I Don’t Want To Talk About It.

she stands close to the edge of the people and wonders
how she got so fragile
and why her shaking hands are clutched around a plastic cup
of a drink that burns her throat
and confuses her mind
that she doesnt even like the taste of

her feet hurt but her heart hurts more
as if cavernous holes decided to bury themselves within her chest
and she wonders how it is possible to miss
a boy she never even met
or long for moments she never experienced
or how she can stand in one place for a little
too long
and realize that she will miss
this
even as she experiences it

she swallows the rest of the liquid and shivers
a little as it poisons her body
she is conflicted because she never thought she would
break any rules
instead she has crushed them
and has created new ones
her feet ache but her head hurts more why
do they not tell you that
being yourself truly also means
accepting contradictions
of your very soul and being

she longs to be a girl who smiles without reservation
she longs to know what exactly it is that she wants
to rid herself of the voices of indecision
to rid herself of the complications of never knowing
and she cannot decide why she will never feel complete
and she cannot decide why she is not happy in this place

in the superficial she has
never been happier
or more excited about her potential for living and breathing
and continuing the journey that they say has just began
but in reality
she sips warm beer that she wont finish
and wonders why her smile is always as fake
as the glossy pictures she tapes all over her room
a facade on white walls
and a facade on pale skin

Adults

we jump into adulthood with flailing arms and gasping breaths
into cold water our lungs freeze
on flat plains we scramble for hands to guide us in new directions
we are directed with the urges
of crying to our parents
our parents with graying hair and laugh lines around their eyes
who know the struggles and beautiful intricacies
of the life we are living
right now

textbooks replace picture books and blank word documents
replace blank coloring pages
and our fantastical dreams are dulled into
our realities
our “To Do” lists and colorful post its
with matters that have no imagination

this paper is due
and this lease needs to be signed
and these people need to be called
and emails need to be sent
and the contradictions of our daily life need to be figured out
among the piles of laundry and masses of clutter
we dont want to deal with

chipped finger nail polish and tights with tears in them
that we desparately paint with clear nail polish
for another failed job interview
as our last $5 was spent on food
and our atm is sadder than the romance movies
we have become so addicted to

this world is crumbling as we grow into more of the
right size
and nothing seems to fit
even though it was supposed to

Wording

my brain is more tired than my eyes
and i cant figure out the complications
of the beautiful intricacies of language
we think we are superior because we speak
but it is partially limiting
words are the absence of freedom because
it means that expression is expected
always
even when we dont want to speak
even when the words allude us
and especially when
the words fail us
we become our failures even though the words themselves failed
and no knowledge
of a dictionary or a thesaurus will help me in this space
in this absence of communication and
expression and in this absence of living
twenty-six letters that kill me and twenty-six letters
that i absolutely adore

WHAT

i let the words eat my skin
like they are the hungriest of creatures
and i am a generous plant
giving my life to them so that they may live
although i
so selflessly made my own food

harm no one

the words ink themselves onto my skin
i guided my hand the same hand that wrote the words
but i do not feel like i wrote them
because i do not feel safe

all my metaphors are see through
im probably the worst liar
and every poem turns into a confession
i hate these words
i hate the mirror and the whisper of indulgences
too far out of reach

