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Apr 2016 · 289
Diving Head First.
Betty Apr 2016
I imagine myself dangling my feet over
A lake that is absolutely calm.
I wouldn’t dare disturb it.
I would much rather stay where I am,
And admire it from the dock.
It is so beautiful and so pure,
And nothing stays pure after diving head first.

My head always goes to her when I write.
Like there’s something I still need to tell her,
And I don’t know how helpful it is with me
Speaking around what it is that I
Really want to say.

I always dive head first into everything,
And most times I’m hoping the water is more shallow
Than I believe it to be.
I admired her for so long
That I figured the water would be fine.
I’ve never been good at discerning depth.

If you see her, tell her I still think about her.
Tell her that it wasn’t easy to dry off
After jumping into her ocean.
Tell her that hers were the most welcoming waves.
I would have loved to be the moon that pulled her tide.

Tell her that her sea was never meant for me.
And now I find myself sitting on this dock,
Looking longingly at the gentle waves
Of the most calm body of water.
Knowing the depths are endless,
I dip my toe in but I fear
That if I jump,
I won’t know which way is up.
Jun 2015 · 960
Natural Disaster.
Betty Jun 2015
Go ahead and get creative with me, my dear,
Tell me all about how I am a lightning storm
That lights up the darkness within you.
Tell me I bring about waves that leave you wondering
Which way is up, and
If you should go down with the ship,
Even though I have always been the captain.
Personification about how I am a hurricane
Coming to destroy you with my wind
And my waves.
Alliteration and hyperbole;
Right and wrong rust reality.
You are making a mountain out of mole hill me.
I was never something so great to hold on to,
I have never been what was holding you back,
And letting me go may be the best thing to happen to you.
But if you want to keep spitting out this poetry,
Then lay it on me.
I want to know that I’m making my way
From your every synapse to synapse.
I hope that I coat your cerebrum and make you relapse,
Wondering what was, what is, what could have been.
Compare me to any natural disaster
Because, darling, that’s what I’ll be.
I’ll be the earthquake that tests your foundations.
I’ll be the mudslide to wipe you away.
I’ll be the tornado to twist up your world.
But you know I’ve always been your hurricane,
So please don’t mind the waves, and honey,
Let me blow you away.
Feb 2015 · 371
Ever After.
Betty Feb 2015
You always make the saddest noises before you fall asleep,
And wonder why it is that I never want to be awake while you drift off.
I never want to see any bit of hurt come to you.
I wonder if what you don’t allow to run through your head while you’re awake
Begins to attack your mind while you sleep;
Letting down all your defenses, for once.
So the army of thoughts you avoided see a flaw in the design of your defenses.
Or maybe these sad noises come about because
Even a dreamland could not compare to how beautiful your life is.
I often, foolishly, hopefully, wish that is what causes your pre-slumber sighs.
But as much of a fairy tale as this life seems sometimes,
As much I believe that every story is going to have a happy ending,
And all the frogs kissed will turn into princes
And all the glass slippers will once again grace the feet of young ladies with fragile hearts,
It simply did not begin with Once Upon a Time,
So I wonder if it will end with Happily Ever After.
Because this life is so much more full of evils
Than a fairy tale could ever be.
These lives that we lead are all deadly.
From the night that I found a ***** in my knight’s shining armor
And allowed every blow I threw to damage something
I thought to be impenetrable.
From the life that a person can choose for themselves,
To replace all the pain with something that warms them to their souls,
To not lend thought to what has or will happened
And just experience how wonderful it is
To be.
Right now.
That’s all.
Life isn’t always fairy tale.
You can’t put this book down, no matter how scary things get,
And chasing the dragon does not always lead to some glorious victory.
It’s dangerous even for those with the most courageous of hearts.
The fire that once warmed is now burning
A heart of gold.
And it’s no one’s fault.
This was never your fault.
Because a body isn’t a soul,
And a machine can’t breathe love into his lungs,
It can only rise and fall, like the hopes of how this may end.
But all I can wonder is if you were laying there,
