the fear of being alone

the blinds made the moonlight fall across

the bed in cold silver bars

and you looked like you were in jail,

lying there.

it wasn’t beautiful at all.

 

on those days when my lungs ache

and i hear the ocean in my ears

and feel the ocean in my eyes

i wish for someone

but i’ve never wished for you.

 

because of course nothing’s ever effortless

but apathy drains me more than anger

and the spark that we never had has disappeared from

my imagination

 

so we’ll keep kissing

and our teeth will clash,

and our hands won’t know where to go

and the right moment will drip down my thighs,

but you’ll miss it just the same

 

and there will come a day when my lungs ache

and i hear the ocean in my ears

and taste it on my lips

and i’ll wish for someone

but he won’t be there

and neither will you.

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a mistaken man

he used to tell her
that she was the sea trapped in a seashell –
pretty on the outside but powerful
and mysterious
and ineffable underneath.

he used to tell her that the ridges
on her spine
made moonlight shadows down her back
and the freckles across her collarbone told better stories
than any of his torn up beaten down books ever could.

he used to tell her that
she smiled like poetry and smelled like
a rainy october evening
that if he had the right hands he could
play her ribcage like a xylophone
that her swollen chewed up stained red lips
were the quintessence of lust.

he used to tell her
that her eyes were the color of mint and starlight
and that, sometimes, her hair
smelled like the garden
he used to hide in
when his daddy came home smelling like whiskey and sweat.

maybe he ran out of words,
or maybe he’s just trying to think of the right ones
or maybe he never meant it at all

but he doesn’t talk so much anymore.

your own personal weeping angel

have you ever been in a

moment that already feels like a memory?

when everything is shimmering and easy,

suspended in time,

floating and hesitating and swollen with breath

 

and then you blink,

and it’s over

a memory after all.

 

i think every moment was

like that with you –

a series of memories that

i watched happen,

somehow trapped on the outside

perpetually present but never really there

 

and god how i tried

i tried to hold on to the moments

to hold my breath and

to never blink

i clung on to you and left marks with

my fingernails,

marks that fade every time i remember them

 

but you were always an other

an i love you and a wink and a smile

and the perfection blinded me,

i think,

because now i don’t want those memories.

i don’t want perfection and aching lungs and dry, pinpricky eyes

 

i want tears and yelling

and laughing until you might maybe be sobbing

and hours of nothing but silence and

the crinkle of paper

 

i want fingernail scratches on shoulder blades,

scratches that fade in the skin but burn in the memory and

i want pools of milky moonlight

settling in collarbones

 

i want eyes that can talk to me

from across the room

and lips that twist when they’re annoyed and

twitch when they’re witty and

tremble when they’re sad

 

i want a heart that knock

knock

knocks on its ribcage

and breath that mingles with mine.

 

i want mornings that are tired and cranky

with kisses all the same

and i want fingers twisted with mine and

moments that i get to be a part of

 

but mostly i just want nights.

those long, quiet, velvety nights

i want to be able to shut my eyes tight

and still hear that bird heart

knocking out a beatbeatbeat when

i wake up

 

because with you, i blinked

and it was over

a memory after all

 

and maybe you were perfect

but honey,

i can’t keep my eyes open forever.

supernova beauty and a green-tea sea

it’s like you put all my words in parentheses

(said in a whisper,

taken out of the conversation;

irrelevant)

 

and you say you love me. i know

that sometimes words are true,

but true in a different way than you first

may have thought

because our voices don’t come out

in black or white or shades of gray

but in bursts of red

intangible emotions and thoughts that can mean

everything

and nothing

 

and i do believe you love me.

 

you love me like a tornado loves the ground

like raspberries love white clothes, like

rain loves joining in on people’s plans

you love me like nighttime loves fears and

death loves the weak and the green-tea sea loves

smashing its waves into the sand over

and over

and over

forever

 

and maybe we’re beautiful

[in the way a dying star is beautiful]

but you’re vicious and you tear me apart and

i become nothing

 

and i’m sick of you turning me into air

and then calling me a hurricane.

the discovery

this endless morning made my

eyes ache and i found that

lying in bed doesn’t really solve

much at all.

 

and endless words tore up my mind

[the worst kind of words, too – ugly

wrapped up in beauty

the kind that used to find their way out of

your twisted lips]

and by the time i forced them

away, my brain was in shreds

 

and an endless thumping exploded

behind my eyes

and through my veins

rattling my bones, and

chattering my teeth

and i couldn’t make it stop

no matter how much

muddy tea i drank from clinking china.

 

but today i finally looked out

the window, and

the sun was beautiful and

the wind was gusting like it had

somewhere better to be

and the clouds were drifting slowly by

like in a miyazaki movie i saw once.

so maybe i’ll go outside, because

 

this endless morning made my

eyes ache

and, darling, i found that lying in bed

doesn’t really solve much at all.

the ocean doesn’t comfort me like it should

the water looked like angry

hands, clawing at the sand

leaving marks

like fingernails

 

and the wind screamed

softly

like an angry voice i couldn’t hear

and the seagulls didn’t dare

dive

 

and my lungs, i think,

froze a little bit

because the stormy sea and

your eyes

 

the screaming wind and your voice

 

the desperate waves

and your fingers

 

i went to the ocean the day you left

and all i could see was you.

tea colored eyes and worried hands

you took my soul with you when you left, but you forgot to tell me what i should do without it.

but that’s okay, my dearest, i can forgive you for that. you were always so forgetful with your tea colored eyes and your worried hands, and you took off in such a hurry that no one could blame you for neglecting such a small little detail.

you were beautiful. did you know that? you had a crooked smile and you were too skinny and your feet were too big, but you owned your imperfections with such confidence, such assuredness, that people would look twice and wonder if they were really imperfections after all. you made yourself perfect through sheer will.

sometimes at night i start to ache without you. all you left behind when you went were some pictures and a sweater and your smell. your smile looks fake in the pictures. i’m wearing your sweater. your smell makes me cry.

you know, when i close my eyes i see all those freckles on your hands. they stuck inexplicably in my mind, a piece of you i never knew i cared about. i wish i could trace patterns in them again, my darling. i wish i could.

you took my soul with you when you left, but that’s okay.

i wasn’t magnificent enough for you anyway.