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i tried to convince myself
that his lips tasted better.
i'm walking across the rigid slabs of concrete
with the echoes of sirens etched into my hippocampus.
my pace quickens along with the pounds of an anxious heartbeat in a race against the carousel of red and blue because one day
they'll be coming for me too.
i haven't felt that familiar sting
since the world left me behind.  
for a while i tried to convince myself
that i was happy.

for a while i entertained the tongue
of a cowardly lion and forced myself
to forget what love felt like and let lust in.
it was when he begged me to lose my cowardice that i realized he was only in it for the golden fur he wore to give himself that sense of pride of conquering my kingdom.

for a while i stuffed those nervous poppies
into my pillow to seep into my dreams at night.
i couldn't banish them, though;
you can't escape what you're a part of.

for a while i gave oil to the tin man, who in turn
left me alone in the middle of nowhere,
like a scarecrow,
or like a child waiting for his father to return from the grocery store.
the tin man promised me care and attention,
but i guess only oz has that kind of privilege.

i haven't felt that familiar sting
since the world left me behind.
for a while, i tried to convince myself
that i was happy;
but i instead found my way
back to the black and white pains of kansas.
there is no place like home.
my head is often riddled with tastes that never quite reach the tongue,
tastes of tapping fingers along the crystallized blue. no one ever thinks
to check the mind of the depressed after the first smile.
i like to think that i am the next sylvia plath.
i may be no poetic genius but i’ve crawled under the house and seen
too much too many times to count.
sometimes i pray that i never live to hear the next morning song, or that
i am haunted by something other than daddy’s heirloom as i do at every
waking moment. i compare my veins with plath’s as every wrong
breath is taken, and my amygdala can’t help but formulate my anxiety
into tastes that never quite reach the tongue.

i know i am not sylvia plath.
i am not brave enough to face the queen of the underworld
and so take on the persona of lady lazarus. cowardly,
i cannot bring myself to set fire to my lungs
so all i can do is lay back and let the birds catch the worms,
leaving messes that keeping me from staying clean.
the leaves have been covered
by the snow and i know
that something is out of line.
i feel like i am yet am not fine.
glad, yes. i am glad that
we've sorted things out and,
between us,
there's nothing to worry about...

...but i have my doubts.
lately i've been falling in and out of love,
feeling like one or the other isn't good enough.
i didn't know if you and i fit,
but you were gone for too long
so i decided to make the most of it.
i'm sorry for the way that i am but
now that you know you love me
i don't know if i can.
you left me in the middle of nowhere,
a place i spent my days in
wondering if you still cared.
in time, snow began to fall
and i felt like i didn't know you at all.
i still love you. i do.
i'm just afraid that i'm beginning
to love other people the same way too.
our hearts were beating
in sync with the noise that drowned our fears.
you spun me around and
though we were screaming at the top
of our lungs, i couldn’t hear a sound.
your hazel eyes looked into mine
and i
that you are beautiful;
you were not mine.

i don’t know if
i was trying to replace her
but i missed the feeling of flying
and i couldn’t wait any later.
no matter how hard i
tried to stifle my cries
of being with her again
i knew i could not testify
to the fact
that i love her and she may still be mine.

she may.
may not.
but i know that she still occupies my thoughts.
i am not done, i cannot run
from this stupid ******* thing called love.

i love her.
i…love her.
i love…her.

so i apologize for looking
into your eyes that night
and making you believe
that i’m yours and you’re mine.
the stars felt misaligned and i
was dissatisfied, verified,
though you are beautiful,
you are not mine.
you are beautiful in the light of the woods.
i want to get to know you, but i don't know
if i should, but as i got closer, your
warmth drew me in and i was
with a rather
and i figured it was okay to keep you
in my imagination.
but as i reached for you,
that same tingling sensation felt
your warmth became so hot
that it burnt my fingertips.
and that's how i learned what pain was.
i let myself get so close to you
until i forgot what boundaries were,
and you,
you never warned me.
if only i'd known how
dangerous this love could be,
maybe we could've avoided
whatever happened between you and me.
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