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Julia Betancourt Apr 2019
i used to think i'd be here forever;
in a city that looks different every day,
in a house where i have my room to stay

i used to think i'd find my place here,
give the world around me meaning,
let my life unravel itself like ribbon

i think it's foolish of me to believe in anything
when all times i find how i'm broken,
how the lives around me keep on going

i feel left behind in this empty orbit
where the constellations won't show me home
or how to escape the woods

i think i shouldn't leave them,
i should stay here and leave myself to be wrapped-
choked by tree leaves and branches

i think it's best to let them cut through my skin like butter,
let them grab me and pull me closer
since no one else will do that ever

i think it's best to leave me to die alone
and let my body decay like dead palms
and let me be one with the earth again

i came from stars so i should make myself the ground
so someone has something to walk on
and i should flatten myself and all

i should make myself mean nothing
it doesn't last when i mean everything,
i used to feel so safe in my bed

i used to speak to him late at night there,
he used to see my face and hear,
my voice can't even be remembered that well

i think i try to fill his space with someone else
and i'm not even with anyone
i try to pretend i'll have someone

i think i've given him every reason to stop it
and i don't know exactly where his heart is,
it's long passed me and my absence

his absence feels like an elephant
and i can't stop myself from noticing it
sometimes i think i should stop my eyes from opening

sometimes i want to just quit loving him,
let this addiction be different from others,
it's hard because i cannot see the damage

sometimes i want to just quit loving him,
but wishing it’d end has never really been how
i think there's nothing left to do now
Julia Betancourt Mar 2019
I should feel like the world is at my fingertips
Like I can hold it in my hand like the ball of a lollipop
Absorb sweetness with a split tongue, since

I try to taste both Hell and Heaven
I try to make the pain delicious
And then men come running to my table

They want a piece of this;
Brokenness in the form of a likeable woman
They see cracks in my skin and know they can get one

I preserve pain and hurt like a Goddess,
Together we have a last supper with my bad experiences
And they decide which part they’ll steal for dessert

They desert me and together they forget me
And I remind them I can die so easily
But the men keep to their word once they leave

Why do people think they have all the time in the world
Or that their friends can’t die in seconds
Why do men make me their puppet

Why do people think they hurt no one
Or do nothing,
When they always leave someone

Always leave someone or be left
Drag or be dragged to death
Be or make a complete mess

I am messed up inside, I swear
Even Beelzebub could not wear and tear
Could not crack through the ground like I do

A heart of cement sits in my chest
Because stone cold me is best
And that is the only way to pardon with the Devil

He dances and bartends mixing serotonin levels
Making drinks, watch them poor out
I drink until my teeth fall out

Until my gums are numb and I can’t make a sound
And I think it’s funny, a smile without any teeth
The list of long days and weeks ahead of me

The long list of names that read like the blues
The times I fold at the sight of his shoes
Heavy black boots too big for my feet

A new dress made from a white bed sheet
I preserve pain and hurt like a beast,
I let it grow inside me like trees

The roots sprout tangled like cobwebs
Make themselves at home like he did
Like the dust bunnies under my bed

Like the dirt that fills holes in my lungs
My melodic way of coughing up blood
He runs his hand along my back to help me breathe

But that only makes it harder for me
And I’ve been broken in half since,
Because he is both Hell and Heaven

And God knows we both can’t have it all
Or maybe he knows I can’t handle it all
So I am given nothing at the most

He deserts me and a few days later he forgets me
And I remind him I can die so easily
But he keeps to his word once he leaves

Why does he think he has all of the time in the world
Or that his friends can’t die in seconds
Why does he make me his puppet

Why does he think he hurts no one
Or does nothing,
When he is always leaving

Always leave someone or be left
Drag or be dragged to death
Be or make a complete mess

I am messed up inside, I swear
Since he loves to shoot me down and leave me there
And crack a smile when no one else will dare

He has driven me into the pavement
And made me a fossil for his new collection
The few, independent women

Who he has turned upside down inside themselves
And makes me feel the worst things I have felt
And uses poetry to give himself a rest

The words read like song lyrics
He dances and toasts to new curly-haired girlfriends
His signature drink is a hopeless romantic

A heart of cement sits in my chest
Because stone cold me is best
And that is the only way to pardon with the Devil
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
I imagine the lights as the last few things I see before I die
The twinkle in my eyes, shut
And there isn't anymore blood

