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berry Sep 2013
pounding temples
angry god(s)
boom like thunder
in my skull
sleep evades me
it's you that saves me
but dear,
your absence is hell

berry Sep 2013
body at rest - but
thoughts that rage
twisting & churning
varying spectrums
burning questions
"why did you wait
so long to tell me?"

berry Aug 2013
too much
too soon
too heavy
not ready
to stay

- b.
berry Mar 2014
i want you to imagine standing in the middle of an already collapsing house, and having everything suddenly flip upside down; or after years of homelessness, picture yourself being told you had somewhere you could stay for good, only to wake up just before being handed the keys. these are some of dangers of making places out of  people.

1. don't ever turn a human being into a home unless you are prepared to be evicted without warning.
2. when you start to notice their arms taking the shape of a roof over your head, you have two choices: run, or wait for it to cave.
3. if they ask you to stay and burn with them, you have the right to say no.
4. it is not your responsibility to save anyone, and it is not your fault when you can't.
5. salvaging the photos from a house fire will only re-break your heart every time you pull them out to look at them.
6. when the basement floods, hold their hand.
7. if you are not a strong swimmer, remember that the difference between love and codependence is that one of then will drown you.
8. love will never drown you.
9. i knew this from the start but let you hold me beneath the waves in spite of it, just so you could stay afloat. i can't do that anymore.
10. i don't think i'll ever set foot on your hardwood floors again, but i'll pray that someone new moves in soon.

- m.f.
berry Oct 2013
i miss the old wooden swing in my backyard
where i used to sit and think and write for hours

i miss being lazy on the living room couch
and watching cartoons with my youngest brother

i miss sitting in my room, hearing footsteps from the floor above
and being able to know exactly whose they were

i miss waking up late on saturday mornings
to the smell of breakfast cooking in the kitchen

i miss being able to tell my little sister she looks pretty
every morning before she goes off to school

i miss sitting on my mother's bedroom floor
and listening to her tell stories about Tennessee

i miss hearing my father constantly whistle and sing
while he walked around the house doing different things

i miss living four minutes away from my best friend
and sleeping at her house for days just because i could

i miss talking to my brothers at 2 o'clock in the morning
about absolutely nothing and positively everything

i miss taking pictures of my backyard, even though nothing
about it has really changed in the past twelve years

but i think that i miss home the most at mealtimes

- m.f.
berry Sep 2015
i'm laying on the floor watching YouTube videos
of veterans coming home to their pets
and i imagine you as a veteran
and me as the dog crying in your lap.
but if i'm honest with myself,
i'm the veteran coming home,
my heart is a dog,
and you're a cat in the corner who doesn't give a ****.
i don't even need to tell you that love was the war.
love is always the war.
i just want to lick your face.
i want to paw at your chest after a long day.
i want to stretch and have you scratch the places i can't reach.
i don't understand the command "stay".
i am casting tiny spells where i pick lint off of your sweatshirt
and chew on my bottom lip while i look you in the eye.
but you are disenchanted.
berry Nov 2013
i'm a broken compass and a delayed train and a set of faded curtains that don't quite keep the sun out and the glare they make in your eyes, but i love you in ways i don't know how to say.

so you can spill your guts to me and i'll clean them up with rags made of "sorry's" and that won't make it better but at least i'll have tried. i made this mess.

you are gasping for the air that i took from your lungs and my betrayal-bruised hands are much too slow to fill them at the same time i'm trying to patch up the holes.

eventually we lay together in a swallowing and somber silence, too many ******* miles apart, until i break it in half with not-good-enough words that serve as my version of an apology.

but i swear that i will shatter every bone in my legs before i run from you when you need me most and curse at the doubt that plagues my mind like black death.

i will shake my fists and scream obscenities at the uncertainties and banish every "what if" that begs access to my consciousness.

i will slit the throat of yesterday, and watch it bleed out - know you're more than enough for me, and hate myself for the pills in your body.

for you, you, are more than oxygen and no amount of salted regret that pours from my eyes could ever convey the thoughts my lips can't seem to form.

so i am shrunk to a pitiful half-whisper, muttering over and over and over and over, "i'm right here. i'm right here." and somehow we manage to be okay.

- m.f.
berry Nov 2013
"love is a losing game", but for so long
i never understood that song, until,
i became a piece that you discarded,
left scorned and broken-hearted. it was
unbeknownst to me, but you knew exactly
how to maneuver your poison into my veins
and you made your home in my bones
without requesting my permission, having no intentions
of remaining any longer than your affections,
or your hands, could stand to stay in one place.

i've heard that love, is a losing hand,
and i imagine its partner, dry & cracked -
aching, reaching, grasping, empty -
desperately seeking to be filled with any kind
of warmth or wholeness, only to be met,
instead, by astounding disappointment
that reverberates and permeates unapologetically
beneath the surface of weathered skin,
similar to that which covered your back, as we laid
in the trunk of your station wagon in the mid-december darkness.

love is designed as a fate resigned,
but i knew not what my future held.
i did not know that it was possible, for
such a tangible pain to exist inside my ribcage,
but i swear you pretended not to hear my heart shatter
from all those miles and miles and miles away.
so i envisioned the oceans inside of your irises fading to gray,
and i forced myself to ignore the lack of air in my lungs,
as i spat out, "it's fine." promising myself i'd never call you again.
unbeknownst to you, you'd just taught me how to play the game.

