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Apr 2018 · 548
the air
Madeline Apr 2018
he said,
(this boy
who is not who i love
but could have been
in a life
where i didn't love
someone else already),

"i would kiss you now,
if i could."

i said,

"i know. i feel it."

i said,

"it's in the air."

i said,

"it feels thick, between us."

i said,

"the air



"tremulous," he repeated. "that's good."

and so we sat
in the tremulous air,
me and this boy i could love,
but don't,
but don't,
but maybe.

we sat in the tremulous air
and we didn't act on it
and i'm glad,

but now

i can't

Nov 2014 · 653
Madeline Nov 2014
I used to write to wend my way out of the darkness,
to talk myself out of the sadness,
to cure my broken heartedness,
but now I find that

Because you took my heart in your hands
and because you bared and repaired me
I have only joy.

I alone hold the joy of your freckled skin,
I alone know your virtues
and I alone hold your sins.
I alone know your tenderness, your truth,
and I alone have you, and

You, alone, carry my burdens and my vices,
hold my laughter and my care,
and you alone have brought me here.
I haven't written in about a year, and I thought you all deserved an explanation.
Aug 2013 · 1.1k
a reunion, brief and sweet
Madeline Aug 2013
there is an undauntable light in my eyes
and a hickey sliced warmly across the middle of my throat,
and the half-lingered and utter warmth of your hands in mine.
there are murmured "i love you"s
and unsuppressed smiles
and the promise of
soon, soon,
seeing each other again.
there is rewarded patience
and the warming of my long unkissed mouth
to yours
and there is the reassurance that
yes, it was worth it.
for p
Aug 2013 · 2.1k
tattoo heartbeats
Madeline Aug 2013
The rabbit-tap tattoo beatings of our hearts,
They leave imprints on our chests
Our necks
The hollows of our hips.
The soprano pull off my breathing
And the forever-hold of your fingers,
It marks me,
A you-shaped tattoo in my heart.
Fingerprint bruises on my skin,
Scratches at the small of your back,
They are more permanent than ink,
More lasting than ink and more precious.

Alcohol hazes,
Smoke screens in our kisses,
Tumbled words and slurred laughter,
Our rabbit-tap tattoo hearts and our tangled-up legs,
The forever mark of our hushed hysteria,
It is more permanent than ink,
Cheap and wild and real.
A tattoo,
A stain of you and me
clinging to my skin
Aug 2013 · 900
love, the drunkenness
Madeline Aug 2013
this is love,
we'll do what we do if it gets us drunk,
we'll find what we find if it gets us drunk,
we'll risk what we risk
just for the untainted rush of your skin absorbing mine,
of hair and fingers and breathless things,
of push and pull and longing things,
the wildness, the want
the drunkenness, the drift
Aug 2013 · 1.1k
i am the kisser of skies
Madeline Aug 2013
I am my mother's only daughter
fear of the love, fear of the water
the wildest laughters and the sweetest of kisses,
the innocence my father misses

I am the kisser of skies,
open arms, open eyes

I am the shaker of your bones
sing me there, sing me home
shakenness and gentle wear,
steady my heartbeat, steady me there

I am the words before your lips,
careful whispers, restless hips
joyful fear and fearful laughter,
I am the heart whose stops you're after.

I am the kisser of skies,
open arms, opened sighs
Jul 2013 · 2.9k
hookah queen
Madeline Jul 2013
i am the hookah queen

       and drifting in my hookah dream, i find
that i have no one else

  to care for.

i know nothing of their bitterness,
                           their wantonness, their greed,

i know nothing of that world,

    only me.