There aren't anymore cuts
Or broken designer luck
Or time to make up for what you've done

Might as well do it now
Because if it keeps going like this,
I am not going to make it

I'll do it on stage
Where all the lights are turned to me
And I cannot be unseen

I'll do it while I sing
My favorite tune or lullaby
My voice will send chills down their spines

I'll be singing my last goodbye
And going out like real performers do
The big finale follows me to my bedroom

It'll happen slow so you can watch
So you can see me grow distant from it all
So you can feel my loss

I bet you'd never thought it'd happen now
That there must have been more room for me to stay
That would mean you have been blind to me dying

Every single day
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
I thought I’d give her a chance
Let the night draw me in like a stencil
Forget him in purple light in a smoke trench

I thought I’d give it a chance
One night to live like him;
Among alcohol and blazed paper rolls

I gazed helplessly at the lighters
Entranced in hoping one of them would drop theirs
And light the floor on fire

I imagined that the fire would follow the alcohol worm spilt on the floor
Wiggling its way to my feet
And then I felt sick— and wished I didn’t eat

I wished I was skinless bone in that light
Or could be blown away like smoke
I wished I was the redness around their eyes

I wished I could disappear in the nighttime
That I brewed quietly like their breath
I wished I was the liquor in the bottle and the keg

Once I arrived it didn’t feel right
The men eyed me like prey
I said I’d give it a chance so I stayed

I made a witching hour out of dance music
With drugs and alcohol as my ritual
And I let dolls dance around me like voodoo

I let myself go for a moment in between
And gazed helplessly at my feet
And hoped her wood floors would open up and eat me

I imagined a hole in the ground the size of me
I imagined a ghost in the mirror who looked just like me
I imagined him drinking

Then she fell down the stairs
And they stared, her face gleaming in the light
Her smile made her an intoxicated angel

She looked like peace,
Lying on the floor
Hardly moving and spaced from it all

I looked at her and imagined if she were dead
Reminiscing over how closed her eyes were
And I was jealous of her

It was ****** the way they took pictures of her
Like she were nothing more than a sad, drunk mural
And I imagined I were dying in a room full of people

I imagined I were Hannah
And that I were the floor
And that I never wanted to be anything more

That I would let my body exist on its own
With no soul, and let mine dance along
In between fence wire

Then the police were there and I saw it
I saw me in the back of the car
In handcuffs, or covered in blood, or gone so far

I imagined them shooting me in the back
I imagined everything went black
And the basement were empty

I imagined I were the only one in the room
Like I was the only one in agony
And that the sirens would lead me to the balcony
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
There are people all around me
But I face the wall
Dying and yet failing to be free from it all

I can hear them just outside
Their voices fade like my eyesight has
They fade like everything I used to have

I know how to let go better than anyone
I let go better than a man
I let go like I'm ******

I let go like I'm meant for pain
I let go like rain
I let go like I'm him

He can think he's better at losing things
But I know the greatest loss
I know bigger holes in my heart

I know deeper cuts
And horrible luck
And how to get away with the bad stuff

I know how to make myself starve
How to make myself bleed
And dress up like a perfect figurine

I know how to make sadness look pretty
I know how to make it look clean
So you cannot tell the difference

I let go of everything I could be
What he could have let me mean
I let go better than he

I let go of me
I let go of sleep
I let go of all of my dreams

I know how to leave
I know how to do it clean
I make sadness look pretty

I know how to leave
I know how to bleed
And make myself look pretty
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
If the pain was psychosomatic
Then the placebo would have been enough for me
So would have been my dreams

And everything
Everything would have been enough for me
Everything would have been great, I bet

But the pain is not
And still, everything will be
I have lost the love I had at first

So goes the life within me
So does pain make a mansion out of me
So births a smile without any teeth

Then hands will grab my face
And he will make a portrait out of me
Use a knife to curve my lips up

And make my smile look brand new
Then he will take my pieces, helplessly broken
And stick me together with glue

"Oh, look!" he'll say, "how lovely!"
How lovely I look while I decay!
While I bleed he'll say the red reminds him of roses

That I remind him of beauty!
But he does not want to see me during the day!
Because dark is only meant for night

And he will tell me I should stay!
"Oh, lovely Angel!" he likes to call me
But only a true lover would know angels are all dead

So dead I am
So do I fly away at night while he is sleeping
So goes the life within me

So he no longer notices me
And I am twirling on broken glass with bare feet
Outside his window by the city where he first kissed me

Dare he remember and that might **** him
So you would think from how he talks
Or how he never looks at me at all

In a red blood dress I spin endlessly
And he will tell me he wouldn't change me
And he will call all of this destiny!

