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16.1k · Jul 2013
Night Train
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
It's 3 am and you're restless again. Your thoughts wander briskly through the fields of memories of him and you find yourself picking each one and holding it delicately in your palm. The lights from the streetlamps outside your window peek through the blinds and illuminate synthetic stars onto your ceiling which you count like each kiss he ever placed on your cheek. Your legs are wrapped up in your sheets like the way they used to tangle around his ankles every evening. You roll onto your side and attempt to close your eyes once more, calling out to a peaceful slumber that has been evading you for weeks when suddenly, you hear a whistle in the distance. You open your eyes again to see the stars growing into spotlights that threaten to swallow you like black holes, but without the mystery. You immediately grab your wrists out of fear that you unconsciously took a blade to them but you are greeted by scars that have been forming for approximately three years (and eleven months). Your heart threatens to pound its fist through your chest as you slowly turn to see what the source of the light is. Just as your shoulders align with your mattress, a man steps from what appears to be a train engine and greets you with a nod of his head.
"Good evening, sleeping beauty," he begins sweetly, "I have come to extend an invitation to the night train."
You bring your hands to your eyes and attempt to wipe the hallucination away from your vision but when you open them again, you see the man gazing intently.
"It is my understanding that this is your first meeting with the night train," he states as he waits for you to supply an answer.
You nod your head.
"Well, my dear, the night train is here to offer a sweet elixir to cure this sleepless evening. You see, the night train's purpose is to supply the recipient ("that's you," he says behind his hand) exactly twenty minutes of time spent anywhere of their choosing. And then, once the time is up, the recipient must board the train once more, and will be met with approximately eight hours of uninterrupted slumber." He pauses as an assurance that you are following along, so you nod your head slightly. "However, the catch, you see, is that if the recipient does not board the train at the end of the twenty minutes, they will find themselves trapped in a restless oblivion with the promise of never again finding the comfort of sleep." A slight smile tugs at his lips as he tilts his head out of sympathy. "This may not seem to be much of a threat considering you are currently wrapped up tightly in your bed, but I assure you it will be tempting to remain within the place of your choosing, despite the whistle of the night train."
Unsure of what else to do, you nod your head once more.
"Alas, now we must be on our way, because the countdown begins in exactly three minutes! So I urge you to think quickly of where you would like to be taken!"
As though the train has suddenly run into your chest, the meaning of the opportunity that has been placed in front of you knocks the wind out of you. Before the conductor even finished his sentence, you knew exactly where you wanted to go, so you swing your legs to the side of the bed and push yourself upright.
"I would like to be taken to July 13th at precisely 2:32 in the morning," you say quickly as you flatten your restless hair to your head and straighten the t-shirt you are wearing.
"Very well, very well. Now board the train, my dear. And we'll be off to the morning of July 13th, but I urge you not to forget your time limit of twenty minutes!" He places his hand on your back and ushers you into the train, guiding you to a red velvet seat lined with golden stitching. Once you are comfortable, he disappears into the cabin and blows the whistle before pulling out of the station that is your bedroom.
With no warning at all, you feel a tightening in the pit of your stomach and before you even have time to clench, you are sitting on a rooftop overlooking a vibrant city.
"I just don't know anymore. It's like- It's like everything I once knew has been flipped upside-down and I'm just expected to be okay with it. But I'm not."
You blink a few times in an effort to adjust to the sudden deja-vu that causes your head to swim in the memory of an evening you have constantly waded in.
He is sitting with one leg tucked beneath him and the other dangling over the edge, as though even his limbs can't decide whether they want to take the fatal plunge or not. His hair was always absent of color, the kind of black that made you question the material of the universe because even the night sky couldn't compare to the degree of darkness; but it seemed to be doing just that as it laid haphazardly across his pale forehead. His bony fingers are clutching a nearly empty bottle of gin which he brings to his lips between sentences. He continues speaking as though you didn't just appear out of thin air beside him.
"My mum doesn't even pretend to understand anymore. I've heard her mention boarding school at least three times this week, despite my constant refusal to even speak of it. She knows the walls in the apartment are paper thin, so I know she brings it up because she knows I can hear it. But I don't want to hear it."
You notice the vacant look in his eyes as he stares into the horizon, like a hotel room that has been emptied of every belonging, including the light bulbs. He uses his free hand to adjust the collar of his leather jacket before taking another swig of the gin.
"I just can't stay there anymore, and she knows that. Deep down, she knows I can't stay there now that he's gone. I just can't."
His voice is as hollow as his chest as he uses his tongue to wet his lips before turning his head slightly to look at you.
"I wish you could come with me, I really do. It would be quite the adventure, the kind that we used to dream of having. But I can only afford one ticket out of town."
He places the bottle on the ledge, dangerously close to the edge, before resting his sweaty palm on your exposed thigh. His eyes travel from your legs to your forehead, and he leans forward to place a kiss on it, but he misses and falls into your lips. Just like before, your hands land on either side of his face, catching him before he falls completely, and you suddenly find yourself exploring the warm cavern of his vulnerability. His tongue swirls around your own and you taste the bite of the alcohol on his breath but this is the moment you have always craved so you soak up every bit of it. He pulls away just as your heart starts to tremble, and he wipes his mouth with his sleeve before picking the bottle up again and stealing a drink.
"I wish you could come with me," he says again, his eyes now focused on the street below. "But I fear I can only afford one ticket out of town."
Just then, you hear a whistle, but the timing isn't right. This is the moment you would have died to change, and now you've been given a second opportunity, but you can feel it slipping away.
You lean towards him, softly placing your hand on his arm.
"Come with me. We can go anywhere in the world that you please, and I promise it'll be better than here or there if we're together. Because I can't go where you're going, because I can't pay that price, but I want to go away with you, I do."
You search his empty expression, hoping to grab some string of familiarity that you can use to pull him back to reality, but his eyes are locked on the parallel lines beneath.
The whistle grows louder, this time stinging your eardrums, and you know that your time is running short, but you can't let him go.
"You don't have to go back to your apartment, you don't have to go back to your mum. We can runaway tonight, together. You and me, just the way it was always meant to be."
Your voice is shaking and desperate, getting louder with each word that you speak as the whistle blows from behind you, threatening to leave.
Just then, a hand falls upon your shoulder, and for a second you allow yourself to glance over, and it is in that second that the body before you tips over the rooftop's edge. Your heart falls like a weight in your stomach, just like on the evening this event first occurred, anchoring you to the cement and preventing you from going after him. The conductor who now stands behind you grabs your torso and pulls you backwards as you scream his name into the night sky. You kick against his hold as he drags you back onto the train and into the velvet seat again.
This time, you were unable to hear his body land on the pavement.
This time, you weren't able to look down and see his hands lying ten feet away from the rest of his body.
This time, you didn't get to perch on the edge and contemplate for hours joining him.
This time, you couldn't blame yourself for being speechless, for letting him be the star of his shining moment, because you attempted to be his Juliet.
You didn't realize you were still screaming until the conductor grabbed your shoulders with his hands and shook you quickly.
"Quiet my dear, I fear it is time to go. And I was unwilling to allow you to remain any longer, but I fear you will only be receiving six hours of peaceful slumber."
You look at him sternly, unsure how he can continue to speak of this ****** night train and its guidelines after you just watched the love of your life commit suicide for the second time.
You take a deep breath before speaking, "I don't understand the point of this, why bring me here if I couldn't change anything? Why allow me to relive this if it didn't make a difference?"
He smiles sympathetically before beginning, "oh but it did. You see, for three and a half years you have been tossing and turning, wondering what you would have done differently and if you would have been able to change it. But you see, the past isn't something that can be changed. It can only be relived again and again within the minds of those who continue to contain it, and the pain of the past and the memories that come along with it will feel just as real as the day they happened if you continue to dwell on them. Eventually you will see that tonight made a significant difference, because you were finally able to recreate the scenario that you always dreamed."
Your mind is running at a faster speed than the train as it makes its way back to your bedroom, and you can't seem to comprehend what the conductor is saying.
"So you're telling me that the whole reason behind this was to show me that he was going to die whether or not I tried to convince him otherwise?"
He places a gentle hand on your shaking shoulder and replies, "the reason behind this was to allow you to finally put the past behind you and grant yourself the pleasure of peaceful slumber. Because you see, my dear, there is no such thing as the night train. It is merely a figment of your imagination. Deep inside you, you realize that nothing you said could have changed that night, but you needed to dream another possibility in order to believe it. Now believe it."
"But I-" you begin to speak but in the blink of an eye, you're suddenly sitting on the side of your bed, your shoulders no longer shaking. You blink again, trying to make sense of everything. You bring your hands to your face and feel your cheeks, reassuring yourself that you still exist. You look around once more, noticing the stars upon your ceiling twinkling as though they are winking at you like the conductor of a mysterious night train. But you realize that you are in your bedroom, in your t-shirt, as though you never moved beyond that point. And you find that you're unsure whether it was all a dream, or whether you really did go for a ride on a night train, but you decide to lie back down and attempt to sleep anyways.
And six hours later, you find yourself awaking from a very peaceful slumber.
8.8k · Aug 2013
OCD
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
OCD
I never suspected I had OCD
Until I replayed your voicemail
On the answering machine
A total of twelve times
Every evening
Just to hear your voice again
Or until I opened your dresser drawer
Thirty times
Before I went to bed
Just so I could smell
Your leftover scent
Wafting into the air
Or until I rearranged my shoes
In the closet four times
Before I left the house
Because you hated tripping over them
On your way out
But I knew I didn't have OCD
When I finally locked the door
And turned off the light
And made the bed on your side
For the very last time.
Inspired by the OCD poem performed by Neil Hilborn.
5.2k · Jul 2013
Yellow Dress
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
She wore a yellow dress the day that he picked her up in his truck for their very first date. Her hair fell in loose curls and gentle waves upon her shoulders like the low tides of the ocean on a warm summer day when it was just the right temperature for sun-bathing. She had a smile as careless as the high grass swaying in the wind around the telephone poles that they passed on their way to the lake that they were planning on picnicking at. Her hands danced like shadow puppets on the dashboard to the rhythm of the country songs emitting from the radio. She crossed her thin legs and tilted her head towards the sky, allowing the breeze sweeping through the cab to kiss her neck as it passed by. Every now and then, when she wasn't looking, he'd steal a glance in her direction like a heads-up penny that he would slip into his pocket for good luck for later. When he pulled off the dirt road and removed the wicker basket and blanket from the truck bed, she ran ahead of him like a gazelle yearning to quench her thirst, searching for a spot near the lake for them to sit. She fell to her knees on a soft patch of dirt that filled the creases like puzzle pieces, as though she belonged to it. As he made his way to her, he watched as she tangled the grass in her fingers like strands of hair before looking up at him and smiling.  He never knew what love was, but he knew this was as close as he ever needed to be in order to be happy.

