farah 5d
or even remember that
despite my sheer smallness and insignificance
writing poems helps me sleep
like weaving my own tapestry of bedtime stories
something larger than life to me

but i’ve forgotten how to write, i guess
i’ve forgotten how to sleep
and how much i loved both
granted, they felt like secondhand talents
thing i’d learned to love only because this pretty girl did
or this pretty boy told me i made words dance and twist

i’ve forgotten how to breathe, as well,
without every other breath sounding like a heavy sob
that i can’t stifle, simply because everyone keeps me at a distance
i might as well be standing alone
in a hallway with the whitest walls;

again, i’ve forgotten how to write poems
i can’t even find the words to tell you
how empty walking near you feels

it’s a distant memory to me,
writing poems
sleeping
breathing

a bit of the distance i’ve wedged there myself
like when i see someone being held
held like that is the only thing keeping them intact
i feel just a little more cracked

but believe me,
being touched makes me cower in fear
and i feel nothing
not the warmness of another body,
not the softness of someone’s heart,
whose made themselves vulnerable enough that you can see right through them

i can’t make myself that sheer
maybe invisible,
but not so crystal clear that you know what is inside;
it’s disgusting,
and you would not be in in the least bit interested,
unless maybe i was crying.
farah 6d
you've properly terrified me
of ever letting you exist outside my imagination
where i can paint you however i like;
however i need to before i fall asleep
and dream of you once more

you've properly terrified me
of my own smile
and made the stretch of lips across my teeth
feel so unnatural and foreign
tight and uncomfortable
i hate smiling, love
so much so that i’d rather weep in front of you
than feign a smile
you’ve shattered my smile

i've forgotten
what soft can be
after i’d gotten so used to the harsh distance between me and your skin
i can’t even remember if it was truly soft
or if that is another figment of my imagination
i just know that you broke me
along with any illusion of love and safety i harboured within

and then
halfway through this poem
you stepped outside my mind
and, realer than ever,
put words in my mouth
so sweet i never thought they could exist within me

you broke any delusion i had of you being perfect
with apologies sewn into your heart
but you weren’t evil either;
you existed in a realm somewhere in between
that my fragile brain could not comprehend,
but one in which my fragile brain could exist
i wasn’t going to break,
because your hands held me up

i was happy enough that my smile made home of my face once more
until, that is,
it started feeling tight and unnatural again;
love, i’m beginning to understand
not even a dozen roses
engraved with ‘i love you’s and the right words in the right order
can rearrange my broken,
rotten heart;
i love you,
but love in this fragmented desert
does not grow that much,
through no fault of your own,
i assure you;
you just chose to damage the wrong girl’s heart.
farah May 18
this is not love
but a fetishisation of
drowning and dying breaths

don’t try and tell me this is how it should feel
that the lack of blood on your hands
somehow makes you innocent
you are implicated through the slashes on my heart,
love, there is no getting around the fact that you wielded a knife
and recklessly stabbed at me

to say that you loved me
is to say you fell in love with how bloodied you left me
don’t misunderstand,
i am not the pain you embedded within me
love is much too fragile for you to understand
or even recognise
and if there was ever any trace of love between us
that would let you blink for a second
and touch me softly
you murdered that

the distance remains, and the empty space helped me see
you are twisted and dark, love,
and i could never fall in love with you
or even look at you

don’t try and tell me i’m broken
i am, but not because i love you
you arranged the pieces of my heart
into ugly slurs that made me feel so worthless
how could you love me, or even pretend you did?

this is not love,
but the residue of the unhealthiest of attachments;
calling you love is kind and caring
and you deserve neither, love.
farah May 11
i read a novel
about a boy who loved another so
he lost himself in his beautiful smile
and never quite retrieved his whole soul

it broke my heart to read an altered version
of a story that i'd become so familiar with
the idea of which i romanticized in my
sleep deprived head resting on my pillow
wrought with worry about who you told
i was your god and you, my mouthpiece on earth
and who you told you could never love me

because it happened that you'd wear our love on your sleeve
under fleece blankets and choked sighs
but still, you kissed me in the separate rooms of parties
and held my hand when i cried the most

but it also happened that most of my tears
were cried in your expense
and there were people who knew me
as no more than the girl you hated

did you really hate me?
i think the possibility of indifference hurt more
because if you hated me i mattered enough
for my sharpness to affect you,
your delicate skin
as twisted as it is
i loved any version of reality in which
i played a role in your life

but if you didn't care
if you didn't care that i still talk about you
that you've placed a target on my back
for all your friends to abuse my compliance
i'm just an ink smudge you have to look at everyday
but so insignificant you don't remember my name

do you remember all the love i cried onto your skin before you left?
i had wanted it to burn into your heart
so maybe someday you could live to forgive me
and never forget love at the end of each sentence

and i clung onto the hope
of you losing your tunnel vision
but love,
this isn't how it's supposed to be
we're not right, are we?

