.
You're not? You must be emo.
If you're dating, you're a slut.
You're not? You must have no friends.
If you're popular, you're a jerk.
You're not? You're a nobody.
If you're quiet, you must be disabled.
You're not? You obnoxious freak.
If you're you, you're wrong.
Then you must be perfect.
scars are more than upside down smilesto put the parallel lines decorating my wristsscars are more than upside down smiles5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
like outdated wallpaper to use, i would peel
the scar tissue like the rind of a blood orange,
link the massacred pieces of myself into a chain,
and then throw it 300 miles right to the foot of your bed.
if there was a way to shift cities and collide hemispheres
until the stretch of miles between our aching bodies tightened,
i would do whatever it takes to bring you closer to me.
i would show up on your doorstep like an unexpected hurricane
and you would draw me in like a high tide. your porch light would
flicker like a fake smile and we would twist ourselves into foreign
tongues in each other’s mouths.
sometimes, our teeth rot in mason jars that used
to house fireflies in a time before we began this
downward spiral of inevitable events, and
you collected a basket full of skinned knees and
repeated apologies when you extinguished all of
my house fires with your bare hands.
my worn heart cannot fill the holes in yours.
forest firesmy signature scrawled across allforest fires6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
of your sentences like a stain of apologies:
i'm sorry for anchoring you to my hip
like a one-sided promise, like a flood of insincerity.
i'm sorry for collecting you like a well of wishes,
for whispering you into every crack in these walls.
i do not have the depth to tether our limbs
with the tautness of our smiles, but i will
balance you on the edges of my knees until
you slip away.
i have been kneeling with my arms outstretched
but the divinity of your touch
never graced my expectant stance.
our bones built forest fires together,
but it was always my tears putting them out.
How are you?"Hey! How are you?"How are you?11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Frozen to the core,
Ready to cry some more,
Life is just rushed...
In so much pain,
Life has no gain,
Not good enough,
Life is just so rough,
No one could care less,
Sorry for complaining so much,
Sorry for being selfish and such,
"I'm fine, thanks for asking! And how are you?"
01. train tracks as it often does, an ego creates a universe of its own.01. train tracks8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
and my bones hesitate to endure the rattling of my ribcage.
i learned the significance of proximity by lacking it;
seems you have to lose
a whole lot of gusto
before you can convince
to stomach the unwanted.
we were unplanned for.
soft and delicate,
from each other's eye sockets
and flourished into an intangible possibility.
we were a maybe.
not quite there yet, but pretty much so -
enough to make our insides flip
with each other's budding promises.
every shined-brass smile, to us, was golden.
but you were fearful
and i had convictions.
i stuck to my past like hot wax,
and it burned me in places
neither aloe nor poetry
so now, i have invisible battle scars
that still fester under my skin.
and you, you are swaying in your Michigan wind,
hearing the hum of memories from time to time
but not saying a thing.
your spinal cord, taut and crooked,
the bones splintering your confidence.
water stainsmy father's silhouette painted onwater stains4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
the canvas of waves
assures me that
water stains are not permanent.
darkened fabric means nothing more than
the fruit of possibility spoiling on countertops.
i ask grown men for more answers
than there are chandeliers
in my parents' abandoned mansion.
the creases of my grandmother's forehead
skitter over concern and
land on laugh lines.
i've always been a clever joker,
spreading lips like a contagion.
they could never catch me;
my intoxicating serpent
slithering through sidewalk cracks
breaking backs as children do.
my limbs may have expanded,
but i am just a hot air balloon.
if there is anything
pavements & dark rooms have taught me,
it is that
broken means i'll be okay again.
Open Heart SurgeryI've got ink throbbing through fissured veins,Open Heart Surgery9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
poisoning every atom of my soul.
"Bite your tongue," they say.
How I'd love to chew the damn thing off
and suck down every filthy syllable
just like the rotten bone marrow it is.
They'd all watch as my body spontaneously combusts
and becomes nothing but convoluted karma.
And so I wrote,
Teach me the ways of ripping out a human heart,
and stitching it onto ink-stained parchment."
The answer that came was rasped from a cauterized throat:
"Read your future in the collapsed palm of the stars;
find the abandoned pulse of your lionhearted muse;
steal their conformed scalpel and make it your own."
