Voices

ive never gone fearlessly
putting pillows at the bottom of the staircase before sledding down them
trying not to bump and bruise my pasty skin trying not to bump and cut my pastel cheeks
i was afraid of pain and bleeding
spending too much time trying not to take up any space
or make the straight line of balance crooked or to speak quietly
as to not interrupt the present conversation

until i realized the conversation was lacking
that my voice was a color it did not hold
that no one really wanted to see it
“we already have three shades of blue, why do we need another?”
if we didnt have my blue how would i explain the color of your eyes
or the color of my chipped nail polish?
if we didnt have my voice how could i detail every second of falling in love
of falling in and out of pain of feeling that the world is biased and unfair
that the world is beautiful and takes my breath away
and that sometimes to get your voice heard you have to bump
bruise bleed make a mess scream be the loudest person in the room
listen
be quiet
wrap yourself up in a blanket go to sleep no alarms
be somewhere you dont want to be
then go home
and find your voice again
and let it be known

Explosives

i start with trying to hide because your voice finds mine your voice seeks mine
your eyes see right through the barriers ive built and ive rushed to protect
the heart i dont really care about
i love you like hot pine needles and warm water
like deep breathing like deep laughing
and how my fingernail polish always chips moments after its dry
because its imperfect but its expected and
there is calm in consistency even if its a mess
and i love you like fireflies in jars
the first very warm day of spring, the first very cool day of fall
the first promise of snow
i dont care for change unless its the circle of seasons or finding you to hold instead
of just myself

i love you like shards of glass in my throat because i break beautiful things
like a paper cut and the feeling of not being able to stop crying
like home sometimes like falling on ice
i cant describe you to the people that i meet
i love you like rain like an inconvenience to some like the most
god damn beautiful thing ive ever been given in my life
and its sharp and smooth a knife in my back a rock in my hand
a broken window and a wish i find my favorite things all in list
and theres your name
my handwriting doesnt look the same as it curves around your letters
and my chipped fingernail polish looks beautiful and
its sort of like melting and building tearing down recreating
full of action full of life
full of something tired of hiding
sometimes i love you like i cant breathe sometimes its more like i cant stop talking
and at the center of the web is something shiny something different
something platinum not gold something steel and shiny and lasting

I Don’t Know Where This Path Will Lead

heart tendons wrapped like computer chords
dusty and tangled in too many directions
i forgot i could have just reached for your hand
instead of offering up myself entirely

i want ink on my skin to tell my story
and my dad asks me why
i tell him it is because i am happy sometimes
i think it is because i am sad but more times than these
handfuls of moments of clarity
i think it is because my voice is hoarse
from screaming that things have been just fine
i want to prove it
instead of wearing myself thin

i want scratches on paper to tell my story
and i ask myself why
i dont show anyone half the things i write
i tell myself it is because it is for me
i lie constantly
it is because i am afraid of words and phrases and rivers
of things that i cannot explain
i want to nourish you with water
but sometimes i fear that i am poison

i stand
quietly torn between turning the valve inside of me
and forcing myself to stop or writing until
i feel old and dry and shriveled up
until
i really have no story to tell
until half the things ive written are laced in with
the things i have yet to write
where chains and freedom
fear and bravery all feel the same
because i have the heart to tell my story
because the words make sense

i will nosedive off the cliff this time
i wont crash my car
i will only think about it ten times before i brake slowly
drive the speed limit and always use my turn signal

i can feel you tugging at me in my heart my stomach
my legs somewhere
i can feel the friends i left behind the ones that i stepped on
as they kicked at me i can feel the friends
i left behind because silence was easier than explanations because
darkness permeates deeper than light reaches
because i am selfish
cruel
because i am sorry
and i can feel you pull me
so

i will cut my heart from my chest and leave it on a doorstep
an orphaned child it wont need a blanket
it likes the chill
i will build myself a robot heart that i wont give to anyone
and i will
never feel your pull again

Some Things Have To End

out of the small collection of hands
that i have held
i could have sworn that yours
yours were the ones that knew me
knew me well enough to hold me carefully and
touch me slowly
and wait while i gave myself time
to clear my head and put myself in this moment

i wish we could watch the way things curve
and break and fall apart
i wish we were better narrators of the lives
we lead, the stories we tell
better map makers of the paths we create and follow
i was never a cartographer
but how i would love to chart your skin
your smile the way your words had colors and
tones that made other people look
a little bit boring
and
i wish i knew when the path would end abruptly
so i wouldnt still be reeling
from almost hurtling myself off a cliff

Are We All Eve

i think of Eve and Satan
the need for knowledge something more
something greater that Adam would have to notice
and i think
how are her and i different at all?

and i think of
journals that i was too afraid to write
in because ink was damning and permanent
how ive always been afraid
and maybe i was born eighty years old
and afraid so afraid
i wear my wounds with pride
because those were the moments i forgot my fear

i wonder what youre hiding
always
the bruises i cannot see but can only taste
when we kiss but you cant open your eyes
to look at me
and when you talk there is poison
somewhere
in the midst of something pure i see
the apple i cant eat
the apple i will eat
im sorry
im sorry

What is Being Okay

i let this feeling grow inside of me
i focus on it
twisting
somewhere behind my ribs
stretching all the way down to my toes
all encompassing sometimes
i cant think breathe
swallow chew
oh wait chew, swallow
i literally cannot believe how cold my hands are right now

this
this has nothing to do with him or you
or staircases and chewing gum
this is every moment ive said
how simply okay it is
to be stepped on
thrown away
pushed aside
i
i
should know better by now

i look in the mirror and i have betrayed myself
this i know
and this i let stab me
behind my eyes
behind my ribs somewhere
i really cant breathe now

for awhile i thought you were stabbing
stabbing me in the back
but i realize now
i was holding the knife the whole time
and
i would like to clean the blood off now thanks

I (Really Don’t) Miss You

indelible the face of the setting sun
and really
fancy chocolate that you cant afford but steal
from even fancier hotels the lobby that you wait in
when youre trying to get warm before you
get to wherever you are going
you feel the same but you tell yourself that
you feel different because here is here moments ago you
wanted to be and werent

i dont miss you today tonight tomorrow
i never have and never will
i never miss your warm hands on my cold skin
if i ever find myself missing you i take a deep breath and
pretend that it never happened because simply
it never did

fanciful like the freshest bread on the table
wine glasses half full music on
that no one is listening to because the conversation is
too overwhelming
the greatest hug of words
companionship that you had only dreamed of one time
the only dream you had ever remembered
the reason that you believed all dreams have meanings

no dreams have meaning unless you are a dreamer
im not because i dream of dark tunnels
and piles of candy bars
of getting lost or fat
of crying into the arms of the people that have hurt me
and i scream for you which makes no sense
because
like i said
ive never missed you once