he was right when he talked about holes in a person’s heart;
this is the kind of emptiness neither of them can fill completely.
these are the days where i don’t know how to fix myself,
where i don’t trust anyone else enough to do it for me.
fixing is too much like improving,
and their method of improvement is a smoother way of
breaking me on their own terms.
you don’t know how close i was in that moment;
to saying no, this is wrong, i can’t do this,
i can’t go on with this ever-present hurt,
but i don’t know how to live without it, without you.
this is what i hate about absence,
that before you came i didn’t know i loved you
and yet after i left, this missing feels longer
than my whole life before.
i wish i knew what to say, how to tell you
how sorry i am, but i’m held back
by the barriers i set up for myself to keep you
and some of the ache out.
i thought that this was supposed to be freeing.
music box notes are plucking at my heart with gentle ocean fingers
while the tears come in waves;
burning up my eyes and then fading into a soft murmur in my throat.
i sit here crunching stale food and stuffing my shirt into my mouth in turns,
sinking my teeth into my skin on occasion to make sure
that i am capable of feeling reality, that the fact that i can still feel
warmth on my bloody-broken lips proves everything really happened.
what did you do, what did you do, what did you do,
i keep screaming to myself
in between flashes of pain and the taste of heavy breath that is going to haunt me until i no longer need to inhale air
or to share it with anyone. i reek of this. this deep sweet too-heavy taste.
you said you wouldn’t take it back
but i would give anything for a time machine, a reason
to take away a little of the blood that has sprung from my lips
and your fists this day.
some days i wish you would just put me in a box
and seal shut every cardboard crack with dark brown tape,
blocking out the tiny slivers of light
when they try to creep through the walls to the back of my eyes like ants
and build their stinging, throbbing homes
deep inside the van gogh-painted colors of this mind.
mail me someplace where light is worth seeing
and love is synonymous with everything,
a place where i have the strength to trust the people who deserve it again.
but until you find a place like that,
please just let me sleep and meditate
in my box.
all of these stupid book reports are doing things to my mind
as i wonder about the main themes of my life and character development
and the humanity behind monsters.
have you noticed the way we keep shape-shifting?
i keep on stepping out of shadows and into more definite shapes,
the way echoes fade but in reverse.
i’m sitting here thinking about dawn and conflicting times and
tiny diamond studs,
and i wonder, do you know you make me believe in miracles every morning?
everything is so, so good, except for the parts that are
awful. it’s sort of funny, isn’t it,
how dread and hope wind so closely together?
i’m tied down between wanting to run
and dying to lie still with you and just breathe and be.
making decisions feels so good. even if they are only temporary decisions, such as “i will not talk to you for two weeks, and then i shall get back to you with my permanent answer when i have a clear head and can present myself in a more dignified manner.” (or dignified at all, really, but let’s not pretend i am a complete mess for a while.)
there’s something freeing about removing the phrases “i guess” and “i think” from your vocabulary. i might try to make it a permanent thing (i’ll get back to you on that in a few weeks.) if i go on pretending i can never be sure, i will never be sure. i may be making the wrong decision, but in truth now a wrong decision seems wiser than no decision at all. i have a suspicion as to the choice i will be making already, but for now i am going to ignore it and close my eyes and breathe.
it’s not hard, really. the goodbyes have already been said. it’s the act of walking away and not regretting that comes next.
i sat on the old recliner and sucked
a dripping popsicle that tasted like
the kind of summer that bites into the roof of your mouth
and happened to be the exact shade of orange
of her dress, the one butterflies
swarm against and fall asleep on,
do you remember feeling those soft, chapped lips
in a haze of grayish spring?
something here tastes
it was like total freedom-
the melody that haunts and cries
and squeezes people’s souls
we were both blue
and comparing tentative fingers
when the words broke out and i felt everything shift
and i realized i didn’t have any right at all to grow up
but it was okay because we had time.