He will say destiny is what killed me!
And made me an Angel for an end to some months
Because I had to die in order to become one

And after he's made me a portrait I will be more!
A poem or book or some decor
That masks my pain as artistic pleasure

That uses my blood to paint a version that's better
Whichever it is that they will buy
That I am not counting down the time

And maybe they will believe this was all just for show
And that anything was never wrong at all
I guess that is better, I bet

Let the darkness swallow itself whole
And disappear into the wall
And pretend you didn't turn the lights off
Julia Betancourt Feb 2019
I regret not knowing any better than I did when he still loved me.
I must have been inside of a wind tunnel- for months- not hearing anything.
I must have been deaf or something, I must have been too boring,
I must have been annoying.

I think I am annoying.

I regret not being as confident in myself as I was two months ago, for my
entire life.
I regret wasting away like smoked cigarettes on street corners.
I regret decaying like it is my job.

I regret that the things I have seen have not been good.
I regret that all signs in my life tell me it is falling apart.
I regret falling apart when I still had something to grab onto.

I regret not having anything to hold onto, now, and dying because of it.
I regret dying, but not because I don't like the idea of it.

I regret not living at night but rather during the day with everyone else.
I regret seeing everyone on a daily basis.
I regret my choice of boyfriends.

I regret what I used to think love is.
I regret not thinking of my parents as teenagers once.
I regret forgetting what my dad's old house looks like.

I regret coming back to the city and tying him to everything.
I regret seeing his face in red and blue and gold lights even though his is
I regret wanting to wrap my state in my hand and close it off to newcomers-
but if I did, I'd probably crush it.

I regret wanting to travel because I will never visit the places I talk about.
I regret being a better hopeless romantic than he is, which makes me worse.
I regret being a musician because I need pain in order to do it.

I regret feeling like the main character in each of my favorite movies.
I regret thinking I am special or interesting enough to have a movie made
about me.
I regret writing a book about my life as if it isn't a story that has been heard
a million times before.

I regret believing writing a book would change my life.

I regret changing the way I believe in things. I regret making God a force
that is connected to my pain even though I swear he has nothing to do with it.
I regret thinking He should have nothing to do with me, because I use him
in my writing and possibly risk my chances at Heaven.

I regret that I gamble my relationship with the Afterlife because I think nothing could
be worse than here.
I regret thinking life on Earth is Hell, because the Earth has nothing to do with the hell humans have made it- the hell that I, a human, have made it.
I regret that I have made life on Earth a living Hell for myself.

I regret that I am so good at manufacturing existential crises out of thin air.
I regret that this air feels too thin to breathe in for more than a day.

I regret giving in when I probably shouldn't have, or thinking giving in was
the problem when in reality it is just me being too weak to deal with average,
everyday problems.
I regret that everything feels like the end of the world.
I regret seeing myself as one of the few people who will never experience
marriage because we think we'll lose parts of ourselves if we do, and we have
already sacrificed too much that if we give one more piece away, we'll de-exist.

I regret seeing myself as one or all of the few people because even when I think I am not alone in something, I swear I am truly alone.
I regret feeling alone around him.

I regret merely going through the motions again, instead of living.
I regret not feeling like I'm living, and not living because I'm not feeling like it.

I regret wanting something to change when nothing will.
I regret not knowing if I need to change or not.
I regret disappearing the more I loved.

I regret loving more to try and feel less like I have disappeared.
I regret relying on him loving me to not feel invisible.
I regret having my confidence knocked out in the first few rounds from a
punch that wasn't even all that bad.

I regret feeling in extremes, because he thinks his sister should be like me.
I regret having reasons for why she shouldn't be.

I regret not being myself in light because otherwise people will see too much
of what they don't want to see.
I regret relating to an abuser's music because it is sad enough, but if it wasn't
this sad then I probably wouldn't listen to it.

I regret needing sadness because now that I have it, I won't let it go like I
was let go- like I am let go every single time, and that is probably one of the
reasons I am like this.

I regret being like this.
I regret pretending I am not like this to preserve their innocence, or something
like that.
I regret not even knowing why I do half the things I do.

I regret regretting all of these things that mean nothing to everyone else.
I regret this poem.
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