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May 2017 · 815
Touch
Alyanne Cooper May 2017
I wait with bated breath
For a depth
Of understanding
That never follows.

How can another ken
And lend
An empathetic hand
To my set of misery?

They know not being waken
By being shaken
To the core of their soul
With memories harrowing and haunting.

They know peace
Whilst all I know is destruction.

And yet here I stand
For a hand
To reach out and touch me
On my cheek, my shoulder, my heart.

I wait with impatience
In silence.
I wait.
But I do not make it known:

I crave the human touch.
Mar 2017 · 487
Tribute #3
Alyanne Cooper Mar 2017
Laying in bed
Thinking of what my favorite
Childhood memory is,

And I think of that time
Your head popped over the edge
Of the railing on my loft bed,
And you whispered,
"Permission to come aboard?"
Because out of everyone in the family
You respected my dream of joining the navy,
So when you wanted to spend time with me,
You always asked me that,
As if my space was a ship
And I had to give you permission to approach,
And even though now you and I aren't that close,
You've always known how to approach me,
And you don't know how much that means to me.

And I think of that time
You and I climbed out the window
Above our toilet in the bathroom
Onto the roof to eat dinner there
Because we were turning 16
And that's how we wanted to spend
Our shared birthday.
And we sat there watching our neighborhood
As the California sun set in a brilliant red-orange hue.
And then you said, "Happy birthday, Twainy,"--
That's what we've called each other
Since as long as I can remember--
And my heart stopped a beat
At the sudden realization that
I didn't know how to live without you
Because you had literally been there
For every moment of my life,
And even though our lives have diverged
You don't know how much that that means to me.

And I think of that time,
No, not just that time,
But all those times
You tucked us into bed,
Then sat down to read a chapter
From whatever book you were reading to us,
And I didn't know at that time
How much you reading to us before bed
Would mean to me,
But ****** all if I don't know it now,
Because, you see, stories are all I have left of you.
So I write stories, I read stories, I tell stories,
I live stories
Because when there's a story,
It's like you're still reading to me,
And I'm just not ready to let that version of you go.
But you'll never know how much you meant to me.

I am who I am today because of you.
All the bad but so much more all the good,
And you don't know how much
You will always mean to me.
This is for my mom and my sisters.
Feb 2017 · 367
What should i write about?
Alyanne Cooper Feb 2017
It's a blank canvas
waiting for paint to be
splashed
stroked
swished
splattered
slung
slapped on it.
I've got the canvas;
I've got the paint.
I've got the page;
I've got the words.
But I don't got the muse.
Or maybe I've got too much muse.
Either way, I sit here with my chicken scratch instead of a Monet.
Jan 2017 · 664
Time
Alyanne Cooper Jan 2017
She tells me it takes time,
but what is time?
The passing of moments
that turn into hours
that make up the days
that stretch into weeks
that fill up the months
that linger as years?

It takes time to heal.
I cut my arm once.
It was on purpose.
Deep enough to need stitches
but I didn’t see a doctor.
Instead I watched time pass.
Time was red blood flowing
Into slowly clotting drying blood
Into stiff inflexible scab
Into peeling, pusing dead skin
Into pink jagged itchy new skin
Into scar, also known as memory.

It takes time to forgive.
My fingers run over that scar
and time stands still
as it rushes through my brain:
Time is in my mind’s eye
Four-year old me slipping on glasses
for the first time,
Seven-year old me slipping on glasses
after they were slapped off and shattered, again,
Twelve-year old me slipping on glasses
after they were slapped off and shattered, again,
Sixteen-year old me slipping on glasses
after they were slapped off and shattered, again,
Twenty-one-year old me slipping on glasses
after they were shattered for the last time;
I blink at the clock
and see a life-time has passed in thirty seconds.

