2014January.More Like This
she has maybe five new year’s resolutions
and they all sit heavily on her shoulders.
she takes a step and smiles at a pretty boy
and three of them slide off.
he gives her chocolate at the right time
and smiles at the right times.
so she lets him take off her clothes,
and lets him stay the night.
march is spent sticking fingers down
her throat, twisting
in a way she swore she forgot.
her boyfriend breaks up with her.
he wouldn’t have if she wasn’t—
if she was—
it’s like this:
she gets out of the hospital
when they think she’s survived her april showers.
she’ll be a may flower, they say,
but she knows better:
getting high with strangers
doesn’t change anything, but it’s the first time
she’s laughed since—
then a guy asks her if she loves him,
and it’s not hard to say yes.
On their fourth date, he boasts tha
it's not me, it's youto the most recent douche to break my heart,More Like This
i know it’s not your fault. i’ve been told enough times
that the blame lies primarily in the differences between
the two of us. i am not what i seem—you had no idea
what you were signing up for. when i write poems
about lying in bed all day, i am not doing anything
you would classify as fun. i am counting dust molecules
in the air. i am counting out the number of times in a minute
that i think my heartbeat will stutter in its strut. i am counting
backwards from one hundred, breathing out on the evens and in on
the odds. i am counting down the days until you leave me.
don’t waste your breath with the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ speech.
i know the truth. i know you kissed me for the first
time because you thought you could be my dream catcher,
because you thought perhaps your arms would be enough
of a defense to ward away my nightmares. instead
you end up playing doctor in a psych ward, searching me
novelthere’s tea you still need to drink.More Like This
you left it on the counter again, because you’re
always forgetting where you put it.
it’s probably cold by now, but
it’s there for whenever you’re ready.
here’s a blanket to lose yourself in.
you don’t have to give it back.
here’s another book i think
will make you cry if i ever find the courage
to give it to you. i’ve underlined every
line that made me want to scream, that made me
want to rip out my hair and destroy everything
beautiful about myself, that made me want to
drive across a desert in the middle of the night,
that made me fall in love with everything wonderful
the universe has left to give me.
i can’t find the words to tell you what it’s about.
i guess it’s about growing up and finding love
but it’s also about figuring out how to exist comfortably
and it’s about people who are good and people who
are not always good and the things they do and the worlds t
a litany of things better left unknownI wonder if we had a time machine, how many peopleMore 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
i would do anything to get you to love yourselfi know your type, i’ve seen them around hereMore Like This
before, browsing through my poems like
you’re flipping through vinyl records, trying to find
that one disc you were listening to the first time
he leaned over and kissed you.
the only way you’ll ever be able to love yourself
is if he leans over and kisses you again, is if someone
tells you about the seven wonders of your soul, if
someone sits down and writes a list of all your beautiful
fault lines that you’ve never been able to forgive.
you want to love yourself and you want to be loved,
but i know it’s hard to believe that you’re holy,
when your hands still shake when they touch food and
your breath always quickens when you drive
over bridges and no one can look you in the eye
when you ask them if you’re beautiful.
look, you’re stardust, you’re snowflakes, you’re
the sky’s gift to us, you’re comets on a cloudy night
when no one looks up to appreciate how beautifully
the last poem i write about my depressioni want you to know that it took me yearsMore Like This
to figure out the worst part. cause, sure, there’s
so many bad parts, there’s so many moments
when dragging air through your mouth feels
like letting in all the water. your body becomes
your own battlefield, your mind—the most
ruthless enemy. it does not cut corners.
it will not spare you. it will leave
no summer-tinted memory untouched.
every exit sign looks like a suggestion.
if you ask someone if they are happy they will say yes
but they will not look you in the eyes.
you will never learn how to feel permanent.
you will drink grape juice and try to remember how it felt
to be holy. you will not think of yourself as wholly,
you are not complete. something vital is missing.
some dark monster has been feasting on you
when you lay down for sleep.
these are bad moments. these are scars that mar your skin
like tattoos that have too much meaning, like a map
of all the dirt roads you’ve walked down.
some days i can
sempiternali saw you today, for the first time in months.More Like This
i admit, it took me a few seconds to remember
all the words to the song you played on repeat in
your car, the one you couldn’t sing with open eyes.
the music used to come so easily to me,
but when i saw you today, i could only remember
the chorus, and it stuttered its way through my head
over and over again. for the life of me, i don’t know
what comes next.
i have spent years picking up the pieces of you
that you left behind, years spent memorizing
the echo of your heartbeat and the rhythm of
your breaths. your favorite color is purple.
you like sunflowers, autumn, and the creek
that flows behind your house. you like movies
and popcorn, you like ferris wheels and candy apples.
you love your mother and miss your father. you’re
afraid of alcohol and terrified of yourself. there
was a point in my life when i thought maybe i’d
be able to grow old next to you.
i know it’s stupid, but i’m afraid of not knowing