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Harsh Jul 2018
I want to take you to an art museum,
but I'll spend the entire time looking
at you because you'll be the most
breathtaking thing in the room.

Once we're there I'll try and memorize
every curve and every line of your face
as if I were a sculptor and I was assigned
the lofty task of immortalizing your beauty.

I'll come home and dream about you-
your profile engrained into my memory,
and the image of your smile soft
and sweet enough to banish my nightmares.

I want to take you to an art museum,
and I want to hold your hand the whole time,
feeling your reaction to each piece before us
and letting it resonate within me.

Pick a painting that intrigues you and
we'll stand in front of it; I want to know
what about this art compels you
so that I may learn to do the same.  

We'll stand quietly, together, side by side,
because this is a space where we can
share our silence- I want to be guided
only by the pull of your hands and eyes.

I want to take you to an art museum
because once we walk outside together,
I'll have fallen in love with you
and what more could I possibly want?
Harsh Jul 2017
I had this notion of wanting
to be more like oldself–
not more like myself, because myself
has become too sad and too hurt;
I remember oldself being so much more.
But where does one look for one's oldself?
It's not like I just hanged it out to dry
or hung it up on the wall next to a poster.
No, oldself has been scattered and beaten,
tossed along the path of nostalgia.
Bits of oldself linger among
sketchpads and sneakers, SEGA
and Lego sets and Star Wars.
It's back there with s'mores and scouts
and bonfires and books and
the belief that the big, blue world
was a place where dreams came true.
Oldself thinks that optimism
is the only option, myself makes a
note to self: that matter mostly
isn't true, as a matter of fact.
I can't always see oldself, it's buried
beneath six feet of dirt, gossip and rumors;
there's tons of stress and anxiety weighing
on its chest, dressed in a halcyon suit.
Oldself never used to worry
like myself does so often nowadays
but he also couldn't sing like myself can.
He had a wilder imagination than
myself could ever conceptualize,
yet I've exceeded so many of the dreams
that oldself had for my future self.
I often think to myself: what would
Oldself think if Oldself met myself?
And although I may not have turned out
exactly how Oldself envisioned myself,

I've grown and learned from Oldself
and now I'm proud of myself– a place
that my old self never thought I would be.
Harsh Aug 2015
Come as you are,
              not how you ought to be
Thought of this upon reading the title of a Nirvana song.
Harsh Nov 2014
The weather is really light out; the breeze is cool but these sheets are warm
and it's overcast but not cloudy.
It's the perfect weather to wear sweatpants and tee shir-
no, actually, it's the perfect weather to wear your skin atop mine.
The perfect weather to caress your curves under these soft sheets, letting my body warm yours, letting my hands hold yours, letting my eyes drown in yours.
It's the perfect weather to coat that lovely face of yours with happy kisses and smiles.
It's the perfect weather to talk about how we'll raise Marlye
and how big or small our house will be in Bremerton.
It's the perfect weather to lie down on your stomach
and list the reasons why you make me smile.
Harsh Apr 2015
The weather is really light out; the breeze is cool but these sheets are warm and it's overcast but not cloudy. It's the perfect weather to wear sweatpants and tee shir- no, actually, it's the perfect weather to wear your skin atop mine. The perfect weather to caress your curves under these soft sheets, letting my body warm yours, letting my hands hold yours, letting my eyes drown in yours. It's the perfect weather to coat that lovely face of yours with happy kisses and smiles. It's the perfect weather to talk about how we'll raise Marlye and how big or small our house will be in Bremerton. It's the perfect weather to lie down on your stomach and list the reasons why you make me smile.

*But, in reality, you're not here.
So, it's the perfect weather for me to silently pad downstairs in sweatpants and a hoodie at 3 in the morning, start a *** of coffee, and plunk out lonely melodies on this piano of mine as I wait for my coffee and my heart to warm up. It's the perfect weather for my bones to ache for you, the perfect weather for my lips to still longingly have the lingering taste of you.

It's the perfect weather to miss you.