It takes time.
And some days it feels like
it was all such a very long time ago.
And some days my heart seizes
like it did at the moment it happened.
It takes time; but what is time?
Dec 2016 · 646
Contemplation #12
Alyanne Cooper Dec 2016
You searched for me
But could not find me.
You turned over every stone
And every boulder
In vain attempt to locate me.
But I was not there.
You hiked every mountain,
Swam across lakes and oceans;
But I was not there.
You spent your last dime
On a flight to the ends of the earth,
Trying to bring me home.
But you couldn't bring home
The one you couldn't find.
I was always two steps ahead,
Hiding where I knew you'd eventually look,
But long gone before you actually got there.
You searched for me
But couldn't find me.
And still I ran.
Until I looked behind my shadow
And realized you were not there.
You had given me up to my flight.
Head drawn in weary exhaustion,
You went home,
Sat down as the sun rose—
A new day.
And I waited for you to get up and follow me,
But you were still and quiet
And now immovable.
"Listen," you whispered.
"Do you hear the whippoorwill's call?
"Can you feel the sun's warmth?
"Just sit a moment here, will you?"
Two steps ahead I had been...
Until I sat with you as the sun rose.
And I looked at your face turned toward the light,
How your eyes were closed
And your mouth drawn up at the corners
In the slightest of smiles.
And then your hand was covering mine—
Fingers interlocking.
And I was done running.

You searched for me
But found me when you stopped looking.
Nov 2016 · 584
Stream of Thought
Alyanne Cooper Nov 2016
I can’t concentrate.
Jumbled thoughts lead to
Unfinished consciousness.
I move between scenes
Like a bee flying from
Flower to flower.
A wolf’s dark eyes stare back at me.
Can you see her?
Her grey black coat
Dewy with the morning rain.
My emotions won’t percolate.
The dam of memory
Stops everything from flowing.
She’s back—
My wolf shadow.
She runs with me
From the terrors in the night.
Fingers fill with adrenaline.
I can do anything I want.
Suddenly flying through space
Like Superman.
Arms by my side.
They’re the only things I could count on
To always be by my side.
Her dark eyes grow dull.
A wolf alone is a wolf doomed to die.
Oct 2016 · 791
Music in My Heart
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2016
There's a soundtrack stuck in my head.
A whispering, quiet melody.
Flutes and violins take center stage
As cellos and clarinets round out the sound.
The soft plucking of a harp shades and fills in
With the gentle support of a French horn.
And so the basses and the tubas grow louder
As the melody swells
Like a leaf blown higher on the wind.
As it begins to crescendo,
I can feel it in my fingertips--
The emotion of it all.

There's a symphony in your smile,
An orchestral accompaniment
To the twinkle in your eye.
Your laughter is the thumping of the timpani;
Your chuckle the plucking of an upright bass.
Your soft conversing is a harmonic woodwind;
Your finely crafted wit, a lively piccolo.
And your hands gently taking mine,
Cradling them and never wanting to let go,
Is the soft caress of a singing violin.

And when you say, "I love you",
I realize it was you all along.
You are the music in my head,
The soundtrack to my life.
And like we used to do in bygone days,
I would play this music cassette
Over and over and over again
Until the film is faded and cracked,
And there is no more cassette that can be played.
Then I would sit and close my eyes,
And recall it in my memory,
For the music of the heart never fades.

Just like your "I love you's"
And my "I know's".
Jul 2016 · 397
Contemplation #11
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.
Jul 2016 · 354
Where Do We Go from Here?
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.
Jun 2016 · 642
It's Okay
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.

Ma'am...

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.
May 2016 · 408
Magic
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.
Jan 2016 · 684
A Perfect Face
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,
You,

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.
Alyanne Cooper Nov 2015
You see a flinch
And think "Oh, she's just jumpy."
You see a flinch
In the instant after
Your hand reaches out
To wipe away the tear
Stuck in the crow's feet of her eye.

You see a flinch
And take offense
Because how could she ever think
You would lay a hand on her?

But I wonder
Do you see that flinch
As more than just a reaction?
Do you realize it's the badge
She gets to wear as a survivor?

Born of years--
Not hours,
Not days,
Not weeks,
Not months,
But years--
Of flight
Or fight.

And that flinch
You so quickly dismiss as "jumpy"
Is her instant decision:
"It's okay. There's no danger here."
It's her instant decision
To not throw you down
And run for the nearest exit.
It's her instant decision
To go against instinct
And stay, calm,

With you.

You see a flinch;
I see courage.
Nov 2015 · 1.1k
My Reflection's Pride
Alyanne Cooper Nov 2015
You ever have one of those days
Where the world's weight sets
Just a bit heavier on your shoulders
As you try your best to meet
Everyone's high standards,
But you can't because all you are is failure;
And you know that all you need
Is to hear one person say,
"Hey, you're doing great. It's hard;
But I'm proud of you."?

Ever have one of those days
Where that's all you'll need in order to make it--
Just one person to be proud of you?

