When Your Best is Not Good EnoughDon't speak.
Don't hold yourself together.
Don't fall apart.
Don't pretend it is all going to be okay.
Don't act like it won't be all right.
Don't touch me.
Don't look away from me.
Don't be so needy.
Don't be so grateful.
Don't act silly.
Don't be so serious.
Don't have so much fun.
Don't be so sullen.
Don't love anyone too much.
Don't be so selfish.
Don't ignore me.
Don't love me too much.
And hope? Hope is just a lie you tell yourself so that tomorrow, you can do it all over again.
You call it Judgement, We call it SinEmily needs the words to understand that she isn't being unreasonable. She just wants them to mean something and not be a string of words which flows into itself over and over again.You call it Judgement, We call it Sin2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She doesn't like her name either. Not because Emily isn't a pretty name but because she would rather be called something she feels like. (She has never quite forgiven her parents for choosing her name for her.) If she could, she would call herself Glass, because that is what she wakes up feeling like every morning. As if crystallised pieces of glass are edible and her insides tingle as she swallows them whole.
Emily lets the words call her names sometimes. She writes them on her knees so that she can remember them. Sometimes the words call her a whore, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes a loser and sometimes a tramp (She has never learnt that loving too much is a crime and boys with pretty eyes sometimes lie.). She sits in the bathroom with a pen the colour of blood and writes them carefully
Crayon SoulmatesDear Stars,Crayon Soulmates2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have a bone to pick with you. You see, when I was six, I called myself the nowhere girl... and I coloured myself a soulmate. I made him on crumpled sheets, with broken pieces of crayon, on a playground that was too busy wondering whether growing up entailed stealing their mother's cigarettes and their father's dirty magazines (I suppose I was already wise enough to know that growing up meant choosing one of the many ways of breaking yourself in two.)
I hope you remember him, stars...he was important to me (My best friend threw that drawing away on my seventh birthday and told me that someone like me was not supposed to have such dreams.).
He had hair as ebony as deep onyx and a smile that never grew up (Peter Pan would have been proud). He was magic in soul form, and smelled like cinnamon and the earth after it has rained. His eyes rivaled a lions on the best of his youth, his words were story shaped. His skin was an ink coloured canvas of wonder and even in crayon
This is Not a Story about SuicideI am not here. These are not hospital walls. This is not a nurse who is speaking to me. That is not John unconscious, lying in a bed that faces due North, and that is not his mother trying to explain why his bed should always face North because he hates sleeping facing South.This is Not a Story about Suicide1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
This is not happening.
I am not taking a deep breath. I am not walking down the sickly white corridors with their bleach scent. I am not buying this cup of coffee from a cafeteria lady who is working at an hour that is reserved only for intensive care patients. This is not the way back to what is not John’s room.
That is not his heart rate dropping, and I am not running out of the room, screaming for help. We are not being pushed out, that door does not have a red light that claims intensive care, it has not been all night.
That is not John’s doctor explaining how they were not able to pump his stomach completely and it is not John who flat lined. That is not an empty hospital bed. That is not his moth
UndeservedI don't deserve to be an artist.Undeserved2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I don't know how to hold deep meaningful conversations with strangers.
I don't lament at night about a lover I have lost.
I don't watch the white smoke ebb into darkness.
I don't spend lonely nights admiring the true beauty of the world.
I don't sleep restlessly from the truth of suffering within this world.
I don't lie through my smiles or struggle to create them.
But I do think I am a writer.
I am completely, irreparably damaged.
I cry all night over old words and emotional baggage.
I weep over my lost innocence.
I spend nights wishing for skin against my own
I long for insomnia to inspire me.
I beg for worlds to collide so I can breathe.
So am I writer really?
Or just another misguided artist?
Seventeen (In Phases)1.Seventeen (In Phases)2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
It was because her parents had named her for the grandmother who had broken her mother’s heart. The grandmother whose heart was supposed to have melted from her birth and hadn’t.
That was why her mother barely looked at her. That was why she called her ‘girl’.
That was why she liked to pretend she was the quiet woman in the background of an old black and white movie. Because everything here was like an old black and white movie.
[And if she really looked back, her mother had never appreciated the elegance of the 1950s enough.]
It was because she hated surprises. The surprise she got on her sixth birthday when her father left taught her just how a single person had the ability of taking your soul, splitting it in two and wearing it on their breast pocket like a white carnation waiting to die.
That was why when she lifted a book, she looked at the last page first.
That was why her namelessness had become a comfort to her.
That was why sh
I'm Fine"Are you okay?"I'm Fine2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
That's all they say.
And I leave behind
These words in my mind.
I'm broken, I'm dying.
Inside, I'm crying.
There are wounds beneath my skin.
There are trials I face within.
There are things I just can't say.
There are people I must betray.
Beneath a smile, I feel pain.
Behind the sun, there's always a little rain.
And beneath these words I hold in my head...
There's always the thing I say instead.
I leave the truth behind..
So when they say, "are you okay?"