And you know I'm at a loss for words right now because I'm talking about the ******* weather.
This is a heavier rendition of an earlier piece I entitled "October Comforts." I wrote both at the same time but I didn't really like this version as much, but I decided to share anyways.
Harsh Sep 2015
First of all, congratulations.
You are alive and able
to read these words of mine
and that in itself is no small feat.
I feel as if people these days
do not recognize
that life is a great accomplishment.
So to you I acknowledge your due credit
and I celebrate you. Cheers.
I write this at 4 am
with a tall glass of cold coffee
and the intent of convincing you
that you are not insignificant.
Think back to the history
of our own terra firma:
there have been countless species
that once roamed here,
empires have come and gone,
inventions have been made obsolete,
attacks and raids and mutinies
have littered our history.
You have survived all of it.
Think about it.
If everything in the universe didn’t happen
exactly like it already has,
then everything would be different
and maybe you wouldn’t be reading this
but you are.
You are the perfect result
of all your ancestors
surviving through the horrors
of Earth’s past.
You are an arrangement
of old stardust and new hope
and with every sunrise you see,
or every breath you take
you’ve set a new record
and I challenge you
to always
break it again.
Sorry for the length
Harsh Feb 2016
Dear Distance,

I'm writing this to you
at 4:30 in the morning
and because of you,
I'm am currently
115 ******* miles away
from the person
I lie awake missing
every ******* night.
Because of you,
when I get lonely
and a hug is all I need
I'm stuck cuddling
a ******* pillow.

But also, thank you.
For teaching me
how to be patient
and showing me that
I can, in fact,
function alone.
Thank you for
making me grateful
and appreciative,
for taking away
what I have
to show me how much
I really do care.
Because of you,
It means much more
whenever I say
"I miss you."

Without wax,
Someone Whose Heart Aches

*P.S. *******.
Third in my Open Letter Series. Let me know what you think!
Harsh Jan 2016
To whom this may concern,

I forgive you.
Even if you haven’t apologized just yet;
maybe you never will.
But I have held this hurt in my chest for far too long
and I don’t want this rotting away my naive heart.
I’m writing this with cathartic desperation and a patience
that only comes from being angry for so long.

I want you to notice the first sentence I wrote earlier.
“I forgive you.” Note that I did not say “it’s okay,” or “it’s all right."
There’s a distinction between what I did say and what I could have.
I said that I forgive you. When I say that,
I acknowledge that you have wronged.
You have hurt me and we both ought to recognize that.
If I’d said “it’s okay,” I would be subtly telling you that
“whatever you did, it’s okay, it’s all right.”
I didn’t say it’s okay because it’s not.
Whether or not you come to terms with it
is not my business anymore.

I hope you find yourself within these words
and make peace with yourself, and I hope
you don’t make the same mistake with another individual.

Without Wax,
Someone Whose Scabs
Have Only Recently Become Scars

*P.S. I may have forgiven you
but that does not mean that I trust you just yet.
The second in my Open Letter Series. Let me know what you think about it!
Harsh Jan 2016
Dear Stranger,

I hate how
these past few years
we've mutually
been reduced
to nothing more than
Facebook likes
and the annual
"Happy Birthday,
I miss you!"
But you still seem
and that
makes me wonder:
would you still be,
if I were a part
of your life?

Without wax,
Whose Phone Number
You Once Remembered

*P. S. I may not be important now
but you once told me your highest hopes
and your biggest fears.
I will always have open arms
and an open heart for you,
should you ever need them.
The first in an Open Letter Series I'm trying. Let me know what you think.
Harsh May 2016
Dear Strawberry,

I first met you years ago,
we were in 5th grade together
and I remember always thinking
you had the prettiest smile.
There was this one time
a friend of ours
(I don't remember who)
told a joke that made you laugh.
I remember immediately thinking
"I wish I'd told that story, I wish
I was the one who made you laugh."
It's been 9 years since
those halcyon days
and I'll always wonder
what would've happened
had I told you how I felt.

The Boy Who Always Sat
In The Corner Seat

P.S. I still remember walking back from school together.

P.P.S. I'm revisiting this years later and now you're engaged- I don't think I'll ever share this with you but in the event that you do come across it, I wish you nothing but the absolute best. You deserve it.
It's been interesting seeing you grow up. I'm proud of who you are and I'm excited to see all you'll accomplish in the coming years.
Harsh Sep 2018
I write this not from a lofty place of judgement or from frantic paranoia, but instead I would much rather you learn from any and all of my mistakes before subjecting yourself to future pain.