Now I know you don't think much of me,
So this may not mean much to you,
But I think it should mean more
Than anybody else's words:

Well, I'm proud of you.
Nov 2015 · 508
A Tale Not Worth Telling
Alyanne Cooper Nov 2015
Ours is a tale not meant for the telling.
No warnings or heedings need be passed on.
Ours is a story just meant for the living
And letting go into the forgotten history of humanity.

And yet I have each letter, each note, as keepsake;
To what end, I still haven't figured out.
I wish I could forget you
Like you've so easily forgotten me,
But my memory was always that much better--
Your external hard drive you called me--
Now my blessing to curse has turned.

Except, even without the physical mementos,
I would still be able to close my eyes and
See my hand reach out to that one errant lock of hair,
Hear your boisterous unbridled mirthful laughter,
Taste the savory meal your willing hands prepared,
And bask in the leftover glow of a lost true love.

With my eyes closed, we still exist.
With my eyes closed, we always exist.

But my eyes can't stay closed forever.
I have to open them now.
And I hope that when I do,
I'll hate myself a little less for ever loving you.
Oct 2015 · 339
Tribute #2
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
They say I'll forget...with time.
But I don't think they ever met you,
For you were the most sublime
Of all the universe ever knew.

And it's true what I said,
It was always you.
It will always be you.
I'll never forget.

I can't forget.
Sláinte
Oct 2015 · 410
Confession #15
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
You came from a broken home
With the memories of a broken heart.
You didn't believe in love.

I did though.

And we were still young,
Especially I,
And I thought I could teach you to love again.

We spent countless nights
Recounting our pasts,
And as you poured out your heartless heart,
I picked up each broken piece,
And with the fibers of my own heart
Sewed yours back together again.

I was a fixer, you see,
And you were broken,
So I had to fix you.

I had to fix you.

But I didn't have anything but me,
So that's what I used;
Can't you see that?!

I broke my own heart
So yours would be whole again.

And I dried your tears and held your hand
And watched you struggle then stand
On your own
Because now...
Your heart was whole!

You laughed!
You smiled!
You rejoiced!
And I joined in.
Because to see you happy
Was all I had ever wanted.

But then your hand slipped from mine.

I didn't understand it:
I couldn't comprehend it:
You walked away.

Your heart was whole now,
So you didn't need me anymore.
You were okay now.
You believed in love now.
You had a heart now.

So you walked away.

And the thumping rhythm I had known since birth
Faded into oblivion.
Because don't you see?
I fixed your heart with me.

Now I'm heartless.
Now I'm broken.
Now I don't believe in love.

But don't pity me.
Because honestly,
Given the same choice
I'd make it a thousand times again
And more.

Because I will always choose
You over me.
Oct 2015 · 712
The Insomniac's Curse
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
I run down unlit streets
Like the hounds of hell are at my feet
And I can barely keep
Going my own heartbeat.

It's the witching hour
And I've got a taste most sour
Like brimstone and fire
Because the night holds only the dire.

This is my end and my defeat.
This is my fall and my surrender.
And once I give in...
This is my home and my familiar:
The moonless sky my soul's twin,
For in darkness and shadows we live.

The clarity of life is gone.
Left to our own dark devices.
We are the haunted, the ******.
Those forced to exist without sleep.
Oct 2015 · 309
Confession #14
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
Your words were
Believable
And I,
I trusted you.
But you were
A liar
And you
You conned me too.
You took all that I had and left me

Broken.
Oct 2015 · 539
My Keepsake
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
I kept it.
It's safe even after all this time.
I bet you never thought
It would still be around almost thirty years later.
But it is!
And I still run my fingers across its seams
While thinking how you must have felt
As the needle and thread guided by your fingers
Made every stitch
Knowing you'd be giving it to me.
You loved me and made it for me,
And I wasn't even born yet!

It's not in pristine condition,
I'll admit.
But it's intact and as whole as I still am.
We both have our holes:
Our badge of honor to bear in this world.
But we're here,
And I now intend to keep it that way.

And one day,
One day you're going to see me
From whatever corner of the universe
Your soul now calls home,
You're going to see me,
And you're going to be proud
To say I was once your granddaughter.

I wasn't your favorite or even the best,
But I was yours
And that's all that matters to me.
Kind of like this Blankie you made just for me
Is mine.
Oct 2015 · 333
My Friend Jiminy
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
I sat beneath a willow tree
To sing about my sorrows,
And who happened upon my knee
But a cricket named Jiminy.

