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Portland Grace Jul 2016
Every person in this world has probably danced at some point in their life. They moved their feet and closed their eyes and felt the wind rush around them. Lucky few, have clasped hands with another and twirled and dipped across polished wood, holding someone close. Dancing doesn't have to be with your feet, I've danced a thousand dances in my mind, in my sleep, in my heart.

Now, this isn't about ballet slippers or perfectly timed movements. This is about small moments that touch you somewhere beyond your consciousness. When you're in your kitchen making coffee and you find yourself singing a song in your head that you haven't heard in years, and you shuffle about your morning remembering what it was like to be 9 or 16 or 32 again, and you feel your old steps and your old heartaches and fears and joys. And wishing you could go back for one last song, one last kiss, one last goodbye, one last dance.

This world is all going to end someday. For you and for me, for this planet, for this race. And we can go to work, and go to school, and eat the best we can, and fall in love and fall out of love, we can mourn and remember and follow and lead. We can dance everyday, you just have to know how. And you do know how.
Portland Grace Jun 2016
burning pavement,
burning heartaches,

too hot for love,
too hot for loss,

close all windows,
all the blinds,
doors locked,
hiding inside,
like unprepared neighbors on
lights off.

Waiting for winter to come,
no snow,
no heat.

Waiting for


Go to work,
come home,
run the AC,
go to work,
come home,
run the AC

Three hikers died here last week,
just trying to get some fresh air.

Waiting for the fire to stop
Portland Grace Nov 2015
You forgot how sharp your tongue gets
when it's marinated in
cheap wine,
and how fragile your bones can be,
when exposed to the cold.
I clawed my name in your back with my fingernails.
your warm blood trickled down
and stained my carpets.
I undressed your body and you,
undressed my soul,
and we moved together as though no one could see us,
not even your god.
I found you so broken,
you had forgotten your own name under the
weight of hers.
some people make their living searching for diamonds in
side walk cracks.
gems that are ***** and lost
are not always worthless.
your songs at night remind me
how to lose my breath,
I fear sometimes
I will not find it again.
Your heart is not a white canvas,
but I will stain it
and call it my own.
You felt your words peel up,
and crack like
old wallpaper,
but you let them
escape your mouth anyway
sobbed into your hands
wondering what you had done.
Broken wings will hinder you from
leaving the ground,
but you won't remember your fracture
until you've jumped off a cliff
Portland Grace Oct 2015
It's a normal night,
and I,
got off my 8 hour shift,
feeling nauseous,
and I rode my bike back to my
but it's not really my house,
it's his house,
because I got evicted from my apartment,
and he took me in.

And I love him,
and he has never hurt me
the way you did.

I'm sitting in our bed
and the words are
getting caught in my throat,
I realize that I have no idea
how to have
a healthy relationship with someone.

Tonight we fought about
because I was going to eat
the food I made for us last night,
and he took it to work,
not thinking I'd mind,
and I was exhausted
and didn't want to cook again.
We fought about leftovers,
and these are
normal, silly fights
that normal, silly couples have,
and I love him,
and we share a bed and a home,
and our leftovers

and I think about how,
I will probably never fight with him
about kissing other girls,
making me feel worthless,
not putting his hands on me.

I think about how,
I trust him,
and how
he trusts me,
and how
strange that is,
because I have never known a love
that does not
make me want to **** myself
for not being enough
or being too much.

It's Monday night,
and it was a bad day,
in a bad week,
in a bad month,
and I'm waiting for him to come home,
he works late,
and when he comes home,
he smiles into my shoulders
and tells me how much he missed me,
when we had woken up next to each other that morning,
and will fall asleep together this evening.

And I think about how I love him,
and how
I have not known a love that is not possessive,
a love that is not abusive,
a love that does not make you feel like,
you want to take out your heart, and
set it on fire.
I have not known a love that does not,
ruin you.
Until him.

And I'm drinking wine,
to recover from my
long day,
but not to blackout,
not to forget who I'm in love with,
not to forget all of my petty
that only alcohol can dissolve.
And it has taken me time to not be
on poison to ease
my life.

I ate my dinner without wanting to
throw it up,
without thinking about,
the space it could take up in body,
without thinking how,
I will look in the morning.
And it has taken me time to learn how to
my stomach
and un-feel
all of the guilt that food used to cause me.

And it's days like today,
when it was a
bad day,
and I felt like it's weight
could throw me back in to
bad days,
but I made my dinner,
and I drank my wine,
and I thought about how far I have come in the past year.
in the past two years, three years.

There are still nights when I feel you ghost hands,
wrap around my throat,
and I still have nightmares,
about how scared I felt when I was with you.
There are still scars on my body,
and my heart,
from the places I've let
other people hurt me,
but I am growing,
and I feel myself getting stronger,
and my heart getting fuller,
and my eyes getting brighter
even on bad days.
Portland Grace Oct 2015
When we talk, collectively, about being
there will be someone who asks,
"What is that? How can you say,
that a women should be entitled to claim this violence as their own,
when men get hit by women, too?"

1 in 4 women in college will be victims of ****** assault,
and too often men will ask,
"but what defines ****** assault?
if a girl gets her
*** grabbed in the club
is she the 1 in 4?"

I haven't yet heard,
a women ask
"but what defines ****** assault?"

Sometimes I feel like I was born knowing,
how to make myself smaller
so that no one could see me,
looking down at crosswalks,
and stoplights,
trying not to make eye contact
with men looking at me.

I know what it means to be sexually assaulted,
and how this comes in many forms,
all of which
are valid.

I have had my shoulder grabbed and shaken violently
by men who claimed to love me,
I have been struck in the face,
by men who told me they wanted me to be their wife.
I have been threatened to keep things men did to me a secret,
or I would be hurt in my sleep.
I have had my cellphone confiscated, and the landline disconnected, so that I could not call for help when my father would drink too much.

My story is not unique,
this 1 in 4,
is so common.
you will look into the eyes,
of women who live with these traumas on their shoulders,
you will not see their weight but they will see
the ignorance in your words, the dismissal of their own
when you ask
"but what defines ****** assault?"
Portland Grace Oct 2015
I could have only breathed you until the day that I died,
but you exhaled me like a stale cigar,
not even letting me get close to your lungs,
you choked and coughed
and threw me in the trash,

I gave you all that I had and you threw me away
I can't even remember why I still miss you
Portland Grace Oct 2015
You where the light that went out,
when the wind blew too hard,

the drapes that fly up
when you open the door,

the key that fits in the lock
but won't turn

The reason to breath
the reason to yearn

the steps that lead up
to an empty wall

the undelivered card
with no return address

the baby that got
dropped on it's head

you're the embrace,
that feels ******* pointless

a walk on the beach,
that ends at a cliff

I only miss you,
when I'm full of dread

maybe I'll miss you
when I'm dead.
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