First and most importantly: you are lovable, you are loved, and you are truly worthy of love and appreciation. This is a resolute fact, an immutable truth that you have absolutely no chance of changing. Remember this in your darkest moments- just because you may feel “less than” your normal self does not mean that you have lost your self worth. If you learn anything from me, please let this one thing be it.

Second, and more lengthy: as well-adjusted as I may come off, know that I have these horrid insecurities and vices about me that I have the hardest time shaking off, even on my best days. I have spent most of my life wondering if I would ever find love, because people keep telling me that you need to first love yourself in order to love someone else; there have been days where I truly don’t love myself. However, I think there’s something to be said about feeling love for someone else amidst all of this wretchedness- I give my love unabashedly, with an earnest conviction that I think comes from knowing what feeling lonely truly means, and never wishing that feeling upon someone else.

Love is something I have fallen into and am currently falling out of, it is something that has kept me up for hours at night but kept me in bed long after the sun has risen; it has brought me to my knees and it once had lifted me up. Love has grabbed me by the collar of my shirt, looked me dead in the eyes, and asked me if I was worth anything- knowing that I would never answer affirmatively. Love has made me sing and scream the loudest my lungs could possibly take, and it has rendered me silent for days at a time. It has fogged my vision and my mind and left me bereft of any sense of clarity. I have lived my longest seconds and my shortest days when in love.

Loving someone can truly be terrifying- you will never be quite so unmade and disassembled as you are when in love. You will have handed someone the pieces of yourself and know that they could very easily unravel the threads of your being you have so tediously strung together; take comfort in the fact that they could very well hold your pieces together when you feel strung out.

Signed without wax,
Someone Whose Heart
Is Learning To Hope Again

P.S. I urge you to be careful, and to be safe. There is not a world in which you can have done something and I will not be there to support you unconditionally. I will be here in your corner, ready to listen to your story, ready to congratulate or to console, ready to remind you of your worth.
Harsh Sep 2017
First, a declaration: I love you. I truly love you with all of my heart and I need you to know that; I mean that in the truest sense of the word.

Second, a disclaimer: I’m writing this in a generic, public manner and I know that makes this seem cold and impersonal. And there’s truth to that- anyone can find their way to this letter and maybe people will. But I’ve sent this to you in particular, and I hope that conveys at least some authenticity.

Third, an apology. I want you to know that I understand the weight of what I’ve shared with you. I know that just because you’re a kind and compassionate person, you understand the exigence of my situation and maybe you’re worried, maybe you’re scared, or just plain confused. And after telling you, I can’t ever un-say it. I can’t take those words back, I’ve pushed this irretrievable, heavy truth upon you and I’m truly sorry. It burns at my own chest sometimes and acts as a void in others.

Fourth, an elaboration: I didn’t tell you with the intention of having you fix me or attend to my problems. I don’t want you to do that, I would never ask that of you. Although I understand where that sentiment comes from, I don’t want you to feel obligated to try and think of solutions. Don’t do that to yourself.

And finally, a request: just due to the nature of what this is, I continually feel like a burden. I feel like I’m a weight on everyone else’s chest that’s holding them back, or a sore subject that people hesitate to acknowledge. Sometimes I go days where my voice feels heavy because I haven’t spoken to anyone. There are days where I long comfort and company and others where I seek out solitude. I won’t always reach out and I often won't ask you to do so because I don’t want it to be a chore- I don’t want to be a calendar reminder in your phone. I just ask that you be patient with me.

Without wax,
Someone Who Told You His Darkest,
Most Worrisome Secret.

P.S. I know how bad things can be and where I am in relation to them; I know what to do in case it becomes too much. I truly don't mean to worry you.
I'm not sure why I wrote this but I felt like I had to.
Harsh Jun 2016
No matter what you do in this life,
put all of your heart into it.
Invest every fiber of your being
into whatever you work on,
no matter how arbitrary
or even how irrelevant.
The best that comes about
this exhausting way of life
is that you end up with
a job well done, and
all the recognition you deserve.
The worst thing you end up with
(stay with me, trust me on this)
is the raw, unfiltered fact
that you gave it your all.
You tried to the fullest extent
of your capacity and ability.
No one, no matter who they are,
where they come from,
what they look like,
how they got to where they are,
or what their story is,
can ask any more from you
than your absolute best.

