I've been called a shapeshifter.
I am the love of your life
The girl of your dreams—
I am the endgame you've hoped for,
Until I'm gone.
And you're confused
Because I stopped caring
But you're still hoping.
I know you picked up your phone
Hundreds of times looking for my name.
I know you picked it up
Dialed my number over and over
But never hit send.
You should've finished dialing.
You should've called.
I could've explained,
Told you I had to leave.
You should have called.
I still look at my phone
Waiting for your name
I still dial the number
Only to delete it again.
Maybe next time I'll shapeshift
And that version of me will stay.

The invisible girl painting myself
brighter shades that you might like
hoping you'll stop looking through me.

Coloring vibrancy across my skin
shades of lipstick you said you liked
I started wearing lipstick
I hated lipstick and always have

I smeared it off of my lips
wiping clean the slate I had left
just a color palette

all of the shades of people
Blended across my glass face
People I couldn't convince
to stop looking through me.

Shelby Jencyn Oct 29

I would relive the end everyday
If I could relive the day I met you—
Just once.

Feel the finality crash around in my chest,
Leaving nothing unbroken
To meet you one more time.

I would learn how to walk again,
How to speak without a shaking voice
Breathe fire in my lungs.

Swallow my pride like shards of glass
And cough out a bloody forever,
To see you open the door for the first time.

Scream on the floor to relieve the pressure
Scream so my ribs would have room
If brown eyes could still be my favorite.

Anything to see you smile at me,
If only for a day—
I'd relive the end of me to find you again.

Shelby Jencyn Oct 24

I've built a guard like steel towers,
Watched people attempt to scale them
Fathomless heights they'd never reach.

Crafting my words with carelessness
Leading them to dead ends; cold steel.
One person stood in front

A single word from their mouth: stay.
It echoed along the heights of my guard—
Echoing like a scream in my sanctuary.

Pushing open the doors rusted shut,
They groaned with faded memories.
Desperately trying to remind me.

Screeching against their wear from time.
Some sort of wistfulness opened them,
A shaking hope that faltered.

Ambition turned to ambush,
Steel as unforgiving as the truth.
I stood as long as my legs would allow.

Hitting my knees with the realization
I had opened the doors to the wrong one.
I slipped back inside the doors bloody;

The tired groan as I pulled the doors shut.
Slid to the ground with my back to the wall
The emptiness echoes my mistake.

One word haunts me in my solitude.
My back to the doors,
I can hear it in my mind.


I want to apologize for the things I can't change.
I want to embellish the things I wish I could.
How do I stop your hands from bleeding
When touching me is what caused it.
Some pieces are weathered beach glass
Smooth to the touch, soft on your skin.
Other pieces are as jagged as the day they broke
Sharper than my tongue when you get too close.
If my hands could heal, they'd still hurt.

A caress like a slap.
A kiss like a split lip.

Hold me tight like an Iron Maiden inside out,
The harder you try the more you bleed.
I'm sorry for the things I can't change.
I apologize for the things I stopped trying to change.
This is no puzzle you can coerce into a picture,
This is a mosaic of every failure and fault.
My fault lines like dried river beds,
Something is always missing,
I never look back at you the same way twice.
I want to apologize for being ever-changing.

Shelby Jencyn Sep 19

In the end I only have a few excerpts—
beer soaked wisdom,
harsh, morning-light realities:

I don't love effortlessly.
I don't reach for anything out of my grasp.
My hands are always searching
trying to touch soil beneath sidewalks.
Aspirations of affection like dandelions—
vibrancy in a concrete wasteland.
My knuckles will bleed,
my palms will bear callouses of futility.

You were the first effortless thing.
If I had a moment I could relive,
I couldn't.
I strive to recall a moment untainted.

Fall victim to my words.
Feel concrete turn to sand;
lay in the remains with me.

Shelby Jencyn Aug 11

I have laugh lines.
Small fine lines
beginning to form.
Cornering my lips.

Not displeased;
not aggravated
at the simple sign of age.
I was startled.

On a face that did not think
it would grow to see age,
how nice it is to age
with the traces of happiness.

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