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Jul 2016 · 526
Smiling is important too.
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.
Jun 2016 · 606
Fuck Arizona in the Summer
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
Nov 2015 · 882
Arcane Torrent
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
Oct 2015 · 661
A bad day
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.
Oct 2015 · 671
1 in 4
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?"
Oct 2015 · 371
October, again.
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.
Sep 2015 · 338
Portland Grace Sep 2015
Of course, these things happen
You forget where the light switch is,
so you sit in the dark for a while
trying to figure out
why the room doesn't feel so bright.

People are faulty,
they crack and shatter,
like crystal glass.
Sparkling and singing until
they are collapsing on the floor
at 3 A.M
for no good reason other than
a flash of a memory,
that they thought they had forgotten.

You tasted like something I wanted to be better for,
I could feel all of the room to grow,
grow to meet your years,
and your lips so far above mine
but it would be
and I have always needed
a hand to hold.

I wish I could know myself the way,
my girl knows me,
and I could tell myself
what to do,
because it's easier to hear the words,
when you aren't pretending you don't feel them.

Maybe I handled this carelessly,
my hands have a tendency to shake
when I feel things deeply,
throw everything in front of me
properly assessing the fall.

I miss my home,
with mountains and trees,
where the smell of pine clears your thoughts
but my home is burning.
and so am I
Portland Grace Sep 2015
I will undress your scars,
I want to open you up like the top of a tank,
climb inside your rib cage,
and drive over all of the things that have hurt you.

Climb over,
the peaks that make you feel small,
crawl under,
the barbed wire back streets,
taking shortcuts,
because I don't want to wait, I need you now

You've got flowers growing out of you fingers that only I can see.

The clock in the kitchen is going to tick like it always has,
and the fan is rotating dust in the same half-circle,
and your arms are sometimes around me,
and sometimes they're not,
and the clock and the fan and you don't know
what it's like in my chest when your gone

I shattered glass just to see where it cracks,
I shattered glass just to watch something die.

There's books that I've read that talk about the savior,
they say that his eyes look like running water,
and his voice makes you feel softer,
but I don't think that the blue in someones eyes would make me feel much different than the green in yours.
And I've never cared much for being saved.
Portland Grace Aug 2015
How do I tell,
exactly where my love stopped?

A river pools into the sea,
there are still parts of it there
but most of it got lost,
in something vaster.

Your name still feels like home sometimes.
Aug 2015 · 535
You call women soft
Portland Grace Aug 2015
I do not fear sharks,
my claws are sharper than your words,

I will rip out your jugular
and let your blood drip from my teeth
Aug 2015 · 320
Oh man
Portland Grace Aug 2015
We are made of bones and muscle and water,
And I don't want to remember the last time that you held her,

Her bones too heavy for her weightless frame, as she mopped up your sins and took all the blame.

Us humans, we're made out of atoms and star dust,
Slowly sinking to hell through the dirt of the earths crust.
And you can walk through the flames alone if you must,
And you can dress yourself in metal and wait til you rust,
You can spit accusations until you feel you're just,

Tomorrow a train will pull into a station, and a man on an altar will make his declaration,
And tell her he loves her and tell her he cares, and then the same night take her sister downstairs,

And where is the moon when the sea needs it's tide? It stays right in sight with no place to hide. No need to assure, it will rise in time.

We are made out of passion and ******* and lies,
And we kiss our mothers before we open our thighs
And we put our heads in hands to muffle our cries

Your morning coffee tastes bitter in the afternoon,
And you always leave my bed too soon.

I'm made out of ashes and you're made out of flames
And when the dust settles, we are quite the same.
And I know what it means to be brave when I say your name.
Aug 2015 · 275
Here, have a poem.
Portland Grace Aug 2015
I did not make these words,
I only choose where to put them.
I put all these here for you.
Portland Grace Aug 2015
I want you to hurt, the same way I did,
I want someone who means everything to you,
to destroy everything you have,
burn down everything you've worked for
like you did to me.

And at the same time,

I never want you to hurt a day in your life.
I saw a picture of you today and it made me feel a lot of stuff.
Aug 2015 · 320
Nothing in the 'verse
Portland Grace Aug 2015
If the day will come when tides don't flow,
and water can't find the time to rise,
where birds don't chirp and crow,
and mothers hear no cries.

If the day will come when the earth is still,
so quiet you can hear your own heartbeat,
when trucks stop driving, at their own will,
and the radio feels defeat.

Tectonic plates quit drifting,
TV's all click off
Bicycle speeds stop shifting,
The sick don't need to cough

What a world our world would be,
if there was no need for noise
What kind of things would there be to see?
If all the sound was destroyed.