She wore a yellow dress the evening that she crawled through his bedroom window to spend the night with him, without his parent's consent. Her hair was tucked behind her ears like every reservation he had until he met her, that now dangled out the window. He removed his guitar from behind his bed and watched as she twirled around in circles in the center of his bedroom, as though the angels were strumming on harps just for her. Every now and then, his fingers would slip from the strings, because he couldn't remove his eyes from her pink lips as they lip-synced their very own love song. When the melody ceased, she fell into the carpet like a cloud that she could float away on top of. He put his guitar back in its rightful place before fitting his body behind hers, holding her and whispering their love song as they both fell asleep.

She wore a yellow dress the afternoon that he pushed her on a tire swing. Her slender fingers gripped the rope the way she held him, as though she never intended to let go. He pressed his hands against her back and pushed her into the heavens, wondering how he was so fortunate to receive an angel when it came back to him. Her hair blew behind her like the physical manifestation of the sound waves of her laugh whenever she went too fast. He couldn't remove the smile from his face, even if he tried, although he never would whenever she was around. She was the high, higher than the tire swing could ever take her, that he never wanted to come down from.

She wore a yellow dress the night that she was riding her bike, alone. Her feet pressed down on the peddles and her hips balanced the frame as she spread her arms out beside her like a bird in flight. Her mind was still racing with thoughts of him, his soft breath against the back of her neck and the feel of his hand against her stomach, when a car sped around the turn too quickly. She felt the headlights illuminate her skin like the sunlight that kissed her the way he did on their first date, but the blow that followed didn't quite resemble that of his kiss.

She wore a yellow dress the morning that they decorated her casket. Her hair was stiff as it framed her powdered face, and her hands were cold as they were crossed on her chest. Her legs were covered by a silk blanket and daisies were laid upon them. A forced smile was spread across her lips, appearing grotesque, which was the first thing he noticed whenever he entered the funeral home. At the sight of her lifeless body, he fell to his knees and began sobbing. She was now nothing more than a metaphor for the good dying young.

She wore a yellow dress the twilight that she walked into the sunset to greet him. Her hair fell delicately down her back like a waterfall cascading into a heavenly pool. She had a smile as warm as the sunbeams that blinded him whenever he first opened his eyes, after he (what he thought might be) permanently closed them while lying on the cold tile of his bathroom floor. Her hands reached out to hold his, as though she desired to place twinkling stars in his palms. She wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder, holding him like she knew she failed to do the evening that she left him. Then she lifted her head towards the heavens again, allowing the wind to kiss her neck and the sun to sweep her into his arms (along with him) and her yellow dress.
4.5k · Aug 2013
Tire Swing
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I don't know why I went to the park that day, to be honest. But it was as though the idea was contained in the center of one of the anti-depressants that I swallowed that morning, as though it was released into my bloodstream along with the rest of the ingredients that usually bring me a sense of peace (on good days), as though it bloomed like a vine that weaved through my capillaries and consumed every part of me. Once it took hold of me, I couldn't rid myself of it, so I succumbed to it. As soon as the bottom of my sandals made contact with the soft dirt of the playground, goosebumps rose to the surface of my skin like every memory bursting through my subconscious. The last time I was here, my shoes never met the ground, because you carried me on your back like a child and set me down gently on the tire swing just inside the entrance. I walked slowly towards the swing, envisioning how we must have looked that day. My hands clinging to the chains supporting the tire like they held tightly to your heart strings, my legs kicking from beneath me as though I were splashing in the waves of every ounce of love that poured from us, and my hair flowing in the breeze with the same ease that we existed in each other's presence. Your hands pressed against my back and pushed me higher and higher, and although I was swaying several feet from the ground, I had never felt more safe. I could hear your laughter from behind me and the soundwaves wrapped around my chest like a parachute that I knew would carry me to safety. I felt drawn to the swing once again, so I lifted my legs over the tire and wrapped my hands around the chains once more, rocking back and forth slowly. I closed my eyes, allowing myself to feel the rythym of the swing throughout my entire body. But my meditation was interrupted by a familiar sound that seemed to be gliding upon the invisible fibers of the light breeze that was softly kissing my cheeks. The sound wrapped itself around my head and entered my ears, filling them. I opened my eyes to see several shadows walking in my direction in the distance. The trees overhead were offering them a cover that they slipped quietly beneath, but within seconds, they stepped into the sunlight and I caught my breath. You were among them, and your head was tilting back in laughter, and your hands were moving gracefully in front of you, and your feet were walking swiftly as though you weren't wading through a swamp littered with my memory. And that was when you saw me, and if I hadn't been looking right at you, I wouldn't have noticed the slight twitch in your smile when your eyes met mine. But you didn't miss a step, you never did. Not even when you wrapped your fingers tightly around my heart and then shattered it into a million pieces. I couldn't remove my gaze from you, from your graceful and unaffected presence. I couldn't even register who you were with because I was so focused on the way your tongue slipped effortlessly in and out of your mouth. And if I wasn't mistaken, you slightly lifted your head in my direction as a nod of recognition, but you kept on walking. And I kept staring, because I always seemed to be the one clinging to something that was already gone. But it was in that moment that the vines in my bloodstream dissolved and I suddenly felt free from it all, as though it was my purpose to revisit the place I have replayed in my mind a thousand times only to replace it with a new memory. And it was in that moment that I realized that all you would ever be from now on is a memory, an empty tire swing swaying in an invisible breeze.
Asphyxiophilia Sep 2013
You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because they have chapped lips
And the jagged edges
Will slice your tongue
Whenever you touch them

You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because metal on metal
Isn't a forgiving sound
But you already know that
From when you had your first kiss
And you were each wearing braces

You shouldn't kiss telephone poles
Because they are sensitive
And will bite your lip with an electric current
But not in the way that you were hoping

And rear view mirrors aren't for decoration
But you never bothered to look at them
When you were desperately switching lanes
And speedometers aren't for your entertainment
But you always enjoyed watching the needle fluctuate
As though your life depended on it
(It did)

And the high beams of oncoming cars
Aren't Christmas lights in restaurant windows
And crashing through the windshields
Won't bring you any closer
To the apple pie the bakery down the street made
That always reminded you of home