              and sifting through my hookah dream,

              colored with a hookah ream,

and pulled apart with all the careless shadows,

                                 i smile, (i the hookah queen) and contentedly i drift,

i am going, i am going, i am gone.
Jun 2013 · 1.2k
pink lemonade skies
Madeline Jun 2013
under the pink lemonade sky i left you.
not really, because you left me first,
but i left your memory there.
in the summer twilight i left you.
i left you for vast skies and glorious people
and pink lemonade sunsets.
under the pink lemonade skies i left you,
and under the pink lemonade skies i ran head-on into myself.
Madeline Jun 2013
there is a place by the river
where i sit
and where i think
and where i watch the water
and the trees.
there was a person there today -
he had long hair
like a boy who used to love me,
and he was playing
a song
on his guitar
that i knew,
and it carried down the river,
down from the rocky spot where he was
to the tree-rooty dirt spot where i was.
in places like that
a stranger's music,
it seems natural.
it made me remember
that i am young
and joyful
and that the world is vast beyond my imagining.
it made me feel content
and whole
and it filled me with things i've felt my whole life
and still don't have a name for.
and later,
when i saw him walking up from the river,
carrying his guitar
and singing still
i thought,
he and i were,
for the length of a few songs,
the same.
that's what places like this
do to people,
and it's why i come here.
and i walked home
and i felt all the peace you can imagine.
i remember good things,
and this place is a good thing.
the boy who used to love me,
he is a good thing.
the sun on the water
and all my small joys,
those are good things.
a stranger's music,
a spot on the river,
it can remind you
that things are good
more often than they are bad.
it takes a certain place and a certain headspace to think like that,
but today i did.
there is a place by the river,
and that's what it does.
Madeline Jun 2013
as a disclaimer -
to you,
to everybody -
my poems capture, in a permanent way,
my temporary feelings.
as a disclaimer,
i am bombastic and aggressive
and prone to melodrama,
and honestly,
we're actually fine,
and we actually get along really well,
and i'm actually not as tortured and pained as i sound.
in fact
i really only feel the way i feel in my poems
0.2 percent of the time.
i'm actually very happy.
and not angry.
just for the record.
just so everyone knows
and no one has me institutionalized.
i'm great.
he's great.
this poem is a ******* but
i had to say
ignore me.
Madeline May 2013
i've said it all and still,
my heart is suffocating.
Madeline May 2013
i haven't fallen out of love with you yet,
and i miss you all the time
and i want you so much i can't even make myself breathe.
but i am exhausted.
i am exhausted with not having you.
i am exhausted with the back-and-forth i've been having with my heart.
i am exhausted and i am done.
twenty four hours ago i was planning out something to say to you.
i thought i was going to sit down with you and tell you.
i was going to tell you,
"i want you to know
that wherever you are
and whoever you're with
there is someone
who loves you
and who thinks you are special beyond belief,
and who believes in everything that you are."
i was going to tell you,
"think about it."
i was going to tell you,
"i hope that you'll love me back, someday,"
i was going to tell you,
"i don't expect it to be
but it's important that you know."
that was how i felt twenty four hours ago.
now, though,
i feel angry and disenchanted
and i feel exhausted.
i realize, now
that if you and i were to be you and i again
i need to be stronger
and you need to be the person you're going to be,
because i love you limitlessly,
in ways that, even if i fall in love with someone else, will not go away,
but the person that you are now?
i cannot stand.
the part of your life where you can't love me,
it isn't over yet,
and i'm not willing to feel small
and insecure
and second-best
when we're the people we're going to be,
that's when i'll love you.
that's when i'll try.
i'm not willing to deal with who you are right now.
right now you are a boy
who thinks he is larger than life,
who thinks that his cheap beer and his horrible friends make him alive,
who thinks he is above accountability,
above vulnerability,
above love.
right now you are in a post-high school haze,
and right now you are on top of the world.
and because i'm me and i can't help it i'll love you
and i'll think the things you do are forgivable
and i'll think the friends you keep are forgivable, too.
but because i'm me and i can help it i'll love other people, too
and i'll allow myself to be as free and as beautiful and as strong as i can be.
i'll allow myself to forget you a little bit and it will hurt, yes,
and i will fail, sometimes, yes,
but it will make me who i am going to be.
it will make me someone who is readier to love you
than the me who already has.
i will take a year.
i will leave the country,
i will live and drink and love,
i will smoke and laugh and embrace all of life that i can hold.
i will think i'm invincible,
i will write fearless stories and sing fearless songs,
i will write fierce poetry and make beautiful art.
and at the end of it all when i am where you are now,
when my life is ahead of me and i have learned more of myself,
when you have grown and lived
and when you have gotten college out of your system,
then i'll see.
i'll look at myself and i'll see if i do love you after all.
i'll look at myself and i'll know
that all the things i did didn't matter because they weren't with you,