I always say, "I'm fine."
Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.Teaching Summer to Breathe1 year ago in Emotional More Like This
You taught me how to drink that night.
(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)
Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)
You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.
Love as an AsthmaticI snatch my breath after we kissLove as an Asthmatic1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
because I want to feel you
in my wheezing, useless lungs
not just a craving
a desperate need
in the physical urge
to breathe you in,
make your mystical secrets
a part of my body.
Body Speak, Mouth Don't."I need a favour. You got a minute?"Body Speak, Mouth Don't.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
No. No I don't.
My heart feels ripped out of my chest and trampled on too often.
My ears open to screams in the morning.
My eyes close crying every night.
My mind always turns dreams into nightmares.
My lungs contract too soon for me to catch my breath.
My worries far outweigh my years.
My brain feels overworked, overwrought, so tired.
My stomach cramps every night and I curl up in pain.
My knees weaken often but I'm still standing.
My mouth goes dry and I can't speak.
My hands dampen because I have too much to think about.
My bones feel weaker than they ever have before.
But I don't think it's anything to be worried about, really.
"Sure. How can I help you?"
Constructive Criticism"Tell me what you think."Constructive Criticism2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Of the poem?"
"No, of my face. Yes, the poem."
"I was going to say, because your face is just stupid."
"Very funny. Read."
"What did you think?"
"Why did you write this?"
"I wrote it for you."
"You make me self conscious when you say things like that."
"I'm not worth this you know."
"What does that mean?"
"I am half a girl, and I deserve half a poem."
"That is not true, and you still haven't told me what you really thought about it."
"It's as broken and complex and half hearted as a sad song about the way you feel ink trail between your fingers like it's blood. There is no reason for it, it's the kind of beautiful that is there just for being there. It happened, it's a moment in time forever frozen and to be remembered in a way that candles that burn in holy places should be. It's a forever, all by itself- Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Because you believe you deserve half a poem."
"I do. I am too damaged and broken an
The JokeThe first joke is when they tell you to be strong for everybody else after your father leaves for the fourth time.The Joke1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
The next joke is when they tell you to stop being sensitive when the children at school choose to hurt you for being differentstrangeodd.
The wrong joke is when they tell you to be quiet after the beating your mother has given you has bloodied your face and you can't see through swelled shut eyes.
The funny joke is when they tell you to shut up when you stand up against the man with lifeless eyes who tried to make you as lifeless as himself.
The unaware joke is when they tell you that you should have defended yourself when three men come at you in a dark alley.
The painful joke is when they tell you you should be grateful that the man who raped you didn't kill you as well.
The angry joke is when they tell you that you are wrong for existing because being gaybilesbiantransexual is a sin.
The ignorant joke is when they tell you to be less provocative with your man when he pu
ApplesSweet and sensual,Apples2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The feel of your fingers on my skin.
Slow and longing,
The trail of your hands on my curves.
Languid and helpless,
The pulsing of my veins under your masterful strokes.
My love for you is like my love for apples.
Juicy, crunchy, delicious...
And as dark as a sinner's heart.
About Honour"Ever worried about what the world thought of you?"About Honour2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Nope. I only worry about what I think of me."
"What do you think about you?"
"That I am a broken-eyed, converse-reject-wearing wise ass."
"Really? And what do you call yourself?"
"I call me proud."
"What do you call yourself?"
"I am the grade school version of the heartbroken girl, who can't play the guitar so she strums a ukulele instead, who can't paint so she draws terrible pictures in graphite that keeps giving way."
"I see you doing it again. Put the fucking pen down right now and stop it."
"What? I was just writin-"
"You're cutting yourself to pieces with shark-toothed words again. Just because a sword is a beautiful, glittering object of honour doesn't mean it always has an honorable purpose."
"Do you really think I am a sword?"
"Nope. I think you're beautiful, glittering object of honour. And the thing with honour is, it makes the world turn to stare in awe."
Sea of Liesi.Sea of Lies1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
My father never read me the story of Icarus. I found it for myself. I suppose he did not want me to know what it was like to almost touch the stars. But it was only after I had read the story did I even try to reach so far. It is a little like falling in love...and then drowning in the sea.
(I would be lying if I said the fall didn't break everything I had once believed was solid.)
My science teacher knew well that I was a dreamer. When I told her I believed fairytales were as real as love is, I could see the disapproval and disappointment in her eyes. I suppose thats why in her classroom, when I was asked what the greatest force in the universe was, I answered love. I suppose thats why she laughed and reminded me that love was as much a fairytale as the fairytales I believed in.
(She was wrong. Love exists...its just been broken into a million little pieces, set afloat in a sea of heartbreak.)
My mother didn't want to speak about t
A Snowfall CandlelitMy version of winter has always been flawed. It is controlled by the fall of snow and the exact amount of the ground it covers. It never ever covers the tiny little patch in the garden, right near the broken tin roofed shed. I suppose that is why I just like the idea of snow. But I do not love it.A Snowfall Candlelit2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
(Realisation: I suppose that little corner represents the only part of me that even I cannot love.)