And even though you no longer recognize
The town you grew up in
Or the boy you fell in love with
You shouldn't kiss guardrails
Because they might kiss you back
But not in the way that you were hoping.
3.9k · Feb 2014
Sleepwalking
Asphyxiophilia Feb 2014
For me, love has always been like sleepwalking. I never remember how I get there but there are always footprints behind me in the snow that appear to be the same size as my own. Somehow I ended up there again, with my face turned upward and the wind kissing it. Whoever compared love to warmth was lying. It is cold. It is the inch between solid ground and frozen lake that you can't see. It is the fog that clings to the tops of trees and softly whispers your name. It is the frost on your window that reminds you how easily things can break. The worst part of falling in love is falling out of love. The worst part of sleepwalking is waking up.
You woke up.
3.7k · Sep 2013
Home (But Not Really)
Asphyxiophilia Sep 2013
The carpet is frayed in the hallway
And the nails along the walls are facing upwards
As reminders that any attempt to
Unearth the secrets swept beneath them
Will result in ****** hands
And the closet door in the bathroom
Is hanging off the hinges
From the time your stepmother tried
To hide her boyfriend in there
And your father threw it open
As a reminder that closets
Are cliché places to keep skeletons
And the red smear beside the toilet
Is the result of your father's fists
Breaking blood vessels and skin
As a reminder that even ghosts
Can leave behind stains
And the glass window in the bedroom is splintered
From the time your father had a nightmare
And thought the house was on fire
As a reminder that sometimes
We burn from the inside
And there's a hole in your bedroom wall
From the time your brother put his fist through it
As a reminder that walls are the only things that stand between
Yourself and every version of yourself that
You've tried to hide within them.
3.5k · Jul 2013
Taxi Driver
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Sometimes I wish I was a taxi driver
Because I don't believe there is
A more honest person on earth.
They hear the apologies of
Intoxicated teenagers
On their way home from the clubs
That they used fake ID's to get into.
They hear the quarrels between
Frisky lovers
Who drank too much on their dinner date
And can't wait to shed their clothing.
They hear the ramblings of
Elderly folk
Complaining about gas prices
And the brand-name stores that
Put the local businesses under.
But sometimes, they hear the confessions of
Lonely travelers
Who were wandering the streets
At 3 in the morning, contemplating
How they would like to take their life,
Until they saw a taxi cab driving past
And realized it was their sign to go
Home.
A Loose Sequel to Rooftops
3.4k · Jul 2013
If I Could Marry Seasons
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Summer would be the sunflowers seemingly blooming from beneath telephone poles as a reminder that love can travel upon the wires connecting long-distance lovers, the ropes that cling to trees as though reuniting after a twelve month absence as they bear the weight of two bodies more entangled in each other than the pattern of the hammock that they lie upon, the ice cubes that float atop the glass of sweet tea stealing quick kisses each time the glass is lifted as they melt together beneath the heat.

Fall would be the leaves clinging to the tree limbs whispering secrets to each other as they flutter in the wind and change color according to the lovers that will one day float to the ground beside them, a calm pond reflecting former versions of couples who have always desired to know each other before their time of acquaintance only to realize they never existed until the day that they met, the stone path that weaves through a graveyard that has felt the light footsteps of paired souls wandering the grounds during midnight strolls.

Winter would be the snowflake drifting in the wind quickly memorizing the patterns of each familiar one it passes in an effort to reunite with its match made in the heaven from which it has fallen, the steaming cup of tea that collects condensation in the hands of lovers who find solace in sitting upon their front porches when it's freezing, the parallel lines of sleds that have etched temporary tracks in the land as representations of the distance that once separated those who created them (but does no longer).  