or i'll know that i don't need you to live after all.
i will love you or i won't and i'll tell you either way.
corey, listen.
you changed my life,
and i've come to realize that i have a difficult time living without you.
but you made me small,
you made me afraid,
you made me weak.
i let you have all the power i had to give,
and you didn't mean to abuse it, i know.
you probably didn't even know
you had it.
i wasn't oblivious to loving you more,
to needing you more,
to expecting more of you.
i wasn't oblivious to your growing indifference,
but i think the ways we ended were wrong.
i think we have the potential to be more.
i think, sometimes, that our hearts are too much the same for us to be apart.
but i cannot want you anymore.
i want to learn, again,
to be confident, loud, fearless, and brave.
when i have relearned myself,
when you have changed,
when we are slightly different -
more mature,
more selfless,
more wise -
we will know.
when i have learned to love you without fear,
to open myself without expectation,
to trust things better,
we will know.
but i'm not going to try until then.
what i'm telling you is that even though you may not have known
that i was even holding on,
i'm letting you go now.
i'm releasing myself from you.
because i love you, ******* it,
i love you like you wouldn't believe.
but there are things about you that i cannot stand right now,
and i'm not willing to try.
you're an *******, corey,
and you're stubborn and self-centered and stupid,
and those are all things we have in common.
you're just a tool, i don't know how else to say it.
it's the least poetic thing i've ever put in a poem.
and your friends ****,
and frankly you ****,
and the things that have happened in the last twenty-four hours
make me disappointed and disgusted with you,
because i would like to think,
and i do think,
that you are so much more than any of that,
any of them,
and you are.
but you're not someone who acts like it, right now,
and that's okay,
but it keeps me from wanting to try.
not that you care,
not that you want me to try anyway,
not that you would probably even love me back, if you knew that i loved you.
i mean every single thing i've said here.
i've said it all,
i've let it out.
i'm taking a year for me,
for flings, for ****-ups, for whatever.
i want you to know that.
i want you to know that i still believe,
maybe naively,
that you and me could be more than what we were.
i want you to think about all of this sometimes.
i want you to keep reading my poems
and to read that letter i wrote you,
and to remember that you are missed, loved, and wanted,
but also to know that i am freeing myself.
Madeline May 2013
we can't speak now without arguing
because we are both too stubborn,
too self-righteous,
and too smart to back down from each other.
together we are a trainwreck.
we don't work,
we are polar and dangerous.
we **** each other off
and it isn't even malicious.
it's just our wiring, our too-similar similarities
and our too-wide differences.
it hurts
and it's certainly worse than the alternative.
Madeline May 2013
not very long ago i thought i was going to say to you,
"i love you."
i thought i would say,
"i want you,
and i hope you want me too,"
and i thought that maybe it was what i wanted.
but where has the innocence gone,
and where is the love?
and when did i stop needing you,
and more importantly when did i start again?
and then not very long ago
i was filled with the kind of anger and disgust
i'd forgotten i could feel for you.
it took the words and the breath right out of me.
i'd forgotten that part of loving you,
and all at once i remembered again.
it took the want and the respect right out of me
and it filled me with the deepest sadness.
a moment of short-sighted drunkenness,
it's not what i should remember about you.
it shouldn't consume the thousands of goodnesses i see in you
but it does.
a few hours ago i was in a place we shared once
and i ached for you so badly
and now, again, i am hollow.
you fill me up and you hollow me out
and i forgot that wanting you is exhausting,
but i remember now
and now, again, i am lost.
and i hope you ******* read this and i hope it ****** you off
and i hope it makes you think i'm immature or reactionary or naive
and i hope it makes you indignant or dismissive
and i hope you don't give a ****.
jesus, i hope it makes you think all sorts of terrible things about me,
i really do.
i hope it makes you think i'm pathetic,
i hope you think it's unfair
because you're **** right, i hold you accountable,
because you're better than all of them put together
and you act like it one and a half times out of ten.
you disappoint me as often as not, now.
isn't that terrible?
i used to think the sun rose on you,
i used to think it set on you,
i used to think you were everything in between.
not very long ago i was going to tell you.
i was going to sit you down and say it all to you
i was going to speak until i'd done everything i could do,
but now
i'd really rather not even look at you.
maybe i'll love you again
and i will again allow myself to be filled by you,
to feel all the things in the world for you,
to burst with love and with pain,
but tonight you hollowed me.
you left me shocked and sick and numb tonight,
angry and disgusted.
tonight you exhausted all the light i put to you,
you burned all the love,
burned it and scattered the ashes,
and you saved me from putting it back together again.
it's over now.
Madeline May 2013
there are parts of me that force the pain,
that let it roil in my bones until i am breathless.
it builds until i exhale it in an herbal smoke,
or until i write it in a fervent and blood-rushed poem.

