I am a combination of my family.
I am a war fought within myself.
We cannot have a holiday without a fight,
And religion, politics and football a screaming in my veins.
I am a women from a collapsing matriarchy,
Who sways her opinion in age,
But could **** you with one look.
I don’t give a **** if I inconvenience you
Because I am fighting for my freedom with An expensive taste in scotch.
I am young, I am youth, and I am confused
Surrounded by people who have their **** together.
I am holding back tears
When I am told I should stop dreaming, because this is my reality.
I am full as I continue to eat,
Because everything is a competition in my family
And they didn’t let me play dodge ball with the boys.
I am a stone cold fox who gets torn down
By those I’ve known my whole life.
They strip away my confidence
As I hide in the corner.
I’m really bad at this talk.
I know, because I’ve tried and failed
Plenty of times before.
And yet, here I am again.
I **** at this talk,
I **** at finding the right words.
That’s probably why I’ve written this poem
On the back of receipts thousands of times
And each time they end up crumbled
In the bottom of my backpack.
We kissed last night.
And people look different after you kiss them.
Some people look like the solution
To all of your problems
And the love connection you’ve worked so hard to find.
Other people look like awkward run-ins
In the school cafeteria
And late nights wondering the subtext of said kiss.
Did it really actually mean something
Or was the liquor bullying us to do so.
I’m really bad at this talk,
So I guess I’m just tired of wondering.
Because I meant what I said that night
As we held hands on the couch,
When I was a kid we had a rosebud tree in my front yard
It bloomed pink in the spring
Sprouting new leaves,
Each leaf was in the shape of a heart
I used to pluck the leaves from the tree,
because I liked the way they looked.
They looked like love.
Love for the whole neighborhood.
Love for the neighbors who I stole flowers from.
A few for the garter snakes we’d torture on the lawn.
Love for Sydney across the street
Knocking on my door every day at 10
Asking to come and play.
Love for Mrs. Moore who loved the sound of our laughter
But wished we’d stay off of her ******* lawn.
Love for Keanna with the fastest bike.
Love for Paige with a pool in her backyard.
Love for Jim,
Call him Mr. Jim, my mother used to say
With a plow on his four wheeler
So our winter chores were simplified.
Love for the steep driveway two doors down
To launch our bikes into the street.
Love for hide and seek.
For freeze tag
For lightning bugs in mayonnaise jars.
For mud pies
For trees that didn’t have pretty leaves.
Love for the stop signs at the end of the block
That told us when to stop pedaling.
Love for my brother
Love for my dad
Love for my mom.
And love for 3023 N 48th Street.
I’m done with nights like these
With the drinking and
The drugs and the boys
I tell myself for the fourth time this year.
Maybe I just won’t go out anymore,
No more drinking and maybe,
Just maybe I can keep my pants on
Around some dude I’ve just met.
Make a more attainable goal
My friends who’ve the gossip say,
I’m not that kind of girl
I tell myself for the fifth time,
The kind who leaves love at the door
When she picks up the bottle
I have feelings and a heart.
I fall in love with my drunken regrets
Because they call me beautiful
And accept me for who I am.
This isn’t me
I say for the sixth time,
“What’s your name again?”
I ask after it’s over
But maybe it’s a little more me
Than I’d like to admit.
When you kissed me
I let my mind run wild
and it chose to run to
the memories of kisses
I try so hard to forget.
You kissed me
and I really liked you,
I really did.
But I said the wrong name.
that repressed memory
came to life.
And I was no longer with a boy I loved,
but with one I fear.
Please stop kissing me.
Do I kiss strangers to prove
he hasn't ****** me up?
Or has he ****** me up
to the point where I kiss strangers?
I doodle our names
Over and over
And over and over again
And then I draw so many hearts
That it makes me sick.
I do all this because I like you
I like you like first grade.
When I call you a meanie **** face
That’s to show how much I care.
I wish I could bluntly tell you how I feel.
I would say:
“I think you’re cute”
“I like-like you”
But I can’t say those thing
Because you can’t a boy you like him
If it makes you look like an idiot
And I am tongue tied
In the presence of you
It is impossible for me to look in your eyes
And not speak in an idiotic, incoherent babble.
I like you like first grade
I’ll chase you around the playground,
I’ll steal a kiss when I finally tag you.
I want to catch all your cooties,
Because, baby, I’m love sick.
I want to hold hands
Til all the other kids say “eww”
Because boys are gross,
Well, all boys except you.
Maybe I’ll have my mom call your mom
And we can go on a play date.
And old Disney movies.
But for now I’ll just doodle
Until I get up the courage to pass the note
With three check boxes
Do you like me back?