- m.f
this is a piece inspired by the song Love Is A Losing Game by the late, great, Amy Winehouse, with the assistance of memories from one of my most memorable heartbreaks.
berry Jan 2014
my darling,
you were my heaven -
hallowed be thy veins.
thy kingdom come, my affection won.
your love, though a hellfire, was heaven.
give me a chance to clear my head.
forgive me, for not recognizing
your voice among the masses,
as i forgive those who break my trust.
lead me not into isolation
but deliver me from myself.
for thine is the space
here in my ribcage
forever & ever.

- m.f.
berry May 2013
keeper of secrets
catcher of tears
bringer of restoration
a sea of blankets
the only flaw being-
it's half empty

- b.
berry Jul 2013
there is really something horrible
about being understood by someone.
having another soul that just - "gets it"
having another living being that relates.

because it means that they have felt your hurt
they've cried your tears, thought your thoughts
they have lived the terrors in your head and
endured the anguish  that lives in your heart.

that is why it is terrible to be understood.
my heart breaks anew when someone tells me
"i get it"
berry Nov 2013
my mind moves faster than my mouth could ever hope to
and i so often find myself in self-inflicted messes,
embarrassed at my painfully apparent lack of finesse
when it comes to crafting syntax in a way that  actually makes sense.
endlessly i stumble, desert-throated, over meager words
that could never accurately convey the hurricanes inside my brain;
no matter the conviction with which i speak them.
the war for stillness rages on in the chaos of my skull,
shaken by tremors of memories like atom bombs.
my mind is screaming but it's all in a language
that i can't understand no matter how hard i try.
reduced to heaving sobs and irrevocable disgust for my inability
to to speak due to the lack of air inside my lungs.
thunder crashes and lightning flashes through my synapses,
looming in the form of opaque storm clouds above my bed.
i am sinking, no, i am absolutely drowning,
but there is no water around to be found for miles -
so i guess that makes these waves my thoughts,
and that must mean i waved goodbye to sanity's shorelines long ago.

- m.f.
berry Oct 2014
this is a poem about how you sleep,
how your body grew cold like a corpse in a mortuary.
how it felt wrong to reach out and touch you.
did you know that you turned away from me
every time i tried to face you?
did you do it on purpose?
maybe you were afraid i would be able to see
you were dreaming of her,
that i would read it on your face.
lines by your mouth like obituary,
like roadmap, her bedroom,
the destination, mine, a pitstop.
loving you was like attending a funeral service for myself
and sitting in the front row. no.
loving you was like watching you pick out a casket
and call it practice. ****.
i know how sensitive you are about death.
i know it still hurts.
i know how everything hurts.
i am sorry for just being another thing that hurts.
i think i'm afraid to let you forget that you used to want me.
like if i can somehow dig deep enough,
wound you into remembering me.
i keep weapons-grade nostalgia in my back pocket
for the days i can feel myself slipping from your consciousness.  
i was born with scar tissue where skin should've been.
but this isn't about me.
this is about the way you sleep
like you're waiting for someone to close the lid,
cover you in dirt, and read a psalm.
this is about the way i tried to sing your pieces back together,
and the way my voice gives out
when i read the things you write for anyone other than me.
lover, friend, stranger,
i just wanted to show you how to love your darker parts.
i never meant to become one.
i am so ******* selfish.
but i swear i am trying to unlearn the steps.
and you used to think my two left feet were charming.
i am out of time in more ways than one.
i keep stepping on your toes.
i can't seem to stop tripping you up,
hoping that you'll fall back into whatever this was.

- m.f.
"i am always dying in places where you fell asleep." - K.L.
berry Oct 2013
if you ever buy me a coffee mug
know that it will become my favorite,
and that i will use it faithfully every day.

but understand, if you ever decide to leave,
i will tell you through gritted teeth
that i never liked it anyway.

i will tell you out of spite that i shattered it,
but that coffee mug will remain in tact,
and collect dust in a corner until you come back.

if you never do, i won't ever use that mug again,
instead i'll fill it with paper clips & pens
and try not to remember that you gave it to me.

- m.f.
berry Sep 2013
i am sitting in a cold and very much crowded room.
a sea of nameless faces, attached to 10,000 bodies, filling 10,000 seats.
a cacophony of voices and footsteps and shuffling figures, "pardon me."
small pieces of silence peeking through the static of hums and murmurs.
out of 10,000 - i catch myself looking for one face in particular: yours.
but all i can manage to pick out are not-quite's and hard-to-tell's.
in a room filled with 10,000 faces i'm looking for yours
(because it is all that i see when i close my eyes)
in a room filled with 10,000 faces your name is echoing in my chest.
each letter, ringing in my ears, crawling up the walls of my throat, desperate to escape my lips
and scream with every decibel i posses the power to create, "where are you?"
in a room filled with ten-*******-thousand faces - the only one that matters isn't there.

berry Nov 2013
'CONDEMNED' screams the offensive yellow tape
wrapped around my door like an angry snake

I'm a crumbling abandoned city apartment
and the letters of your name can be found carved into my scattered bricks.

The memories we shared were sweet,
but you've moved on now. To a newer part of town,
all gaudy gold and glowing neon and soulless silver.

