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I want to pack a bag, step outside, and walk
I don’t know where—I don’t have a destination,
Never have
I just want to walk and escape life for a little while
But I can’t do that
I have bills and jobs and people and animals depending on me
I was supposed to know who I was by this point
Instead my soul endlessly wanders without my body’s company
Reaching conclusions with flawed logic
And I know healing is not linear,
But all I’ve ever done is walk forward
and I’m still unsure of where I am and where to go from here
I have loved my name and I have hated it
Hidden it; buried it; burned it
Threw it back to my parents—I did not want it
I let it fly from my lips only as a toxic poison.
Do not call me it.
A nickname then name change and I renounced what identified me my entire life
Sick of the jokes how I was so ungraceful for someone who carried that title
Sick of the smiles from strangers telling me they always wanted a daughter with my name
Sick of the expectations a name like Grace held
As I renounced my faith
Renounced my upbringing
I renounced the name that kept me tied to a life I never wanted

But I have loved my name
In its fullest, truest meaning of the term
Love to the unlovely; peace to the restless;
Love that cares and stoops and rescues
A name with such a force to live up to
I realize even when running from and hating myself,
I loved so deeply for others that I began to learn to love myself again
And maybe expectations are frightening and thrilling all the same

--I’m trying to live up to my name
I didn’t call out of work today
I didn’t answer the voicemails from concerned coworkers asking if I was alright
I didn’t go into work late with a half-assed excuse of traffic or a mixed up schedule
Instead I went home and slept
Deleting any texts or history of calls as some illusion to myself that they never happened

I laid in my bed confused
This unfeeling-ness not new or unfamiliar just unwelcome and abrupt
Like housing an old friend I once knew too well
I’m unprepared for the visit though
Unsure of how to handle a guest without plans or food in the house to entertain with
It’s been a while since I’ve had to deal with her

     --I moved to the mountains and got stuck in a valley
Nov 8 · 34
Grace Ann Nov 8
Small but there--
I can acknowledge it in the least;
A dim glowing of a promise
That something is yet to come
And I feel like Gatsby staring at that green light across the lake
So certain his love is there,
But I know that my light is attainable
If only I should chose to be brave

--Im holding out hope that fear will not stop me from loving again.
Grace Ann Nov 8
I keep passing mirrors searching
Store windows hoping
for just a glimpse of who I am
Grace Ann Oct 12
I want someone to treat me the way I treat my poetry
With care--delibrately chosen words
I want someone to feel that rush of nostalgia and pride when they look at me,
The same way I feel when I read past font
I want someone to wonder what else I could mean to them, as if I am more than a passing fancy to be briefly admired and then forgotten
But then I think and remember
When I write my poetry I am enthralled, proud, captivated by it's words
I read it again until it's perfect and keep it close to my heart
And when it is finished it is done
Another page on my laptop
Another document to title and hide from the world
Another poem just like the rest
I go back and re read
More often than not forgetting the emotions that were once so strong I felt the need to make them physical
Forgetting what made that poem so special in that moment
Forgetting why I ever thought it was once one of my best now seeing that it was just okay
And it makes me wonder if I really want that at all
Jun 18 · 357
Grace Ann Jun 18
But she was there
Beautiful and intelligent
Strikingly so in both terms
The world couldnt begin to understand
And she wondered what it said about her that she always longed to outwit the detective rather than to catch the killer
Grace Ann Jun 18
I hope one day your lips will curl around your meager breakfast of coffee and cigarettes and acknowledge that despite what they've told you, you are not hard to love.
Grace Ann Jun 18
I've always been a liar. Compulsively, reluctantly, neededly, jokingly, egotistically a liar. Yet, the one I've told the most lies to is myself. I believe sometimes if you say a lie enough that sometimes it becomes the truth. I believed that if I said I'm fine enough that eventually it would come to pass. But it doesn't work. I can fool every other person on this earth, but the one person who can see through my lies is the only one I wish could believe them.
Grace Ann Jun 14
I fought with you the other night
the tears on my face trying desperately to wash
away the demeaning words you threw at me
an embarrassment to you
a *** who will never be anything more
I have to keep telling myself that this is gas lighting
this is abuse
this is you making yourself feel better
because I have to believe that I am so much
more than you limit me to be
after all
if I can't believe in myself
who could?
Jun 14 · 131
I'm secretly decaf
Grace Ann Jun 14
You like me like you like your coffee
bitter, tan, and just rich enough to not be tasteless

