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you've been gone for quite awhile
and for quite awhile now my skin hasn't quite fit
they told me as a child not to draw on myself.

now i paint flowers where they grabbed my hands to make sure i wouldn't wander off. and rosebuds by the corners of my eyes when they told me not to cry. shooting stars stretching from my ankles to my thighs to remind myself to move and travel. i weave words of wisdom into my hair to mimic the way the rivers cut the mountains year after year- persistent. and carve all the names of people i have loved throughout the years onto my arms.

they told me as a child not to draw on myself. now i tell my children to fill the world with their art.

- your body is your first canvas
i responded with my head in the clouds.
you asked me how my day is.
i can't help but giggle at you.
we are eons of history carried in flesh and blood -
stardust crafted into smiles
                  - and the most you can manage is small talk?
we sit over breakfast. the coffee in your mug curdles.
i choke down the words i should use to apologize with my cereal.
you stare at your plate with an intensity to match your eggs. cold.
our eyes are pleading with the other to understand but neither of us
looks up.

                - what long distance did to us
Kayla Flanders Sep 2019
i don’t know how to tell you that no part of me wants to settle down and grow old with you

in any other way than i have no intentions of growing old and most definitely none of settling

-diverging
Kayla Flanders Jun 2019
how easy it was.

when they asked if i knew you.

to reply "just someone I used to love."

- rolling off my tongue
Kayla Flanders Feb 2019
perhaps i fell in love with you. when you loved her.
for not loving someone who loved me once.
-karma
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