So speak to me tomorrow,
when we stop this blessed lull,
for now we can't tell sorrow,
just pretend that we are whole,

And I'm sure I'll hear your laughter,
when the stillness finds it's end,
but write down in this calm chapter,
I hear your smile in my head
Aug 2015 · 367
The past few weeks
Portland Grace Aug 2015
Little coffee spills,
on your desk
with my lipstick
on your mug,
and my hair
on your pillow.
Marking the places
I have been,
so you won't forget
how I taste.
Portland Grace Jul 2015
When I loved you, you were April mornings and bagels with extra cream cheese.
When I lost you, you were untouched cups of coffee, growing colder and stale through the day.

When I loved you, there was muddy shoes and shortcuts off the main road,
When I lost you, I wandered around trying to find my way back to the trail head.

When I loved you I was younger, I was lost, my hair was longer and thicker, and my heart was lighter. I slept with lights on and drank my coffee with more cream,,
When I lost you I thought that was the end. I thought that the world around me had stopped spinning and I cried for nights upon nights and lost 10 pounds because I couldn't eat my food.

When I loved you I thought that I was happy,
When I lost you I realized that I had never really been that happy.

When I loved you I learned about forgiveness, patience, and how to care about someone.
When I lost you I learned about acceptance, solidity, and how to care about myself.

When I loved you I thought the world looked brighter and grass didn't itch the same.
When I lost you I saw that they sky has always been the same, and grass will grow in unexpected places.

When I loved you, I thought it would be forever. We were so young and wanted so much from each other.
When I lost you, and long long after I lost you, I realized how easy it is for things to change, and how these things won't break you.
& I do still love you (in memory)
Portland Grace Jul 2015
I. The honey-bees are a dying breed,
II.** I'm sleeping on an air mattress instead of in your arms,
(these are not specific arms, these are general arms)
(or, you know, on a real bed, which would also suffice)
III. I spent three months obsessing over the concept of someone,
only to find in practice we had nothing in common
and nothing to talk about (to really talk about)
(12 hours in a car with someone and by the end you're either madly in love with them or know it will never ever work out)
IV. I saw a spider on the floor of my new room a few hours ago. What if it has friends?
(What if it has family? Where are they? How do I tell them I fear them and am also their ally?)
V. I still love the boy that hates me and still hate the boy that loves me and also don't care about either of them because I'm doing me right now.
(Because when was the last time I allowed myself to be alone and heal?)
VI. You never know how strong you are until you have to be as strong as you can be.
(and I am strong.)
Jun 2015 · 494
M. (I love you so much)
Portland Grace Jun 2015
I love you.
I loved you when we were kids chasing each other around the ranch.
I loved you when I had my first kiss and called you on the bus to tell you about it.
I loved you when we were learning how to do make-up together (you were always better than me).
I loved you with skinned knees and bad eyeliner
and I love you now.

Your mom died yesterday.
I love her and I love you and I have considered you family since we were 8 years old, making gingerbread houses in your old kitchen.

And we have been friends for over 10 years and I have only seen you cry a handful of times and today when we were boxing up your mothers things I didn't see you stop crying.

I love you and this hurts.
And I was at your house for almost six hours today and I don't think we said more than 20 words to each other.
Because all I could say is "I love you and this *****"
and all you could say was "I know."

And I love you, and this *****.
And I can't find any words to say to you, because the truth is that there is very little comfort in something like this. But I don't want you to know that, because I hate seeing you hurting. I don't want you to hurt and there is nothing in the world I or anyone else can do to keep you from hurting.

I love you so much, and this *****.
Jun 2015 · 448
The Siren's Mating Song
Portland Grace Jun 2015
Please be mine,
let me call you my darling
let me rest my head in the crook of your lovely elbow.

I want to be the next thing you need after your morning coffee.
Please be mine.

Twirl my hair in your lovely finger
rest your head in my lap when you are sleepy,
oh won't you please be mine?

Let me kiss your cheeks for weeks,
sit on your lap at your desk,
call you at midnight with slurred words.

You will love me so much,
if only you'd be mine.

Sleep next to me faithfully when I start to dream of other things.
When I stop gripping your hand as tightly,
and you know somethings wrong but you're too scared to ask.

You'll love me so much if you're mine.

Won't you be mine?
I'll make you laugh,
I'll make you cry
I'll make you think everything is your fault.

You'll smell my hair in your bed but I won't be there anymore.
You'll feel more alone than you have in your whole life.
Won't you please be mine?

You'll hate me
You'll yell at me and then you'll feel even worse
and you'll hate yourself too.

I'll kiss your lovely cheek and walk away.
I'll probably never cry.
Oh, won't you please be mine?
Portland Grace Jun 2015
That home is not a place it's a feeling. It's a feeling that wraps you in warmth and when you get there you know, because how could you ever feel like you feel when you're home?

2. That home will change. Home will adapt. You will come to the house you were raised in after being away for a while and you will your hand will shake as you open the door. The bed where you lost your virginity will feel stiff and old and you will realize that this doesn't feel like home anymore, that home is 800 miles away and sits with your stuff in boxes and with a girl with brown eyes and your favorite smile.