--He believes he's getting high on my caffeine
Grace Ann Jun 14
It took me a laughably long time to figure out that happiness isn't some pipe-dream want or a privilege

   ---You deserve to be happy
Grace Ann Jun 14
I keep waiting for the other foot to drop
waiting for someone to tell me that this
dream that I'm in is too good to be true
I know I should wake up but that would
mean facing a nightmare
I keep waiting for everything going
right in my life to laugh in my face in
disbelief that I fell for the joke that my life
could be anything worth living
I'm flicking my eyes to the corners and
shadows of rooms expecting the cameras
to come out any day now
Reality is so entertaining;
my failure and strife amusement to others
I'm waiting but nothing is coming
I haven't heard any hands on doors pounding
any car engines start running
any heavy breathing approaching to boast that this if fake
For once in my life things are going right

I am happy

I am living

I am happy that I'm living

   ---5 Years ago I wouldn't have believed you
Grace Ann May 3
I'm starting this new life
new town
new job
better fiends
I'm building myself up and you're still demanding a roof with no foundation
you're complaining about the lack of paintings but you don't have any walls to put them on
I've given you all the materials that I can
It hurts me to know that you wont be with me the same way on this journey anymore
seventeen years of growth has changed us both
and while I'm terrified to go without you
I know you will hold be back
I am excited to see how far I can go by only taking care of myself

I will always be your best friend

--I think you stopped being mine awhile ago
Grace Ann May 2
Its here again tonight like a cinder brick on my chest
In this grave I call a bed I'll surely die from no rest
The air is too thick milkshake through a narrow straw
And no matter how I gasp air will not provide my lungs
with what they need to survive

And I'm sweating and I'm turning
Well at least I am in my mind because I'm stuck in too warm sheets and the heat they trap inside
I can hear my heart beat like a bomb counting to my doom
And it keeps on beating faster and I dont know what to do

--Lately I can't sleep with the thought that I will die
May 2 · 225
Only a little jealous
Grace Ann May 2
I'm happy that you're happier than me
I really am
I'm not one of those people that wishes my life on others
I'm glad you have such a loving support system
That you are doing so well for yourself
Even if it means that you are alone
Even if it means that I am alone
I'm happy for you
May 2 · 37
Grace Ann May 2
You reminded me of a time when everything wasnt so balanced
When a step this way or that would throw my entire life out of line
And it forces me to realize I'm walking on a cliff without a steady handrail
A rusted culmination of metal and paint flakes the only life vest before I'm taken over by these waves that threaten to drag me under
You remind me that life is unpredictable
That happiness is not constant
That effort must be continuous for a payoff
I can't float in a sea forever without drowning
I cant stand at a cliff edge letting my eyes guide me instead of my feet and trust that the wind wont push me over the edge
You remind me that right now will change
And I'm still not sure how to feel about that
Apr 26 · 679
Simple Request
Grace Ann Apr 26
And I asked that you love me more than I hate myself
That's a tall order
A request that one may think is impossible
But you looked me in my eyes
With a fierceness that could set out forest fires
And through your parted lips
You whispered
I already do.
Apr 26 · 28
Grace Ann Apr 26
In this moment it all feels subdued
in the quiet light of the moon who has known me my whole life
The darkness that blankets me with comfort rather than fear
The knowledge that life
At least for right now
Is meaningless
Apr 10 · 64
Grace Ann Apr 10
I've been stuck in this paleness
this fear-of-sun white that betrays me when I'm tired or ill with undertones of black in my eyes or green on my skin.
I've been avoiding the tan lines, the strappy sandles, the tank tops and short shorts which will betray my mother's skin
In this time I avoid beach trips with friends, and find comfort in the shade, while my friends enjoy the tanning beds and fake tans that will make them darker
They crave the melanin this country has long since hated.
As artificial is welcome as a sign of wealth
While natural is a sign of something beneath them.
Our president is orange, yet hates those that are naturally so.
I used to keep two different color foundations, one palest porcelain for the winter and one very tan for the summer.
I'm constantly asked what I am
And the word white drops from my mouth before I can stop the lie.
I'm told I look ethnic even with pale skin and brown eyes.
Asked if spanish is a language I speak at home.
I refuse to speak a word of it when asked if I know it.
People always assume
I am not Hispanic though
I am half native american
My dad left the reservation at a young age
My skin copying his
My hair and eyes too
I stay pale in this America
I will stay pale as long as I have to.
Feb 14 · 59
Life feels like
Grace Ann Feb 14
I'm playing Uno with God
And they keep hitting me with a draw four.
Grace Ann Feb 4
There are very few times I bite my tounge
Constantly told I am too blunt and abrasive
My head slower than my mouth in most situations
But I bite my tounge around you
I swallow the words back into my lungs and hold them there until my lips are blue
I cannot tell you of these feelings I still have for you
I cannot jeopardize this again
I will hold my breath like I'm passing a graveyard hoping what used to be between us doesn't become one.
Grace Ann Feb 4
I don't want to exsist for awhile
But I'm told that's suicidal ideation
And I realize time again that yes I have depression
I want to call into work sad
Tell them I cant do this today
Or any day for that matter
That my brain is missing chemicals here and has too many chemicals there and it makes me exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally
But I can't call into work sad
I can't take a personal day to not exsist
There are jobs to be done and people counting on me
Ironic that anyone would when I cant even count on myself
How could I ever explain that I fight every day with a body that doesn't want me to exsist
How do I explain that showing up to work took more energy than my coffee fueled brain has
How do I explain that while I dont want to die,