you pushed me to the brink of
i love you
where love is rain
that doesn't often grace these desert sands
and maybe just a little affection could
save us from this storm
i love you
and i meant it
when i slit my wrists for you
i love you
carved like a bitter song
i can't stop humming
i love you,
always caught in my throat
occupying the space
mixed with oxygen you'd once breathed
i love you
but we were never right
when all we've done
is cut down our hearts
so they could weigh the same
that can't be love

we put an expiration date on
one night stands and drunken texts
but there never was a cut off line
for my sick infatuation
with your skin pressed up against mine
the memory of which only lingered
in the middle of heat-soaked dreams
i can delude myself into believing i still love you
and the memory chases me through the waking hours
but i'm tired of running
i'm tired

reinvent yourself like i plan to
strip your mattress of the bloodstained sheets
and find a new corner of the world
to win over prettier girls
as someone who never broke my heart
whose heart was never touched by my evil hands
we could be more
if you wrenched the letters apart
and left me
you could be more.
farah May 11
bring everything i love just within reach
joy with a noose tied around it
and smiles
have become insufficient
because only when we've cut them down
and weighed them against others'
do we find solace in knowing
at least i'm doing something right;
at least i'm normal

of all the people standing in the same room
staring blankly at each other
i seemed to struggle the most
with reconciling words on screens
and human interaction
which has become so alien to us
i almost forgot how to reach out to you

this boy that i liked
that i had invested oxygen and beautiful poems in
had given me fleeting glances and midnight inklings of loneliness
embedded his own pain in the corners of my smile to carry
i let him
because he told me he loved my smile
but it was never enough that i only wept silently
in the privacy of my room

because even there
he'd seemed to find a way in
through my screen
he'd trace every jagged word
and every dark thought
back to me and i'd watch him break me
over and over
paralyzed with the fear that he'd stop loving me
because i wasn't there to make him see through me

i wonder how differently i could write our story
if we weren't so separated
two
different
distant beings
i suppose i was able to see how little you cared
to have never picked up the phone
and ask me how i was doing.
farah May 11
in which i wake up one morning
and find myself no longer cold and starved
in need of the warmth radiating from your eyes

or at least find you
a beautiful still
a video stuck on repeat
of the rise and fall of your chest
so hypnotizing i'd fall in love you at every
inhale;
exhale;

sleep suited you so well
when you were no longer stagnant and rigid
sharp lines melted into the mattress
and water was left to move
as it was meant to be

partially i'd hoped distance would blur every memory
every instinct to be close to you
but i'd begun by having nightmares so bleak
i saw you everywhere in the waking hours
behind my eyelids and right in front of me;
it'd become so distracting i could never really tell when you were truly there
tangible and so authentically you;

then i'd had the dreams
that have burned into my memory
and left a beautiful scar
that i would secretly love to wear with pride
in which some spectacular instance would make you realize
beautiful girls come in so many shapes
and perhaps i could be the beautiful girl
with whom you were enamored
it seemed real because i'd memorized every kiss you'd carelessly throw in my direction,
no matter how fleeting, it was your skin nonetheless
and i cherished it and twisted it into a beautiful tragedy
a real tragedy because i knew i could love you all the same.

then i wake up;
the rise and fall of your chest
the rise and fall of your chest
i think
if i say the words enough they will lose the gut-wrenching impact
and i'll no longer feel this dulled pain
that follows me wherever i go.
farah May 11
you, my love
taught me how to cut my hair
and shed my clothes

you, my love
asked me to go for a swim
and left me drowning because
i didn't know friends could take your breath away too

somehow, you’d drawn pretty lines
between every good thing in my life
and your pretty hands
all you are is a pretty girl
but your skin was so different from mine
i couldn’t help but try and mimic you
become you

i was never as good as you were
at batting my eyelashes at the right guy
i always chose the ones who broke hearts for sport
i never quite got the hang of the distant act
that even i would fall for
and i would never be good at mind-numbing small talk
that we seemed to beg for, just to fill the empty space between our hearts

your life was never real
because pretty girls like you
aren’t just pretty
but mean
and hurtful
and they will leave you
broken and bleeding on the side of the road
because you were a failed experiment

i don’t want to be mesmerised by your eyes anymore
because when i walk past you,
all i see is the despair under your eyes
you can’t fool me
like you did every other pretty girl
you’re just as broken as i am
but i swear to you,
i sleep much easier
knowing i don’t always have to be pretty.
Next page