You fell down the stairs and slid slowly into that yellow-smelling pit,
Its murky clouds slowly caressed your shivering skin,
Making you so cold that you thought you were warm, too hot
Until you tried to strip all your clothes off to stop the sweating.
You said it reminded you of the sea,
How it was always there, rocking you to sleep even when you thought your fiery thoughts would never let you rest.
And even though those clouds always followed you, at least they kept you from getting sunburned,
and they would talk to you when you couldn’t even talk to yourself.
When your veins screamed and mocked you, you wanted to pluck at them like violin strings,
But they were off-key so you just pulled, pulled, pulled them out.
It was easy, you said.
So I started closing my eyes every time I walked down the stairs.
I knew I shouldn’t listen. But your eyes convinced me, all devil-like and crinkly around the edges. You painted me up and muddled my lines so I couldn’t tell where you began. You played your little game so well, and you won- you made me believe. You pulled every rug I had straight out from under me, so of course I let you catch me. The fall was easy, simple as falling asleep. I didn’t question you, didn’t know how to put my fists up and swing. You pulled out my veins and snapped them like violin strings and marveled at the discord, how it was a symphony to your ears. I believed you. You said you wanted to destroy something beautiful- I was not beautiful but I let you do it anyway. You drank me up and smacked your lips and I let you come back for seconds. You made a feast of me and all there’s left are the heart strings- desperately trying to hold me together, with nothing to hold on to. You didn’t like how your voice echoed off of me, so you found your next exhibit space. You said you wanted to destroy something beautiful, but you destroyed me.
his feet were already numb. he should have listened. they said that running wouldn't get him anywhere; it wouldn't change anything or him. even though his body was number, his mind would never cease to destroy and rebuild itself all over again. he fancied himself a phoenix, but he ignored the burns that were becoming more and more prominent. he ignored the pulling desire to remain ashes, to warm himself in the embers and never again have the burden of a body. he is running, but he is only going from ashes to ashes. its starting to become a lonelier journey, the more his body disappears. they said his bones would crumble and his skin would peel, but that would not change a goddamn thing. he'd still be that sorry old pile of ashes, balanced on the border of flames and smoke. everyone told him to set himself on fire. he should have listened.
when people look at her, they see a girl who’s eyes are wild in her head, who never slows down enough to let the fears catch up. she has bruised knees, she kisses too hard and laughs at her own sadness. she has always just woken up from a nap, talks in riddles and thinks in haikus. she tricks everyone into liking her, but she isn’t capable of liking anyone. she definitely does not like herself. she is broken guitar strings, eggshells and forgotten secrets. but the first time you looked at her with your full moon eyes and too many eyelashes, you saw a girl who just wants to fit into someone like a puzzle piece, she wants to be lost in someone else’s bedsheets. she wants to count the freckles on your shoulder and kiss each one. she wants to sing you to sleep because she never wanted to sing until you looked at her. she wants you to trace the bruises on her heart and then give her new ones, because she is tired of being alone.
if i fell in love, would you be mad? on a scale of apathy to indifference, i think i can guess how much you didn’t care. when all i wanted was slow smiles and endless cups of tea, you wanted the wind in your hair and drunken mistakes. and i get that, but you didn’t have to treat me like a landfill, like i was a dumping group for your insecurities and wasted time. i’m holding on to you like repressed anger, even though i think i forget how to be angry at you. you’re the years i enjoyed wasting but now i realize there were so many things i could have accomplished. and it’s my own fault for letting your twisted way of loving make me forget how to love myself.
i’m always trying to dig pens into my veins, hoping soon my pulse will be words rather than sighs. i say i can’t be around you but the truth is i hate your guts, and i wish you were more sorry. but i can’t keep wishing on fallen eyelashes, because all i’ll end up with is dust in my eyes. there are some people i’d walk to the edges of the earth for, but i never know if i’m supposed to turn around and walk right back. most things can be traced back into an algorithm, but i don’t know the value of pretend i love you’s.
