I was never a sinking ship, just the remains
of an ocean liner, settling on the sea’s lips.
At least, that’s what I think.
I am not a tragedy, no,
but so many of my pages are empty and, my god, I need
you to know that if I am a book,
I am half-complete (not half-unfinished––I'm learning, you see?),
but it’s the back half,
and a few scattered paragraphs before that.
Now and then I write in my own history,
just for others to read and believe
there’s something more to me
than a leather bound cover over cheap poetry.
That’s all I am, really.
I’m just trying to keep my head above the water.
I keep my secrets close, and my happiness bottled
––for the nights when I need something stronger
than spirits that burn on the way down,
something that can keep these ghosts
from crawling back out my mouth
to tumble from my lips at last.
Listen, I'm really not hard to figure out.
It’s broken glass,
it’s the smash of a car crash,
it’s the smell of smoke and ash,
it’s a statue of a girl learning to laugh,
and to know, and how to venture
into you. I count the number of times I've been sure,
on my knuckles instead of my fingertips,
because it wasn't the touch, it was the fist
that first said: I am better than this
(fires will die but they fight harder than all else).
Besides, my fingers are not for counting out.
I think they're for you,
to weave yours through,
and to feel on your skin
when I spell out I love you,
because my fingers do not flinch
as easily as my mouth does cringe
and strangle truths in anger.
If you feel I am pulling into myself,
remember I'm likely collapsing inwards,
and know this:
broken homes beget broken bones,
but more often they spit
broken boys and girls from their lips.
My body is new,
no longer mould and mildew,
but steel, mortar, and brick,
I am almost always cold.
My wrists look too thin for the weight of my world.
I carry on, but I am not strong.
**** knows how long those days have been gone.
To the person who will somehow fall for me:
I am not a tragedy,
but a mess of a story.
I write dumb rhymes to feel like I'm growing.
I speak as a cynic, but at heart I'm all dreams.
Sometimes I take a minute to listen and, slowly,
I think I'm becoming someone worth being.
I seem bare as a clinic and empty as glossy magazines,
but it's all a set and some props, one day I'll end scene.
I'm not ready yet, but on One Day, I'll be.
I swear, I'm almost there.
My world is readying,
like winter prepared
to yield to spring.