there are parts of me that don't feel the pain.
these parts are healed, and most days they win out.
they pervade the unhealed parts of of my heart,
and they fill me with an ecstatic joy.

there are parts of me that remember
and there are parts of me that forget.
there are parts of me that take in what i feel and use it
and there are parts of me that gladly let it drift away.

there are parts of me that are strong
and parts of me that are not,
and mostly i only show one part or the other.
i have no in-betweens,
and that's why i am me and why you are you.
i believe that's why someone fell out of love with me
and i believe that's why i am so changeable, so wild, so full of doubt.

i am pieces and parts,
broken and lovely,
tessellated and electric and free.
May 2013 · 643
on memory and winter nights
Madeline May 2013
I remember when loving him wasn't so wildly painful,
and I remember backseats and whispered things
and I remember winter nights and tiny joys.
I remember when I fell asleep against his arm on the way home from a dance I hadn't wanted to go to -
I remember a kiss on the top of my head,
the gentlest thing you can imagine,
to wake me up.
I remember the thousands of tendernesses.
I remember the the ecstatic joy you filled me with.
I remember I couldn't sit still when you were close by -
I remember the electricity, the wildness
you put into my limbs and the rhythms of my heart.
And truth be told these are what I'd rather remember
and this is how I'd rather it be.
I'd like to hold onto the joy and the recklessness,
the love instead of the loss.
I'd rather remember our happinesses, because they were so many.
I know your fickleness and your faults,
I know that you are in a constant state of moving on,
that you do not hold on and that you probably don't remember
but you know that I do.
I carry things with me and nights like these,
they do make me remember. They make me want and ache and they fill me with things I don't have a name for. They make me breathless and nostalgic and crippled. They make me think, write, and love. They fill me with the same abandon that you did, only quieter now and deeper, but no less beautiful.
And it's an odd thing, to remember love without feeling it,
Or to feel love in ways you don't understand because they feel so odd and out of place, being only yours. It's a difficult game and an exhausting one, and I'm struggling, still, to find my footing.
Today I remember loving you.
Later I will remember missing you.
Later still I will remember remembering,
Or maybe I will forget altogether.
Madeline May 2013
and the fire smells like acid
and the moonlight looks like rain
and the ground, my feet don't feel it,
and suddenly i am filled.
with fear and with longing i am filled,
the brooding fear and the desperate longing.
the brooding fear that he won't know -
he will be missed.
he has been loved.
and what if i, at the end of it all, am only lost?
and the moonlight looks like rain
and the ground, my feet don't feel it
and i'm fearing the absence
and i'm waiting on the pain,
and i'm fearing its absence
because my heart, it's going numb,
and i swear, i can feel it,
the turning-away of feeling,
the willful numbness,
the manifesting fears.
May 2013 · 795
an extensive list of fears
Madeline May 2013
my fears are as follows.
i am afraid of water,
of pain,
of high-up places.
i am afraid of getting stuck in one place.
i am afraid of dying in a terrible way.
i am afraid of the medical irregularities of my heart,
the condition that gives me too many beats at one time
and that will, someday, cause the beats to stop altogether.
and i am afraid that my life will be nothing like i want it to be.
i am afraid that my art is mediocre
and my poems unoriginal.
i am afraid that i will never love anyone again,
and that i will be bound, forever, by his ghost.
i am afraid that my fear will choke out my hope,
and that i will ******* myself,
and cheat myself,
and extinguish my ambition with all my doubts.
i am afraid of myself,
but i am so endlessly inspired by everything else.
Madeline May 2013
last night i was filled with poetry -
filled to the brim, and now i'm not.
last night i was filled with pain and life
and with the joy of knowing things,
and now i am ordinary.
last night i wrote,
"he taught me how to bruise
before i bleed,"
on a slip of paper.
i knew what to do with the words then but
now i don't.
i have no poem to slip them into and
no storyline to follow them and
i can't even turn them into a painting.
they sit and they stay
and they stare at me and remind me
that i am not a writer, because i don't write when i most need to.
May 2013 · 701
a january chill took us
Madeline May 2013
the second you tried to break into my frozen heart -
was that when you knew?
that loving me would be
the most difficult thing, the bravest endeavor.
the second you shut me out with your frozen heart,
neither of us knew
that that was the moment mine would thaw
and break
and all the fire i'd been holding back from you would manifest
as the bitterest anger
and the most acute pain.
and i wish, my darling, that i had been able to let it out to you in love,
that my frozen heart had thawed for you while it still belonged to you
and that we had been less stupid, less young, and less cold.

it's a lesson in love,
a stinging and bittersweet thing.
we lost our tenuous hold on what we had.
we did not treasure, cherish, or try,
and our similar and fickle hearts won out on us.

i won't regret loving you,
because people like us, we take what we can get.
frozen hearts are grateful
for whatever broken glimpses of love they can cheat from each other.
Apr 2013 · 548
for alison
Madeline Apr 2013
alison, sweet and strong,
if ever there was a person built for such a thing, it's you.
it's the goodness of your heart
and the constancy of your smile -
it is your kindness, your cleverness,
and your mother's love?
it will stretch past this life and into her next.
it will find you and it will hold you.
mothers and daughters, they are never gone from each other -
it is a bond ages and ages old,
lifetimes upon lifetimes and centuries upon centuries
and it doesn't end with someone's life.
she will find you, her mother's-light,
because surely you are what she loved the most -
it's your goodness,
your boldness, your beauty.
you strong and beautiful girl,
don't you know it?
not one step of this will be taken alone.
Apr 2013 · 895
the wandering girls
Madeline Apr 2013
girls like me, we can't make ourselves stay.
i wish i could, i do.
i can't shake the itchy-skin feeling of being here
and i can't help but want to get away.

we have fickle and jealous hearts, girls like me.
we can't trust ourselves to be loved
because we love so changeably.
we're difficult, girls like me.
difficult to love, difficult to fall out of love with.

