200

i wish i could hold my breath for 200 minutes
to stop altogether
to learn how to live without air
because the air i breathe smells like you
even though you are not here
you never have been

i wish there were 200 miles separating me from the thought of you
miles that could not be traversed by land or by sea
maybe by air but you know im afraid to fly
i wish my mind would run away from home and only take the thoughts of you
the memories and sentences and gentle brushes all tucked into a little handkerchief tied to a stick
because my brain is old fashioned and doesnt know how to drive away

and i wish there were 200 different ways to say how much i miss you
and how much i hate you for it
instead of just the few ways ive learned to say it
i wish there were 200 different people to talk to
instead of this 200th poem about the twisted thoughts in my head

and maybe there are 200 worlds
alternate universes where i am happy and i am free
and i am alone but warm
and maybe there are thousands
but i just want to live in one

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Sadness, My Old Friend

an unbearable sadnesss i cannot shake
it stirs my thoughts when i am sleeping
or reading or eating
or tying my hair into knots that always fall apart
it pokes at my stomach and me legs
it laughts at me
even when i tell it to go away
it laughs and laughs
you see
sadness is always so lonely and in me it has found a friend
a forever companion that is too weak and too small
to shake it off for good
i smile but the sadness sits behind it
laughing saying
maybe you forgot about me now but when the sun sets your mind will once again
remember that we are friends
and sadness is so good at never being wrong
at knowing that when i feel safe
wrapped up in pillows and blankets
that i am alone and i need a friend
i am cold and i need warmth
sadness is not giving but it does what it can
it gives me a shoulder to cry on because it knows it has caused these tears
so i cannot shake sadness
my old friend

Imperfect Notions

you sang in melodies i couldnt hear
painted in colors i couldnt see
i thought you were quiet
reserved
i thought you were black and white

you walked so far ahead you lapped me
i thought you were behind as i strolled along
believing i was better
and yet your stories told me you could not be behind
you had always been miles ahead

you traced words into the air that i couldnt read
i couldnt read your lips
or your expressions
or what it meant when you moved your hands through your hair
were you nervous
were you stressed
were you just concerned with the tangles of your hair resting more imperfectly

i thought you were inconsistent
shaky
when you were the solid one and the ground beneath my feet shook
you are not what i thought you were
you are better
such a shame i thought i was

Ending

i burned all the things that reminded of you
too bad i cant burn away my skin
in all the places you touched and left untouched and
how i cant burn you out of my mind
i feel unsafe now as you walk away with my secrets
because i could never share yours with the world
but i cant know you wouldnt be the same

if i crumpled up all the pictures your eyes would still be there
i would still find a way to remember your every imperfection
as if they were my own
the color of the air around your skin
glowing
i thought no one could be near you without soaking in
the uniqueness you gave the world
but i the pieces of you i have left are all
i have and i dont want to throw them away just yet

why cant you end
you the imperfect noun in my life
instead of stretching out like the horizon
all things past and haunting all things future
i want the sun to set on you but
i forgot you are the sun

Broken Bodies and Calming Lies

i tried so hard i broke my bones
trying to change into anyone but myself
so your eyes would not glaze over me
but choose me
like they chose her
and as i broke my bones and lost my soul
and swallowed the sweetest of lies
to dull the pain
i realized you were not the answer
you were not the one that calmed me
or settled me
or made me feel whole
because of you all i could ever feel was infinite layers of unfixable brokenness
that i had done to myself
ive always hated the way truth tastes
so bitter
not cool like the lies that would calm the fire underneath my skin
but lies make me sick and they never tast good a second time
constantly in need of reinventing themselves
so i will eat nothing but the truth from
everyone and i will take my broken soul elsewhere
and pray someone can love my broken body the way
i loved you from afar

Buried Phrases

i gathered up all the things i ever wanted to say to you
and stuffed them in a bag
buried in the back of my closet
behind untouched relics of years far past
like love letters from elementary school and
crafts with pictures of misshapen hearts
you see ive never been good at love
always shaky and uncertain
even since the earliest of days

i took the words and let them die
in dust and in darkness of the unused
and practically wasted away space
i let you fade as far as i could let you
in the back of my mind although in the center of
my misshapen heart

i found these words
what a big surprise all things buried get dug up
we find explicitly what we choose not to find
i called you the air in my lungs
who knew i thought you were so useful
i called you the infinite of endings and beginnings
who knew i used to think your intentions were so clear

strips of paper bearing infinity signs and smiley faces
the happiest of words sparkle brightly although they carry no weight
secure
content
i wasnt afraid
who knew fear could find its way out of my darkened life

i expected phrases of vagueness
of unanswered questions
of poetic injustices that create sad phrases and salty tears
that people nod and smile for
although it tears at them slightly

instead i saw phrases of clarity
of heartfelt sincerity that i cannot bring back
nor recreate in the confines of my misshapen heart
who knew i would always miss you so

Pretend and Make Believe

i stand in front the mirror and exhale slowly
ive learned that self love is hard to find
and hard to keep
but today i dont mind
i skim the flaws that have always presented themselves
i cannot care
today i am too tired
to worry about what i should be like instead
of what i am destined to be like
tonight i will put my plastic layer on
clothes that say i know who i am
and where im going
and im never looking back
because someone told me that clothes can talk and their words are harsh
ill paint my face and tie my hair and bend and break
so that i look like someone happier
someone safer
someone better in my skin that fits me awkwardly
and tonight i will see other shining people in their perfect skin
and i will wonder how they came to be
and how they smile so flawlessly and hold their heads so high
and i hope they have the answers
and arent just pretending
the way i am