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12.6k · Sep 2018
I'm drinking tonight
Ray Ross Sep 2018
Mixing ***** and juices,
On Tuesday morning, Monday night,
The parents are asleep.
The stars are so bright.

My body is a temple,
You're **** right.
If it feels good enough,
I'll respect it tonight.

Bandage my chest,
Hurts my ribcage,
I’m a ******* kid,
Shouldn't have to be brave.

You should've been a brother,
Should've got the name right,
Should've been her son,
Instead I'm drinking tonight.
2.2k · Jul 2018
To Be Wanted
Ray Ross Jul 2018
Writing his name feels like a panic attack.

I was fifteen. Young kid, lonely.
All I wanted was to be wanted,
And he wanted me.

He was eighteen. Average man,
He already knew me.
I went to his house and he gave me a hickey.

Little red mark on my neck, pretty pink,
On my skin it stayed, as I leaned over the sink.
Last night's dinner was going to come up.

The bra I wore to his house,
I've only worn it once since then.
Wearing it feels like putting his hands on me.

The jeans I wore to his house,
I lost them and decided not to look.
They were a reminder of the piece of me he took.

Everything we did, I said "yes" to.
He was the first guy to touch my chest,
I had to force my body to be mine again.

All I wanted was to be wanted,
And he wanted me.
Traumatized so beautifully.

Boy down the street.
All I wanted was to be wanted,
And he wanted me.

I just wanted to be wanted.
And he wanted my body.
Writing his name feels like a panic attack.
2.1k · Jun 2018
Love Talk
Ray Ross Jun 2018
I'd love you in the nighttime,
But you stay too far away.
I'd love you in the daytime,
But it's all harder to say.
Come climb into bed with me,
We can dance the night away.
Through your window, morning at three,
I'll climb in and kiss you someday.
Bring to my sleeping prince, some way,
All the words I had meant to say.
2.1k · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
My ears underwater
I open my eyes, and stare
At the water dripping
And flowing into the tub.
I can't  hear anything
Except for my thoughts down here
And the sound of water
As it beats on the surface
It brings my mind quiet
But sounds quite loud from down here
I consider leaving
The water on a while more
I close my eyes and breathe
I just want to listen now
2.0k · Oct 2018
Dear Mom,
Ray Ross Oct 2018
Dear Mom,
Someday, you’ll need to know.
I know you won’t like it
Or even understand it,
But I want you to know
You want me to be closer
With you and Dad,
But to be closer with you,
You need to be close with me too.
You have to know
I wore dresses as a kid
Because I thought it was fancy,
And I liked to be pantsless.
You’ll see that as evidence
That I should be lying.
I am not what you expected,
And I am not what you wanted.
I am not your little girl,
Though it hurts like hell
To tell you so.
I am not straight,
Though you don’t really respond
When I tell you I like a girl
And your face shrivels
Like the words from my breath
Leave a bitter taste
Between your gritted teeth.
You’ll really have to know,
I am nonbinary.
I am bisexual.
I am a ******* amalgamation of the things you don’t believe in,
The things you think are just a new wave of special characters,
Pretty pictures on instagram,
You call me a sponge
Full of others’ emotions and thoughts
You denote my strength as a being.
I am an amalgamation of the things you think of as teenage fairytales,
I am a ******* unicorn pegasus to you,
Dear Mom,
I am ******* beautiful.
And you’ll really know that,
1.9k · Nov 2018
I love you, in other words,
Ray Ross Nov 2018
Dear star, dear gift in my life,
You make my world brighter,
And you are a blessing.
You make me happy,
And lord,
I hope I never lose you.
Your eyes have this shine
That I swear I've never seen
In anyone's eyes before.
I make sure to remember
That your smile has dimples,
That point drawable lines
Down your cheeks,
To your chin.
I trace the lines of your chest,
And you notice me smiling.
And lord,
I hope I never lose you.
1.8k · Sep 2018
vodka at midnight
Ray Ross Sep 2018
I was drunk last night.
I made a sandwich at one in the morning
I hated the feeling of alcohol
Burning in my stomach,
But I was drunk last night,
I was alone.
I remembered how
I stood on the edge of the cliff,
I had no fear that time,
Because if I'd died, I wouldn't care.
The way my arm was torn and split,
So I could prove that I still feel,
I wasn't drunk then.
But I was drunk last night.
I wrote poetry about wristwatches
And watched music videos
Until I passed out in this bed.
I don't know why I did it.
But I feel sick today.
1.6k · Jul 2018
The Fear of Goodbyes
Ray Ross Jul 2018
7th grade, she told me,
"I don't want to live,"
I can't take it as a joke.
The fear of goodbyes.