Spring would be the first sprout of the season persevering through the darkness of the soil and finally pushing through the light at the end to feel the warmth of the sun upon it, a bridge the connects flower-covered hills that houses the memory of two lovers who reunited after being apart for the winter, the daisy that he planted beneath her chest the night that he told her he loved her and promised to always water it.
3.3k · Jul 2013
The Loveless Alcoholic
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
He was the epitome of a loveless boy, and he knew it. In fact, that was what kept him restlessly awake most nights, especially on this particular evening. He glanced down at the dark mess of hair that was laid across his chest and listened to the soft emission of peaceful breathing slipping from the lips of the girl whose name he did not remember. For a second, he debated on searching the dark corners of his mind in an attempt to remember it, but he soon realized he never even bothered to ask. This disappointed him for one reason - it was another question mark that he had to add to the list of names that he kept pinned to the front of his brain. At the thought of this particular list, he felt sick, as though an ounce of regret had seeped into his stomach and spread like an infection and now threatened to rise like bile. He knew he needed to keep it down, so he leaned over his bed and wrapped his fingers around the neck of the glass bottle he kept hidden in the bed springs. He sat back up and slowly unscrewed the cap, his eyes mesmerized by the amber liquid that swirled around the bottom half like a whirlpool of gold. He brought the top to his lips and tipped it back, filling his mouth with the warmth of forgetfulness and feeling as it burned his throat like fire the entire way down. It instantly washed him clean of every bad memory he had done his best to forget for the past week. Every tear that every girl had shed on their knees in front of him, begging him to love them; every cigarette that he had chain-smoked on the rooftop of his apartment building in an effort to cloud these very memories (unsuccessfully); every streetlamp that he had found solace in as he walked the streets mindlessly at three am, searching for answers that never came to him. He closed his eyes and imagined the whiskey rising inside of him until it leaked into his lungs and filled them, drowning him. He held his breath, pondering how long it would take for him to go lifeless in this position. But the sudden stop in the rise and fall of his chest caused the female lying on it to stir in her sleep, draping her arm around him and pulling him even closer. He felt sick again so he took another sip. He knew that when he looked back on this evening, he wouldn't remember it, which was becoming a classic move on his part. In fact, his life had become nothing more than disconnected nights with nameless and faceless females and fire whiskey that filled all the empty space within him. And he wasn't sure how that had come to be, but he no longer cared enough to even attempt to figure it out.
3.1k · Aug 2013
The Budget Inn
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
If every button on your blouse and jeans
Were the knobs of the doors
Of the Budget Inn
I would wrap my hand around them forcefully
And twist and turn until
I finally gained entry.
And if the unwashed comforters
That cover the soiled beds
Were your eager lips
I would jump into them
Until the stains left by other lovers
Made their mark on my skin
In the form of broken blood vessels
And residual lipstick.
And if the thin pages of the
Dust-covered bible tucked into the nightstand
Were every word you whispered
Before sinking your teeth into my skin
I would rip out every page
And paste them over the peeling wallpaper
So that I would be able to read them
Again and again and again
Until I finally believed
That more than failed religion
Could bring me to my knees.
3.0k · Jul 2013
Visiting Hours
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
My legs carry me mindlessly through the white-washed walls of the intensive care unit. I am stuck in a labyrinth in which there is no end, there is merely alcoves on either side which take you even further into the maze. Nurses with faces as pale as their uniforms pass me like zombies, their minds calculating numbers on charts which directly correlate to a list of symptoms that equate to something less than diagnosable. I am nothing more than a distant shadow in their busied brains.
Unknowingly, I begin counting the rooms after I pass through the double doors, remembering that yours is the ninth on the right. My heart rate steadily increases, no longer in tune with the clicking monitors that surround me like locusts, calling out to those just as alive and lonely.
I rest my hand on the doorframe of room number ninety-four as I attempt to collect myself. Just as I inhale a deep breath, my vision blurs and every emotion I have (until now) successfully shoved into the deep recesses of my chest now rises up my stomach and into my mouth. I press my lips together, holding back the bile that has taken up unwanted residence on my tongue. Warm tears squeeze their way out from behind my eyes as I swallow it back down, suppressing it once more. I attempt another deep breath, and another, until I realize I am unable to procrastinate any longer.
I hear the rustling of stiff sheets and the slight give of a hard mattress. You're awake.
I clear my throat softly, wanting you to be aware of my presence, although I am certain that the heartbeat that reverberates my eardrums must have given me away miles ago.
A white curtain hangs from the tiled ceiling, held up by metal clamps looped around a pole for easy accessibility and I can't help but wonder if that pole would be strong enough to hold me. But just as I begin planning what sheet and what knot I would use around the pole, I step into view of you.
My hand is pulled to my lips like a magnetic force that is out of my control as I take in the sight of you. Your left eye, which once shone a more brilliant blue than the clear waters of the Caribbean, is now bloodshot and swollen. The left side of your head is bandaged and half of your pale blonde hair is shaved down to your bruised scalp. Your lips, which were once so thin and precious, are now bloodied and blown-up like red balloons. Your bones jut out from beneath your skin, as though your collarbone is rejecting you and begging to be freed. Down your arms I notice the scabs and scars and marks from unsuccessful attempts to hook you to an IV. But there is more than just one bag hanging beside you, and I realize that the other is Morphine.
I take a step closer to you, waiting for your eyes to flutter open like they did so many mornings when I'd wake you with your favorite breakfast (two plain pancakes and a cigarette). Your head tilts slightly to the right but your eyes remain closed. I take another small step, and another, until my waist is just inches from the seemingly disjointed hand hanging limply from the edge of the bed. I reach out and press my shaking fingertips to the hard palm that faces me, hoping for your hand to turn and clasp around mine, silently accepting my every apology.
But your hand remains stiff against my touch.
I memorize the new lines on your hand, the crescent-shaped bruises on your palm and the shallow scratches on the back of your hand where I pressed my lips more times than I could ever possibly count. I trace my way up your arm, my fingertips traveling over the hills of your veins, a familiar territory, and the streams of tubes filled with fluid, an uncharted area. Just as my hand begins the climb up your forearm and into the crease of your elbow, I feel your arm move. But rather than moving towards me, an invitation to venture even closer, it is pulled away from me, a protest.
I take a step back and inhale a deep breath, feeling the rush behind my eyes again, as I notice your right eye is now looking right at me, into me. I search the depths of your gaze in the hope that I will resurface with a strand of hope or affection that I can hold on to for the rest of the day, but I come up empty-handed. All that I can find in your eyes is a direct reflection of the pain that both your heart and body are enduring.  
"I'm so, so, so-"
But before I can even begin to utter my sincerest of apologies, your hand is held inches above the mattress, silencing me. I dive into your eyes again, deeper and deeper, realizing that if I can't find any form of redemption, then I'd rather just drown in them. But you **** me back to reality with only two words.
"Please leave."
I feel the tidal wave crash into my chest as I take another step back.
My worst fear has been realized - you don't want me here.
Suddenly every argument, every fight, every "I'm sorry," every "you don't mean that," every "I love you," every "don't say that," was another wave throwing my helpless body against the cliffs and coral reefs. I am lifeless, my body thrashed beyond recognition, my heart ripped to shreds.
Tears gather behind my eyes and burst through, falling upon my cheeks as though the depths that I have drowned in have finally consumed me.
I reach out once more, my shaking hand yearning for the touch of your skin.
But you pull your head from me, wanting nothing to do with me.
An earthquake shakes my chest and threatens to pull me in half as I backpedal out of the room, temporarily getting wrapped up in the white curtain that I had admired just minutes before.
The rush returns to my head and I can no longer see anything but frothy waves that continue to pull me under, and I can no longer hear anything but the sound of water filling my ears.
My shoulder connects with a sturdy boulder and I fall to the ground, collapsing into nothing more than a puddle, the aftermath of the hurricane that has wrecked my body, and you are no longer able or willing to save me.
3.0k · Aug 2013
Saltwater Tears
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
The ocean has a salinity of about 3.5%
And contains mostly sodium chloride
Which is the same salt that streaks
Down my cheeks whenever I cry
But I didn't notice a difference
The evening I wandered into high tide
Despite the warnings offered by lifeguards
"The current is rough and the sand is steep"
But I was determined to wash
Every ounce of you off of me
But it seemed that no matter how many waves
Crashed against me and knocked me off my feet
No amount of water would cleanse me.
So the next best thing I could think of
Was to exhale every vapor of you
And fill my lungs with saltwater
And it reminded me of falling in love
And I drowned just as effortlessly.
2.9k · Aug 2013
Secrets
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I have always believed that it is possible to see through the defenses of those who keep secrets tucked into their back pockets like wallets with a little more cash than they are comfortable with, if one is willing to look closely enough. It is apparent in their heavy eyelids, as though the weight of what they are carrying is resting on their eyelashes. It is apparent in the curve of their lips, and the way they are not able to smile to their fullest potential. It is apparent in their hands, and the way they are not able to hold anything, as though their fingers are already full. However, I never realized that it was also possible to notice leaves clutching secrets to their chests like keepsake necklaces passed down by their great-grandmothers until one afternoon when I was walking between two bushes. My feet were carrying me lackadaisically down the sidewalk toward my dormitory when something to my right caught my eye. Among a congregation of green leaves, I noticed one blushing sinner. She sat in the center, as though she was attempting to blend in, but her pink cheeks made her stand out from the rest. When everyone stood in unison, she followed a few seconds behind. When everyone clutched hymns and bibles in their hands, she tied her fingers in knots to appear busy. When everyone partook in communion, she bit her lip quietly. But there was something about the way she held her hands in her lap, with her palms pressed together and her fingers interlocked, and the way she wore her hair behind her shoulders in curls that made me want to get to know her and every secret she kept tucked beneath the belt of her summer dress. But we don’t always get the pleasure of conversing with sinners, and we often are not even willing to have those conversations with ourselves.
2.9k · Oct 2013
It Only Takes One Step
Asphyxiophilia Oct 2013
It only takes one step to walk over the edge
And if your heart is as cracked as the canyon under your feet,
I suggest you back away from it
Because the split rocks scattered around you
Are not good indicators of
The split seconds it would take
For your hands to reach the heavens and
Your face to connect with the ground beneath
And although your only thought is
Whether you would finally be able to fly
And reach the other side
You are only a human
Standing with your barefeet pressed into sand
And your toes kissing a ledge
And although you can't fly right now
That doesn't mean you never will
But it only takes one step to walk over the edge.
2.7k · Aug 2013
Leave The Light On
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
Leave the light on for me.
I know it's late,
And I'm out wandering the streets
But when I promised I'd come home tonight
Whether I was belligerently drunk
Or mind-numbingly high,
I meant it.
And now I'm wandering the streets
And the streetlights are all blending together
As though they are strung out
On the christmas trees
Of the apartment buildings
On our street,
Except I'm not sure if it's our street
Because I have stood on every step
Of every porch with the light on
But no one seems to be home
And I can't help but wonder,
Did you forget to leave the light on?
Or do you not feel like coming to the door?
I'm trying not to over-think this
But the police officer across the street
Is beginning to stare at me
With beady eyes
That remind me of the rats
That I passed in the subway
Just twenty minutes ago,
Or was it thirty?
I can't read the numbers
Engraved on the buildings
Aligned like tombstones
As though even they know
Our love is going to die here.
Or is it already dead?
I guess I'll know
In the next thirty seconds
Because I have one more porch to go
And I can't help but wonder,
Did you leave the light on?
2.6k · Jul 2013
Heartstrings
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Your fingers traced the curve of my forearm like an atlas that mapped out the route that would lead you back to your heart, but you knew the journey was a labyrinth as complicated as the waterways of veins beneath my skin, so you removed your hand. Instead, your fingers found their familiar solace upon the sturdy neck and trembling strings of your guitar.
You plucked each one intently, running your hand down the edge of the fretboard and feeling each chord reverberating within the empty space of your every capillary.
I moved my gaze to your eyes, the black holes that have always swallowed me whole with the promise of never regurgitating me into bigger pieces than what I was originally.
I found myself reminiscing to a time whenever your eyes were identical to the ground we laid upon the afternoon we first decided to find versions of ourselves within the shapes of the clouds. But ever since, the innocence has slowly seeped from your expression and a stare as hard and cold as stone has taken resisidence in its place.
I allowed my eyes to slowly drift closed and suddenly I began to feel each strum of your fingers within my rib cage, the notes sketching portraits of a love never experienced upon my internal organs.
When you stopped playing, your hand immediately reached for the long-necked glass bottle resting upon the edge of your night stand. You brought it to your lips and tipped your head back, slowly drinking in every bad decision you have ever made and the after-taste that you had begun to crave. It burned your throat like acid, but each swallow was a reminder of just how hollow you had become.
Your fingers found their place once again and I readjusted beneath the weight of your expectations. I draped my legs over your bed like every profession of love that I have never said that hangs from the brim of my lips. My fingers danced across my thighs to the beat of your song, one not as familiar as the one of your unrequited love, but I still managed to dance the same.
And we seemed to lie like that for an eternity, you focused on every chord that never came out wrong like every word you ever said to me, and me basking in the sound of your unspoken promises and confessions just waiting for the day when they become reality.
2.6k · Jul 2013
Sinful Religion
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
I have never been a religious soul but I found a cathedral in my bedroom in the form of your body hardening beneath the white linens attached to my mattress. It was the perfect combination; I'd begin on my knees between your thighs and sin again and again in the form of sliding you down my throat, and then I would crawl up your body and sit on your lap and rock back and forth as I prayed for redemption. I never knew grace until you pressed your kiss to my breast and I never felt a revelation until you tucked your hand inside me for safe-keeping and wouldn't remove it until my whole body was shaking. And because I have never been a religious soul I fear that I cannot promise to return to this cathedral but I'll be ****** if I don't burn it down before I go.
2.6k · Oct 2013
Something We Never Did
Asphyxiophilia Oct 2013
I have imagined this moment over and over again and now it's finally happening and I can't quite tell which direction is up or down or backwards but I guess they're all directions so it really doesn't matter as long as I'm going somewhere. I've been watching my shoelaces as I've been walking and they seem to tighten with every step as though even they know you'll have me floating right out of them. My palms have already begun to sweat and the puddles they've created in my pockets are just deep enough to drown in. I look up for a second to see the air in front of me holding a string. A grin spreads across its face as it suddenly begins to pull and my breath is stolen from my lungs. I reach out to grab it but it has already disappeared and suddenly I realize I can't breathe without you here. I close my eyes and stumble, not wanting to go any further, not wanting to face the reality of a situation that doesn't involve sleeping beside you. But then I realize, that was something we never did. I have been falling asleep beside myself for years, I have been waking up with regret and a heart broken into more pieces then the number of tiles on the bathroom floor. I have been sleeping with my head on my own chest and praying that someday you'd fill the empty space between not being able to fall asleep and never wanting to be awake.
Asphyxiophilia Oct 2013
I have always imagined your touch as sunlight
As the heat trapped beneath my blanket when I first wake up
As the rug warming my bare feet in the morning
But that was before I realized I was loving a ghost
Before I saw my breath in front of my face
And realized we had just shared our first kiss
Before I wrapped my arms around myself after walking outside
Feeling the air cut through my skin like a thousand knives
Now I see you in the bottom of every glass
When I am left feeling even emptier than before I took a drink
Now I see you at the bottom of every staircase
As a reminder that even if I would jump
You wouldn't be there to break my fall
Because no matter how far a ghost's arms may reach
They'd never be solid enough to catch me.
2.4k · Jul 2013
Rooftop
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Sometimes I wish I was a rooftop
Because I don't believe there is
A more honest place on earth.
They feel the warm touch
Of the sun
In the middle of the afternoon.
They feel the chilling touch
Of the snow
In the middle of winter.
They feel the romantic touch
Of lover's nestled
Against each other
As they gaze at the stars.
But sometimes, they feel the soft touch
Of sad feet
Walking slowly towards the edge,
Never to be felt
Again.
2.3k · Aug 2013
You Are Not
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
Your hands are not sandpaper
You can't round my sharp edges,
Or scratch away the good parts of me.
Your fingers are not cages
Capable of capturing my hopes and dreams
And tucking them into a dark corner
To be forgotten about
Until a rainy day
When I go searching for them
In every cardboard box stacked in the attic.
Your eyes are not black holes
That will **** me in
And spit me back out
In outer space untethered to anything
So that I may float around
Devoid of gravity
And responsibility.
Your hair is not a net
Which will tangle my limbs
And refuse to release me
Until I submit to your commands.
You are not a strong current
Beating me endlessly
Before sweeping me out to sea
Because I am capable of standing
On my own two feet
And walking up the bank
To dry land
And safety.
2.3k · Jun 2013
Ten
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
Ten
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
That is all that I see.
My knees are tucked against my chest
And my arms are wrapped around them.
My chin is positioned between my knees
And my eyes peer out between the spaces.
I shrug my shoulders against my ears
So that I don't have to hear
What's going on downstairs.
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
But the words, like a poisonous gas,
Seep through the air vent.
"*****. ****. You don't see
What's she's doing to us."
I tilt my head and bury
My face in my forearms.
I bite my lip and try
Not to cry.
But I can feel the heat building
And my chest tightening
As the tears begin
To crawl from
My eyes.
I listen again,
Unintentionally,
To the shrill voice
Piercing my not-so-silence.
"Take her home,
We can figure this out
On our own."
I try to breathe,
But oxygen escapes me,
As if it too hates me.
My chest shakes,
My heart rattling
In its cage, cold from
A lack of love
And warm embrace.
I bury my face deeper,
Into the crevices of my legs,
Until I hear the footsteps
Crashing up the staircase.
A whimper escapes my lips.
She twists the **** and throws
Open my bedroom door,
Long strides to reach me,
And a fist near my throat.
She reaches for my hair,
And knots it between her fingers,
Before using it to pull me like a rope.
Dragging me across the carpet,
And into the kitchen,
She tosses me
At my father's legs.
"Now tell her exactly
What you told me."
I look up at him
Through frightened eyes
And he reaches down
And pulls me from the ground.
"I'm taking her home."
A trickle of relief
Slides down my throat
Until a wave of pain
Crashes into my leg
From behind.
My face hits the
Linoleum first,
Followed by my hands
Then shoulders, then hips.
"That's not what you said!"
He steps between
Her and me
And lifts me
From the floor,
Holding me close,
And walking quickly
Out the door.
And finally,
I am safe,
For another day.
But as my father
Sits me
In the passenger seat
And drives away,
I silently pray that
No other ten year old
Would ever feel this way.
2.3k · Aug 2013
If Sidewalks Could Talk
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
If sidewalks could talk,
They'd tell stories
Of hurried footsteps
As I chased you down the street
And you carried me back inside again.
If hinges could talk,
They'd tell tales
Of every evening
That ended in slamming doors
And gut-wrenching sobs.
If bed springs could talk,
They'd whisper the secrets
Of the nights we laid too close
And I allowed you to stay
Until I fell asleep.
If mailboxes could talk,
They would repeat
Every handwritten letter they held
That you once poured
Your feelings into
But don't anymore.
And if windows could talk,
They'd tell you
About every night
I gazed outside
Hoping you'd come back to me
But you never did.
2.3k · Jun 2013
Escape
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
It was 4:22 in the afternoon.
He had gotten out of work late
Because his boss decided to wait
Until the last minute to drop an atom
Bomb of files on his desk to be sorted.
His fingers burned from the cuts
Like residual radiation.
His coffee mug, emptied
Except for the last few, chilled
Drops, rested on his lap.
He hadn't been able to make
It to the public bus stop in time
So he jumped aboard the nearest
Subway train, found a seat in the
Middle of the next to last car,
And eyed his route on the
Map like a pinball in a machine.

