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rayma Dec 2021
when do we forget?
it isn’t two years from the time
someone took your breath away and
made you feel like something truly special,
only to vanish like smoke
and come creeping back
just when you thought it was gone.

it isn’t three years from the time
you woke up and realized that none of your real friends
seemed to have a problem with the man you were dating;
too old, too childish, too great a mistake
to ever forget.
quiet nights waiting for him to come home
from the bar after lessons because you aren’t
yet old enough to go with.
perhaps you were old enough to know better,
but no one ever told you it was time
to learn what a relationship really looks like.

it isn’t four years from the time
you felt like you were following a script,
doing what you thought was right or
expected of you, because you never knew
any better.
he was the first to ask,
and it’s okay that you were confused,
but that doesn’t mean you get to forget.

it isn’t five years from the time
before you understood the things
no one had ever explained to you,
that flirting doesn’t always mean infatuation,
that age does, in fact, mean something.
your first kiss had you feeling like you were
floating off the ground,
and you turned it into poetry
so you would never forget.

it isn’t six years from the time
you felt like someone wanted you
for the first time ever,
looked at you, liked you, appreciated you.
no one had explained that some men
do what they do to any woman who happens by,
that you aren’t special, just in the wrong place
at the right time
to be somebody else’s prey.

we never get to forget these things.
even when it feels like it’s gone,
when you finally get to breathe again,
to feel the touch of the man you love without
wanting to freeze up or suddenly
cross the room.
but eventually, it comes back.
in a name, in a place,
in a person who looks a little too much
like the ones who did this.
they always make sure we’ll never forget.
one from - you'll never guess - early this year
rayma Dec 2021
Start with the dirt.
And the blood.
And the stuff that’s caked beneath your fingernails.

Scrub, and rinse,
and scrub again,
because that’s all that’s coming off.

You’ll never be able to wash away those
fingerprints etched into your skin,
an ectoplasmic stain that no one else can see.

Let the bathroom fill with steam,
let your skin grow red beneath the scalding water,
let it show you the other things you can still feel.

Because five years from now,
maybe you catch a glimpse in the mirror,
that person you used to be looking back at you.

You can scrub, and rise,
and scrub again,
but you’ll never wash away
the things you wish you’d never felt.
Another one from early last year. I literally did an entire poetry class and never posted anything from it.
rayma Dec 2021
There’s an IHOP off I-40
that makes me smile when I see it.
It reminds me of a run-down diner: “International **,”
red lights half burnt out,
a rainy night in Waukegan when you got the Mike’s
and I started drinking in the passenger’s seat
on the car ride back.

It’s my favorite story, the one I always tell.
Ridiculous, stupid, all the mistakes that I still pay for
when we broke our own rules.

The night passed in a haze of cranberry and lemon,
the Mike’s Harder spilling out onto pavement because
we both thought it was truly disgusting.
And you bought me snacks from the vending machine
in the lobby of your dorm.
I sat on the floor beside it,
giggling because you bought me something just ‘cause
I gasped when I saw it.
You tried to jam a Rice Krispy Treat into my mouth to make me eat something,
but I couldn’t stop laughing.

It’s euphoric, letting go of your troubles with your
best friend at your side.
It was one of the last big moments of You and I.

That’s not the part of the story I usually tell, though.
The real peak was the next morning
when I discovered I had blacked out –
the first and only time –
and my roommate woke to see me
vomiting gracelessly into the trashcan.
My breakfast was mostly blue Gatorade.

The tragic twist in this story wasn’t the
endless nausea, the stale taste in my mouth,
but my haircut appointment in the afternoon.
I could’ve walked to the train, but
you gave me a ride down the mercilessly
winding roads of Highland Park.
You told me I didn’t look so good, and I smile
when I remember how nervous you sounded
thinking I was going to ***** in your car.
I didn’t even make it out of my seat;
I was bent, elbow over knee,
depositing that blue Gatorade onto the pavement
of an apartment complex
while a military family and their dog passed by.

That’s my favorite story.
The one where we were just us, partners in crime,
making mistakes that brought enough laughter
to last us a lifetime.

There are many more, but that’s the last one I have,
the one before our friendship was eroded
by an unidentified toxin that stripped our bonds away.

