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Feb 2019 · 147
Stage IV
Kelly Landis Feb 2019
No... You sat on the stairs
And told me. So matter of fact:
It has come back, I'm sorry.
No... I'm sorry.
I was moving out, you were with-
Out me for months. Your only daughter: the glue.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

The stark white hospitals walls
And scratchy sheets,
Sterile smell mixed with ****,
Pureed food on the beige tray.
Nurses who forgot to feed you.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

You still smiled up until
That final week. Somehow.
I know you were so strong but
The tumor weaved and molded
Itself, made a home in your brain.
You were my mother,
But you were no where to be found...
You had left your body long before.

Kissed your cold cheek,
Held your burning hands.
Promised you it was okay to go.
Screamed silently...
How will we make it without you?
The nights long and treacherous,
My father asleep in the chair beside you.
The oxygen tank whirling,
Morphine under the tongue,
Listen to your breathing.
The pattern
The changes

There was
Jan 2019 · 272
Before My 30's
Kelly Landis Jan 2019
Losing my mom before my 30's taught me a lot about life. It's short. Short in the "she was in remission for eight years, there's no way it could come back" short. Because it did. Come back.

It showed me what it feels like when the air is physically ****** out of the room - the feeling of a soul leaving the body. And that even the most private of people may still want their family surrounding them during their last breaths. It taught me how to administer the correct amount of morphine, consol a father who is inconsolable and pick the "perfect" urn. I learned there is a part of myself I will never get back because I was a part of her and she a part of me.

I will never just 'get over this.'
Somedays I feel like no one remembers or cares and for that Mom, I am sorry.
I know you're never coming back but I still somehow hold onto a small sliver of hope that you will.
And when I realize you're not,
The wave hits me again.
And again
Onto my *** and each time
It becomes harder and harder to stand back up.
Because... this needed to be said.
Jun 2018 · 261
final breath
Kelly Landis Jun 2018
Your hand in mine
Looked so small,
Like your body on the borrowed bed
In our living room
The oxygen tank became the white noise
As my brother and I shared shifts
Of intently watching your chest rise and fall
I'll never be able to shake
The final image in my mind
Watching you slip away
And the final goodbye
Was so quiet
I almost stopped breathing with you.
Apr 2018 · 328
The Pause
Kelly Landis Apr 2018
I'm sorry,
When the silence was too loud
Was it my fault
When the phone would ring
I wouldn't answer,
It would ring
And ring
I'm sorry,
When the decisions weren't made
Fast enough
The pause was all
There was
And we waited too long
While you laid up in the hospital bed
It was all I could do
To rest my own head at night
I'm sorry,
The I love you's stuck in my throat
The days I wasted, the nights I
The cheap dreams I chased
While you watched and complained
I'm sorry,
It all came back around
Time was nowhere to be found
The cancer a sick disease but you,
You found your release
I'm sorry,
Call your Mom. Tell her you love her.
Apr 2017 · 237
Kelly Landis Apr 2017
I dream of her.
I shouldn't.

but my subconscious has this thing -
it doesn't listen to me.
her hips pop up under closed eyelids
I wake remembering only the feel of her skin.
Jun 2015 · 377
I Wish I Could
Kelly Landis Jun 2015
Stop time.

I would pick the exact time you decided to stay.
And then, we would be able to stay just like that
Jun 2015 · 392
Kelly Landis Jun 2015
You were never good at cleaning up my messes.
You would throw punches, and talk trash
Destroy whatever came into your line of sight,
and then some

You asked me why I came back
I still ask myself this question, numerous time
In numerous different places, phases of my life
I still don't have a solid answer,
But you still wait

And wait for me to say those words,
Return the favor of the hurt
Making messes
No one will ever clean up
Feb 2015 · 302
Kelly Landis Feb 2015
tugging at me like a nagging child
one who won't listen when I say,
you need to let go
of me

some say that it's my own demise
the worst kind of sabotage
but I still don't believe I deserve this
'this' - warm hands, and a beating heart
that beats... for me
I can't understand what that means
I've tried, and tried, and tried
falling up short each
As I stare at her,
trying to explain why I search
and I have no good
at all
Feb 2015 · 403
Kelly Landis Feb 2015
Morning sunshine,
Your button nose and warm flesh.
Handprints left on white sheets,
(Coffee run? One for me and one for you...)
Morning breath seemingly bearable,
While I lay aching for another kiss,
Feb 2015 · 363
california dreamin'
Kelly Landis Feb 2015
Misplaced, my heart
I am a body, my face
My hands, But
This is not living

I tell her I need to leave
The small town streets,
And dead end family ties
Are suffocating me until...
I look at her wide eyed,
Images of California sunshine -
I could even care less about your ex,
What are the odds?
And what is the point?

