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i've been trying to find the words,
in liquor bottles;
but the answer has never been at the bottom,
i fall asleep with my mind tangled in my hands,
and i awake day after day,
the sun is becoming more and more of a stranger to my flesh,
i'm running out of space for all these empty bottles,
i've considered filling them with my tears,
and giving them to you as a gift,
so you could baptize yourself in my sadness,
or get drunk on my misery's condensation,
because at this point,
i think there is more alcohol in my body than water,
my tears will taste like tequila and fermented heartbreak against your tongue,
but that burn will never hold a candle to the burn i have been feeling electrifying throughout me for weeks.

i've been trying to find the words
in white lines,
but what good is being high when all it does these days is remind you how low hell really is.
everything is starting to look like an emergency exit,
i see death in everything around me,
they say depression can be a superpower if you let it,
i don't consider transforming everything around me into a mechanism for self destruction,
to be a superpower.
i have never been afraid of heights,
i have always embraced being as far away from hell as possible,
but now i feel like i have swallowed it,
no matter how high i am,
everything around me is still burning,
and my veins are gasoline pipelines,
I feel like I am inches from my body becoming an island swallowed by a volcano,
that ant who fell victim to children experimenting with matches,
was that where you first discovered how to make something feel small?
how to make someone feel small.

i've been trying to find the words,
but i don't have them.
it is shameful what you have made out of love,
you have hypnotized me to believe that love has a numbing effect,
that it is crying yourself to sleep,
that it is uncertainty.
I have come to associate being in love with being in pain,
because when you tell me you love me,
i feel like my body is a house of cards,
and your voice - a hurricane.
what you have done to me is not beautiful,
no sentence that i will ever release from my lips will ever be as strong as the earthquake i feel when you touch me,
i can't navigate between the sky and the ground with your eyes clenched to my skin ,
my heartbeat becomes as flat as the horizon line.
there is nothing beautiful about how you have ridden my days of sunlight,
and my nights of stars, ,
i've been living in darkness for months,
probably because everyday since that night i feel like I'm paying rent to live in a stranger's shadow with my self-respect.

i don't have the words;
you have numbed the best parts of me,
made me believe that feeling is a privilege.
what a shame,
that when you tell me you love me i am haunted by the fear that you actually do.
madison curran Aug 2019
I have always said I hate liars,
it's probably not a coincidence that I also hate myself,
they say lying is a sin,
to me,
it is a language I heard spoken so often in my home,
I have become fluent in it.
No, I am not afraid of going to hell,
I've been paying rent to live there with the quarters from the lying jar my parents started the first time I learned that my mouth is a weapon,
it's not much of a home,
but who am I to tell anyone what a home is,
the last ten years,
there is not one single place I have felt comfortable existing in,
that statement includes my own flesh,
So when I tell you that I've been living there,
I mean to tell you that my body has become a forest fire,
That the only difference between me and the Amazon rain forest,
is I did this to myself,
that humanity will not suffer in my absence,
I am down to my last acre,
I am coughing up the ashes of every person I have hurt by only using my tongue,
it is not a talent I take pride in,
it is a self-defense mechanism,
I want to believe that if a snake knew it's venom would **** you, it wouldn't bite,
that if a lion knew how your mother looked at you when you were  first born, it wouldn't feed on your flesh,
but animals act in ways that they have been taught to survive,
there's a difference between me and a lion,
I have seen the way my mother looks at her child,
the child who wasn't an addict,
so when my tongue becomes a weapon and tells her I'm sober again,
and my insides are swallowed by flames,
the only difference between my tongue and a gun,
is the intentions I have are not to cause harm,
if that was the case I would simply tell the truth,
tell me is lying a sin,
if the only reason I did it was so that no one else has to choke on the smoke of the fire I started?
madison curran May 2019
i will never look you in the eyes,
because when our eyes lock,
i will flinch,
like a nervous tick,
my eyes will bounce back to the ground faster than a loose bullet.
i've participated in a war like this before,
i just came home from the last one,
nervous tremors vibrate against my insides still,
i can't do this again.
i will always be the first person to pull away,
my embrace will always feel like two negatively charged magnets pressed against each other,
you will always feel like part of me is pulling away,
no matter how firmly my body is against yours
because i am,
because to be close is also to place my heart within your reach,
to place my neck in between your palms,
the bruises had just faded from the surface of my skin.
i will not do this again.
but he places his hands on me and for the first time,
i don't want to pull away,
for the first time,
i yearn for my body to collapse into his,
like two pages of a closed book,
like the sun into the horizon line.
and when he looks at me,
i hesitate to look away.
to look at him is to see sanctuary in a war zone,
i still look away,
because for all i know this is just another mirage,
another illusion of a sea
by a soul dehydrated of love,
i don't yearn to go home after this war,
i am home.
i've done it again.
****
madison curran Dec 2018
they say that after awhile,
words start to lose their meaning.
"i love you"
"i'm sorry"
"i'm sober."

you told us that you've been sober for four years,
and that statement was more empty than the glass bottles in your closet.
more empty,
than the pill bottles in my dresser drawer.

