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Maia Vasconez Sep 23
Keep the lights off,
I look too much like my mother today.

Pack the sadness up into boxes and
put it away. No one wants to see that anymore.

All my friends are rays of sunshine and
I have to bite my cheek.

I don't smile,
I bare my teeth.

I keep them all at arms length unless

they can feel their way through the hall
in the dark,

now that every room gets dim
with me inside of it.

In fact,

what if we sleep through this one?

What if I just lie down
and let the birds peck at me?
Maia Vasconez Sep 23
In the mornings,
I ate like a hummingbird. Handfuls of
white chocolate chips and blueberries.
Saucers of green tea.

You do not know devotion until
you have seen these rituals.
These little rituals
where a young girl wakes up,
strips down,
holds her breath, and
steps on the scale.  

I wanted to hear my skeleton rattle inside me like
a set of keys.

I had a tape measure under my bed,
and a death wish.

There is nothing I know,
nothing more precious than this.
I wanted to be
rough, and
jagged edges.

She’s a fairy, she just
can’t fly because
she doesn’t eat.

Have you seen the disappearing act where
the girl makes herself shrink and no one
notices because
she is already small?

I won’t stop until
I drink air and eat sunshine.

I won’t stop until
they worry (they love me).
Maia Vasconez Sep 23
The weatherman said it was going to rain but he didn’t mention
when it would let up. It’s been raining for years.

I keep telling myself I’m not allowed to be this downpour,
this unhappy
all the time. It doesn’t help.

I don’t want to be brave today. I don’t
want to do the work today. I don’t want to do the work today. I don’t want
to do the work today. I don't want to.

The only thing worth living for is the sunset. I’m letting things
pile up instead of taking care of them. I want to see
how high I can get.

This is the terrible precipice I’ve been peering over.
Everyone/ no one is worried for me.
If I fall on them,
I will be so heavy. And what is it if it isn’t

everyone you take with you on the way down?
I thought I would fall right into the sunshine. I thought I’d be
covered in it.

Oh my god I can’t die yet,
my room isn’t clean.

Look, I brushed my hair.
I got dressed.

See, I'm better now. See?
Maia Vasconez Mar 19
For some of us it was Valentine’s,
for some of us it was the first day of lent.

So what are you going to give up?
She was sulking on the couch,
he was doing coke in my living room,
and there were strangers in my home,    
I’d let them in.
I was just sipping lime and gin.
They wrecked my house,
and I let them.

I said, I’m serious
what are you going to give up?
And we went around the circle,
one by one:
I told him to
stop doing coke,
I told her to
stop dating older men.
They both said no,
they tell me to stop being a buzzkill.

The room swelled. We moved downstairs
and she was
dancing on a pole,
and he was talking business
with people I didn’t know.
And I was taking shots of ***** then
I wanted to feel like
a swing set.

I was swaying and
he was holding me upright
and he was
placing his jacket on my shoulders,
I have always been the coldest.

His arms cinched around my waist
and he was like a life vest.
And for a moment
I was above water,
or at least not drowning.

On the counter,
there were wilting roses and
chocolate covered strawberries.
In the mirror the word LOVE
spelled out EVOL.
There was pink on all the walls,
a bowl of candy hearts that said,
I don’t know how to be sweet
I don’t know how to be soft

He was playing with my hands
and tracing circles in my palms
and I was letting him.
I was getting drunk,
and he was begging me to
take another shot, and to
take another shot, and to
take another shot,
to break my will.

He found a way into my bed,
he asked if he could stay
and I don’t know why I let him in.
He was not special and
I was not that drunk anymore.

It was lent and I was
going to give it up,
give it all away,
give in.

It was lent and
I was going to
give up.
kissing you was like swerving into oncoming traffic

i can never tell if i am more haunted by empty picture frames or the ashes of their contents

you taught me that the saying "pick your battles" meant not answering when love was at the door

sometimes when i drink whiskey i swear i can hear your voice in the creases of my bedsheets & i sleep on the floor

i still catch myself running my hands over things you touched the most, looking for the echoes of your fingertips

i practice things i'll never say to you

i remember the day you told me you didn't like poetry, how "everything's already been said" & how "nothing meaningful can be captured without being cliche" you know, i don't miss you like the sun and moon, i do not miss you like tide bent waves crashing on the shoreline, i miss you like a chernobyl  swingset misses children

rumor has it that drowning is a lot like coming home, that drinking bleach can **** the butterflies in your stomach

for your love of cigarettes, i would have been an ashtray

this halloween i want to dress up as the you when you loved yourself and show up on your doorstep

i never understood what you meant when you said i was an instrument, back when you would cup your hands around my chest and breathe through the holes in my heart, i still wonder if the sounds i made remind you of wind chimes

i never paid much attention to abandoned buildings until i became one

in my dreams all the flowers smell like your perfume

i am the only person who has ever wished for the same snowflake to fall twice

if i could go back, and rewrite the definition of audacity, it would be how when we lost the bet of love, you said "we never shook on it"

i love you, if the feeling is not mutual, please pretend this was a poem

the only apology i want from you, is to have you repeat the names of children we will never have in your parents living room until they *****

we are the same person if you find yourself up at 4am dry heaving promises, or if you are kept awake by the laughter of those who've abandoned you

nobody ever told you that goodbyes taste like the back of stamps

sometimes i'm convinced that the only reason we hug, is so you can check my back for exit wounds
Maia Vasconez Jan 29
So the weather eventually had to warm.
The first time I wear a t-shirt in his car he is
stealing side eye glances of my bare arms.
He says, I like your bracelets and with his
hands on the wheel nods to the one
slipping down his wrist, which I gave him.
And he must think he is so clever because
What we are really looking at now are the pale,
matching, horizontal lines going up and down our flesh.
           I shake my head, I change the subject.

Later we are holding lighters up
to dandelions and watching them burn.
We are lying in a field of clovers,
He moves closer.
           He points to the damage and asks,
           What happened here?
He asks me like I could tell him a date,
He asks me like it’s history
He asks me like I might say
It was the Summer of 2014
but I can’t name what battle took place.
          I shake my head, I change the subject.

So after you pull another girl into my bedroom, after you pushed
everything off of my bed and onto the floor
to make room for what you’d do with her,
I inspect the damage.
I pull the bracelet that I gave you from the wreckage.
I leave you in the window, I never see you again.
I leave paper cuts on my legs in vain,
I never see you again.
I have scars that take the shape of your dizzy,
lazy fingers tracing my limbs.
I will never see you again.
Poem for closure
Poem for Luke
Maia Vasconez Jan 26
I keep thinking about the night
he sat across from me
ripping into a pomegranate
with his hands but
I couldn’t stop seeing it as
a bleeding heart.

He put his lips on
My lips but
It just felt like he was trying to eat me.
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