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madeline may Jan 2015
For so long, I've felt like I had none.
I am a piece of college-ruled paper
ripped, torn, taped to a back alley wall
with names and dates and places
all written in a rainbow of Sharpies
by people with faces I cannot remember;
my handwriting with the cursive "f"s
nowhere to be seen,
words I'd written so long ago
buried beneath the influence of everyone else.

Who are you, when you're no one
except everyone?

I'm sick.
I am years of not getting out of bed.
I am missed school days, late-passes,
a truant.
I am doctor's notes.
I am a pile of handwritten prescriptions.
I am one white
two orange
one pink
and two multi-vitamins.

My feet melt into the blue and grey carpeting,
my arms turn brown like the worn-down stain of the armrests,
the receptionist knew me by name
until "next week's appointment" slipped off the calendar.

I am episodes of crying in crowds
or crying alone.
I'm haunted by mistakes remembered only by me.
I am up or I'm down
without knowing what's between.
My brain leaves my body and I can't feel my hands
so the bottle of Advil moves up one more shelf.

I am told to lie on my medical forms
so I won't be held at arms length,
or treated like someone who's different or strange;
but that's just how I'm treated at home.

I am nothing more
than the result of years of torture.
Two bra sizes too small.
Four dress sizes too big.

I am nothing more than a waistline,
which would be fine
if I had one.

I am not pretty enough.
I am not beautiful enough.
I am not good enough.

And I will not be joining you for dinner.

I push people away
but long for them to come closer.
I run, keep my distance
but, when you're not looking, lean in a bit closer.

I text boys 300 miles away
but pretend he's right there beside me.

I'm gullible, I'm weak.
I fall for anything, I fall for everything.
I forgive too quickly and I love too much,
I set myself up for the fall.

I'm a disappointment.
I'm wrong.
I'm wrong.
I'm wrong.

I forget my chores.
I forget responsibilities.
I forget rules, I forget deadlines, I forget lines in the play.

I forget numbers and facts and formulas.
And when the grades come back
I remember
what a parents' giving up looks like.

I'm difficult.
I'm needy.
I can't drive,
can't make my own appointments.
Can't sign my own papers, can't run my own errands,
can't buy my own dinner,
can't call my own shots.
I'm difficult.
I hear myself say that I don't have a choice
But the sigh in reply says,
I'm difficult.

I love the wrong gender.
I swing the wrong way.
"I always imagined my daughter walking down the aisle
with a man who reminded her of her father," he says.
"I'm just disappointed," he says.
So I bring home a boy
and Mom says,
"Thank you -
I promise, it's easier this way."

Some girls tell their families when they find their first love,
but mine will stay hidden
in the box with the K
filled with letters and gifts and "thinking of you"'s
collecting dust between the wall and my bed.

I am numbers, and numbers, and numbers.
Weights, heights, exes, mistakes -
too high.
Grades, standardized tests, word counts and successes -
too low.

I'm deluded.
Always telling myself that if Mom really loved me
she'd put me before the glass of wine.
Convincing myself that it's my fault
and that I'm selfish, petty, judgmental.
I'm hurt.

I'm hopeful.
Waking up to the overhead light in my room at 10
when Dad comes home from work -
asking me how my day went
and closing the door before I can reply.
I'm silent.

I'm lonely.
Clinging to the siblings of friends and partners
desperately wanting a family.
Constantly jumping from partner to partner
desperately needing a hug.
I'm alone.

With all my shortcomings
with all I do wrong
it's hard for me to find when I do something right.

But of all the things I'll never know,
I know how to feel, I know how to care.

I'll show you passion like you've never seen passion before.
I've seen gods in mortals and mortals in gods,
I've felt fire inside me when it's icy around me,
I've painted the Sistine Chapel with the notes of F. Doppler,
I've sculpted the moon and the stars and the sun with my heart,
I've loved with the urgency of the wind of a hurricane
and I've forgiven like the sand did the Atlantic high tide.

I forget so much,
but there's so much more to remember.

I'll remember your dreams, your hopes, your ambitions,
I'll remember your tears on the sleeve of my shirt.
I'll remember the days of the sweet uncertainties,
bus rides and text messages and scarves and "good morning"s.
I'll remember the day my heart fell for yours
(ticking, ticking, like the bomb in the birdcage).

I'll remember the album with the songs named after planets,
and I'll remember when you couldn't meet my eyes to the lyrics.
I'll remember the confessions from the football field bleachers,
even next year, when there's an empty chair in the orchestra.

