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elizabeth Aug 31
you’re here but you’re not
that’s what you told me when we walked down 15th street after eating too many chocolate chip pancakes at the diner

you’re here but you’re not
you hadn’t yet put two and two together and realized that i’m not here because you’re not going to be here later

my stomach hurts from the sugar but also from the fear that my plans are getting interrupted by your laugh

i’m here but i’m not i don’t want to give myself to someone totally when they could be gone the next day. my mother told me that’s the nature of life when i was crying on the hardwood floor at 18 because my first love had left me

i get too invested in people and i knew from the very start that i would take out as many loans as i needed to if i could get you

love me love me don’t let me go is tattoo on my forehead you think it’s **** now

it won’t be when i’m sobbing on the ground and you decide to leave
elizabeth Jul 8
i’m a dream, not a person. i am a literary figure, a figment of someone’s imagination. i look just like the woman in your head. i’m the girl you meet at the hardware store in a silk skirt and a shirt tied at the waist looking for paint. i’m the one you see at the bookstore between cookbooks and autobiographies who asks your opinion on ernest hemingway. i listen to all your favorite songs and your friends think of me as one of the guys. when you’re stressed i run my paint covered hands through your hair. my clumsiness is endearing. my laugh sounds like music and my mouth tastes like honey and fresh strawberries. i’m never angry and when i’m sad i’m not sad in the overwhelming way where tears soak my yellow blouse and i can’t breathe. no i’m sad in a gentle way with forlorn eyes but it passes the second i hear your voice. i drink my coffee black just like you and ******* if i’m not everything you ever wanted until you see the mascara flecks under my eyes and realize i never liked your music. i’m not a dream i’m a person and it’s too late for you to figure this out because you already have the image of me in a big house with a white fence waiting for you with homemade cinnamon rolls. but that’s not me i like my tiny apartment and to be honest i need sugar in my coffee otherwise it’s too bitter. i’m not the girl of your dreams. i’m not the woman you’ve been waiting for. i’m not here to change your life i’m here to change my own and i’ll be ****** if i let you and your made up ideas of me get in the way of it.
elizabeth Jun 26
your hand is on my thigh
nearing the tiny mountain shaped bright red italian ice stain on the edge of my white dress

it’s a risky move to get something so messy for such a clumsy person you said earlier
but you got it for me anyway
knowing that it would cool me down and lessen the likelihood of my fainting from the heat

my eyes are drooping
the forest colored eyeliner smudging
mascara flecks on my cheeks
and rose eyeshadow on my fingers from that morning

it smells like honeydew and sand in the car
but all i can focus on is the slight scent of your lemon detergent coming from your worn t-shirt

you’re tired too
and i know you can’t wait to get back
take off your sneakers
and watch stand up comedy on netflix under that one soft blanket on the couch with me

but you still take the time to put your hand on my thigh in the parking lot outside the house
letting me know that even with my cherry colored tongue and my stained dress it’s us we are here together in this moment

just us
elizabeth Jun 16
i cried today for the first time since i moved to the city

i cried on the subway

it was nowhere near as glamorous as the movies make it out to be
the lighting was fluorescent  
and a homeless man begged for change
the air felt stale and i could smell the banana a toddler was eating across the aisle from me

i don’t cry beautifully
the tears came out in a heavy stream
and stained the collar of my white t-shirt
i knew my carefully shaped eyeliner was already halfway down my face by the time we stopped at 14th street  

i cried today for the first time since moving to the city
it finally felt like my city
elizabeth Jun 13
i dream of being a woman
who is nothing like me

she craves the bitter taste of black coffee the minute she wakes up in the morning
and she gets her sugar instead from fresh honey and strawberries from the market two blocks down

a frayed button up shirt hangs off her frame and her hands are coated in yellow and pink watercolors from her morning spent trying to paint the bouquet of wildflowers which on her kitchen table

she doesn’t fear heights
in fact she enjoys the small rush of endorphins she feels each time she steps out on to the tiny balcony of her apartment

her home is filled to the brim with books collected from lovers and paintings bought from the old couple who live next door
and the clutter of drawings on her nightstand doesn’t fill her with dread- she loves the smell of pen ink and pencil shavings

she stays up late enough to watch the sky turn from midnight black to the same colors her fingertips are stained with
for she doesn’t want to miss a single minute of the beautiful life she gets to call her own

but most of all
she doesn’t want to be anyone but herself
  Feb 17 elizabeth
Madisen Kuhn
i could be that girl
whose voice is low and melodic
and coats your mouth with
acacia honey
whose eyes are the color
and depth of
midnight
whose presence is thick like
new york summers
rosy like
los angeles in early spring
if i braid flowers into my hair
if i write enough poems
if i learn to show the skin of my essence
but remain an abyss—
i will stop making art
when i become it
elizabeth Feb 10
it seems i’ve forgotten to write
my mom says it’s because i’m happy,
that your sadness calls from inside of you and washes over you, demanding to be written.

i used to get inspiration everywhere,
i would find napkins stained with coffee and long prose in my coat pocket.

but i want to write
i want to write that i’m happy and i’m in love.

he deserves all the poetry and love songs in the world,
and i’m going to try my best to give that to him.
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