3. That time changes people, and time will change you. You will kiss the boy you swore you loved with all your heart a few years ago, just for the hell of it, and you will find that time has changed you both and you can't remember why his lips used to taste so sweet.

4. You will grow apart from people you don't want to grow apart from.   And that's okay. There will always be memories shared, and things you will miss. You will move on and talk infrequently and wish them the best.

5. You will hate how quickly things have changed. You will look back and you will think about high school and the excitement of leaving and wonder why you never fully appreciated where you were in this moment. You will feel pangs of regret, but they will pass.

6. You will bring to your home town habits you picked up while in school. You will take tequila shots in your kitchen at midnight because you're bored and you will shotgun a beer because it reminds you of home, and you miss your dorm room more than you would like to admit.

7. You are not invincible. When you leave school, you no longer have exams and work and parties to hide behind. Life moves slower here. You have to look at yourself each day with a new kind of acceptance, and that acceptance might seem harder here.

8. And you will be more alone, and this is a part of growing up. You went a year without regularly talking to your friends. It will hurt that you are not as a part of their group anymore. It will feel odd that you no longer have people to hang out with everyday. That your best friend is across the country and no longer shares a room with you. That you can't go to the guys down the hall's room to see what they are doing. That you will have days where no one texts you, no one talks to you, and this is all okay. You will learn about solitude and moving on and loving yourself. And of course, you will be okay, you've always been okay.
May 2015 · 978
Things you never saw
Portland Grace May 2015
I am sun-kissed and I glow in the moonlight,
my eyes reflect like water,
and summer makes me speckle and freckle
and I crave rivers and mountains
and other things that make me beautiful.

I am long-legged like the spiders you hate,
my hair is red like roses and smells like springtime,
I am soft in a way you imagine clouds to be
and I no longer fear you or the dark.

I have grown out of sidewalk cracks,
I am a ******* garden and you can't step on me anymore.

I am too tall to be contained and too beautiful to be detained
and I will never again haunt myself with things I couldn't be.

I am too much to be too little and somewhere you always knew it.

So when you talk to me like you think I still love someone who made me believe I was just an ugly girl,
remember that there are flowers growing inside me,
and I washed the taste of your sharp tongue out of my mouth months ago.

I am an ocean with waves and depths and storms and beauty and there is so much to me that you will never get to see.

You were an anchor weighing me down confining me to one stark place of myself,

I am so much more than you ever saw, I finally know this now.
And sure, this one is for you and everyone else like you.

Love yourself, love yourself, always remember to love yourself.
Apr 2015 · 858
Portland Grace Apr 2015
I've got some more wine,
to forget the words I'm drowning in.
We can share the next glass,
and talk about the way the world is,
and the way it used to be.
When we were ****** up,
making out on the steps of the old elementary school,
and too tall for monkey bars
and too young for bar stools.

I told you about my fathers past,
and you told me about your biggest regret,
about a girl with emerald eyes
and a night you wish you could forget.

I think about the letters I used to write you in my head,
and I used to tell you about this boy and this boy and this boy
and the boy that never was, they boy that used to be, the boy that I have yet to meet,
and all the boys I used to see.

Like the more I said their names, the more I thought they'd disappear,
but I'm just reliving old traumas, re-opening old scars
in a same-****-different-year.

I don't know how to form words, without pulling up old thoughts
and I breath in smoke and it speaks my words with a tongue I'm not fond of.
I let liquor dizzy my dreams, and those nights I sleep the best
and sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and can feel you breathing on my chest.

You're a phantom now,
and ghost of my goodbyes,
the sin of my God bless,
Your unspoken words to late to speak,
when I wished i'd spoken less.

When the nights are fine, and the days are new,
will I still love you like I do?
If you forget about your demons, do they forget about you too?

And when are you coming home, from the war you never left for?
When will I see you holding your head up high?
I think,
you've made me lose my mind.

It's too late to start something new,
and I wish that I could say these words to you.
Portland Grace Apr 2015
I had a dream that you wanted to **** me,
you told me you were going to drown me in the lake,
you were going to drive your car off the pier and we were going to die together.
I begged you not to do it,
I was terrified,
and trying to convince you that we could make us work,
you didn't have to do this.
Crying and screaming and trying to get out of your car but you wouldn't let me.

(I got the same feeling in my stomach that I got for our entire year long relationship)
(Like I was trapped and didn't know how to get away from you)

I woke up and I was so happy that I am still 900 miles away and that I never have to speak to you again.
Portland Grace Apr 2015
You collected old coins,
and I collect my mother's Polaroids,
and we both think the other has an unhealthy relationship with holding on to the past.

I have shelves of old journals in my garage,
because I like to remember what 13 year old me was so upset about.
You have a box of Pogs under your bed that you won at recess in 4th grade.

My collections collect dust, and the dust collects dead skin from my inability to stop picking my lips when I'm anxious.

