a lie that tells the truth

please don’t write me as a ghost girl,

all blurry lines and faded features

that caricature themselves into the minds

of those that think they see me–


i am not a canvas.

my life is not a blank sheet for you

to paint your vision across,

and i have no wires in my bones–

you cannot pose me so i’ll catch the light

just so,

like a kaleidoscope of clever quirks

and tragic backstories;


i am written in the words i discard

when i write bad poetry at 3am, and if you look,

you can find me echoed back to you

in my all time top five favorite movies.


i am the way my hands hurt

when i get nervous;

i am the urge to speak italian,

even though after a year of classes, i can barely

say hello;

i am the calmness that hits

when i smell cigarettes, even though

i’ve never smoked,

and i am the grudges that have lingered

because i forget to let things go,

and i am the passive-aggressive comments

that i should be sorry for, but

never really am.


if you want, you can trace your pen along

the creases of my skin,

the slouch of my spine;

you can read my past in old photo albums

and taste my lips at midnight

and listen to the stories that i whisper in the dark

but when the sun hits us in the morning,

neither of us will light up the room

in a cacophony of kaleidoscopic beauty;

we will be piles of bone and sinew and sighs,

with morning breath and books to finish and work to do.

we are not ghost people.

kiss me anyway,

and smile when i say hello.

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