Without wax,
Someone Who Should Have Always Tried
But Didn't

* P.S. Because what more can they really ask of you?
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
-Theodore Roosevelt
Harsh May 2016
Dear Beautiful Sunflower,

Here’s to the ones that remember
what kind of ice cream you like
and bring it to you on those lonely nights
(even though you told them in passing
ages ago in a fleeting moment).
To the ones that nod to you in a group of people
and make eye contact when your
input seems to be overhwhelmed.
To the ones who keep their promises,
no matter how big or small.
To the friends who will put away
their pride and their projects to come help you.
To the ones who love you unapologetically.
Thank you for calling me out
when I'm too ******* myself.
Thank you for spoiling me when I've fallen
and encouraging me when I stand again.

Without wax,
Someone Who Can't
Say "Thank You" Enough*

P.S. One day you'll realize how much you brighten people's day.
If you find yourself in these words, I thank you for being a ray of sunshine in our times of darkness.
Harsh Nov 2014
I want to make like paper and fold myself around you and together our bodies can make uncensored and passionate art and I can paint the beautiful canvas that is your body and let my tongue brush your delicate curves and each stroke is a token of lovely innocent lust and together we make a statue made without wax.
Harsh Sep 2015
We’ve always
learned in school
that if you were found
to have written
something that
someone else wrote
(even unintentionally)
you would be
But even then
I've always wondered;
out of the billions
how could I
be so unique?
Always remember to cite your sources and quote when appropriate
Harsh Apr 2016
I’ve always been fascinated
by images of still water.
As mundane as it sounds,
there is a beauty that exists
past the reflective nature of it.
At any given point in time,
the odds are against its stillness.
There are thousands of animals
scampering and lumbering
through our woods and forests,
just waiting to satiate their thirst.
There are millions of trees
and billions of leaves
waiting to be picked up
by the slightest breeze.
There are an infinite amount of things
than can ripple the waters we gaze upon.
And against these odds, it persists.
We hustle and rush throughout our days,
but once in a while we should just
stop, and reflect.

Just like the water does for us.
Harsh Mar 2019
Over the past months there have been
so many times where I feel like nothing
more than a remnant, an empty ghost
with no spirit trapped inside the shroud.
So much has been seized from me-
when we walked our separate ways
you took back everything you brought.
Anything that once carried your touch
now feels tainted, a painful reminder
of something that once was and never
will be again. I can’t go to certain cities,
or listen to particular songs, because
the memory I have associated with it
is far too lovely for me to bear right now,
as is any positive thought I have of you.
I can’t even have things that were once
mine that I shared with you. I told you:
everything I have, and everything I am,
is yours. And truly, it is. I am bereft
of all I once had, wandering the halls
of my memories, a beggar, a supplicant.
Harsh Nov 2017
I listen to a lot of music loudly,
and I mean it in exactly what way;
It's not that I always listen to loud,
electric music that blasts your ears
like fireworks and gunshots firing.
I also listen to music quieter than
the stirring of a mouse, with
intimate notes and subtle crescendos.
Normally, when listening to my music,
I can feel the vibrations throughout
the lengths of my person; every
bass line shaking my vertebrae
and every falsetto ringing in my skull.
But today, I felt something different.
I was playing this one song in the car
and my bones didn't shake,
my hands didn’t tremble.
And it’s not that I didn’t feel it,
it’s really a matter of where;
I felt the music resonate
in the hollow chamber of my chest
where my heart should have been.
Harsh Jun 2015
I tell people that there are two kinds of days.

There will be days where you wake before the sun and roar out into the untouched day, pawing at the ground with a fierce conviction to take your day as you like it. These days, your very footsteps will shake the ground beneath you while your enemies run haphazardly, tripping over their own feet in order to avoid your fearsome self.

There will be days where your ears twitch at the slightest suggestion of confrontation and conflict, and you scurry about your day through the shadows. These days, your frantic heart can't take much of anything, and the vastness of the faraway horizon makes your limbs shudder and quake.

When your day falls into the former category, remember that even as you strut around with your lion-heart, there are timid mice who move hurriedly about your feet. Remember to watch your steps and mind your roars.