I dont want to be.
Grace Ann Feb 4
Like you my muse has been lacking; distant
Like you
My muse went from lover to friend
Upbruptly and unexpected
Like you my muse is becoming less and less of someone I know very well and very fondly and more of a tense acquaintance I pass in the grocery store with heavy eyes and a forced smile
Grocery stores are the worst though
We're always forced to meet up in a different isle
And we continue this ruse of feigned "okayness"
And you take your handfull of items and emotions to self-checkout
While I'm drowning in a cart full of ingredients I can't feasibly make a meal out of
And check out with a clerk I pay a hundred dollars every visit
And meet a nutritionist to help me shop
And you
You just get on with your life
Grace Ann Feb 4
And it was an urge
An inkling of a whim
A hand between my shoulder blades lightly reassuring me
And that's all it was supposed to be
My impulsive behavior is not unusual
Many piercings and tattoos once an intrusive thought now permanently affixed on my body
You were the same
An impulse
A two year long impulse that brought me more happiness than I could have imagined and more pain than I care to admit

--Unlike my tattoos a small part of me regrets you
Feb 4 · 107
Make-up makes me "up"
Grace Ann Feb 4
I painted my face today and did not seek your validation
I did not think of your words telling me that I look better without it
I did not argue back saying I wore it because I liked it
We did not end the fight with me wiping my art off my skin
I wish it was because you finally learned to accept my fondness of the result
Rather than the reality that you are no longer here.
Jan 15 · 46
End of a book
Grace Ann Jan 15
It's incomplete and distanced
Like losing an old friend
Fondness and nostalgia burrowing in this empty space you've given me
Dissociation always takes hold here
The world a still life painting I'm not very fond of
I'd rather go back to your texts
Prolonging the words
Putting off that dreaded end
Until we meet again
Dec 2018 · 209
Grace Ann Dec 2018
Every time I read a new book I find my soul splayed out and raw
Dissecting tables were not made for beautiful things such as this
Dec 2018 · 132
Grace Ann Dec 2018
I constantly feel like I'm balanced on my toes, edge of the chair, a noose around my neck just waiting to catch me and fulfill its purpose and you threaten to remove it.