For the first thirty minutes,
He stared intently at his mug,
Studying the smudges around the
Opening where his lips had been
Pressed into like a soft kiss.
It took him back to a time when
Kisses were like currency between
Him and his ex-lover, and each
Were more than generous.
Just as he began to imagine
The way her silk bra felt on his
Fingertips, a foul odor passed by the
Tip of his nose without saying excuse me.
His eyes searched the car until they
Fell upon the teenager sitting just six
Seats down, a white cylinder fitted between
Her fingers like a pencil tucked behind the ear.
"Excuse me, miss. You're not allowed
To smoke here."
His hand waved absently in front
Of his face in an attempt to
Dissipate the smell while her hand
Waved absently in his direction
In an attempt to dissipate his presence.
"I already know this."
His brow furrowed as he
Watched her take another hit,
Blowing the smoke out her nose.
"Then put it out, please."
She lifted her eyes from the novel
Clutched in her other hand
Before replying.
"I don't think I will."
If it had been any other day,
At any other time,
He would have
Dropped the
Subject.
But his mind was
Warped with toxic fumes,
And his vision was cloudy,
His legs were shaking.
He slid down the conjoined seats
Until he was only three spaces
Away from her annoyed posture.
"Now listen, dear. This is a subway,
A form of public transportation,
Not a coffee shop where you can
Just flick your ashes onto every
Available surface.
There are families aboard
This car, families who shouldn't
Be forced to inhale your second-hand smoke."
He took a deep breath, eyeing her expression.
She flipped a page and continued reading,
The cigarette hanging from her lips
Like a diver poised to jump.
"Excuse me, miss, but.."
Just as he had begun speaking,
She tossed her book on the empty
Seat beside her and leaned forward,
Resting her elbows on her knees
As she gazed intently at him.
"I don't imagine you're one of
Those self-righteous types who
Boss people around on principle,
So I'm going to explain this to you."
She held up her cigarette in front
Of her face, forcing him to look,
Despite his stunned expression.
She pointed to the padded,
White area where the
Imprint of her lips resided.
"You see this? I call this happiness.
This is every boy I ever kissed,
Every apology I didn't mean,
Every argument I won,
Every smile that ever
Stretched across my face."
She pointed to the dark,
Crumbled substance at the end.
"This is what I call misery.
This is every heart I ever broke,
Every dollar I ever stole,
Every cut I ever
Inflicted on
Myself."
She held
The cigarette
Loosely in her
Fingers as she spoke.
"If you notice, as I smoke it,
The misery goes up on smoke,
And the happiness remains."
She tossed it across the car.
"Some people have scrapbooks
Where they keep their memories
So they can refer to them as
Often as they please.
Some people go to therapy
To hash out every feeling they
Refuse to deal with. But I
Live with my memories,
And I carry them with
Me, but when the
Miserable ones
Seem to overtake
The happy ones. I simply
Smoke them away. So if you
Are so insistent on taking away
My cigarettes, then I suggest you
Burn every scrapbook and pencil
And pill bottle you can find,
Because this is my escape."
She leaned back in her
Seat, staring authoritatively.
His lips parted several times before
He reached into his pocket and removed
An orange bottle with a white cap.
He twisted the top off and
Poured a single pill
Into his empty hand.
"The yellow side is
Every girl I fell in love with
Every vacation I ever took
Every baseball game I
Ever watched.
The red side
Is every girl
Who broke my heart.
Every day I see my boss.
And every evening I
Sit alone in the dark."
He tucked the pill back
Into the bottle like he was
Putting a child to sleep.
She eyed him curiously,
Watching as he fondled
The bottle in his hand.
"This is my escape."
His eyes lifted,
Meeting hers.
"I'll trade you."
Pursed lips met
With indecision
Until she pulled
Her pack of cigarettes
From her leather purse
And tossed them on his lap.
"We're all dying slowly anyway."
2.2k · Aug 2013
Sacrilegious
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I don't know what it is
about bringing god into the most intimate times of your life,
but I couldn't ignore the bible that was spread open
on your nightstand that night.
During the space between
whenever you rolled off of me
and rolled back on,
I was granted time to think about how I ended up
in this dreadfully exposed position
(literally, you told me not to put my clothes back on).
So I thought about how I had convinced myself
that you were as religious as you claimed to be,
and that this would be nothing more than
a simple movie date with a little cuddling.
But whenever you removed your arm from around me
and stood from the couch beside me,
I knew this was going to be far from it.
So I crawled into bed beside you
and felt your hands search my body in the dark
as though you were in a temple on a quest to find a golden cross.
And you found it,
radiating warmth between two stone pillars
that you couldn't resist digging your nails into.
And soon enough,
the walls came crumbling down
and you begged me not to make a sound
as you sank your teeth into my neck
as though you were taking a bite of the forbidden fruit
for the very first time.
And I must have tasted sweet
because your tongue shortly followed
to lap up all the salty juices.
But you were determined to tear the temple down
because you knew how sacrilegious it would be to leave it standing,
so you asserted your strength to the already crumbling pillars
and walls and heard and watched them fall around you
in all their holy glory.
But it wasn't until I was lying beneath you
in a pile of dust
that the bible beside me spoke.
The pages parted like the red sea
and the letters lept from the page like the egyptians
and I was shaking as though Moses himself
was standing before me.
But you didn't notice when you returned,
because your goal wasn't to build the temple walls.
So you climbed back on top of me,
rolled over,
and went to sleep.
2.1k · Aug 2013
Rediscovered Home
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
I don't know why I like the floor so much,
Maybe it's because you taught me that
This is where I belonged,
And where I was the most productive,
As though pleasuring you from my knees
Was any indicator of my worth.
But I have discovered many things
From this vantage point.
I have noticed a crack in the floorboard
Beneath which I hid every love letter
You ever tucked into my mailbox,
I have discovered a locked box
Hidden beneath my bed
And I don't know what's inside it
But it shakes and rattles and screams
Every night around two am,
So I'm afraid to open it,
I have found a marble under my dresser,
One of those clear ones
With something colorful inside,
But it looks more like blood and tissue
Than anything, in my opinion,
I have also came upon a spot
In which the floor does not creak,
And it always seems to be cold,
A perfect place to rest my cheek.
But the last thing I uncovered
Was a skeleton in my closet,
Folded and tucked into the corner,
As though it didn't want to be found,
So I found the strength,
To lift myself to my knees
(It was always a powerful position)
And I pulled the skeleton out,
And despite its efforts to clamp its bony fingers
To my wrist and never let me go
I threw it in the dumpster,
And rediscovered home.
2.1k · Jun 2013
Four Stages of Addiction
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
Stage One - Experimentation:
I've seen it before, on movies and television shows.
The peer pressure, the giving in, the going back again.
And that's exactly what it felt like to me.
The pressure of your hand against the small of my back,
The way my body fell apart at your touch,
Like an ancient foundation crumbling,
And the desire that stirred in my chest to feel your touch once more.
At first, I only wanted a taste of you.
But the thrill that you brought me was something not easily forgotten.