When your day is one of the latter, remember that lions aren't necessarily monsters, and know that their claws can be sheathed and their velveted paws can also comfort. They know nothing of soft steps and whispers.

Find comfort in the cacophony of roars and in the solemn silence of tail-twitches.
“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, 'I will try again tomorrow.'” Mary Anne Radmacher

I'm not too happy with how this came out but I like the general idea of it.
Harsh Nov 2014
not just a girl.
No, one cannot simply
call her a girl.

a storm,
a storm with skin, bound by
passion and dreams.

a temptation,
her body a fire,
My senses a helpless moth.

a maestro,
her laugh being
the sweetest symphony of all.

a lioness,
the way she perseveres,
fights, and defends.

a diamond,
brilliant and rare,
to be cherished and protected.

a mile,
but only if
beauty was an inch.
Because it's her favorite.
Harsh Nov 2014
I stand before you,
a man without wax.

Not perfect in any way, however.
I am pockmarked and scarred.

My sculptor goes by many names,
Pain is one, Experience another.

He has chiseled my hopes
But not my body.

I am a mangled rock at your feet,
weak and vulnerable.

I am no work of art,
Although your beauty is timeless.

I am made of stone,
Yet my heart beats on for you.

I stand before you,
a man without wax.

I am flawed and imperfect,
I do not have much to offer.

But everything I have,
Everything that I am, is yours.

Without wax.
Harsh Aug 2018
I ache. I hurt in my heart and my mind
and in my body all over. I lay in bed for
hours at a time and sometimes moving
feels like the most daunting thing.
I exercise some days but I’m not sure
if I’m trying to keep my body healthy
or if I’m attempting to punish myself.
I’ll collapse on the floor, muscles ablaze
with the effort of lifting my spirits-
but I think my hands hurt the most because
they keep writing to someone who isn’t here.
I've known pain to this degree before- but it hurts differently because it's you.
Harsh Dec 2014
I spell “I love you” on the lines of your collarbone

and I always try to go from one end to another,
brushing calligraphy strokes with my tongue
and blotting your skin as a page with my lips.

I never really have finished saying it,
and I guess I never will

my motions are lost among your curves
and my lips almost always end up
meeting yours somewhere in the middle.
Harsh Jun 2015
You’re a gorgeous sunset, only a horizon away. You’re a car crash with hazard lights blinking, or a quiet painting on a well. You're a gentle snowfall, or an open flame. You can be a starry November night, or a crash of lightning that makes my heart feel like thunder.

You're anything that can make me stop and stare.
Harsh Aug 2015
Tim O'Brien had the right idea
about carrying people and ideas;
we all have experiences that live within us
like a stain on our grey matter.

I carry with me every insult hurled at me,
caught by my web of sensitivity;
I lift them onto my shoulders,
my back creaking as I trudge on.

My insecurities are shackles at my ankles,
the chains tangling themselves and chafing my legs;
my knees knock and pop and shake,
my back creaks and groans.

The ghosts and spirits of the self-departed
dance their ethereal ballet about my soul
and howl their eerie opera through the night,
begging for forgiveness and understanding.

The heaviness of the future rests
inside the caverns of my cranium,
latching on to my thoughts
and chipping at my hopes.

Past loves plague our emotions
and rest in the deepest corners of our hearts,
reminding us of who we once were
and asking us what could have been.

A cloud of sadness condenses in my body,
little drops of dejection slide down my lungs.
My chest constricts and grows heavy
and pointlessly hopes to see the sun.

Everyone together carries the weight of the world,
but I'm not sure what is heavier:
the mass of the planet,
or the things its people carry.
Inspired by Tim O'Brien's book entitled "The Things They Carried" and
Harsh Aug 2018
-  I will always be willing to listen to your
stories, and will forever want to hear them.
Your words are as good as music to me.

- There will be days where the sun feels cold to
me and I am made a prisoner to my deepest fears.
There will be nights where I wake up sobbing,
just as much a prisoner as I was during the day.
Be gentle, be patient with me.

- I smile at everyone I make eye contact with on the street.

- I love in an earnest manner that can be
overwhelming. I am not malevolent,
but rather I have spent years being told
that my feelings aren’t worth listening to,
and I just have a lifetime’s worth of love to give.

