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quinn collins Jan 2016
i fell in love with you that night,
in your car, speeding
one hundred and twenty-six
down the highway,
your hand clasped around the inside
of my thigh,
your thumb stroking beneath
the leather of my knee high boot

and oh, those knuckles,
i could write pages on those hilltops,
those strong, rough boulders
that could crush me in an instant
if i wanted them to
(and how desperately i do)

while you sang along to the music
so loud it found its way
in my ears and down into my chest,
throwing your head back, belting out,
missing every other word
and every single note,
but you didn’t care and neither did i

i fell in love the next morning,
too, as those same fingers trailed
up the pillar of my neck and
down to where my skin
melts into the fabric of my clothing,
audible shockwaves stirring
in the bottom of my throat, escaping
through the lips i crave for
you to crave, settling
into the small space between us

in my parents eyes
nothing i ever do is good enough,
and some days i can barely find
the strength to look myself
in the mirror,
and other days i pass right through
walls and friends and obligations
as if i were a ghost, a lost soul

but with you, i exist
quinn collins Jan 2015
“isn’t it crowded in california?” people always ask me
but you should have seen the way it looked from the sky

expanses of empty valleys
mountains of uninhabited ridges
cities that i could touch with my fingertip
much like the stars in the dark night air
and green as far as the eye could see
the silver snow that dotted the land
reminding us not to forget about it

never had i been so far above that i could notice it all
always stuck in my corner of the universe

and you should have felt what i felt
knowing that there are still
areas of my heart that have yet to be
realized and explored and populated
by anyone who is not you

even though at one point
you occupied the spaces
the cracks in my chest and lungs and limbs
so much that i thought you were a piece of me

but the seasons change and so do people
so my winter will be drastically different than my summer
when you climbed out of my life and into another’s

and hearts break and shrink and expand
to make room for different hearts
(mine’s currently in the process of getting rid of you)
quinn collins Dec 2014
loving you was like

seeing how much
could pile up on
my windshield
before everything
was blurred

before i knew
i had to
wipe it all away
quinn collins Dec 2014
I. i tried
rolling around
your name
in my mouth
but quickly
spit it out
because the taste
reminded me of
something like
bitter coffee and

II. last year
around this time
i would have
gladly given you
my heart
on a cutting board
screaming at you
arms wide open
to do with it
what you will
but my
how the earth
has made its way
around the sun
so can you
just imagine
the distance
that i’ve come

III. slowly
you’ve become
something of a
lone star in a
vast constellation
to me
an empty idea
something that
died thousands
of years ago
quinn collins Dec 2014
san francisco’s known for its fog
and new york, its cities
and me, i was known for you

there was no me without you
perched at the end of my name
like a comma
incomplete and anticipatory

but every now and then
san francisco beckons in the sun

new york is more than just
one mass of blurred street signs
and the loud comings and goings
of nameless, faceless people

and i’m more than just
one guy who once upon a time
told me he loved me
quinn collins Oct 2014
i was reading warsan shire
when i got your message
and my foundation shook underneath me
the foundation i built
after the earthquake that was you
and i must have reread it
a thousand times
and i must have thought up
a thousand responses
but never sent one because to do that is
a sign of weakness all my friends tell me
and i can never show weakness or falter
but what about the weakness
you exposed in me
the cracks you chipped further
with your brutal axe
and i can remember the way it felt
to hear you say the words
to know that you let another girl
touch you like i used to
how my chest caved in on itself
and for a while there i lost myself
because i didn’t know who i was
without your name attached to mine
and you have a new girl now
one who doesn’t hold the stars in her eyes
for you like i did
and i’ve ****** my fair share of guys
trying to get the taste of your mouth
out of mine
and my throat is bursting
with things i want to say
words words words
with no meaning except anger and hatred
but i know it would all be for a boy
who couldn’t even tell me my middle name
so i keep it inside me
and they say you should never hold in anything
for fear of coming undone at the seams
but i’m the one
who stitched myself back together
and found my footing again
without you
and i pierced my ears
and got that tattoo on my back
not for you
but to separate myself from you
separate myself from the girl who
would gladly sit underneath your thumb
and i used to count anniversaries but now
i just count days since
and it’s been three months since
you took away a part of me
but it’s a piece that i no longer need
so save it for a day when
she doesn’t fit your mold of a perfect woman
when you remember how much i loved you
for free
quinn collins Oct 2014
you watch as your best friend
comes and goes
with guys draped on her arm
like jewelry
interchangeable and temporary
dripping off of her skin
and clinging to her every word
men who fall to their knees
at her feet

when is it your turn

when will they follow your
trail of smoke
your irresistible smile
and heart full up with love

if i can teach you one thing
it’s that boys will
come and go
candy-coated in charm and
talking of the future
one with you in it
but at times it will feel like
you’re drowning
while they watch from the shore

trust me when i say
that you have to wade through
the shallow water first
in order to get to the deep end

wait for the guy
who sets your world on fire
the guy who ignites the spark
in the pit of your stomach
the guy for whom you’d sit
in the middle of a burning room
as the world continues on
around you
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