this is just to say

tw: sexual assault

I hate you

but

when I say I hate you

I really mean

you’re okay

but

when I say you’re okay

I really mean

I like you

I like you a whole lot

and when I say I like you a whole lot

I really mean

I love you

but

when I say I love you

I mean

I adore you

I adore you with every fiber of my being

I feel you when you’re away

as if I have another heart beating outside of my body

the strings I have yet to sever

 

And when I say I have yet to sever them

I really mean

you have not let me go

 

And when I say you have not let me go

I really mean

I can still feel your hands around my throat

I mean

I can still see the bruise in the shape of a hand on my left wrist

I mean

I can’t remember why I didn’t yell for your grandmother in the next room

I mean

I wore combat boots that day

I mean

I haven’t let anyone touch me like that

I mean

When I see you I am 15

I mean

I am still yours

 

This is just to say

when I say you let me down

you did not break me

 

This is just to say

when I say no

I really mean

no

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the virtue of tenderness

Sometimes I wonder if you remember the snow globe

that I broke in your room when I was four years old,

curious, and desperate to see the world it held.

 

I had cried for hours that day,

Feeling such guilt and shame at my clumsy fingertips

as they attempted to pull it from your shelves.

 

It was a glorious shatter.

 

Afraid as I was, you were not mad.

You wanted to know why it had happened,

and when you did,

you told me that

you would have taken it down for me if I had asked.

 

It’s no wonder that your favorite things nowadays

revolve around

understanding.

 

***

 

You and I were born wildflowers in a field of thorns.

 

I’d like to understand the mindset of a man,

the twists and turns of ego,

rage.

 

I can feel some of it within me,

but I was born tender.

 

I cannot understand how gifted scarves

can turn to nooses

in mere moments.

 

Nor can I understand the piercing pain I felt last December.

 

When you break, I break.

 

I suppose.

 

***

 

When they ask you why your body wafts roses –

your face lavender, lemon, and honeydew,

please remember that their words mean nothing.

 

You were spawned from the soil of the Garden of Eden,

the fruits of Eve’s labors.

 

You were born into this world to be tender,

so please,

when they come questioning,

do not let the snakes that bind your wrists control you.

 

The image of Minerva that hangs from a chain around your neck

cannot match your strength,

your vigor.

 

You are the culmination of the cosmos,

the epitome of

 

Woman.

 

Hold that title with pride,

for your scars show that you have earned it.

 

You have bled,

wept,

rejoiced,

loved,

understood,

and for this;

 

You deserve nothing less than the world itself.

restless/reality


I don’t think I can run from it anymore-the sadness is inevitable, natural, even, and nowadays the realization of my own life causes a certain restlessness within me that I can only chalk up to complete denial. I don’t want to be inside a human body, or any body for that matter. 

I can still feel the pulse in my veins, although it feels as if I have ten million hearts running around outside of my body, threatening to rupture at any moment. Sometimes they do, and I am reduced to utter nothingness. Sometimes I find myself lost between the should’s and the shouldn’t’s, the can’s and the can’t’s, and of this world, I expect nothing. 

I can’t help but feel the small rupture between my heart and yours- a distance that I can blame on no one but the two of us. I never expected anything of you, though I sometimes do wish you had stayed. I feel your presence with every step in this city, although I’ve never felt further from you. I would never wish ill upon you, I hope that you’re happy, even, yet I still can’t say I want you back. Most of my friends don’t even know what you look like so you’re all mine, and a terrible liar. And a sloppy kisser. And even a sore loser. 

Of you I expect nothing, but I do hope that you remember how it felt to love me. Remember that I loved you. 

But please, don’t expect anything of me. 

My darling, I have nothing left to give. 

i wrote this when you left

It’s rare nowadays to find beauty in such an industrialized world when smoke clouds the air and fills your lungs. But driving down a road in the middle of the night and listening to an unknown song can finally allow you to breathe and see the beauty in the darkness; the girl who yells profanity at her beloved but knows she will always return to him; the face that appears in the smoke. 

I have learned at last that happiness is not an obtainable entity, but rather a state of being, just as hell is not a location but something that you carry with you. 
I can feel my own hell start to pass through the wonderful ache in the soles of my feet as I feel strangers hands on my hips and waist and remember when the only hands on my body were those of softness and familiarity. I remember you. I remember you from a time when your hair was as dark as the night sky and you told me every day that I was beautiful until one day you stopped and told me that I was too much for you, too much. 

I remember the waves of hurt pulsing through my veins as I thought of my button-up shirts driving you away. I cut my hair the very next day because I couldn’t stand to be your version of me anymore. 

And I am not, I never was. And here, driving through the darkness and feeling the rivets in the road and the stars above me pulling me away, I know that she is there. 

I know that she believes I am. I am. I am. And I know that she will love the stars as much as I and that she will love my button-up shirts and the way I hold her hand. And I know, with complete certainty, that she is here. 

About that time that you met god at 3am outside a gas station:

He kinda hated you. 
Not that you’re particularly surprised, though you did think he might be a bit more sympathetic to your cause. To be fair, however, there are people dying in other parts of the world and you-

you can have anything you want,

although you’re still just as terrified that you will equate to nothing as always, regardless of the water running through the faucet and the roof over your head. 

Your pristine sheets seem to tell you nothing but of the ways in which your anxieties lie within them;

How dangerously they feed off of each other. 

I know you’re trying to remember a time before you questioned everything around you. I know that you’re wondering why you exist at all, and how in the world it’s possible to love nothing and everything all at once. 
To feel nothing and everything

all at once. 

Remember sitting in your childhood bedroom, illuminated by brilliant streaks of lightning. Remember the drawings you made when you had tried to capture the light within your notebooks. Remember how you couldn’t, and wonder if maybe that’s why you still see yourself as a little girl with brown hair, bangs cut above her eyebrows. Maybe that was the moment you started doubting yourself. 

When a little girl within a body that she cannot yet fill meets god in the middle of the night-

3am, to be exact, outside a gas station-

he might hate her and leave gut-wrenching words echoing within the deepest corners of her mind. 

she must learn to be okay with that. 

the call of the city (between the dead and the living)


I have a habit of dreaming things into existence and though I couldn’t tell you how it works, I know that it does, because

I’ve watched it happen before my eyes.

But this time is different-

this time I am dreaming into existence a future for myself, one that takes place in a city between the dead and the living-

a place where something about the rain sends shivers down my spine

and I can finally feel the blood running through my veins and know that

I am

alive.

I exist in more than the no-name town I have grown to resent.

The familiarity is sickening; I need something more.

East village or Brooklyn, I would think.

Where my great grandmother spent her final years would be ideal, but I’ll take what I can get and

I can see you there.

I can see us there.

The blood in my veins is that of strong women who existed between the dead and the living

but

they knew how to live

and I intend to do them justice.

profound human nature


I can’t say that I remember exactly when your lyricism turned to profound loneliness

nor can I remember the reasons as to why you had plastered your bedroom walls in shades of green.

But what I can remember, darling –

the constellations I found on your body in a room lit by nothing but us

they were never ending

and I could never help myself from wanting to understand the galaxies you held within.

See –

I had never known much of wanting

until I had known you.