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Jan 2015 · 1.8k
Aging (10w)
Laura Mankowski Jan 2015
Atop the Ferris wheel I noticed; my fearlessness was fading.
Nov 2014 · 1.0k
On the Day You Were Born
Laura Mankowski Nov 2014
They say the darkest hour is just before dawn
And it is
I know because
On the day you were born
I started my journey toward you
And couldn't tell where the black tar of the road ended and the black tar of the sky began
On the day you were born
As the purple hue of the dawn began
The whole world started to wake Unaware of the miracle occurring
And as the purple haze grew into the Bright, orange, burning morning
And the sun finally crested over the trees
What leaves remained on them in this crisp, cool, end of fall
Looked to be alive,
Burning with the energy that was being created
And as I drove down that straight highway toward you
On the day you were born
I've never seen a more beautiful day
More beautiful trees
A more beautiful highway
On the day you were born
Nov 2014 · 431
Ambush
Laura Mankowski Nov 2014
When they say
"Tell me about them".
And
You freeze
Oct 2014 · 388
Words
Laura Mankowski Oct 2014
Words on a page
                            Arranged
In a particular fashion
    Hold weight
                   Where as what I say
Spills out and
                    F     L    O   A    T   S
Away
Without the benefit of style
To weigh it
                  D
                     O
                         W
                             N
Oct 2014 · 586
Fine
Laura Mankowski Oct 2014
"How are you?"
The crispness of your voice, cracking the surface of the perfect silence
It snaps me out of my own thoughts
Eyes focused, smile on; "Fine" I manage
"Good" you ramble and continue on to yourself; I assume since you skipped the pause -
The pause where you debate if I'm telling the truth
I retreat back into my thoughts
Eyes transfixed on that spot in the distance
The one I'll draw to me if I
Just
Keep
Staring
I'm not sure how long I've been gone, but judging by the renewed silence, I've missed my cue
To back up your outrage
Or congradulate your assertiveness
Blah blah blah
"Are you listening?"
The tone a little more inquisitive, eyes a little more searching
Eyes focused, smile on, "Sure" I try
You sigh and wait
I'm happy to let the silence have it's turn to talk
You clear your throat
I sit
"Fine", you lunge- trying to pierce my armor
I parry, not baited
Who has time to be sad?
Why talk about feelings?
What I want, who I miss, how to cope
I smile weakly
"I'm fine"
Change the subject
Oct 2014 · 2.0k
Communication Breakdown
Laura Mankowski Oct 2014
**** isn't what happens with less clothes on.
Intimacy is.
Oct 2014 · 265
30 (10w)
Laura Mankowski Oct 2014
At what point,
Did my hands
Turn into my mother's?
Sep 2014 · 595
Entanglements (10w)
Sep 2014 · 314
Excuse (10w)
Laura Mankowski Sep 2014
You said it can't work

