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9.4k · Jan 2015
i wrote this on an airplane
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)
3.5k · Sep 2013
shadow boxing
quinn collins Sep 2013
i prepared for the worst,
protected myself from the future storm
that no one else could see but me.
it never came,
and i sat in my shelter,
alone with my thoughts.
i wish i was a prizefighter of words,
wish i was able to express to you
how i truly feel,
but instead i spend my days
shadow boxing myself,
without you.
there’s a battle raging inside my mind,
a constant push and pull
between what’s real
and what i feel,
and i lost you,
but i don’t have anyone to blame
but myself.
2.9k · Sep 2013
forget me not
quinn collins Sep 2013
i thought that if i did everything i could,
you would no longer occupy a corner
in the garden of my heart,
but now i see that it’s not my decision.

love is a two-way highway,
and you keep emerging like forget-me-nots
in the spring.

i tried digging my fingers into the soil
and ripping you out by your roots,
but all i accomplished was
dirtying my hands
and making even more of a mess
of myself.

this love is programmed to be perennial,
but trust me when i say
that i don’t need you or any other flower
to make my life more beautiful.
2.7k · May 2013
quinn collins May 2013
what if i told you
that one look from you
can make my entire body
feel electric
can fill me with
such a beautiful misery

what if i told you
that you're the one
all my poems are about

you'd probably say
i was crazy

so i hold my tongue
even though my heart aches
and my fingers long
to intertwine with yours
2.4k · Dec 2013
rock climbing
quinn collins Dec 2013
the saying goes
“falling in love,”
like love means diving
into the ocean
without knowing how deep
the water flows,
like it’s a leaf drifting
side to side
softly to the ground.
for me,
it was like climbing up
the side of a cliff
with nothing but
my two arms
to support me.
you were the biggest
i’ve ever had to overcome,
but baby,
i reached the top
and the view
sure was beautiful.
2.1k · Oct 2013
quinn collins Oct 2013
there’s a solar eclipse
brewing in my body
but i will let
only you
be the moon
that takes over my heart
quinn collins May 2013
other girls always get the guys who
take the stars out of the sky for them;
guys who wrap their arms
and their love around their shoulders,
keeping them warm at night;
guys who kiss all their bruises better;
guys who’d go anywhere, do anything they ask.

i get the guys whose
rough mouths taste like cigarettes;
guys who only say they love me after ***;
guys who don’t touch any other part of me
besides my body;
guys who keep in their shirt pockets a list of girls
and i’m always next to be crossed off.

and every day, i ask myself
why i’m not worthy enough.
1.7k · Oct 2013
a geometry lesson
quinn collins Oct 2013
in math we learned about parallel lines,
always moving in sync,
always in the same direction,
but never crossing, never touching,
and i went home, crying,
cursing the universe for being so cruel,
the pure tragedy of the fact
rattling me to my bones
and into my soul.

but the next day,
we learned about perpendicular lines,
coming together and meeting in the middle,
but separating, parting ways,
never to see each other again,
and i sat there, silently fuming,
and asked my teacher
why things have to be like they are,
the one question she couldn’t answer.
1.6k · Sep 2013
quinn collins Sep 2013
there are secrets wrapped up in the blankets
that are thrown haphazardly onto my bed,
all the lies that i’ve told,
all the wrongs i haven’t righted,
those people who i tried out
and then discarded just as easily
as if they were an empty wrapper
i had no use for anymore.

if i keep them bundled up,
the secrets will stay at the foot of my bed,
forever locked up.