Stage Two - Regular Use:
It became a casual thing,
Feeling you coursing through my bloodstream.
A knock on the door like the prep of a needle,
And your hand pulling me in like the ***** of skin,
And within seconds, a high I couldn't recognize,
As though I was walking on the sky and the
Grass was tickling my eyelashes,
And your fingers were pressed
Into the dimples in my hips.

Step Three - Risky Use/Abuse:
Before I knew it,
I was lying awake,
Wide-eyed in bed at night,
Imagining your fingertips
Tracing the inside of my thighs.
So I brought my pillow and blanket
And pitched a tent at the foot of your bed.
Then swore to myself I'd never leave your house again.

Step Four - Drug Dependency:*
A minute without your breath against my neck
Causes my chest to burn and my knees to shake,
But every time your breath fills my lungs,
I can feel the years of my life falling away.
Your lips are my nourishment,
Your sighs are my fluids,
And your kiss is my IV drip.
Every part of you has consumed every inch of my thoughts,
Even the dusty corners I have forgotten about,
And with every gentle touch, I can feel the withering of my heart,
Like a flower never to bloom again,
But it's a beautiful destruction.
2.0k · Jun 2013
Old Soul
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
I have the soul
Of a bitter old woman
Spending her days on her
Front porch in a rocking chair
Cursing the sun for shining
Cursing the flowers for blooming
Cursing the children for being young
Cursing the lovers for being happy
Cursing the grass for growing
Cursing the cold cup of tea
In her cold, bony hand
Cursing herself for
Being so old
And bitter.
1.9k · Aug 2013
A Quick Reminder To Myself
Asphyxiophilia Aug 2013
The past is a funny thing.
At one point, it was the present.
It was the moment we weren't living in,
it was the minutes that fell off the clock like wilted flower petals
as reminders of precious time we'd never get back,
it was the sun streaking across the sky
like the shooting star falling towards the earth
that you never got to wish upon.
But we dwell on it as though it's something we can change.
As though we are capable of wrapping our hands
around those of the grand-father clock and turning them back,
as though we can glue the fallen petals back onto flowers,
as though we can reset the sun to the morning.
But the present, is a beautiful thing.
Because we are currently watching the clock ticking,
and the flowers blooming before wilting,
and the sun shining in the middle of the afternoon.
The present is the moment we are living in.
So stop dwelling on lost time,
And live in it.
1.9k · Jul 2013
Anything But Holy
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Cracked vinyl bus seats
Windows that have heard the stories of every passanger smeared with truth
The spit of the elderly woman who fell asleep while reminiscing about the son whom she's visiting that she hasn't seen in 35 years
The stubbled cheeks of the older gentleman who is counting the pennies in his pocket on his way to the store to get food for his daughter
The knitted scarf of the middle-aged woman who is slowly pulling her coat closer to her in an attempt to warm herself because it was the only article of clothing she could afford that year
The ponytail of the teenaged girl who is tracing the scars on her wrist from the last time she tried to end her life
They congregate for a common purpose, but
The doors to their hearts open like the hinged door, letting anyone haphazardly stumble in for a moment,
And
Their souls are brighter than the lights of the megabus as they are honest with themselves for even just a minute
And their walls are temporarily demolished because who would ever have to lie about who they are on a greyhound bus?

Smooth polished church pews
Floors that have been tread upon by every saint stained with lies
The flats of the elderly woman who is nodding off while pretending to pray for the son whom she hasn't spoken to in 35 years
The loafers of the older gentleman who is calculating the amount of money he can sneak from the spagetti dinner fund without getting caught
The high heels of the middle-aged woman who is slowly pulling up her skirt on one side in an attempt to catch the attention of the younger men further down the pew, while her husband holds her hand on the other
The tennis shoes of the teenaged girl who is tracing the bruises under her blouse from the last time she started a fight with her boyfriend
They congregate for a common purpose, but
Their masks are painted on more elaborately than the Sistine Chapel
And
Their lies are built up more intricately than the stained-glass windows that surround them
As they read their words to live by from a book collecting dust in drawers throughout America because who could be anything but holy in a church?
1.8k · Jun 2013
Chapters of You
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
I can't rewrite the chapters of you
That have already been written,
The ones with torn pages and
And coffee stains and faded ink.
But I can promise to hold the pen
That will write the next few
Chapters, the ones with daisies
Pressed between the pages and
Smiles between every paragraph.
1.7k · Jun 2013
Back to Earth
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
She sat cross-legged on her bedroom floor,
A brush in one hand and a blade in the other.

She ran the brush through the dull brown,
Dishwater hair that framed her thin face.
Her eyes were sunken in from a recent loss of appetite
(Recent as in the past twenty-four months)
And her cheek bones protruded from her skin
Like the fist of an unborn fetus reaching out.

She fingered the blade in her other hand,
Memorizing each corner and edge,
Pressing it against the pad of her fingertips
And feeling the skin give.

She put down the brush (but not the blade)
And stretched out her legs on the hardwood
Studying her translucent skin and
The waterways of veins that ran beneath
And the concave curves of her knobby knees.

She traced the faint lines
On her paper thin thighs
Made from dull blades
From previous days.

Her failed attempts numbered
More lines than cracks in the
Floorboards, but not this time.
Not anymore.

She lifted the razor to her wrist
And whispered a silent prayer
Between shaking lips and
Closed her eyes and
Pulled back her hand.

She waited.
And waited.
She opened her eyes.
She cautiously looked down
To see a **** running
Vertically down her arm.
But nothing was pouring out
As it should have been.

She screamed.
But she didn't make a sound.

The blade hit the floor as she bolted out of her room,
And down the stairs and into the kitchen.

She screamed.
But she didn't make a sound.

Her mother was sitting at the table
With a cold cup of coffee sitting sadly beside her,
But it wasn't her mother,
But the shell of the mother she once knew.
Her eyes were bloodshot and her hands were bony
And her nose was red and her fingers were swollen.
And sitting in a high-chair beside her,
Was a child with wide-eyes and
Shrilling laughter.

The child seemed to sense her presence
For it looked into her eyes,
And it gave her goosebumps.

