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 Nov 2015 Nicole Holland
dating a writer
is like guessing the weather.
you think you know what you'll get,
but you never do.

you never know

she'll create a hero
from your weaknesses

and she'll write a great character,
from every last flaw.

she'll create a thousand plots  
from your worst nightmares.

she'll take every last thing you hate
and create something you'll love.

she'll turn your anger
into confessions of adoration,

and she'll make you,
everything you're not.

but worst of all,
she'll leave you wondering-
is it you she's in love with,
or things she's created from you?

but here's the beauty of it:

if you date a writer,
you'll never die.
He was cute. His baby face cheeks
were highlighted in the soft yellow glow
of the stage lights before the performance began.
He had on a blue sweater, almost too blue,
with khaki’s I’m sure his mom bought him.
But he smiled at me, constantly, before the lights dropped
while I was pretending to read my program.

Across the theater, he blushed, biting his lips
when he realized I caught him. He was cute.
I think I’ve said that already.
But he was no you.

And can you imagine how guilty, no
how stupid I felt in that moment?
Can you imagine how my heart
must have looked sitting between my heels
on the linoleum floor? Imagine all the pieces
trying to force themselves back together enough
just to smile back at this boy across the aisles.

I’m so done feeling like I’m cheating on someone
who isn’t even answering my calls. I’m done
begging myself to stop cuddling with that bear
you gave me last Valentine’s Day. Can you imagine
the actor I’ve become? Fixing myself up in eyeliner
and turtleneck sweaters that hug me a little too tight
just to seem like I still have it together. I’m just like
those dancers in Cabaret. I’m putting on a show,
smiling at the boy across the aisles, hoping you’re
in the audience, watching me shine.
I’m mad at you for keeping the book open
and not telling me what chapter we’re on,
what pages you skipped, what summary
you tried to read but got bored with.
I’m mad at you for telling me you would stop in
and you didn’t. I’m mad at you for keeping me
in sheets all alone waiting for a phone call,
pretending that I wanted to just stay in and paint
pictures that I’ll tear up anyway, or that I really
really wanted to do laundry on a Saturday night.
I’m mad at you. I’m mad at you and why

is that so hard to tell you? The words reside
in my chest—they are rehearsed. I’ve whispered
them a thousand times to myself in the shower,
about how I’m frustrated and worn down
and confused as to what happened, how I could let
something I swore I memorized slip through my fingers.
Then you show up, clean shaven, perfect curves
from your hips down to your knees, and I lose it.
I swallow all my syllables and drown myself
in a kiss I’ve begged for. I can’t tell you

because I’m scared that one wrong phrase
and I’m out the door, just a girl you used to run away with.
I’m scared that I’m losing something, that I’ll wind up lost
if I disconnect myself from something I’ve envisioned
over and over again in my future. So I don’t say

anything. I just wait until the last possible second, minutes
before midnight, and I cry myself into a bear you gave me,
trying to figure out where I went wrong, what happened,
what page did I miss?
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
some things we can't write about.
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
I would happily suffer
   because of how much I love you
I will put myself through misery
    just so you feel no pain
I would walk on flames
     and put them out
         so you can walk through
I will drive myself insane
     so you can have no part of the blame
I just wanna believe
        that you love me
               that much too
I don't want to fall in love,
I wanna fly into it.
Because falling indicates helplessness,
But flying is graceful and gentle.
You can't fall in love forever,
Eventually you will crash.
But flying, you can find a nice calm perch,
And appreciate your love while you watch the world around you.
all the boys she loved were abandoned churches
with no forwarding address
until the day she knocked down his door
and walked into a cathedral
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
 Sep 2015 Nicole Holland
It's our number
I've worn it since third grade
You had it sewn to your shirt in high school
It's the date we first kissed
In that ****** bar next to my ****** apartment
It's the day that you asked me to kiss you only
You were going to say something by the ocean
But your nerves got the best of you
So you asked me in your car instead
And I said yes in the passenger seat
It's the hours a day that I have you on my mind
Always thinking about the taste of your lips
And the way you make me fall in love
More and more each day
And it will be the day that I ask you
To spend the rest of your life with me
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