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May 2018 · 110
Midnight Haunting pt. 2
Just Jess May 2018
Death has transformed my ghosts into thoughtful gentlemen.
They insist we wander from my obligation to misplaced guilt
And the cold carcass of whateverthisrelationship was.

Two of them take me by hand. The third trails behind,
Carrying my laced veil of sorrow,
Preventing my tumble into a coil of aged anxiety.

We walk for some time,
Strolling a pathway filled with memories and lost love.
The route is familiar, but each step weighs on my soul.

I grow tired maneuvering the course terrain.
The ghost bearing my veil of sorrow takes me into his arms,

The other two take place their place before and behind us:
Predictability and Reassurance.
I fall asleep to the steady pace of Comfort.

I awake in a meadow of Indian paintbrush.
Vivid colors are masked by sleepy shadows
while stars descend in the form of tranquil snowflakes.

Wakefulness is an illusory dream.
My ghosts take turns recounting fond memories
That both warm and sting my hands.

Ghosts are ghosts because they're only ever half-present,
Fluctuating between present and departed.
Their presence is transient and perpetual.

But there's a certain security in knowing
My ghosts are dependable enough to find me
When daylight turns to
May 2018 · 111
Midnight Haunting pt. 1
Just Jess May 2018
The walls are bare
And the heart of whateverthisreleationship
Is (...was?) lays inches from death on the tile floor.

Each pulse is exaggerated

It feels profane to place blame on something that's dying.
But Heart is the December freeze creeping through the screen door
And I'm tired of being cold.

The artificial sunlight in this room was blinding.
Fake daylight is a mockery here, and I don't care for pretenses.
Darkness better suits this occasion.

As the filament in the bulb sighed its last breath of light,
My sympathetic ghosts leaned in to hush my tears.
They now sing warm lullabies that feel like contradictions:

How odd that they're the ones here to comfort me
While you're so

Nov 2017 · 137
The Paradox Box
Just Jess Nov 2017
I live in a world where "you're perfect" means "but not for me"
And where being "too much" is somehow not enough.
Nov 2017 · 147
What Does Anything Mean?
Just Jess Nov 2017
This heart isn't home anymore.
The numbers on the mailbox are faded and curling,
Destination undetermined.
The people and places in the photographs are foreign,
Yet they point at me in my cell of isolation and cast stones.
The suffocation of the warmth
Constantly battles the harshness of the cold.
Neither ever wins,
But I'm always caught in the crossfire.
The other day,
I hurled a ray-less lamp at the window
And called for a legion of pigeons
To carry my breathless cry for miles.
Fifty messages went out.
Only one returned:

my dear,
i'll be seeing you.
Nov 2017 · 515
All My Might
Just Jess Nov 2017
If I tell you I love you,
Does that mean I get to keep you?
Or does it mean you are now the owner
Of a sharp piece of information
You may decide to stab me with later?
If you are
Ever so inclined
To tell me you love me back,
Does that mean you’re always going to feel that way,
Or is it conditional on the present moment
And you could possibly change your mind
Six months down the road
And return my heart - battered?
What does love even mean?
Because when I say I love you,
I mean that I want to be with you until the day I die
And every day thereafter. (Not to be dramatic).
When I say I love you,
I mean that I will be a solid, yet cozy, foundation for you.
I mean that I want to cuddle and drink pero with you every night.
I mean that I want to fall asleep in your arms and wake up next to you in the morning
Even though your hair may be parted down the middle.
I mean that every second, my mind is housing the thought of you
The thought, just an empty copy that my mind supplies in your absence.
I want the real you.
When I say I love you,
I mean that I like you. A lot. Always.
I mean that I will watch the World Series with you and your brother every year
(even though I've never before cared about the Red Sox)
I mean that I hope you’re having a great day
But I also mean that I miss you and that I hope you’re missing me as much as I'm missing you.
When I say I love you,
I mean the very thought of loving you makes me wish I never met you at all,
Because a world in which your eyes don’t smile at me is not a world,
But a nightmare
That sends my heart racing
Eyes crying
Heart bleeding
Soul dying. So
When I tell you I love you
Tell me you love me too.
Sep 2017 · 364
Unspoken Letters
Just Jess Sep 2017
i am a never-ending spiral of missing you.
in dreams i find myself in your presence,
these dreams turn to nightmares as reality is your absence.

