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Tori Jurdanus Nov 2015
There are still days when I think of you.  
When the air smells like afternoon walks,
and the blue sky looks over me with kindness.  
When the wind wraps an arm around my shoulder and walks me to class.  
There are still times that I see you,
wearing your heart on your sleeve, and concern in your eyes because love is just your style.  
When you open your chest but close your eyes, to hide the vulnerability in your tenderness.  

And you laugh the loudest just to catch my eye.    

And there are nights when I no longer hear you
howling to the waning moon,
because you’re scared that she’s leaving too.

And because you were never a wolf in sheep’s clothing,
just a pup who’s bark should have been worse than his bite.  
Nights when you hide in the caves that I dug for you in the sides of mountains when they refused to move.

And there are still days when I think of you.
And I think of how you built me castles out of sand.
How my tears brought down walls like the ocean around me and exposed me to a cold I never knew.
And how you were gone, a bandit in the night, with the broken pieces of my trust.

These are the days that I wish I could sleep through,
but I can’t sleep forever.
Some nights, I can’t sleep at all.
So those nights I wish, in the biting cold, on the stars that shine over my fallen castle.
And I howl at the moon and I hug the breeze and I hope you ******* feel it.

I hope there are days you want to call me.
Like the night she finally kisses you hello,
so you can tell me how she fills your days with laughter and your nights with warmth,
Or the morning you wake up and finally find the courage to tell the world your truth.

And when you do, I hope you realize how long its been since you had my number.
I hope you can’t remember what my voice sounds like, howling to the moon together until the sun chased us down.
I hope that it hurts a little
when you taste the venom on your tongue.

I hope you wish you’d swallowed it,
because I can’t bare sting.

And because I’d like to think you think of me some days,
when the wind is at your back and by your side
keeping you company on your walk home.
Tori Jurdanus May 2015
It never looks like the movies:
Neptune rising from the depths in a terrible rage,
waves tossing the ship back and forth until it shatters into piercing rock,
Drowning devout sailors who never meant to offend.  

When the Gods betray you,
It will be a slow march to a quiet end,
Sweet smiles and sunlight.
When the Gods betray you, it will not look like a boy, although you will think it does.
It will not look like bruises or name calling, it will not look like ****.

It will not feel like drowning at all.

It will look like an albatross necklace,
like blood on your own hands,
like you drank it.

It will look like a woman. It will look like her hands are tied. It will look like she cares.
Do not be mistaken.
When the Gods betray you they will make it look like they care.
You are their favorite sailor,

So long as loving you stays easy.
And fun.
And suitable.

When the Gods betray you,
It will be when the wind stops and the very ship that made a sailor of you becomes your prison.
The gales that once pushed you onward soften, this life support will rock you like a taunting lullaby,
More malice than comfort.

When the Gods betray you,
It will not look like desertian,
It will be desertian.
And when it finally happens,
Your goodness will not save you.
Your devotion will not save you.
Your prayers never really reached them.

When you cry to the Heavens asking why and how,
They will give you two choices.
You can try to swim to shore,
or you can stay aboard, and hope the wind returns soon.
Tori Jurdanus Jan 2015
There are always tells with an abuse survivor.  
My friend had a dog once that she adopted from a rescue shelter.
We do not know the home she came from before,
all we know is that she hates being left alone in a room with men,
she whimpers at loud noises, and sudden movements send her into hiding,
even now.
The first time you labelled yourself as an abuse survivor,
You felt like a sham.  
There was no tell for you,
It'd never been hell for you to relate all the terrible things that boy had done,
You forgave him.  
You preached your sins like a success story,
as if you mother had raised you with the right combination of strength and self-understanding to be immune to the world's poison,
you were sugar and spice and everything nice with just enough chemical X
to make girls wanna be like you.

The second time you called yourself abuse survivor,  
you realized just how unbroken you were.
You smiled and laughed and loved without hesitation. Broken glasses don't send you into a pit of despair, you don't flinch when you hear his name.
You don't even miss him.

