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
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


Name Tag

im a tightrope walker with an untied shoe and a fear of heights
no clean drop below
just months of doubt and years of hardening around the idea
that soft is okay
to be angry is better than to cry and to cry is
still better than to admit the sadness runs deeper than that but
all i have is tire ruts in a yard of a home i have to move away from

im a pen about to empty
a locked closet a lost key
a “ive given up on opening that drawer”
ill slowly fall apart among the other things forgotten
im a video tape and a cd player and a stain on a white t-shirt
i cannot find value in the uselessness that runs through my arms and makes me cold
cold to touch cold to talk to cold to be near
im a disease someone is afraid of catching whispered behind my back
are the names i thought i could convince myself to forget
a dulling knife
a disaster a slow tragedy that no one really wants to know the end of

i dont find solace in god or sunsets or that
despite our belief that everything may be ending tomorrow will come
rain ends droughts and rainbows end rain

im a ship deemed not worthy of floating
ill tell people i cant swim so they send me away from the
scene of what i am
things pass slowly i lose my grip quickly all ive ever been is
sweaty palms and running late and bad excuses

an empty bottle of wine
the taste of regret and forgetting to brush your teeth
crumpled sheets and an alarm that betrays the last few seconds
of the one good thing you had
and all of this is too much to write on a name tag

[This took me three days to write]

im ripping the stitches out of my chest
it doesnt hurt its like untying and im not scared its like undressing
and its a warm shower and a comfortable sweater
im spilling but its not at all like bleeding or losing or
trying to hold onto something already lost
its like sharing and showing and being a child again
thinking the world is huge and limitless and beautiful beyond the
walls of a small imagination

its like rereading your favorite book and discovering new chapters
a new character a new ending
and it isnt at all like betrayal its like coming home

its like exhaling and emptiness
the stunning lack of fear the startling blankness
that security can bring a white light
white noise to fall asleep to a
deleted poem that comes out better the second time around

and it isnt at all like an ending
or coming across a finish line or reading the last page
its like a beginning
its like god damn, im glad youre here


im clawing at the side of a mountain
the dirt underneath my fingernails is beautiful
its reality
its life its where ive been all along
fighting because life is a struggle
a complicated struggle it makes my heart hurt

you used to be beside me to lift me up when i thought i would drop
i used to be beside you to shout words of encouragement
i come home to empty apartments
i leave and wonder what this day will bring
worrying i always sit here worrying about you and
lets be honest i hold everything too close
i say everything too loud i panic in calm situations

there is dirt underneath my fingernails
it used to be beautiful but now, alone
i struggle against the weight of this reality
we used to protect each other from falling down
we kept each other weightless

i claw my way up another foot, maybe ive just fallen behind
that you’re somewhere waiting for me
ive lost a lot
ive lost things i thought were more permanent
and things i knew i never had to begin with
ive never stopped climbing
i dont know how to lose a friend i dont know how to lose you

Words I Believe Too Much Now

ice cold fingers
even colder heart
my armor is too thick
my inner thoughts too guarded
i can’t deny the truth of what i wish was falsehood

hot face burning with thought
hot tears when i realize days later that i cant change the ice queen
ive decided to become long ago
throwing elbows when i walk casually deciding to win the race
of “I definitely care less”
i have won and i have lost so much
like a participation ribbon for last place i want to set fire to my skin to
tell my soul to warm up just a bit

shivering body
shivering thoughts nothing really makes sense anymore
am the dumbest person ive ever met desperate for someone to understand me
unwilling to let them know who i am
and ive found myself once again
in last place
running too slow
and im already too late its over
no participation ribbon just a forgotten girl

There’s A Theme Here, Do You See It?

“I think he’s one of the best things to happen to you.”
she was always serious about these things, about boys and coffee
about dinnertime and how to tell someone you care about them
she looked at me with tired eyes, the sun in both of our faces
i couldnt help but laugh
i wanted to shrug him off already feeling like a sweater
i would like too much and wear thin
i wanted to crumble him into the smallest pieces i could manage and plant
him in the ground and leave something for everyone else
i nodded in the laugh
i was always serious about these things, about boys and not folding in the corners of your favorite book even if its the absolute best thing youve ever read
about turning off alarm clocks and how someone looks right before theyve given up
and when they remember not to

i dont know where to place him
among dusty books that i havent had the chance to read but are perfectly new
something that i will be excited about and forget about for awhile
something to think about
something to let simmer beneath the surface for awhile because
i dont have time and most books have sad endings nowadays anyway

i dont know where to place him
i dont have the words to tell someone i care too much
i care more than “i dont want to take this seriously”
i care more than “im just trying to have fun”
and im certain that i care more than becoming another mess
you will deal with but certainly dont have to clean up

i care about “the best thing that happened to me”
and as it disintegrates i wish
i cared about something different

To the Boys that Never Loved Me, And Then They Leave

i wake up before my alarm
exhausted eyes watering eyes bleeding
sometimes surprised that im still breathing in out in out
nothing too tragic yet
and i wake up exhausted and try to fall back asleep
five minutes feels like a lifetime
i have a lifetime of sadness and three lifetimes of love left to give
someone always told me to smile more than you frown
i dont really believe that anymore
but i still wear my muscles sore trying
to make things better for the universe
better for myself i plant a garden of flowers in my stomach but
they never grow
people stare at me with glass in their eyes telling me my body will never
know love my body will never be called home

the thought of today: are they right?
are the voices that follow me in whispers really
reading from books of truths and stabbing me with knives of reality
i always used to think they were wrong but lately i am
finding that nothing is serious
im a joke
the biggest joke

“im sorry but” is the worst three words to me
“its not you im just” is the next five i cant stand
they are always followed by strings of sentences that dont mean anything
i dont care how you see me with your rose colored glasses
i dont care how you sit there and dont see me
as you see everyone else
“I’m sorry but I’m leaving” is all I have to say