8th grade, a friend of a friend,
It could've been him,
The way her face contorted
As she said goodbye.

I lost sleep, just to talk.
Would it be the end,
If I left my broken friends?
I lost sleep, for them.

In 9th grade, he told me,
I made him say it,
"I will see you tomorrow."
I said that nightly.

A promise. It meant hope.
The worst days' nights,
I'd say it again, with love.
It was a promise.

Words are everything here,
One mistake, it's over.
I may not hear his voice again
If I don't sway him.

Pressure, is this love now?
I'm so scared, always.
He came first, after all this.
I had to leave him.

Feeling selfish, alone,
I had to leave him.
Now getting close, major fear,
Terminal goodbyes.

I'll love you, for a while,
I might not get close,
It's overwhelming, dear god,
The fear of goodbyes.
1.2k · Nov 2018
my chest
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I look at my chest the way I'd look at a wound
I know it's a part of me,
I know it's there,
But it feels temporary,
And a little gross,
Like when I sliced my thumb
On glass at 1am.
My binder is a bandage
And it's hard to take it off,
Because I feel the wound open up,
And my back hurts from wearing the bandage,
But it's so much better than
Seeing where my skin splits in two
1.2k · Nov 2018
a good son
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I am going to tell them.
Before February's cold breath,
Before the next event
With pretty, poofy dresses,
Before it's too late,
I am going to tell them.
Mom, Dad,
I have something to say.
I know you made me to be a girl.
You tried so hard,
And you really wanted a girl.
I know that when I was little,
I wore dresses,
And I know mom,
When you look at me,
You want to see yourself.
You want me to be pretty.
But I'm not a good daughter,
And I'll never be a wife.
I'm not a good sister,
And I'll never be a mother.
I'm not a good niece,
And I'll never be an aunt.
I have to tell you,
Before the winter's hold scares me away,
Before you scream,
Before you cry,
I'm your son.
I'm his brother.
I'm their nephew.
I'll be a good son.
623 · Jul 2018
The Day Grandpa Died
Ray Ross Jul 2018
My Momma told me this,
"Be strong for your Dad."
So I stood tall, strong for him.
The day Grandpa died.

I put on my snow pants,
I was just a kid,
And walked out into the cold.
Only then, I cried.

I walked alone, through snow.
I barely minded.
Everything was cold that day.
I thought about him.

Larry was a good man.
He liked photographs,
And  he taught me how to wink.
Grandma loved him much.

I walked quite far that day,
Before coming home.
I wanted to be alone.
I had to be strong.

On the day Grandpa died,
I didn't eat much.
But I stood tall for my dad.
The day his dad died.
442 · Nov 2018
When we are old
Ray Ross Nov 2018
When we are old,
And my legs are too weak
To twirl for you,
And my cheeks are wrinkled
From laughing with you,
And my hands are rough,
From the tools I've used,
And my memory is fading,
From the damages of age,
And your arms are too weak
To toss me into the lake,
And your eyes are yellowed a bit,
From the nights we stayed up drinking,
And your voice is raspy,
From talking for hours upon years,
I will still be in love with you.
437 · Sep 2018
intimacy (tw)
Ray Ross Sep 2018
I'm halfway to hell, the way you look at my eyes, the way you stare into me.
I'm halfway to heaven, the softly sinful looks that take me far, far away,
The way you make me feel like I could sprout wings and fly.

Now that you know I'm trouble, will you stick around?
Will you love me the same, now that you know who I am?
The way he touched me months ago, it made me afraid.
Take me away from thoughts about him.