Needing breath to be force fed to you
In order to keep your heart beating,
I know for certain that I would make sure
That every breath that rose your chest came rushing
From my lungs up my throat out of my mouth and falling
Deep down into your lungs to swell them full,
And I would make sure, as long as I was breathing,
You would be too.
What must that say of me?  
Unable to be without a happy ending,
Where one woman would give every breath to her true love
So her final exhale would be his final inhale?
I might have gotten off track,
This may be a different story entirely,
One we might save for another night,
When we’re both not so tired.
I just hope before you fall asleep tonight
That the sigh that you let out right before you enter your dreamland
Is because not even a dreamland could compare to how beautiful your life is,
And hope you never get sick of the book that I am,
And no matter how scary things may seem,
You never fail to keep turning my pages.
Aug 2014 · 683
Halfway to the Truth.
Betty Aug 2014
It was a cold night when you told me
In the basement of my parent’s house
About how your mother would leave you alone
With your father
Who abused you and your sister
For years on end
Week after week.
Month after month.
You would call your mother to please
Come pick you up,
But she never came.
The truth was she didn’t know.
No, the truth was she didn’t care.
I can’t imagine how bad that must've felt.
How bad that must feel.
I never knew why you were so secretive.
I chalked it up to you cheating on me;
It would be easier to deal with
Than the truth.
The truth was that your back really hurt you
And your mom was on medication for pain
From a car accident she was in when she was 18
And you only took in dire circumstances
When you couldn’t bear the pain.
No, the truth was that you had headaches,
But the stuff about your mother was true.
No, the truth was that you were selling drugs
That your mother had prescribed to her.
The truth was your paycheck went to paying her
For your addiction to those pills.
I found one in my car and you threw it and told me
Nothing was more important to you than me.
I never believed a word you said.
No, not even then.
I was in someone else’s bed when you left a message,
Saying you have been addicted
For the past year we were together,
And now you’re going to get clean.
I never knew what it was like to forget how to breathe.
I only caught my breath when I knew you were there,
With no way of communicating with me.
With no way of communicating with anyone.
You called me the last night you were there,
Telling me lies that comforted me for two years.
I wished I could be deaf so I couldn’t hear,
But you have always been able to paint
Such beautiful misery.
And my heartbeat began to resound in my chest,
And I realized how foolish a heart I had.
A sober house was where I would pick you up.
A halfway house.
I never knew what that meant, halfway house,
But now I knew more than I ever wish I could.
Halfway between rehab and real life.
Halfway between who you could be and who you really are.
Halfway between the old you and the new you.
You figured that we would fall back into love;
I figured I could only meet you halfway.
Because we never shared love.
You never had love for me.
I could never numb you to your past,
To your life,
I couldn’t be swallowed and course through your veins,
Though I would have given anything to be your cure.
I wasn’t allowed in the halfway house,
So we regressed to the age of sixteen,
Driving around and listening to music.
We turned into our old selves in the parking lot of a hibachi joint,
Arguing about how I can’t just be driving for two hours.
“There’s a spot behind the house.”
“Let’s go there.”
And there we were,
Just like the old us, but halfway to new,
With Bright Eyes blasting through my speakers,
I was sure all of Wilkes-Barre could hear,
But they only knew the half of it:
You would pause and sing me all of your favorite parts,
Whispering to my lips as if they were my ears,
Like my body was your own personal musical instrument.
You looked into my eyes and told me
How you have always been in love with me.
It was always me.
I never believed a word you said.
No, not even then.
You could tell me how I was always your cure,
But the truth was, we were
Halfway to heaven and halfway to hell
In the driveway outside of
A halfway house.
Apr 2014 · 527
Driving home.
Betty Apr 2014
I prefer to drive home after drinking too much at 2 AM.
It's safer.
I'm convinced that all the cops are out after bars' happy hours.
I only know about that from my favorite bar, which is 9 to 11.
