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Aleeza Mar 2018
the thing I hate admitting the most
is that I miss you

a familiar feeling, this I know
residing in the base of my ribcage
pushed down with every breath I take
tucked away in the shadows of everyday
supposed to be forgotten until a more convenient time

but what is a convenient time
when every minute passes like nothing
when days and weeks drag on like eternities
when my waking hours are pockets of time turning up empty

I get stuffed into cars and trains and planes
watching as cities go by like mere blurs in my vision
counting broken streetlamps and closing my eyes against the dawn
drumming my fingertips against my seat
looking over at my sleeping companions
and thinking about how it felt to hear you whisper softly
asking if we’re already there

used to take deep breaths while lowering my shoulders when I’m with you
used to let my laugh resonate in the too-quiet spaces
used to let you know about what I have always hid from the world
used to hold my arms open for you to come into

but now I’d rather not stay too close to you
knowing that my everything will go rigid at the tension I didn’t even know we had
too aware of every word and every sound I make
a longing to go back but understanding that everything  is well in the past

we are adults now, after all
no more of the youth that made us giggle at each other’s shenanigans
talk of dreams isn’t even something we have time for
as we end up worlds away from a home we’ve shared over the years

maybe we can tell them that we tried
what with all the differences that became bricks in the wall between us
knocked on each other’s doors and holding onto a shred of hope that somebody will answer
picked up conversation again and again but knowing it will go nowhere
not the nowhere we used to be lost together in
but the nowhere we now hate

I don’t know how to talk to you
about the hate I feel for myself and how I want to claw my own being out
about the exhaustion that won’t go away with sleep
about old pictures that I can’t even bear to look at without feeling sad
about how much I want to talk to you after all this time

sometimes I’m worried I might forget
the sound of your laugh whenever I try to dance
because all my life I’ve never been great at moving in time to music
how your hands are holding me by the waist and trying to guide me through steps
those eyes I can’t look into anymore sparkling with contentment
the last strains of a song from somewhere enough for us to glide to

or maybe in a few years’ time I won’t remember
the soft but sure way you lean into a hug
arms around me with so much strength and yet the most care
I never knew what fitting perfectly with someone felt like before you
telling me things I can’t quite comprehend through all my tears
and I have so many words, none of which I can say
because how can you understand when even then, right there in your embrace
we were already so far away?

I keep myself up at night to try to run through it all
how we’ve soared and fallen and gotten up again and again
offering arms and hands to steady each other
sharing earphones and nodding to music only we can hear
quiet moments where we both looked down at our laps
our uneven breaths as we walked back with the sun only starting to set

I’d hate to ask for time
when for a while it was me who couldn’t make time for you
making excuses and shutting you out from the chaos of who I was
but I need it now more than ever
with the burden on my spine pushing me down further

no, I don’t want to ask you to carry it with me
for it is mine to bear
all I want is the way you used to hold me as I broke
maybe it won’t put everything back together like it used to
but for now, I don’t need it to

I’d hate to ask for explanations
when I don’t even have one for how I set out on my own without you
drifting from you like the paper boats on floodwater
but I want my heart to be quieted
from the doubts that plague it but have long been ignored

no, I don’t want to ask you to fight to keep this
for it is I who caused the rift
all I want is to hear about how it felt to see me go where it was hard to follow me
all I want is for you to explain why when you told me I was beautiful in a language I couldn’t understand, I still knew
why you keep telling the world I’m someone to be proud of when even I’m not proud of myself

I have come to accept it all, though
watching as your back disappears into the shadows after being bathed in neon
turning to the sea of glitter and flashes and smiles
knowing this was your world too
and choosing to leave it all behind is best
you say there isn’t much of a place left here for you
I keep thinking that your place is with me

but I will go back to the place where we grew together
dance to the songs you forgot to pack with you
let my smile reach the heavens we stared at for too long
watch as everything blurs as I go
knowing that someday, maybe
you will know what place to come home to.
Aleeza Jan 2018
if you were to ask me right now if i still loved you
i would not be able to answer
everyone who has asked me to this point has gotten the same answer
i don't know
maybe i do but in a different way
i have no time to really assess if i still do

you'd think after a few years
declaring to all the world that i don't anymore
you'd think that i mean it
that i am sure now of what i say
but there are moments that i question myself
is everything i've denied actually true?

