Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Ellie Stelter Apr 2016
and every time I looked
a stranger in the eyes
and saw the flickering
of what could be cannot
compare to the strange
wonder of no longer being
alone...what I have now
is a chair in a hospital room
and folded blankets
left on couches, the
greatest gifts I ever could
have received.
it is enough, now, that I
have loved you and have
been loved. it is enough
to allow for the rest of
my life, and enough to
convince me to live -
to give up that fear,
that argument, that
passionless sorrow. All
those books I read
that spoke of a love
that triumphed over
all fear, I thought I knew
what those words meant.
I have not scraped even the
beginnings of the atoms
that compose that
great love. What would it
take, to become some
one who truly believed?
It would take heart
ache, and it would take
fear, and it would take
holding your hand
through all of this, and
here I am, and finally,
I believe.
Ellie Stelter Sep 2015
here i am now: here
i am, some kind
of almost-happy,
some kind of
perhaps it will
come back, but
i don't care anymore.
i have beaten out
sadness before. i
have outlived
disbelief, doubt,
anger, fear: i can
fight them back
all over again,
now that i know
i'm not alone.
here i am now:
here is some kind
of restless joy,
here some kind
of peace.
Ellie Stelter Sep 2015
it’s been a night for the books
one of those times when i just
hit the ground running and forgot
how to know when to stop

now i’m riding out the edge of my last high,
working on some way to live forever tonight
at peace with where i’ve landed
proud of how i’ve handled it

driving home alone through the arboretum
rain-smell coming in through vents, and him
barely in my head anymore, shadows
of trees waving through the windows

i won’t let myself become a god
to some kid in a grown-up facade
i’m not perfect or powerful
i’m not here to be beautiful

there’s been girls and there’s been boys
and they’ve been real or they’ve been toys
but i’m letting them all go, murmuring
i won’t let myself fall in love with remembering

i want it to stick with me like those dreams
that threaten to burst the sky’s seams
hanging on my shoulders all day,
washing the real world away.

i want them to see the universes i hold in me,
i want them to need what i need,
i want to wade into the water waist-deep
and never come out, just float in the sea

as soon as we’re apart, their voices crescendo
like tidal waves from far away and long ago,
vibrations that I know are real,
but no longer care to feel.
Ellie Stelter Feb 2015
when I get sad,
I told my therapist,
it's like static.
it drowns out
my thoughts. it numbs
my skin.
it makes the ocean seem
like a beautiful place
to spend eternity, it
makes blood want to rush
like music and my heart
wants to swell full
of chords and fervor
but it can't. that static
drowns it all out.
when I am happy there is
humming, there are symphonies,
in golden light
I dance with friends
and lovers,
but the static isn't switched off.
it's still there like an old TV
in the back corner
of a forgotten basement room
and when I get sad
I leave the sunlight leave
the party and go
and sit and I stare
at the static on that TV
and it fills my head
and my eyes and
my whole body up with
fear and longing and
a great big static-y void.
I wake one morning
in my own bed full
of static memories
still fuzzy
around the edges
but alive.
one day I will go
to that place far
beyond any sound
and the vibrations my heart beat out
will join the background
hum of the universe
disrupting radios
the energy that once was me
will be a single note
a little song,
a silent melody,
forever, and I will be
free from static.
Ellie Stelter Jan 2015
i've got a new life coming
tomorrow will dawn bright
and i will awake with breath
in my lungs as i have never
breathed before. future's closer
than ever now, who i could be
is becoming me. but the heart
beats in my chest flood me
with blood too warm, pumps
me full of strange adrenaline
to fight monsters that are
only memories. the phrases
the words you write to me
now are so strange i read them
and glean no meaning, my stomach
leaping into my throat, my
hands maybe shaking, maybe
holding still, i can't even tell.
i don't want to go back, i want
more than anything to move on
and every time i see your photograph
your name, your words, i am
****** back into summer, all my
regret and my mistakes fill me
up with hot blood, make me
want to drown. hell is where
everyone is disappointed and my
tongue is nailed to the floor
when they expect me to speak.
i don't have any words for you now.
i don't have anything to say.
i don't think of you, but involuntarily,
momentarily, heart beats and it's gone.
Ellie Stelter Jan 2015
there was fog
outside the window
yesterday that i meant
to photograph. here
in my parents' house, big
and empty and warm,
my mom tells my brothers
to swallow vitamin D
but she doesn't have to tell me.
most days, where i live now
the sun shines. most days
there is no fog, no forests,
no rain. i miss
the wilderness of this city:
the way the weeds
force their way through
the asphalt, the way everything
in spring is a cavalcade of green,
the way the clouds turn
the whole sky white
or shine gold, the way the hidden
mountains show themselves,
shining silver crowns
on the horizons, gifts
of a sunny day. where
i live now the mountains are
huge and stunning
and obvious: like big
dumb desert teeth, cacti bloom
and the trees they claim are tall
are ancient, there is
no height reached that is
not surmounted in my home,
there is no fear that is overcome.
here everyone is lying, i can
see it in their eyes, the sun
makes them feel safe
and invincible and detached.
where i am from the rain
wears you down, beats all
the summer strength out of you.
you must find something
to cling to, something real
to hold on to with all your might
when winter comes because
otherwise down falls the rain
and washes you away. in the desert
there is nothing to cling to.
there is dust. there are palms
that sway in a sun they weren't
born under, there are cities built
over deserts, but the deserts
are still there. where i am from
we know that this land was forest
and river and field: the rain washes
our illusions of civility down
the drain. in desert the dust that
sneaks in is a slower kind of
reclaiming: it will collect, it will
fill our lungs, but it does not
shout like the rain.
Ellie Stelter Jan 2015
on New Year's Eve my nail polish
chipped and for brief moments I
suffered that familiar fear but
I broke into the new year screaming
at the top of my lungs all my friends
gathered close around me like a blanket
to keep out the restless wind and
it was not in that moment that I chose
to be strong but it was in that moment
I began to leave my fear behind.
maybe not today, and maybe not this year
but I'll get there someday and won't it be better
having been so low, really knowing that I tried
and I made it, I did it on my own
no one's hand to hold
won't it be wonderful
when I no longer feel alone
I know I can make it, and til then I can take it: all
the bitter self-doubt, all the cynicism that should
not accompany my youth, and yet it does
I can stand the lonely nights and anxious days
I can sleep with no one to share my space
knowing someday it won't be true
I've done it all my life.

now I refuse to be afraid
I refuse to believe that I'll always be alone
I have to be somebody to somebody, someday.
and one New Year's Day
I will look back and say:
look at where I am
look at where I've been
isn't the world such a beautiful place?
Next page