Even though you're hypnotized by its fraudulent shine
I wonder whether you remember
the love and mortar that once held us together.

For these walls still stand tall
through countless stormy nights, scorching days and freezing evenings.
But I don't know how much longer I can last.

Because my very foundations were made with your smile in mind,
and they are sinking into the mire now that we are forced to stand alone.

But what need to you have for such antiquated architecture?
I have been replaced. Your new home is far prettier.
More efficient.

Even still, I hang on by crossbeams and rotting wooden studs
and hope that you will find your way back
to the home I forged for you here in my arms.

I rot and moulder in solitude
the memories that echo in my hallowed halls
the only comforts that keep me from collapse.

Far too proud to admit, though I'm sure
you see the bitterness of your absence
eating away at me like termites.

The lord only knows how I'd like to feel your feet
upon my wooden floors again,
but who am I to even dare to ask?

For now I am just a house
no longer a home
and alone
patiently waiting to be made whole again.

- r.j. & m.f.
this is a collaborative poem written by myself and my good friend ray (
berry Oct 2013

  i don't know if this is a letter or a rant or just a bunch of mixed up thoughts that i've been keeping in my head for far too long - so i'm just going to ramble for a bit. i firstly want to say, i would have loved you so well, and for a while that fact haunted me to the point i lost sleep and the desire to eat. i'm better now. i'm better than i've been in a long time. and i don't blame you even a little bit for all the things i chose to do to by my own hands. but for a really long time, i was angry at you for leaving me. that's as simply as i can possibly put it. just, angry. so angry. you came out of nowhere - and swept me up into the most intense whirlwind of emotions i had ever experienced in my nineteen years of life - and then, just as swiftly as you entered in, you departed, leaving me with not much more than feeble lines like, "it's for the best" and "i'm so sorry". i was very angry, and even more so confused. i think the problem was that you thought i would fix you or complete you or give you a purpose or something - i don't know. maybe none of that's correct. like i said, i don't know. (there are lots of things i think, but few i know).

  you nearly loved me (i say nearly because we never quite got that far). i seemed to be your answer; or some kind of beacon that maybe you thought could be a guide. but the moment my cracks started to show, i think it scared you. i don't think you had ever loved a sad girl. or maybe you loved a sad girl and she hurt you. (i don't know). all i know is that i tried to talk about the train, and you told me no. i wanted to tell you about the things in my head and what they wanted me to do, but as soon as i tried, i was met with, "don't be stupid." i understand that you didn't. as much as it hurt. i think what made me angriest was your initial reassurance that you were different and you were staying. i knew better than to put faith in promises formed by hands of human flesh, but i had a lot of hope. so like i said, i don't blame you. and i've grown a lot since that time. i'm learning more about myself every day, and it's easier now to keep my head above the waves.  i do not resent you for your inability to stay.

  i think that if i had tried to write this all those months ago when my wounds were still fresh, i wouldn't have been as composed as i like to think i'm being now. i'm actually sitting here, as i type, thinking how ridiculous i'll feel if this entire thing is off and i've misread it all. but anyway, this isn't necessarily something i need you to read. but should you choose to, or maybe someday stumble across it, i hope that you understand. and i hope life treats you well.

- m.f.
berry Dec 2013
Fifty-two is the number found between fifty-one and fifty-three. Fifty-two will never be the sum of any proper divisors of any number. Fifty-two is the international dialing code for Mexico. Fifty-two is the atomic number of Tellurium. There are fifty-two weeks in a year. Fifty-two white keys on a piano. Fifty-two cards are in a deck. And fifty-two years, have led up to this day, and to this paper that you’re holding. This paper in your hands is a letter to you expressing my gratitude. Though it hardly represents a fraction of it. I want to thank you for being an example of what it means to really care for people. Even in anger, you are never unkind. Thank you for the clothes on my back and the roof over my head. Thank you for educating and molding and nurturing me. For loving me through every stupid lie and every too-short skirt I tried to wear to church. Thank you for the coffee-dates you took me on when I was too young to understand that you were showing me how a man is supposed to treat me. Thank you for loving my mother in such a way that I know exactly what to look for in my own husband someday. Thank you for every hug and every kiss and every “I’m proud of you” that built me up and reassured me constantly that I was loved. Thank you for telling me I was smart. Thank you for wrapping me up in that hug that day I tripped and fell and cried because I was embarrassed. Thank you for every birthday and every Christmas and every light-hearted excursion that resulted in more toys I didn’t need. Thank you for your encouragement and constant support. Thank you for every basketball game and every school play you came to. Thank you for always being present. Thank you for holding my hand in public places in spite of the assumptions strangers always made due to the difference in our skin tones. Thank you for never treating me differently than any of my siblings even though I am not biologically yours. I may not share your DNA, but I am a testament to your love. There is no other father I could ever imagine any of my memories being with. There is no other father I want to walk me down the aisle.
There is no other father I would rather have.