Girl, why you crying?
Can't you see the sun still shining?

"I don't think you'd understand these tears of mine.
I don't think you'd comprehend this pain of mine."

He just looked and winked at me,
Why don't you give me a try?
I shook my head and closed my eyes,
"Ok, I'll let you try

"To understand these tears of mine,
To comprehend this pain of mine."

And when I was done with the crying,
I looked up and saw the sun still shining.

And gone from my knee
Was that cricket Jiminy.

And a smile spread from ear to ear,
For I had let go of all my fears.

He's not gone forever, you see,
Just gone for now from me
To help the next lost girl with sorrow
Singing underneath a willow.

But he'll be back.
For always he'll be
My friend Jiminy.
Oct 2015 · 327
Self-reliant
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
I found my Voice hiding in a box
Thrown in an dusty attic corner.
I coaxed it out and brushed it off,
Gave it some warmed milk for comfort.

I found my Voice but had to trick it to speak,
For it refused to utter a word and kept silent.
I found my Voice, but I had to wonder,
What's the point when it hadn't wanted me?

I gave up on my Voice; tucked it away in my pocket.
I forgot it existed until you ran into me.
"Oh!" my Voice cried, cracking and straining.
And we both were stunned into silence at the noise.

My Voice became familiar
As you coaxed it back out.
And the gleeful mirth we shared
Became my normalcy.

And I forgot to wonder how my Voice sounded
Because you made it possible to hear every day.
I grew to love my Voice and what it would say,
But I forgot my Voice was bold because of you.

I haven't heard my Voice in awhile now.
The day you left, so did my Voice.
I've gone back to wondering if I'll hear again
The strong sure ring of my Voice.

I'm determined to learn the secret
Of finding my Voice and keeping it.
Because I don't want to ever rely
On another person to make it so.

So I'm practicing now
But I've a long way to go.
That doesn't matter though
Because I already know
What I'll say first
When I find my Voice again:

I'm so much better off without you.
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
My brother in arms was laid to rest
Amid a fanfare and pomp as was their best
For such was surely his deserved reward
To honor his heart and spirit and love out-poured.

And this was he: a simple man in plain clothes
Who willingly stood beside us lesser folk
Yet never his nose was higher than us
For he knew he was not greater but just

A man who sought to love and to be loved,
To help others with no cost in mind,
To remind us all with every passing day
That life is good when we treat each other well.

And I watched them raise their arms in salute
With tears and cries threatening to break forth
From soldiers' steeled hearts and guarded eyes.
They loved him as a brother, a friend, a father.

And I repented of my own dark ambitions
To leave this world cleaner with my passing,
For there is no peace for others
In our taking of our own lives
Whatever the feeble justification;
Just loss and emptiness with no direction.

But these who stood around his grave
Had light and purpose in their eyes
For though he had gone into Death's arms,
He had not left them empty-handed.

He left them love and peace and purpose.
And the aspiration to be half the man he was.
And this I saw was his final farewell,
To be the inspiration to others as he was to me.

How do we honor him?
How do we say goodbye?
We keep his words in our thoughts
And love as deeply as he did us.

We raise our glass for the DedPoet.
Sláinte!
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
"I keep thinking
That you're going to walk
Through the door
And then everything
Will be ok.

I keep thinking
That you'll call my name
And meet my gaze
And then my fears
Will dissipate.

I keep thinking
That you'll save me,
And whisk me far away
And then I
Will breathe again.

I keep thinking
You're my safety net.

But you'll never be
What I need you to be,
Or what I want you to be,
Will you?"

*Asked the face in the mirror.
Oct 2015 · 388
Confession #13
Alyanne Cooper Oct 2015
I stayed up way past my typical sleeping hour
Because I didn't want to let our words die out
And pass into the oblivion of time.
I stayed up way past my typical sleeping hour
Because I covet and am jealous over
Every minute of time you spend talking to me.
I stayed up way past my typical sleeping hour
Because for the first time in a long time
I feel like a normal girl
With a whole unshattered soul.
I stayed up way past my typical sleeping hour
And this time it wasn't because of insomnia!
Sep 2015 · 481
A Wearied Soul
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
Do you grow weary
By day's end?
Do your bones ache
With an ancient pain?
Do your eyes wax dim
As your strength fades?
Do you grow weary
By day's end?
Does your heart repine
With dreams?
Does your soul languish
For peace?
Do you grow weary
By day's end?
Do you trudge to bed
With tears unshed?
Do you grow weary
By day's end?