So who do you think you are?
You, the one who started the fights,
you were the one who left him.
And everyone knows abusers don't have hearts to break.  
The boy doesn't smile anymore.  

So you stopped calling yourself survivor.
Corrected others as they told the stories of grander,
demanded everyone admit the demonic part you had to play,
you monster, you beast, you manipulative liar.
You are no survivor.

A twisted sister with no bruises or scars, who stopped saying no and pushed back doesn't sound like a sob story to me,
a strong enough spine to walk no matter how long it took doesn't sound like recovery to me,
a girl looking for an audience's attention doesn't sound like a grown woman to me.  

You are nothing but a misbehaved dog, so let them call you *****.
Roll over and beg for the forgiveness you do not deserve.

I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry

The first time the new one called you survivor,
You were lying on the bathroom floor shouting apologies from beneath a veil of hair.
He picked you up and wiped the tears from you eyes.
Told you, it’s okay.  
It wasn't.
But it will be.
Tori Jurdanus Aug 2014
Midas my love,
you are a king among thieves.
The humble saviour that lifted the beggar man's leftovers up from her knees
where she'd knelt in prayer, or defeat.
It doesn’t matter.
You made me a queen.
And we, ruled our world like no other lovers ever could.
when you'd touch me and say, "baby, you're golden."
You'd touch me, and I would feel soft beneath your fingertips,
when our lips would meet,
those moments were more precious than all the riches in the world,
Those moments were so rare.
Midas, my love,
You made me into a fountain of youth.  
demanded I water your roses that would not grow themselves.
And I did.
I poured my heart and soul out until it overflowed into the garden,
I watched you stare in wonder, I watched you fall in love with me
like a child.
Selfish and unafraid.
You named me life, you named me gift,
You did not name me woman.
Midas, my love.
golden hearts do not float.
They sink in disappointment and hit bottom with a thud the third night you forget to call.
Though you will not see them rust, they will become cold and hard and heavy.
Midas, love, am I every bit as precious as you wanted me to be?
Am I a trophy to show to strangers, am I a symbol to kneel before like an alter,
Am I the idea of perfection you sought?
Midas, your highness, king of kindness, you are alone.
Statues of saints are made to look at, not to love.
Martyrs were not forged to love in return.
Tori Jurdanus May 2014
Ahh, the friend zone.  Have you ever been there? Stuck between wanting and not being wanted by who you are certain must be the love of your life? Well don't you worry your lonely little head any longer, because experts have finally developed a fool-proof way to escape this unfair wasteland void of affection.

Step one:
Admit what has happened.  You, friend, have been friend zoned.  For some unfathomable reason, girl has deemed you, undesirable. Do not be discouraged when she calls you brother.  Instead, accept the challenge of making ****** seem appealing.

Step two:
Spend less time with her.  Make her feel as if she values your company more than you do hers.  She will begin to feel confused and lonely. When she calls, do not pick up until at least the fifth ring.

Step three:
Up your flirting game. If she doesn't respond positively, send her a sarcastic remark via text guilting her into giving you more attention.

Step four:
Change. Change everything about yourself until you lose the person she first befriended.  When she sees you, it will be like looking in the face of a stranger.

Step five:
Break the touch barrier.  Invading a woman's personal space with unwarranted physical gestures is a sure way to make her used to your dominating body movements.  Soon, she should submit to her instincts, and to you.  

Step six:
Stop doing things for her.  You can't expect a girl to want to date you when you already give her everything a boyfriend would and she doesn't even have to put out.  (I mean, the only reason women even have *** is to keep their man around).  Instead, tell her to do something for you, like making a sandwich.

Step seven:
Explain to her why her boyfriend, girlfriend, other love interest, or singleness is not right for you.  I mean, her.  She is, after all, incapable of making her own decisions, or else she would not need to lean on you for advice.  Understand that you are better than anything else she could want, she just doesn't know it yet.

