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Ashley Mellinger Mar 2019
I believe all dogs go to Heaven and that literary classics aren’t always that great.

I believe books have the power to change minds.

I believe thunderstorms are just the angels going bowling; their strikes become lighting.

I believe my favorite yellow dress protects me angainst insecurities and my combat boots make me more confident.

I believe potatoes afe the superior vegetable and that Wendy’s fries are almost, almost as good as Chick-Fil-A’s.

I believe in parallel universes and wish on shooting stars.

I believe dreams can come true and that the subconscious reveals to us our deepest desires and biggest fears.

I believe there is a sisterhood between all women, an intuition, a responsibility to protect and hold each other accountable.

I believe artificial cherry is the best flavor of anything, but my body craves natural produce.

I believe the beauty industry is trying to **** us.

I believe every woman should have control over her own body, not the government, not somebody else’s religion.

I believe that love always wins.

I believe that people cannot meet their full potential until their physical needs are met.

I believe that young girls are tr future, and that we must be educated to take on the world, learning to save ourselves before we save this nation.

I believe one person can make a difference.
Ashley Mellinger Feb 2019
the year of anxiety and emotional breakdowns
we asked our doctors for xanax

crying ourselves to sleep
waking up at ungodly hours

using study tips we found on the internet:
quizlet, kahoots,

khan academy

replacing lunch hours with study halls
desperate to get our projects done

on time

wondering why I haven’t had my period
in months

why I can’t ever seem
to relax

or how many more productive ways
I could have spent my time today

besides calculating the lowest score I could get
but still pass the class

watching movies on netflix
like the gospel,

hunched over in bed, clad in pajamas and tear stains,
crying over my math test marked with a B

because I only feel smart
when I get a perfect grade.

if you don’t get an A,
you are failing.

by the time I was sixteen, I had already experienced
being average, meeting expectations and failing

as a child, gifted was the first word
my teachers used to describe me

which didn’t haunt me
until I found out it was supposed to

when I passed pre-calculus, my dad was so proud
he started carrying my report cards

above the visor in his car

so relieved he could stop worrying
would I get into a good college?

he saw a program on the news
about the epidemic with depression

says he is just so glad to finally see me
taking care of myself

if you develop depression
when you are already broken to begin with

you go to the hospital

if you develop depression
when you are not already broken to begin with

you get told to “**** it up”

so when my grades started dropping,
everyone was disappointed in me

for being lazy

teachers who never spoke to me before
stopped me in the hall to ask if I’m okay

I say, I am sick
they say, No, you are

just incompetent

how could I not
hate myself?

with becoming the kind of mistake
people are supposed to learn from?

why would I ever want to
stop studying

when my intelligence was the most
interesting thing about me?

so, how lucky it is now,
to be boring

the way not going to guidance
is boring

the way looking at a 86%
and only seeing a B, not a failure

or fourteen points marked off
is boring

my story may not be as impressive as it used
to be, but at least there is nothing left

to count

the calculator in my head
finally stopped

I used to love the feeling of passing a hard test,
being the only one in the class to do so

not obsessed with being perfect
but afraid of being flawed

I used to take pride in being
top of the class

now, I am proud to have stopped
seeking revenge on this body

this was the year of accepting my grades
when they weren’t immaculate

without punishing myself

and I know it sounds ridiculous
but that is so hard

when I was little,
someone asked me

what I wanted to be
when I grew up

and I said,

this is an imitation poem, writing in the style of Blythe Baird, my favorite poet ever. if she sees this, I hope she likes it
Ashley Mellinger Feb 2019
It’s easy for anyone to associate harmony with music.
I’m no exception.
I’ve been an alto since I learned how to sing,
Dedicating the past seven years to rhythmic consonance.
That’s not the case for what’s in my heart.
In fact, the past seven years,
I’ve felt at constant war with myself.
Ironic, coming from a pacifist.
I can’t love my neighbor as myself,
If I’ve never known that feeling.
I’ve been taught to despise
Every one of my imperfections,
Learned how to hide my flaws;
Nothing but perfection was accepted.
None of my friends know the depth of sadness,
The dark in my heart,
Or the intensity of my rage.
I don’t know who I am,
Or who I want to be.
Nothing about my emotional state
Sings like a four-part harmony.
Nothing goes together,
It’s all a mess,
Pointlessly swept under the carpet
And I hope against hope
No one is smart enough to look underneath.
I can’t write about peace
If I never seem to relax.
I can’t pretend I’m alright
When I stress over everything.
I’ve never known harmony
Outside of sheet music,
And I’m terrified I never will.
  Nov 2018 Ashley Mellinger
I had my first dream last night that you weren't in.
not even a minor character,
your ****** name wasn't even in the credits,
let alone plastered across the sky in flashing lights
like you want it to be.
my first reality that you didn't belong in,
and it was the most blissful peace that I can remember since we bathed in pools of cloud.

I heard the first song that didn't make me think of you yesterday.
the lyrics, for once, were just lyrics,
not an embodiment of you and the things you do.
guess what?
it was coldplay.
you always hated coldplay.

this morning, I basked in the sun and didn't picture you coated in gold light beside me.
I didn't look at the leaves adorning the trees and picture your face laughing beneath it.

I didn't trace the plate lines of my palm and imagine the earthquake we used to create when yours collided with mine.

I didn't eat new food that I wanted you to try and I didn't want to share the smallest details of my day with you.

you may have won this poem, loverboy,
but don't be too triumphant.
your victory won't last long.
it's the era of my new beginnings without you and I'm going to be just fine.
never trust anyone who doesn't like coldplay.
  Nov 2018 Ashley Mellinger

if you are the ocean
then I am the mist
that kisses the morning
the way I’d want
to be kissed

if you are the ocean
then anchors aweigh
we'll sail through the evening
and on to the light
the daystar is dawning
we'll keep to the right

like Peter and Wendy
to Neverlands' door
we'll sail on forever
and touch every shore

if you are the ocean,
come wash me away
to some misty morning
and there we will play

if you are the ocean,
then sing me a song
of sailors and treasures
and places long gone

if you are the ocean
come wash me away
to a place, together we’ll
forever stay...

Ashley Mellinger Sep 2018
You are a goddess
And your body is a temple
I want to worship.

Your legs are columns,
standing strong,
holding you up right.

Your hair is a veil of golden sunshine,
a diadem that shows your royalty,
your divinity.

Your laugh is a song,
like a hymn in a cathedral.

You’ve got the voice of an angel
and the key to my heart.

When I close my eyes
and try to picture Heaven,
I can only see your bright face,
your earthy eyes
and your smile that outshines the sun.

I lost myself when I found you,
but gained an understating
only a deity could comprehend.
Before I met you, I believed in love
as much as I did in God,
but you guided me back to both.
i have anxiety

sometimes it feels like my head is stuffed with crumpled ***** of paper: the things I never said, the things I should have never said, the things that someone never said to me.

all of these things are written on every piece of paper
there are so many right now that no more would be able to fit
yet i can't stop thinking things, i can't stop saying stupid things, i can't stop wishing things.

i sigh I reach up to my forehead and i grasp my bangs
with my shaky hands and pull

i'm hoping one day when i do this
the top of my head will yank open
all of these crumpled pieces of thoughts
will pour out in a pile
on the floor
i will kneel down
and uncrumple each and every piece
i will read each one
until my head fills up again.
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