standing upon discarded bodies as the world casts a shadow on the tasteless display.
watching herself like strangers do in tall buildings through windows,
the lamplight being the only echo of familiarity; a sense of safety,
leaving the cold grey of the night to be her dearest company.
the peoples faces, frozen beneath the hem of her dress, read a quiet howl that makes the silent night turn away.
voices in her head replay the same dull, lifeless film:
"you can't keep pushing us away"
"we can work this out"
"it will be okay"
she locks herself behind puffs of smoke,
and somewhere in the clouds it's always raining a slow and endless drizzle.
and she keeps burying,
burying it all away,
till the morning sun sheds light on what she refused to believe; that it was all her fault.
you don't see colour anymore,
maybe you're looking at it all in the wrong light.
you say optimism is a shapeshifter that makes you think a blade is a rose stem.
red, like the petals you use to place in my hair that now look dead.
I use to write sonnets about your cupids bow and eyelashes, but the child who never felt loved doesn't believe in details, doesn't believe in the fine lines.
so when you ask him to tell you why he never cries when he has every right to, he tells you it's because he can't feel.
and you wonder, if he means he can't cry anymore, or ever.
but he just can't bring himself to let emotion fill the vacant waiting room of his lungs.
he has dirt on his knees & a cut across his lip.
now I write about mending beautiful things that I know can't be fixed.
he can't help but smile, a habit he declares a flaw.
he's the only person I've ever known without laughter lines, who puts his dimples to waste.
he still looks for a home, though he thinks he can find it in himself he's forgotten he's not the only one who never felt comfortable in their skin, born and abandoned.
but maybe that's the difference between us,
orphan by chance, I scraped the walls looking for picture frames filled with memories that never existed.
orphan by choice, you crumpled all the images of me & through them I to a pile labeled "I'll get to it one day"
I want to know that love can be a fairytale, that I can roll out of this tomb I named my body, to turn a page and know that there's another chapter.
I want to know he cherishes these moments by pinning them to his wall, but will he ever look up?
is he afraid there are no longer walls to keep his home together?
or does he live in a glass house?
transparency makes the perspective set in,
but the rain is coming down outside blanketing his home.
he can't see.
he can't see me.
waiting on the front porch.
the real storm is inside, darling.
you can't escape the hurricane in your mind.
it tells you you're unloved.
oh, how the world can be so unkind.
I heard them saying:
"she goes places sometimes".
I knew they meant I leave sticky notes on their mirrors saying "I'll be back, but don't wait up".
I knew that they meant that I sometimes take the long way home for the view, even if the view is the industrial sight where my ambition died.
I knew they meant that, there are voices in my head that are screaming at me dark thoughts, so loud that sometimes they can hear them too.
I knew that they meant I don't wear yellow anymore because I'm afraid I'll go blind; that my eyes have adjusted to the lack of light that surrounds me.
I knew they meant no harm.
I knew they didn't want me to hear them.
I knew they meant that I practice holding my breath for countless minutes just incase they catch me playing dead in the bathtub again.
I knew they meant that I read the endings of books before starting them so I won't be disappointed. I knew they meant that I'm tired of being disappointed.
I knew they meant that I am weaker than usual; that I don't wear as many sharp edges or that I don't smell like kerosene after it's been set on fire.
that I don't ignite at the sound of pistols, I just welcome bullets.
that I don't walk on the perimeter of the ocean, I just drink the water till the salinity makes me see the world in different colours.
that I'm not afraid of heights, I'm just afraid of falling.
that I wear a kind of loneliness that doesn't wash off.
I knew they were trying their best to be gentle,
but I was trying my best to be tough.
but when you light the world on fire time after time, you get tired of rebuilding walls.
you get tired of looking your best; of drawing attention; of wearing yellow.
you get tired of holding your breath, and you let in the voices.
and you take the long way home, and you don't feel bad that you didn't leave a note.
there are so many beautiful things in the world. I sometimes wonder if maybe it matters. like when I see the rain collecting into puddles on the sidewalk and children splashing around in them, or the sun when it shines through my window on a Sunday to wake me up. or the stars when you're deep in the country, miles away from the neon signs & pavement. or the sound of leaves cracking when you step on them in the fall. the way people's faces look when they're laughing, it's always different. the little crinkles & laugh lines. beautiful. they're all beautiful things. so spectacular that they hurt me, like you do. I can't love you, because just as the sun comes out, the rain disappears, no more puddles, and i also watch it set outside the same window. and the stars go away, or I'm reminded that the light we are seeing from them is so old, that those very stars are gone & you start to question what is real. the leaves & the people. what are they worth? we love to hear them both break. and I know you can't help but find satisfaction in the sound of my heart breaking as you step on it.
never again will I look into your eyes like they are the ocean.
you're not the fucking ocean.
you were never mysterious and charming
seashells pressed against my ear only muffled the words you said, what sounded like the soothing whisper of the ocean waves, were really the tides crashing violently onto the shore.
I lay now on this beach, I wait for a storm to follow me to my spot here on the sand, but I am left dry.
I see the water steady, and you are so far gone past the horizon, that when the sun sets, your silhouette is all that appears.
perspective sets in,
and I remember how you were a poisonous creature captivating me with every lethal injection the power of your words compelled.
I remember I'm alone.
I know that it's okay.
because you are not the ocean,
you are only one of its inhabitants,
and there are so many more creatures worth diving in for,
there are so many reasons to swim deeper.
chalk outlines where I lay in the center of yet another linoleum tiled floor
brown eyes never looked so wild
& I was always told never to care for a wild thing
but you are captivating
you take masochistic pleasure in watching me swim in this ocean of doubt you made for me
confusion sweeps me up in her arms and carries me up into the clouds, my vision blurs more so now, the fog creeps in on this island.
canopy beds snap at the sound of exotic birds buzzing in the background;
background, can't you just act like the island is deserted?
can't you just imagine their voices are further away?
we walked on soft seaweed but stepped on sea urchins along the way, and you couldn't heal both of us.
you can't always heal both of us.
sometimes the tide comes up to the palm trees and sometimes it only goes so far that we have to walk to it, meet in the middle
but all that matters is that there is still an ocean right?
would you even care if there wasn't?
would you still be doubting my every word, as if it was nothing more than the sound of sea breeze?
navigating the linoleum tile barefoot and gripping the floor to feel the sand in my toes; the sand you told me would be here.
the fluorescent lights didn't warm me like the sun that tanned your skin but rather emphasized the lack of life I radiate.
I feel the ocean waves of paperwork flood my spot here on the beach where I sit next to you. I watch you tackle and surf each wave with breeze while I drown in the tides.
my fear overcompensates me and I stay on the edge of the beach while you swim in a deep blue abyss light years away from me.
the sharks ride under your board but you dodge their bite, the bite that keeps me from stepping out into the ocean.
and from miles away, I see the sun set over the ocean you've made your home, and from my place on the shore, I can see the waves calm down for this moment. this moment where I no longer long to be a fish in your oceanic tank, but rather the salty sea breeze that lingers in the air even after the waves have fallen.