- If you manage to hold what I can throw at you,
you’ve found someone in your
corner that won’t go without a fight.

- You’ll never see me fighting anyone.

- I’ve worried I’m too vulnerable for far too long;
I am raw and unadulterated and unabashedly so.
I refuse to inhibit what I have to say.

- I will give you all that I have and more;
please don’t take advantage of this.

- I will write about you, I will write about how
I feel, I will write about someone I once loved
and about how I once felt. Words and feelings
are fleeting, but they are also powerful.

- I will ask you questions until I’ve found out
everything there is to know about you-
including things you never thought about.

- I have friends who will call me in the dead of
night; I will answer the phone, I will drive to
their house with their favorite dessert in tow.

- I will pull over on the side of the road if the
clouds are compelling enough. I can sit for hours
watching the sun set or water fall. Either hold my hand
and join me, or let me be overwhelmed by something 
greater than myself in peace.

- No one can or will love you the way that I do;
take that as my most horrid vice, or my most endearing virtue.
to someone I'm not sure I've met yet
Harsh Nov 2014
This is not a poem, my dear.
this is more than a code comprised of 26 letters, 10 digits, and a few punctuation symbols.
What you are carrying in your hand right now is more than just a few thousand pixels presented on a glass screen, it's more than just a string of words put together in prose.

What is being graced by those lovely hands and gorgeous eyes of yours is a piece of me; this is a tangible piece of my mind, darling. I give this (and many others like it) to you as a gesture of trust and love, but I just as well give this to you with a warning. I apologize if this seems...foreboding (among other things).

Along with my love, I present this piece of me unto you irretrievably. This is no childish box or chance trinket that needs wrapping. This...this is a glass-shelled grenade, darling. But don't worry, I've secured the pin with my heart-strings. This glass is blown from the grit and salt of my tears and sweat, my burning rage fueled the furnace. Splinters of my bones form the shrapnel, and a carved piece of my ever-beating heart fuels the whole mess.
This is raw. This is crude, it's unfiltered; call me Pandora, this is my box, in a way. It holds my hope, that someone will keep this piece of me safe, that someone like you will look past the crudeness and see the sentiment behind it.

This piece of me, I don't ask of you to string it up and wear it upon your breast, I do not ask you to flaunt it and keep it close to you at all times. Lock it up, shut it away, darling. It is not beautiful, neither am I. Feel free to bury it, go ahead and put it away. It is ugly, it is dangerous. You should not caress this piece of me, it is fragile and will not provide any comfort to you. I wish unto you no harm. I ask of you to keep it safe. Protect it from my demons, save it and myself from my nightmares. I apologize for the burden I have placed upon your graceful shoulders, but your inherent strength inspires me and gives me faith. I know I ask too much of you; you have my most sincere apologies.
I've given you everything I am, I have nothing more to give you.
You are perfect, my guardian angel, I am fragile and flawed...
protect me.
Harsh Nov 2015
what does (s)he see in me?

my heart feels like lead

all the color in my life is gone,
but all the cones in my eyes are intact.

I never should have woken up

am I that dispensable?

I can't remember what it felt like
before the darkness came.

That just invalidated all my efforts

I’ll only be a burden

They’re just being polite

Why should I even bother?

I wonder if my family sees
the hurt in my eyes
and elects to ignore it
Recognize thoughts like these in your own head. Acknowledge them for what they are: hindrances to your mental health.
Harsh Nov 2015
The night is always darkest
before the dawn.

It’s always okay to cry.

I have someone with whom I can
share my dreams and my nightmares,
my worries, my muses and inspirations.

It always gets better in the end.
If it’s not better, it’s not the end.

What makes me happy
doesn't have to make others happy.

My opinions matter,
I am worth something,
and I deserve to be loved.
These are thoughts to write on the walls of your room, on your forearm, on your mirror. These should be shouted from rooftops. These are thoughts I wish upon you.
Harsh May 2015
A child at 6 years old shouldn’t have to worry
whether or not her parents still love each other,
or if she is even loved at all.

At 10 my son shouldn’t have to worry
about being too weak to fit in with the other boys.
He shouldn’t have to pretend to enjoy football;
he shouldn’t ever have to pretend like he doesn’t have feelings.
My daughter shouldn’t have to hide
her athleticism in front of the other girls.
She shouldn’t be afraid of being strong and loud and fierce.

