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adulthoodwhen you interact with other grown-ups,
there are things you need to remember.
i am learning the fine art of Adult Small Talk-
banter for banter's sake and smiles and short, impersonal anecdotes
because you can't risk letting anyone in,
god forbid someone actually gets close.
you keep your friends in your stomach and swallow them at night to keep them close
and put your cheery face on for medical professionals even when your throat is too swollen
to drink down those friends.
those friends, you know they'll never let you down.
you see your human companions on lunch breaks and weekend days.
at night, young adults have sex and fall asleep together;
at night, older adults complain of headaches and sleep on opposite sides of the bed.
your human friends don't make you feel as good
as your other friends make you feel.
they ask about your life and how you're doing,
ask if you're still in therapy and if you're eating,
and god forbid you let them in.
they're your human friends but they don't get
this is less of a love poem and more of athere is something to be said
about resisting the temptation
to start out with a bang.
the hallway of your neck
has never lost its scent
and it's something, i swear,
i swear, i can never forget
because it's something surreal
to wake up while you're asleep
and feel you pull me closer
til our faces almost meet-
hold onto that almost,
hold onto it like stardust.
you need to touch me in a whisper
because it's been too long
since i've felt the hand of someone
who actually meant it,
someone who actually meant something
and i'm so glad, my god,
i'm on my knees
i am praying to(o,) my god
that we won't burn out so quick this time,
i'm too tired to bear new scars
i just want you to love me
but that's not something i could ever ask.
just some time maybe,
i know that no august moon can watch us forever
and keep us warm,
and no constellation can teach me everything
i've ever needed to know.
but everything ugly i ever saw about you
and everything unflattering?
it's gone like the magic we
the best way to remember somethingi cry
every time you write me a letter-
in all my damaged glory,
still loved across miles of river and fields.
you are unyielding and unforgetting,
finding the words we never had
there are many moonlit stories
to recount and to expound upon in
i've got a burn on the toe of my shoe
from getting too near the fire with you-
the bruises on your skin
lasted for days;
the headband your sister gave me
and the way i cried
when it broke;
climbing up stairs, skewed like piano keys
in the winter air,
and entering your house, where you told me
to tug on my sleeve
because my battle wounds were exposed;
your dog curling up on your bed
to keep me company,
the way i was welcomed in your house,
getting drunk on vodka on new year's,
the first time you made me cum,
finding ourselves at a party
on the porch where we met-
i am amazed, astounded, awed.
you can love me even though my ear piercings are crooked,
a broken smile on my teeth
for every time you ran away, afraid;
a letter of hatred, to myselfdear child,
dear little girl,
dear sweet, innocent, beautiful melissa,
there is none of this that you would choose for yourself; there is none of this that you would see coming. a beautiful infant, born bright yellow like your favourite dress when you were three, you were perfect. you wore jaundice like a mink stole, blocked tear ducts like cat-eyed glasses. you cried because you were unafraid to show others how you felt: you were not scared to let them care.
strangers paused your parents on the street to peer inside of your stroller, marvelling at the porcelain doll within; the big blue eyes, reflecting the sky in grandeur and wonder; the rosy cheeks that meant you were healthy. you were beautiful, and as awareness became more than an abstraction, you knew it.
hours were spent in the mirror and every reflective surface that came across your path. dearest melissa, you were a brilliant star to behold.
romanticism is such bullshiti don't understand a bit
what's so romantic
about missing-you and distance,
love stressed and strained like string
across miles of roping rivers;
it's ugly and sad
and there is no cure
because i will not wait by the letterbox
praying daily on my knees to a god i know i believe in but i'm not sure you do
to hear word from you-
that you're well;
that you're happy;
that you're eating and sleeping and feeling alive;
that's what i want, you know-
i want your vitality to blaze like the great chicago fire,
i want to see your scrawl emboldened with each word
i want to see you concretely on your feet
and certain of where you are going
without a sergeant telling you how to walk.
i want you to walk across half of the states
and back into my arms.
i want you to look me in the eye
and i want to see no hesitation back
when you tell me you love me.
i never want to cry because you're leaving
because you will never leave again-
i want you to love me like flames love oxygen:
the destruction of destructioni leave
&empty watter bottles
on your floor
in case you decide to forget me.
this is just our dynamic
this is just how our relationship works.
i read you chapters of the
strangest book i know
&you have me create
voices for each character.
i am most comfortable as the narrator,
but you like my crazier caricatures best.
it reminds me of how you like
the stranger ways my mind works,
&how you will pry sharp things
from my clawed fingers
&show up late for work
just to make sure i eat;
the hateful frustration i feel
when my body yearns for its
only to be thwarted by something
it can't control;
it reminds me of how you love
the parts of me i most hate,
&the way we can fight
as we go to bed
but before i fall asleep,
i nestle myself into
the curve of your back
&i am safe.
breathe deepbreathe deep.
breathe it shallowly if you need to,
if filling your lungs to bursting
is too much,
but breathe the depth-
of tree roots
and ethnic roots
and the roots planted by love.
and the orgiastic fullness
it gives the empty shell
you try so hard to stuff
but nothing sticks;
because deep is star-soaked
desperate with creeping beauty
like attar and trellis
and the june moon.
this is how you keep her.
this is how you say,
this is our permanent address.
this is how you say i love you
with something more than words.