but at night they fall over my body,
covering, enveloping me in a warmth
that soon becomes suffocation,
an endless drowning that i can’t escape.
1.4k · May 2013
quinn collins May 2013
quinn collins Dec 2013
from the moment
that we met,
from the first time
you breathed my name,
something inside me
had burst into flames,
was born again.
you didn’t know it yet,
but i had tied a string
around your wrist
with the other end
around mine,
and although
it’s been a few years
and it’s been stretched
and twisted
and tangled
and frayed,
it has never broken.
somehow i knew that
in the end
you were my one,
and i’d always have to
be able to find my way
back to you.
977 · Nov 2013
unhealthy, pt. II
quinn collins Nov 2013
i know this isn't fair,
but i can't help but feel
a hint of jealousy
when any of your attention
is focused on anyone else,
and it can't be healthy
to want someone so badly,
but i do: i want every bit,
every little fragment of you,
every second of every day
844 · May 2013
fairy tales
quinn collins May 2013
i was sixteen when i stopped
believing in fairy tales
and all the magic, the mystique,
faded from my innocent eyes.
i was not a princess
and prince charming wasn’t standing
at the bottom of my tower,
calling my name,
beckoning for me to let down my hair.
there was no knight in shining armor
to save me from the grips of evil
or sadness
or heartbreak
or tears—
all of these things were inevitable,
and nobody came to kiss me
out of my deep sleep or
sweep me off my glass-slippered feet.
happy endings only existed
between the pages of story books,
dreams that never came true.
real life was tangible,
it grabbed me by the hands
and refused to let go.
(so tell me why i’m still hopelessly
searching for my ever after.)
771 · May 2013
sonnet I
quinn collins May 2013
you, with your laid back way and hair all mussed,
i beg your pardon for being so bold,
but i can't seem to grasp just how unjust
it is that i don't have your hand to hold.
you, with your dark eyes and genuine laugh,
i beg your pardon for being so shy,
but please understand i've always come last,
hard to trust it'd be unlike other times.
no one has ever made me feel like this,
yet i've made you feel nothing at all;
i've planted a seed i cannot harvest,
and every day further i seem to fall.
i am but a speck in your universe.
this can't be true love; it must be a curse.
767 · Sep 2013
quinn collins Sep 2013
cornerstone (noun):
an important quality or feature
on which a particular thing depends
or is based.

you gave me the resolve
that i needed
and the strength
to believe i was worth it.
now my foundation
is crumbling in the spot
you once occupied.
my rock has turned
to dust
and i’m falling down
to the ground,
back to the place where
you found me
before you built me up,
made me taller than
the other buildings
surrounding me.

i don’t think anyone else
has the right tools
to make me solid again.
758 · May 2013
please say you will
quinn collins May 2013
will you be to me
as gatsby was to daisy,
the one who dances with me
underneath the moonlight,
the one who steals kisses
when i first roll out of bed?

will you return to me
after i’ve pushed you out
and locked the door,
and will you apologize
although i’m the one at fault?

will you be a solid, sure thing,
a rock on my shoreline,
because i’ve been battered
too many times by guys
who wouldn’t show me affection
even if they had to,
and i don’t think i can deal
with any more heartbreak.

will you, please, love me?
740 · Oct 2013
cliff diving
quinn collins Oct 2013
i’ve always been a little lost
a little scared
a little anxious
because not knowing
what’s on your mind
makes me want to run away
and not look back

so excuse me
if i make a fool of myself
if i trip over my own words

because it’s better
to play it safe
than to take a leap of faith
without knowing what awaits me
at the bottom
of the cliff
703 · May 2013
a warning
quinn collins May 2013
be wary of the boy whose smile
doesn’t reach his eyes;
of the boy who touches your body
before he touches any other part of you;
of the boy who’d rather stay in
than take you out
and show you off.
don’t fall for the boy who swears
up and down that he’s changed,
that he’s going to put your first,
that those other girls don’t mean a thing.
stay away from the boy who doesn’t
write you love letters
and slip them into your bag,
the boy who doesn’t lay
beneath the starlit sky with you,
the boy who doesn’t compliment
you when you’re at your worst,
the boy who doesn’t keep you on your toes
because these are the kinds
of things you deserve, plus more,
and you’re way too young to feel
702 · Oct 2013
quinn collins Oct 2013
there’s a boy who has my heart,
with gentle hands and gentle eyes,
who loves me unconditionally,
who would give me the world
wrapped up in a pretty box if he could,
whose mouth travels no further
than to my own,
who shows me what it means
to love and be loved.