She ran to her mother and
Waved her hands in front of her
But her mother didn't seem to register
Her daughter before her.

"Mom! Mom? Can you hear me?"
But she didn't make a sound.

She noticed a picture on the refrigerator
So she slowly approached it.
It was a 5 x 7 of her sophomore year,
Six months before her disease appeared.
Her face was full and her hair was long,
Her eyes were bright and her smile was strong.
She could hardly recognize herself, anymore.

She noticed another picture beneath,
A newspaper clipping dated September thirteenth
The first day she ever played
"Trace the Vein"
With her blade.

And right beside the headline titled
"Young Teen Commits Suicide"
Was the picture of her full face
From sophomore year.

She screamed.
But she didn't make a sound.

She felt a throbbing in the back of her head
Like a hand nudging her brain,
Or a distant, forgotten memory,
Trying to resurface again.
But she shoved it back in.

She ran back to her mother,
Again waving her hands.
"Mom! Can you hear me? I'm sorry,
I never meant for this to happen."
But her mother was quiet
And the baby just stared.

She turned back to the staircase
But her knees started to shake
And she fell to the ground,
Tears streaming down her cheeks.
Like streaks of fire,
They started to burn.

And she screamed
And she screamed
But she didn't make a sound.

She lifted her hand,
To wipe the tears from her eyes,
But her hand was breaking,
And cracking and dying.

She watched her fingers
And then her skin
And then her veins
And then her bones
Break like brittle and
Fall to the ground in a
Mound of dirt and ash.

Her hair drifted down
Like dead leaves in the fall
And her rib cage cracked like
A crumbling wall
And her body caved in
And she wilted away
Because she was already dead
And buried in her earthen grave.
1.7k · Jun 2013
Death Isn't
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
We think death is romantic
Because the same lilies our ex bought us
On our first date are neatly draped
Over the caskets as decoration
(But there are no flowers in our arms
As we lie alone inside)

We think death is liberating
Because we imagine the shackles
Of society falling off our wrists and ankles
As we fly to a better place
(But in reality
We are locked in a prison
Beneath six feet of dirt)

We think death is infinite
Because we can never return
To the people who harmed us
And the house that was never a home
(But our bodies are not eternal
As they slowly decompose
Back to nature in the ground)

What we fail to realize is that
Life is romantic, liberating, and infinite

Romantic in the form of a sunrise
Climbing over a calm sea,
Liberating in the form of birds
Traveling to anywhere they please,
Infinite in the form of flowers,
Dying and regrowing in the spring

So on the day that you make your decision,
To end your (romantic, liberating,
And infinite) life I beg you to reconsider,
Because you may already have exactly
What you are looking for.
1.7k · Jul 2013
4 am
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
At 4 am,
When you can't sleep,
I dream of being the cigarette
That you indulge in on the back
Porch, loosely holding it between
Your fingers like you once held on
To me and softly exhaling it like
You did my memory.

At 6 am,
When you can't awaken,
I yearn to be pill that you slip
Beneath your tongue and the
Tingle that resonates within
Your bones like the sensation
I once thrived upon from the
Touch of your lips.

At midnight,
When you can't think straight,
I desire to be the bottle that you
Clutch between your two hands
The way you gripped my throat
The night we made love when you
Begged me to scream that I was
All yours (and I was).
1.7k · Jul 2013
"Family"
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
I watched the light of childhood and innocence
Of playgrounds and friends and recess
Fade in his eyes and give way
To the light of experience.

But they never took the time
To see how much that light faded
Because they were each too concerned with
Trying to prove who was the better parent.

His father took him on road trips
To see the trains from TV
And his mother bought him everything
From bats to pads for his knees

But his love of trains dwindled
As he boarded one each week
As the only bridge between
His "family"

At his baseball games,
They sat on opposite ends of the bleachers
While his teammate's and their parents
Whispered behind their hands about
The boy stuck between them.

Their conversations dwindled
Until they consisted of nothing but
I'll pick him up from school at 3
And you better have him home by 9
And whose weekend is it, yours or mine?

He became nothing more than
A piece of clothing to be borrowed weekly
To be stretched and worn, ripped and torn
To be returned in an even worse condition
Than when they received it.
1.7k · Jul 2013
Loveless Boys
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
Whatever you do,
Don't fall in love
With loveless boys.

The boys who stay awake
Until 4 am taking long drags
On cigarettes and blowing
The smoke into the wind.

The boys who down bottles
Of whiskey at a time and
Wipe their mouths with their
Sleeves, eyeing you from
Across the room as they do.

The boys who frequent
Alleyways and rooftops
And libraries because
They are anything but
Ordinary.

The boys who watch you
Fall in love with them and
Don't feel a **** thing
For you as you do.
1.6k · Jul 2013
Memory Lane
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
We walked along the cobblestone street like it was memory lane and we were retracing our steps all over again. I reached for your hand and I saw the hesitation in your eyes and the twitch in your little finger, but you wrapped your fingers around mine anyway. The first thing I noticed was that our footsteps were no longer in sync, as they once were (and neither were our heartbeats). But each step carried us closer to our destination, although neither of us knew exactly where that was, so we kept walking. I watched (out of the corner of my eye) the way your free hand was fumbling around in your pocket as though searching for every apology you never had the courage to offer me, but you pulled out a cigarette instead. In order to light it, you needed your other hand back, and although I wanted to grip it in my hand like a vice and never let it go, I let it go. You reached into your pocket again, much more swiftly this time, and removed a lighter. With practiced ease, you flicked the edge and the flame was suddenly alight in your eyes, like a fire burning upon the driftwood of our broken promises in the middle of an eerily serene sea. But just as quickly as hope appeared in the form of that orange and yellow burst of heat, it was gone and back in your pocket with the rest of our unspoken confessions. I allowed myself a second to glance in your direction and note that you had placed your hand in the same pocket as your lighter, instead of back into the safety of mine. Maybe you didn't think of my hands as safe anymore. Or maybe you just learned to find safety in other things instead. And suddenly I found myself wishing you could teach me a thing or two about that. But our feet miraculously carried us forward, towards a sun setting on a much darker day than most. My hands and my heart were as empty as your left pocket, and your mind was as full as your right. And I was still unsure where we were going, or how long you'd be willing to walk beside me, or if you were doing it just to appeal to me. However, I couldn't help but wish I was able to climb out of the depths of your left pocket, swing across your belt loops and land safely inside your right, along with the rest of the broken pieces of you.
1.5k · Jun 2013
Believe
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
It was 3:42 on a Saturday
When a boy picked a lilac
From a bush in his backyard
To give to a girl that he thought
Was as beautiful as the morning sun.

It was 4:05 on a Saturday
When a boy gave a girl
A lilac and said that it
Reminded him of her.

It was 4:06 on a Saturday
When a girl studied a flower
That a boy gave her until she
Tossed it aside and disagreed.
"No one could ever love me."

It was 3:31 on a Sunday
When a boy picked a lilac
From a bush in his backyard
To give to a girl that he thought
Was more stunning than a sunbeam.

It was 3:39 on a Sunday
When a girl studied a flower
That a boy gave her until she
Tossed it aside and cried.
"I'm not pretty."

It was 6:15 on a Monday morning
When a boy picked every lilac
From a bush in his backyard
To make a crown for a girl
That was more royal
Than a queen.

It was 8:02 on a Monday morning
When a girl woke from her slumber
To a knock from a boy on her doorstep
Who held a crown of lilacs in his hands.
"You are every petal of every flower
I've ever held between my fingers.
But I can't appreciate their beauty
Until you appreciate yours.
You're beautiful to me."

It was 8:14 on a Monday morning
When a girl finally believed
She was loved and she
Was pretty.
1.5k · Jun 2013
Two Young Girls
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
A young girl
Walking down a hallway
Surrounded by people who
Are the same age
Scared, confused and alone
She's fifteen

A young girl
Walking down a hallway
Surrounded by people who
Are different ages
Scared, confused and alone
She's fifteen


A young girl
Peeking into her bag
And opening a note
That her ex-boyfriend wrote
When he loved her,
He doesn't anymore

A young girl
Peeking into her bag
And opening a card
That mother bought
When she cared,
She still does


A young girl
Walking home
Toying with the blade
She keeps in her purse
She thinks of dying
And ending the hurt

A young girl
Walking "home"
Toying with the tubes
Tethered to her veins
She thinks of living
And running again


A young girl
Lying in her bed
Thoughts of demons
And darkness entering her head
She eyes up the pills beside her
Then takes them

A young girl
Lying in her bed
Thoughts of cute boys
And field trips entering her head
She eyes up the pills beside her
Then takes them


Two young girls
In hospital beds
One wanting to die
And one wanting to live
One confined to the sheets
And one able to leave
They're fifteen

One young girl
Gets out of bed
And places a flower
Near the other girl's head
And the other girl smiles
And asks if she's dead
"Of course not silly,
You're very much
Alive, so go to
School and
Learn something
And stop wanting to die
Because it's not your time."


