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

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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

Desperation

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
gravity
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
but
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

Another Long List of Apologies

the litany of the good and bad things ive done is short depending on how much you care
about the small things and the small people and the little flowers
that dont really feel like re-appearing in the Spring just to be trampled on
but they show up anyway because thats what theyve been made to do

and i feel the list of things ive done is not catching up to the things ive felt
and im sorry
im sorry that ive become so hard that not even the word bitch
cuts me although i can distinctly remember the hot tears on my face
moments after the syllable was directed at me for the first time

im sorry that i love brokenly and unevenly
that things that make me happy also make me unbearably nostalgic and
slightly terrified
like how i hate the dark but i cant sleep with lights on
i need my fears to survive and i need my fears in order to stand
in front of anyone and admit that i feel even a shred of anything

im sorry that i break things other than people too
pencils, coffee mugs, remote controls
i lose things too which is sort of like breaking them
rendering things void and useless
ripping things to shreds
pieces of paper with my handwriting
pieces of paper with your handwriting
receipts and notecards i cant stand myself sometimes

but it doesnt mean i will rip the skin from my body
and pretend to be someone new

im sorry that im hard to get to
like a prison cell or a celebrity you can glamorize what i am or
want to spit on it i dont really care
i know that ive built false walls and trap doors and window panes painted shut
around my thoughts and my beliefs and i want to say my heart is ice cold
but i have a pulse and my body works just fine
most of the time

im sorry that i wont give you the key to these trap doors
that showing the burn marks inside my mouth is as close as i can get right now
to showing you the fire that sometimes rages within me
that things havent always been easy
that things havent always been bad
i want you to be part of this just
not now

im sorry that all i have is wine stained teeth and shitty poetry
that i laugh at bad jokes and watch even worse movies
im sorry that this is precisely the second time ive written the list
of all the things i shouldnt be saying out loud but wont
i cant stand myself sometimes
but im still defiantly walking like i have places to be and people
who would like to see me there
and im not sorry
for not giving up

Waiting

close my eyes begging for a blank space
close my eyes and wish for sleepless dreams the more i want gray i get color
i want to stop writing about a boy that doesnt matter i pick up
every pen in my apartment and hope that it will say a different thing
it always writes lines the include everything but your name
the passcode to the secrets that dont matter
they dont matter because they arent supposed to exist
because i freeze when your name comes up in conversation because im still
trying my best to act casual act natural work on your acting skills little girl
didnt they tell you that you would never get far if you care too much
youre too crazy dont show it
act casual act natural
put on your makeup backstage and put on a performance
put on your makeup in the bathroom mirror with the lights off and put on a damn show

im freezing but i dont ask for a sweatshirt
i bite my tongue until i bleed i dont ask for water to rinse my gums
i swallow my words i swallow my own blood i am a carnivore
i cannot kill a spider i cannot extinguish my own voice
power and powerless tied together dependent on each other for survival
the frog waiting to be stung by the scorpion
unable to decide which one i am
just moments away from drowning acting like i know how to swim
acting like im not afraid of endings
blank pages and i pray for words that dont lead me down the same
twisted path
blank spaces and all my fingers find is a space
that still holds you too close
waiting
waiting

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
i
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