there’s a boy i see every week,
with dark eyes and hands
that look rough and ruthless,
who shows me that i’m human,
flawed and full of rage, lust, fire,
whose mouth begs to meet mine,
dares me to make a thousand mistakes,
who pushes my imagination
into the most primal parts of my mind.
you guys, i love my boyfriend, but there's this other guy, and i'm just a human being. i can only control my feelings so much.
655 · May 2013
quinn collins May 2013
baby girl,
when are you going to realize
that love isn't hiding
between the seats of his beat-down car;
it isn't sitting on the tips of his fingers
as they trail down your skin,
begging for more;
and you give in,
because maybe if you allow him
this one small favor,
he'll give you the love you want;
but that's not how it goes:
he tells you he likes you
but he needs to take things slow,
and you can physically feel
your heart shattering inside your chest
and the sound of
the sweet lie rolling off his tongue,
and as much as you know
love doesn't work that way,
you keep coming back for more;
baby girl,
i know you want to feel beautiful,
but love isn't created by two mouths connecting
in the darkness
or bare skin meeting bare skin,
and love doesn't present itself
whenever it's convenient for him.
648 · Oct 2013
quinn collins Oct 2013
i met someone today
who reminded me of you:
his voice was soft and slow,
and he looked at me
with the look you once had
in your eyes,
and amidst our conversation
i realized that you have been
drained from my life
like water through a sink,
and this should have made
me fall to my knees,
cry out in desperation,
but somehow,
i was okay with it.
(every day i am stronger.)
623 · Aug 2013
don't kill yourself tonight
quinn collins Aug 2013
more than four thousand teenagers
succumb to suicide each year,
so if you’re reading this,
that means you’ve made it through
all of the things that
were supposed to bring you down
but didn’t,
all of the people who
told you that you’d be nothing
and were wrong,
all of the times when
were kicked down
and almost stopped believing in yourself
but brushed yourself off,
stronger than ever before,
and sure,
sometimes tomorrow will be harder
than today is,
but you’ve come too far
to just give up now.
615 · Nov 2013
quinn collins Nov 2013
my words tend to trip over themselves
on the way out of my mouth,
almost like they’re racing to see
who can get to you first,
even though they never make sense.

i don’t have anything that i am good at
or know every bit and piece about,
something i can reconstruct
to make you understand why
it holds a special place in my heart.

nobody taught me how to fall in head first,
give myself completely to someone,
and not worry about the innate insecurities
that have always been present
in the back of my mind.

i am nowhere close to perfection,
but can you find it within yourself
to pick up all my broken parts
and try to make something of a girl again?
(because with you i feel beautiful.)
612 · May 2013
quinn collins May 2013
i love the stubble
on your face
that lines your jaw
from your dark hair
all the way to your chin.

i love the way you
throw your head back
when you laugh
like it's the funniest thing
you've ever heard.

i love how you lick
your lips slowly
and how you lock
eyes with me,
not letting me go.

i'm not in love with you
but i could be
if you let me.
609 · Jun 2013
quinn collins Jun 2013
i told myself
i’d be fine
without you
but here i am
one month
twenty-something poems
and a countless
number of tears later
and i can’t find
the strength
to breathe
anything other
than the air
that you
595 · Oct 2013
a lesson in psychology
quinn collins Oct 2013
today we learned about
unconditional positive regard,
and my professor asked us,
in your current relationships,
do any of you feel like
you have to be someone
or something you’re not?
and i smiled

because i don’t know
what that feels like:
you love me for all my flaws,
my ups and downs;
i didn’t have to rip any petals
off of any flowers
to know this—
you proved it to me.
571 · Oct 2013
stronger, pt. II
quinn collins Oct 2013
i’m not a boomerang,
or a ping pong ball,
some toy that will return to you
by principle.
i don’t need to see
your drunken lips
stumbling over themselves
trying to find pretty words
that you think
will make me give in.
i’m not some prize
to be won.
i don’t want to be
the second option
when you’re feeling lonely
in the middle of the night,
and i can’t stay
based on empty promises.
(every day i am stronger.)
567 · Dec 2013
more than sublime
quinn collins Dec 2013
saying you’re anything
less than the love of my life
is like saying the world is
a mere grain of sand
the sun just a fireplace and
the universe only a pit stop
on the way to the big city
562 · May 2013
quinn collins May 2013
i see you out of the corner of my eye
and i can feel my eyebrows pull together
in helpless adoration,
and i know the corners of my mouth
are turning up ever so slightly.
sometimes i wonder if someone else sees me
and thinks to themself
how sad,
how pathetic
this girl is,
longing for something she'll never have.
but those are the times
when i think to myself
who cares,
because i watch your slow smile,
the movement of your jawline,
the way your hair shapes your face perfectly,
and i know that
if i'm sad,
if i'm pathetic,
i don't really care.
quinn collins May 2013
the only
thing my
mind ever
dwells on