At 12 my niece shouldn’t have to worry
about hiding her trainer bra straps because they are
“distracting” in the classroom. She shouldn’t have to
bring a cardigan to school when it’s June and 80 degrees out.
She shouldn’t have to wear pants when there are boys
who can show up in gym shorts and Under Armor shirts.

At 15 my son should be comfortable with his gender identity,
no matter how he was born. He shouldn’t have to deal
with people calling him a “tomboy” and “freak.”

At 19 I shouldn’t have to have the mentality where
if I don’t do well on this exam then I don’t do well in the class
then I won’t get a good degree and I won’t get a good job
and I won’t be able to make my wife and kids happy
and I spiral down in a haphazard free-fall of insecurity.

The list goes on and on, where we ought to be too young to have existential worries, but we’ve all become too old to simply smile at them.
I don't like this one as much but I like the general idea of it. Submit edits if you'd like, please!
Harsh Dec 2014
There's a lot for you to learn, kid. (Mind you, I call everyone kid, don't take it personally.)

Make friends with her sisters, make sure her mother doesn't hesitate to call you her "sweetie". If you do that, you've secured yourself in a place very close to her heart. If her family can love you, she will love you.

If there's an insect on her radar, you get rid of it, no questions asked, no please and thank you. You get it done.

I don't care if dancing isn't your "style", that's one thing you can't take away from her. So it will just make your life easier if you just dance with her. Trust me.

Argue with her. Stand up for yourself. There are times when the fire in her eyes grows and feeds on your submission. It will burn her too, I promise. Douse it and any doubt she may have in her mind about your commitment.

She is one of the most driven, fearless, determined, and independent women I know that graces this earth. But there are times when her past spoils are not enough to appease her and she can and will drown in self-hate. I implore you to save her from herself in these times. She is worth too much. Hold her close and rub her back and tell her reasons for your love with each vertebrae you massage.

This girl will love you with every inch of her possible. She will love you wholeheartedly, she will give you everything she's got. Don't you dare give her anything less. Don't waste her time.

Gifts are always really special to her. She has this way of always getting you something you wanted, regardless of if you knew it. Her gifts are quirky and clever and incredibly thought-out. Appreciate them, please.

There will come a night where both of you will have fire for blood and lust for thoughts. Be gentle, be loving. Make her feel safe.

She gives many different kinds of kisses. She'll give you a quick kiss as you both head out the door, she'll give you these spontaneous kisses that will send smiles through every inch of you, every time. She'll give you kisses that make you question your self control. She'll lie on top of you and give you butterfly kisses with her eyelashes.

One thing she doesn't do is get jealous. Don't you take advantage of that. If she ever does, you’ll never know it. She won’t question you going out with friends or not replying to her texts. She will trust you with all her heart. Don’t **** that up.

I am begging you, demanding of you: do not hurt her. Hold her close to your heart. She will memorize the way it beats and she'll always be able to tell when you fall asleep.

Hopefully you won't have the same demons as I. But rest assured that if you do, she will recognize that all demons are just fallen angels and she will bring light and love back to your shadowed mind.

If you're the one that makes her the happiest, I hope you never have to feel the pain of losing her.

This girl is the last bit of gold in this world, don’t let that shine fade out. Give her every ounce of your being and she will do the same. You will never, ever be loved the way she loves again. You will never have to ask anything of the Universe again.

A name you'll hear in passing.

P. S. I hope you like football.

P. P. S. I shouldn't have to tell you any of this. This shouldn't motivate you to treat her right. You should know instantly in your heart that this girl is precious and that you should cherish her. If your love for her doesn't make you want to do that, then don't waste your time. She deserves better.
I'll try and find the link that inspired a lot of this.
Harsh Jun 2016
I used to be so hesitant about expressing
the extent of my feelings towards people.
There have been too many instances where
I value and appreciate and love someone
much more than they ever would reciprocate,
and to them I would seem overwhelming,
reckless, and desperate with the way I felt.
I’ve learned it’s too risky to pretend not to care.
What comes next is too uncertain, too capricious.
In the next 24 hours, I could get hit by a bus,
move to another country, I could disappear.
I am young and we are fragile and mundane
and we never know when the bus is coming.
We don’t know who won’t be here tomorrow
or in two weeks or in two years from now.
All we know is the unadulterated here and now
of our infinitesimal existence on this planet.
I love being straightforward and honest, I love
telling people how much they mean to me,
I say things like “you are one of my favorite
human beings to ever walk this earth of ours”
and “you are a strong, resilient, beautiful sunflower.”
I love hands in hands and heads in laps and
kisses and hugs and cuddles and caresses.
I love saying "I love you and I appreciate you."
I need you to know now, in this moment
that I care for you to the ends of the earth, and
I cannot believe that I have the privilege
of knowing you and your story and simply
having someone like you in my life.