-I guess that's what makes me fear you
Dec 2018 · 451
panic attack
Grace Ann Dec 2018
I breathe in the calamity
the scent of chaos overwhelming my senses
and I sit in this musk
this odor of turmoil
this crawling feeling that comes tandem with disarray
my mind is never calm
in this moment I find myself agitated
eager to move to a motionless mindset
where everything makes sense
and nothing is clouded in a fog of uncertainty
but here I sit paralyzed physically by a mental block
in time it will pass
in time it will pass
Dec 2018 · 55
Becoming immune
Grace Ann Dec 2018
And eventually your name will stop tasting like poison
and your picture will no longer stab like a knife
I will be able to face you without slowly dying
Finally able to continue on with my life
Grace Ann Dec 2018
And if you notice my poetry has been scarce lately I will point out the lack of wine on my counters and tell you my muse only comes when I'm drunk but I stopped drinking to appease you
Dec 2018 · 52
I am losing this battle
Grace Ann Dec 2018
Tonight I washed the scent of your cigarettes out of my hair
still wondering if I hated the thought of smelling like smoke or like you
too afraid to admit
and move on
Grace Ann Dec 2018
I deny this eating disorder you gave me, dear parents.
But it's not really an eating disorder so much as disordered eating. And no so much disordered eating as it is disordered thinking.
I recall sitting on the exam table third grade--
being told I had big bones;
trying to block out the knowledge that tiptoeing around the word fat didn't change it's intent.
Telling a fourth grader you wanted blood tests
and a personal trainer
hiding behind the words diabetes and heart disease because those words don't scare you nearly as much as the word fat does.
Grace Ann Dec 2018
I'm sitting across from my therapist as he tells me
that I am now on the very top of his call list
and I can't help but wonder if it's because he thinks
I'm an interesting person
or if I'm just that messed up
Grace Ann Dec 2018
I've said time and time again what my future will look like
simple ranch style house filled with animals
my pigs running around like cats or dogs
sleeping and feasting like kings
I always told myself this would be my reality
said it with such conviction to others that I believed that conviction alone could will it into existence

At the same time I spoke to others how I was going to be a teacher
from the age of seven certain that's what I would be doing with my life
Here I am
in college for the third time
aiming for a degree far away from my childhood dream
this time I'm hoping for insurance and security

I can't really see my ranch style house in my sights anymore
can't see these animals I would invite others to work with either
I can't see the dream I had always tried to speak into reality
the path ahead has gotten too foggy