Or like me,
do you awake
And start your day
Wearied and humbled
From all the days
That came before?
Sep 2015 · 481
Sehnsucht
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
How is it that I long,
No, yearn,
For a place I've never been,
Never seen,
Never touched
My toes to its land?

How is it that I pine,
No, crave,
For a home I've never lived in,
Never sat down in,
Never woke up
From peaceful slumber in?

How is it that possible?
To be so full of feeling
For that which I have only ever imagined:

Home where tranquility prevails;
Home where joviality reigns;
Home where love utter saturates.

Home where
My hands know their crafting dexterity,
My feet know their dancing steps.

Home where my heart beats.

How is this feeling more real
Than that which I have lived through?
For it is;
This longing tells me it is;
This yearning proves to me it is;
This craving solidifies its existence.

I want the intangible to become tangible.
I need the imaginary to be reality.
Sep 2015 · 375
Another Night under the Fan
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
A sticky heat
Rouses me from sleep.
My skin burns hot.
Sleepless nights fraught
With dreams I wish
Would fade like mist
And leave me be
In peace.
Sep 2015 · 299
Confession #12
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
It was just a smile
Half hidden behind
A slightly cocked head
As I tried to make you
Laugh, or even just chuckle,
One more time
Because you hadn't smiled
In awhile.
And even though
You kept hiding
That little glint of a smile,
What glimpse I caught
Made me feel like
My life was worth it.
Thank you for smiling.
Sep 2015 · 315
Addict
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
I fell asleep
With your picture in my hands
And your name floating
Through the whispers
Of my thoughts.

Like a smoker
Whose lungs burn with the inhale
But whose nerves calm with the exhale;
Like a drunk
Whose throat stings with the gulp
But whose reality steadies with the swallow;

I'm an addict when it comes to memories--
First the twinge of some kind of pain
Then the flood of some kind of passing relief.

I can't give them up.
I can't give you up.

I'm addicted to the searing relief
Of all sorts of memories,
Especially the ones with you.
And how the hell am I supposed to quit you
When all I have left are the memories of you?
Sep 2015 · 448
Not So Imaginary Friend
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
It's almost like you don't exist
Except for in my imagination.
And I'm more than a little curious
To know if that is why
Our friendship
Endures.
Of course, the painted portraits
In all our conversations
Detailing your myriads of adventures
Goes far to convince
Even the most skeptical
Of your factual existence,
And yet, you're like that imaginary friend
We all have at some point dreamed up--
The friend who just knows
Who we are and where we stand;
The friend with whom laughter
Is infectious and enduring;
The friend whose intangible presence
Gives far more comfort than a tangible touch;
The friend for whom every moment
Is about quality and not quantity;
The friend we always imagined we would have
But struggled to find in the real world.
And yet, there you stand,
Granted it's a thousand miles away.
But perhaps that distance is why
This friendship solidified as quickly as it did
And why it feels like it will endure all tests of time.
Or perhaps it's the simpler fact
That you and I
Are two sides to the same coin
In personality, ethics, morals, and justice,
And that you weren't made up by me
In my overly fanciful imagination;
For there is far more power and stability in reality
Than in one's conjured visualization.
Sep 2015 · 1.5k
Silhouette
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
The door framed
Her silhouette;
The only light
Casting in
The window
From the moon.
A hand held
To her lips,
But it was so dark,
No one could tell.
All they could see
Was the gentle bob
Of her head
And shake
Of her shoulders
As silent sobs
Coursed through her.

The door framed
Her silhouette;
And the night
Played a symphony
Of sounds--
The crickets
And frogs
Each greeting the next
As the cicadas chirped
Their own Hellos
In reply to
The wolf's lone howl--
Which masked
Her gasping breathes
As she lost control
Of her tears.

The door framed
Her silhouette;
And she fell to her knees
Unable to stand
Anymore
While the weight
Of her world
Pressed with great might
Until she cried Mercy
And surrendered.

The door framed
Her silhouette;
And I could only
Watch in the mirror.
Sep 2015 · 1.3k
Winter is Coming Haikus
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
Cicadas' chirp chirp
Buzzing fills the night; and I
Feel winter coming.

