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The temperature in the room is high
Thick, sweaty bodies grind to the rhythm
As music swells like smoke coming
From the joints being passed around
Laughter fills the air as full as the cups
That clutter her bedroom, like the friends
On her bed, sharing the bench in front of the keyboard,
Making out in her closet, and behind her *****
Shower curtain. She’s faded, just like the rest of them,
But through the clouds of smoke and conversation,
The date circled in black on her calendar
Reminds her of the day her mother fell to her knees
In the middle of the grocery store screaming,
Like the ****** girl who hears a funny joke
In the background, after getting a phone call
That would rewrite the date, no longer a stoner’s holiday,
But the same day as seven years before, when her mother,
Once in the car, continued hyperventilating, no passerby
Stopping to help, or to ask the twelve-year-old girl
What was wrong, like her friends who try to do so
Now as she stands and picks a picture off the shelf
Her aunt in it, alive, and kissing her cheek. /Are you okay?/
A hand comforts her shoulder. /I think I’ll smoke a little more./
She loses the staring contest and hands the picture back to the shelf.

-E (c) 2018
Boy, do I looove you
And God only knows I can’t be the only one
But if I spit those words into your Happy Meal,
I think you might actually start to cry
(He’s not loving it, in fact,
he never could, for it isn’t in his nature to love

Or at least to love me)

Puny, frail things catch your attention left and right
Like the bright colored toys wrapped in plastic
You rip each one of them open and play your games
Of make believe and pretend
Until the first time it falls off the table,
Or into the mud
And you couldn’t give less of a ****
The toy will shed a tear, and you will say it’s being a *****

But I know your double cheeseburger soul
Craves more than what you physically desire
But the guilt of eating unhealthy food
Has never stopped you before
I once stayed up until four in the morning, waiting for my lover, who is in a band, to get done with his set. He said I'd only have to wait until three, but, at 3:50am, sent me a text telling me that these girls had taken him to dinner, and unless I wanted to wait another hour, it wasn't going to happen. When I told him not to worry about it, he said "For sure. Sorry to keep you waiting. I hope these people are worth it, sexually." and he laughed. It's fine, though. I don't love him. Right?

-E (c) 2017
Get it? A Short Story? ***?
This is an ode to my own self love
Because tonight I forgot who I ******* was
I was looking at a profile with the guy i was on a date with and he said that the girl in the picture was pretty and I asked what about her is pretty and as we scrolled through the pictures he said I like the ones where she looks normal
And when this ******* meant normal
I knew he meant white
He mean blonde haired, blue eyed, perfect skin and white teeth
And I looked at myself I knew I was none of these things
My skin is not white, neither are my teeth, and they are crooked
Like my skin, which is not flawless, no Beyoncé, I did not wake up flawless
My hair is dark brown, almost black, but that's my natural color
I've been bleaching it blonde since I was twelve
What the **** does that tell you
I got my first two tattoos when I was eighteen
And I saw how the girls face had no piercings
And I looked at my 00 gauges and my septum, cartilage, tragus, and second hole piercings
And I wanted to rip them all off
I wanted to scratch my tattoos off
I wanted to take my hair off
I wanted to rip my skin off
I felt inadequate
I felt like I could never be enough
Well I'm tan and unconventional
So that means I can never be ******* loved
So this is an ode to myself:

Dear Ella,
Look at me,
Thick body, with curves that slay like Beyoncé's
Glasses thick so you can see your own beauty
Lipstick dark like the shade of a ruby
And you don't care
You don't care what anyone thinks because you know you rock it
Your blonde and brown hair is unique, no one else can rock it
Your piercings are a part of you, that's why you ******* chose them
The same thing with the tattoos, girl, that's why you own them
They have meaning to you, they're beautiful to you
So what the **** does what this guy thinks phase you
The way you do your makeup is beautiful,
Your style is beautiful
And every scar on your arm is important to you
So don't pretend that what he thinks is more important than what you do
Love yourself, girl, because without you there would be no you

-E (c) 2017
My friends like to make jokes about how I only date guys that look ***
Don't laugh, because it's partially true
I like long hair,
That's probably problem number one,
But I just want something to run my fingers through, something to braid when I'm bored

It's also probably because I fall in love with musicians
My ideal man is Roger from Rent
A guitar playing, napkin lyric writing heroine addict
Yes, I fell in love with him when I was 12
Sweet addiction,
Cigarettes and leather were always my thing
D, N, and A are the initials of my first infatuations. I do not concider them first loves.
I can't tell if you like me
There's a lot put into that
Friendship or love
For me, it's all the same because
Regardless of intentions of affection,
I can't see
I can't tell if you like me
I want to hold your face in my hands
And I want to kiss your soul
But there's a hole in my blueprints
A big hole,
Because honestly
No matter how many dates we've gone on now
No matter how many times you've kissed my forehead
No matter how many texts you've sent or emojis you've emoted
Or how many of my notebooks that you wrote in
I cannot tell
I can't tell if you like me