I collect your old words, bottle them up and put them on shelves in long rows.
There's two whole jars just filled with the different ways you told me I looked nice today, and three for all the ways you told me you loved me.

You have your old matchbox cars, and you gave me one on my birthday because it was my favorite.

In my closet back home is my mothers prom dress, and my grandmothers wedding gown, and they both smell only like old clothes and nothing of the sweet scented women who once wore them.

My drawers are filled with make-up and I have three or more of every shade of lipstick there is,
and you told me that was excessive and I told you
that there is a difference between
cool-toned red
and warm -toned red
and it all depends on how I'm feeling that day,
and you told me I was crazy.

I still remember
secret handshakes
and I haven't got myself
to throw out the letter you wrote me the day before I left for college.

I am bad at letting things go,
I collect memories
good and bad
and keep them in my mind just close enough to bring into frame when things get too sweet.

My collections collect dust,
like family photos and knick-knacks on a shelf,
only my mother isn't here to dust them off during spring cleaning.

(someday I will learn how to throw you)
Apr 2015 · 610
Salt Spray
Portland Grace Apr 2015
Oceans ebb and flow,
as do I

Sometimes I think that I will drown here.

There are falling cliffs on the coast of California,
and I still don't know if there is a difference between sand and stone.

I used to say his name out loud when I was alone just to see if it still tasted the same.
It did.

There's things beneath tons of water that no one has ever seen.
There is no light to see them, anyways.

I'm the only one who has ever thought my eyes look like the ocean before a storm.

I don't own a record player but I have four records and I can't use your turntable anymore.
Portland Grace Apr 2015
I never meant to hurt you,
I never wanted to hurt you,
and I'm sorry that I did.

Remember when I told you that people are messy?

I wanted to fall in love with you easy,
but you are not easy,
You are obsessions and rituals and raw skin and apologizes and I tried to keep you floating.
You were an anchor that I wasn't strong enough to lift.

You had soft skin and I loved the way you felt but you hated everything about yourself and couldn't even listen to me when I told you why I loved you.

And if there is one thing that I should know by now it's that you can't fix someone with just kisses.

I wanted to stay by your side but I am trying so hard to get out of my own murky waters and we were drowning each other.

I'm sorry for everything
Portland Grace Mar 2015
I am still learning to be sad,
without the weight of it,
sinking me like an anchor
(because it doesn't have to)

And I tell myself,
that I don't need anybody
to validate my feelings
and that I can tell myself I'm okay.

But tonight,
I am sad,
and tonight
I don't feel okay,
and I feel lonely,
and I feel unimportant,
and (worst of all) I even miss you a little bit.
And I feel all of these things starting to crush me,

And I tell myself that I am better now, and that I am okay.
And that it's okay to be sad.
Mar 2015 · 434
There is no ice left
Portland Grace Mar 2015
Back when the world was cold
and the rain came
almost every day

When flowers were soggy and
and we were eating the cupcakes your mother made
on your back porch at midnight.

When my world revolved around
"You look beautiful today"
"By God you have the smallest hands I have ever seen"

(There was a lot of thunder and lightning in Nevada County last year because the climate just couldn't decide if it was

My world was gray and damp
but in your passenger seat I convinced myself I loved the rain.

I dont love the rain.

California has been in a drought,
and we haven't spoken since Christmas.

I remember all your scars and blemishes
but I can't remember why I loved them.

I haven't worn my winter coat at all this year.

And I still hate the rain.
Portland Grace Mar 2015
For my mother,
who told me when I was 4 and didn't know better
that I was beautiful,
and when I believed her.

She told me,
"You know,
women pay hundreds of dollars
for that strawberry blonde color
that you already have."

And I looked in the mirror,
and I believed it.

When I was
12 years old,
and angry at my reflection,
for not being
thinner and fuller,
for my skin not being clearer
and my hair not being longer.
and my mother telling me
that I was beautiful,
but I didn't believe her.

When I was 16
and crying,
because my there would never be
a gap between my thighs,
or a perfect curl
in my hair.

And my mother wiped my mascara stains
off my face
and told me
I was beautiful.

And I told her she was lying.

My mother,
who is beautiful.
Who gave me honey hair
and almond eyes.
Who gave me a garden of freckles,
and the softest skin.
How could I look at my mother,
and say I was not beautiful.

For my mother,
my grandmother,
my sister,
my cousins ,
my brother,
and everyone else in my blood,
who ever felt like they weren't beautiful,
I will tell myself that I am.

I am 19,
and I am so far from home,
that when I look in these different mirrors,
and I feel lost and scared,
and I feel like I am not beautiful,
I look to my mother,
my gorgeous mother,
who will tell me
I am beautiful.

And I finally believe her.

I am learning to love myself,
to love the skin I am in,
it is my home,
and I will not destroy
what my mother built me.