we're born with anger.
we have all the ghosts and the wisdom our hearts can hold.
i am difficult to please and it's no one's fault but my own
and i get tired of people and i get tired of places
and no matter where i am i always want to leave.

i don't choose to be as restless and as jealous and as jittery as i am,
and i don't choose to feel so old some of the time
and i don't choose to be so guarded, so hypocritical, so abrasive.

girls like me, we are beautiful and strong and ages old -
it has been since the beginning and it will be till the end,
spirits like ours.
we are breakable and irrepressible
afraid and invincible
and we are made to survive things and to know things
and we are made for the wildest of laughter
and we are made for the too-big types of sadness
and we are something to see.
Madeline Apr 2013
i hope the world's just a little grayer without me,
and i hope soon i'll be able to see your hand on someone else and not think of your hands on me.
and i hope you remember me sometimes.
and i hope we meant anything.
and i hope that song makes you think of me
and i hope the world keep turning and my heart keeps changing and i hope this ends soon.
and i hope you don't leave forever
and i hope i don't leave forever either,
and if i do i hope to god that i come back.
Madeline Apr 2013
no one told them it was the place
that we watched the water go by -
sat, for hours,
and watched the water go by.

nobody said it was the spot where i started to move on from the boy i loved
and where you stopped caring what your father thinks.

it's the spot where we sat in the roots of trees
and smoothed sand off of purple river stones.
it's the spot where the old lumber mill had been decaying,
and where the kids would go when they were too old for the playground.
it was where the stray dogs poked around in the rubble and the lumber scraps
and where the stray cats fought and made love.

no one told them it was where we sat
and planned out our lives together -
a pair of girls with too-long legs and our hair askew
whose clothes were covered in paint
and whose hands where used to climbing the tree behind the bakery.
no one told them it was our spot,
our best-friend soul-speaking spot.
nobody said that it was spots like these
that hold the heart of our little town,
our artistic-afterthought town
with its peeling-paint coffee shops and friendly passersby.

they built concrete trees over our spot on the river,
an ugly corporate jungle.
they put grey bricks in the sand and shoveled away the purple river stones
and dug up the roots of our trees,
and now we'll have nowhere to watch the water tumble by.

no one told them it was the spot, our spot,
and no one will remember it but us.
Madeline Apr 2013
the electrical current
started in the top of my skull,
   and poured itself down the back of my ears and the nape of my neck
         and curled into beaded sand that tumbles through my vertebrae
             down to the small of my back and under the soles of my feet. it's a friendly current,

and it makes me think of
   a boy with freckled shoulders, whose eyes i used to love.
it makes me think of how
both our noses wrinkle when we laugh
  and we like the same songs by the same band for different reasons.
it makes me remember why we're always laughing in the first place,
       and it makes me want him in a way that i'd forgotten how to want a person.

it's making me brave, this muscle-deep current.
it's making me remember different shoulders and different eyes than usual -
which is good, healthy, you know.

it's making me brave and it's making me love again. it's making me want to stand up to you. say all the things i haven't.
blame the herb, my skinny love, it was the herb, not me.
Madeline Apr 2013
a slow awakening
to your one-sided,
one-dimpled smile.
Madeline Apr 2013
You gave me the hostility,
your ******* priorities.
I should matter more than that. I had things to say to you today,
things I will not know how to articulate tomorrow.
You gave me the anger.
It's no one's fault but yours, the way I look at you.
Your ******* ego,
you don't care what I have to say.
You're not busy,
you're indifferent.
I would make time for you. I have made time for you,
even though it was you who broke me wide open.
You have no excuse, none I want to hear.
We'll talk tomorrow,
like you said,
and it will be on your terms,
like always.
But ******* it, I will be ******* heard.
Apr 2013 · 2.0k
a lie about numbness
Madeline Apr 2013
i have sunk into a slow numbness,
perhaps because something broke over me
the second i saw you again.
i realized,
it's better to be in full-blown sorrow
than in a fragile happiness,
forever staving off the blackness.

but instead, i have sunk into a slow numbness.
perhaps because you look away from me now
the exact same way that i look away from you.
your aversion gives me numbness.
don't you see it?
that's all this ever was. a fear of the numbness. a fear of the pain.
your indifference gives me numbness
because who wants to feel it
when the ripping apart begins.

i have smoked to numbness.
i have cried to numbness.
i have raged to numbness.
i have laughed to numbness.
i have embraced the numbness.
i have dug myself into numbness
but you gave me the shovel.

you gave me the numbness.
and i feel absolutely fine. i feel nothing at all.
Madeline Mar 2013
ask me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10,
   and i'll give you a crippling number.
  an above-10 number.

ask me to look the boy who no longer loves me in the eye
and i'll shy away. i'll avert my own eyes.
i will walk by him as if we are strangers,
       and i will feel the seams on my heart pop open,
one by one.