-E (c) 2017
I'm dating a guy who I used to sit across from in prob/stats, and he would reach across my desk and scribble things in my notebook.
Dreams ****
Because you can have a dream
Where a boy kisses you
And you really, really like that boy in real life
Just to wake up
And realize that he didn't actually sleep over
He didn't actually post a video of you guys kissing for the first time on YouTube (?)
You were just
Dreaming

-E (c) 2017
I HAD A DREAM LAST NIGHT THAT HE CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND IT WAS STILL CHRISTMAS AND WE PLAYED IN THE SNOW AND HE BROKE A CANDY CANE WHY IS LIFE UNFAIR
What's the point in leaving if I wasn't even there in the first place
I don't like loud spaces, I don't like feeling like I can't look someone in they eye because I know that they will judge me and talk about me as if I'm not present
Strangers touch me and I feel like I've been stripped down to my skeleton
They make a joke because they saw me staring into space
They knew I was present
They knew I wasn't even there
What's the point in leaving if I wasn't even there in the first place

-E (c) 2017
Took a bat to a truck at a party
It wasn't my truck
I was pretty drunk, it was at a party
Struck the glass and made the truck bleed
The owner wasn't even mad about it
He let me hit it again
He started beating it with me with a ski
Rich people have skis in their garages
Owner said it was his dad's truck
We beat it until it bled out in the street
It felt good to beat something
Feels good he said
To beat instead of get beat

-E (c) 2017
I didn't want to show you
I didn't want you to try
I can stare at the ceiling for hours
And feel like minutes have gone by
You aren't much to look at
Baby neither am I
I didn't want you to try
I really didn't want you to try

Baby can't you see
It isn't you it's just the lethargy
I can't move my limbs but I can
Move my lips
And I can talk to you
I wanna talk to you

-E (c) 2017
They've given me a new drug that helps me sleep
Because I only got a couple hours this week
My best friend says I shouldn't rely on the dope but
Truly it's the only thing that gives me hope
And I'm sorry if I look like I've been falling apart
But last night I got too drunk at my old boyfriends apartment
And we only broke up cause he's an *******
And I can't take constant annoying harassment
To be honest I'd rather be on my own
By they say a home alone isn't a ******* home

-E (c) 2017
And I know you didn't do this for me, but it's the fact you made it seem like you cared
I know you didn't do it for me, but it gives me hope that something is there
I believe in the Buddha and communism, I love listening to classic Cher
Believe me when I say I'm looking for someone who's gonna care

-E (c) 2017
I found myself hugging my closet this morning
I got up, walked over to her, stood in front of her and stuck my hands between some things hanging,
Put my cheek against the cold plastic of the hangers, and it felt right

Now this sounds strange
But something became quite clear to me when I felt like my closet was hugging back
It's not the things you wear, it's how you wear them
My closet loves me because I wear my clothes freely
I never wore them to please anyone else
That's why when he told me he wanted me to wear something else I said, "No."
Because my fashion is a part of me and it has been
Whether I was in the fourth grade, wearing my lily pad skort, pink Mary Janes and a neon green top
Or in college,
Unapologetically sporting my baggy white tee, ripped jeans, Birkenstocks and socks
I will not submit to you

My clothes love me back because I am not afraid
My closet hugs me back because she knows that I will never again let a man tell me
"That's ****."
My fashion is my power.
Let it ring from every tower, you will not tell me what I can put on this body ever again
My body is my temple, and it was not built on your land so you can
Shove it

-E (c) 2017
Now
Now
I can't be anything I thought I'd be
Because I'll **** myself by 23
At least that's what I've said to myself everyday
Since you went away, I lost myself

The view from here is so unclear
I can feel the end is drawing near
And even though I've lost your touch, my dear
Your handprint lives here on my heart

Psychologically, I'm damaged goods
Physically, I am breaking down
I'm a self fulfilling prophecy,
If it's meant to be, it'd start now

But we are all just floating around here
Out in space, we cannot count the hours
There's no time to start anything new,
My dear, we're through, now

Because psychologically, I'm damaged goods
Physically, I am breaking down
I'm a self fulfilling prophecy,
If it was meant to be,
It would have started by now

I'm tired of saying that I'm fine
I'm tired of tallying the tries
And baby you are fading from view,
We are through, but it's gonna be alright

-E (c) 2017
It wasn't a mistake that I took Philosophy 101 my freshman year in college.
Indeed,
It was
"Fate"
Philosophical questions ended my abuse
They became me
I know it's considered cliché to question everything, but now
I do
And if I hadn't taken PHIL 101, or had an extensive background knowledge in Christianity
Because in 2013,
A hot boy asked me to come to his youth group and I said yes
And because of that hot boy I became engulfed with The Spirit, and became a worship leader in a youth group band
Who became a worship leader in a church
Who became a bruised and abused girlfriend of a non-Christian who broke her faith, that wasn't even whole to begin with,
Who became a freshman in college who took a PHIL 101 class
Who became the girl who finally ******* figured out
That the destiny she so pined for from the moment she was a starry-eyed 7 year old coming home from Brazil
Sitting on her dead aunt's lap, in a frame in the college girl's bedroom
She would know
Her destiny was her own choice
She was the ruler of her own world
And whatever decision she made would be the right one because she made it

-E (c) 2017
Why can't you just be normal?
That doesn't make any sense.
You can't be serious. Your life really isn't that bad.
Okay, well what would you like me to do?
You don't need medication, the doctors are just trying to push it on you to make money.
Okay, well then I'll get counseling.
That costs money too, how are you going to pay for it?
They have free stuff at the college-
Only poor people go there, they won't actually care about talking to you.
Okay.