My dreams are changing without me
my childhood whims are slipping from my grasp
Others telling me that I can still achieve them
but how can I achieve anything
if I can't even achieve my own happiness
Dec 2018 · 99
Grace Ann Dec 2018
Today I played the lottery because I had a better chance of winning it than winning you
Grace Ann Dec 2018
you used to tell me that you could never be certain if what I told you was the truth when I had never spoken anything to you without my soul open and exposed
My honesty was always laid out before you like an animal in a trap
wounded, hiding, scared, but utterly raw and open for the ****
In truth (if you can believe me) I am not the pathological liar everyone says I am
Grace Ann Dec 2018
These poems of mine always seem strangled
Tangled in a web of tight vocal chords
My throat can't get the words out it needs to so my hands do their bidding instead
I guess that's why none of my poems seem happy
Those words burst from my chest like firecrackers
My laugh unsurpessesble and bellowing
Much too fast for hands to grab
Happy emotions are light and feeble. Carefree and quick
Trying to grab them is fistfuls of sand in water
But the dark
The taboo
They are much more heavy
Easier to grab
The weight of those feelings only leaving by typeface
Wet cement drying then being slowly chipped away
And I am free again
Grace Ann Dec 2018
It should have been easy
I shouldnt have had that unsettled feeling in my stomach when kissing you
And honestly I really don't
But the thought of anything else makes me uneasy
I'm attracted to you
I'm comfortable with you
So why can't I make myself go further?
I thought it was just that I hadnt found the right person
Or maybe we just hadn't been together long enough
Or that my religious upbringing caused me to have an avoidance to ***
Some psychological training in the back of my mind telling me I would be shunned from God
I never understood cheaters
How *** could be so tempting
How anyone could get addicted to it
How random hook-ups and one night stands were the norm in our world
I am out of place here
It's not like I dont want to have that connection
I just don't feel the drive
Then I thought it was my medication
But I realized long before the chemistry in my brain was artificial that I wasn't intrested in the ****** acts most people were
And to be honest even when I am in the act, I dont really have a drive
Never felt the need to ******
Always focused on satisfying the other partner
Because this was a relationship and it's what I'm supposed to give and I dont want to keep that from them
It causes strain in them
Causes a distance that I dont feel is there
For a long time I thought I was broken
Now I know for sure that I am
But I want you to feel secure,
So I'll fake it again and again
Let you do to me what I have no interest in
Maybe this time will be different.
Nov 2018 · 45
The plunge
Grace Ann Nov 2018
Tell me why i still write about you
tell me why i'm still hanging onto that cliche branch off the edge of a cliff
tell me why i'm scared to fall into a world without you in it
i should be happy
in a way i am
i have a girlfriend now and i can already tell she'll treat me better than you ever did
can already tell that i'm on my way to loving her
maybe once day i'll be in love with her
so tell me why i'm still writing about you and not her
                                   please just tell me
Grace Ann Nov 2018
I often times wonder how my name tastes in your mouth
i'm sure it used to be a favorite of yours
crisp, single-syllable proclamation of adoration
a name can hold so much power
I doubt you savored the times when my name tasted sweet in your mouth
I bet you thought my name would never become sour to your tongue
would never fumble out with regret and broken promises
would never leave a burning in the back of your throat
Your name was always indulgent to me
naturally causing my mouth to form a smile as your letters positioned themselves on my tongue
Your name was an addiction
thrilling and dangerous
I say your name now with a bitter tone
It tastes wrong now
Like how when I was younger and had such a sweet tooth, but now that I'm older I crave salty things
I guess my mouth grew tired of your name
grew tired of how easily it fell
now I have to force it out
is it the same for you?
Nov 2018 · 104
Grace Ann Nov 2018
broken conversation
awkward and too overly formal for both our tastes
I tried to hide my anger and pain behind politeness
feigned interest about your day and life
when really the only thing I wanted to know was how you were doing without me
you expected to do better without me
I dont think you're doing better without me
I won't say it though,
trying to give you some semblance of pride in the mess you created
in our short conversation I tried to make you feel something again for me
not love, no--
maybe something along the lines of regret and jealousy
I am doing better
I am doing fine without you
My world is moving on just like how you said yours would
I think your world is moving too
only yours is in a slow reverse
and mine is in a steady, forward pace
Nov 2018 · 66
Grace Ann Nov 2018
I say I'm over you
tell others that I don't want you back and wouldn't come back even if you asked nicely
my sister told me I move on quickly and excuses tumbled out of my mouth before my brain registers that they've fallen
you see these dates I've been on have been meaningless
a useless endeavor, really in an attempt to fill this emptiness you left me with
I dreamt of you again last night and when I woke punished myself by staring at pictures of you until my eyes were raw
I haven't deleted any of them
The vision of you in my dream told me you were in love
told me you found that person who makes your heart do trills like cats purrs
I remember waking with tears
Every **** time I think I'm over you, I look to the gorge you've left in me
Reminders all around my room
The tickets we bought for a date but never used still untouched in the middle console in my car
They don't have an expiration date
Nov 2018 · 421
Take a bow
Grace Ann Nov 2018
I've stopped believing in the pretty things
the beautiful words strung in a web too good to be true
I stopped believing I would find perfection
even if it was just perfection to me
because life truly isn't fair
and life isn't beautiful
It's corrupt and distant
a movie with a lost director and bad cast
I want to rewrite the script
I'm sick of this improv game and technical difficulties
Nov 2018 · 85
Monster under my bed
Grace Ann Nov 2018
Everything about me dwindles down to this
broken body, mangled branches, rivers of blood
I am nothing more than true unbridled feeling
and sometimes that scares me
Grace Ann Nov 2018
Love, as I've come to know, is  a shapeshifter
every time I experience her she is in a different form
but there is always some semblance of nostalgia every time
I used to think every new love would be my last
and figured that every past love was a misunderstanding of the term
but I've come to realize that every love will be different
every love teaches me new lessons
and I could not be more grateful for what she's taught me
Nov 2018 · 51
My name isn't Noah
Grace Ann Nov 2018
I can just make out the blurry red of your shirt
They way colors blur is not new to me
My eyes have been blind for a long time
My life painted in water color without my glasses
But this isnt the same
My eyes are hot
Saltwater threatening to fall
My dam of emotions is breaking and all the hardware stores are closed
I cant repair this in time
By morning I won't need concrete anymore
I'll need a boat

   --God once hated his creations so much he wiped them out with a flood
Grace Ann Nov 2018
I denied what was going on for a long time
The lack of I love yous
The late nights and early mornings
I should have seen it coming in hindsight
But your lies were always lullabies in my head
Calming my fears from my paranoia and assumptions
I should have listened to them and not to you
You were never a good singer anyways
And I never did like lullabies
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