Then why do I care?
Sep 2014 · 463
Too Little Too Late
Laura Mankowski Sep 2014
I was too busy dealing with everything else
To realize you were a crisis
So I swiftly
And utterly too efficiently
(With a practiced hand, no less)
Swept you away
Today
(Far too little, far too late)
I sat down to breathe
And the crushing blow
(The almost crippling loss)
Of your absense
Hit
In the morning, I'll resume life
At top speed, no doubt
(Which you resented for its- my- rigidity)
But for tonight
I'll sit still with you
(Isn't that what you wanted anyway?)
Aug 2014 · 292
The People We Were
Laura Mankowski Aug 2014
I'm sorry you've come all this way.
I'm not sure that you hoped to find
You see
These barren spots
These hallow spaces
Don't hide the remnants of who we were
Those people are six feet under
Keeping company with others who were lost
These spaces, those spots
Are the vacant rooms
We will never rent again
May 2014 · 2.1k
Poet: A Definition
Laura Mankowski May 2014
Emotionally, hyper-sensitive
Resulting in well placed words
Especially at 2am
May 2014 · 579
Days (Grief part II)
Laura Mankowski May 2014
181 days before you died, you said we couldn't see you without your teeth in.
136 days before you died, you told the nurses you had to stop partying.
118 days before you died, you called the dog a ****.
69 days before you died, we brought you home.
54 days before you died, you told me to have more fun.
6 days before you died, I said "I love you" and you said "Yes, but I love you forever".
That was the last thing you ever said to me.
3 days before you died, you couldn't talk, but I talked to you.
1 day before you died, I told you I'd see you tomorrow.
And I did, but you didn't see me.
331 days after you died, I'm still here.
And you still love me.
May 2014 · 7.0k
Violence Is An Epidemic....
Laura Mankowski May 2014
But more sad songs and poems
Are written every day.
May 2014 · 765
Love
Laura Mankowski May 2014
What if,
The definition is different
For everyone
It finds?
Apr 2014 · 367
Coffee
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
If both our hearts are broken,
What will coffee fix?
Apr 2014 · 558
Grief (part I)
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
See,
I walked into your room
And the closet door was open and there were clothes in it,
And that's impossible because I helped go through your things
What we trashed
What we donated-
I took the bag back to the rehab unit myself.
What we kept-
The white sweater you asked for, a button down that reminds me of you....
Which means-
To everyone else that closet is now just extra empty space
And that's exactly what I can't stand.
Apr 2014 · 848
Rice
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
She was warned that a collection of rice would weigh a lot.
She shook her head and claimed nonsense while exhibiting the size of each grain.
And her collection grew with marvelous and hideous grains or rice
Until
9:30pm one Saturday, while she was sitting on a couch with loved ones, laughing at baseball
And she knew, if she drew one more breath-
She would implode.
The bag would explode
Millions, billions of grains would come spilling out of the wound.
She ran
Hyperventilated the whole way home-
Not even home, dog sitting was more rice she picked up that week.
Curled in a ball all night, counting the seconds until she could flee to her sanctuary-
Retrieve her thread
Sew the hole
Hold onto the grain
Every breath a dagger
Every heart beat, a beat for a grain-
The reason she has them to begin with
Apr 2014 · 381
BFF
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
BFF
Today I realized I met you 4 years ago.
The exact date was sometime last week, and I wanted to check but I've burned everything you've given me.
Yes, the book went first.
One day you'll go online and see all the loving things I wrote about you, I've changed to hate.
That's not maturity.
(Neither was the fire really)
Ask me if I care.
That I haven't changed them,
Isn't forgiveness.
If you find it all, it'll break your heart.
At one time, not so long ago, that would have killed me.
Now I feel.... unphased, unbothered, uninterested.
You're just a memory who's clarity fades in and out along with my fondness.
This appears to be a lot of anger, a lot of hurt and bitterness.
So tell me,
Why does "Beast of Burden" bring me to my knees? Take my breath away? Break my heart all over again?
I've perfected *****.
Now I'd like to learn healing.
Apr 2014 · 232
Who Are You?
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
People ask who I am
What I'll become
Who I hope to be
What I hope to be
I am who I want to be
I store the parts of me I like to hide
Right here, in plain sight of strangers
Who just take me as I am
Apr 2014 · 415
Half
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
It seems like everyone is wounded.
Halved at the very least.
The pain radiating from my chest down to my stomach tells me I'm in more pieces that that.
It's hard to fix what you can't tell is broken.
Something is certainly not working.
Something is clearly broken.
Something I'm starting to think will heal itself
And I'll be left with more or less of a limp in my
Emotions
Reactions
Love
Apr 2014 · 451
Time
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
How do you know who you are?
You start asking at such a young age and I've never met anyone at any age that has an answer.

Seems like there's just what you do and what you don't do. There's who you love and who you don't. They say the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy.

I keep getting older. We all keep getting older, but I can FEEL it. In my bones, in my muscles, in my brain, in my heart.

More like what's left of the pieces of my broken heart.