She has dreams,
But mine are larger

I can barely make room.
Haven't written in awhile.
Sep 2014 · 616
Kelly Landis Sep 2014
i didn't know how to tell you.
i felt you slipping away the moment
i took a sip of something fierce,
burning my insides like a poison
i could not tame,
a wildfire of false hope and future promises.
i tried to wrap you up in something comfortable,
something familiar so that this all could be
easier for the both of us.
because that's all i ever focused on:
y o u a n d m e as one entity.
the second i made my claim i knew
that this was going to be something that
neither of us would be able to handle.
i always become too sure of myself,
and you too loving.
i wanted to warn you ahead of time,
i am not easy.
i     am     not     easy.
the divide between us will surely
end in a gaping hole,
a hole you try to pass gingerly
but fall into anyway.
a slip of the foot,
like a slip of the tongue
will always cost you more.
i think you're a beautiful person,
but if i wanted to choose a person by
their soul i don't know if you
would be my first choice.
i don't know if you bear the pain
the way that i bear mine.
fruitful and full,
overwhelming and screaming.
i look at her with the blonde *****
strands and bony shoulders,
slender fingertips that smear paint
and write obscenities,
she could sing me to sleep.

you always tried but your voice,
out of tune and trying,
never reached my dreams.
Jul 2014 · 331
falling slowly
Kelly Landis Jul 2014
You're beautiful,
But not in the common sense of being.
You are warm and soft and real
With edges and curves, and
I can feel my fake smile and
The weight of pretending
Sliding slowly off my body
The transformation, the transition
Of falling.
Jun 2014 · 422
left unsaid
Kelly Landis Jun 2014
You were telling me you loved me and I didn't know what you meant. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Jun 2014 · 306
at the end of the day
Kelly Landis Jun 2014
I didn't want that kind of weight. I wanted YOUR weight, the way you told me how you were built solid from age ten and on up, no one dared to mess with you. I tried to get close enough, at one point we were breathing the same recycled air and I thought, "****." It was still always the wrong timing, your family's dramatic sit-com life, an ex-lover left to berate you and your cute son tugging on your arm. There was no where for me to fit, whether I tried to squeeze close or not-it was really all for nothing.
Jun 2014 · 414
at my breaking point
Kelly Landis Jun 2014
(you know when you look around yourself,
and you come to the realization that you have
absolutely no ******* idea how you got there?)

you were standing next to me in the kitchen,
waiting for a response,
waiting for anything really, from me
I couldn't speak.
I know what you want from me,
and yet I can't seem to tell you the truth:
it can't be me.

I'm messy, and I'm hard to love.
I have no other explanation.
I really wish I did,
I really wish when I went to kiss you
that I could have made it all better,
kissed it all away.
Awoke in the morning like nothing had transpired.
When I say it's too late, it's not,
I just...I can't.
Jun 2014 · 263
Kelly Landis Jun 2014
When I told her I had a lot of secrets I don't think she understood what I meant. If I could pull my mind inside out, sit down beside her and ring out the inconsistencies and the ways in which I process these things...maybe. Maybe she would have stayed a little while longer or maybe she would have been scared as hell that she allowed herself to get so close to me in the first place. I was too afraid to ask her what she thought, so I opted to say nothing.
Jun 2014 · 574
lack of: communication
Kelly Landis Jun 2014
I wish I could talk about love.
About a lot of things, actually
I mean, what do I even know?
When it comes down to it,
I could be a lot of things
For a lot of people.
I just don't know how.
May 2014 · 251
Kelly Landis May 2014
I'm terrified to tell you the truth.
You and you
I spent my whole life looking for this,
For acceptance, to blend in
Against the wall, out of view.
How will I handle the judgement
I know each day I'll receive?
I'm finally ready to love who
I desire to love,
Just because I prefer soft skin
Against rough,
Small hands against large,
Whose to say then?
A heart is a heart.
May 2014 · 231
Kelly Landis May 2014
She walked in,
All confidence and no fear
it's like we were magnetically
charged towards one another,
Even when I pulled away,
I was still shaking,
Sparks shooting from my
Sometimes when you realize
the things you have been missing
you see how big the void REALLY is.
There is no in between anymore,
For me
I'm gonna love without reservation,
and I have no problem telling
the world now
Mar 2014 · 238
Good enough
Kelly Landis Mar 2014
I watched her bony shoulders a little too carefully,
(When you have a mind like mine,
On fire and exploding), all of the time,
You can understand...
That when she confided in me with her
deepest darkest secrets,
I had no problem molding myself
to fit who she was

And to be what anyone ever
needed me to be was all I was
ever good for
Mar 2014 · 247
something it's not
Kelly Landis Mar 2014
Running over your words,
I came to the realization that they
in all their glory,
really meant
Feb 2014 · 310
I knew.
Kelly Landis Feb 2014
The only reason I knew it was you was because of the stupid ******* hat you always wore when we were together. Either that or I could spot you from a mile away. The fact that I have run into you so many other times astounds me. The universe can love you or the universe can give you what you need at that time, and I feel like either way I'm bound to lose.