I'll forget all our fights, even the ones you never will,
and I might lose some of our laughs,
but I'll never forget passion at 4 in the morning,
or slow-dancing like middle schoolers at high-school dances,
or your body against mine to old SNL re-runs.
I'll always remember the times you let me in
and I'll be here in silence for the times you still can't.

I'll remember our promises
of dreams and forever -
plantations in Greece, Italy, Spain.
Love letters and presents hidden around our camp cabins,
four years of love, friendship, promises
dissolved in a haze of disdain.

I may not remember the quadratic formula,
I may not remember Newton's third law,
but I'll never forget how you make my heart hammer,
even when you forget me.

I am
forgettable, only wishing to be remembered by someone, someday,
sad, looking for joy in things big and small.
A hypocrite, begging for proximity then crawling far, far away.
I am miserable, but passionate.
I am identical, but a glaring mistake.
I am what-if's, maybe's, and might-have-been's.
I am quoting Jethro Tull songs in my confessions.
I am words in my head that will never escape my lips,
I am words on my lips that should never have escaped my head.
I am things I'll never say and stories I'll never write,
I am singing in the shower, dancing in the halls,
I am running across busy streets in April
and sleeping in screened-in porches in June.

And every time I wake up alone,
I'll stand in the yard, look up to the sky
and remind myself that the sun, too, is alone
but can still warm the earth with its love.
inspired by walt whitman's "song of myself"
for an english project.
madeline may Oct 2014
there is water in my lungs, darling
I'm choking, suffocating
my face is beginning to match the sky and
I'm not sure I can feel my fingers
but I think I feel more at my farthest extremities
than I've ever really felt for us

for the last two hundred and seventy-six days
I've wondered how I would breathe
if you ever left my side

but never for a minute did I consider
that I might be the one to leave you
i love you and you love me but i don't think i love us anymore
do i want to spend the rest of my life in safe, comfortable, mediocre love?
or do i want the rush of heartbreak and fear and passion to kick the life back into me?
madeline may Jul 2014
I hate the way I refer to him and "you" and you as "him"
I hate the way the passage of a year means nothing to my aching heart and
I hate the way the thought of her lips that are too thin and her eyes that are too dark and her hair that is too long is what he's chosen for three hundred and sixty seven days because I hate the way she told you you didn't love me the day you called me to tell me they told you what love was and I hate the way that I will always fall back into you and the jail cell that traps me between your ribs

but I love the taste of the glue from this envelope that lingers on my lips I love the way you wrap your arms around my waist I love the way you look at me as you **** me until I can't breathe
I love the way the blue of the skies I see when I wake up in the morning and the seas that lull me to sleep at night pales in comparison to the blue of your eyes and I love the way I miss you when I stop at stop lights and you aren't there to unclench my hands from the wheel
and I love the way we look at these stars together from this distance but ******* christ I hate the way the specks of light in this god forsaken sky are so far away - just like you from me tonight
I just hope they find a way to tell you that I love you with their whispering voices in the dawn cause baby now it's just you and me
love letters from your 1910 belle
you him you him you you you
I love you and ******, I'm free
madeline may Mar 2014
I'd rather be the shattered mess of glass
strewn across the floor
of every hallway in your house
than be the frame
that once held this mirror together

because now that I'm free from the grasp
of this "pride" you so cherished
you can't leave the lonely cave
in your black hole of a heart
without the remnants of me
splitting your flesh
I hope I haunt every corner
of your godless life
the way you did mine.
madeline may Mar 2014
I'll never apologize for my love to you
but I'll tell you I'm sorry it took so long
please don't tell me how long you cried
I know that I'm weak, but I know you're not strong

you can't expect my fragile frame
to save you from your mighty deep
though, it's possible I followed you there
when you picked her to keep
this is old
and no longer relevant
I climbed up these grimy walls
and I suggest you do the same
madeline may Mar 2014
I promised myself
That if you were to drown
That I'd go down with you
That I would spare my dying breath
For one last second with you

But now
If he were to drown
I would fight to my last breath
To share it with him
To breathe together
To heal together
To live together
To love together
My love for you was somber
But my love for him sings joy
madeline may Mar 2014
You were my summer love

Kisses in the bus loop
And sweaty palms in July

You were hope,
you were safe,
you were home

You were burdened by my transgressions

You were love,
you were love,
you were love

And when you slipped through the cracks
Of my cruel, violent hands
You were lost
I have let go and moved on.
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