And yet, he comes back around, I see him around, and his face sends me into hell,
The sinful looks we shared, it wasn't soft, never soft, never sweet.
Dear lord forgive me, I was too young.

I can't be this close with you no more, I think of him and everything hurts and everything bursts and I might cry,
And yet I cannot bring myself to tell you why.
I'm so sorry.

I see his face and he makes me feel like a panic attack, my whole self bursts and I have to get away.
My breathing grows fast and I'm afraid, even though I know, he can't come near me.
I worry that you won't want to hear, I worry that you already know there's more than what I've told you.

I push you away suddenly when we're kissing at night, I can't tell you why your embrace feels so safe and so terrifying, why he haunts me even while with you.
I can barely say his name, I had to work toward it.

I watch movies with friends, some scenes I can't handle, the girl is pressured, or held down, I can't watch,
I make a face and look away. It isn't just sensitivity, I'm afraid.
I'm so afraid.
I'm so afraid.
I'm so afraid.

But then there's you.

You hold me softly, I know you don't understand or know why I pushed you away, but you're still there. You ask me if I'm okay.
I'm okay.

I'm okay.
I'm still in recovery.
424 · Mar 2019
as in,
Ray Ross Mar 2019
I want to change, as in,
I want to be better, as in,
I think something's wrong, as in,
I wish I could go back to before things mattered
405 · Aug 2019
(will you) still want me
Ray Ross Aug 2019
I'm not ready to admit it
I don't think he is either.
Will you still want me,
When my voice drops,
When my body changes,
When I have the doctors
Remove my chest
Leaving scars across my bones
My ribcage, crossed.
Will you still want me?
Will you still want me?
Will you still **** me sweetly,
And let me kiss your neck,
When I have a five o clock shadow,
And my moans are low.
Will you still want me?
You wanted a woman.
You wanted a woman
373 · Sep 2018
When I saw him again
Ray Ross Sep 2018
He tapped my shoulder
He said a few words but all I heard
Was the buzz of my heart beating faster
And faster
In fear.

He acted normal,
If not a little nervous,
I would be around campus.
With him.

I thought I would’ve yelled,
Or screamed,
Or told him to leave,
But I just took it.

I just took it.

I texted my friend a minute later that I’d be late to class.
I was busy crying in the bathroom.
353 · Aug 2019
Ray Ross Aug 2019
My body and soul are not synonymous.
When I look at my body,
I still refer to it as she,
I stare into the mirror,
And she looks back at me.
You can regret her but please
Don't forget her.
We'll never be those kids again.
I can't wait to be someone else again.
I'm an anomaly, a shapeshifter.
271 · Oct 2018
Ray Ross Oct 2018
i could never go to war.
i could never shoot, or help someone who will.
those soldiers on the other side, are just like me.
their mothers cry, i can almost hear it.
their best friend will never hear their laugh.
their room lay empty, an unused bed,
dust-covered books they never read.
young men go off, **** other young men.
if you're very lucky, you'll see your son again.
i could never go to war.
my grandfather narrowly avoided the draft,
he was a teacher.
his high school friend got expelled,
and within a week,
he was dead.
his mother cried.
he was nothing but a name on a plaque,
and barely that.
i could never go to war.
268 · Oct 2018
Ray Ross Oct 2018
He stands at the precipice of their design,
Losing something in the night air.
The edge by which he stands is still and cold.

