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courtney Jun 2020
i made the trip to our hometown
down that old street and to my old bedroom
i thought going back would help me get away
it only reminded me of you more

in my bed, it’s like muscle memory
a gentle reminder of us lying together
staring up at the plastic constellations on my ceiling
rambling how we would see the real stars in oregon

we packed our bags and headed west
following a map of state lines and truck stops
with every mile a new memory
every turn a chip in the mask

we got a cup of coffee at nancy’s diner
as the waitress poured you called her something unrepeatable
and when she spilled a little on the table
you attacked before she could say sorry

we made it to omaha at golden hour
in the hotel room, i took an unexpected polaroid of you
but not as unexpected as when you slapped it out of my hand
and told me “i don’t like surprises.”

the way i saw you was deteriorating 5 months deep
chiseling away with every backhanded comment
your silver tongue kept me around
no matter how sharp it cut

the stars started to dim out there
though i wanted them to shine forever
your virtue shattered on the dock that night
when hands reached for my face, i never turned back

i took a red eye when it hurt
there was silence throughout the plane
in my hand, fragments of stars and deceit
i keep it clenched, close to my self doubt

when you look back
do you remember the flowers through the fog of the window?
or do you just remember
the petals in the sink and the glass on the floor?

i remember your facade but try to forget
i tell myself the truth no matter how much it hurts
sometimes i can’t help myself but to think
what if we went back to the phase of the masks?
co-written with dallas.
courtney May 2019
when people talk about love and heartache
they use words like "spark" or "flame"
but they do not talk about the wildfire.

the feeling you get when you see them across the room
before the spark gets the chance to ignite
your forest of a heart glows with hope and infatuation
the feeling before a first date
time spent deciding on pair of shoes and which eyeshadow looks best
when the need to make them want to love you can't be contained
                 it gets worse and more widespread

the wildfire becomes a state of emergency
your mind evacuates its home, taking yourself with it
instead of water, you try to extinguish with a shot of jack
but naturally the flames get more rampant and passionate

but the fire goes out. after it destroys everything in its path.
time cannot be regained. we cannot be unburned.  
all we can do is
courtney Mar 2019
I took myself from from city to city
To pursue my dreams as tall as skyscrapers
But with more freedom comes more precaution
And all the safety nets set around couldn’t catch me from the fall

Mom told me to not forget about the top lock of my door at night
Dad said to always tell a friend when I’m heading out
I’ve learned not to ride the subway alone after 5 pm
But I needed someone to tell me that I did the right thing

I navigated my nights through pavements and grids
I found myself in the Upper East side, the streets shifting beneath my feet
Bacardi dictating each of my steps, but making no difference when I danced
I was always told to never trust a back alley, but no one warned me about a dance floor

I stumble my way onto the street, change scattered all over 72nd
I count the pennies like I count sheep, usually I’m out by 30
Hailing a cab, with him right beside me
My head rests on his shoulder along with the thought of good intentions

His apartment had a remarkable view of the skyline, but I can’t look at it the same
The Empire State reminds me of bruises on my thighs and muffled screams
My night faded in and out from flickering kitchen lights and cold linoleum flooring
But the next morning clarity hit
Veiled with excuses
They say the NYPD are the finest in the world
But I sit in this cold, stale building reflecting on the night before
My mascara still smeared and a rip in my tights

“Is this what you were wearing?”
“How much exactly did you have to drink”
“You agreed to go to his apartment though”
“How often do you go home with strangers?”

My throat is tight
Everything I say is taken and twisted
Eyes glaring at me with low-brows
And the smell of burnt coffee
Trust draining out my body as color drains from my face
I’m ripping through the safety nets, one by one

Unable to take their judgemental gaze, I look up at the ceiling
Answering questions
I think to myself, “Was this moment in a cold police station even worth the fight?”
Was this cry for help from one terrible night worth the trauma they’ve caused from doubt
It’s unbelievable that I would have to rationalize which event was worse

I just needed someone to tell me I did the right thing.

I can’t look at them
I still look up and answer questions
That time spent counting each tile on the ceiling until it was over,
when i should have been counting sheep,
hoping I can wake up and this was just a dream,
but I keep counting…

100, 200, 300..
I hope you get the justice you deserve.

Co-written with Dallas @stoopkid .

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