Dark moon rising; lone
Wolf cresting mountain tree lines
As the leaves fall down.

My hands are cold, numb;
Empty palms remind me of
Broken solitude--

Once they had been warm,
Once when yours held mine. But now
You are gone. It's cold.

Long nights and short days.
Winter has come; but winter
Was already here.
Sep 2015 · 714
My Fault
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
I stand
Corrected.

You were right.
It was all my fault.

It was my fault
I couldn't handle
The demons of your past
While trying to
Exorcise my own.

It was my fault
I couldn't slay
The dragons
Surrounding your tower
And save you from yourself.

It was my fault
I couldn't swoop in
And pluck you
From the depths
Of your Hell's fires.

It was my fault
I couldn't save you.

It was all my fault
Because I couldn't see
Past the end of my own nose.

It was my fault
I learned to cook and clean
And pay all the bills
When I was eight years old.
(You were "sick" on the couch.)

It was my fault
I learned self defense
And how to slid a knife
Between a man's ribs
When I was twelve years old.
(You threw me out on the street to fend for myself.)

It was my fault
I learned the sweet taste
Of the siren named Whisky
And her silken embrace's escape
When I was fourteen years old.
(You put the first bottle in my hand.)

It was my fault
I learned the power
Of Death
And became his closest friend
When I was sixteen years old.
(You said you'd never wanted me to begin with.)

It was my fault
I learned the truth
And had to choose
Between me and you
And I couldn't choose you
Because I had finally seen
The real view:

It was all my fault
That I so blindly
Trusted
Adored
Worshipped
Loved
you.

It was all my fault.
And I stand corrected.
Sep 2015 · 359
Contemplation #10
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
Fingers stealing over skin
Smooth and coarse and scarred.
Fingers pausing over memories
Faded and fierce and lingering.

The childhood game
Of find the shapes in the clouds
Takes on a new medium
As her eyes scan
The mottled surface of my arm.

And a child's innocence
Becomes my latest quest to protect.
This ***** eared child
Who so readily accepts
This woman's lighthearted recounts
Of the dark fairytale she lived.

But even children are wise,
And this one beyond her short years.
"It's funny," she says
With all the wisdom of her eight years of life,
"None of your stories are...pleasant...
Or...light."

Fingers caress the patchwork of scars.
Fingers rub at the raised knots of skin.
Fingers that once held the blade
That marked and marred.

How do you tell a child
That monsters are real
But they don't live in the closet
Or under their beds?

How do you tell a child
That monsters are real
And they dwell in the dark
Depths of the human soul?

How do you tell a child
Who already knows
And yet maintains her innocence?

Where are the words
To allay my own fears?
Do I even possess the voice
To utter them?

These scars, not all but most,
Were made by my hand, you see.

I held the blade,
So I could control the pain.
I held the blade
That prolonged my suffering.
I held the blade
Because it made me powerful.
I held the blade
So no one else could.
I held the blade...

Because I wanted to.

I wonder if she's old enough to say,
"Yes, but you also let go."

I wonder if even I am old enough
To know
That I let go.
Sep 2015 · 452
...If You Just Smile...
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
She had seven smiles
And I loved each one.
No one ever noticed
Or perchance they were just dumb
For it always baffled me
How no one else could see

One:
The smile that tugged up her lips
In some measure of amusement.

Two:
The smile that stretched from ear to ear
As she laughed at life's surprises.

Three:
The smile that crooked her head
As she got caught up in a memory.

Four:
The smile that pushed her cheeks
Into her eyes as she laughed
At life's merriment.

Five:
The smile that twinkled in her eyes
When she looked upon life's graces.

Six:
The smile that caught her tears
As she realized behind the pain
Was something worth living for.

Seven:
The smile that pierced my soul
When she looked at me
With unhidden love and affection.

Eight:
The smile that she didn't know she had:
The smile that appeared when she was alone
And quietly in life triumphed.
Sep 2015 · 566
Love Letter
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
Fairytales, or maybe Hollywood,
Have us expecting
Grand gestures of romance
Like universe-traversing declarations
Of undying infinite love
Or gravity defying stunts
Displaying unutterable sentiments
Of all-encompassing passion
Or no-amount-of-money-is-too-much bling
Presenting the most ornate emblem
Of breath-stealing desire.

Or even a simple poem
Attempting to put into tangibility
A deep souls-stitching, time-surpassing love.