After 11, I think they prowl until one.
Come two, they are exhausted and bored.
But not like us.
The streets are like a blank canvas and we have all the paint,
And we are eager to make a mess of its purity.
I steer the wheel with my knee as I stretch my arms wide,
While one ends up hugging the headrest of your seat,
You look at me and say, "Pay attention to the road."
You mustn't know.
You mustn't know what it feels like to look at you
When you look at me
The way you do.
You mustn't.
You can't even begin to imagine all the things I see,
But I direct my gaze through my drunken haze to the expressway,
With the lights passing by us like previews before a movie,
And we try to comment on all of them,
Which ones we choose to see and not see,
But we're too excited about the feature presentation,
Because it's the first night that it feels like summer,
And I remember why I can't keep my mind off of you through all the seasons;
You have always been my summer scent,
The carefree afternoon, the elongated dusk, the crickets before bed,
The one that could keep me from feeling the cold that runs through my bones
And somehow make me whole and warm.
And I stop the car
And take you all in
And wait
For your eyes
To meet mine
Apr 2014 · 546
81 South.
Betty Apr 2014
Have you ever felt so high?
I seem to fly down the freeway,
Hearing every song as if it were the first time.
Each light flies by me, blending into one long stream,
And I somehow feel motionless at this pace,
At this grueling pace that I cannot seem to keep up with,
Yet I am aware I have nothing to catch up to,
And I am not running from anything,
So I lean my head back and let the harmonies whisper their way through my hair,
Into my ears,
Across my cerebrum,
Course through my veins.
And seeing a McDonald's sign was comparable
To seeing the Eiffel Tower on New Year's Eve at midnight.
And the touch of a friend's hand on my face
Was like flipping the pillow before falling into dreams.
And the smell of the night was a combination of
Winter's freshness, spring's rain, and bonfire in summertime.
And it was us against anything,
And it was me trying to tell you everything,
And it was something to be absolutely nothing.
What I am trying to ask you is:
Have you ever felt so high?
Apr 2014 · 638
The Chase.
Betty Apr 2014
I am chasing you,
And it feels like I will never get to you,
It feels like I will never see you again,
And there you are, sailing down the interstate on a Saturday night,
With the strong breeze from the cracked window in the car,
With the first cigarette of the night,
With ash flying into your hair,
With a laugh that I haven't heard for a while,
And I want to hear again,
But there you go again;
I've lost you in the crowd of young drunks,
With a girl who just burned a hole in my coat
Because she was clumsily smoking a cigarette indoors,
And that boy just knocked my drink out of my hand,
But I caught a glimpse of you through the window.
So I ran outside to meet you,
And you were gone again.
And I was surrounded by this haze,
By muffled bass pounding and slurred conversation,
By distant car sirens,
By the battle of the blinding glow of the neon lights
And the natural light of the night sky.
And I was caught in this feud,
Until I saw you,
In the driver's seat of my favorite Volkswagen,
With a smirk painted on your face,
That seemed to say,
"Come and get me."
Apr 2014 · 990
I almost forgot.
Betty Apr 2014
I almost forgot how much I hated that you would add random people on Facebook,
Thinking the answer, "she looked punk rock" was an appropriate justification.
I almost forgot how I hated all your tattoos,
Living according to a phrase permanently on your forearm.
And I almost forgot the way my car smelled awful when I would pick you up from work,
With the fear the grease on your pants would seep into my leather seats,
So I would roll the top down and just tell you it was a nice day.
I almost forgot about how you always smelled like cigarette smoke,
And how it would fill my lungs in the morning, and I wondered how anyone could inhale those awful chemicals at 7 AM.
And I almost forgot how you walked to my house in the middle of the night
To give me a picture that you drew for me, with a note attached,
Just telling me how happy you were to have met me.
I almost forgot about how crazy I thought that was,
And wondered if you were that crazy about me, or just plain crazy.
I almost forgot about my friends' opinions of you;
I have never seen such disapproval.
I didn't forget that smile, when I told you how they felt, and how I disagreed with what they thought.