and i can
only hope
of me too
551 · Nov 2013
i don't deserve you
quinn collins Nov 2013
driving back home tonight,
taillights, lines, signs,
all blurring in my vision
because i’m too busy thinking
of the ways i could have
made things as perfect for you
as you made them for 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
532 · Dec 2013
second to none
quinn collins Dec 2013
i learned the hard way that love
doesn’t mean staring down the barrel
of a loaded gun,
telling me it’s his way or no way at all.
no one can ever make me
compromise my values,
not even the sweetest face (you),
not even the smoothest talker (you),
not even the gentlest touch (you).
i see you in every landscape,
every arrangement of orange leaves
on the autumn trees,
the snowfall on the tall mountainsides,
and i feel you in the hot sun
that beats down on my skin,
but i can’t keep dancing around
the words on my tongue,
the ones that keep trying to
pry open my lips, gasping for air,
begging to be set free.
no one can recalibrate my mind
to suit his needs, his wants.
we promised love to each other,
but even that isn’t enough for me
when my concerns, my beliefs,
aren’t second to none.
528 · May 2014
to quote from foreigner:
quinn collins May 2014
i want to know what love is,
that what i’m feeling
isn’t just a mirage,
a trick of my dehydrated heart.

i want you to take my world
between your two hands
and stop me from spinning
in dizzy circles on my axis.

i want a guarantee that
i’ll never be looked at
by someone else the same way
that you look at me.

(i want you and only you.)
525 · May 2013
just friends
quinn collins May 2013
just friends, he whispered
as he pulled me closer
pressing his lips to my forehead.
just friends, i repeated in my head
because i knew that
he loved her
and she loved him
and i didn't fit into the equation
no matter how much
it made my chest collapse on itself.
(i was fighting a war
i'd already lost.)
520 · Aug 2013
look at what you've done
quinn collins Aug 2013
you leave me hopeless and empty,
withered, weak, wilted.
you leave my fingernails chewed-up,
destroyed like the rest of me.
you leave me clawing at the surface
of what i could be
but unable to break through.
you leave me swearing to resist you
but wanting even more.
you leave me loving you
and hating myself,
an unfair trade-off,
an addiction that i can’t seem to break.
i look at what’s left of myself
and see that you’ve left nothing.
503 · Sep 2013
you li(gh)t me up
quinn collins Sep 2013
there was a fire
in the palms
of your hands
that flowed out
and ignited
the very best parts
of me,
but now all that’s left
is a few
glowing embers
that provide
no warmth,
and a cold wind
that bites
and tears
at my raw,
exposed skin
477 · Oct 2013
quinn collins Oct 2013
my downfall is that
i always think too much:
it manifests itself
in my brain,
spreading to,
infecting every cell,
every synapse,
until i’m living out something
i don’t even know
if i believe in
475 · May 2013
child's play
quinn collins May 2013
(red rover red rover send billy right over)
it was that simple.
one tap on the shoulder
(tag you're it)
and he knew that he was mine,
two kids chasing each other
around the playground,
the most pure form of love.

i don't play those games anymore;
now i'm drinking until i can't see straight,
and he still doesn't know i love him;
now i'm smoking until my lungs burn,
and he still doesn't know i love him;
now i'm doing what he wants,
going where he wants,
pleasing him in any way he chooses,
and he still doesn't know that
i would do anything for him,
that i love him.