I wake up
and I look in the mirror,
and my mother doesn't even have to tell me
I am beautiful.
And so are you.
Portland Grace Feb 2015
Today you turn 19,
and I often think about how much things have changed in one year.
These concrete 'remember the date' days make it easier to recall,
like how I felt on Christmas and New Years and Valentines day.
How last year we went out to sushi, I got you that Perma t-shirt, you and your brother took all of us bowling, and you wouldn't hold my hand when there were people around.

Today you turn 19,
And I remember feeling like a surrogate for you to **** your emptiness into.
I remember the constant nagging of not feeling good enough,
the self-loathing that plagued me through our entire relationship.
Hating other people who had never done anything to me just because they meant more to you than I ever would.

A lot has changed in a year.

Today, you turn 19
and I woke up in the arms of another,
and I woke up with a sleepy smile that lasted into morning, afternoon, and night.
I woke up with his name in my mouth and his lips on my shoulders
and I woke happy.

Today you turn 19,
and I can look in mirrors again
and I don't wake up wishing I was someone else
and I don't punish myself for things that aren't my fault
and I don't skip meals trying to look the way you wanted me too
and I don't hate myself anymore.

Today you turn 19,
and I didn't wish you a happy birthday.

I'm better now.
I'm healthy,
and happy,
and loved.
It's almost Spring.
Don't ever let anybody make you feel like you are not good enough.
You are good enough.
They are not good enough.
Feb 2015 · 355
Portland Grace Feb 2015
I thought about all the wasted words,
the blood on the walls,
and dry skin
from the compulsive ways
I had to wash my hands
after he ****** me.

I thought about old scars,
new scars,
and newer still scars.
Scars that would burn from the inside,
until my skin would crack
and I would come pouring out,

At least I have something to write about.
Portland Grace Jan 2015
I wrote you a book,
did you keep it?
Did you look?
When I stole your glances,
out your cracked window
two stories up?
Did you eyes follow me down your steps
when I slammed the gate?
When I spit on your lawn,
with my heart in my hands
that you tried to give back,
but it was already too late?

I wrote you a book,
four volumes long,
but all with same plot,
and the same stupid songs.

There's a chapter in there,
somewhere towards the back
it's covered in blood
and it's written in black.

Somewhere on a mountain,
high above the sea
there's a woman in red
and she's smiling at me,
she says
"Stop running in circles,
because you can't stop looking back,
chin the **** up
and plan your attack"

There's a stain in the stairwell
where blood leaked from your hands,
in December at midnight
under layers of sand
there's dust that shouldn't
have choked that young man.

When I checked your watch,
grabbed your wrist in an alley
and threw out the time,
into the trash can beside me

and picked up my words,
and left you there in street
with blood on your hands
and no shoes on your feet

I wrote you a book,
I wrote it for years,
I wrote it at night,
so that you wouldn't hear,
when my pen scribbled *****
and nightmares appeared

There's a cork in the bottle,
I put the glass down,
I emptied the bath tub,
and painted my frown
and looked up at your window
as I slammed your front gate,
no tears in my eyes
but I watched you the same
as a man who could murdered me,
and make me believe I was to blame.

I wrote you a book,
I never wanted to write,
did you read it all,
did you tear out pages,
and pin them on wall?
Did you throw it outside,
when rain started to fall?
Or did you skim it over,
for a second or two
then put it back down
thinking this can't be for you.

When my memory smokes in your mind,
like some rekindled flame,
I hope you remember
my face and my name
but not all the sins
my book burned on your brain.
Jan 2015 · 394
Portland Grace Jan 2015
Some days I wake up and I look in the mirror, and I look at the person staring back at me and wonder, when did I become the ghost of a shell of a girl? I remember when my eyes used to shine and I would look at my reflection when I walked by windows, thinking I was really something to be.
It's a little past new years, and I've come a long way from a year ago, two years ago, three years ago. Sometimes I smile and I light up again and I mean it. I really do. Some days I still fall back into the rhythm of numbness and I think about cutting ties with everyone around me because I don't want to drag anyone down with me.
Everyday unfolds in front of me like a mystery, and I guess that's the same for everyone everywhere, but when I wake up there's ultimately one question I ask myself, "Will this be a good day, or a bad day?" And the truth is I never really know the answer, no one does. Some days I can get hit by frozen rain and I brush it off because I remembered my umbrella and I was a little bit stuffy anyways and the wind feels nice when it brushes my cheeks. Some days It's sunny and bright and there is every hope for my future but I still struggle to form words and I can barely even hear myself when I say "You're okay, you've always been okay." There are hurricanes on my fingertips and if I stand too close to an edge sometimes I convince myself I will jump off.
I am healing and growing and learning and trying. I am a mess of perfections and imperfections, obsessions and discontent.
I am a warped record that once had something to say, but the sun and the rain and the moon have damaged me and I keep repeating the same lines as though time might change their meaning.
My room was covered in the names of the people who hurt me, changed me, broke me, so I stripped off the wallpaper and repainted my colorful walls with the dullest shade of beige they had at Home Depot. When I looked around at my bare walls I packed my bags and moved 800 miles away from everything that reminded me of his ******* acne scars or the way I almost broke my mothers heart. The desert dried me out and I am learning to look at sunrises again without hating myself, and I am rewriting stories on how to love myself even if I don't always feel like I should.
I can hold the hand of someone new, and feel something without drowning. I can feel wanted without being scared and I am even starting to tell myself that I am good, even though most of the time I do not feel very good.
I am learning and breathing and kissing and feeling.
I am okay, I have always been okay.
Jan 2015 · 388
O, I am Slain!
Portland Grace Jan 2015
Leather bound,
lavish and
Turned through
stiff pages
with nothing on them
but dust
and curse words,

