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Audrey Jerome Jun 2016
You deserve more than a 2 am message, but it's all that I can muster right now.
      I am drunk and scrolled through Facebook only to stumble upon a picture of you and the woman you now care about.

Believe me when I say that I want the best for you.
     I mean this. Every word.

I want you to be happy.
     I also mean this.

I want you to have people in your life that can love you to the fullest extent.
      But I also wish you could feel the calcifications that have built up around my heart since we broke up. I have become more solid, harder to crack but easier to hurt.

I saw the picture of her. She’s stunning, and I know she means more to you than you’re letting on right now. And that’s okay.
       She is also a direct reflection of me. Brown eyes, brown hair, with a brain that finds you so beautiful that she’ll spend hours just studying the curvature of your lips.

You deserve so many things, you deserve happiness, you deserve unconditional love, you deserve someone who understands all of the nuances of your growth and change, and I hope that she does that for you. I know you hate that word, but it’s the truth.
      I still don’t understand why you don’t like the word ‘deserve’. I’ll just chalk it up to your hipster ******* poetry.

I will not see you when you come back to town, and you won’t see me (please don’t try to persuade me otherwise).
      Showing up would mean going to a knife fight empty handed. It would be my slow and painful destruction.

Take full advantage of the time you have in Boston. See all of the people that mean a lot to you, deepen your connections, and build your roots, but they can’t include me. I need to build my own roots.
      For too long my thoughts and plans have been entangled in yours, long past when they should have been. This isn’t your fault and I should have worked to untie those knots faster.

Live your life. Enjoy Morocco. Take in all of the experiences you can.
     But part of me does hope you get food poisoning at one point.

I know that you will accomplish so much, and I’m so proud of everything that you’ve already done. Your heart is so solid and so full of love and gratitude and I know it will serve you well.
     I wish this was a lie. You are clumsy but still have so much to learn. It is also near impossible not to notice how far you've come.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but if you care about me at all, you will give me this space
      Last resort. I have done everything short of moving halfway across the country to get over you, but the hard thing about trying to ‘make it work’ after a break up is that I am still there to witness all of your triumphs, regardless of geography.

I am trying really hard to be strong and take a step in the direction that is right for me.

Take care of Edith.
     (Please don’t almost **** our plant this time)

But most importantly take care of yourself.
     Regardless of what happens with you and the girl in the photo.

You have so much to offer the world.
     And I hope your world is someone who gives you just as much in return.

Please don’t forget that.
      Please don’t forget me.
Audrey Jerome Oct 2015
I’m sick of having to put a caveat on my weight.
It’s the asterisk that follows my body
that I can never seem to get rid of.
It says "Caution:
she may be beautiful and witty and smart
but her worth is negated by the size of her waistline."
I write that I am a large person in my online dating profile,
as if it were a trigger warning for men that otherwise might find me
I don’t want to catch them off guard
I want to at least give them
the courtesy of knowing
that there is more to me then what will ever fit
on a 16 inch computer screen.
At least if I am the one to say it,
To judge my own worth,
I won’t be the punch line of their jokes.
Their blows won't land if I refuse
to step into the ring.
Even this though is dishonest.
If I were to really put myself out there,
My profile picture would be of my belly
Of my stretch marks,
Of the half moon curves of my stomach
that rest above my hips.
But I’m not sure that I’m ready to look,
to Honestly look
at myself for that long.
I used to avoid nakedness.
I hated being on top whenever I made love.
And I was always so aware
Of how malleable I really am.
I am soft of body and of heart
But now I like to think that means
That it's easier to melt into other people
To connect and hold and treasure and comfort
All at once.
There may be more of me
but there is more of me to give
After all, what is an asterisk but a star?
Audrey Jerome Sep 2015
I’m sorry that it’s taken me this long to
immortalize you in writing-
To put you in a place for the world to see and
for me to always find you.
I’m sorry that upon learning that
I could ask for help from you,
I made it a pattern
and climbed you like a trellis for my personal growth
I’m sorry that every time we sat down to have a
meal together, it felt like I never
got the recipe right:
Always missing a little color, a little spice.
I’m sorry that I used my 'passenger break' so much
Not only when I thought you were going to
crash into the car in front of us,
but whenever I felt like we were getting to close to each other.
I’m sorry that I’m jealous of the girls across the room.
Please try to understand that I spent months, no, years
telling myself that I couldn’t be, would never be, worth “it”.
Whatever “it” may be.
I’m sorry that I tried to give you advice,
that I tried to weave pieces of my own story
into yours, when you clearly aren’t finished working on it.
Feel free to unknot those memories and take them out.
I’m sorry that I never made it a point
to tell you how much I loved your skin.
To this day I find myself falling asleep with my forearm to my mouth
because I miss feeling your warmth on my lips
I’m sorry that I can’t let go;
That seeing you succeed and do so well
tears me right down the middle
where my stretch marks have always been.
I’m sorry that I have a hard time trusting you
when you tell me that I’m still important to you,
and that this isn’t the end of our story.
We’re both going to change and you know it.
I’m sorry that I couldn’t make you believe
in us enough to make it work.
I trust that this is for the best.
But I should still tell you, I’m sorry for everything.
Audrey Jerome Sep 2015