I love being unapologetically Harsh.
If I've sent this to you personally, this is for you.

Inspired by a piece written by Rachel C. Lewis
Harsh Aug 2018
I have missed you terribly, in a way that I never
thought I would have to endure. There have
been nights where I wished that I could pack
everything around me that reminded me of you,
and that presented me with two main problems:

First, I would be surrounded by emptiness because
I see you in everything and anything around me,
and I would drive myself to the point of collapse
trying to pack the world away and out of sight

Second, I know that I would seek you out
in the space around me, knowing that this void
at least feels better than the silence on your end.
Harsh Aug 2018
I hope you find someone that takes their phone off silent
in the hopes of hearing your calls. I hope they laugh
at all your jokes and can take a couple, as well. I hope they
remind you to eat on your busiest days, and help you
get out of bed on days you feel like you can’t. I hope they listen
to the same music you do and dance with the same fervor you do.
I hope they look for you in a crowded room, at the bottom of a bottle,
at the tops of mountains and in the deepest crevices of their heart.
I hope they kiss you for every second you’ve ever spent doubting
yourself. I hope they memorize your favorite colors and fruits, I hope
they call your mom to check in on her, I hope they get along with
your sisters. I hope they cheer the hardest for your achievements,
and weep the most alongside your sorrows. I hope they remind you
that you are loved, you are lovable, and you deserve to feel loved and
appreciated by those you surround yourself with. I hope they listen to
every story you have to tell, and help you write so many more. I hope
they love your laugh, and revel in how heartfelt and unfiltered it is.
Harsh Sep 2018
"I found so many words
after you left

had we stayed together
we may have become silence"

And some days I wonder if
that silence is something that
I would've looked forward to; things
get awfully loud in the world outside
and I think it might have been comforting
to come home from the cacophony
to a deep, warm silence.

But other days, I'm reminded
of how scared I am of silence.
I think of all of my worst fears and
insecurities reverberating within my skull,
growing louder with every bounce-
no one else can hear it though.
This kind of silence is invisible,
stifling, and self-imposed.

This kind of silence yearns for
affirmations and terms of endearment
that aren't here anymore; they've
grown stale in the quiet between us.

And I think that some day,
I might just want to come home
to something loud;

to someone who will proclaim love
from the tops of mountains, and have
the strength of their words drown out
the self-doubt whispering inside my mind.

Maybe silence isn't what I wanted-

maybe I'm glad you left.
the first four lines I saw on Instagram (user @mazadohta) and thought of the rest of this piece in response.
Harsh Nov 2014
You are an ocean

I can look at you for ages and drown in your beauty, and I stare because I don't want to lose precious seconds of being a mere observer to your raw being.

Your beauty is immense and multifaceted, it exists on the surface and pleases the average passerby, but if you were to look deeper, past the ebbs and flows of the waves, there is a hidden beauty that only a few select are allowed to see.

I fell in head first, my dear. And I'd give up my feet and grow some gills to swim in your currents if I could.
Harsh Nov 2014
You are a blinding-white-hot iron rod, branding your being onto this mundane body of mine.

Engrave your name onto the mangled, patched sculpture that is my soul and remain untouched by time.

Go ahead. Burn me. Carve into me.
Stitch your sweet essence onto the fabric of my mind
and send the circuitry of my senses into overload.

Your voice can be both a catalyst and a balm.
You can turn my heart into both a demolition derby of doubt and despair,
and a mausoleum of just the same,
and yet it beats on, enduring all,
pounding to the everlasting love I have for you.

My heart beats for you, my one and only.

— The End —