You've to come to expect these
Or something matching in intensity.
But I have none of those for you.

Not even as a poet
Have I found the better words
To beat the three
Whose sound
Is what we all long to hear.

I say them
At sunset
When your head slips onto my shoulder
As we watch the stars rise into the sky
And your breath steadies and slows
Into slumber
And I know there is no other place for me now
For I belong only where you are.

I say them
At sunrise
When your lips graze mine
Before you tumble out of bed
In preparation for your day
And I watch through slatted eyelids
And I know there is no way for me to survive
For you hold the very breath
That fuels my lungs.

I say them
When you're not around
But your face and being
So easily come to mind
And I can't help thinking about you
And telling you even though you're not there
Because I know that my thoughts will never
Not contain you
For you are the "think" to my "I am".

I say them
With every inhale and exhale I take
Because that is how often
I want you to hear them.

I say those three words
Because there are no grand gestures
Or passionate declarations
Or sentimental pieces of jewelry
That will ever best
Their ability to convey my heart for you.

I will say them to you always:
I love you.
Sep 2015 · 922
Sliding into Love
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
It wasn't what I was expecting.
It wasn't a swift fall or plunge into an abyss.
Nor was it a quick tumble into bliss.
It was a slow slide into
Heaven on earth.

We didn't fall in love.
No, it was more we slowly slid our hands
Into an interlocking form
And realized when they perfectly fit--
Your hand big and strong, mine just a bit smaller--
That all this time
We had been sliding into love.
Sep 2015 · 758
You left a damn hole in me
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
I saw this video
Of a T-Rex chasing a Jeep
Through a parking lot
And I laughed.
No. I threw my head back and guffawed.
Because it was so ******* funny.
And my first thought was
"She'd love to see this video!"
But before I could finish that thought,
I began to cry
Tears I didn't know still existed in my eyes;
Because I instantly remembered
You're not here anymore
To laugh with me about
T-Rexes chasing Jeeps
Through abandoned parking lots.
And that isn't ******* funny
To me.
Sep 2015 · 400
Making Peace with Your Exit
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
It was sugar coated,
The truth you attempted to pass on to me.
I told you not to hold back,
That I could handle whatever needed saying.
But you censored the truth,
Coating it in a thick layer of deceit
Topped with a cherry of half a truth.

And when I finally step away
From your hilltop grave,
I think I understand
Why you tried to hold my hand
And kept up the ruse
Of the sugar-coated truths.

All you left was a note saying "I'm sorry."
Because that is all you could
Muster the strength to say.
All you left was a note--bloodied
Rather than wet with the tears
You were too scared to shed.

You hated goodbyes.
I always knew this.
I hated them too.
The finality of it all is unbearable.

But I wish you'd given me a chance
To say goodbye to you.

I know you thought I wouldn't understand,
Wouldn't comprehend your need to go.
I guess that's something we'll never know.
But I'd like to think I'd've taken your hand
And pressed my lips to your temple
And whispered "I love you.
Goodbye."

Because if I didn't get it then,
I certainly get it now.

So all I can do
Is press my lips to your headstone
And whisper
I love you. Goodbye.
Sep 2015 · 284
Voluntary Isolation
Alyanne Cooper Sep 2015
A silent room's embrace,
Cast in neither darkness nor light,
The only thing of note
Is the bass drum thump
Of a heartbeat.

Two worlds collided and this its aftermath.
Numbly watching the swirling chaos
Through glazed dilated eyes.

The demons of the past haunt
Like parasites in the blood.
Can't live with them,
But no longer can we live without them.  
Every action and reaction made with this in view.
To guard and protect the innocent
From a hell they were never supposed to know.

Hate us for who we were,
For who we are,
For who we will always be.

But do not hate us for separating ourselves
So as to spare you, the innocent and naïve,
From the horrors and hell
That now call our souls home.

This was never meant for you.
Aug 2015 · 611
Contemplation #9
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
We stand alone so often in the world.
Under the midday sun,
Under the cloudy full moon.
With strangers and loved ones surrounding
And yet still on our own.

I think that's what I miss most about you.
See, you were the rare thing,
The elusive dream,
My best friend who made me feel
Less alone.

We would talk from sun up to sun down
And then through the night
About anything and everything,
Our blessings and our plights.
And I knew with every word that we breathed
That I could trust you.