I almost forgot what it was like to fall in love with you..
I don't even know when it happened,
I don't know if I noticed,
But I knew there was a point that I couldn't look into your eyes the same way,
Because now your gaze was new, and I was really seeing you, and you were seeing me,
And I knew my love was reflected back at me, and the brown of your eyes warmed me from the inside out.
And the smell of smoke comforted me now, because I knew you were near me,
And when I woke up coughing, you'd put the cigarette out to kiss me,
As if you were only smoking because you knew I'd wake up,
And you'd get to kiss me.

And I almost forgot what it was like to fall out of love with you,
When I saw your eyes, they made me feel cold,
And I would shiver whenever I thought of them.
I almost forgot the yelling,
And the fighting,
And the words that hurt so bad that I would beg for sticks and stones.
My eyes almost forgot how many tears fell from them,
And the feeling that my heart couldn't bare to live in my chest anymore.

I remember the pull that led me from you for the last time.
I remember how deafening the silence was.
I remember how suspended time was,
As if the words that left our mouths hung in the air above us like a black storm cloud,
And we were sure of rain.
But it never came.

I almost forgot what it was like to see you again,
After months of wondering how you were,
But everyone assured me I shouldn't talk to you because it would just end badly.
Because they never approved.
And I almost forgot that smile.
I wish I forgot your smile.
Jan 2014 · 786
Loose Associations.
Betty Jan 2014
I know that my thoughts can be hard to follow at times,
With my loose associations being too hard to bear,
But I hope that you find meaning in every word that I say.
Because I swear I mean everything that I say.
I want to take you back to New York
Just so we can sit and stare at the cityscape
While all we can smell is the sewage of the river.
I want to take another picture kissing your cheek,
And then I want to kiss your cheek again
And again until you recognize how crazy I am for you.
Then I want to tell you about this article I read
That said sometimes when an underwater bubble bursts due to sound
That it emits light and no one can explain why this happens,
But it's a fact. And facts are like songs to me;
When I hear one, I want everyone to know it
So I sing it with all that is in me because
If the whole world understands something,
If the whole world knows the facts,
Then there could be no reason to disagree.
So when I sing to you in my off key way,
Know that everything is fact, and I hope
You harmonize when I get to the I love you's
And we could sail out to sea
Or to outer space, because in its vastness,
We will find comfort in knowing we're there together,
And we'll fall more in love in the haze of Venus
And I'll spin you around the rings of Saturn
And Jupiter with its giant mass could not hold my love inside it
While you make puns about Uranus.
And can we please make a place for ourselves on Pluto?
It's still a planet to me, and no one will guess we're there.
The sun is just the smallest star, but you will be all the sun I need.
Did I ever mention how much I hate pork?
I know you love it, and I will learn how to make it for you.
I just can't imagine eating Piglet when I know it's bad for me.
I hope that I haven't lost you yet,
But in case I have, the point I'm trying to make is
There is a lot that I don't know
And I have a lot that I don't understand
But the few things that I know are true
I will sing softly to you, and I hope you know
You are my truth,
The Bible I swear on,
The stars of my galaxy, and I hope
I could be the chance you take,
Like making bacon when you hate the taste,
Or think of me like Pluto, knowing I'll still be there
When everyone has seemed to lose faith.
Jan 2014 · 1.2k
My thunder.
Betty Jan 2014
I remember one of my favorite moments
Was laying in your bed listening to poetry.
You would wait until Andrea Gibson was done speaking
To announce all your favorite parts.
And I wanted to let you know,
That I would love to kiss you in the ocean
And I would love to be your lightning
As long as you promise to shake me like thunder
Because the sound of your voice makes my heart race
And you are such an naturally beautiful phenomenon
That I'm afraid of you, but you don't scare me, no,
You just make me nervous with excitement and awe
And while I pick my jaw up off of the floor,
I see you standing in the kitchen,
Pacing and wondering what I'm thinking,
And me, sitting silently, watching you,
Loving every aspect of you, and you
Never cleaning up the mess at your sink,
But just rearranging it into new chaos.
We were new chaos,
And I'm sorry if that scared you,
But isn't there something exciting in being so scared?
No one has ever been here before, they can't tell you how it will be
So let's accept the mess and brave it together.
And it's times like this where I wonder
If every time you were scared, you'd look for a safe bet,
And if I could ever live my life like that.
If I could ever treat my heart like that.
I wish you wouldn't, and I just couldn't,
Because all of my stumbles and falls and scrapes and scars
That I wear unapologetically and brave
Led me to that bed with you listening to poetry
And I was lost at sea, thunder and lightning,
And I was so scared,
And I was so excited,
Hoping we could be lost at sea forever.
Dec 2013 · 486
The Difference.
Betty Dec 2013
I have a strange fixation
On a real life rabbit hole,
That I want to jump into
Like a child does a pool
On the first chance in summer.

