i stand in front of the mirror just
close enough that i can see the small scar on my face
that you can only see from certain angles
so i can see the pores on my nose
or the slight crookedness of my teeth
despite year of braces
my messy eyebrows because i can never be bothered to
spend too much time grooming myself
unless i panic about how everyone is moving forward
as i am quickly backpedaling
i dont always know how to brake
but i certainly know u-turns and distractions

i sigh
enough that my breath fogs up the glass and i enjoy
the way my vision is obscured
i whisper
i am always just someones secret
and i watch the way my eyebrows sort of cringe
those messy eyebrows
i notice how my frown starts to grow across
my crooked teeth and i try not to let
the boys who have ruined my stupid heart
ruin my stupid face
and that the confidence to find beauty in something
as ugly as dirt trapped in my skin
is a process and not a destination
and i want to create disasters and fix them
without flinching
i want to
look at my past and realize where
it started to go wrong
and i want to
learn that the ugliness is perfect
as long as its mine

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Claws

i dont remember who told me they had discovered me
a rare metal
a precious secret
as if i had gone unnoticed until a different person laid
eyes on me

dont be flattered by the boys
whose breathe smells like alcohol and as they
call you beautiful you
call them genuine

you
you have stood stronger than the coastline of california
you have been braver than you once
thought was possible
you were not discovered
because you were born with wings and claws
and as you ripped your way through this world
with grace and mercy
and hunger
you did not need to be discovered
you were already your own
and please
please know
that is always going to be enough

Declarations

im trying to think of better metaphors
than the flames i feel underneath my skin
when i look at you and you look away
like i am a car accident
and you have always been sensitive to blood
and gore
i am the mess your life didnt allow for
and i will not apologize

fear creeps in
the cracks that it is known to occupy
i miss the way we used to write
where Fear and Fortune
were granted capital letters
before the world threw us together
before you fought all the Forces
that put us here
before i realized
i cannot prevent the car accident from happening
and i will not turn back around

i stand upon a stage
and i pretend i cannot see the audience
i am singing in a language that i must know
but cannot remember ever learning
i am singing louder than i ever have
and i am so afraid
that i can feel every muscle in my body
vibrating slightly
i am the car accident waiting to happen
and i am unashamed even if i am afraid

i once dated a boy who believed he
could save my day simply by existing
and i will never be able to explain to you
the hurt he felt when he realized he was wrong
he wasnt born wearing a superheroes cape
and that i
also never needed saving
i will not apologize

ive been rewriting every line ive ever wrote
to accommodate you
until the eraser was almost gone
and the new ink was smudging in its place
until
my attempt at a masterpiece
looked like a complete mess
and i feigned happiness
as you forgot to even deign to look at me

i wanted to look at my papers
all redrawn scratched out rewritten
my attempt at perfection
saying nothing
and i yearned for every line i ever wrote before i met you

you walk away in strides of innocence
i was your nothing
you believe so much that you were my
nothing too
and that walking away is the same as walking towards
someone else but it doesnt matter
we were quotation marks
around someone elses idea

you walk away and i desperately search
for the lines i wrote
before i realized you were very much
more to me than nothing

A Love Letter to The Sky

i was the sun when you were the night sky
you complained of my brightness
sometimes my energy was too much
sometimes
the way i couldnt rest kept you up at night
i couldnt coo go back to sleep any more times
before you snapped
and i couldnt even blame you
humans with hearts and souls
need places to rest their heads
and close their eyes
i couldnt be your peace and quiet

i sit sometimes in the morning
and i look at all the things we have created
failing to remember all of things we have destroyed
you were always the piece of art that i wanted to preserve
i sometimes have to remember that
i really did set you all on fire

i washed my arms my hands wishing
willing the burn marks to fade
but as the blisters grew more painful
i was glad for once
to hurt in a way
i could actually recognize
instead of the way the sun
hurts the night sky
i burned myself before you exploded
into nothing

Confusion about the Ocean

i cannot reconcile the water and the sand
the glass the glass is cutting my feet
and my lips i have fallen
i cannot stand
someone is throwing sand on top of me
familiar hands
small hands that i know the back and front of
my hands my hands
they are bleeding from the glass and sand

take a step back
ebb flow ebb flow
i need to know more but
i also really need to know less
ripping memories from my brain
bandaids from my skin
watching myself bleed hearing myself cry out
stop
start and stop again because you are the ebb and i am the flow
i am the flow and you are the ebb

crashing into rocks
i never wanted to write about the ocean
here i am bleeding
standing by the sea
powerful and weak sand and glass
and trying to forget all the desperate
parts of myself

familiar hands wrap around mine
not mine someone elses they tell me to stop
or they would if they could speak
i dont move
paralyzed in the middle of the ebb and flow
calm when everyone expected a storm
storming thunderous applause
i am no longer a child

can i be a bleeding powerful
crumbling broken proud
and angry adult
full of life and happiness
full of love
full of glass shards and broken bottles
can i be the water and the sand and the rocks
the shore and the sky
can i be a complete picture
did i ever really need him

Pieces

you sink beneath my skin
i never asked you how you got there
when you ripped open the seams that had
kept me safe for so long and
i seem to forget if i was happy when i saw myself
falling apart
because looking back you are one stain of color in an
otherwise gray portrait
that im sure i was proud of when i painted it so long ago

i want you to notice me

when my skin melts from my bones
it will collect in a puddle on a tile floor
i can almost picture the day perfectly and i
dont want to be another mess my mother has to clean up
ill collect my bones one day and walk in a direction
that is not just the wind pulling me to you while
every syllable you utter is
meant for someone else

they will say i am broken and i will scream

you wrote me a letter sent it in the mail
or so you say because it got lost in transit
perhaps you never really wanted my eyes to see it
i am a statue and
yet you still call me fragile not
everything can be sealed into an envelope
they say i cant understand because
i have yet to be burned by love
but i have already set myself on fire

i think the room is shrinking around us and soon you will be gone
you’re the only one
i wanted to forget