- m.f.
i'm flat broke, so i know this isn't much, but it's the only gift i could come up with. happy birthday dad.
berry Oct 2013
look at your fingers.
extend & wiggle them.
look closer.
not another person on earth
has the same ones as you.
you are alive.

berry Dec 2013
You are the type of boy whose got saltwater in his bloodstream, bones like coral, and a heart made of driftwood – and at this point I’m just hoping someday you’ll wash up on my shore. I have seen the broken glass and beer bottle caps tucked in the folds of your sandy skin. I know how you left cuts on the feet of those who walked all over you. They were never sorry and you always were. Everyone else was too busy molding you into mangled and misshapen castles, only to stomp on them. Your soul was tangled in a mess of seaweeds and deep-sea debris. No one ever saw the brilliance of the sun's reflection in your smile that made you more dazzling than a million diamonds. But I noticed from the beginning that you were more than a temporary vacation spot or a convenient photo-op. and the shark-infested waters in your head shrank to puddles when you spoke to me in words like waves. To this day I can’t figure out what I did to deserve to be the only one you’ve ever allowed to explore your ocean floors, but I am grateful. I pressed my ear to your chest like it was the mouth of a conch shell, and heard the entirety of your ache without you saying a single thing. Violent storms churned in your belly at the hand of faceless puppeteers; made seasick by countless careless captains. But the sky cleared instantaneously the moment I came aboard. The same sun whose rays you’d always been wary of, now kiss your face the same way i wish to, taking utmost care not to burn. Your laughter is a school of fish filled with more colors than I can count and the sound of your sleeping breath is an ocean breeze. I am in love with the perfect shoreline curve of your mouth. Every day I find various buried treasures in your hidden coves and sunken ships, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of discovering you.

- m.f.
the name as well as general inspiration for writing this poem was drawn from the song Beach Baby, by Bon Iver.
berry Oct 2013
i'm hurricane-brained,
and fading faster than i
could hope to explain
- m.f.
berry Sep 2013
you're under my skin
like a body in a grave
buried way down deep
berry Sep 2013
never strong in swimming
but keeping my head above
these waves for you, dear
berry Jul 2013
patience, little dove
the sweetest love comes to us
when least expected
berry Sep 2013
your love, an ocean
upon which i float - your arms
anchors; i won't drift
berry Sep 2013
the words in my throat
endless reverberating
like bats in a cave
berry Jul 2013
once made to believe
i was as the moon & sun
truth showed, i was naught
berry Jul 2013
like cream in coffee
so did the light within your
irises swirl 'round
berry Sep 2013
i am a terrible liar

when i was six, and my father
asked me if i had brushed my teeth,
i hadn't, but to avoid a scolding,
i told him yes

the popcorn kernel stuck in my teeth
and my blushing cheeks gave me away,
he marched me to the bathroom

when i was ten, my mother asked me
if i'd snuck a cookie before dinner,
i hid my chocolate-covered fingers behind my back
and told her no

i forgot about the evidence right below my lip,
she laughed and shook her head,
i was given extra broccoli

when i was fourteen and my crush rejected me,
he asked me if our friendship would be awkward,
i didn't want him to feel guilty,
so i told him no

we stopped talking altogether
and for a little while it kind of hurt,
but he wasn't very cute anyway

when i was eighteen and the boy i loved broke my heart
then proceeded to ask me if i was okay,
i choked back my tears,
and i told him yes

he knew it wasn't true,
but he was all out of "i'm sorry's"
and two-hundred miles was too far for him

when you first told me that you loved me
you asked if i could ever think of you as more than a friend,
i was flooded with fear and memories of hurt,
and my first impulse was to tell you no

but then i remembered
i am a terrible liar

berry Nov 2013
you, my love, are the light of my life, and you - are ruining my writing. lately, when i sit down and try to write, all i can seem to come up with are grossly overused analogies and tired metaphors that have been recycled a thousand different times. all that flows from the end of my pen are flowers and stars and the creases that form in your forehead when you smile and how much i'd like to lose myself in the galaxies of your irises - and it's disgusting. this twilight-esque prose, this juvenile symbolism and puppy-love poetry that pours from me - is not me. i'm no Poe, no Plath, no Kerouac, but i like to think that i'm okay. however, recently the caliber of my writing has been reduced to nothing more than rainy-day romance and child's play. and god, everything rhymes. i feel like i'm sixteen again in the best way. it's because you've stayed, that you are changing everything i thought i knew about love. i catch myself absentmindedly drifting to visions of a shoebox apartment in a city somewhere and furniture shopping and even the B word (babies). that's so unlike me, that is so - amazing because nobody has ever been so serious about me and i think that maybe, baby,  someday i'd like to be 80 with you - oh god. you - you are too many poems that all sound the same, but each time i read through them i somehow manage to find something i haven't read before. you are open doors and patient arms with a voice like a lullaby that resonates in the darkest corners of my mind. you are saving grace without condition and a love so deep i could go for a swim in it - and maybe that's why i'm drowning, because all i ever really learned how to do is doggy-paddle. but you are so patient. anyone else would have quit on me by now. the idea of forever has always terrified me, but the promises you make sound so real that i'm beginning to think maybe they are. baby, you, are eyes like soil and words made of rain drops, and every day we grow a little more. i adore you. i am so sorry that my meager words can't do you justice. my ineptitude is criminal, but i'm trying. and i think that i would rather be vomiting these clichés than return to the world of gray i lived in before i met you. i love you. i love you. i love you to the moon and back and every planet in between. you are the sweet to my tea and the leaves to my tree. and every song i've yet to hear but somehow i manage to follow along with. i wanna scream it from the top of a mountain or the middle of a grocery store, about this love that leaves me with butterflies in my belly and fireworks in my heart. baby, i've never been so happy to embrace mediocrity. my prose may be suffering, but my heart is soaring. writer's block has never been more welcome than when it bears your name. so wipe your feet at the door, take off your coat, and please, make yourself at home.