there are days that i silently wish
hundreds of thoughts rushing to try to become the one i deem best
scenes i could probably write but deny myself the chance to
i might never fully admit it but there are so many things that i want to tell you about
like how my day went and interesting facts i found and that funny thing that happened
like how some people stress me out and how i'm almost always angry and the feeling that my heart is giving out
like how i miss you but i know that i can't keep a conversation going
like how i want to cling while i'm also stepping away

and on those days i understand
that what i want to talk about is mildly intriguing
barely enough to last more than an hour at best
that we are both busy and too preoccupied with other matters
almost drowning in a sea of responsibilities we cannot abandon
that some things are better kept to myself
because i know that they are of no importance to you
and sometimes i fear
that you feel the same way about me

there are days that i want to keep trying
i have no idea where that could take me
if any of it is worth my time and my exhaustion
but i still try
still rack my brain for anything to say
still try to find common ground when already we are bored of each other
still stay up to talk even as my body groans in protest
still support the things that you do and the choices that you make
still understand why you shut me out when all i ever did was let you in
still try to arrange meetings just for us so we can at least converse without the distance

and on those days i don't get much
i try to make excuses for it but i'm starting to lose ways to go around them
because no matter how many times i try i find myself bearing more weight than you do
i have learned to know when to stop initiating conversation
i have learned that we are more different than we made out to be
i have learned that i stay up far too late for a reply that will never come
i have learned that my support isn't what you are looking for
i have learned that you will never let me in
i have learned that i will be waiting for nothing in the agreed meeting places

there are days that i want to cave in
i want to tell you of my hurt and hope that you can comfort me
tell you about how hard it is to breathe sometimes
tell you about the burden i should stop pretending i could tolerate
tell you about the how it's gotten worse these past few months
tell you about how i need something, someone to cling to
tell you about how there are hard weeks that make me want to be held for a long time

and on those days i close myself to the world
choosing not to tell you any of that
choosing not to tell anyone that
because everyone else will worry
fuss over me and try to convince me that things will be better
because i know that you won't
and i don't blame you
i have been difficult and confusing and i seemed so intent on not healing
but it would have been nice to know that you will be there for me
trying to, at least

there are days that i want to forget
completely put in the past and never remember
but they always haunt me
always try to remind me of what was done
like how you forget everything until the very last minute
like how you put certain things before me time after time
like how i let you choose even when it hurt me

and on those days i knew how to accept
i will always forgive even with the lack of an apology
because who am i really to you?
who am i to demand attention, to demand time?
i have no right to it, that much i know
so i forgive again and again
always having hope for the next time around
trying to drown out the voices that say that i am little more to you than something occasionally important

because i know that it isn't true
you can still remember little facts about me even when i've forgotten that i ever told you
you can still see me in so many things that you always bring them up to me
you can still stand by me as i make decisions that are particularly hard
you can still talk to me despite the rift i caused
you can still say that you are immensely proud of who i've become

and sometimes, i think
you, who fought to save us, save what remnants of what we used to have
you, who never hesitated to tell me i was important whenever i doubted it
you, who would surprise me with small gestures that i would remember weeks after
you, who found my stories amusing when very few others did
you, who would read everything i wrote and believed in me more than i could

and sometimes, i remember
that i would probably go to the ends of the world to find someone who can be there for you
listen to you and understand you and remind you to rest
support you and give you feedback and get you smiling as much as possible
someone to know all the little quirks and all the things that make you who you are
someone to stay unlike the others who left
i remember that they asked why i wanted to do that when i could be that for you
i remember answering that there are things i cannot be for you and that there are things you cannot be for me
i remember saying that you will always be that light i want to protect
for you may surround yourself in shadow but i know of the flicker in you

and there are things that i can never be sure about
like the best times to talk or how to predict reactions from you
but i am sure of one thing, at least
i am sure that i will keep you
and that i will try to make what we have better than what it is now

i still don't have a clear answer for the question
and i guess i will never have one
for now, i hope that all i've said will be enough.
Aleeza Nov 2017
there are ribbons of light threaded in your hair
and the clock ticks are synchronized with your touch
I don’t know about the things you used to whisper to me
for now, all I know is how your hellos used to feel
and maybe it’s 3am and it’s too early for you to go
so I’ll ask you to stay until we can get lost again

it’s late to say goodbye now for I left without a word
don’t ask me to stay if you already know that I won’t
I don’t want to get lost again cause I’m trying to find myself
been broken by the consequences I had when I was with you

cold coffee and troubled stares
trying to find the life I lost in our cracked walls
the song we used to yell while cruising in cars
lost in the quiet sadness of the rain
our knees bump against each other and we don’t pull them away
and I keep saying sorry but you don’t hear anything I say

memories keep flashing
I’m trying to shake them off
I know that it’s best when we’re both apart
we keep on hurting each other with words we don’t mean
a sorry won’t fix what’s already been done
when I left I know you’ll be okay
we’ll both be free of what’s been keeping us chained
I loved you for a long time but I know it’s time to let you go
I know you’re already unhappy
you’re just afraid to be alone

but maybe alone is not what I fear
maybe I can’t stand the idea of you being removed from my words
all those years of sunshine so I knew I needed your rain
and maybe your storms were not enough
to chase away the emptiness of the light