When I finished reading
cover to cover,
I thought I might
rip open it's spine
and destroy the whole thing
so that no one else
would have to.

That *******
first edition
****** *******
closed book
swallowed me whole.
Portland Grace Jan 2015
Men put tiny fences
on mountains
and call it theirs.
Dec 2014 · 365
T.K (A dumb poem for you)
Portland Grace Dec 2014
I'm sorry,
I hung up on you tonight,
and a few nights before that
(And a few nights before that)

I didn't mean,
to close the door
or turn off the lights,

I just needed
to open a window,
feel cold air,
and sit with my thoughts.

You are
a yellow bird,
you make everything
a little brighter

And I'm sorry
that my words
clip your wings
(I really don't mean to)

I wish that things were easier.
We both know all to well,
that things don't always end up
like we want them to.

But you're (almost) here
and that matters
and you matter
and I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, I'll write you something better someday but yeah I'm sorry about tonight.
Dec 2014 · 2.5k
Sierra Nevada
Portland Grace Dec 2014
I was born a little fat baby,
with eyes shining blue under a cloud of regret.

I was their marriage bond,
A single mother and her manager
and this new crying child that neither of them knew what to do with.

They didn't know what to do with each other.

I was raised on shattered glasses,
broken trinkets,
and holes in the wall
all souvenirs of my father's anger and my mothers fear.

I was raised on sleeping on my brothers floor
because the screaming was too bad to hear on my own.

I learned my lessons on submission on my mothers fingertips,
as she would sweep the glass,
wipe the blood,
and make breakfast while humming, as though these things were just another part of a family dynamic.

And when I was 15, and I threw back a shot of ***** for the very first time,
I found I had learned lessons on dependence
from my fathers daily sin.

My parents tried to un-write their failures in me,
Telling me all the things not to do,
as they handed me a meticulously crafted manual
on exactly how to do them.

I was a shining baby,
and when my dad started to see his regrets in my mother,
and then in me,
he left the state without a single goodbye.

I was a shining baby,
with blue eyes and soft hair,
and I watched my mother cry for months,
as she moved us from fresh start to fresh start.

I was expected to be a prodigal daughter,
forged in the ashes of the lives
that the shining baby burned down.

I crumbled,
I am not a prodigy,
I am a ******-up girl
with enough mistakes stacked up at my young age,
to make my father proud.

I don't want to be a success
I don't want to be a failure
I don't want to be
Dec 2014 · 824
Portland Grace Dec 2014
We share a dream,
a hope,
of a little tiny house
with a basement
and knives not sold in a set.

Of a dog and a car
and a bed on the ground,
and being a little late on the monthly rent.

Of goodbye kisses
when you'd leave for work
and I'd be off to school.
Of watching snow
off our back patio
and sneaking into the neighbors pool.

Of borrowing each others flannels,
and kissing our noses
and drinking tea in springtime
before I prune the roses.

Of our morning coffee,
yours black, mine sweet,
and I'd still make fun of you
for the way that you eat.

For fights about vinyl
and paint and a movie,
but not about the things
that you shouldn't have done to me.

So we want that,
we both do,
and here's where it stinks
is that you ****** it up
in our fight after drinks.

And I know you regret it,
and I'm sorry to say
that sometimes apologies
don't cut it that way.

I miss you, I do
and you miss me too,
and I want our little house
and our dog and you.

But you put her name
above mine on the list,
and if you asked me a month ago
who I would want to kiss
to you I'd be true
but it wouldn't be me,
if they instead asked you.

We share a dream, a want and a need
for places colder,
for dirt and for skiis.
Of snow caps and pine trees
and people to leave.

But I don't trust you,
with my heart or my mind
and while I still really like you
I can't decide
if it's worth all this trouble
you've shook up in your wake
If your the one with the heart
or the one with the stake.
Portland Grace Dec 2014
I'm back home,
sleeping in the bed we made love on.

We haven't spoken in a few weeks now.

I miss you.
I didn't think I would,
and I know I shouldn't.

I hate you,
I hate so much about you,
I hate all the awful things you did to me
and I hate that you hate me now too.