I think the worst part is I think I broke it. I've spent so much time waiting for someone or something or to find me that I broke it trying to defend it.

***** really.

People love me and I am too terrified to love them back. I'm too afraid that if they see the whole me they'll leave, so I hide.

I live in a carefully structured, carefully hidden life, in a small room, mostly alone.

It's time to live. It's time to live now.
Apr 2014 · 391
Aging
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I was walking my dog down the street at the first kiss of dusk
In the frosty warmth of one of the first days of Spring

No, that's not the beginning.

I woke to silence in the smothering snow one winter morning
And that's how I realized I hate it here
Here in this room I once reveled in
Here in this apartment, that was my sanctuary
This city
This state
This life

And after that morning,
The world looked different

So when I was walking down the street,
And these kids ran along
Screaming and laughing with glee
I thought, keep running, keep laughing
But it'll catch you eventually.
Apr 2014 · 1.2k
Lost and Found
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I don’t think you like being lost
I don’t mind so much
Truthfully, I usually don’t notice until I’m back
And I realized I glazed through the
Minutes, hours, days
You seem to notice every second
Cringing at the emptiness
I hurt for you
I hurt with you
Sometimes we have to leave
Get lost
In order to find
What we’re looking for
The answer
The part of ourselves
It’s easy for me
To take a step back and wander off
Deep into my own mind
Into other places, other worlds
I can walk right out of reality without thinking twice
And I don’t miss it
I wish I knew how to help you
Make it less painful
Make you less sad
Something I could do
Or say
To make you see
That we need to be lost
To be found
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Children are in such a hurry to grow up
I was
I thought grown-ups could be whoever they wanted
I didn’t realize that pieces of you fall away in the meantime
I wish I was a kid again so I still knew everything
Sometimes, you get lucky
And in someone else you find a part of you
One you didn’t even know slipped away
But instantly you recognize it
Like a childhood memento
So it’s really no wonder
Seeing them, being around them
Makes you feel better
Whole
Words become unnecessary, a look says more
And they can find you when you lose yourself
Bring you back
Ground you
And now that all the pieces are together
The puzzle complete
You’re aware
Nothing can break it apart again
Apr 2014 · 270
Embers of Hate
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
When you glanced into my eyes
I saw you looking
Frantically searching for something
Did you find it?
I wonder what you saw, what my eyes told you
Did they flash with the anger I was filled with?
Gleam with the tears I was fighting?
Or maybe they were emptily reflecting the void I’ve been desperately trying to fill
I’m glad I turned a quick heel and left
I don’t think I could stand to know the answer
Or more likely
See it in your eyes
Apr 2014 · 239
Never Gone
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
In the late hours, when life tiptoes around the stillness
The silence speaks volumes, screams to be heard
It carries to every dark corner and crevice, echoing in the emptiness
Awakening the shadows where your ghost lives
You visit me in the stillness
The silence
Remind me you’re always there
You come to me when the rest of the world
Is quietly sleeping
Busy forgetting
But not me
I wait for you
To let you know I remember
Wait for you
To let me sleep
Apr 2014 · 1.5k
Falling
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Falling
This notion of the ground slipping away
Circumstances make people become-
Different
Hardens them somehow
Emotion takes its toll,
Wears you out,
Tires you
If you hurt long enough-
It’s easier to be hollow
Trust me
Falling
When you can’t remember which way is up-
Things like being more
Or is it less?
Of, well anything
Don’t seem to matter
Solid ground
Like cold, wet, cement after the rain
Something real to latch onto
To stop the dizzying spiral
Something
Someone
To ground you
Remind you who you are
To bring you back
From the dead
Or is it ******?
Knowing the breadcrumbs are there
To lead me back
Is how I know
I’ll survive the fall
Apr 2014 · 1.3k
Graduation
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Age,
Has tale tell signs that show up in the mirror
Reminding us of things we’ve done
When I look into the mirror I still see my childhood self
I sit across from you and wonder
How 8 year old me
Knows such a mature, intelligent grownup
Who knew that fleeting moments gather at the end?
I smile
A genuinely happy smile and chuckle
I have no words to explain
How absurd life is
How funny time is
How we’re still standing