My ribcage hurts but I don’t want to admit it.
It just feels so nice.
To have a flat chest.
To be a boy.
251 · Dec 2018
Ray Ross Dec 2018
The truth is,
To see her like I see her,
Unedited and raw,
Bright eyes on dark nights,
Everything in the galaxy,
Combined and condensed,
This takes time.
Look through the corners of your eyes
At the corners of her smile,
The way she moves,
In those moments,
She is so beautiful,
You don't always see this,
The way I see her,
Hair made of honeydew spider silk
And a smile that could tear me apart
And put me back together.
The tearstained face I matched
Some nights some days
Under the brightest darkened skies
We could dance and laugh and cry
And you would never really get it.
In every piece of her I know,
I have seen god.
240 · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I want to stop writing about him
But I see him everywhere.
In the eyes of every teen boy
With a bad haircut and
A V-shaped smile,
And big eyes,
And a scruffy chin.
I get the memory of it on my neck,
And his hands on my chest,
And then wandering,
I couldn't write this a month ago,
I'm trying to be okay with it,
I'm trying to not be afraid of it,
I'm trying not to be afraid of him
I avoid him at all costs but
I get to class late and
I can't stop thinking
About the day he looked at me
And he smiled
And I felt special.
And I find myself wishing,
I found myself thinking,
I could have left it all then.
216 · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I want to stop hearing my voice
In everything I write.
I used to not hate it so much,
But every time I talk,
It's too high,
It's too girly,
It's too something or other,
I just want
To hear the voice
Of a boy
207 · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I'm afraid of myself
I'm afraid of myself
I'm afraid of myself
I'm afraid of what I used to be
178 · Jun 2018
Dear Anxiety, My Lover
Ray Ross Jun 2018
I can't write this with words softened.
You're up and down,
In a  Myriad of ways.
You see my heart, its doors opened.
You know me too well.
It's killing me, just a bit.
I wonder if you're what they cautioned.
Difficult to handle,
But you give me such a buzz.
You have too many pieces, horizons broadened,
But still, I still come along with you.
In a myriad of ways.
167 · Jul 2018
I am built
Ray Ross Jul 2018
I am built of ashes and bones and guilt-tripped sundaes topped with cherry-loving men,
I am built of fire and stains of tears and blood and cussing standing in a pool of muck I see my feet sink into the floor I cannot move I am not allowed to exist no more.
I am built of dedication and love, I'm growing up, I am made of courage and flattery I am a tangled, troubled mess,
I am built of flowerbeds and boyshort underpants and digital pictures taken as I jump, my hair flying.
I am built of pretty things and sixteen eyes, two spiders curled up in the outskirts of my mind.
I will survive.
160 · Feb 2019
Ray Ross Feb 2019
Until I look in a mirror, I forget that I have a physical form beyond these arms and feet and hands, outstretched into a world I do not like or understand.
I am a cherry cordial of mismatched matches that have all been doused in a liquid, I cannot tell if I am covered in gasoline or water.
156 · Nov 2018
first binder
Ray Ross Nov 2018
The first time taking off my binder,
I breathed a heavy breath,
And tried not to cry.
I had an item in my hold
That could make me happy for a day.
I had found my key.
Now I have trouble taking it off,
Because at the end of the day,
I still want to be happy
156 · Nov 2018
act one, scene one
Ray Ross Nov 2018
My whole life is made of acts,
Different roles to play in peoples lives,
Different things I feel I should be.
And I'm sorry,
I don't want want to play anymore
146 · Jul 2018
Bike Ride v Memories
Ray Ross Jul 2018
Legs crossed,
Riding my bike over the curvature of these roads,
Their patterns I've memorized,
The people in each house,
I remember.

I pass by Blue,
The house where A stole my hat
And made me chase him down the street,
Childhood crushes and games of catscratch,
His father called me "Sweetheart" once.

I'm so tired today, I couldn't sleep last night.

I take a breath,
And pass by Red,
The house where B walked his dog daily,
He was getting very old and acted very young,
Talking to him made me smile.

I nearly fall going around a curve, and my shoelace is ripped in the chain.

I take another breath.
I pass by Yellow,
The house where I visited C for new year's night.
It brings regrets and shame, but I hate to show it,
So I sit up straighter and with pride while in view.

I go around a second curve and go down a hill, picking up speed.
I pass a car, the driver and I exchange waving hellos.