ask me if i feel like breaking
   and hurting.
ask me about the emptiness in my chest
        and the grey behind my eyes. ask me if it hurts my heart to beat.
    ask me if my blood is still in the habit of quickening when he's close.
ask me if i regret anything,
and i'll tell you that i regret everything.

      ask me if i love him
      and ask me if i want him.
           for those, i won't have an answer.
           only silence. only thought.

ask me if parts of me hate him,
  and i'll tell you about the low burning in my belly,
         the hating-blaming-burning
and the ******-up way it makes me feel.

ask me if i miss him.
i'll tell you that i am hollow.
i'll tell you that my whole body, my whole heart, is nothing but missing him.
i'll tell you i might just blow away
   without his love to anchor me.
i'll tell you that i feel absolutely empty

and it will be the truth.
Mar 2013 · 423
the inhale, the exhale
Madeline Mar 2013
i drink until my chest holds an alcohol-emptiness.
the pain is hollow,
the joy is hollow,
the pain is gone.

i smoke until the alcohol-emptiness is as full as it can be.
i fill it and i fill it and i fill it,
i feel it and i feel it and i feel it,
and it's the kind of feeling that doesn't make you feel at all.

the exhalation, it clears more than just smoke,
and it empties more than my lungs.
Madeline Mar 2013
just now my heart gave two great
and heaving beats
that shuddered my whole chest.
i know this is just a symptom
of the cardiac quirk i inherited from my mother
but it felt to me like some sort of physical closure.
for a moment after it happened
my chest didn't have that emptiness anymore.
my body is healing my nonbody.
that's what it felt like.
for a second, anyway.
Mar 2013 · 550
the unsaid
Madeline Mar 2013
i've been in my bed, which will always be the bed,
                     as in, the bed,
      where we spent the last of our virginities
in the push of hips and hands and two-note gasps,
and i've been thinking.

i've been thinking of
     all the firsts i gave you and
         all the things you meant to me
and how
  you will always be the boy who
     sat on a table and sang me my favorite song in front of everyone and
          didn't give a **** that his guitar was out of tune.
now that
is a ******* gesture.

i've been thinking that i need to learn to look you in the eye again.

i've been thinking of how
   all i've done for the past three weeks is walk away from you.
       and how just because you walked away from me first
                                        in the biggest way possible,
                                                     that isn't fair.
you deserve more than that
    for how hard you've tried.
i've been thinking that i haven't let myself see that very well.

i've been thinking of how
  right now
    i'm beginning to feel like i could talk to you, and make myself stay,
          and look you in the eye, and not hurt,
or like i could never talk to you again, and still be okay.
i've been thinking that that's a start
                 to something friendship-shaped and okay.

i've been thinking that maybe i'll take a break from you for awhile,
      maybe patch up the sore places in my heart, talk to some new people.
   learn some things, you know?

i've been thinking that maybe i'll talk to you tonight,
      and for the first time i won't be bitter. there will not be underlying pain in my words.
there will be no accusations. no corners to back you into. no hidden hatred. no left-over love.
     there will be just you. and just me. and we'll be fine, one of these days. i'll be fine.

i've been thinking that that can start
    as soon as i let it.
Madeline Mar 2013
i'm sorry that things were easy
until i made them hard.

  i'm sorry i stayed mad so long when we would fight.
i'm sorry that i got jealous of your friends
    and that i didn't say "i love you" back sometimes.
i'm sorry i was so shy around strangers and you weren't.
i'm sorry i didn't try harder to make you happy.
i'm sorry i have trouble looking at you.
i'm sorry i can't talk to you.
i'm sorry that i'm starting to cut you off.

   i'm sorry we never got to make love the way i wanted to -
    properly, you know? with a bed and candles and all the time in the world.

i know you wanted that.

     i'm sorry we'll never spend the night somewhere together.
         i'm sorry we'll never be able to wear shorts in the nighttime and be somewhere outside and look up at the stars and feel the warmth of the air.
                i'm sorry we loved each other in the winter time, because it's ugly, and even at our most beautiful it was hard.

  i'm sorry you felt like you had to make things up to my parents.
    i'm sorry you never did.

i'm sorry i sometimes wouldn't tell you what was wrong.
i'm sorry i would cry when i got drunk
   and that i couldn't be alone at parties
and that i lost your jacket that one time.

          i'm sorry you fell out of love with me.
       i'm sorry for your left-over feelings that you don't know what to do with.
               i'm sorry for our rough patches and our arguments. i'm sorry if i could have done more.

i'm sorry if you feel guilty. i'm sorry if it's my fault. i'm sorry if i pushed you away.

i'm sorry if it seems like i hate you. i'm trying to let you in.
it *****, and it's hard.

