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Similar Deviations
there aren’t enough moments
to love you, or words
in the English language to call you
beautiful. there aren’t enough
heartbeats in me to dedicate you
something you might deserve.

you can no longer lie.
a vengeful earthquake births itself inside
your unkind frame-- bones and skin and
muscle knotted together as an attempt
at something durable; but when you scream,
you don’t wake up. your world

collapses in mounting seconds. words
are a currency and you are
finally rich. you have lived
in the mouths of ghosts for so long
that you can walk through walls;
you aren’t here, you’re choking

on other planets from a lack of oxygen
and understanding. but I will love you,
I will love you; dear wallflower,
your petals are not wilted. dear
anonymous, I could give you a name.
dear hopeless, there are not enough words

in the English language for how beautiful
you really are.
for the past four years
I’ve been in love with a boy
who’s too busy loving life to notice
I exist. I don’t think he’s ever seen me
past his tunnel vision living--

I’m in love with a boy who
wears black gauges and swears
he’s a deist who’s fed up with
the backwards-fucked system
that governs our lives; he talks to me
about the symbolic importance
of hunger and need and rebellion
and isolationism and death as
Orwell and Golding must have written it,

and, god, I just want to crack open
my ribs so he can see the literary
starvation destroying me, the not-quite
metaphoric devastation of my liver and
paper cuts scarring my heart. I want

him to talk to me about the reasons
we ought to avoid college
and capitalism and commitment and explain
to me what this all really means.

[I want to be so unflinchingly honest
with you that it will be as natural
and sinful as all the others
before, just without the glare
of bare skin and self-hate. I want to tell you

about the dam two miles out from my house
and how it calls to me nightly. I want to tell you
about the lake where I had my first kiss and
my first dive at loneliness and how it turns
inky black when you’re not watching.

I want you to know that I can’t cry anymore
as some broken time blocks my tear ducts,
and that I can’t even string a sentence up
properly without it fraying. I want you to know

I’m afraid of silence. I want you to realize
I can’t speak about myself without lying;
I don’t think you know how much
I don’t know. I don’t know why sometimes
when you stare at me I forget how to breathe
and speak like I know what I’m doing.

I don’t know what cosmic force keeps my heart beating
when my brain has stopped. I don’t know
how to forget, I don’t know where I’m going or
who I’m dragging with me. I don’t know
what political turmoil I’m stepping into,
or what parties to get trashed at, or
the difference between those two.
I want you to know I don’t know anything,

I’m not worth anything, but for
as long as I live, I will want
to know you.]
he wears tacky hawaiian shirts and flip flops and gets stoned too often and is surrounded by people he hates. he knows way too much about politics and life and things that shouldn't matter and has the goddamn most beautiful smile that's so real it hurts
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i
I’m spending most of my time
not crying, and I’m sorry,
but I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone
as much as aspirin, or lullabies,
or the cheap wine  sold for two dollars a bottle,  
or overly-apologetic letters bending over backwards
to make a point of themselves, or the pink petals
blooming on my wrists like flesh and blood miracles,
or the songs named after women
worth loving.

ii
Radical acceptance
is understanding
things may not change,
but you will have to.

iii
I am most alone
surrounded by people

and the buzzing in my head of words
that should have lost their meaning

back when I discovered
they never meant anything
at all.

iv
Dedications are only relevant
to people who appreciate shitty poetry,
or you.  Insanity is writing the same thing
over and over and expecting it not
to sound clichéd.

v
and as much as anyone will swear otherwise,
I am a statistic. A number, an example,
a case study in the manipulation of
narcissism and moving on. Yesterday,

I dreamed. Today, I became
my greatest fears.
discarded title: sertraline epiphanies

I'm sorry if this is really presumptuous and pretentious but I think maybe I am right now, too, so oops
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with Sunday-heavy lips, she calls me
selfish and means it. I remember

dreams better than people, strangers
greeting me in the grocery store over
a common past and sorry selection

of red grapes. I remember Katie
being beautiful and happy and
wearing the same abnormal toe shoes
and being a few decades older than time
would allow, I remember Emily
being alive. I remember me

escaping to France to defy logic
and stow away in a pretentious,
overpriced tourist resort where
I’d learn to speak a language
I’d never use and love people
who’d never know me; I remember

impossible things.

she tells me trust is not a virtue.
responsibility is gained and
taken away when you prove

unable to learn to be normal and
defiant at trying to breathe. she says,
I love you, but I don’t understand,
and she cries, saucer-eyed,

and this time I can’t
wake up.
i know i keep making all these obscure references but lately i'm using poetry like a journal because i really can't remember anything and i'm trying so hard to tell all these people's stories because i feel like i've let them down if i let them fade along with me

in other news, i keep having terrible waking dreams
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i
i’d tell you I hated you
if you had a voice or a face,
or any sense of tangibility aside
from the spider fingers you use
to crawl through my brain

you are not beautiful, like
all the other poets protest. you
are the red in my eye, like
a pen bled; the ragged to
my fingernails, the hitch of my breath
when it catches in my throat.

