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Argentum Jun 2017
When they get to the aquarium, the  kid asks if they have a Great White shark exhibit.

The volunteer says no, we don’t.

The kid asks, “Why? are you afraid he might try to eat people?”

The volunteer chuckles at this and tells him no. no aquarium has successfully held a Great White shark live for more than a few days.

You see, in order to stay alive, Great Whites and other sharks, like hammerheads, swim on their own continuously through the ocean, never stopping, never slowing, tramping a perpetual journey with many miles to go before they finally reach “sleep”. If they stop, the oxygen rich water around them no longer flows over their gills and into their bodies and they suffocate from the strain of being at rest. So they keep going, like lost children searching for their parents in a very large amusement park.

This need to keep moving, this need for space, has made it extremely difficult to keep them in our meager glass human death cages. When the Monterey bay aquarium managed to capture a juvenile that didn’t thrash itself to death like the adult sharks they netted before, it bashed its head against the tank’s sturdy walls until the shock of being dragged out of its home and put in the equivalent of a coffin killed it.

But, the volunteer continued cheerfully, we have other kinds of sharks here. We have zebra sharks, which don’t need to swim nonstop. In their natural habitat, they just lie on the ocean floor all day. The kid agrees to go see them

The zebra sharks are not lying on the floor nor do they look like zebras. They swim slowly  past him, leopard spots dotting their ridges on their backs, their fins, their long tails. “They’re called zebra sharks because of the zebra like patterns of the juveniles,” the volunteer explains. The ones we have here are adults.When they become adults, they get the spots and those ridges you see. Sometimes people mistake them for leopard sharks, which are a totally different species.”
The kid stares at the zebra sharks for a full ten minutes, looking for a sign of resignation at being called something they weren’t anymore, at collectively being referred to by a childhood nickname they had long outgrown. They did not seem to care.

He gets bored and goes to other exhibits, the split fin flashlight fish blinking on and off in their darkened tank, the touch pool, the medusa jellyfish with their trailing tentacles. But the sharks are what he remembers when he leaves, and they’re what he remember when he returns three months later, six months later, two years later, three, five, ten, this is what stays with him, the sharks in our tanks and the sharks in the ocean.
This was for school
Argentum Aug 2016
“They say people want to be like who they admire, become the people who've touched their hearts. People also say a lot of things about teenagers. Especially those that write. They’re naive. They’re blind to cruel reality. They’re all dreams and no backbone. You wanna know why? They read. The books they read reach into them and draw pretty pictures on the walls of their hearts. Suddenly every other kid is chasing after these larger-than-life dreams of worlds to be built and stories to be told, naive, blind, dreaming, stupid kids reaching for the stars even though those pinpricks of light are older and farther than you could comprehend.

“What those books never show you is all the wannabes, washed up and jaded. ‘You were so close but so far.’ But all these almosts is all I see, and now I'm afraid to even dream of the stars. It's not like I’ll ever see them, right? The sky is smothered by all the hands reaching toward it.

“I’m afraid to dream, [omitted]."

“Don't be. Won’t do you any good.”

snort. “If only it was so easy.”
Sorry for being gone
Argentum Jul 2016
somewhere within myself I am/there is a little girl crying,
love me
love me

into the dark.
I keep moving and
don't look back,
don't look down
and try to grow stronger
so my self cannot be pierced
and hurt the little girl I am/inside.
skin colored armor becomes thicker,
until I am the armor itself,
folding in on myself into a package
of impenetrability.
I am full of holes,
full of contradictions, though,
and I cry myself to sleep, crying
love me
love me

into the dark.
it is the quiet kind of crying
that tries not to bother you
don't mind me
it mumbles
don't mind me
the words claw out of
my skin-colored armor
and are too tired to be loud when they emerge

when this happens
I hide under my blankets
so the words are birthed out of my voice into the warmth and the dark, like a child should come into the world. in the dark it is easier for me to pretend everything is okay. it is easier to fall asleep/in love in the dark.
the only times I am not afraid of the dark are when
I am too sad and tired to
be afraid of what might be there.
when I am no longer afraid, it means I finally embrace what waits in the shadows . it means I give up. it means
I surrender to my weakness.
it means I'm tired of being armor, being protector, and want to be protected,
to be
Argentum Jul 2016
a girl in a dress the color and texture of storm clouds and cigarette smoke, which whips around her ankles in the wind. black hair in her face, you watch her twirl. her feet bleed on the dry cracked earth.

days pass and she's still not home. no one worries. no one cares. she'll be fine.

once, in spring, on a weekend, she dragged you to the beach and you waded waist deep into the cold Pacific. she dares you to go farther and her reckless ravenous joy makes you grin.

she will never love you back. you understand and stand back. she is storm clouds and cigarette smoke, and you are meatspace and books.

'you read too much,' she tells you. 'and always fiction. that's why your head's in the clouds all the time. what's wrong with this world?'

'i don't think she's coming back this time.'

he lifts a cig to his lips. 'that's what i tell myself every time.'

she can't love you back. she can't afford to.

'tch. what a melodramatic explanation. plenty of people disappear.'

you always meet her in that field.
the cracked earth and solid toned sky a background to your memories of her. they're a part of her, in your mind. you go there to think. the field is part of you, too, now. it feels empty. you feel empty.

'the thing i don't like about this world is that she will never return to me, or love me.'

she's in the field on a spring sunday and it feels like worlds are colliding when you see her face. you go to the beach and you wade out hand in hand.
title references the EDEN song. I was half asleep when I wrote this tbh
Argentum Jul 2016
i want to be loved i want
to be feared. i am good i am special
i am different .
respect me. i want your love.
i am hungry for something to call
my own and i am greedy.
slap me kick me hate me
but do not think of me as
it hurts me and i will hurt you.
i am not scared of hate, only
disrespect. i don't want you to
think i'm petty. think i'm weird.
i just want to be loved.
no one loves me for who i really am.
my selfish side. my hungry heart.
the parts i hide

knowledge hurts
Argentum Jun 2016
laughter: a mask
and a medicine for his pain. they pay him no mind.
to them ,
he is barely a person, a tool. his
flesh melts into metal, his arms levers, his face flat and featureless.
he mocks his fears and flaws,
his pain,
secretly hoping that
will make them
a mere joke,
a fantasy.
it fails, it always fails, but the smiley faces stenciled on his exoskeleton
of reassurance of his state of mind
are still there.
so he clatters on, joking, grinning,
his laughter his mask and his medicine.
For a friend of mine
Argentum Jun 2016
false tundra of clouds
up close, the moon hurts my eyes
wing cuts through this scene
with the false ground and false sun,
the horizon blurs, confused.
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