And until this very moment
I was that kid
Who returned a shy whisper across the aisle
Without a thought of the future
So I smile
A genuinely happy smile and chuckle
Because everything has changed
And nothing has
At the same time
Apr 2014 · 373
Want Ad
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Looking for love
In the wrong places
Looking for something not on faces
Something different, something above
Your(e) average

Looking for love
But not chases
Not willing to search in small places
To cliché is it like a dove
Flying in the face of what matters

Looking for love
Not just traces
Or a million roses in vases
Something right that fits like a glove
That’s what you’re looking for
Looking for love
Apr 2014 · 1.0k
The Truth About the World
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I’ve been told a lot of things in my lifetime
To varying degrees of certainty (mine) and veracity (theirs)
To say the least
With the sudden nature of being
******
Into maturity, I realize that the stock I placed into these things-
The beliefs of others
Has no more lift than a pig’s wings
I’ve been allowing the smoke and mirrors (theirs) to out shadow the truth (mine)
But to what end?
Amongst the smoldering rubble of the burnt bridges (theirs)
Lays a soul (mine)
So send out the dogs to search for a sign of life
Apr 2014 · 3.8k
Black Sheep
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
No one is perfect
Or expected to be
Unless you happen to share a gene or two with this sort
And as if their generation was completely right
(the pattern of perceived perfection is a long lineage)
They pass their judgment
One generation to the next
The gossip makes its way across state lines
The tale of manipulation and corruption
Bred within our borders
Finds its place with mythical tales
Of mobsters and cat burglars
On cops

You work your magic
Sweet-talking people out of money
Not even Satan’s speech was so smooth
Talent for memorizing numbers
Credit card
Pin
But not your grandmother’s
Stuns all
If she knew of your antics
Pallbearers would have a heavy load
But fear not
Keeping secrets from the old and feeble
Is our talent
Apr 2014 · 967
Stiff Upper Lip
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I wish I could say what it feels like
But I can only tell you what it looks like from here-
Far away, behind these eyes that long to
Blink, to close, to pause
To cry
My eyes don’t lie- and sometimes I wish they would
But the truth, my thoughts, my
Feelings
Are always written, right there,
Far away, behind these eyes that long to
Blink, to close, to pause
To cry
Apr 2014 · 353
The Foolish Girl
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Every time I open my mouth
Another chance to tell you goodbye
Evades me
I stutter and sit in silence
Unable to get rid of you
I find myself telling you anything
To make you jealous or angry or something
Except what you are
And you
Avoid each comment, each story
Side stepping every avenue
To say something
But I know what you think
I know how you feel
But you won’t say it
And I can’t say goodbye
So
Here we go again
Apr 2014 · 1.2k
When I Loved You
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I am not a truth seeker
Though I pretend to be
I would rather be comforted
By lies
Reality is far too obtrusive
And far fetched
For me
I am not a truth seeker
So look into my eyes
And tell me, one more time
You love me
Apr 2014 · 577
The Ghosts That Follow
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
It’s folded up like a high school note
But has more weight
Dredging up memories best forgotten
Bringing the ghosts that linger here, and
Oh, there are so many ghosts
That return in moments when emotion takes over-
When you have to remind yourself to breathe
Turning it over in your hands
Repeatedly
Turning it over in your hands
You let the paper do the talking
Retracing steps long washed from any pavement
Feeling the ghosts gather
******* the air out of the room
And- with a deep breath
You fold it up,
Banishing the ghosts back to their dark depths
Needing to save the only memories you have
Even if they are ghosts
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
When you were young, what did you think your life would be?
When I close my eyes, I can still see every detail
But I never saw people
I wrote myself off as
Unattached
Never really here, always trying to be there
You’d be surprised
How easy it is to turn off emotion
If you practice