I can’t help feeling like we treat people and words like trash.
I love you’s go in recycling.
Tinder messages in the garbage.
And all of the memories and dreams we shared together end up
rotting in piles that let off a particular kind of smell.
It permeates your nostrils
no matter how you try to escape it.
I felt like a piece of garbage today.
I’ve felt like a piece of garbage every day since we broke up
Better yet I felt like I was left on the sidewalk;
discarded for someone else to deal with.
I was your dining room table
a bit scratched up and bruised
but still solid
still standing.
Now I’m alone on the sidewalk watching
as people pass me by-
Me wondering: if I still had value
would someone have come to rescue me by now?
I still have a hard time imagining how
I would fit into a new space.
It seems like an impossible thought.
I find the self deprecating thoughts come faster
I’m waiting for garbage day to come.
For the anticipation to end.
To have an answer.
Audrey Jerome Apr 2014
I wish I could pawn the silver linings
on the clouds above my head
and buy your happiness.
Like apples at the grocery store
I’d pick only the biggest smiles and the sweetest loves for you.
I want you to know that you deserve the world.
better yet,
the world deserves you.
Know that your hands can do magic,
and that rain doesn't just make plants grow.
It can also wash away hurt
without running up your water bill.
Remember to take the time
to let your thoughts
rest a minute on your lips
appreciate their coolness, their weight.
And never say I love you.
Tell them instead
How it feels like Christmas when they’re close
Independence day when they touch you
and that you are proud of all the red X’s on your calendar
because each mark brings you closer
to the day they come back home.
When it will be Christmas again.
I hope you never regret
the days when your face ends up in the dirt.
When you’re there,
be sure to take a look around you.
To see everything that put down roots
and grew up taller than ever.
For the days when your brain decides to run a marathon
with razor blades strapped to its feet.
Hear this:
You can’t turn a molehill into a mountain
in just one day.
Sometimes you can’t do it alone,
so make sure you bring an extra shovel.
If your heart starts to head toward the door
with it's bags in hand;
if it says
it is leaving for good this time
And never coming back
Hold it closer.
Whisper to it all of the reasons
Why it is beautiful
Why it should stay.
I hope I do right by you
But it is nearly impossible to give
the world to a person who already has
the Universe in their eyes.
I can try to build castles out of metaphors but
I know you have always liked the ocean more.
So I will put this message in a bottle,
throw it into the sea,
and hope that one day it reaches you
And you smile.
Audrey Jerome Apr 2014
My life is a game of hide and seek.

I’ve been looking for Happiness,
in a game
that has taken twenty years four months and five days to play.
I still haven't found them.
And calling Oxen free won’t change a thing.
So far, I've looked for
Happiness on my facebook page
Stability at the bottom of a resume
and Purpose scribbled somewhere into my schedule.
Instead I found hand-me-down formalities
and hollow thoughts.

So I started searching in other places.
I looked
in my mother’s advice-
something that she never seems to run out of,

I’ve looked in the smiles of people
that were as important to me
as an *****
that happened to live outside of my body.
I leaned on them until I had forgotten
what it was like
to use my own muscles.

I even tried to put myself
in someone else's shadow.
But you can only hold your breath for so long.

It is uncomfortable;
fitting yourself into someone else's life.
Like a dress that one size too small
you wear it anyways and hope
that no one looks at you
long enough to notice something is off.
You tug and pull the fabric
trying to get it to cover parts of yourself
you think the world isn’t supposed to see.
But it will not budge.

Sometimes I can't help but wonder
if I am on a train heading in the wrong direction
on tracks that someone else has laid down for me.
They say that Manifest Destiny drove men West,
so I will follow the tug in my chest
and use instinct as my compass.
even if it means
jumping off that train.
I may end up with scrapes and bruises
but I know I’ll be one step closer
by watching it disappear.
The game goes on.
And there are so many places
I haven’t looked yet.
Audrey Jerome Apr 2014
There was never a memory
I could not fit into my pocket.
I collected them like rocks on a beach,
leaving footprints and taking stones.
I wasn’t prepared for the day
when that pocket would get a hole in it;
that when I reached in to reminisce
on smooth cool memories
I would find only jagged rocks
that cannot or have not
had the chance to be worn down by sand and time.
Sometimes I will forget
what is in that pocket,
and in a moment of doubt I’ll go to hold those stones tight
coming up with only cuts on my palms.
There are memories and rocks
that I can’t put in my pocket,
that I need to keep  in my hand,
to remind myself of another time
and another place.
But my fingers can only stretch so far
and can only hold so much.
It is impossible to keep just the good
Things will fall,
lost to the waves spreading themselves out against the shore.
Sometimes, you’ll find a new stone that fits
more perfectly in your grasp than the last.
Don’t be afraid to move on.
And leave things behind.
Take the smooth with the jagged.
See the scars written across your skin as lessons and stories.
And remember
to leave footprints.
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