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 Apr 2015 Haley
Portland Grace
For my mother,
who told me when I was 4 and didn't know better
that I was beautiful,
and when I believed her.

She told me,
"You know,
women pay hundreds of dollars
for that strawberry blonde color
that you already have."

And I looked in the mirror,
and I believed it.

When I was
12 years old,
and angry at my reflection,
for not being
thinner and fuller,
for my skin not being clearer
and my hair not being longer.
and my mother telling me
that I was beautiful,
but I didn't believe her.

When I was 16
and crying,
because my there would never be
a gap between my thighs,
or a perfect curl
in my hair.

And my mother wiped my mascara stains
off my face
and told me
I was beautiful.

And I told her she was lying.

My mother,
who is beautiful.
Who gave me honey hair
and almond eyes.
Who gave me a garden of freckles,
and the softest skin.
How could I look at my mother,
and say I was not beautiful.

For my mother,
my grandmother,
my sister,
my cousins ,
my brother,
and everyone else in my blood,
who ever felt like they weren't beautiful,
I will tell myself that I am.

I am 19,
and I am so far from home,
that when I look in these different mirrors,
and I feel lost and scared,
and I feel like I am not beautiful,
I look to my mother,
my gorgeous mother,
who will tell me
I am beautiful.

And I finally believe her.

I am learning to love myself,
to love the skin I am in,
it is my home,
and I will not destroy
what my mother built me.

I wake up
and I look in the mirror,
and my mother doesn't even have to tell me
I am beautiful.
And so are you.
 Apr 2015 Haley
Portland Grace
I am still learning to be sad,
without the weight of it,
sinking me like an anchor
(because it doesn't have to)

And I tell myself,
that I don't need anybody
to validate my feelings
and that I can tell myself I'm okay.

But tonight,
I am sad,
and tonight
I don't feel okay,
and I feel lonely,
and I feel unimportant,
and (worst of all) I even miss you a little bit.
And I feel all of these things starting to crush me,

And I tell myself that I am better now, and that I am okay.
And that it's okay to be sad.
 Mar 2015 Haley
Alexis Martin
the bad days aren't so bad anymore
and the good days are plentiful
I don't tremble at the thought of going outside alone
or ***** when I see my reflection in the mirror
the only scars being left on my body now are ones granted to me by a late night adventure or a tumble at the river
even my parents are educating themselves on what exactly is going on inside me
what exactly is going on inside me?
an unfortunate series of chemical reactions passed down from generation to generation like a family heirloom
thanks, mom
maybe if I was normal he would have loved me more
maybe if I was normal he would have stayed
but hey, at least the bad days aren't so bad anymore
 Jan 2015 Haley
Alexis Martin
there is no greater regret that I hold
than how terribly I treated the ones I loved
when I did not love myself

a thousand apologies can't make up for
the times I lost control of myself
and let the darkness take over, consume me

it happened with the first boy
it happened with the second boy
but it sure as hell won't happen to the next
 Jan 2015 Haley
Jeremy Duff
I dated a girl who emotionally abused me for months and when I finally split things off I cried everyday for a couple months.

I split things off with a girl who I loved with all my heart, I continue to believe I would cross oceans for her, yet I have not cried.

I'm an oxymoron, a lesson in irony.
I'm an upbeat jazz number, played in a minor chord.
I feel the world for those around me,
and only bitter disdain for myself.

I'm attractive, I've got a strong jaw line,
and a nose most guys would **** for.
I dress better than the guys I run with,
and my hair does exactly what I want it to.

I read French existentialist authors
and consider myself well versed in modern jazz.
I've got a steady job, and I've never been late once.

When I think about who I am,
and the jealousy I feel towards the happiness I am not providing you,
I get sick to my stomach.

All I've ever wanted is for you to be happy and you appear to be so and I'm upset because I'm a jealous ***** of a man who has the emotional capacity of a child longing for his mother's teet.

I don't know why I feel the way I do but I'm out of *** and I have to deal with how I'm feeling and that will be a first.
 Dec 2014 Haley
Jeremy Duff
I am not worthy of being hers, receiving her love, being held in her arms.

Is a believer worthy or his god's love?
Are you worthy of Jesus's love?

We as human beings have tried to capture what we believe in, what we're most passionate about, through art.

I will try to describe to you my beliefs.
I will try to describe to you my love.

Her ******* could be compared to the most delicious fruit, eaten on a summer day.

Her love is that of no other. It is as powerful as an endless rain, as gentle as a lilac.

Her voice rings true in my ear. There is beauty in truth and her words are a scripture to be worshipped.

Her touch is softer than a cloud in heaven,
yet firm.

Her strength is seldom flexed but when needed she could move a mountain will force of will.

She is love, she is the essence, she fuels desire and stars equally.

She is kindness, she is forgiveness, she is a blessing to me and every other living creature that encounters her.

I am an unworthy servant, I will wash her feet a thousand times.

She is the sun and the moon.
 Dec 2014 Haley
Jeremy Duff
People are uncomfortable with truth.
There is truth in silence
and people are uncomfortable with silence.

When asked how one is doing, the proper response is 'fine' or any indicator of greater ease.
One is expected to participate in class activities, team building exercises, and other meticulous, tedious motions of repetition.

One should shake hands, smile, participate in pagentry when only putrescence is felt.

One should not look at walls, there is no social status in looking at walls.
One should not have problems unless they are desirable. Anxiety, but too bad. Depression, but not too bad.
One should appear clean and well slept,
one should claim one received very little sleep, regardless of how much sleep one actually received.

If one is female, one should show skin but not too much skin.
If one is female, one should not resist ****** advances, yet one should not have multiple ****** partners.

If one is male, one should be in fit condition, one should not cry, and one should not show interest in a member of the opposite gender except for those of a ****** nature. One should not acknowledge the existence of more than two genders, ****** orientations, or trains of thought.

One should be socially and politically aware, but one should not raise their voice on these issues unless others of a high social status are.

One should be happy, but not too happy.
I am quite popular. I have lots of friends.
 Dec 2014 Haley
Jeremy Duff
All my life I've chased happiness through herbs and manufactured substances.

Occasionally the touch of a womanly body would spark life in my heart.

And six months ago to the day I asked you to be mine and you gladly accepted.

I got clean (I used by choice and not habit, I can honestly say) and I loved with all my heart but not all my mind.

I am not a body, I have one.
I do not have a soul, I am one.

And I'm thankful I continue to collide with you, no matter how seemingly hard I try to ***** it up. I swear, I've only ever tried to bring you happiness and you have no reason to believe me but I'm happy down to the very core of my being that you do. That you're trying to.
And that you return my love tenfold.
 Nov 2014 Haley
Jeremy Duff
 Nov 2014 Haley
Jeremy Duff
I am consistently amazed with my ability to hurt.
The ones I hurt are the ones I hold dearest.
The ones I hurt don't deserve it.

My hands are rough and scarred, they are flawed.
My hands can create and they can ****.
My hands have created and they have loved and they have taken what doesn't belong to them and hurt those who trust them most. And they are controlled by my mind.
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