You had your arm draped protectively and affectionately around her and I was completely surprised. And ******* angry. That too. I sat and sipped on my margarita like this was the most normal of all nights, like there wasn't a fiery red rage surging through my body. I went over to you and said hello, looked her right in the eyes, "I'm Kelly."

I knew you would move on quickly. I knew it wasn't right from the start. I knew your baggage and your past were things that I could not rescue you from. I knew ALL of these things and yet. Yet this is what happens.

I'm the girl that becomes replaced.
I'm the girl with good intentions but poor execution.
I'm the girl who asks you to stay,
When in reality I'm the one who ends up leaving.
But never soon enough...
Processing emotions.
Kelly Landis Feb 2014
They say when you fall in love
with someone
you just know.
well ****,
I got nothing

besides a gallery full of lost
dreams and drunk
text messages that don't
mean a thing
Feb 2014 · 848
Kelly Landis Feb 2014
Finding my way is like a never ending
maze and I'm afraid that when I finally
reach the end, nothing will be waiting -
and especially not you
Jan 2014 · 487
warm hands
Kelly Landis Jan 2014
Your hands left mine,
To dangle within the stagnant space
I stood still because I wanted
to memorize your breath
in patterns, the frigid cold
seeping through my mittens
I finally started to realize
how heavy the impact of being
alone would
Jan 2014 · 256
believe me
Kelly Landis Jan 2014
I'm still that little girl,
Ten years old with ***** palms
hands up; and wide eyed
looking for reasons to make this okay
So, when I tell you that I'm
dependant on you for a reason,
That I do not know any better,
I'm really telling you the
Jan 2014 · 642
Kelly Landis Jan 2014
You held my face between your palms
I was the baby, the experiment
of my own demise
liquid courage dripping from your lips
and I soaked it up
like every other girl would
I refuse to be with you
in this state of mind
the mind of my father
slurring, with no boundaries
besides the edge of the bed
Your only safety net
against the drunken rage
and your endless hope of
i am not here
for you

i am leaving
phone me tomorrow
and i will not pick up
This is the
of what you tried to create
me, willing little girl
begging for your attention
against the forces of this world
I'm gone
I'm gone
g o n e

all that i intended
falling to sand
between the cracks of my fingers
pouring through my being
and while we're here
in this state
you can have my

in fragments
Jan 2014 · 344
Kelly Landis Jan 2014
I haven't been inspired in days,
Weeks, the months are
Flying by and here I am
Pen in hand,
Poised perfectly over paper
And nothing to show for it
Besides my own **** loneliness
Dec 2013 · 447
every single detail
Kelly Landis Dec 2013
I backed away,
Backed up because that was expected,
And actually I scared myself.
I ran into you like it was
An act of fate that put us
In the same room, an act of fate
That left us breathing the same air
And left me out of breath,
Struggling to understand
Why that girl's hand on your shouler
Enraged me...
I made my claim,
But you accepted it like
A boy who accepts an award
He doesn't deserve to earn
All pride, and no love
Where is the love, the magic?
At times you touch me like you
Have it all underneath your
Fingertips, head to toe
Other mornings I'll wake up
Feeling cold, laying beside you
Never wrapped up within you
Tell me what you want
Don't let this get away
It deserves to be noticed...
Nov 2013 · 461
mind game
Kelly Landis Nov 2013
Sometimes I think of how my body must be so coiled up inside, emotions hugging the stretch of my bones, sadness wrapping itself in the in-between of muscle and ligaments. A maze...

