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  Sep 2015 Ghost Writer
Madisen Kuhn
i’ve given up on days that begin in late afternoon,
skipped breakfast and lunch,
days that fade slowly and end with
****** cut-out holes in eyelids because
the second i close them and it all goes black,
every moment with you comes back
played on fast-forward, the memories moving so quickly
that both our faces are blurred
and it feels like everything i’ve ever felt for you
is overflowing the tub, filling the washroom with
suds that take forever to melt

i’ve given up on those days.

i’ve traded them for ones that begin with
sunrises instead of sunsets,
days that are spent falling forward
instead of trying to chase the past, and i don’t
look back and see something broken, or
something that was better off left unopened

i look back and see our bodies so close together
that you can’t tell where yours begins and mine ends,
i see my heart that grew twenty-three times its size,
i see you and me wrapped up in something that
i didn’t know existed outside of blurry 35 mm
and overdue and falling-apart library books
that sit on the nightstands of middle-aged women
who are bored with their lives

and i’m just so happy i got to love you at all.

but i’ve folded up all the days spent with you
and taped them in the messy pages of my journal
and now i’m running into the sun,
running away from every lie that’s trying to
wedge its way in between my ribs,
running in the opposite direction of words like "regret"
and any feeling that insists that none of it was worth it

because all of it was worth it.

every moment we were together pumps
through my veins, and it will always be there;
it will be there when we’ve both graduated,
when you move out west,
when you kiss your family goodnight,
when you sit in your backyard with tears
in your eyes because you’ve lived a life
you are proud of

it will be there when i finally make it to new york city,
when i kiss someone who isn’t you,
when i find the answers you inspired me to search for,
when i sit on my rooftop with tears on my cheeks
because i’ve lived a life fuller than i could’ve ever imagined

and you and i will live these lives apart,
we’ll move on and forget what it felt like
to wake up beside one another;
we’ll find what we’re looking for elsewhere
and we’ll understand why this all had to happen the way that it did

but what we had will always exist somewhere,
in rotting apples and old mail and unplayed mix CDs,
in mosaics that line the city streets, in sirens and
red and white flashing lights that shine through
your window while you are asleep

you and i were magic,
we always will be.
  Sep 2015 Ghost Writer
Madisen Kuhn
I am slowly learning to disregard the insatiable desire to be special. I think it began, the soft piano ballad of epiphanic freedom that danced in my head, when you mentioned that “Van Gogh was her thing” while I stood there in my overall dress, admiring his sunflowers at the art museum. And then again on South Street, while we thumbed through old records and I picked up Morrissey and you mentioned her name like it was stuck in your teeth. Each time, I felt a paintbrush on my cheeks, covering my skin in grey and fading me into a quiet, concealed background that hummed “everything you’ve ever loved has been loved before, and everything you are has already been,” on an endless loop. It echoed in your wrists that I stared at, walking (home) in the middle of the street, and I felt like a ghost moving forward in an eternal line, waiting to haunt anyone who thought I was worth it. But no one keeps my name folded in their wallet. Only girls who are able to carve their names into paintings and vinyl live in pockets and dust bunnies and bathroom mirrors. And so be it, that I am grey and humming in the background. I am forgotten Sundays and chipped fingernail polish and borrowed sheets. I’m the song you’ll get stuck in your head, but it will remind you of someone else. I am 2 in the afternoon, I am the last day of winter, I am a face on the sidewalk that won’t show up in your dreams. And I am everywhere, and I am nothing at all.
  Dec 2014 Ghost Writer
If money could talk, the one dollar bill would tell us about shaky hands & white powder, about long thick fingernails & hopeless desperation. He would laugh when he remembered all of the tight waist bands, oily skin, & how the men would cheer as he danced in circles.

If money could talk, The ten dollar bill would shed a tear when he recalled the single mother of four, who handed him over for a cheap, too greasy, dinner in a bag. He would slam his fist on the counter as he begged the troubled boy, too young to be this sad, to put down that needle, it's not over yet.

If money could talk, the penny would tell stories between tears. Stories that he observed from the floor, a story for young girls too blinded by what they "need to look like" to take a look in the ******* mirror, for every boy, who drags sharp metal across his skin just to feel like he's wanted, for every father, who has scraped the bottom of the coffee can for enough coins to buy that bottle, for mothers, who no longer know what to say.

If money could talk, the penny would also smile. He would smile for better days, for long nights sitting in a dark box soon to be donated to those in need. He would smile for every scratch off ticket he has ever won, he would smile, as he shook his head at those who think it's over. He would smile at you, at me.
this is meant to be read outloud like a slam poem & is obviously about american currency.
  Dec 2014 Ghost Writer
do not date a girl
who writes.
she will internalize
carve poems
into your eyelashes
instead of
kissing them,

she will analyze you,
calculate age
from the rings
your coffee cup
instead of refilling it.

she will memorize
the way your
lips curl around steam,
but not that you
take it
two sugars,
no cream.

she will read your
palm instead of
holding it
against her chest.

she will not
when you leave,
because she is
romanticizing it.
Ghost Writer Dec 2014
Out of all those years of my life, one bright memory stands out
Him tickling me to death and telling me that when he grew up he'd name his daughter after me
the blue skies, innocence, and giggles all around me
and I'd never felt more special or alive
he would come around on his jet black motorcycle, gleaming with care
his bright shiny chestnut brown eyes and short wisps of hair
we were just kids talking about the future like this faraway land only real in our dreams
now I'm here miles away
your eyes aren't the same, there's no traces of hair on your head
in quick glances, i almost see the boy i once knew with life in his eyes, a spark of light
now I'm here miles away
you're in that lifeless town you'd swore you'd leave
you still ride your motorcycle but it's rusty and not well taken care of
you have a daughter now, and I don't know her name
we were kids who grew up too fast
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