- m.f.
berry Jun 2015
right now there are eleven empty containers of alcohol in my bedroom,
but it's fine, i'm fine.
i've been telling myself for more than a year
that i wasn't going to write anymore sad ****** poems about you,
but here we are.
most days i'm sure i don't miss you,
but then i listen to the wrong song,
and before i know it -
i'm screaming along to band of horses in the dark,
stalking your twitter favorites,
and somehow,
i've managed to get snot on my forehead.
yeah, nostalgia is an *******
but not all the memories sting.
there was that one time we went to the movies
and i slipped on some ice and fell flat on my ***.
i just sat there while you took a picture.
but i'm glad we could laugh about it.
i'm glad we were comfortable.
in my head, we still are.
in my head, we're oversized-goodwill-sweater comfortable.
we aren't as comfortable in real life
but i'm glad we still laugh.
this is the part where i don't bring up the time you told me
my laughter could cure your sadness,
because i'm pretty sure i already put that in another poem,
and it makes me really ******* sad.
did i ever tell you i used to play guitar and piano?
i loved them, but i never tried very hard.
i wanted to be good without having to practice.
i wanted to be good without having to practice.
i wanna meet the girl you write about
so i can ask her how she manages not to love you back.
because i've tried everything & i am so tired.
i forgot this wasn't supposed to be a sad poem.
i'm not good at happy anyway,
i never have been.
but in your absence i've learned a lot about softness.
so if i ever find myself back in your passenger seat,
i won't correct you when you sing the wrong lyrics,
i won't ask why when you take the long way home.
i won't ask you why you don't have your seatbelt on,
i'll just say a silent prayer
and watch for signs that you might be about to swerve.
right now there are eleven empty containers of alcohol in my bedroom,
and i didn't find you at the bottom of a single one.

- m.f.
berry Nov 2013
the question mark curves that form at the apples of her cheeks could ****,
but she speaks in a voice like lilacs and smiles like springtime.
she possesses unparalleled wisdom for one so young,
and has a soul like an old maple tree.
she makes a home of herself for weary hearts to rest,
but knows not to let their burdens become her own;
prudent enough to understand the difficult art of letting go.
the perfect pearls that live behind the velvet of her mouth serve as lanterns
in the darkness every time she parts her lips.
she is a diamond among ashes, a doe among monsters.
she burns with righteous anger upon seeing others treated wrongly.
she breathes like fall a breeze and her presence is is a sea at peace.
she is as gentle as a lamb, but can be bolder than a lion - when she needs to.
if you're being stupid, she'll tell you, but she'll do it with love.
she has watched me make innumerable mistakes,
and learned what not to replicate, and i in turn have learned from her.
she gives me far more grace than i deserve.
she has arms like olive branches and extends them freely.
her spirit is unchanging and uncrushable.
the beat of her heart can be heard from miles away
and it shocks me that there is even room in her chest for it, given its incredible size.
she is a dove among crows, and she is still learning how to fly,
but her wings promise great heights to come.

- m.f.
this is for my little sister, who inspires me more than any poem could ever express.
berry Aug 2013
keep my heart in a mason jar
above your bed
take it down and look at it
from time to time

then watch with a frown
on the day the jar slips through your fingers
and plummets to the hardwood
with a crack & a shatter

"sorry" you'll mutter
with an almost interrogative inflection
but you won't pick up the shards
you'll stare blankly at the contents - my heart
it's messy, not what you wanted

stains from the girl with the mason jar heart
will haunt the floorboards and echo in the walls
and you'll wish you'd been more careful
when you had her in your hands

- m.f.
berry Sep 2013
how was i to know?

how was i to know you wanted me to be yours?

how was i to know the words you wrote were for me?

how was i to know you'd imagined a future, the same as i?

you never once made it clear -


how was i to know?

berry Jan 2014
this is a series of brief letters to the pieces of my body

dear body,
we don't always work together very well,
but i swear i am trying.

dear hands,
the callouses and crescent moons in your palms
will not be for nothing.

dear knuckles,
aren't you tired of painting yourselves black & blue
every time words fall short of the fire burning behind my sternum?

dear feet,
you know better than to follow roads that lead to dead ends.
there are better places for us to go.

dear eyes,
you have sunken so far into my skull
it shocks me you see anything at all anymore.
you're fixated on shades of gray
but i promise the world will regain its color soon.

dear knees,
stop crawling.
this broken glass is from his bottles.
get up. no more blood.

dear shoulders,
it was never your burden to carry. let it fall,
and try your hardest not to feel guilty.

dear neck,
his hands will never make a home here,
and you are worth more than one night of empty bruises.

dear spine,
stop waiting to be warmed by fingers
that would reach for another body if they could.

dear tears,
do not waste yourselves.

dear ears,
you have been filled with ghost songs for too long.
stop listening for things no one is saying -
it will make life much simpler.

dear mouth,
i know these secrets have been threatening to break my teeth
but please do not open your gates. i am not ready.

dear skin,
we have never been close friends.
i am sorry for the scars.
i am trying to learn how to be comfortable in you.

dear mind,
if i could wish you into an etch-a-sketch
and shake you clean of these bad memories i would.

dear heart,
i hope you can forgive me for being so careless.
i feel how tired you are. rest is on its way.  

dear body,
you will one day see a grave,
but it must not be by your own hands.

