the first time i got on stage
and read my words to a library full of high schoolers
with wide eyes and open ears, i thought i was going to puke.
my hands were vibrating like all the molecules in them
were trying to break free and leave,
like i was trying to break free and leave.
but *******, i’d never felt so alive.
i’m learning that if you’re afraid of things that, sometimes,
it just means that they matter.
the first time i was on stage, i practically shook out of my skin.
i thought i was going to ***** or faint or explode all over the front row.
and when i didn’t, i realized nothing else would ever feel good enough
after that in comparison.
i guess i’ve always expected to be a poem that everybody forgot about,
not one they memorized all the words to so when i stood on stage
and people told me they like the way my heart beats,
that’s… that’s everything.
the time difference between rome and kansas city is 7 hours.
we pile all the pillows and blankets into my hotel room,
and we drink limoncello from paper cups,
talking about everything and nothing.
our mouths are always running away, tangled up with our hearts.
we have been laughing too hard and running into the ocean
without looking back for the last two weeks.
it’s a funny feeling, to know that you are in the middle of a memory.
there are places to be in the morning, places to leave behind.
you sing along to weezer, half asleep under a mess of blankets,
and i like to pretend that you sing for me.
you will always remind me of the sun of my skin.
i love every single person in this room so much it’s kind of ridiculous,
a bond born of late nights and dumb jokes and stranger streets.
this is the time of my life thus far.
around 3 AM the room clears and i feel a little less lonely
than i’d ever been.
we are singing along to saturday, front row of the lawn.
it’s been twelve years since 2003 but we still know every word,
learned them along the way,
and fall out boy still closes the show on
the same guitar chords and melody.
some things don’t need to change.
the song gets more relevant by the year,
and that’s how you know art is good --
when it still matters after you probably should’ve outgrown it.
our feet still keep time.
so we’ll always have saturday and the songs we play,
blaring loud from borrowed speakers and mouths.
i close my eyes and sing along, not caring if it’s off-key.
my ribcage feels like it is not near enough to contain my heart.
and when pete wentz says
“can i see the kids on the lawn tonight get ******* loud?” into the mic, we all scream.
i am seventeen today
and i still fluctuate between feeling seven and seventy,
but that’s okay.
today’s not a day for counting candles anyways.
today, we drove downtown to sit outside as it gets dark
and listen to other people sing because we can’t carry a **** tune.
later, we climb and sit, watch the city lights spread out beneath us.
in that moment, there’s nothing better. there’s nothing else.
we know it’s a lie, but it still feels like this city belongs to us,
at least for tonight.
we are groggy, somewhere between sleep and consciousness
as 2016 rolls in.
the last week of 2015 has been a good one,
full of sore feet and laughing and sunsets i’d never seen yet,
but we’re tired now.
the display menu for star wars: the empire strikes back
is playing in a loop on my TV screen,
we both fell asleep before darth vader tells luke that he’s his father.
upstairs i can hear people counting, cheering.
tomorrow i will drink flutes of champagne for breakfast
and think the snow outside is beautiful
even though i hate the way it feels.
the morning light will feel new and old at the same time.
my skin fits a little better now than it did a year ago.
i’m not always good, but i am so much better.
right now, there’s nowhere i’d rather be.
happy new year. i'm remembering the best of 2015. i hope 2016 is good to us all.