The other girl says,
"I'll leave if you do.
I'll go back to school
If you go back too."

One young girl smiles,
"I wish I could go,
I'd give anything to
Go back and live
On my own. But my
Bones are brittle and
Won't let me leave,
So you go and you
Live life for me."


Two young girls
Finally freed
One walking
Through hallways
One walking
On golden streets
One with her head high
And her razor shattered
One with strong bones
And cute boys beside her.
1.5k · Jul 2013
Real Boy
Asphyxiophilia Jul 2013
I was walking along the shoreline
On a warm afternoon in July when
I noticed a piece of polished wood
Bobbing helplessly in the shallow water,
So I pulled it from the salty sea and
Admired the intricate carvings and
Detailed line work across the face.
Just as I was running my thumb
Over the still smooth edges, I
Noticed another piece floating
Just a few feet away from me.
Within the hour, I had gathered
An entire armful of wood, and
Within the week, I had an entire
Table full of mismatched pieces.
So I began working unceasingly
At putting the pieces back together.
I started with the inside, the
Smooth heart shaped piece with
The slight cracks and divots,
Followed by a circular piece
That resembled the brain
With the deep crevices.
I then pieced together
The smooth fingertips
And the rugged feet,
And connected every
Limb and joint together
Until a boy of about
Six feet was standing
In front of me.
I snapped on the
Final piece and watched
As he came alive before me.
His eyes as deep as the mahogany
Looked into mine and smiled, as
Though thanking me.
And he turned his
Back to me and
Walked away.
It wasn't until
That moment that
I realized I had poured
Every ounce of myself into
Piecing back together that boy,
So now every ounce of myself
Was walking out my front
Door with a real boy
Who didn't need
Me anymore.
1.5k · Jun 2013
After Death
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
Ever since she was young,
She heard stories about what happens after death.
She heard stories about heaven and hell, and everywhere in between.
She heard stories about forgiveness and salvation and redemption.
So when she decided to greet death as a friend one lonely night
On her bathroom floor, she thought she knew what to expect.
As her head leaned against the porcelain of her bathtub, she
Waited for the warm feeling to overtake the chill that came
From watching her blood pour onto the linoleum. But death
Didn't greet her like an old friend, or even like a relative
That she saw once a year at the annual Christmas party.
In fact, death didn't greet her at all.
If anything, it seemed as though she became death.
From her vantage point, slumped against the back
Wall of her bathroom, she could see her razor blade
On the far side of the sink, and the cut running
Vertically down her right arm, open and exposed.
She tried to move her head, then her arm, then any body
Part, but her brain seemed to no longer be in command.
She waited, and waited, and waited.
She watched the sun creep down the tiles on the wall,
And then back up again, and then back down,
Until she heard a sound at the door.
A distant knocking ricocheted off the
Walls of the bathroom and a soft voice followed.
She tried to speak, to scream, but she remained silent.
She heard footsteps growing louder throughout the house
Until finally they went silent, and a hand pushed on the door.
A scream, a shrill blood-curdling scream followed.
And then talking, and more knocking, and more voices,
And more screaming, and more footsteps, and more voices.
Until finally, men in white uniforms entered the bathroom,
Lifting her from her position against the wall. She tried
To speak, again, but nothing came out. They
Laid her on her back and suddenly her world went black.
She couldn't calculate the time spent in that bag because before
They zipped it up, they shut her half-opened eyes.
She heard more footsteps, and then cars, and then doors,
And then metal on metal, and then voices, and then doors.
Eventually, everything went still. No more footsteps,
No more voices, no more doors, no more screaming,
No more talking, no more knocking, no more screaming.
Everything remained still for a long time.
Longer than she could even care to remember.
She imagined this was death, the absolute end,
The kind of silence that wrapped around her like a coat.
But then everything wasn't silent.
If she was able, she would have sat straight
Up in a cold sweat, looking around frantically.
But she remained still and quiet as the soft noise
Made it's way around her eardrum like a vine.
She felt something touching her face, something
Soft and thin and pointed.
She focused on the object.
And then realized, it was a root.
The roots of the grass and the roots of the flowers
That were growing above her had finally come to
Reclaim their rightful space in the cold earth.
She wanted to scream out apologies to the roots,
And beg them to just let her go back to where she came from.
She begged the earth to spit her out like a rotten piece of fruit,
Back into the bathroom she so desperately wanted to escape.
But the earth was set on taking back what was rightfully theirs,
And that included her.
Slowly, over an excruciatingly long period of time, the roots
and branches and dirt found their way onto every surface
Of her once pale skin. It wrapped around her neck, nestled
Into her crevices, and poked at her soft spots, until there
Wasn't an inch that wasn't graced with nature's touch.
So she stopped begging the earth to leave her, and
Started welcoming the earth to embrace her,
Until finally, it claimed her again.
1.5k · Jun 2013
The Ship and The Sea
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
Two lovers
Standing on the side
Of a ship, peering down
To the sea below.

I was the southern belle
With one hand on my coin purse
And the other on my cap, holding
It in place despite the breeze
Sweeping off the sea.

You were the southern gentleman
One hand in your pocket, toying with
Your antique watch that always seemed to
Be a minute late, and the other on the
Railing, keeping you steady as you
Squint ahead in an attempt to
Separate the seams of
Sky and sea.

A wave of mass proportion
Heaves the ship to one side,
Causing me to slip from the
Balcony and into the railing.

You immediately tear your eyes
From the sky and into mine as you
Reach for me, grabbing my hands
And attempting to pull me to safety.

But the ship leans,
And I slide over the side,
Your hands the only thing
Anchoring me to anything.

You are under the impression
That you can pull me in, but the
Sea has something else in mind.
It rocks the ship, throwing me
Against the side and then
Tossing me back out again.

Your eyes are desperate,
Your grip is sturdy,
But your body is
A victim of
Gravity.

I can feel you
Leaning further
Over the side, your
Eyes still searching mine.

I know that
If I continue to
Hold the hand that
Has always saved me,
It will only endanger you.

So I pull
My fingers
From your grasp
And watch your eyes
As I fall to my death, but
I know that I have saved you.
1.4k · Jun 2013
Change
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
Did you ever wake up and realize
that somehow, over night,
everything stopped making sense?
All of a sudden, your bed feels foreign to you.
Your pillow is cold against your cheek and
your blankets aren’t as comforting
as they used to be.
You drag yourself out
from beneath the covers
and the walk to the bathroom
Feels longer than you remember.
The tile on the floor is more solid and
the little rug in front of the sink
no longer caresses your toes.
When you look up,
when you make eye contact with yourself,
you notice that your eyes
are no longer the same shade of blue.
Your hair is longer and lighter,
your shoulders sag lower,
and the wrinkles at the corners
of your eyes are more defined.
You turn the **** on the sink
but the water takes longer to warm
than it did the night before.
Washing your face,
you hope that it’s all just an illusion.
You look up again and nothing’s changed.
Your heart starts to race,
you hope that it’s just an off morning
but your mind tells you that you know better.
Slowly, you take the few steps
back to your room and
look at the person lying
in the space beside yours.
You close your eyes and
open them once more.
Nothing, you feel nothing.
The person lying in your bed
is suddenly a stranger,
and then you realize,
so is the person inside of you.
1.3k · Jun 2013
Swimming In You
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
When we first met,
I waded in the idea of you
Like a tide pool.
After we first kissed,
You became a steady stream
That swept me off my feet.
But now I'm drowning in the
Thought of you like waves
Thrashing against a reef.
1.2k · Jun 2013
Blank Canvas
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
You touched my face
The way an artist
Touches a blank canvas,
As though I had all the
Potential in the world,
And it was in your hands.
1.2k · Jun 2013
Nature's Child
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
I am nature's child,
With hair the color
Of the dirt I was
Born from and
Eyes the color
Of emeralds.

I am nature's child,
With hair the color
Of the sand I was
Formed from and
Eyes the color of
The ocean I will
Drown in.

I am nature's child,
With hair the color
Of the coal I was
Carved from and
Eyes the color of
The sun on a hazy
Monday morning.

I am nature's child,
With hair the color
Of the flames I burst
Out of and eyes the
Color of the hole
I will fall into.

I am nature's child.
996 · Jun 2013
The Rain
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
We say the rain
Shouldn't fall
On our heads
Because it's an
Inconvenience,
But we fail to
Realize that its
Purpose far
Exceeds us.
966 · Jun 2013
Boys
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
When we were young,
Grown-ups told us that
When boys throw rocks and
Stones and pull your hair and
Shove you into the dirt, it means
They like you.

But they didn't tell us that when
Boys like you, it means they're
Going to throw insults and
Pull your heartstrings
And shove your face
Into the mistakes
You've made.
811 · Jun 2013
Nature
Asphyxiophilia Jun 2013
My veins have turned to vines
And my bones have turned to branches
And my organs have turned to stone
And my brain has turned to ashes.

— The End —