Snow White SyndromeI seem to have forgotten the sound of my own heartbeatSnow White Syndrome9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Splitting apart my limbs I've found the source of my insanity
Coiled around veins and arteries
Star dust and a lazy man’s drug
Has put me to sleep under fictitious pretenses
Of forbidden apples and two faced prince charming’s
Poetic Practice - Love Like AshPoetic Practice - Love Like Ash:Poetic Practice - Love Like Ash11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Yes sir, he is clinging to insanity.
He remembers all the things he said, profanity.
Bare the shame on his naked old humanity.
He is the doll claiming love for his vanity-
When he woke up, desire!
He made a move like fire.
His whispers; a liar,
His heart snaps, like wire!
But what are you thinking of this man as I make him out?
Is it an image or a type that you seem to tout.
was it all his fault with no one else to blame,
Or were there cracks in the story that they both will claim-
Spit that and live that,
Hate when you love that!
You rip that and tear that,
Scream like you know that!
Stop for a moment and just listen to this silent cry,
Time has stopped now for both of us to say goodbye.
Both turning on these clocks, living lies that have stopped;
And when the love turns to ash, let the gloves be dropped...
- Chen Yuan Wen, 17th January 2013
the art of leavingtimes like this, i am convinced that we were just faking it,the art of leaving3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
how we traded dreams and comfortable anatomy
for secrets and messy closets.
it is nothing less than an unmistakable truth
that our coils are curled around each other
like infantile fingers:
all passion for passing time, no direction or destination.
we were consumed by our desire for warmth,
by our shared ability to extract smiles and steady breathing.
we taught each other the art of leaving
and because of this,
my name jitters caffeinated on your tongue.
i am combing through my bed sheets
in hopes of finding the salt i shed
to decorate my wounds with stings.
the process of healing is one i am continuously beckoned into perfecting.
i have already tricked myself into believing i do not need you;
i have already forgotten the shape of your face.
BelovedBeloved:Beloved10 months ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
With a bright radiant smile
If only for me...
-Chen Yuan Wen, 4th January 2013
Mommy and DaddyMommy, Daddy, are you okay?Mommy and Daddy11 months ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
You haven't talked at all today.
Mommy, Daddy, can't you see?
You're really starting to hurt me.
All you do is scream and fight,
and I hear it all throughout the night.
Sometimes I think my eyes will run dry,
yet whenever I do, I just continue to cry.
"She doesn't care about any of this, she'll be fine by tomorrow!"
Daddy, you don't know how much your words fill me with sorrow.
"Can't you just be civilized?! Stop acting like a child, and apologize right now!"
Mommy, please don't make this worse, or I'll run outside and hide in the snow.
Mommy, Daddy, I wish you would just stop everything and be happy again.
I'm hiding under the blankets, writing these words down with a pen.
Mommy, Daddy, can't you see?
You're tearing my heart into one, two, three.
A piece for each of us, a piece of my heart,
the beating has stopped before it could start.
Two sections I wish I could install into both of you,
yet I'm afraid I have not yet found the proper glue.
"It isn't your
Get Over It“You’re just sad.”Get Over It6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
“Suck it up.”
And the worst?
“Get over it.”
I’m not just sad. I suffer from depression
Waiting for happiness’s resurrection.
I can’t just forget it, it’s in me for good
I can’t do the things that I know I should.
I’m not just sad. I’m broken. I’m lost.
I’ve tried everything to fix it, no matter the cost.
I’ve carried a blade just to hold to my wrist.
I’ve carried a dream inside of my fist.
I’ve talked about it, like they say I should do
But all my efforts are stopped by ignorant people like you.
“You’re just sad.”
“Suck it up.”
And the worst?
“Get over it.”
She always fell for boys who needed saving.She always fell for boys who needed saving.She always fell for boys who needed saving.1 year 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.
vandalismI.vandalism2 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
it was only under the weight of the stars
that vulnerability personified
and he floated into my arms like an honest promise.
we built castles with our mouths,
safe havens with our teeth.
after all this time, i still can't tell
whether he decorated my life
or vandalized it.
and i wonder if i will ever see him again:
painted and proud with those lips like royalty.