I'll never make it out of myself.
Sep 2013 · 672
Kelly Landis Sep 2013
we sat on the uncomfortable creaking fold out chairs, me beside people i barely knew but who knew you better then i ever did. there was not enough, not enough flowers, music, laughter, pictures, energy...the room felt like everything had been ****** out of it as soon as we all congregated. dear god, i am so sorry...i know death can feel like a prickly heat consuming the whole body, i shook your sister's hand and she looked at me waiting, but i didn't know what else to say. we sang one song, and all i could do was look out at the window at the sun shining on the leaves of the tree...i envisioned you underneath it with a joint and one of your hippie dresses saying, "kelly, c'mon, life isn't so bad..." you were a wonderful person, i'm ashamed it took me longer then it should have to realize that.
Sep 2013 · 374
something else
Kelly Landis Sep 2013
all i ever asked was for a little clarity,
to clear the space to make room for me
to see my breaths, to make the marks
in the air, know that if i were to
press my hand across my chest i would
feel some kind of heart beating,
i have become so hardened of
anything besides regrets
and resentment,
some more bitter thrown
all over me,
and sinking under my skin
they turn and point at me,
my skin turning black with
that kind of poison,
god, do you know what this is?
what is happening to me,

sometimes i don't even
feel human
Sep 2013 · 512
roll with the punches
Kelly Landis Sep 2013
All I seem to feel is you
Inside of me,
Throughout the veins
which have long stopped
You have gone,
Vanished into another lover’s bed
And I am stuck here
In this dingy hell
With the burning sheets
And the night as
Black as black
Is all I see
And when I go to reach
For some part of you
For one last time
All I feel are the crimes
That you have committed
And the heat against my ribs
This is the final say,
The final truth
The final spin at something
Worth holding onto
And you let me go,
While I purposely let you
Jul 2013 · 908
slippery slope
Kelly Landis Jul 2013
I didn't realize that the moments I shared with you, would have to be tucked neat and pretty into the crevices of my heart. I didn't realize that I would be left to remember for the both of us, or that the friend that I should have been was nowhere to be found. I'm sorry. I know in comparison to others you knew, it doesn't matter. My memories are slim, and fleeting glimpses. But I wanted to know you better, more, I wanted to be a sounding board and instead I let your secrets fall from my mouth like stolen gems. There's no one else here to blame. God, you are so brave, I can barely stand it.
Kelly Landis Jul 2013
When I first met you,
I already had begun to make
excuses for you.
The things that you were lacking,
were replaced by something else
and where you had missed,
I had noticed

So when you ask me to take the good,
with the bad, but there is so much good to be had,
I wonder if my body, my heart
is capable of enduring your pain,
Because yours will become mine,
and while I know I am going
to try and save you,
Play the superwoman I know I can be,
I am going to be disappointed
Again and again

When you choose this
over me
Jul 2013 · 564
flat line
Kelly Landis Jul 2013
sometimes i wish i could reach inside of my chest,
detach my heart, hold it in my hands
and watch what emerges.
it may take ages to uncover the truth.
would you still be by my side?
Jul 2013 · 455
on feeling used
Kelly Landis Jul 2013
the feeling in the pit of your stomach,
like someone's steeled toed boot kicked you
straight on, and hard
i slid my *** across the wooden stairs
trying to make my getaway as quiet as possible
my shirt inside out, and my heart bleeding
god, why do i try to find love in these places
the places that will hurt me the most
i reached the last step and ran,
ran to my car, past the old farm house
started the engine and sped away
i really thought you would have asked me
at least if i had gotten home okay,
but honestly
even that was too much to ask for
Jun 2013 · 817
rock bottom
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
I never asked you to be something,
I simply just wanted to sit beside you
Let the others look upon us like I had some
Kind of claim over you,
Even though we both know
I never will
It sits in my stomach like a rock,
heavy, but somehow I still believe
that it has the smallest chance
to float
Jun 2013 · 342
both of us
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
I remembered where you lived,
even if I knew it was the wrong decision to be made,
I still showed up, and sat beside you,
Entertained you while in bed,
Baring everything and nothing,
Because we both know,
I don't have that much to give anymore

But you still cherish my company
Like it's something you've never seen before
And I watch your face as it reminds me of a million others
But still, I wanted to stay
Just one more second longer
And I think that should speak more
For the both of us
Jun 2013 · 583
taken care of
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
You cried to me on the porch steps, like a small boy.
The round moon bearing down, and the cigarette smoke shifting
I held my arms out, but I realized a second too late,
That I am not capable of saving you anymore.