i'm sorry it's taking so long.
Mar 2013 · 587
when the wolves come
Madeline Mar 2013
when the wolves stop licking at my marrow then
i'd hope to find your face there -
but i'm alone there in the wood
and i'm alone here in this wood.
and you are a shadow
and i am a pain-emptied husk,
whistling and
melting into the branches and the leaves.
i am broken bones.
i am a thousand lost things.
i am breathing, i am barely,
and i am alive,
but i wouldn't know it.
Madeline Mar 2013
maybe it's okay. i think sorrow suits me -
i sabotage happiness.
pour gasoline all over it and
kick at it and
provoke it.
i can't sit still with happiness like i can with sorrow.
it doesn't make me write or think. happiness doesn't fit my heart quite right. it never has.
i can be alone, you know.
i can be alone and i can be sad and i can take my pain in large and crippling doses
and i can sit still and let it all catch me and wash over me and rip me apart
and i can let the stitches come undone
and i can let it seep into my heart and make me feel the blackest things you can imagine.
i have that capacity.
i'm that type of person.
and in the end i can let it right back out again -
it's like breathing in that way. i've learned to manage my pain, after all these years of having it.
it's not new to me - just yours is fresher
and maybe worse than what i've had before,
but it's not a novelty.
it comes
and it goes
tide in
tide out
then fine
then crippling,
and i will sit and i will let it take me and i will feel what i'm feeling and i will think what i think and i will live with it like i've always lived with it, and i will not hurry to heal, and i will not force any sort of happiness, because people need sorrow like they need oxygen. it is something real and necessary and raw. i can feel it and still survive. i can let it in and let it back out again, and i will be fine. and i don't need you to know that. and i don't need to tell you. and i don't need anyone to worry. because this is part of what i do, and how i am, and i can control my dosage, and i can control my suffering.
it suits me.
it does.
Mar 2013 · 472
you-shaped gouges
Madeline Mar 2013
if i wanted to cause you pain i would take a knife
and carve you-shaped gouges out of my life
and throw them into nothing
and burn them
and bury them
and pull their ashes into my lungs
and exhale them
and watch them ******* dissipate.
i could cut you off entirely
with my silence
and the aversion of my eyes
and my hidden hatred
and my scarred and bleeding heart
but i would be cutting something else off entirely then, too,
and i'm not ready to lose everything yet.

i know your pain won't heal mine
so the you-shaped gouges sit with me
and stay with me
like a cancer.
Madeline Mar 2013
nothing but
repetitive blows to the heart and the lungs
Madeline Mar 2013
i said, "i don't want to talk."
i said, "i don't want to talk."
i said, "i can't talk."
and when we talked,
it ended. and that's what it is.
Feb 2013 · 720
the in and the out (jones)
Madeline Feb 2013
i'm jonesing for a human being -
can you do that?
i am.
it hurts like a rose-smoke-burn in my throat
and a deep-throbbing ache in my chest -
      waiting for you
counting the days
until you're mine
to inhale
and exhale
and inhale
Feb 2013 · 809
Madeline Feb 2013
i think by nature i'm a gasoline-pourer -
    i don't strike the match but
  goodamn it, do i set up that fire.

i am. i'm a gasoline-pourer and a poison-spreader
and i destroy fragile things.
i'm a gasoline-pourer and i'm afraid
      we might be the kindling.
Madeline Feb 2013
if it were up to me?
   ****. it'd be cigarettes and tea
     and my giant cat by a giant window, and sparse furniture, and wooden floors.
it'd be a certain someone and poems scattered around every paint-splattered surface,
and writing on the walls in sharpie,
and tights and socks and sweaters and walks in the park.
          it'd be mid-morning sunlight and sleeping till noon and no walls separating the rooms.
         it'd be london or new york or maine or ******* canada or something -
something far away and obscure and artistic
where it rains a lot
so that i can dance.
Madeline Feb 2013
this poem will be bitter,
the way i hate my tea to be.
it will be about all the ways i've let my father down and
    all the things they wish i was.
  it will be about every grade point i am away from perfect.
it will be about ******* my boyfriend in the backseat
it will be about drinking until i can barely walk
it will be about crying all my makeup off in a stranger's bathroom.
this poem will be bitter,
the way i hate my tea to be.
it will be about laughing over stupid ****
it will be about late-night confessions to my mother
it will be about my best friend and my favorite socks and my thousands of little things.
it will be about a boy who tastes like green tea and cigarettes.
it will be about all the things i don't ever say out loud and all the things i can't write down anymore because people find the things you write down and then you don't have anything for yourself.
  it will be about the time i made my stepmom cry
  it will be about the person i didn't think i'd be
  it will be about all the paintings i don't finish.
it will be the things i found out about my family at a too-young sort of age
it will be my three without-permission-piercings
it will be the poems (this one) that i'm afraid are too cliche
and it will be bitter,
the way i hate my tea to be.
Madeline Jan 2013
you can't remove a piece of clothing -
        not a sweater,
  not a shirt,
    not a pair of ******* socks -
without thinking of them,
picturing them, you know?
  not even in your bed or on your bed or anywhere near your bed.
      just thinking of them,
because you get to this point where it's like,
the whole reason you take off your clothes,
is so that this one person, who you love, more than anything
can touch you better
or see you better
or so that you can feel them with things that aren't your hands.
  it's ******, i guess. for some people. for me. that whole skin-to-skin thing.
but anyway
it isn't about *** - wanting people, i mean.
   it's just that you're doing something
   in their absence
    that you normally do,
      or sometimes do,
      or have done,
     in their presence
and it feels weird
and it makes you feel weird,
and then you miss them,
and you write poems like this one.
or whatever this is.