go to sleep for the love of godi kind of feel like ripping my face off.
it's not one of those sad, suicidal stories. i mean, if i believed in suicide in the way that means i could do it, then yeah, it would be. but i don't, and i guess you're kind of lucky for that because now you can go to sleep with a clear conscience.
i won't ever tell you about how many pages and books and scraps of paper and unsent text messages and notes on the backs of my hands i've written for you, or how inarticulate you were when you wanted to say how you felt. i won't ever tell you how i wished for a few words that could tell me that i was loved, even a little, and i sure as fuck won't ever say that when you managed to pull a few words together for some girl you haven't even touched, well, i won't ever say that all i feel like doing now is unravelling the skin on my arms, down to the bones, and watch as rivers of red fall out of me like stars.
maybe i'd be beautiful enough for you then. i
Honestly dishonest.I'd kissed you seventeen times before they tore me
away from the coffin.
This could be tragically romantic but I'm lying;
I wasn't allowed through the chapel doors.
Love, before I met you.1) I was a blank canvas
for their hands to paint endearments
and childhood secrets on.
(The bruises came later,
but bruises don't talk and neither
2) A slammed door,
a raised fist and bloodied teeth and
how did we end up here, babe?
How did we fall so heavily out of love?
3) A knife,
they'd twist it in my gut
and hang my love-gutted corpse
out to wait for the next
poor soul to find me.
As luck would have it.I have visited the
halls of the mental wards
three times in this
The first time
I was driven through.
with two left feet
and a thirst for
its own blood.
The second time
I was carried through.
Cradled and cold,
a child with wax wings.
I'd flown too close
to the sun.
The third time
was by my own hand.
I was tired.
I had had enough.
I was ready to be
next timeyou told me you were doing me a favor,
you never told me you were stripping me
of my emotional rights, butchering the word
love between my two front teeth, and can you
please remember for at least five seconds
that i am just some silly boy stuck in his
own world, far, far from reality. and as
delusional as it may sound, fucking with his mind
isn't an art, and we may be art kids but
i know where to draw the line between
pure art, and simply dying.
if it isn't how i imagined it,
then what control do i have anymore?
i want to be able to rip the seams of my
own shirt, wash my hands a hundred times
over if need be, now can you please stop
being my mother, start being my friend,
and cease being my lover.
if adam and eve can fuck over the human race
and have a book written about them, then
why the hell can i not fuck you over,
tell you to leave, kick you out the back door,
i know i am harsh, but i am too scared
not to be.
so next time, allow me to
strip away my own skin,
singe off my own ment
wherever she goes, leave a rosewherever you are is wherever i'll be
i can't tell you everything because
if i do, you may not like what you hear
i can't show you everything because
you may not like what you find
but my shell is open, my soul is torn
love again, again to be born
and i'm letting forth the light in my chest
allowing your love to put me to rest
and though i hate to rhyme
when it's all about you
your love was old and once again new
Tattooed in My Tear DuctsI don’t know any big words
and I don’t drink tea and I haven’t read
all the classics and my hair is a startling
shade of ash blonde, if you’re being
generous. I would call it grey. I will not
impress you. And maybe that’s impressive
enough. You will always get an honest
reaction from me.
My mother drinks tea though,
earl grey, and chai and chamomile,
she thinks it will heal her, make her
sleep. But sleep and healing are not
the same things.
I have run from monsters
to find them in my sleep, and by run
I mean get high, and by monsters,
I mean me. If sleep is a mirror
we are all doomed. I’ve seen myself,
eyes red and raccooned, reaching
for some comfort and I had to explain
that my lips swell when I cry. All I wanted
was for you to say that I look pretty when
I have come to realize two things:
one, that everything I want is not good for me and
two, I am not the worst things I ever did.
I am not the worst things I ever did.
I want this tattooed i
A suicide saved.I found her in the bathtub, once,
and as I hauled her out by her shivering
arms all I said was
"you look beautiful in red."
As though a compliment could somehow
lighten the mood.
magic doesn't die.I've lived where the ghosts sleep.
The streetlights are broken but they still stand,
arching over empty alleys filled only with dead cats.
Stardust is littered over the river,
drifting on the black water almost like moon beams.
You asked if I knew where I was going.
I told you, this was my home.
Once, I ate the lies of children, the dreams of dying leaves
and the stones that words have become
along with the ghosts of the town.
This torchlight might let us see the dirt on the ground,
but it will never detect their movements.
I know them.
They are quiet, almost silent.
They will never speak but they can scream.
They will scream you all the way into Sunday,
right past Wednesday and Friday,
the days they'd lost their bodies.
And watch your step.
If that board creaks, stories underneath it will haunt you.
Those stories are not fantasies. They are not pretty.
Between the cracks of moon light, I know their eyes are on us.
I know their feet are following our shadows.
I've made my bed where the
charlestownthere are days where everything-
reminds me of charlestown
i jump to correct those
who are talking about south carolina
when i remember they're talking
but i can't flush out the feeling
that they're wrong,
or when there are no dropped r's
hitting the floor beneath them
there are days that nothing
but green eyes or gapped teeth
hold interest for me,
and nights where i feel myself
and i dream of you,
and you stand before me
in your newly-shaven hair
and dark-framed glasses,
and i can only feel
the most overwhelming sense
it is nights like those
that terrify me
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