I know that you’re a strong independent woman
but what you can’t let go was the fun memories we had
you cling to the words and you dwell in your thoughts
you know you’re so much more than that
but you refuse to take hold of that
we both knew that you don’t need me
but you don’t want to believe that
it’s better this way
we could be on our own, fixing ourselves on our separate ways
why would you run back to the person who broke you?
we both know that the circumstances won’t be better if ever I come back

broken is all I’ve known
cracks spidering across paint-splattered porcelain
and I didn’t mind that I crumbled in your hands
you used to look at me like you knew what I once was
and in all my dreams you drowned me
but I couldn’t take any other hand but yours
Aleeza Nov 2017
I didn’t ask to be assaulted with words
When you knew all too well that there was more than 15 bottles in my system
And my feet couldn’t find a way to walk a straight line.
“You only say ‘I love you’ when you’re drunk.”
I forced my drooping eyelids open to look at you
And I wanted to laugh.
It was past 2am on a Friday and I was lying down on my threadbare sofa
Your hands pushing a bucket towards me because you know me

You know me too well.
You know that on Thursdays the commute home was faster and the jeep would drop me off by the bar a street down from my cruddy apartment.
You know that I like this denim jacket you have because it has a pizza stitched onto it.
You know that my wallet is practically begging me to stop at the third shot but my heart won’t have any of it.
You know that no matter what, I will dance to Pussycat Dolls whenever they come on, even if I’m in the most contaminated restroom to exist.

But you don’t know
Of the way my head screams over the pounding of the music whenever you say her name.
Of the words that get stuck in my throat every single time you close the door behind you.
Of the times I wanted to know what it was like to have you near me when I wake up.
Of how I wanted to sing the cheesiest songs to you in the karaoke room.
Of how I closed my eyes in the presence of the night stars when I could hear how happy you were.

Sometimes my mind wanders to the thought of your lips on mine and your hands on my spine
But I remember that you said that she tasted like a fallen heaven
And I remember that I must taste like the loneliness of rain

You know that I fill in the gaps of my life with paint splatters in the colors of the sea
You know that there are tunes I will remember even when I’ve long forgotten the words
You know how my smile barely ever reaches my eyes
You know who I am.
Who am I anyways?
The sober girl who knows
That the only time I can hold your hand
Is when I get drunk enough to say “I love you”

So I say it again and again and again.
Because now you will laugh it off and say I’m drunk
Because you will forget about it the next day
Because when I’m sober
I can look at you with clear eyes and know
That you only say “I love you” when I’m drunk.
Aleeza Nov 2017
a thousand and three hundred days
since I first heard your name
spoken quietly in front of a busy classroom
your hair pulled back into a neat ponytail

common, I thought
fitting into that pocket of ordinary
another face I will forget
another voice that I will lose in a crowd

so with everyone else
I merely tapped the edge of my notebook
wishing that I could find a way to disappear
into the lines of my notebook pages

months passed and you were 15 steps away
I used to settle into a corner near you
but I never bothered to offer my words
someone else needed them
and I used to clutch her hands until she stopped crying

and I sang her lullabies
and I used to belong in the nook beside her feet
and I thought she was my everything
and nothing felt the way her touch did

but I remember that one time
that she was gone and I was lost
and I found my place by your feet
I found a corner I could breathe in

there was still a distance
for you weren't who I would search for
and we may have exchanged words
but they were emptier than my hands without her

we grew apart
because what was there to hold onto?
do we hold on to the similarities that are but trivial?
do we hold on to the way we used to grin at each other when our gazes met?

days went by, weeks, months
I found hands to clutch and arms to hold me together
within those four walls I found more
more than what our wood-enclosed space could offer

there were early morning talks with small biscuits
there were pieces I wrote over the forgotten places
there were bittersweet tears on sleeves
there were stories bounced around

your name was still there
somewhere between the whispers and the lost chapters
and all I could think was I knew you
or well, I used to

there were the glimpses of you through windows
there was the same smile shared
so far and yet nothing changed
so far and yet I kept remembering how I fit into your corner

and then something brought us together again
I did not want to start over
I did not want to say "hi" for the first time in a long time
but it felt like I didn't need it

soon enough we were sharing stories under tables
our jackets barely keeping out the chill
our hands wandering into each other like magnets
and for some sort of reason I never ran out of words

you knew my heart
knew the way it beat so tirelessly for someone
knew how I had to choose
knew how I smiled through the screen when I told you
and I knew yours

good morning and goodnight
every single day, no fail
all those words and laughs in between
all those things that you found out about first