Step eight:
Date other people.  Women easily become jealous of other women.  This will make her small mind react territorially.  Much like step two, this will lead her to feel insecure around you, and she will begin to show you only her most formal, prettiest parts.  

Step nine.
Confess your feelings for her.  Humans in general can never tell when someone is romantically interested.  Overstep boundaries, tell her how you are almost too good for her, and she will never find someone like you.

Step ten.
Congratulations! You've done it.  You, sir, have escaped the friend zone.
She does not look at you when she walks by. She does not call.
You, are no longer her friend.
After Kait Rokowski's, How to Cure a Feminist.
Tori Jurdanus Mar 2014
There are days I feel sorry for loving you.
Days when my guilt rises with the sun.
Days the sky is pink with my feelings for you,
When only I know this is warning of a storm to come.

I am Calypso.
No weathered sailor can deny that they care for me, even if they never wanted sea legs.
But now addicted to the unpredictable rise and falls of the water,
Its now the constant rocking that sends you asleep,
gives you reason to wake in the morning.

I am love.

And love is never clean.
Like the day of our first kiss
When I spilled my heart out all over your shoes, I stooped to pick it up but you said, you didn't mind getting your feet wet.

Love is so much more  now.

I called it love when I first heard you wrap my name in ocean waves, and promised me it'd stay afloat.
This is not love.
This is irresistibility
This is is verging on obsession
This is a passion I know you never knew existed before me.

I am love, '
You are but the love I gave to you
You are a victim of my disease.
I can bring any atheist to his knees once I have my sights set on him.
I warned you.

I am love.
You a flirting with danger,
Love, your feet are more than wet,
Love, you are in over your head,
I only hope you can swim.
Tori Jurdanus Jan 2014
Question: What do you do if your car crashes?
Answer: Don't crash your car.

I drove myself home from the hospital the morning after I drove myself insane.
A note in my hand listing ways the doctors could direct to get me home safe from my own self.
Come to a full stop at sharp edges,
Steer away from liquids you can drown in,
Put in your caution lights so people just drive around you,
Take your medicine,
Don't drive alone,
No not that medicine
Here's a phone number in case you have something worth saying,
Bus to class,
Unless that's too hard.
Flunk out
Call your mother.
Don't tell her everything.
And it becomes a challenge just to say I'm not okay.

Because after a disaster like mine,
No one wants to hear you haven't healed yet.

And I can't count the number of times I've been offered a vaccine instead of a remedy,
and scoffed at when the cast comes off and I'm still a little too broken.
As if I haven't healed fast enough.

Don't tell me I'm being overdramatic,
Don't tell me I chose the broken glass,
the bending steal.
That it was all avoidable had I just not blinked,
Had I just slowed down and stopped to think
Had I just snapped out of it.

I wouldn't have crashed.

Question: Have you ever gone driving in the rain?
In the snow?
Cause then you might know how it feels to lose just a little bit of control.
And the next moment find yourself in the bottom of a ditch,
waiting once again for someone to pull you from the wreckage
Because you can't save yourself.

I wanna save myself.  
And I don't need to know how the engine works.
Just teach me to read the warning signs when I'm heading south and there's no way for me to turn around.  
Let me know that when I start to let go, there are safety nets 'cause sometimes my mind is more of a balancing act, the bridge accident than a joy ride
So give me air bags,
give me seat belts,
Give me a crash test dummy.

If I cut the brake lines, show me how to coast to a stop.

Because people cannot live in a plastic bubble, rolling around at 5 mph for the rest of our lives,
repeating caution signs:
Don't blink,
Don't breath,
Don't move,
Don't freeze,
Don't drive,
Don't park,
Don't live.
Don't tell me don't tell me don't tell me
this is defensive living

Sometimes veering off the road, eyes shut tight on a straightaway covered in obstacles bigger than ourselves is the best we can do to survive.

Question: What do you do if your car crashes?
Answer: Just crash your car.
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