Now I find the clichés about life to be true
Something about constant change
My grandmother singing
“People, people who need people”
Somewhere in the back of my head
Perhaps it’s a mature stance
To value people over things and ideas

Maybe I was just wrong
Or I’m losing my edge
It’s surprising how much it hurts to turn emotion on
To let myself care
But the things I never concerned myself with
Have a strange new importance
My softer, duller edges seem to be screaming something I used to be unable to hear
And for the first time
I understand
Apr 2014 · 1.9k
Silence
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
I never could find the words
To say what I was feeling
I thought though,
You could see them around me
Like the glow of radiation
You read about in comics

I expected people to listen
And find my words somewhere in the silence
But no one did
And my words floated around in the air
And disintegrated
Somewhere thousands of miles above the earth

I never could find the words
To say what I was feeling
I thought though,
If I wrote them down
Told the story
My story

People would understand
And find my meaning somewhere on the page
But no one did
The blank pages stared
Meaning never came
And they disintegrated
Somewhere thousands of miles below the earth
Apr 2014 · 1.9k
Lost
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Where have I gone?
The person I was and swore I’d always be
Somehow, while discussing cheap beer soaked high school memories
I’ve lost myself
Lost my direction
Let others define who I am
Or at least who I should be
I was always so sure of myself
And uncompromising on the matter
How did I let this happen?
And you
I thought I knew you
But I can’t tell if you’re lost or found
If the person that I respected
Was ever really you
Or if I was fooled into thinking
You
Were something else I needed
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Being young
Sitting in the passenger’s seat watching the rapid
Secretly racing
Always losing
Amazed by the speed
In which this train flew down the street
I still race the rapid
Only
I no longer lose
Bound to passengers and yellow lights I am not

I once saw someone hit by it
Feet lying in the street
Illuminated by blue and red flashing lights
Reflecting in the night’s sky
The story never made the papers

In my mind I keep seeing
Wreck after wreck
Train versus car
Bent metal
Screeching tires
Burnt rubber
Then silence
As bodies droop
Hunched over steering wheels
No superman to save them
No hope for ****** scenes

And I drive over these tracks
Holding my breath
Fearing the tires slipping
Or the gears failing
But I’m always safe
As I glide
Bump bump
Across
Never hit
Never crushed

My mind slips back
To the dead
Thinking that they never knew
What was coming
Never thought the tons of metal
Hurling toward them would
Hit