2am sleepy conversations
with coffee in our systems and glitters on our legs
tired eyes and wrong words
the lure of sleep pulling us in

6am greetings
you say you've just woken up
and I am ready to leave
I ask you if I should bring anything
and you're too tired to remember

5pm checks
"are you going to do this?"
"nah, I'd rather sleep."
I tell you about his smile
And you tell me about the way he holds you

and slowly we get more comfortable with the silence
all of the little things we share through the quiet
all the lack of words that never feel empty
the understanding that we are more than what we tell each other

that one time I could've really held you
with the colored lights too blinding and the music too loud
but I didn't mind any of them
since the moment I saw you

but he took you away
and I kept shouting in protest
and it didn't feel fair
but I forgot about it too soon anyways

I spent most of the night
trying to keep myself upright
holding onto the hands that took mine
trying to find you in the mess

and there was another time
when I told him to look for you
when he came back and told me you were with someone else
and my heart broke for him

and after that you realized that you really didn't know me
it was the first time we really fought
I was sobbing and you said words I never thought I would hear from you

then there was the unbearable silence
and only then did I realize that it was destructive
the way I needed to talk to you
because there was nothing but loneliness in the absence

I thought I would never get you back
I was afraid of so much
for the first time in a while
there was nothing but tears

and you came back
you held me and embraced me and told me everything I wanted to hear

I sang to you the songs I drunkenly remember
I wrote again after a lifetime of deleted drafts
I found my corner once more

but with that
I found out
that you were in love
I should've been happy
but something was wrong

and every day that you tell me about him
I die a little bit inside
but I will be happy
because that's all I should really be

sometimes your hand wanders into mine
sometimes I can tell you I love you until you fall asleep
sometimes your head is on my shoulder and I know it belongs there
sometimes I pretend that you can be mine

one thousand and three hundred days
and I know your name anywhere.
Aleeza Nov 2017
they say that there are things that you can never unsee
images forever burned into the folds of your brain
and yet I think that there are even more things that you can’t unhear
those things that you want to drown out with music you didn’t even know you had

like that song you’ve just found
and it is new to you and the words may not be that clear for now
but a part of you understands
a part of you feels the string of notes every single moment that song lasts
a part of you understands somehow

like cars passing by the street outside your house at midnight
they are mere whooshes in your dreamlike state
their lights stay for too little of a time
and you can’t help but wonder
of where they are rushing to or what place they go home to
whooshes on cement carrying stories you will never know

like the little crack of disappointment in a relative’s voice
when they learn that you want to be something other than what they want you to be
and you try to laugh it off
but it’s a sting you never thought you would feel again after all this time
and then suddenly how well you’ve been doing doesn’t seem to matter
every single time you thought your smiles could reach the sky doesn’t seem to matter
because how can achievements in a path they disapprove of be something to be proud of?
how can something you fit better into feel wrong?

like the soft ripping of a paper envelope as it’s opened
and you’ve been tense for months about this one thing
and here it is in black and white and colors you wanted to associate with a new beginning
but instead it is all of what your worrying nagged you about
it is the words of the voice in your head printed out on thin paper
here is where the world feels like it drops
the only sound is of the letter being put back into its envelope
gently willing it to disappear

like the silence of someone after you speak
and you hear everything else like a click of a pen or a shifting of positions
your mind runs over a hundred, a thousand things
maybe they didn’t hear what you said?
maybe they don’t want to talk about it?
maybe they don’t get what you’re saying?
maybe you should start a new conversation?
you understand that silence should not be regarded as something bad
but here you are
choked by the possibility of them thinking you’re annoying
and that voice tells you to shut up
however the silence makes nerves tumble out of your mouth
why can’t you stop?