I walk past the places you kissed me,
I sleep in the bed where you first told me you loved me
(remember? You said it when I told you I was leaving you.)

I know about all the manipulations and the lies,
but somehow,
when I think of you,
all I can think about
is the way you would tell me how small my hands were,
you would fold them in yours and kiss all my fingers.

Our weekend rituals.
The summer weeks where your parents would go to Nevada and we would stay in your bed all day.
When we built a fort out of blankets in my room and spent the whole weekend watching netflix in our castle.
Your stupid ******* tiny car with your spiderman plush ball on the dash.
(I still have the Iron Man one you gave me in my dorm room.)

I'm drinking the same wine we used to sip,
until you stopped drinking.
So I started drinking by myself,
(You said you loved it when I got drunk because I kissed you more)

I never wanted to love you,
I knew you were bad for me,
I knew you were going to **** me up,
and believe me, you did.

But I can't stop thinking about the way you would kiss my shoulders,
the way we would sit in my car in the rain listening to the Killers after school, how we would drive down to Roseville for no other reason than you thought I deserved a nice dinner.

Sometimes, just for a drunken moment, I forget that you were literally the worst thing that ever happened to me.

(I hate that I still care about you)
(I hate that you ever ******* came into my life)
Portland Grace Nov 2014
I grew up in the cabbage patch,
224 rows of deep roots to care for.

You were born on the first boat your father ever owned,
and his father before that.

Two legacies that would never intertwine.
Oil on sea.

I had two sisters and one brother and we were all destined for the same life of dirt and hard work and fresh baked pies.

Your only child complex made you a trophy son to all your fathers drinking buddies. You swore you could almost smell his pride leaking out his mouth when he would talk about the fish you caught together the past weekend.

I walked in narrow steps with hunched shoulders and I was just trying to find the elevator when you turned my whole existence upside down with your shoulders back, head held high wide stride.

I wanted to gather myself and run away, I would have rather been anywhere but in front of you. My feet were glued to the ground and I couldn't tell up from down or day from night all I could see was your soft hair and your soft skin and your round eyes and the way they looked at me like no one had ever looked at me before.

You were the high tide and I was a cesspool. You came and went as you pleased and what you gave to me in passing I would hold on to for years. I lay stagnant and fermenting in my own thoughts and you had the entire ocean in your fingertips.

I watched quietly as you sped through mania and love-stricken grief. I would watch you start to unwind and dismantle and I would hold my breath as you forced yourself to shatter. No other cause than the wind was too cold or you were scared of the way it sounded when you talked about your future.

I would silently crumble and help you pick up the pieces of yourself and watch, amazed, at the speed in which you could put yourself back together.

We shared a bed and a home and, for a time, a name. We spoke without words and made memories that gathered dust on a shelf.

I loved the silence of snow and frozen ground, you missed warm sand and couldn't stand being away from the sea.

We were unfolding and our shaky foundation had holes that were now too large for me to patch.

We used to sit and talk for hours about nothing at all. Now it's four in the morning and I haven't heard your voice in over three years.

You once told me that we were blight. We tore away at each other until we were empty stalks on a poisoned field.

When you finally left I sat on our front porch steps for almost the rest of the night. I never cried or fell apart, just stared down the dirt road trying to figure out where we went wrong, or if we ever did anything right.

I think some older part of me now believes that we were always in this kind of delusional state. Kidding ourselves with promises to each other about  a future that was built on ash.

I missed my sisters and I sold the house and when I went back to my family's farm the dirt just reminded me of you.

I spent the first night in my old room crying and shaking the bed frame until my chest felt tight and hallow and I heaved from my stomach a kind of sadness I didn't know someone could have. My mouth tasted like ***** and lavender and your shoulders and I threw up until I could only ******* own decay.

I knew the sound of your footsteps, your tossing and turning, your starting to spiral down voice, your hurried walk, your fingers in my hair. It took me so long to try and unlearn these things but even gin couldn't drown you out of my head.

In spring things got better, because my sister had a baby with fat cheeks and small hands and she named her Anna and when she would cry at night I would sometimes go in there and cry with her.

I think about the boy with the ocean in his fingertips, and my silence on his tongue and I whisper to Anna that people are messy and I'm sorry she has to learn this someday.

I look down a different dirt road and wonder if I'll ever see your soft curls again. I wonder if you've found another person in this world, and if she is as plain compared to you as I was. She probably is. I wonder if you're running your fathers fishing business like you said you were going to, like you always knew you were meant too. I wonder if the sea smells exactly like you remember. I wonder if you're happy. If your fits of self-destruction have stopped, if you're still scared of being alone.

You were the whole ocean and I was just a girl. I didn't know how to be with you anymore than you knew how to be with me. I watched you in awe and I think I always knew we were never meant to last.