i breathe in the air, and it smells like the autumn we spent together-
hauntingly warm and beautiful.
it smells like sunlight and leaves and happiness.
each inhale brings your memory closer,
each exhale pushes you further.

every white car I see is your Subaru.
the one that took us to the yellowing aspens.
every song has your jazz.
i could only listen to mumford and sons for three months.
every second is the absence of your embrace.

i know you're gone.
i see your pictures with her
and i can see you're happy.
you have all of my happiness. you really do.

i have no consolation. no time. none at all.
Just Jess Sep 2017
he said.

But please - if this is true - PLEASE tell me

Do I hear your gentle hum in place of cricket melodies on warm nights that smell like summer?

I can feel your unspoken doubts and worries carve away at MY bones.

Does your face lights up when you see me, as if to say "Darling, I'm so glad I'm home!" Your gray sweater smells like that too.

I can't find a way to say goodbye to you. It isn't in my vocabulary. OUR words only know presence and adoration.

If your soul wasn't made for mine, who is going to hold your heart among the stars when the Earth is shattering beneath you.
I'm sure you could find someone else to,
But I know you'll be buried under ashes and rubble before you get around to it.

If your soul wasn't made for mine...
why did it tell me it was?
Aug 2017 · 284
Interesting Means Broken
Just Jess Aug 2017
You are the catcher of my words.
I launch them at you from the pitcher's mound
In awkward and arhythmic velocities.
You gently collect them in your hands
And toss some level of adoration back.

You carved a staircase from ice,
But I'm not sure what that means.
I can't even tell if these divots are in your heart
Or mine. Both look the same.
This time,
No glass slipper was conveniently left behind
Only my heart.

Are you a catcher of hearts?
Did you pick it up from this snowy mine
To carefully navigate us through this love?
I don't have a map.
Show me the map.
I can see it in your eyes
But you refuse to allow it to escape.

I can read your scars like constellations.
They appear like veins of tears
Threading together a diamond.
You aren't broken like you think you are.
Allow me to show you.
Your heart is safe with mine.
To "the most interesting man" in my orbit. You are gold. I promise.
Aug 2017 · 127
If We're Being Honest
Just Jess Aug 2017
"Cleaning my room" is the technical term I use when I organize my possessions and move them from one cluttered place to another.

"Moving on" is the technical term I use when I rearrange my emotional crap and escort the memory of you out of my heart.

But I don't know why I bother doing either.
By next week,
Clothes will be strewn across the floor from hasty indecision,
And my heart will lurch at every sound my phone makes in hope that it's a message from you.

"Diffusion" is the technical term scientists use when describing the motion of something moving to any area of high concentration to low.

Scientists would label "cleaning my room" and "moving on from you" as an act of diffusion.
Refreshing at first.
A breath of fresh air, perhaps.
The result is equilibrium.

"Equilibrium" is the technical term I use for "I tried to clean my room, and I tried to stop thinking of you, but nature demands balance."

The clothes in my closet cannot stay there when gravity KNOWS there's unoccupied space on the carpet.
I cannot ignore your ghost rapping on the door of my heart when it's a vacant, abandoned mine inside.
If there's too much pressure on one side of the dam,
there's going to be a flood.

The definition of "flood":
Just a whole lot of stuff everywhere.
Aug 2017 · 385
Tears & Toothpaste
Just Jess Aug 2017
To the beat of a piano he stole
her heart.
In the same melody
and measure, he broke and left
it crumpled - crushed - crescendo.
Nothing but brittle - bruised - broken.
Out of tune.
Missing keys.