And there's a voice I hear
That jerks my gaze toward it,
But it is never who I thought,
Like an eager child who lost a tooth,
And woke to find it still under the pillow.

Back when understanding each other
Was having the same favorite color,
And the farthest you were away
Was a bike ride, or there was always
The option to walk through the snow.

But now, everything is an inconvenience,
And no one even has a color they'd prefer,
And if they do, it's the color of their car,
Which you can't take out in bad weather;
The tires are bad, and it will ruin the paint.

Until there is a time that worlds can collide.
I will just sit and wait and wish,
Like a child does on Christmas Eve night,
Sleeping through sugar plum dreams,
And waking with hopeful eyes open wide.
Nov 2013 · 1.5k
Faceless Narcissists
Betty Nov 2013
This air has gotten far too thick to breathe.
My lungs can’t bear another deep sigh,
So I’ll hold on tight til this smokey oxygen clears
From my once loved, decaying town.
Selfishness, self interest, self deprecation.
It’s all you or it’s no one.
My atmosphere is everyone else’s lives,
Tangled up in it so much
I start to believe it’s mine.
But it’s not, and I won’t accept contentment.
It has not served me well.
It does not work out fine.
What they bring? It’s not what I need.
A fresh start on a sandy beach,
How cliché, you always were,
But this heavy air is bringing me down.
I’ve memorized every dying face in this ghost town.
Put me on the next plane with you
To that contrived peace of mind.
Your wanderlust inspires; I’ll follow you to unknown.
I’d rather not know where I was going
Or where I’d end up
Then face the faceless narcissists without you.
Betty Nov 2013
It felt a lot like love
When we drove together,
And all the songs bled into one,
And I thought it would never end,

And the sun might never rise,
Like the night it crept up
Because we forgot to save our daylight.
And it was a race between us and the sunrise,

But we knew we would win;
All we could do was win

Because we were the first snow of the season,
And others would marvel at our purity,
And more would come after us,
But they could not touch our beauty.

But the car has stopped,
And the album is over.
Before you left, I remember you said,
"That felt a lot like love."
May 2012 · 1.0k
The Basement.
Betty May 2012
He asked me why we couldn’t do it in the basement.
The answer isn’t a simple one;
I couldn’t tell him about that poem you wrote me.
I blamed it on my irrational fear of spiders
To sidetrack his incessant inquisitions.

It was the only place I used to be able to be myself.
With trying to improve the area,
It turned into more of a hell.
The carpet feels like knives on my feet.
The ground is much colder than I remember it being.

A place that was once so dear and warm
Is now filled with empty wine bottles and full ashtrays
And a sewing machine that just represents
All that I’ve tried and never succeeded in.
I could hide this from him, but not from you.

Next time he asks if we could do it in the basement,
I should say sure, why not, because
It’s not like I have a past that will keep up the empty bottles and full ashtrays.
It’s time to face my irrational fear that has
Absolutely nothing to do with spiders.
May 2012 · 1.1k
"A Joyless Euphoria."
Betty May 2012
I barely notice the phone ring anymore;
Messages tell me it does so every hour, if not more.
I barely can hear it ring.

