Your first love is meant to be sweet
Texting late into the night,
long after we were meant to go to bed
Your heart skipping a beat when a notification from That Person appears
knowing each other's favorite snacks
Your first love is meant to be gentle
making snow angels
watching your favorite movies
and fumbling through your first makeout session together
like the love-drunk kids you are
Sometimes when I tell people about the things that defined our love
They get scared
They ask if I'm okay
They wonder why I stuck around
I guess when it's your first love,
you can't tell that it's painfully sour
because you've never tasted something sweet before
Her breath tasted like an odd combination of
Her stubble scratched at my chin
Her hands gripped my waist
(almost as hard as mine gripped hers)
She laughed at I got drunker
My back was bruised from the fence at the edge of the stage
where she pressed into me
where the mass of dancing bodies pressed into her from behind
I loved those bruises when morning came
And maybe there's something wrong with me
but the fact that she had two hickeys on her neck
both the size of my palm
both still purple
Only made me want to kiss her more
And maybe there's something wrong with me
but I knew how to move my body
How to rub our hips together
My body was an expert already
but my lips were so inexperienced
I drove home that night and I didn't think about you
How you'd turn your cheek when we tried to kiss
But you'd stick your hand down my pants with excitement
How I was always your dirty little secret,
But she held my hand in public
I didn't think about your combination of
Apple Cinnamon Lotion
Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
and Mango Burt's Bees Chapstick
I thought instead of how her cherry red lipstick
stained the end of my cigarette
And reminded me that I
Don't love you
Do you ever think about the boy who loved you with his whole heart?
Do you ever think about the boy who let you turn him into a monster?
Do you ever think about the time when you yelled at me for getting my hair cut?
It was over skype, while you were on vacation with your family
I wore a hat for three days to try and hide it from you because I knew you'd be mad.
Do you ever think about the time you told me I was selfish in bed?
Do you ever think about the time you told me I made you feel like shit because you were a grade above me but we were taking the same biology class?
Because I quit taking science classes that year
And recently I took one again for the first time since we broke up and I realized that I'm good at it and I like it, but there's no time for me to catch up enough to study it in college.
Do you ever think about all the times I tried to get my emotions out on paper and how you either laughed at the improbability or told me it was disgusting?
Do you ever think about how you told me to stay in the closet so that your parents wouldn't be upset?
Do you ever think about the night when you called me a monster and screamed on the floor of my bedroom, beneath my desk?
Do you remember how I held you for hours on the floor, even as you clawed at my arms and legs?
Do you ever think about how you taught me that love was giving up everything, becoming some guy I never was, to make somebody else happy?
Do you ever think about how that could have fucked me up?
Do you ever think about how we had sex every time we were alone together but you never once kissed me?
Do you ever think about how you couldn't tell me you loved me unless you called me Chauncey?
Do you ever think about what you did to me?
Because I do.
Oh my God, I do.
Your subtle signs
Of spite and secrecy
Reaching out to me
Within your walls
And dire desperation
To be cured, secure
No, I can’t fight
Not against your might
All this abuse
What’s the use?
I always lose
Your depraved needs
Haven’t broken me
But as these shadows fall
And bring me to my knees
Through cunning thought
And callous means
I’m giving up and in
I had black and blue eyes that shimmer and arms that bled gold and rainbow
you brushed my hair and sometimes you would slap my cheek with the bristles
you painted my nails with anger and fear and told me I was an ugly princess
I had innocent eyes full of nap-time and shiny toys pouring out sewage tears
you found his cotton candy powder wrapped in tube socks on a quiet Saturday
the kitchen smelled like dusty dog leashes, peanut butter, paint, and cigarettes
our tea pitcher was twice my size and I choked on all the sugar inside my cup
rubbed my back sore at church to beat other mothers in a race of false affection
thank you for the bedroom filled with lullabies, piss pots, and hospital beeping
you held up your fist with shaking veins and your throbbing head burned red
shoved hamburgers and frustrated cries down my throat but at least I was fed
I am sorry that I slowly sucked away your sanity for my survival and thriving
There are parts of me I have yet to become acquaintances with,
I have never stroked with my fingertips
Like the sinner does when he's lonely and makes the Holy Bible his lover.
A bible that only sees the light when his world is crimson, going down in flames.
I can feel the presence of opaque shadows lingering in my head,
The fog is still too thick to see the edges of his face,
But the smell of whiskey still brings me to my knees
Like the sinner who sees scarlet flames every time he looks at his palms.
He reserves his Sundays for prayer.
My reality is seven-thousand ghosts chanting the same sermon against the walls of my anatomy, begging God for truth.
Pressing against every curve, sending shivers up my spine because it strikes a harp I've heard before.
White wallpaper, silent whispers, a ripe peach.
The clock on the wall strikes one-twenty-seven, the moon cries for help.
The sinner has just come home.
Whiskey entangled sentences, blurry vision, loose hands.
In the shadows, his palms reach for change in the fountain of youth.
After all these years, I'm still picking up the dimes he dropped on the sidewalks of my life.
I see orange in stranger's irises,
My surroundings become dark, humid spring days whenever I smell whiskey.
I wonder if he used it to set flames to my anatomy.
I don't know how to extinguish all of this smoke, but I can't see straight, I'm choking on all of the memories faded into the monochromatic sky.
I wonder if there's a prayer in the bible that paints my face across the canvas of his mind.
I'm still picking up the glass fragments of this shattered life.
Cutting my hands while putting the mirror back together.
Trying to see into myself, into the sad caramel eyes staring back at me.
Thick smoke, crimson flames, shadows dancing.
Ghosts screaming, blurry vision, dimes scattered across the floor.
I fear for the day all these faded sins become friends of mine.
My words drip colors:
They do not breathe
Through consonants and vowels;
They do not seethe
With passion or sorrow;
They do not aim like arrows;
They do not trip on talons.
My words make chaos:
My bones and marrow;
They slip and spill
Through cracks so narrow;
The raising of an eyebrow;
The mumble through a mouthful.
My words come back to me:
They find release in hands and fists,
(that hit and hit and hit)
They seek reprieve in tears and drinks,
(that drip and drip and drip)
They bloom like flowers
(not on my lips as I speak -
but upon elbows and knees)
My words drip colors, and so color me.
Your mind felt compressed
Your heart was depressed
Everyone had left you
All you wanted was to be brand new
Called to be a saint not a sinner
But you were never a winner
He beat you real bad
So that you couldn't be sad
All you did was medicate
Until you had nothing left to dedicate
You could take only one last look at the most
So you decided to overdose
And it had been finished
But the pain still has not diminished
Because your life was done
At the age of twenty-one
He grabs you
While innocence is still new
Puts a knife against your neck
And you can't bet
If he's lying
Releases you in perfect timing
Look down at your feet
And the rough pavement they will meet
You don't care
Because this is too much to bear
Don't know about drugs
But you hang out with the thugs
As your fist hits the air
All one can do is stare
At the age of seven
You become aware
That life, just isn't fair