like the dull tapping of your fingertips on a keyboard
it’s been a while since you’ve allowed yourself this
months of pushing down the emotions that tug at you
and all you want to do is punch the words out of you
but there is nothing in the muddle that used to serve you so well
there is nothing because the thought of doing this pulls you deeper into the abyss
how you loved doing this before the world decided to tell you you do it wrong
you may have said that this was a part of you
and it is now another part you have lost

like the short bursts of shouting that you hear every time you take out your earphones
and you are reminded yet again why you keep them in
you are so tired of the voices, so tired of the fighting
you hear the scrape of the dining room chair you’re in as you push away after a meal
and you know too well that that is the last sound you want to hear outside of the music you blast
sometimes you think about how a lot can be different if only some events did not happen
and it is cruel to think that but you do it all the same
life had been peaceful before
now ruined by something you don’t have control over anymore

like the soft music at a small gathering
and there is laughter and glasses clinking and the shuffle of everyone’s steps
you block out that thought in your head that digs its claws
but as soon as you are driving home and staring at the streetlights
everything hits you at 50 miles an hour
you wonder how long your smile stayed there
you wonder if anybody sees it falter
and you can’t even explain to anyone why this happens
because you don’t know the answer yourself

like the constant questions
about why you want to do this or why you’re like this
asking about what you’ve decided on after years of confusion and debates with yourself
and they are too curious, too questioning of how you came upon those decisions
they try to offer explanations of what they think can be better for you
and it is like they do not trust you to know what is best for yourself
they think that what you want and the way you identify yourself isn’t what should be
and all your life you’ve been told that you can’t be this and you can’t do that
so now what should you be?

like the thud thud of your tears on a pillow
and you don’t even know where it hurts anymore
all you know is that when you hold that plushie you’ve had forever
a thousand pinpricks run along your arms and your chest
breathing will never be easy and here you are
too aware of the sound of choking back your cries
because there are things that the world doesn’t have to know
and one of them is how there are days you fracture
after weeks of not even knowing what it is exactly to feel

like the goodbyes after a few hours of talking in a cramped café
you know you’ll see them again but there is an emptiness as you go home
a part of you acknowledges the fact that they aren’t that far away
another part feels the longing for another hour, another hug
you know of each other’s schedules and how it is not practical to keep meeting up
but you want to cling to something other than your pillows and your wavering sanity
and having them with you has helped in a way that you miss instantly
as you are once again plunged into the reality of it all

it is the clock ticks as you wait for something to end
it is the steadying breath you take as you reel yourself back from the hell of your thoughts
it is the song you now use as a lullaby when your system refuses sleep
it is the drum of rain against windows as you try to find yourself again

there are sounds I will never unhear
and there will be days that I can’t stand to be me
but there will be sounds that pull me back
there are days that I continue to fight the voices
and that is what I should always remember.
Aleeza Nov 2017
dreaming has always been
part of the fragments of who I am
used to trace storybooks on thin paper
trying to find a way
to recreate the beauty of it
I would tape posters on my walls
princesses and all those ideas I found
trying to will myself to be like them
chanting that I will find me within them
as I drifted off

and when I fell for the first time
all my dreams would come back
running its fingers through my hair
and whispering sweetness I forbade

and that was when I found words
letting them immortalize the dreams
that would haunt and taunt and sing
showing me a world that I wanted to touch
and yet was pulled away from

I met you and they started making sense
as the touch of the faceless  are echoed in yours
as your smile feels like coming home
as all the whispers soared into a song

yet I couldn’t understand
how writing you wasn’t easy
how putting all my dreams into words turned daunting
the more I let myself fall from the graces of heaven

so here I am now
with what I cannot let myself forget
the dreams I can never admit I had
with your face tattooed in my mind
and your name like stardust in my veins

I dreamt about how the mornings would be
the sunlight forgiving as it lit up your mouth
the coffee I never liked less bitter that day
as we giggle into each other’s shoulders
and I try to find a rhythm in tapping your skin

I dreamt about taking deep breaths
right before plunging into a sea
the saltwater stings and our laughter rings
our hair and our eyes spilled ink in the blue

I dreamt of lazy days in a cramped space
blasting the music we loved years ago
slipping on newly-scrubbed floors
cookies in an oven and a book in hand
our bodies finding odd ways to dance

I dreamt of rain on windows
as we drive around the town
going down streets we never knew
watching as the city lights sparkled
and snuggling up in our too-thin hoodies

I dreamt of long days that would end in hugs
holding all my tired bones
listening to my drowsy words
not admitting that I am tired as I nod off
goodnight kisses with my penguin pajamas on

random dinner dates at new food places
trying to survive spicy challenges
chugging down milkshakes and water
and laughing at our faces

holding hands on train rides
whispering jokes we stole from somewhere
sharing earphones and an overplayed playlist
making up stories about strangers

and as I look at your name in my contacts
I realize that it has been weeks, months maybe
since our words really meant anything to each other
since I could still remember your smile
because I remember dreams
but not the person in them
and you are but a faceless one yet again
in all those that still try to pull me in
and I understand now

you will only be a dream.
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