I barely can hear my heartbeat.
I feel I barely have a pulse.
His heart, he claims, sounds like an alarm;
It resonates throughout his ribcage.
I barely can ignore it.

His past is coating my cerebrum.
My irrational thoughts and fears flood my dreams.
I am sorry that my heart is buried.
I am sorry that it forgot this language;
It cannot sing or speak
Out of fear of miscommunication.

I barely know who or what I am anymore.
I barely can breathe enough to say these words to you.
I barely am alive anymore;
You deserve a heartbeat that sounds like yours.
May 2012 · 677
Betty May 2012
It’s driving your old car through familiar streets,
Or having a conversation with a river
Of a city you’re not from,
But you are its sibling;
The similarity is striking.
You could see yourself in it.
Here, you are family.
     You are welcome.

It’s jumping in the car with a drunk driver
Who insists on letting you know
He has not a clue how to operate a vehicle,
Or hearing unsettling words from a best friend,
From someone you love,
Or from your childhood pet
Who died when you were 16.
     You are mystified.

Dreams can only be interpreted by the dreamer;
No one can tell you what your dreams mean.
How do you see your world
Behind closed, rapid moving eyes?
“Everything we see and seem,
Is but a dream within a dream.”
Where does that leave reality?
    You are uncontrollable.

I have been confusing my dreams with reality,
And my dreams are turning on me.
When reality seems all right,
My dreams will try to prove otherwise.
I can’t make you my family.
I can’t hear the words you say.
As much as I would like to live this life,
     You are unreal to me.
May 2012 · 551
This liquid.
Betty May 2012
This liquid will thin our blood.
The effects won’t last nearly long enough.
A couple dozen ounces
And empathy swims through my veins.
My mind is full of nothing,
And my liver is choking on
The toxins that refuse to leave
But keep invading like
Unwanted guests at a party.
And this is the cut I gave myself.
These are the cuts we give ourselves.
My company and I will let them scab over,
And we will scratch.
Until skin is broken.
Because we will not let this heal.
No, we are not ready to move on.
This needs to be new.
This needs to bleed.
My eyes are blurry,
My face is hot,
My tongue slurs my words.
Our bodies are rejecting our minds,
And these cuts are now scars.

So the sun will rise
And the sun will set,
And we cut ourselves open all over again.
Mar 2012 · 672
Betty Mar 2012
Engaging and enraging.
He’s beguiling and malicious.
His stare is dark and sinister,
But welcoming as arms wide open,
So jump in without care.
Make haste.
Because this faux happiness,
It will not last.
It will leave,
Only there to amplify
Your emptiness.
Don’t let words fool you;
Contrived and divine.
The worst isn’t over;
It’s luring you into the woods,
Into a hole,
With a plot that unfolds,
That reveals that you’re guilty.
Jan 2012 · 655
Define love.
Betty Jan 2012
I have this detestable habit
Of setting up scenarios
That will make me upset.
Little reminders reminding me
Of how I am not meant to be happy.
Whether these be the songs you played me
On repeat and repeat.
Or waking to a face that is not home to eyes
Of that enigmatic, lucid green hue.

     I saw the world through those eyes;
     Now my sight is less clear.

But everyone has an art
That makes them the object of affection.
When I found a love so divine,
It was when I spent my time honing mine.
Now my art involves dry liquids;
A masterpiece comes at the end of a bottle.
Because nobody is lonely
When they’re seeing double.

But our cars are our peace of mind,
So let’s jump in yours, always so cold
And warm the inside with our inconvenient love.
Play Jets to Brazil all the way through;
I’ll lower the volume to listen to you,
Because nothing is as sweet
As the sound of that voice.
Our love is a hopeless love,
But that does not mean anything;
Hopeless love is still love,
Isn’t it?

— The End —