ii
before i go, i’ll write a million letters (a million
pennies for my thoughts, bitter, embedded
under my tongue) and send them to people
i’ve never met, telling them how my eyes were blue
when i was little but now are the same gray
i’m choking on, how i am maddie and how that’s short
for a name i was never graceful enough for, how
i tell myself stories of lives i’ll never live so i
can go to sleep

because when i’m really gone, that’s all that’ll be left
of me

iii
(it’s funny what people
try to justify with words)

iv
you never loved me,
you selfish thing, i wonder why
i wasted so many nights reliving
the sound of your voice. warm,
and crackling in my ear; surging
down my spine until you were

every piece of me. there was
no vaccination that would’ve spared me
your infection:  you are a venom, the
unbridled weapon of some malevolent
animal with sharp teeth. i am

diseased.

v
and

,what a lonely existence, i used to think of the  seaglass girls
lost in cabins, buried in the woods of their own making;
so far from the ocean that their disrhythmic hearts
were their only reminder, ebbing out like the fickle tides:

then i became one

vi
  (i always wanted to write a novel;
  my story, in fragments and
  shards like the ones i lived. a
 
  perfect dystopia, immortalized
  in ink and paper, but
  i never had the words)


vii
you never gave me enough
"if life is twice as pretty once you're dead, then send me a card"

-

what's on your mind?
'nothing'
well, what are your thoughts right now?
'i don't know'
i can tell you're shutting down
'it's not that, just...'
what are you thinking about? really, for once

-
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in the beginning i wrote poems
about death and darkness and
the complex metaphysical arithmetic in which
that would equate to the love i carried for you,
beneath the headaches brewing like bruises
between my eyes, my ocean eyes;

even after convincing me the planets
were dead gods, powerful skeletons with
internal expiration dates and the stars
were their lingering parables, their stories
blinking out years before we were born, i knew
you were a nuclear angel, atom bomb
savior sent to save me from

me.


there is no more mystery
in the world. i sent you
five letters to the PO box you told me
about in florida, the first

was a catalogue of every
angsty song lyric or campy postcard
or description of a flower
crooked in just the right way
that reminded me of you,
the second was a retelling
of every dream i woke from
forgetting who i was,  the third

was an apology-- i'm sorry
for who i'm not and who you
need and that your dad always
reeked of bacardi, i'm sorry
for my bukowski-wannabe complex and your
infatuation for unattachment; the fourth

asked why you never responded,
asked where you hid the letters
and if they burnt prettier than the letters
from your other lovers, asked if you still
scratched your name into every hotel
you ever stayed at and if you stopped traveling
once you decided the world was really flat,
asked if it was easier to forget than
try to remember and if loss was really like
amnesia with time, as you lose yourself
in memories like death of the mind, and if
i still looked happy in the pictures you took
because god, it felt different, now;

the fifth said
i'd changed and you'd
changed and that disgusted me
and there was something

heartbreakingly normal about that.
you don't know it but you're still the silence right before i sober up

*

it feels so good to write something that's not about me
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to the girl who lives like a hurricane:
don’t expect to tell me about
your addiction to self-harm and
Nyquil and have me smile;
although, as I shiver from lakewater
and things less tangible, I seem to
acquire a talent for glossing over the list
of things I need to tell you--

your boyfriend
is an asshole. California does not
begin and end in a tiny town where
people operate like clockwork around
the same happy working song. I am not
a fountain of wisdom, and, to be honest,
I can barely understand you over the
thunderstorms in my own brain.
you are beautiful and you are
wrong.

.

to the girl I left back in time:
purpose is not a given. I am
the same teenage angst who used
to wear too much eyeliner and
complain about my future
as I’d foretold it-- loveless and whiny,
like me. I am her plus a few more
self destructions and minus
a lot more days to continue striving
alongside you for simple goals and
simple friends and simple memories
I won’t remember.

.

to the girl who sees the world in me:
I’m sorry. it always seems safe to
start off with that. ours is
a back and forth necessity; a
breathing, wanting struggle between
two people who forgot how to decipher
their own heartbeats, and I’m sorry
your parents don’t believe in you. I’m sorry
you’re stuck rewriting your life, I’m sorry
you’ve mistaken me as a seaside town
worth anchoring down in, and I’m sorry
you weren’t there when
I needed you.

.

to the boy who reminded me I was blind:
I forgive you, but not enough
to pardon myself of the very same crimes
that plucked me feather by feather, raw,
as though I were an angel being punished
for my original sin.

you and I are more similar than
I should like to admit.
the terrors I went through were always
tinged with blue, cyan, cerulean; the
watery memory of stories you’d told me
about living on the brink of death and
growing up old and hiding every single
thing that could remotely resemble a weakness.
even now, as my hands shake, I am reminded
of the way you bared me to my brittle bones
and watched me tremble, like the
deforestation of a flower in its first bloom
was something special. and maybe
it was in that moment I began to love you,
because all I ever wanted was to be

special.