but the thing is,
he doesn't love me.
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
467 · Jan 2016
someone new
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 May 2013
fall in love
with yourself
before you
give yourself
away to any
guy who thinks
less than
the stars
the moon
and the sky
of you.
463 · Nov 2013
quinn collins Nov 2013
we can disentangle
our fingers from each other,
our legs and our lips from
their newly-found partners;
we can separate
our simultaneous gasps for air,
tear our gazes away,
and keep our intense touches
from setting fire
to one another’s skin.
but what we can’t do is
untangle our minds;
we can’t isolate our hearts,
creating a wall between,
and force them to pulse
on different beats,
or make ourselves forget
why it is we fell together
in the first place.
because even when
we’re not together,
i’m tangled up in you
and i hope
you’re tangled up in me.
458 · Oct 2013
quinn collins Oct 2013
i dream of the day that i become
the girl people do double-takes on,
the day that i’ll have smooth thighs
and a flat stomach
and slim arms.

i’ve learned to take in my father’s
criticisms (“you shouldn’t eat that,”
he tells me) and how to ignore
the hunger in the deepest parts of me,
the sharp pain clawing at my inside.

every word seeps under my skin,
into my blood,
poisons my thoughts until the day
i become just skin and bones,
angles of a girl who used to be.

i’ve always been told to not listen
to what anyone else thinks,
only to my own thoughts,
so what happens when i’m the one
who has turned against me?

the only thing i’m eating anymore
is myself, from the inside out.
quinn collins Oct 2013
countless were the minutes we spent apart,
and long were the nights i swam in my own regret.
you opened my eyes the day you came
back in my life,
and it was the easiest thing in the world
to tell you i love you like nothing had changed,
even though mountains separate us,
rivers and canyons that i can’t leap across.
it hit me like a punch to the stomach,
and i could see what i couldn’t before,
tears in the rain that had finally let up.
i hope you know that you awaken parts of me
that have lain dormant for too long,
an indescribable feeling that travels up my spine
and back down again.
the turn of the tide,
the changing of the seasons,
our own aging,
all of these things are inevitable in life,
and i want you and me to be one of them.
i could swear that yesterday was september,
and now it’s suddenly october,
and i can’t waste another minute drowning
without you there to save me,
so i’ll take my thoughts and false preconceptions
and wash them down the drain,
and this time i won’t let another opportunity pass by.
we all have demons that live inside us,
but you help me to forget mine.
454 · Nov 2013
creatures of habit
quinn collins Nov 2013
we are creatures of habit:
give me love
and i will return it
but rip it out from under me
and i will go on
loving you
as if nothing was different.
we are creatures of habit
no matter how much
it tears my heart to shreds.
452 · Nov 2013
quinn collins Nov 2013
i don't think
i can ever say
"i love you"
to make you
its immensity
452 · May 2013
false hope
quinn collins May 2013
don't tell me you love me
if you don't mean it, she said.
don't give me hope if
you're just going to dash it all away.
if you every plan on leaving, she said,
you might as well get it over with.
she threw down her defenses
and laid it all out on the line
because, she said,
even the ugly truth is much better
than the most beautiful lie.
449 · Nov 2013
growing up
quinn collins Nov 2013
i remember how much
i despised coffee
when i was younger:
i’d wake up and smell it in the air,
sniff the contents of my father’s mug,
nose crinkling up at the scent,
and now it’s the only thing
waking me up in the morning,
keeping me up at night,
pushing me through the day.

this is growing up,
my mother tells me.

and i don’t mean to be,
but i’m surrounded by boys
with dimples that **** me slowly,
who think love lies
on the surface of my skin,
who know how to expertly manipulate,
and i’m stuck in an inescapable maze,
running on my wheel as fast as i can,
never going anywhere.

this is growing up,
i hear my mother’s voice
ringing in my ear.
449 · May 2013
and i never will be
quinn collins May 2013
if i were a song
you'd sing me out at the top of your lungs
until your parents were banging on your door
telling you to turn it down.

if i were a centerfold
you'd tear me out
and pin me up on your wall.

if i were a steven spielberg film
you'd flip through the movie channels
and choose me to watch over all the others.

i could be the first thing you order off the menu,
the gel you use to style your hair,
the pen with which you write,
the book that you dog ear and leave notes in.

but i'm not.
so you don't.
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