And that feeling of having someone
We can trust,
Someone who's always got our backs,
Someone with whom there's no hesitation,
Isn't that feeling what we all want most?

I had it
With you.
And I'll always be thankful
Even though I lost it.

I just hope that one day
There'll be someone else
Who makes me feel
A little less alone,
Like you.
But not like you.
Because next time
I'll make sure to do
What I never did with you,
I'll make sure we're on the same page,
And that we want the same things.
I'll make sure that
That someone
Isn't just someone
Who makes me feel less alone,
But also that I am someone
They can trust
With each passing word
And thus they too would feel
A little less alone.
Aug 2015 · 774
Lesson #4
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
My great grandma used to say
"Child, life is what you make it to be."
Those words should be framed
And kept alongside me.

She was a bashful violet
Amid a profusion of wild roses.
Hot tempered Irish
Who never stuck up her nose
At anything.

Though she had her faults--
Could hold the longest, meanest grudge--
But at the end of her day,
She never regret
Because she knew
Life is what she made it to be.

I probably could learn a thing or two from her.
Aug 2015 · 399
Midnight Train
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
They say time slows down
The closer you get to the speed of light.
I must be flying through space
Leaving a trail of blaze
Streaking through the sky
On this midnight train
Called Insomnia
Because these last few seconds
Felt a hell of a lot longer
Than all of last year.
Aug 2015 · 459
Protectress
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
I will gladly get ******

Stand as guardian and protectress
With sword and shield in hand
Readied to hew heads from bodies
Without batting an eye,

I will gladly get ******

Sear away with every ****
The humanity in my soul
So no one else need be soulless

I will gladly get ******

Rush the battlefield
In berserker fashion
Taking no prisoners,
Sparing no breaths,
Not even mine,

I will gladly get ******

If it means I keep them safe
In body and soul,
In life and limb,
In thought and future

I will gladly get ******
If it keeps them away from you.

YOU were supposed to bear this role

But you bore us
Only to abandon us.

So now we take up the mantle,
We must protect
Our sisters, our family, our self,

From you.
Aug 2015 · 832
Ghosts
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
You didn't even recognize
Your own ******* daughter.

After
Seven years of absence.
Seven years of change.
Seven years of silence.
Seven years of growing up without you.

And you write a ******* email
To reiterate how good life is
Now that you've abandoned your family
To pursue the life you felt
We kept you from?
Never asking how your daughter is.
Never asking if the child she held in her arms
Was your grandbaby, your ******* flesh and blood.
Never asking a single question
That would focus any shred of attention
On anyone but you.

What. The. Hell?

Sometimes the universe is gracious
And answers our theoretical questions.
Mine had been "What would you say to me?
What would you think of the woman I've become?"

Now I know the answer because
Your dead soulless eyes and selfish letter
Say everything for you:

"Frankly, I don't give a ****."

Well, guess what,
Woman-I-will-no-longer-call-Mom,

I don't give a **** about you either.
You're dead to me--just a ghost.
And we all know the truth about ghosts:
They aren't real.
Aug 2015 · 501
Title Role
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
Red hued water swirls round the drain.
Bloodied hands wash themselves of sin.
Vacant eyes glance briefly in the mirror.
As the once temporary mask grows permanent.

The charade will continue.
The show must go on.
The bright and magicked aural lies persist.
For this is the reality of life.

Every human is an actor.
Every life has its stage.
And there is none willing to consider
Taking a peek behind another's curtain.

Too many acts to follow.
Too many roles to play.
We're all grifters and cheats
Trying to make a way in our worlds

And get everyone else to believe
We belong here as much as the next.

For the broken don't belong.
The wounded and bloodied don't belong.
The scarred and marred don't belong.
Not in a world that prizes symmetry
And wholeness and uniformity.

What is uniform about the bags
That darken our eyes?
What is whole about the scars
That shade our arms?
What is symmetrical about the sad smirks
That crook our cracked lips?

What is prized about our brokenness?

So we play our roles
And we play them well
So no one knows
Our brokenness.

But we do.
For our reality is in the mirror.

The now shattered mirror
Streaked with blood
To match the cuts
New to our fists.
Aug 2015 · 681
Defeated
Alyanne Cooper Aug 2015
You appear when I least expect
And send my head careening.
All the old fears and inadequacies
Stick to the bile rising in my throat.
And I can't speak
To save myself.

Once again
You smirk at my silence.

You win.
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