Mixing tears with toothpaste
and listening to a heartrending piano play.
Salt and ivory.
Colgate and ebony.
Repeat. With
Rhythm. There are
no words to this song.
Say something.
Silence - fortissimo.

Toothpaste and tears
trickle down the drain.
At the conductor's swift notion -
she remembers herself with love -
Adagio -
Then steps off her tear-stained
stage of a soapbox.
Al niente.
Aug 2017 · 291
Starry Vista
Just Jess Aug 2017
The stars are always pinpointed
Against their dark blanket of sky -
As constant as the pool of patience
She always finds herself drowning in. Waiting.
The days seem to linger like a long spiraling staircase you thought would end
Fifteen flights ago - But you're sure that when you reach the top and step onto the balcony, you'll be greeted with a stunning vista - and you'll know the strenuous trek was worth it.
But it won't be discernible until every blister is calloused, until every muscle has ached, until every labored breath has been released into the uncaring sky.
Until every second lurches - towards an unforeseen time that seems completely off the watch.
She isn't a patron of time because time is wind-
Wind erodes, disintegrates, deteriorates, and plunders.

There is a photograph of him and her pinned
To a plaster wall that was painted dark blue -
The photo flutters against the pressure of time,
but it is not threatened.
He is constant - a tangible, absolute gravity
That pulled her into his orbit.
In that safe harbor, the wind cannot lash at their hearts
Despite the geographical distance between them.
The infinite Universe pays no homage to time,
But it does respect gravity, orbits, inertia, and
The forces that keep the stars
from falling
out of the sky.
Aug 2017 · 425
The Other Side of the Penny
Just Jess Aug 2017
When a car crashes,
Emphasis is always placed on:
The driver,
The passengers,
The condition of the car.
Nobody talks about:

The 32-oz. cup of Dr. Pepper that was in the cup-holder,
Spilt on impact, no longer someone’s caffeine relief,
Now sticky raindrops that will never evaporate.

The assortment of hoodies, lost math assignments, and Nature Valley wrappers,
Compiled over time into some strange mixture of-
Closet, black hole, and trash can,
Lifeless scraps of fabric, the dog ate my homework, and I’ll throw that away later,
Never to be worn, turned in, or thrown away – memories amongst wreckage.

The spare change in the ash tray,
Tossed into the space-time continuum for but a moment,
(Nobody called heads or tails)
Never to purchase a frosty or win an oversized bear at a nickel arcade,
But to permanently reside on the pavement-
Face down.
Jul 2017 · 422
Nomadical Nonsense
Just Jess Jul 2017
The sky was pink cotton candy.
So was his voice.
Pure sugar swirled around itself in wispy strands.
Soft landings for hard truths.
Broken people refuse to be loved.

“I have to go,” he said.
The cotton candy brewed into cumulonimbus beneath his eyes.
It’s not you it’s me.
You’re perfect. I’m an idiot. I’m sorry.
I don’t know what I’m looking for, but I need to find it.
Smooth hesitation.
Rain drops.
Petrichor filled the blue Honda.

She could picture a small cottage,
Somewhere in a forsaken corner in the wilderness of Norway:
Smoke billowed from the chimney.
A lone resident stood near the warm glow of a fire.
The lone man shivered.

“There’s nothing I can do to change your mind.”
Lightning cracked / Splitting heart.
His eyes smoldered with adoration.
He smiled apologetically.
Cotton candy melts when exposed to rain and tears:
Sticky confusion.
“You won’t find warmth if you’re running from the sun.”
Silent plea: please come back if you can.

The man in the cabin shifted suddenly and looked out the window.
Drifting snowflakes – building tufts of cotton candy.
If I can wafted out of the chimney,
Scented with cedar and rain clouds –
Singed with uncertainty.
Tainted cotton candy cannot be restored.

— The End —