- m.f.
berry Oct 2013
just six minutes. that's all. hold it together.
stop. do not cry. please don't cry. they'll all see.
bite your lip. choke it back. be stone-faced.

five more minutes. you might get kicked out of school.
your parents money will have gone to waste.
they're going to be so mad. but please don't cry. don't.

alright, four minutes. keep your composure.
stop shaking your legs. your eyes are watering.
don't cry. just look out the window.

only three minutes now. breathe. don't cry.
do not cry on this bus. cry in your room. don't think about the fact
that you might've just ruined everything. more importantly - don't cry.

just two more minutes. that's all. the sky is so pretty.
look at your nails. ignore the lump in your throat. do not cry.
i'm begging you not to cry. don't. please, please, please don't.

one more minute. almost there. breathe. stay calm.
they don't know what's wrong. don't think about the fact that you ******* up so bad.
hold it in. alright. you're home now. you can cry, but you might not stop.

*(there's a stupidly long story behind this that i honestly don't have the time or desire to explain to anybody so don't worry about it i just really needed to distract myself on the bus.)
berry May 2013
like fools, we dove into the shallow end.
head first. blind to the danger.
the jump itself was bliss.

fingers interlocked, laughter pouring from our mouths,
eyes bewitched and sparkling naively.
we were childlike. godlike. untouchable.

however our euphoria ended abruptly
at the reality of the encroaching cement bottom -
awaiting our skulls

but by the time we realized what was happening
it was too late.
you cannot stop gravity.

the smiles faded from our mouths.
and we went down,
down, down.

no hope for air.
no flailing limbs.
no final breath.

not a chance at revival.

we were dead on impact.

we never got to swim.
berry Feb 2014
nobody warns you about the first boy who tells you he wants to marry you.

nobody warns you about the tangible shift in the universe when he parts his lips to smile.

nobody warns you about the poetry he'll write you or how your knees will weaken or the melancholy hidden between the layers of his laughter.

nobody warns you that miles will morph into lightyears and you will curse the ocean for being the only thing that keeps his fingers from resting between yours.

nobody warns you about the day his sweater doesn't smell like him anymore.

nobody warns you that human hands are incapable of holding a person together.

nobody warns you that sometimes love is not enough, no matter how much you wish it was.

nobody warns you about the crippling nostalgia that renders you breathless.

nobody warns you about the nights when silence screams for your blood.

nobody warns you about the crater that forms in your chest in the middle of the night when he doesn't answer.

nobody warns you about how it's going to feel when he tells you he's in love with someone else.

nobody warns you that forever is a lie.

- m.f.
berry Dec 2013
this is a poem dedicated to distance.
to every time i have wanted to kiss you, but couldn't.
to every time i looked at my empty hands and thought of yours.
to every time i was in a crowded room and secretly hoped that i'd find your face.
to every happy couple we see that inadvertently mocks our inability to be near each other.
to every time i've played your laughter over and over in my head to drown out the silence.
to every time you just wanted to hear my voice, but i was busy.
to every missed call and every undelivered text and every time your internet was down.
to every miscommunicated statement and every typo.
to every time that one of us was asleep when the other needed them.
to every time you wept and i wasn't there to hold you.
to every self-destructive tendency we share.
to every pill your mother has hidden and every razor blade i have flushed.
to every worry that plagues my consciousness whenever you take long to reply.
to every night we have been together through a screen, but alone in our beds.
to every, "i miss you" and "i wish you were here".
to every broken-record apology that never makes it better.
to every makeup stain that mars the sweater you sent me so that i could
feel like i was sleeping with you (and to the fact that it doesn't smell like you anymore).
to every hour, every minute, every second of difference in the time between us.
to every dollar i don't have, and every time i wished for your chest against my back.
to every, "why are you even with me?" and "you could do better".
to every spectator and cynic that has told us we'd fail.
to every doubt of mine and to all your jealousy.
to every ounce of water in the pacific ocean.
to every ******* mile between my head and your chest (i checked, and there are 9,752).

you will not win.

- m.f.
berry Dec 2013
i am every unfinished poem that sits in piles of crumpled paper by your waste bin and every crowded thought in the cranial space above your neck. i am every word that begs to be free from the tip of your tongue but remains just out of your memory's reach. i am comprised of the colors of sunrise but am more the mood of a sunset. i am the familiar  fingerprints on your favorite coffee mug. i am a wicker rocking chair on somebody's grandmother's porch. i am bite marks on your pencil and the crick in your neck. i am the vacant blurry buzz of an old television set. i am all of the places i have never been. i am lovers' names carved into summertime tree bark, promising "forever" - only to fall short of that promise by the time the leaves change. i am here. i am not where i belong.

you are the gravity that keeps my feet on earth. you are the atmosphere i breathe. you are the rain that feeds my soul & makes flowers grow. you are my revival and my revolution and the courage i kept hidden inside of closed fists for so long i formed crescent moons in my palms. you are an unstoppable fire that is burning me alive in the best way. you are the only rooftop i have ever visited that i haven't felt the urge to jump off of. you are the gentle hum and rumble of the washing machine i used to nap beside when i was a little girl. you are the creaky wooden swing in my backyard where i sat for countless hours and smoked and cried and pondered. you are all my favorite odds & ends bound together by my wildest dreams. you are sometimes so beyond my understanding, that i wonder when i'm going to wake up; and if i ever did find out that you were just a dream, i would bang on heaven's gates and plead with god to let me sleep. you are there. i am here, you are there.

one of us needs to move.