We were cracking from the start, but man, the way we shattered was beautiful.
This might be a little long for this site but I just kinda started writing and  didn't stop.
Portland Grace Nov 2014
Spit your ******* venom at me,
tell me about all the things I lied about,
tell me all the things I did wrong.

Call me every horrible name you can think of,
like I care what you think of me anymore.

As soon as I was away from you,
I finally saw how bad things were.
I'm not your ******* puppet anymore.

You're ******* toxic,
and I've been choking on you for years.

I let you morph me into what you wanted,
I compromised my values and self-worth to please you,
and don't think for a second it didn't destroy me.
It did.
I hated myself, what I had become in the hopes of trying to fix you.
Help you.
You weren't worth it.

You're ******* psychotic.

I'm so happy,
I never have to let you touch me again.
Sorry for all the ***** but for real *******.
Nov 2014 · 919
North Star Fuck Up
Portland Grace Nov 2014

Planting roses inside me.

Flowering out my mouth.

I choke on your decay.
Nov 2014 · 435
Testing Level Two
Portland Grace Nov 2014
Two shots down,

Broke down,
side of the road
side of the bed,

Follow me,
fall asleep,
I went through the wrong doors,
I fell down the stairs.

You're a ******* thunder storm.

Walked three paces to the west,
turned around
you shot me in the back.

Five rounds of blanks,
and I took
the one shell shock,
of a hollow point.

Where there was once,
strawberry fields
with sun and bare feet.
We've left nothing
but cold blood on ice.
Portland Grace Nov 2014
I need this Melancholia,
I need this
hard breath
of cold air,
freedom of
roaming hands
stomping feet.

I need
blankets too tight
too loose,
to help
and decide
I am.

There are,
pine trees
in my blood,
cactus thorns
on my skin.

I am bent,
and freezing.
My paint is chipping,
and I am starting
to c r a c k.
Rusty and rotting,
but not broken.

My pipes tick,
and are slow to start,
but I am still moving.

I need
broken bottles,
empty bottles,
half way through me,
then back out.

I need
cascade into darkness,
inky smears
from too much pen.

I need
high on my own supply
high on my own high,

Things have been so weird lately,
I need the chaos,
the uncertainty,
the madness.

I'm feeling around in the dark,
on my hands and knees,
picking up the pieces.
I'm blind,
but I'm putting myself back together.
Nov 2014 · 364
Portland Grace Nov 2014
Watched and waited,
your body
ebbing and flowing.
An ocean
within me.

sprouting wings.
When I closed my eyes,
I flew away.

I'm a sucker
connecting dots,
making constellations
out of you insecurity.

I told you,
you were a galaxy.

When you broke my heart,
left the pieces,
in a photo frame,
I picked up
the star dust
and blew it all away.

and when I shut my eyes,
I realized
I could still fly
Portland Grace Oct 2014
I tried to take your pictures down,
pulled the tacks
right out of my head.

You're a sticky fellow,
and behind the pictures,
there are scars on the wall.

I want to say,
"Remember that one time... when we..."
But I don't want to remember.

I want you to go away.
So I went away.

You're still here,
but you're not here.

We haven't spoken in months,
but why does it feel like you won't leave me alone

I see you every night,
I wake up and sometimes,
I can still feel you on my mouth,
smell your skin.

You're so far away.

How does something so dim,
burn so bright?

I'll probably never know,
why people sleepwalk,
or what I ever saw in you.

How someone who can be so terrible,
can be so
magnificently wonderful

You were
temporary ink,
but it feels like
a ******* tattoo.

*I'll bleach all my walls
until your stains are gone
Portland Grace Oct 2014
Where words once flowed like a river,
I dammed up my mouth
with your soft skin,
you have stolen my art from me,
slipped them right off my lips, thief.

The truth is,
I have been pouring my words into you,
for quite sometime,
you eat them like candy.
I have not been able to put down your hand
long enough to grip a pen.

A month ago you told me that you loved me,
there were tears in your eyes as I told you I was leaving you.
You told me you loved me and you loved me and by god I loved you too.

Sometimes I kiss you and I swear it's so sweet I could choke,
sometimes I spit you back up because you've spoiled in my mouth.
Sep 2014 · 429
Portland Grace Sep 2014
When exactly will you stop drawing
in the margins
of your notebook?
When you are 35 and sorting through your taxes,
and it occurs to you
that you haven't written anything but your name
on real paper
in the last 8 years.
and, my god, when is the last time
you used
a pencil?
*Why did you stop drawing flowers?
Aug 2014 · 316
Portland Grace Aug 2014
Pigment shaded
I'm in the light now,
out of the dusty room
dark circles beneath bright eyes
pale skin
I think I became
I felt like I was melting.
So sure,
everything was okay.
I wasn't okay,
and neither were you.

I'm in the light now,
it's hot here,
but the desert burned away
my doubts.
I'm cleansed again,
and all of my freckles
are returning to me,
lining my nose
there's roses in my cheeks.
I feel like a child again.
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