Don’t you know, my love, that I would swallow the whole ocean if it meant you didn’t have to cry anymore?
I wish I could write you better. I wish I could wrestle those rusting, iron letters dancing on your brain, chase them with a pen, douse them with mint toothpaste and whip cream until they shone like pennies and spelled out the truths you never seem to think. Your thoughts are so bulky and so rotted and here I am, all these dime piece vocabulary words and my SAT tongue and I cannot slice those ugly ones into pieces for you to swallow.
The only words I cannot change are the ones I want to change the most.
Five years old, Winnie the Pooh pajamas and a feather boa from the dress up box. You were her yesterday and you never dreamed that today would look like this. Nine years old with a choker necklace and glasses, a mish-mash of rainbows and pants that were too short because you kept growing, and you started to get sad when the sun was too bright. You were her last week and you never dreamed that today would look like this. Thirteen with the big bad world chewing up all the things you thought you were, thirteen when the big bad world got inside your big bad mind and made you hate your thighs and your wrists. You were her five minutes ago and you have no trouble believing today looks like this.
Red is the worst color. Every time I see it I think of all the things I can’t fix for you. Fifteen hours and one coastline. I miss you even though I’ve never seen your face.
Darling, I’m sitting here and I’m thinking about you and I hope you’re not in the bathroom trying to stain the ocean a different color. I’d sacrifice these fingers and this ballpoint pen mind if it meant you wouldn’t have so much love in your veins.
They never told you that love could drown you, smother you, suffocate you, did they? They never told me either. We figured it out ourselves and then bruised our own hearts for never learning a lesson the easy way.
With parents like ours, the hard way is the only way.
This poem isn’t supposed to make you sad. It is supposed to remind you that I love you more than the ocean loves the shore, more than peanut butter loves jelly. You’re my other half. You’re the reason I believe in soul mates, in fate, in the intersection of the stars and the alignment of planets. You’re the reason I kiss boys with bad memories; when they forget me, I’ll still have you, your elephant memory and your clumsy hands. You’re the reason I keep giving second chances. You’re the reason I am still able to love, open my heart via surgery just for the sake of a smile and potential.
You’re the reason I’m alive, why I’m here with a messy room and a messy heart, my messy fingers trying to make you understand how much I adore you.
When you lay your head down tonight, below the collages and the christmas lights, and you hear that steady thump of your heartbeat against the pillow, do not panic. it is not a monster slowly stumping its way to your house. it is not someone knocking on the door of unhappiness. It is me, and i’m right here.
this has been in my askbox forever, i should probably address it while i’m feeling poetic.
i’m a girl with rusted eyelids and long arms; i push people away and wrap myself up in sweater sleeves. my fingers are bruised from carrying so many heavy words across the page. i like to think i’m a vonngeut when i’m really just a comic strip. i kiss boys with pretty eyes and tragic pasts. they wear me like a charm on a bracelet, string me onto their keychains to tote around. everybody leaves, and i’m still trying to figure out whether that is my fault or a by-product of the house i grew up in.
they say survival is a knee-jerk reaction. my mother makes it look like an art while my father makes it look like a pity. if you took each day i have lived and strung them out, one by one, the necklace would be too heavy to wear. no museum would want it. if each day were a shot on a roll of film, there would be shots that are all black or all white with no figures in them. those are the days i don’t like to talk about. there were a lot of them in the seventh grade. i don’t necessarily think it is the pictures which make it hard for me to get up sometimes. i think it is what chemicals they soak in, the brain juice which has always been a little too sharp. i don’t think any cannibal would want to eat me; i’m too bitter.
my life has never been stagnant.
my school is a beautiful place made of glass and tile and tears. we wear blue and gold and list off our extra-curriculars like the nutrition facts listed on the side of a soap can. everyone is skinny and white and scared. we have great test scores and a photography lab and somewhat tepid school spirit. school makes us want to vomit. we don’t know why.
i swear, if i hear the word college one more time, i will rip out every last tile myself.
my friends do not belong in high school. we belong in a nursing home. we knit scarves and have potluck dinners. we are all at least mildly creative and our drama is tepid at best. we are too smart for our own good. we all like to cuddle. we all have boring names like caroline or andrew or jeremy. we overuse the word “classic” because we’re hoping one day we will be. classic. we have disorders lined up like buttons on a coat, but mostly we can leave them at the door.
if it weren’t for them, i wouldn’t be alive. and they say that blood is thicker than water.