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Alyanne Cooper Jul 2016
I used to wonder all the time
What people thought of me.
I tried every trick in the book
To make the best first impression.
And I'd refine those tricks
By asking those who became my friends
What their first impressions were of me,
And the favorable things were promoted,
And the non-favorable things promptly culled.

I used to wonder all the time
What people thought of me.
All the hours I spent riding the MUNI
To and from school, crossing paths with strangers,
I'd wonder if they wondered about my story,
What kind of person I am,
What kind of history I have,
What kind of morals I live.

I used to wonder all the time
What people thought of me.
So consumed with making them think
The best of me, my fingers bleed
From receiving all the chewed pent up anxiety
Of "Am I good enough to be their friend?"
Of "Did I just say the wrong thing?"
Of "Did I make the right choice?"
Of "Are they going to hate me now?"
Of "I bet they'll choose to leave me now."
Of "This is all I have; this is all I can be."
Of "Guess it's just me."

I used to wonder all the time
Until I realized people don't really think of me.

Not the "Don't think of me" in a negative way,
But the "Don't think of me" in the exact same way
That I never think about them.

My thinking about them was always in relation to me.
Never "What was my first impression of them?"
Never "What's their story? What's their history?"
Never "What're the morals they're living by today?"
Never "How're they doing with their own anxiety?"
Never "I wonder if they're doing okay."
Never "We should be friends because they're good people."

I used to wonder all the time
What people thought of me.
Now I wonder some of the time
How I should think of them,
And in turn forget a little about me.
Alyanne Cooper Jul 2016
You know how your heart swells
When you finally find that piece
To the puzzle that is "you"
You've been looking for all your life?

You know how your eyes close slowly
As you absorb the feeling of knowing
These are your people, this is your place,
This is your world, your universe, your home?

What about how your fingertips numb
And your brain refuses to calm down
Enough to let you sleep and rest and heal
Because it has sunk in at last:

That piece to your puzzle is lost forever,
And there will never be a place for you to belong.

That hand that gently grips your shoulder
In a soft show of support
Will always be just a touch foreign.

That encouraging smile that stretches
Across a familiar face as you try again
Will always seem a little out of place.

These people are not your people,
This place is not your home,
This is not where you belong.

Your people are gone and
Your home was destroyed,
And those who knew you
Are far and long gone.

I don't want this to be my norm.
But I don't belong anymore.
Alyanne Cooper Jun 2016
They kept saying it was going to be okay.

Ma'am, just take a seat. Someone will be right with you.

Fingers loosened their grip,
Breaths became pants,
Tears ran as rivers,
And my mind went blank.

Ma'am, you can't go back there.
Ma'am, just take a seat. Someone will be right with you.

They never said it'd be so...white.
White walls,
White floors,
White ceilings,
White coats,
White faces.

Counting tiles on the floor,
Have to restart because feet keep getting in the way.
But no one ever tells you how quiet it can be.

Ma'am, please. Please. Please take a seat.

I sit.

I wait.

I think about praying,
but I don't know who to pray to anymore,
Because surely this can't be God.

I wait.

I sit.


I stand.

Fingers tighten their grip.
Breaths slow down.
Tears cease to flow.
My mind is crystal clear.

I know nothing is going to be okay.

And I'm okay with that.

Ma'am...I'm so sorry.

Hands raise of their own accord
and I stop the words I don't want to hear.

My lips whisper
It's okay.
Alyanne Cooper May 2016
She says we're magic.
And my inclination is to doubt
Because to me magic is the impossible.

But every time she speaks
She's magic.
And it's been like that since we shared a womb.

We are twins that shouldn't have been;
No twins run in either side of our bloodlines.
An impossible pair, you could say.

She calls us magic.

She and I have faced death and lived.
Hindsight still brings no clarity
To understanding why we didn't die.
An impossible life, you could say.

She calls us magic.

And I watch how she moves through her life as a teacher
Touching and changing and redirecting
The fatal fate others are destined for
Making it into a life worthy of them
For she says they're magic too.

And knowing what she's seen and lived,
What she does seems impossible to me.

But she does it. She lives it. She is it.
And I wonder how she couldn't be
When that's the only sensible thing:
She is magic.

Then she pulls up a mirror
And faces me.

Our lives parted paths long ago yet remain parallel.
And she makes me see that all I've done
To live and breathe and thrive and succeed
Is in others' eyes, impossible.

And she boldly declares yet again,
Yo, we are ******' magic!

This time I believe.
Alyanne Cooper May 2016
I have good days, stretches of them even,
And stand at the top of my world.
But then a fleeting thought passes
And tips me off the ledge
Into the swallowing abyss
And I berate myself
For thinking I could conquer it.
I keep expecting a magic cure--
One that heals the scars
That never felt their wounds.
I keep thinking one day I will be normal.
And I die a little more when normal stretches
That much further away.

I'm staring up the walls of this abyss
As I tumble down to a depth I've never known.
I close my eyes in surrender,
But my soul, in the midst of its despair, revolts.

I challenge the force of gravity as I fall
With one simple thought:
What is normal?

Gleaming, undented shining armor?
Pristine closets with no skeletons?
A person who is whole and unbroken?

I will never be unbroken again.
The stories I've chosen not to share hide the skeletons that broke me.
I will never be whole as I once was.
The scars that line my arm bear testament to that fact.

And that...
That is normal,
For every human has their own
Definition of normal.

The fall suspends and I'm in the Fifth Dimension.
And suddenly I know I'm in control.
I'm in control because whoever I am is normal.

I open my eyes and I'm back on the top of my world.
Alyanne Cooper Jan 2016
The wall bears a breach
In its otherwise impeccable face.
A breach of small measures,
But a breach nonetheless.
The breach became a door
That welcomed the outside world
To entry and discovery
Of all the treasures
Hidden away behind
The sky-high walls.

But the door became worn
With misuse and abuse,
And the breach that had been welcomed
Became a source of ire and disgust.
Now every entrant eyed with mistrust;
How can the inhabitant show care for those
Who show her city no care of their own?  

The golden rule her standard,
Yet her soul grows tired of mistreatment.
No one else lives by that standard,
Rather choosing to live selfishly
According what's best for their self.
Should she not take instruction
From all who surround her
And do the very same:
Put her city's needs above every other being.

A steeled jaw is the only sign of her choice.
That and:

The walls take on their own life,
Magicked to always protect.
They slowly work to remove the door
And fill the breach;
A perfect impenetrable stone face once more.
Alyanne Cooper Jan 2016
It used to be
After we parted
Your face was everywhere--
Every billboard, every flyer--
And your words were everywhere--
Every billboard, every flyer--
And I couldn't escape you
No matter how hard I tried.

Then time passed.

And I'd be going through my day,
And your face was just somewhere--
Some billboards, some flyers--
And your words were just somewhere--
Some billboards, some flyers--
And I found myself actively looking
To see if I could find you somewhere.

And time passed.

And today I realized the date,
And turned expecting to see a memory,
A face,
My past,

But your face was nowhere,
And your words were nowhere,

Because it wasn't the date I thought it was--
That date had passed
Without my realizing,
And today was no special day,
Just another ordinary day,
And I smiled,
Which made it an extraordinary day.

I'm going about my life everywhere--
Every billboard, every flyer--
Just another model in an advert.
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