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You only loved me because I loved you too
You only remembered my birthday because it was yours too
You only said "Goodnight" to end a conversation
You only crawled in my arms to feel held
You only took me to dinner to get dinner
You only called me when you were bored or remembered
You're only with me because you can't cut me out
You only bought me a present so you wouldn't feel guilty about mine

You don't call late at night just to hear my voice
You don't stare at me with dumb-struck eyes baffled by my beauty
You don't drive anymore drowning to come up for me
You don't kiss me anymore desperate to touch just a fraction of me
You don't call anymore to just look into my eyes
You don't sleep with my sweater
And I don't sleep with yours...

You make me feel like I'm hard to love.
But it's so easy to love you.

-G.A.
I met you on your porch
And I knew that you’d be more
Than a family friend,
To visit again
And I wasn’t even four

I was far from afraid of you
2009, you were brand new
Sleeping buried in your neck
Clutched and clung to your leg,
I’d hold your hand, or fingers of two

I didn’t know it then
but you’d become my best friend
Singing in the car
And
That I wouldn’t recognize you again

I thought you might want to call your own daughter...

-G.A.
My feet ache to be free of cheap cotton socks and tight laces

To feel the burning black asphalt of neighborhood streets

Or seashell littered sands that swallow my ankles where the waves lick the shoreline

The grass with pine needles, rocks, and twigs that bite the soles of my feet

The soft wet moss that dampens my feet and will leave footprints on my porch

To shift uncomfortably in lush fancy carpets when homely scratched hardwood floors comfort me

To be sore when my legs cannot run anymore and ache in old age

To cry at the sight of an open field welcoming me home like someone's child visiting for the holidays...

-G.A.
I hope your refusal to go to the doctor catches up with you.
I hope you cook things you know I’d beg to have for dinner.
I hope you cry on the interstate listening to a song we’d **** around and dance horribly to.
I hope you stalk my social media and see the difference in my smiles.
I hope you look in my room every once in a while just to check if it’s still empty.
I hope you turn over in your bed sleeplessly trying to picture my voice.
I hope you have hundreds of letters of apology written in your mind.
I hope you break your knuckles from hitting your table from work stress
I hope that drywall is tempting; wanting to watch your fist go through it like paper
I hope you know what it feels like to lose me all over again.
And this time- it’s your fault
Happy Father’s Day
He flinches when I reach under his shirt
He hates the way his hands shake and blink
I watch the way he shifts when he doesn’t want me to see the stretch marks
And he doesn’t like wearing t-shirts
And he fixes his hair every 2 minutes like the President might walk in the door at any second

But I love touching his soft skin
And I love when his hands hold my thighs as if they’re a comfort
And I love looking into his eyes until my whole body feels like it’s blushing
I think the stretch marks are art and I love tracing them when I’m holding him
I love when he wears t-shirts; the frame of his shoulders and his arms look better than usual
And I dream of running my fingers through his hair when we’re in bed

So I’ll give him bandaid kisses until his insecurities heal

-G.A.
I don’t know what you’re wearing today
Or what sugary breakfast you had
If you’re old enough now to have a crush on a boy
What his name is or if I know his older siblings
Have you learned all your multiplication yet?
I don’t know who your friends are or if you’ve made any
I don’t know if you ever wish you could hold me
I don’t know if you ever ask about me

But my arms ask about you
They ask me “When can we hold her again?”
My hands ask “When can we cross a street with her again?”
My legs ask “When can we tangle up in a cuddle with her again?”
My shoulder asks “When can she fall asleep on us in car rides again?”
My ears ask “When can we hear our favorite fit of giggling again?”
My fingers ask “When can we tickle and braid her hair again?”
My lap asks “When will she shrink into a toddler and sit with me again?”
My waist asks “When will she hug me and how much longer until she grows tall enough to hug my ribs?”
My lips ask “When can we kiss her forehead goodbye again?”

And my heart asks “Does she know how much I love her?”

-G.A.
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