I get home, dripping sweat.
I enter White,
The house where I have the most memories,
But that I did not begin in as a baby,
And that I don't think about remembering as much as the others.
141 · Dec 2018
Ray Ross Dec 2018
I feel that the magic has left my fingertips
That my art in all forms
Has become greyed
And unenjoyed.
I feel that the childlike love I once poured
Into pots of paint
And graphite tips
Has gone away,
To be replaced by need
And money
119 · Jun 2018
Old Sentiment for Kings
Ray Ross Jun 2018
I want to know what it's like to be satisfied with somebody

to wake up in the morning next to someone who thinks I'm beautiful and be satisfied with me

I don't remember ever being satisfied with somebody, not properly.

being happy

old sentiment for kings and queens

that seemed steady in my heart

and then left me with a loss of trust

and a ring I threw in the lake whose attitudes I have learned to impart

yearning for satisfaction begs reaction of interaction and love and

old sentiment for kings
114 · Mar 2019
Ray Ross Mar 2019
In panic mode
A bottled up feeling
Is trying to get out
Through a hole
She’s ripping
Between my skin
And my spine.
She feels like
A wave of burning
A wave of scared
A need to keep
Busy hands moving.
My body is on fire
The smoke is choking me,
111 · Dec 2018
Ray Ross Dec 2018
The biggest change
In the past three years,
Is that I have become
Someone important
To myself
Ray Ross Jul 2018
Little scar on my arm proves to my eyes,
I have endured, and I am still alive.
3am, I am reminded that I opened holes to my soul,
To prove that I am human,
To prove I am in control,
I am reminded that everything I am is rooted in this, blood.
Dig me a new home in the muck and the sand and make me a new man.
A love poem to my arms, for I am grateful. I hear my brother sing and you feel like home, my skin. I felt alone and I was lonely. But I know I am alive. I know I am alive. I know I am alive.

you are forgiven.
I suppose I should forgive myself one of these days for what I did,
To me, to you, to this skin that lives on my arms and by extension, my wrists.
110 · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
Something I have learned,
From my years of existence,
Many will stay just because
You were nice to them
And yet
Those same many don’t leave
When you are unkind.
This shows a grand human wish
Either just to maintain love
Or to believe
That we are all good.
105 · Jul 2018
I called it love
Ray Ross Jul 2018
Curled up, half-past-three, my leg around her waist, I felt like crying
and I called it love.
She snapped her fingers and made me pay attention, I felt bruised
and I called it love.
She joked about *** with another woman and I stayed silent,
and I called it love.
I bent over backwards and nearly broke my spine for her and it wasn't enough,
And I called it love.
I never knew that love wasn't supposed to make me afraid,
Love wasn't supposed to make me silent,
Love shouldn't require that every day I be brave,
And bend over backwards 'til I feel pain,

Love is supposed to make me feel brave, not require it.
I deserved to be okay.
103 · Nov 2018
I forgive you (a reprise)
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I forgive you.

   This isn't a poem to my old friends
Who stabbed me in the back when I told them the truth.
   This isn't a poem about the boy down the street
Who took my might and makes me quiet.
   This isn't a poem to the girl
Who I trusted too hard and couldn't talk back to.
   This isn't a poem to my now best friend,
Who leaned on me too hard, and who I hurt so badly.
   This isn't a poem to the guy I'm in love with,
Who was hurt when I told him about the past, way too late.
   This isn't a poem to my mom,
Who doesn't believe in who I am, and who is going to be hurt when I tell her I'm trans.

This is a poem to me.

I forgive you.
100 · Nov 2018
begin again
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I'm going to be better
Than what I was before.
I don't want to make false promises
I don't want to make false threats
I want to mean what I say
And say what I mean
I want to be better
Than I was before.
I'm sorry I didn't stop before
He got to me, before
I left you behind in the heat, before
I lost everything in my blood, before
I forgot who I really was.
I'm sorry.
99 · Jul 2018
Ray Ross Jul 2018
I will steal myself from this earth

And take my arms and my heart and my car and just drive for days and days and days and become the stars I gather between my hands in the dead of night,

Gather the sun and the moon and the planets that spin with the rings,

Gulp it all down in a jar of lonely tomato-flavored candy tears,

I am built of the stars I gather 'tween my hands in the dead of night, I am built of regrettable cherry orchard prints on the walls of not a house but a home,

I am built of late night music and unshakable starry skies, I am built of diamonds and gold,