Why are you mad?
Why are you crying?
Why are you ruining dinner?
What the ****, Ella?
You're not your mom, Ella.
You're so ******* stupid, do you know that?
Huh, do you?
They're just trying to use you.

You're paying, and I'm taking you home.
You're ******* crazy, you know that?*

-E (c) 2017
I shouldn't have told him about my doctor's appointment in a public place. Or am I victim blaming?
So,
I'm not a bad college student.
We'll start with that.
But,
When I do skip class,
I try to do it on review days.
WHY DO I ALWAYS END UP SHOWING UP ON REVIEW DAYS?

-E (c) 2017
Why is this my life?
I'm sorry that I look away every time I catch your glance
But I got hurt so badly the last time I took a chance
I know it sounds cliche but I can't fall into your trance
I can't allow myself to be anything more than an acquaintance

But you're so beautiful
So beautiful
And if I wasn't so ****** I probably could love you
If you wanted me to
You're so beautiful

And love at first sight might not be love at all
I know you have my number, but you probably won't call
The anticipation's enough to make my flesh crawl
I've never felt so tiny, no I've never felt so small

But you're so beautiful
So beautiful
And if you weren't across the room I could probably love you
If you wanted me to
Because you're so beautiful

And I love you
Yes I love you
Your eyes are kind and large
I have to fight the urge
To walk over
I won't walk over

-E (c) 2017
This is for J.M., written on 3/18/17, after a concert at The Jungle.
I had to call the cops on my ex-boyfriend last Thursday:

Stop looking at me like I did something to you.
I have campus police on speed dial, if you do not leave, I will call them.
You need to stop pretending like I did something wrong to you.
I am dialing the number right now.
Look at me. Look at me! Stop looking at me like you're a victim! I didn't do anything wrong to you. I don't deserve this.
Look, it's ringing. You need to leave.
First, you need to stop looking at me like I did something wrong to you.
No. Leave.
Look at me!
Leave.

You feel a special kind of guilty when you have a stalker. You don't want to believe that someone you ever loved would to this. You really don't want to believe that someone you were ever intimate with, or someone who has pictures that you painted for them in their room would do this to you. You don't want to feel vulnerable. And you really don't want to feel that every few seconds, you need to be looking over your shoulder for them. You just want them to leave you alone.
This is pretty personal, but whatever.
When I say I want
To **** myself, please do not
Take it so lightly

-E (c) 2017
Personal again.
We walk out the black back door
With the broken glass window
At the warrant of a smoke
I let you lead me into the dark outside
Through the yard of twisting,
Tall sculptures made of tires,
Bottles, barbed wire, and foam

You grab my hand and fit me
Beside you in the circle consisting
Only of artists, some of whom
Stand, some of whom sit on old
Couch cushions, or lawn chairs
Which have been decaying
Underneath the wet, ***** snow

We, the huddled mass of jean
Jackets, knitted scarves, and nihilism,
Pass around a legal joint and cigarettes
Whose smoke rises into the fog
Of a mid-November midnight
As we freeze, and add laughter
To the hum of cars whizzing past
On the one-way side of 2nd Street

You and I find our place among
The artists, on a chair not once
Built with the intention of sustaining
The weight of two, but you ask
If I’ll sit on your lap anyway
And more than willingly, I oblige

We are now a part of this crowd—
The Burning Man drop-outs,
Too cool for our own selves
We shiver and vibrate in time
To the neon, changing streetlights
And not-too-far-off police sirens
And it is here, in your lap, surrounded
By the rubble of an artist’s junkyard
I look up and mouth /I love you/
And you mouth it silently back

-E (c) 2018
He came back to me in vicious cycles
He knew where I lived, and where I learned
No matter how many times I screamed at the top of my lungs in his face that his power was useless,
My screams only tightened his grip on my throat
I knew I couldn't be free
I had to end the vicious cycle

-E (c) 2017
Vicious Cycles is my concept for a book that I intend on writing related to the abuse that my ex-boyfriend inflicted upon me. It's not even remotely close to being done, or even being formed. These are the premature sketches of what is to hopefully come.
I freeze
My smile says, you got me again but inside, your words have gutted me,
Like walking into a room full of Simon Cowells,
And losing my voice
Yes, in fact
You took my voice from me
This game we play where we both bear our fangs for alpha-female in our sick, twisted trio
But the difference is this
I do not make the haughty stabs that you inflict upon others
Flicking your tongue like a silver blade, and I, your waiting victim,
Am here, readily awaiting your torture because I don't know how to make other friends
So I let the violence continue
Maybe my ex was right about you
Maybe you're the reason why if it weren't for my hemophobia, my wrists I would slice,
But pills suffice
My smile says, you got me again.

-E (c) 2017

— The End —