harm no one

Stream of Consciousness: On Self Forgiveness, A Personal Narrative

I wake up in the morning to a bitter taste in my mouth, the result of exhaustion and the way I fell asleep reading and never brushed my teeth. I cringe because I already know that I’m late. Apparently a sixth alarm really would have been necessary because everything in me is so tired. I begin to question what it would mean for my grade, and my knowledge, if I skip just this one class this one time. As always, I encourage myself out of bed- don’t forget how lost you will be if you don’t go. Don’t forget that you literally talk to no one and will not be able to get the notes. Don’t forget that you have yet to manage your stupid insecurities about talking to people..I almost let the voice continue but I swing myself out of bed. Sometimes that is enough for the stream of thought to stop. You are shy, it’s okay, it happens. The chants of my life are repeated and make my stomach hurt. They are as redundant as my personality. I tell the same stories because they are the only ones I have to tell. I do not want to fall prey to the incalculable dullness of the person I am, I want to create myself to be better but I am so tired and my creative energy is so dependent upon the full night sleeps I cannot get no matter how hard I try.
I am awake and conscious, slow to start as I like to call it. I pull on clothes and practice the art of mocking myself by putting on makeup. I do it because people are noticing me, I say, but really I do it because otherwise the insecurity of appearances will get me. As if the static nature of appearances even matters, it really never does. I will get caught in the rain and my straightened hair will devolve into frizziness and my makeup will run and I will be just as ugly as I was before but this time I will know it. I will not be in denial. That stream of thought clogs my brain. I burn my hand on the hair straightener. The light is too dim to see clearly, that’s my secret- denial runs deep in my veins.
I try not to tell myself I am a failure. I encourage myself that I even got out of bed “Congratulations, you are almost functioning like a normal human being, way to go.” The nice voice in my head is really more of a mocking voice. I should know better by now to stop trying.
I tell myself I am a failure because I don’t love people in general, because I love so infrequently. Because I have so few friends, because sometimes I’m really terrible to the friends I have left. I tell myself I am a failure because I’m not particularly anything- not funny, nor smart, nor athletic. I try to praise myself for what is average, instead I linger on what is not. The grasping effect of wanting what I will not pursue.
I tell myself I am a failure because I stared at the ceiling for three hours last night while I was trying to fall asleep. How easily I crumble to the ideals of perfection. Anxiety loves me because I am weak and I acknowledge this weakness without being able to destroy it.
This is my narrative.
But you see, I am learning that at the center of happiness is knowing that you are a worthy person. And the birth of this feeling is through forgiveness. So maybe it’s okay that approximately three people in this world actually care about me. And maybe it’s okay that I will get a few B’s this semester, that sometimes I can’t catch up and I just feel stupid. I forgive myself for the naps I need to take and the sleeping aids I have used too often. I forgive myself for writing this instead of studying. I forgive myself for the vicious cycles and I inhale deeply.
No exhale, not yet.

I Bleed, You Bleed and We Bleed the Same (Unfortunately)

did you know that when you cut yourself
i bleed?
that the droplets of blood form droplets of blood red tears
and everything burns because your pain is projected
ten fold
i cant breathe and i hope
i pray
youre not struggling for air

one time
a face asked me loudly
WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT HIM WHY WHY WHY
there really were a lot of why’s
my power of exaggeration is gone
i want to write better songs about you
but all my poetry is so ugly

i screamed nothing
the words are incapable of showing off the indelible feelings
the
stomach crushing
heart tearing realizations that somehow
when we were sleeping i sewed my soul to yours
and no
our souls never matched perfectly but we fit together

you move and i move too
only slightly more because im always trying to catch up
and that voice in my head that face
it screams louder it wants to know WHY WHY WHY
i cant let it go
let him go
let it all go but
i cannot reconcile that letting him go would be
letting
myself go and starting over
i am not good at starting over i am not good at questions with no answers
i am only good at empty sheets of paper
and scribbled out answers to the question
WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE
and anything that ends in why

because decision and decisive ridicules me as much as
3 a.m. ridicules me
it spits in my face it has a demonized version of a laugh
it hurls its insults
it spits some more and i just think about sleeping
and falling asleep and the cycle continues as the face in my head screams
questions and my head scribbles out answers
you shift and i shift and nothing needs to make sense
things just need to end
in concluding sentences and periods

I wonder

one day someone is going to ask about you
and i wonder what i will say
if i will recount all the stars that had fallen in your eyes
or the way that
your words pulled truths from the air
obvious truths that we had never considered

i wonder if i will say that i loved him in ways i never imagined
and hated him in ways
that broke my soul and crushed the
good things left inside of me
or just the way he laughed a little at his own jokes
because he knew just how charming he was

i wonder if ill just smile
the littlest of smiles
and say that we were friends
that once i knew all your secrets
and all the things that drove you crazy
and i hope that smile stays and i hope that it is real