And as I drive away
Tracks fading in my rearview mirror
I wonder
If their thoughts
As they prepared for impact
Turned to superman
Apr 2014 · 1.0k
Four Letter Words
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
The truth of the matter is
That the truth doesn’t matter
Blame is the name of the game you play
Needing a reason, a peg to hang your hat on
A timeline of facts to rationalize it all away
Loss is the four letter word none of us can get our mouths to say
And the fear
That this might not be over
Now or ever
Only feeds your fire
But your blinders are obscuring too much
Don’t worry your focus will be dutifully noted
As will the list of things you lost
And I am among them
Apr 2014 · 469
House of Cards
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
It was always a house of cards
I just don’t think any of us thought it would come down like this
I always wondered how it looked from the outside
‘Cause from the inside-
It’s a wonder anyone was ever fooled
I wonder how I was conned
How I thought that things-
No, no, no
You, were normal
That this was okay
Well, you can keep standing here
Pushing paper
Hoping to stop the winds of change
But my eyes are open
And I’m scattering your cards as I go
Apr 2014 · 292
Drained
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
The aftermath of the incident-
Which I’m sure no one saw coming-
I didn’t
But we’re all here now aren’t we?
The ones who worry,
Fearing they’ll miss the moment when my soul cracks-
The ones who drink
And the ones who listen,
It must be tiring, trying to force sound from silence-
But I’m not empty or lost
Not even angry or hurt
It’s a strange sense of calm
A tranquility
As I close my heart
Apr 2014 · 5.0k
Chivalry
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Chivalry is dead
This I was taught at age eight
While sitting at my poorly organized desk in the third grade
Still believing cooties were being bred in the boys around me
The death of chivalry was not hard to fathom
Chivalry is dead
When we were young
Listening to the stories of old maids
Recounting tales of bitter divorce
In between addition problems
Making sure no one saw us counting on our fingers
Chivalry is dead
We thought
But what was it anyway?
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
The last thing I wrote
About you
Was nicer than I expected
It didn’t reflect my façade
Or yours
As usual the truth just slipped
Out
I stared at the words
Black and white blots on the page
Looking for some meaning
Or for you
I stared so long the letters stared to jumble
They floated around and mashed together
But there was no meaning
There was no you
There wasn’t even me
At least not the person I know
There was
Hurt, regret and longing
A mess that reflected us perfectly
No way of telling which way was up
But, as usual
Down was easily visible in the words splayed across the page
And we were both there
All along
Apr 2014 · 386
First Breath
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
You broke my heart because I broke yours
I think that’s what it is
It just took me this long to realize
But I think it’s time
To force myself to put pen to paper
I think I really believed you were coming back
But when push came to shove-
When I said it out loud-
It was like I’d been holding my breath this whole time
And finally, my lungs filled with air
And my heart finally shattered
Because you’re not coming back
And “we” are so wrapped up in everything I do
That sometimes it’s like you’re just in the other room
But avoiding the topic of you
Or thinking about you
Won’t bring you back
And I need to start breathing again
Apr 2014 · 400
Exposure
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Wearing your heart on your sleeve, but under a jacket
Forgetting it’s there when you get too warm
Feeling thawed, you let down your guard and shed layers
No on mentions it, if they see it at all
Too afraid of bringing attention to their own
Exposure
So you mingle and rub elbows
Unaware of the damage being done
Until
The night ends
It gets cold
You reach for your jacket
But
What you can’t see, that I can
From across
The room
Is that your bumps and bruises
Scrapes and scars
Aren’t wounds
They are marks of distinction, testaments of strength
Reminders of love
Hope, for the future
Apr 2014 · 562
Moving Day
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
We never talk
About the day the movers came and filled two trucks with our things
How in a matter of hours they took 13 years-
3 floors, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, fully furnished attic-
13 years of kids playing
Where I went through 4 schools
Broke the window
Learned to drive

We never talk
About the day we sat on the radiator in the dining room and saw clear across the house
You were crying
And I put on a brave face to comfort you-
How you walked out the red front door and didn’t look back

Well I looked back
I went to our old house
I saw how they painted my dining room red
How they tore up all the carpet
The living room, now orange
The new kitchen complete with see through doors on the refrigerator

How you think that ridding the walls of old wallpaper
And putting up a coat of paint-
Will silence those walls from disclosing other people’s secrets
That a new carpet and new countertops will make this new place yours

Then you invite your friends to come marvel at the new place
The new royal blue carpet
The choice of paint color
The new countertops, unscratched, unstained, unscathed
And you tell them you don’t miss the old house at all
Apr 2014 · 1.2k
Mail in Redemption
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Mail in your coupon to save a few bucks
Use the money to buy time off your sentence
Cutting out a coupon
Sure beats cutting up your soul
Send away for redemption
If you can find a stamp
Mail in redemption
The answer to salvation
Lies
On the box
Apr 2014 · 303
Headline
Laura Mankowski Apr 2014
Headline:
Mild mannered man morphs into monster
I thought to myself as I rolled over in bed
Tangling myself further in the jaws of the sheets

Sleep was running around in the distance of my closed eyes
Afraid to come close
I could still hear your voice echoing in the house and my ears

This time I wasn’t afraid
Visions of scared children charging the stairs to escape
The booming voice tore through my head
While I tried to ****** sleep from the abyss

How you managed to fool so many people into thinking you were Clark Kent
Mild mannered man morphs in the living room
Only feet away

How I wanted them all to see you
But sleep seemed to lurk so close now

Idea for a story I thought
As I shot straight up in bed
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