these are my shaking hands, this is my apology to myself. this is me waving my white flag. i am drawing your name in bruises, ginger tea, on the back of dollar bills. i am starting to understand that i am not worth it, nobody is. this is me carving YES onto my skin-i've always been a fan of irony. let me put my shrunken lungs into your hands, because apparently now i only breathe for you. this is me seeing your face in the moon, in the sigh of morning wind, in my unmade made. this is me disappearing; there is only you, you, you.
last night i dreamt i didn't love you, that the butterflies never fluttered from my eyelids to your cheeks, that fear never crept up on me when i was life was too blissful. i dreamt that i could see beauty in the way the light hits stained glass, how roses grow thorns and books that smell like their stories. now i only see it in the way your fingers flutter when you're nervous, how the only thing you know how to calculate is risk, your crooked teeth. my face is a window and i think you were the only one who took the time to push back the vines, open the curtains. the rooms inside swallowed you whole and i was left writing songs about people who don't exist, waiting for the light to shine through my stained glass.
forever paralyzed by words because they are the sharpest knife, a threadbare dress, the reason why you can't fall asleep at night. they're on the tip of my tongue like a loaded gun. oh if only i had the courage, oh please don't let it get me this time. they're always reminding you of what you have; lucky lucky lucky, blessed. well you shine so much that it hurts my eyes and i'm tired of polishing with lies. if my thoughts are so wrong then why do they always push through the cracks, like reality through beauty. my body is a little off rhythm i'm waiting for a metronome to put me back together, but the symphony is playing backwards and conductor doesn't believe in music.
i think this is happening because it's so dark out, and the only time you can really see yourself is when the lights are off. tonight i am a piano stumbling down the stairs, i am chapped lips pooling with summer sweat, that one thing you were always afraid to say, the fear of waking up from a nightmare and having it be reality. i am dante, circling the inferno but i'll never learn. i am that humbling ache when you realize that you're done being proud of yourself, because there's always bigger mountains and more notches to put in your bedpost. i try to count scars like the rings of a tree and i realize that souls have no age. i always wonder if it's still considered loneliness if you choose it, if it counts as being alone if you're afraid of other people. i still want to know if ignorance is bliss, or if bliss is telling yourself you're right, even though you know deep, deep down, it's not true.
i think if you cut me open i’d bleed letters, my heart beats similes and my breathing is a hyperbole. my elbows don’t quite fit anywhere, and i don’t know why that is important, but it is. i wear my heart on my sleeve almost too literally, but i always end up wearing the same outfit. that pitter-patter you keep hearing is probably just my mind running to the christmas morning that is the way your hand holds a coffee mug and how you squint your eyes when you’re really listening. if you snapped the strings of a violin, one by one, that is how i feel right now. i don’t know how not to be confused, and i also don’t know how to be comfortable. when everything should be at rest i’d rather run, and i’d prefer to snuggle up into chaos and uncertainty.
do you remember that time i had a stomachache and you stayed up all night with me, drawing pictures on a pizza box? or the time tried we to skip rocks and mine would always just sink, sink, sink to the bottom and oh, how retrospectively that irony is killing me. i’d count my summer freckles and we’d try to count your always freckles but it was endless just like the dysphoria catching myself right before i fall. always, me. i’m sorry that i always use the wrong words, and i am sorry that i can’t always pull myself up by my bootstraps. and i’m even sorrier that i can only stutter paradoxes at the most cardinal of moments. instead of lub-dubbing my heart is singing that bittersweet symphony out of tune and it seems a little silly that it all happens like this. and it seems even sillier that i rub these things onto my skin like you’d rub the engraving of a tombstone, to remember that they disappeared but they’ll always haunt you.
give me your darkness and i’ll origami it into a thousand paper cranes. come to me on your blue days and i’ll paint you periwinkle, cerulean, indigo and sapphire. when those words just won’t come off your skin i’ll give you soap and won’t watch. i can’t teach you how to be honest but i can teach you how to become sunday mornings and undercooked brownies, butterfly kisses, unmet expectations and summer thunderstorms. i’ll forget how to be gracious and soon i’ll forget how to be kind, because everyone is just a reincarnation of what we hate about ourselves or what we wish we could be. if i wanted this to be easy, i would have given in already. but now i’m putting up a fight and i’m not sure why, but i have my fists in front of my face and i’m going to meet my demons outside by the dumpster and give those fucking cowards what they deserve.