.

to the boy on the other side of the mirror:
I wish you were real for me. I want
to know you vulnerable, and see
the kind of tears you cry. I want
you to talk to me about school crushes
and depression and expectations; I want to know
what keeps you up at night and what effects
caffeine addiction has on a writer’s addled brain.
I want for once to talk to you without apologizing for
everything I’ve ever been-- you are
the only person who’s seen every splintered
piece of me.
five people have invested in the timeshare that is my mind these past few weeks and wow there's a lot I haven't said but I guess that's what writing's for, haha, my passive aggression and deadends
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I could make a story out of
this. The blackout epiphanies
blinding me like a total eclipse
of any sense of rationality I ever
stole out from my parents' blind spots
when they turned the other way. The
boy I fell half in love with and
my therapist's unassuming questions
about why he was different, the way I
was never beautiful to him but he
still looked me in my bokeh eyes,
betraying and quiet, so that was enough.
My vain addiction to anything
permanently damaging and
more or less glamorous. The dreams
I can’t swallow no matter what shade
of delusion they come in, about
the imminent death of stars named
after deader lovers, and places
where the air is intoxicated with
the promise of Ecstasy, or whatever
name heaven goes by after you begin to doubt
the reality of putting one foot in front
of the other will get you anywhere at all.

I could write novels about my path
to self-martyrification and the moments
I cried for no reason except that
I had no reason tor cry. I could write
a million dedications no one
ever asked for, to the boy who’s more
scar tissue than man, or to the girl
who sits alone in the library
reading people like dirty magazines
and ends up disgusted with what
she sees, or to that watercolor child
on the better half of the mirror.

I could write so many poems
about my salty lungs and aching
stomach and blossoming wrists,
I could tell the whole fucking world
what it is to be in love with all these
people that never existed and
to resent the ones that do, what it is
to buy lessons on how to live. I could
make something worthwhile out
of every second I wasted mourning
catastrophes coming to life inside
my ribcage (you needed this.

here’s my poem about
the things that keep me going.)
i need to leave a legacy
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two weeks until the end of the world,
and i’m busy stockpiling all my regrets,
writing letters to flaws i don’t care
to fix, and trying to learn to draw
infinity. it’s time for two truths and a lie:

1. i was drunk for an hour on
good vibes and loneliness and
that quote “from the moment we
are born we begin to die”

2. and god, Bianca, you still show up
in my dreams; glaze-eyed and
more vocal than you ever were
when you were half-alive

1. (how close i came to arctic happiness
when you froze in my mind,
snowflake breath lingering like
the soundtrack of my breakdown)

now, she tells me she is sick
of the clothes stretched tight like
a second skin, and the gaping silences
between her ribs, and the singsong
unimportance glazing over her
hollywood-hangover eyes. she blossoms

like an earthquake, finally
growing into the goosebumps
and hollow bones her father
gave her-- i want to cure the world,
use a freeze ray to halt time
and kiss every empty wound;

i'm becoming poison, and i’m sorry
my neglected hallucinations
share the floor where i sleep.
dear madalyn, they don’t make

medications to give you a purpose.
all alone, you were digging graves
in stardust and writing epitaphs
in the blood of your own self-inflicted
paranoia. now, the schoolchildren pick

dandelions for your recovery, and
their mothers weep as they see their own
offspring reflected in your eyes.
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it seems that by now I’ve been diagnosed
with a mild case of weightlessness, mindless
drifting past empty homes and the emptier people
that purchased them.  I remember conversations

with you about existentialism
and the almost intricate fabric of my mind and
everything in between, and you-- the way you
paused before making a point as
the words defined themselves in your head:

I remember the day I told you I was God.
Creator of all things unimportant, trapped
in the body of a girl with nothing left to give, you
believed me

it must be a beautiful place
inside your head, with a world
that revolves around hope and expectations
the way it was supposed to; all
storybook-perfect like the
wars promise we’ll one day
become

[I’d like to think that every great leader
once cried themselves to sleep wondering
if they’d ever mean anything and
did things to stand out like smoking
or drinking or pretending to be someone
they’re not and every morning they’d tilt
their head in the mirror trying to find the angle
where things just looked “right,” before deciding
they were worth more than that,

just to know I’ve got somewhere to go]

to whom it may concern,
forget me as soon as you can. replace me
with the constellations in the sky
the shimmer of the waves and the
gossamer webs tying you down
to a life you weren’t ready for;

people keep trying to save me with things like
self-preservation and religion and social
obligations and novels about all the ways
I should be ashamed of myself and
The Path to fix it
 (step one: become someone new
  step two: repeat)

I feel like I lost my voice on
all these people who don’t understand me,
proclaiming these words I’ve said
a million times before because
I still cannot hear them. adulthood
is slowly going deaf and calling it wisdom,

I guess it’s about time
I grew up.
I'm trying out new things because I've been frustrated with my writing for a while. Still not quite happy with this.

true story: i once told a boy i was God and he believed me
truer story: people keep wanting to fix me like i'm broken
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