I met a man with candle lit wolf eyes and a strong, warm lion heart, who tells me Sea God stories before disappearing into a cold, cold winter's morning, fog cloaking his very essence.
(Addendum: Sometimes I think of five a.m. coffee, and wonder if your smile didn't hold all of winter's warmth in it, whether I would still be liking the idea of it.)
He lights candles and turns my room into a place of sanctity and prayer often. It makes the love making ironic in a way, I suppose. But nothing he ever does fails to intrigue the very fabric that my cotton soul is made of.
MouthfulsYou take mouthfuls of meMouthfuls1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Huge, selfish as they are
Leaving morsels of me behind
Teeth my words and chew up my heart
Bite through my spine with shark like jaws
I am used, you explain, damaged,
Dirty for existing.
Dirty for loving you.
I ask you why you like to hurt me.
"I love you most when you ache on the inside."
I have never hated myself more.
City of LightYou are my city.City of Light2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Your eyes are the gates,
Your soul is my transport
Your veins the roads I must travel.
You should never ever be afraid
of my knowing you too well.
Or of my being too close to you.
Can you ever,
Even after living your whole life in it,
Know a city too well?
Just Words"I'm fine" is a dirty lie.Just Words2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The truth is that I want to die.
"I'm tired" is not even done.
It really means "I'm tired of being no one"
"I'm better" is but a curse.
The truth is that I've never been worse
"I'm just cold" is what I say
so my sleeves can hide my scars away.
"I already ate" is said with a frown.
I starve to see the numbers on the scale go down.
"I'm okay" is probably the worst.
It really means I'm about to burst.
All these things are lies to me.
But you take this as the truth because what else would I be?
Lost NovemberI am lost November,Lost November1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
with the breath of winter
at the hairline of its neck.
I am the blood orange that
sours a little too soon.
A thirty day intuition
to a season of good will.
A blip on the side of
the road that melts easily
out of sight, out of mind.
An unremembered instance
on a torn index page
of a forgotten, spineless book.
I am lost November.
Remember me the instance
when you feel unremembered too.
A Little Bit of WonderlandHer name was Alyssa, and when she was nine, her mother built her Wonderland. After being raised on a healthy diet of Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and J.M. Barrie, it seemed like the natural course of action. She created it out of paper, each scene indispensably, indisputably perfect in its imperfection.A Little Bit of Wonderland1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
And she did it because Alyssa was terrified of the idea of falling through a rabbit hole, into a place that allows magic only when you are confused. Mothers do the most impractical, exhausting things to show how much they love their children. It seemed a pity that it was this very effort that kept Alyssa up all night, staring at the paper people like they were coming to get her.
(If Alyssa’s mother knew, she would have spent all her time trying to explain to the little girl that it wasn’t just paper people she should be afraid of.)
God appeared to have a sense of humour when little Alice became Alyssa’s best friend. She lives across the street, her hair always
I'm the little girlI'm the little girlI'm the little girl2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
who doesn't sleep very well
I'm the little girl
Who writes in the dark
I'm the little girl
Who barely see's what's going down
I'm the little girl
With the pills in her hand
who doesn't know what it's like to be gone
FragmentsI call them fragments, the parts of me that were too exhausted to stay. He calls them flecks because I am a flake. I wish I was a flake. It sounds prettier than being a fragment. Flakes are like snow. Soothing, falling from the sky on the tip of his tongue that melt and disappear. Fragments are archeological findings of a scarred past we really should not remember.Fragments1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I want to remember my scars. So I am a fragment.
I draw on my legs. When my skin dries out, I use my index finger as a pencil and draw what the clouds are trying to tell me. Sometimes it’s a dog, and sometimes it’s a bear and sometimes it is his face looking at me disapprovingly.
That is when I stop drawing.
At night, when the rain falls, I sit at the bay window and pretend to write stories whilst he pretends to sleep. “What are you writing?” he will ask in his asleep voice. “A funny story.” It is not. It is a pale, scary story, and it looks like my skin. “Were you dreamin
One Like WaterWe speak.One Like Water1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
We all live.
We all die.
So tell me again.
make us so different
from each other?
Bones"There are good days and there are bad days," you would say to me as you would try and explain away why the whiskey bottle was empty again this morning, why you smelled like her and why you thought it was best to let me know what you had done. At least that way, you were absolved of the gift of lying; the one your bones were too light to lift and just couldn't take, by bestowing me with betrayal.Bones2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My mother would bring me an encouraging cup of tea in a giant pink mug instead of a cup and explain, "There are good days and there are bad days." Her eyes were always full of positive energy and strength and good will. I look back to those days and try and gain the strength she had in her bones from her words. I always fail.
They told me I had a disease within my bones. It started from the bottom of my knee and was moving upwards. Because that is what bones did. They broke from the inside out. "There will be good days and bad days," they warned me. I knew at that very point that it was going