- m.f.
berry Sep 2013
my mother taught me the alphabet and 2 + 2
(but everything always adds up to you)

my father taught me to be patient & kind
(but it's you that brings balance to my mind)

my brothers taught me how to be tough
(but you still tell me daily that i am enough)

my high school government teacher taught me to be bold
(but in you i find my courage, given your hand to hold)

the birds in the sky taught me how to sing
(but it's you who hides me under your wing)

all of my heartbreaks taught me how to write
(but you gave new meaning to sleepless nights)

- m.f.
berry Dec 2013
i never took Mother Earth for a felon,
but it is nothing less than a ******* crime
that you & i are forced to exist continents apart.

- m.f.
berry Jul 2013
recovery is not pretty.
it is not painless or simple or instant.
it is a road littered with backsliding and obstacles and doubt.
a path marred with reopened scars and sleepless nights and feigned smiles.

recovery is rubberbands and ice cubes and pacing and cigarettes.
it is phone calls at 3am when you can barely breathe and all the walls are closing in.
it is screaming at the ones you love because they love you too much to let you break your skin.

it is long sleeves and overly-cautious internet browsing and lots of movies.
it is eating way too much ice cream and taking walks in the middle of the night.
it is hard. recovery is hard. it is messy. it is painful and chaotic. but it is not impossible.
berry Sep 2013
before i loved you
you were winter

you've thawed now,
turning to early spring

together we melt -
into sweet summertime

each day, we fall
deeper in love

berry Oct 2013
you are fog over midnight water
and i am just a sailor's daughter
with a crippling fear of drowning
and a proneness to playing sink or swim.

berry Jan 2014
i still remember the first night we fell asleep on the phone together. i don't recall why you were crying and i'm sorry that you probably do. but i sang to you. i sang to you until you were silent. and that became a ritual for us. my voice carried you into dreams and i had never felt so important before. i didn't know it was possible to think the way someone snored was cute but night after night you proved me wrong. the moments before sleep were occupied by conversations of the future we wanted to build. we talked about being together in our bed in our house someday. i conjured up countless images of memories yet to be made that served as pictures on the pages of stories you told me. those images are still stuck to the walls of my skull, clinging to them as if to say, "but he promised." every time i try to peel them off they scream. i told you from the beginning the way promises tie my stomach in knots and most of the time you were careful. but at 4am when my voice was drowning in sobs i let you tell me you weren't going anywhere. you told me to breathe, suddenly i could. and you kept doing stupid little things until i gave in and laughed. i felt you smile. promises still made me feel sick. but i needed your consistency. the nights i had to fall asleep without you were hell. they always turned into red-eyed mornings where i watched the sun rise before managing only a few hours of dreamless sleep. i always woke up tired. i looked for you in other voices but none of them fit. your promises still lingered in my head. you said my heart would never be broken again, and i know this is not your fault, but i have been picking glass from my lungs for 17 days and the bleeding hasn't stopped.

- m.f
berry Sep 2013
let me first say, i have absolutely no idea what i'm doing
and i don't really know what this is or where to start.

i am comprised of scratched porcelain and bad dreams -
made up entirely of half-hearted attempts at sanity,
countless unspoken "i need you's",
and ever-faltering faith in myself and those around me.

i am not a poet, or at least not a good one, i don't think.
i feel a lot of things, sometimes all at once -
other times i don't feel anything at all, which scares me beyond
a level of which i am capable of explaining to you.

i nearly jumped in front of a train in april of this year. i don't know why.
my feet ventured toward the platform before it had even registered
in my head that they were doing so. i heard my best friend speak my name,
and snapped out of the trance. not a lot of people know about that.

i've been in love a lot of times with a lot of different people.
i have a fear off falling but a tendency to jump from high places.
i don't read books as much as i used to, but i'm working on that.
i'm in love right now and it's really difficult but it's nice. i'm happy.

i grew up with five brothers, so i like to think that made me sort of tough.
(but i cry every time i see a deer or a possum on the side of the road.)
i don't smoke cigarettes anymore, partly because my father hates them,
partly because they remind me too much of someone who liked them more than he liked me.

i write a lot about people who i don't talk to or see anymore. they don't live in my heart,
but the curse of memory is more often than not unbreakable. i call it leftover poetry.
then again i don't consider any of my pitiful mutterings to be poetry. just a bunch of
raggedly strung together words that sometimes rhyme a little bit.

i used to want to die and i wrote a song about it that a lot of people really liked.
i don't want to die anymore. i will never show that song to my mother.
i am much more content with watching people talk than actually talking myself.
this piece of writing feels too personal and i don't think i like it, but i'm pretty sure
Eleanor Roosevelt said something about doing one thing every day that scares you.