Your mother probably would have looked at me like I was crazy,
if she were still here to see the person that you have become,
But I sometimes like to hope that she would have embraced me,
With her warm eyes and her warm voice,
Because you were always her favorite,
And now you are mine,
and at least that is something that we could have shared.
Jun 2013 · 385
Maybe I was wrong.
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
I can't seem to place you in a little box,
With a nice pretty bow attached,
You're just not the type of person
Who I can figure out so easily
But I woke up beside you,
And you were still smiling,
So I figured I had done something right
And although there may not be any more mornings,
Know that I gave to you what I could,
What I thought you needed
Jun 2013 · 411
a lifetime of hurt
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
You could tell me a million
things with just that    one    look
That one glare, as you sit
and stare at me at the dinner table

No, you don't know me
And no matter how many times
you try and unravel the threads
You know you are just making it worse
for: dad
Jun 2013 · 1.3k
On loving someone too much
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
I laid beside you again,
An act that I realize now
Has become sacred, cherished
Because I never know when
the last time will be
I count the seconds, hours
Until you awake,
Look at me sleepy eyed
and sleepy faced and it takes
all of my strength not to
reach up and kiss you
good morning, the puzzle pieces
sliding, shifting all over our
playing board but
I'm so tired of playing,
I'm tired of fighting, chasing,
Caring too much and you
caring too little
And all it ever seems to
amount to is me -
Standing alone,
Loving you
While you look at me questioning
why I don't just let go already
Jun 2013 · 929
Kelly Landis Jun 2013
I don't have a lot to say to you these days,
Not because I don't want to but
because I would rather hold onto my
But hey,
Thanks for trying anyway.
May 2013 · 292
Kelly Landis May 2013
She's crazy.
And she's crazy for you.

I fit nowhere in this equation.
I have a head, that is placed firmly upon my shoulders,
and while my mind may sometimes float in the clouds,
it is only because I am dreaming of better you's.
Dreaming of better possibilities,
and you should know **** well by now,
that I deserve it.
May 2013 · 440
Kelly Landis May 2013
I always offered every part of myself, to you
So when I found out about what she had done,
How she had made you feel
Hurt seeping from your every pore,
I rushed down right away
To be there.

But in the process, I have realized something
To not put myself first, before you,
Before her,
Is killing me
That is the worst part of it all,
To watch myself continue to give to you,
The things that I no longer have
To watch myself continue to hold you,
When it's all just false comfort
A way for me to feel okay about
the things that have taken place

I still am trying.
Does that speak volumes,
or am I running around in circles again?
I always wanted to go somewhere with you,
Anywhere but where we remained,
And you taught me to love,
but in ways that were too late,
In ways that I noticed
Long after the fact
In ways that I could not validate,
Yet you never validated me,
Never any part of me

I want to know what makes you hurt,
Just like you spilled those ***** secrets to her,
Yet was I never good enough to know?
We shared everything else,
But I realize now that she may have known
you better, within the span of a two week time
I sat on my knees, hands clasped, begging you
You accused me of never asking,
But it doesn't mean I wasn't still thinking,
Wasn't still aching for you to reach out
I shouldn't be the one to pry
I just didn't want be that girl,
Yet she was that girl for you

And look where it got us,
Back to the same place, all over again
Rewind and repeat, and yet

*I'll still be here.
This is drawn out, but I just kept going with it. Oh well.
May 2013 · 525
If I had the courage
Kelly Landis May 2013
I would tell you that I love
you so insanely much, it hurts me.
But we are not meant
to be here,
like this.

We are not meant to spill our
secrets to one another,
We are not meant to to sleep side by side,
I was not made to be your sacrifice,
and you were not made to be mine.

If a tragic love story has a
tragic ending, ours would be the
most tragic of them all.
Only about a boy who loves a girl,
A girl who loves a boy,
and a world that destined them
to be apart,
not by choice,
but because it just wasn't
I already know that no matter what, I cannot jam the puzzle pieces together...anymore.
May 2013 · 473
history...means nothing
Kelly Landis May 2013
You love her already....and it's only been 7 days.
It took you months to tell me you loved me,
you waited and waited, showed me and touched me.
So, what is the difference?
She makes you feel alive, and "special,"
so I'm left wondering,
what hides inside my fingertips,
what is waiting to come forth from my lips,
is what I have to give not sparkling,
not magnificent,
not worthy?
If I were to stand beside her,
hip to hip, would you compare like
it meant nothing?
Would you know your choice right away?
Even if we have history, I suppose it means nothing
in the way that she seems to look at you.
Like that.
May 2013 · 483
drowning in alcohol
Kelly Landis May 2013
Her smile is ******* beautiful.
I don't even know what to do with it.
I'm sure you don't either,
You are probably looking at her like she is the
best thing that has ever happened to you,
in a way that you have NEVER looked at me.
She probably is, the best thing.
At this moment in time, I can't be happy for that.
I have so many emotions, sitting at the bottom of an empty bottle,
and her ******* smile is all that I can seem to see.
Not even you,
not even any ounce of you,
Just her.
And I'm sure your life with her will be beautiful,
I'm sure of it.
May 2013 · 643
Kelly Landis May 2013
There's always more that could have been done.
But I think I walked away just in time.
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