my mom never looks me in the eyes,
i think it's because if she did it would make her feel like he never left,
she says i'm just like him,
that the reason my body is a tornado on fire circulating around this earth
is because i was genetically predisposed to disaster.

if only she knew,
that i swallow pills because the line between intoxication and love
becomes as blurry
as his vision after trading places with the bottle,
that i understand the comfort of not being the only thing that's empty at the table.

sometimes my heart feels like it's a volcano,
ready to erupt out of my chest,
like there is lava in my bloodstream.
some days the pills make me feel like i'm playing a game of russian roulette,
except the possibility of death has never been enough for the addict to change.

probably because when they're sober the only thing they want more than to be high is to be dead.
and maybe being farther away from the ground
distracts them from the fact
that they are walking on the surface of their deathbeds.

and no, i am not scared to die,
i am scared that i will live long enough to follow his legacy,
that the only time i will ever feel love is when my body surrenders to the bottle.
that i will only know love as the shadow casted by intoxication.
that one day i will spin out of control,
and set flame to everyone i love.

mom,
"i love you,"
"i'm sorry,"
"i'm sober,"
except she has played this game of two truths and a lie before.
madison curran Dec 2018
you seem to think that mountains were put on this earth,
to stop my bones from reaching the peak,
because you'd know i'd never climb them,
you knew my soul was a universe and everything around it suffered the wrath of gravity,
that no matter what i'd always be pulled back down,
like the tears of the sky,
like an apple dangling from a tree branch engulfed in the autumn air,
eventually they're bound to fall.
the thing about the rain is that it has to sacrifice falling,
so light can seep through the sky's flesh,
and it does not accept it's defeat after it has trickled into the veins of this earth,
it rushes through it like blood vigorously pumping
in the hearts of passionate lovers making churches out of each other's bodies for the first time.
and the fruit of the earth becomes embedded in the grass,
and makes love with the sky's tears,
so someday the stars can look back and realize their sadness was worth it because the trees stand with the spines of soldiers,
and bear fruit that cause our tongues to make numbness an urban legend.
there is nothing weak about falling,
it is the test of life's resilience,
may the puddles in the sidewalks of this earth always remind you that even the sky cries too,
and may your tongue's ****** from the flesh of this earth's fruit always remind you of the beauty in falling,
madison curran Dec 2018
sometimes i tell people the reason i see my childhood like i've just downed a whole bottle of *****;
like a volcano has just erupted in the back of my throat,
is because when i was a child,
someone set flames to my home.
that i lost my childhood to a fire,
and if you could go back in time,
you would have believed that single match could have
swallowed the whole house.
whiskey lingered in every room,
the walls were drunk,
every day felt like my family was playing a game of jenga,
we were all waiting for someone's palms to fumble,
to make the whole house collapse.
and it was so easy because the walls were as stable as an intoxicated man walking on a tight rope.
but this whole story is a lie,
and the true story is that i swallowed the fire,
and i still have the photos scattered in my closet,
that taste like gasoline going down my throat.
madison curran Dec 2018
i have never believed in god,
the bible is a series of stanzas,
which i could never translate into meaning.

it is poetry which never made my spine tremble,
usually i can feel when words piece together the fragments of my heart,
like tectonic plates making love underneath the earth's sheets.

and if it doesn't remind me that my body is not just an instrument for respiration,
it is not poetry to me.

if it does not remind me of the first time someone made a church out of my lips,
or the last time someone threw rocks at the stained glass windows of my soul.

if it does not replicate the sensation of falling to my death,
and then being resurrected
as the feeling of adrenaline baptizes my body.

i don't want to hear it.
somehow the prophets have only reminded me of the home where my childhood is buried in the backyard.
a breeding space for loneliness.

i have always wished on stars,
and prayed to the moon,
because at least for eight hours of the day,  i can see them.

at least i know they're actually there,
my life has been a series of conversations with walls,
i've been on hold for twenty years.

this life has showed me enough of building walls,
and how to make graveyards
and abandoned buildings out of my own bones.

i've spent enough time sipping wine,
and breaking apart my insides,
and somehow still making it look like a celebration,
isn't that what people do at church anyway?

instead i construct stanzas out of my pain,
i architect the universe into a church because
rain and holy water taste the same to me,
except the rain does not taste like my ex-lovers lies burning the back of my throat.

i refuse to let more strangers into my life,
just to remind me that my voice has never been loud enough,
that a scream is just a sound when no one is listening.

what kind of god sacrifices his own son,
my father sacrificed his daughter's sanity for the bottle,
and there isn't a scripture
that can make that story hurt any less.

there isn't a god that can precipitate the salt from my wounds,
but the moon is a streetlight in a darkened alleyway,
it is a lighthouse in a turbulent sea of sorrow.

so yes i worship the stars.
because all these years they still remind me that,
there is beauty in burning,
that i do not have to wait around to be saved,

and the moon is the only god i will ever need because
it reminds me that i have already saved myself,
every day.
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