berry Nov 2013
my mind is a planetarium
where each memory is a meteorite
and every apology burns like a dying star.

enclosed in the vast celestial stretch of my skull,
planets tend to vanish without the courtesy of a goodbye,
but i'm just happy to have housed them for a little while.

my projector is faulty and sometimes,
the images i try to convey become obscured
("asteroids may be larger than they appear").

i can't help but speak in broken constellations,
and hope that you somehow understand
that i have nothing but the best intentions.

not to mention, i've seen a lot of visitors, though
none have ever stayed for long, after they've surveyed
that i'm nothing more than a bunch of chaotic galaxies.

i rubbed the collection of stardust and debris from my eyes
and to my surprise, found that you hadn't gone anywhere.
instead, you were there, floating through my solar systems.

you've got me orbiting around your finger
like the rings around the sixth planet from the sun.
i come undone a little more with every word you breathe.

my bones are made of moon rock, aching like cold craters,
waiting patiently for the radiant warmth of the sun,
or your breath, or your touch, whichever is closest.  

the most stellar display of stars i have ever seen
are not in the belt of orion, nor anywhere within the milky way -
instead they are lightyears beyond, resting comfortably behind your lips.

- m.f.
berry Mar 2014
what you need to understand about me is that i am nothing more than misplaced passion and a pair of blindly swinging fists that tremble with unrighteous anger. so allow me to apologize in advance for the fires my subconscious starts. i am a clumsy compilation of ill-suited lines that will never see life in your poetry. at least, not like they used to. you are a book filled with with pictures i never got to take, and every day i am forced to sit idly by while she starts a new roll of film. the missile crisis reincarnate is inside my chest, so forgive me for not being able to control when i shake. forgive me for fumbling with syntax so crassly. i know better than to spew hate and call it poetry. please understand that the endless series of sinking ships in my head makes it difficult to form coherent thought. my thoughts, will **** me, if your absence doesn't first. i think about your hands more than i am proud to admit, and when i picture them reaching for her i feel so sick. i'm sorry. i am so sorry that i haven't yet learned how to moderate the volcano in my throat. i'm so sorry for spitting fire with my eyes closed. forgive me for confusing anger with bravery and burning down too many houses to count. in my misguided thirst for blood i weaponized memories and threw them like daggers in every direction, but the only one being hit is me. i am so tired of bleeding, i am tired of this one-sided war, i am tired of being a war. i tried so hard to be catharsis personified but i have to face the reality that my arms would only hold you like a grave. i loved you like rainwater, and lost you like time. you were never mine. you were never mine. you were never mine. i have to say that to myself every day because it eases the pain of watching you belong to anyone else. but i can't ignore the surplus of "what if's" wreaking havoc in my consciousness. i think that's why i get so angry when i picture you laughing with her instead of me. i am blocking out the memory of the night you told me my laughter could cure your sadness. ******* it. i am trapped in a nightmare where the walls of the home we built are lined with photographs of her. this is why i can't breathe at the thought of her smiling when the flash goes off. they say that nothing good stays; i have never been good at leaving, so i guess that makes sense. you once referred to me as an anxious mess you would spend the rest of your life cleaning up, and i can't get that out of my head. i hope you know, that after everything, i would still sit and collect dust on a shelf in your house forever, if that's what you wanted me to do. but i know it's not, so i'll go back to apologizing. i'm sorry that my rage doesn't have an off switch. i'm sorry for being a literal spitfire. i'm sorry for being an earthquake under her glass slippers. i'm sorry that my mouth is a loaded gun and that i have ****** aim. i swear to god i'm trying not to shoot so often but this is one of the hardest things i have ever done. so until i learn control i will burn in silence with the safety on.  

- m.f.
berry Sep 2015
you are eighteen and you're in love
with a boy who hates his birthday.
you don't know it yet,
but the world gets so much bigger than the back of his car.
you think he needs you to be happy and so does he
but both of you are wrong.
it'll take you almost a year to stop crying.
and then you don't talk for another three
and when you finally do,
he thinks he still knows you,
but your heart is heavier than it was then.
and you **** him because you're lonely
but it isn't the same.
neither of you can fake love.
at least he still makes you laugh.
you'll pretend it's enough
because at least he's a body.
at least you're not by yourself.
at least you're alive
and you're good at *******.
because bodies are distractions
from the things we hide inside them.
you have him inside you
and he wants to gut you of your ugly, your sad.
he scrambles for an excuse not to stay the night
and you laugh.
you know what this is and how it goes
and you both love someone else.
you swear you won't **** him again
but you do anyway because you're still lonely
and you like the way his hands fit around your neck.
you **** him because it's good for your art
and you get bored of your own hands on your body
and you're fine with letting him feel useful.
and you think about when you were sixteen
and how *** was supposed to be special
and it makes you cry
because you're not who you wanted to be.
it makes you cry, because the world got so much bigger
after you left the backseat of his car.
the world is so big and you don't know
how it ended up on your shoulders.
you would have died for him.
you have been ready to die for every person you have ever loved.
you have dreams where he dies
and you can't save him.
you have dreams where people die
and you can't save them
and you're the one who tied your hands.
your mangled heart and all its bleeding.
nobody asked you to die.
what good is all the love in your chest
if you don't leave any for yourself?

- m.f.
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