it's pretty embarrassing, as a cycle.
Jan 2013 · 451
the year is new
Madeline Jan 2013
and on the cusp of it something happened
(a two-people-one-bed sort of something,
  so happy ******* new year, everybody)
Madeline Dec 2012
it's not what it usually is.
     you're no more and no less tragic than anyone else.
     you do not need to be fixed.
     maybe you're a little ****** up, but that's the norm now anyways.
        (and I suspect there are things you don't tell me
               in terms of your home and your history
               just like there are things i don't tell you,
                 but everything comes out eventually.)

i guess it's just how you look at me
and how it seems like our souls are the same.
sometimes it really is that simple.
and it's weird to say
and it's a cliche, and it's stupid,
but i genuinely love the way you think
( plus
     you have this type of kindness
      that i really think most people have forgotten.
it's the kind where you look in people's eyes even if they're unpopular or weird
                 or a stranger
                   or an *******
                      or your girlfriend's ex boyfriend
                         and remember that you're both people)
and so I guess that's why,
or at least that's part of why.

by the way, this poem is about why i like you
                    and maybe love you,
               but we don't say that yet.

just in case you didn't get it.
Madeline Dec 2012
If you gave me a thousand years
I would not be able to express to you
how irritating it is
   that I am not wearing this coat
     but I can feel it.
It' s just sitting
in the chair
behind me
scrunched under my back
and the ******* zipper
is digging into my elbow
     and it is the most bothersome thing.
I love this coat
because it's yours
   and wearing it reminds me that I'm yours, too.
But right now I swear -
I will destroy this ****.
Dec 2012 · 879
bed-bound (a 10 word poem)
Madeline Dec 2012
i can't leave my bed -
not with your imprint there.
Dec 2012 · 863
dear noah
Madeline Dec 2012
dear noah,
you beautiful boy. you were the youngest,
and you were so bright.
you're a star now, sweet boy, above everything and
so bright.
your sisters and your mother will remember you,
your smile,
and your left-behind half, she'll have parts of you with her her whole life.
you're not forgotten, you beautiful boy,
gone as you are.
you're a star now, sweet boy, and we wish for you to be back.
your blood and your body are
and stopped
but your spirit?
and your forever-smile
is what they'll all see when they close their eyes.
your mother and your sisters will love you,
like we do -
all we strangers
who feel like we know you
just from looking into your shining photograph-eyes.
dear noah,
you beautiful boy,
you've left the world so soon after you came into it.
you beautiful boy,
how it will remember you.
This is for one of the boys who was a victim in the school shooting in Connecticut. His family and the families of all the victims have my thoughts and love.
Madeline Nov 2012
so they'll stand where they stand,
   the whipping man,
      the bleeding faced and skin-tossed man,
and they'll hold you in their crippled hands and they'll tell you,
                            "life's for this."

and you'll hear them in the whipping sand,
   the storm-tossed seas and reaching hands,
                  and know it from the whipping man, and you'll say,
                           "it's all there is."

and you'll dance it and you'll sing it and you'll cast it out to sea
       you'll shoot it through your ****** veins and never think of me

and you'll forget the things i told you
     and the things you've always known.

                                you'll give to the winds until i come
                                             to lead you home.
Nov 2012 · 637
last september
Madeline Nov 2012
I remember you, in the night last September.
It was cold, and you tasted
of the alochol we had illegally sipped
Smiling at each other over gem-rimmed bottles

I remember when we kissed, for the first time
That night in September
And it warmed me to my bones, and I could have stayed there
with you

I remember your hands, last September
Touching the burning skin of my cheek, hooked in the belt loops
of my faded blue jeans.
I remember your eyes,
How they found the brightest star in that starry, starry sky,
And how your voice, whispered,
"That one's ours."
Your fingers fluttered at the hollows of my hips,
because you'd given me your jacket, and you
were freezing.

I remember you last September.
I knew you last September,
And I wish I had known myself.

I remember how it ended, when it ended,
That morning last September, so soon
after it began, "I've been thinking..."
And I remember, last September

hating you.
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