And I will steal myself, and take my arms and my heart and my car, and just drive
98 · Nov 2018
Ray Ross Nov 2018
When I was younger,
I had a friend.
He'd come to my door every so often
And bring me a granola bar
And ask me if I wanted to play.
I'd go to his house
And watch him play video games
While I ate Nilla Wafers
And Slim Jims,
And smiled.
We hid under a blanket,
And he told me he liked me,
I think he wanted to kiss me,
But I didn't do it.
I had popular friends,
And he was considered uncool,
A dorky, weird boy,
With very little filter
On what he wanted to say.
He was fun for me.
We found a knife in his backyard,
And joked about killer ghosts,
And once, he put his arm around me.
I reacted weirdly, and pushed it off,
But I remember him fondly.
96 · Nov 2018
all the wrong places
Ray Ross Nov 2018
My chest feels like it's buzzing
Like a joke
I'm not any more awake but I'm definitely not asleep, just a whole lot more anxiety.
It's like getting a notification
On a phone
Walking feels like a daze.
92 · Jun 2019
Ray Ross Jun 2019
I want to be sacred
In a way that only I can be.
I want to be held
In a way that only you can hold me.
Sacred in my skin, that falls from my bones,
When buried deep beneath the waves,
I want you to hold me sacred.
90 · Mar 2019
Ray Ross Mar 2019
Busy hands.
I don’t know
Sorrow is so much more glamorous
Than obsolete joy
89 · Nov 2018
a daughter
Ray Ross Nov 2018
I don’t want kids
But I see her,
And she’s smiling,
And she’s so innocent,
And she is the most beautiful piece
I have ever seen
In this ****** up world,
And I have to ask myself,
Do I really not want kids?
88 · Jun 2019
She's back
Ray Ross Jun 2019
She's back;
There's ***** on the back of my tongue.
Sleep with a knife beside me in bed;
I fear that she'll retrieve the liquid red,
My time has been wasted, but I am still young.
She's back;
The creeping feeling behind my throat;
that maybe somehow I don't want to die,
But I don't want to stay alive.
If I give up the reins, that's all he wrote.
She's back;
The aching of my shoulders and back,
Losing pieces I fear I always lack,
I do not want to wake again;
She's back;
She's back;
She's back.
88 · Oct 2018
growing up
Ray Ross Oct 2018
Tonight my parents were out of town.
I didn't have a party,
I didn't do drugs,
I made soup and washed dishes,
My brother went to bed.
I headed upstairs,
My parents' door was unlocked,
And I just,
walked in.
I don't know what I was looking for,
I just was looking,
I knew I shouldn't,
But if there was anything that could tell me,
Anything I could learn,
About them,
Any way to be closer.

I found old love notes in a box
Hidden under my dad's socks,
And the box my brother used to propose
To the woman who broke his heart.

I found old photos,
Ones I hadn't seen in years,
I wished I could be their kid again,
It was so much easier then.

I knew I should go, but I found something else,
A necklace in a gold paper case,
I put it on, and it felt like my mom.
Sturdy, and heavy, but elegant, and beautiful.

I left everything as it was found,
I never meant to invade,
But there's too much privacy,
Too many things unsaid.
I guess I just wanted to know.
83 · Apr 2019
Ray Ross Apr 2019
Sprinkle sugar across your face, love
And trust me you'll be fine
80 · Apr 2019
gemstone girl
Ray Ross Apr 2019
She was beautiful. Blonde, blue eyes,
She loved sunshine and old rock music,
She was everything.

Sometimes things just fall apart.
It's okay.

She was nothing
76 · Oct 2018
Ray Ross Oct 2018
it makes me happy,
just to see you.
I hope you're doing well,
because when you're not,
I feel the hurt too.
you're trying to be the best man
that you can be.
I don't think you realize sometimes,
you can't be perfect.
but you can be loved.
I want you to just
feel loved.
76 · Oct 2018
I write for me
Ray Ross Oct 2018
I wish sometimes
That others would enjoy what I write,
But I realize,
It's not really for them,
Is it?
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