I laugh, and I smile,
because they’re my memories too.
I just wish they were more than
memories of you.
Something I forgot to post from early this year. For all the **** we've been through, the pieces we'll never pick up, we sure do have some stories.
rayma Dec 2021
back again
in those familiar recesses,
the dark parts of my thoughts
that used to be locked away.

i miss the feeling of my safety blanket,
its weight in my hand,
small enough to fit in my palm.
in a glint of silver,
it reminded me that i have control;
to always look but never touch.

the tight grip was satisfaction enough,
just a hint of what could be,
the flirtation of blood beneath skin begging to be let loose.

but it's different now.
there are no piano benches to be broken,
no dark pools beckoning me to their depths,
no promise of escape.

i know that it will never be done.
the blood will never spill,
the skin will never break over bruised and swollen knuckles.
i will keep existing between the days –
but never truly living

– and just how many times can i think i want to die
an accompaniment to crescendo - i wrote this one first, wasn't satisfied enough, and then wrote crescendo. only depression in this house xoxo
rayma Dec 2021
we've been here before, you and i.
it was raining outside.
i cried for a while and had cake for dinner.
it was the night i didn't drown.

the moments fall together in flipbook photos:
swollen knuckles,
pills in hand,
never enough blood.

i would hold a pocket knife just tight enough.
i would study it,
imagine the sharp kiss of metal against my skin.
and then i would put it away and cry myself to sleep.

we became wonderful dance partners, you and i.
we could rise and fall with the music;
i would lift myself up and wait for you to tear me back down.
i learned to adapt.
swell to crescendo, fancy yourself untouchable,
then fall

the steps became familiar.
i knew them by heart,
falling into step like it had become tradition.
find the space to release it all,
and watch as it slowly builds back up.

but they changed the rhythm on us.
for all the adapting we can do – you and i –
can we truly adapt to this?
it makes you wonder how far there is to fall,
and if we ever really fell before now.

perhaps some day we'll rise.
maybe this is just a hiccup, a misstep;
you lowered me into a dip and i am patiently waiting for the fall to end.

i can't wait to never hear this song again.
when your regular depression meets pandemic depression, something in the song changes
rayma Nov 2020
when we first came to this land,
blood was shed for our entitlement.
when we first came to this land,
we took the things that were never ours
and trampled its native growth.
when we first came to this land,
we instilled in it a sickness that may never be cured;
we tarnished sacred lands with greed we call virtue,
and when we did so, we stood on the throat of humanity.

there are some people who are doomed to repeat history.
there are some people who will trample native growth,
spread sickness,
and stand on the throats of our people.
with the heavy weight of six centuries upon our shoulders
we stand,
a hobbled nation no longer able to stride,
heads held high,
through this sea of blood without meeting challenge.

with six centuries passed, we commit genocide anew.
it is not the native growth that suffers,
but the very peddlers of greed who are infected
by the sickness of consequence.
but they alone will not suffer.
as we march through this new iteration of history
wearing death masks instead of cloth,
thousands of innocents lose their lives
in a battle of which they were never a part.

the single day that we dedicate to gratitude,
the one day of the year some remember
to give thanks in between passing heavy dishes,
is not a commemoration of discovery.
it is a commemoration of consequence and greed.
and six centuries later,
it is our own people who we will massacre with the cry of freedom.
This year, I'm celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day by staying home and staying masked. America's history is a ****** one, but there's no reason why we can't stop history in its tracks. With Covid-19 cases continuing to rise and falling further from our control, please rethink your plans if you're gathering with people outside your home this Thanksgiving. Anyone can get the virus, and your need to gather with family while others remain stuck in isolation could **** your parents, your grandparents, your nieces/nephews, and even you. Holidays happen every year, there's no reason why you can't miss just this one. Please stay safe and celebrate responsibly. Wishing everyone out there lots of love and healing, and a quick recovery to those infected/effected by the pandemic ❤
rayma Sep 2020
Recipe for Disaster:
         1 cup blame, directed away from yourself
         2 tsp of emotional manipulation
         1/4 cup of freshly squeezed fake apologies
         1/8 tsp of spite
         3 cups of self-hatred, projected onto somebody else
         1/2 cup of anxiety, rooted in insecurity
         A pinch of miscommunication
         1 tbsp of false hope
         A healthy dash of passive aggression to taste
         A splash of whiskey
         -- halve the empathy

         1. Combine ingredients and simmer until completely evaporated.
         2. Apologize and start again.
         3. Repeat steps one and two.
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