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.)
we live in a world of apologies. I made a mistake a year back, choosing my addiction to oxygen over less demanding things.
I’m sick of trembling for problems that aren’t mine and I’m sick of trying to romanticize black holes and the indiscriminate nature of lithium and I’m sick of waking up every morning feeling sick. and truly, I’m sorry
but I’m not ready to accept my role in the making of myself. I’m not ready to lament for those with a smaller pain tolerance, and for my dislike of anything that requires commitment. I’m sorry I miss you and I’m sorry I won’t admit that out loud. how scary is it to be something so unalterably heavy, to be diagnosed
as your own worst enemy, but god, you’re so fucking beautiful, and not in the stereotypical boy meets girl meets fairytale way, but
the kind that makes my heart bleed a million miles quicker. I just wanted to cry on all your scars and wash them clean. when things are bad for so long, everything’s an answer. I’ve developed an unkind predisposition to all items toxic, but goddamn, every song by Nirvana understands me so well.
I would’ve loved you more if you had hated me. but now, here I am, recreating you in verses on my wrists. all things
are in a constant state of recreation; in a year, I will be reborn, but I’ll still tremble when I’m made to wake up, I’ll still reference you in poems I shouldn’t write.
to him; you are afraid of phonecalls. you are afraid of your own voice, and opening your ribcage to let your heart come live on your sleeve. you are afraid of living without caffeine or alcohol, whatever the day calls for; you are afraid of being real
without laughing afterwards, becoming everything you worked so hard to get away from, acknowledging all that you still are. know this:
I am afraid of loud noises. I am afraid of honesty and drowning, people I don’t know and words I won’t say. I am afraid of growing old and living alone and you not accepting me. I am afraid
of myself. In that, we are the same.
to her; I have the compulsion to grab you and cup you to me like you are some half-alive bird, like that sound as the lazy sun paints you a portrait is your hummingbird heart and not my own shallow breaths. in the beginning,
you were my peace of mind. you traced the contours of my being with a scalpel and held me up, a shadow puppet, as the darkest, blackest figures I gave off became my identity. when you left,
the cuts remained. when you came back with an I miss you card and a girlfriend, the cuts remained. when you cried on the phone as I told you every gory detail, I remembered the day I let myself fall apart in front of you and you forgot.
now, I haven’t seen you in half a week and days are measured in thoughts I must avoid. now, the cuts remain, but I still hear the ghost of your hummingbird heart in the shadows they left.
I'm sending all my words back to the people who need them-- people who wear scars like war trophies, like jewelry, like an identification for those suffering from the same acceptance of self-hate. this is to the people who sleep with one eye open, who cry when footsteps enter their room at night; this is to the girls who love by cutting their hearts into snowflakes and watching them melt. I left you behind and I can't be sorry for that.
you are the type of beautiful that kindly asks the world to fuck off. the days we buried have decomposed, headstones are snapshots; sanitized breakdowns, rusty tongues, sighs laced with fear, I love you, I love you. saturdays were the best because we could sleep through the nightmare. you painted me a picture of the world with your words and they made us wash it away for being transparent.
we were afraid of nothing but the monsters in our eyelids. back then, we counted days like shooting stars; it took 67 to wish myself away. this is for you, skygazer; I keep you in my fingers because you slipped through the holes in my heart.
i does she know the astrological significance of the bruises starring along your wrists? if I could, I’d
run away somewhere where the sky is silent and the people hate honest eyes. here’s my problem,
I’ve wasted all my time daydreaming in the universe of your scars. I wonder if substantiality is lethal.
ii [when will you move on like you know what you’re doing with your life, like this tiny existential failure is only a hazard sign on the roadmap of your journey, like the world weighing down upon your shoulders is an exercise in vanity and quietude instead of someone else’s burden?]
I have a headache and not enough time to explain the irony of how I want to be every pretentious poet making art out of themselves, cutting open their side and writing in blood and pixie dust; or how difficult it is to make a good allegory out of carsickness and household complacency. this
is every secret I ever hid. when I was 9 someone dissected the world in front of me, showed me it was a living, wanting thing and that I was just a lonely cell, functioning through my dysfunction; when I was 11 the boy I liked told me he’d be interested if I were prettier and I learned starvation was more a state of mind than a presence of being. when I was 13 I researched the lethality of cleaning products, because god, I felt so dirty, and nothing can clean you more than a couple cupfuls
of bleach. when I was 15 I was old and decrepit and mostly dead, returning from war with flowers for graves that weren’t filled and a heart of tragedy, vulnerable and draped in every shade of mourning for the people I loved that didn’t exist-- people with crippling mental illnesses who’d already lost the battle with themselves (the soldiers wilted like petals; we sent them off but ultimately they died of neglect.) I’ve learned
sadness is a monster that’s terrified of other people, but it’s still with me when they leave-- hiding between pages of my notebook, at the bottom of my pill bottle, in her throat every time she says it’s my own fault. that’s what nightmares are made of; empty rooms, broken orb eyes, the demons you weren’t brave enough to kill on your own.
I only look tired because I haven’t slept since I found out I was dying. I guess we’re all dying, some of us are just better at it than others. the future has already been written, and I’m stuck here, trying to paint unbeautiful things and make poems out of dirt and relapses. tell me that scars aren’t special, tell me someone will love me fully clothed and honest. I don’t remember the last time I answered the question how are you without lying. tell me loneliness isn’t a disease, and that I have something good inside of me. tell me what demons keep you up at night. tell me
what your world is made of, and I’ll cry with you.
you will love a woman who uses the word gossamer too often. she will diagnose dead artists' descents into madness and laugh too loudly at jokes no one understands. she will braid crowns of flowers, she will write poems in constellations, she will try to walk like a dancer so no one can hear her leave. she will be an ice sculpture, and when she cries, you'll convince yourself she's melting, she loves you, you've changed her, you've changed; she will wear you like a comma, like an incomplete thought, like a pause in her story, and she will leave you wondering what you did wrong.
it is a snake coiled in my stomach, the urge to vomit everything inside of me, to purge all the toxic not- good-enoughs. to retell the same story and expect a different ending is the dysfunction that landed us in here. I'm sorry I don't follow you into your dreams at night. I'm sorry my smile is not the moon, I'm sorry I did anything to make you notice me at all. no finger down the throat could ever take that away.
a week past the end of the world, and there’s something therapeutic about not caring. I must’ve
really messed up in another life. I wake up shaking and forget to sleep shaking and hold your hand, shaking, remembering the moment I became
poison. I feel crazier than ever; cementhead’s good and gone with his plastic wrists and missing soul. the boy who entertains his unfriendliest nightmares couldn’t muster up enough innocence to make it right. (today, he writes a letter; dear Sophia, he tells me
it doesn’t get better. I’m locked up for a crime I didn’t commit. you did it, Sophia. you built me
wrong.) but you know me, I fell in love with a problem I couldn’t fix, a boy blinded who’s never seen the light. He was a stormy violet but I am cyan graying with age--
I spent most of my life dying, and the rest of it wishing I was someone else. they tell us
only god will see your ugly; and the girl who swallowed razorblades can’t cry, and the serial killer before her time can’t cry, and the boy who created a father out of thin air doesn’t even remember he exists;