I still remember the way
The darkness in her eyes
the edge of her joke
cut me open
a watermelon on a hot day.
I remember the weight
of her body,
down on me
the morning after a slumber party,
I remember stolen kisses
nothing to her.
I remember how her smile felt
and her hugs
felt like bonfires
and her disdain
felt like cold water
crushing me into the dirt,
a worm at home.
when the slices of her jokes
and the cold
was all she showed me,
I packed the
petals of my love
so they could dry
and be admired in their
My first love
never loved me.
My first love
was unrecognizable as such.
My best friend,
I called her.
I couldn't recognize
I couldn't even recognize
All I knew was her fire
and it was all I ever wanted.
Every friendship lost
was the result of my own
All these women in my life
in a glass jar,
kept in the darkest corner
of my closet.
I can bring out my jar
and put it on my dresser
and open the lid.
Sweet fragrance fills the air.
I proudly show the
pretty scented display
"Look at it!" I say,
begging to be recognized,
to be accepted
who isn't me.
I finally learned
to open that jar of violets,
I finally learned to be me,
but my honesty
i saw her fiddling with her ring in an effort to dodge my eyes and avoid conversation. our parents discussed their philosophies for life and plans for us.
she tucked a stray curl behind her ear, and only looked up at me
when i was speaking to answer her father's questions.
she laughed at all my jokes,
she watched me drink my orange juice when my eyes were averted.
"that's a lot of pressure," she says in the kitchen when her mother tells her to help prepare lunch. i want to get up to help her. i have no appetite. i just want to hear her voice more than one sentence response at a time.
i'm sitting in the living room, legs crossed, eyebrows raised.
she's fiddling with the same ring on her finger, and i think to myself
as i watch her, that i want to someday,
place a very specific ring
on a very specific fingers of hers
this one is for all the women
for all the girls who were
brought down by the people
who were supposed to
believe in them
stand up and be proud,
while i'm singing
you're one in a million, truly
when you get beat down
i'll pick you up again
whether black or brown
straight or lesbian
whether white or old
young or muslim
transgender or non-binary
bisexual and also you, too
i'll hold your heart to the fire
make you warm, my friend
this is it
my one and only
to all the women
to all the women.
my heart flutters at
the way she speaks my name.
"lover", she hums,
and i watch speechless as woebegone
drips from her lips. she
tastes like moonlight
when she kisses me. fragile.
when our bodies meet
i can't imagine living life any
differently than this;
magnetism draws me closer and
i am intoxicated and sobered and
and i let my fingers
trace symphonies over her skin
love songs and love letters
and the lust of
knowing that this is belonging.
we fold into each other
and it is inevitable. i want to
learn her, learn
every part of her, as if
it's what my soul was sent to do;
her heartbeat weaves a
gossamer of beauty and
she leaves it in the crease of my
architect of this home, these
two arms that sing safety
into rose quartz bones.
this is harmony.
i release a held breath and
whisper back, "always".
this is my promise.
but im dancing.
in a masquerade meant for mortals
adjusting to the ebb and flow
of the uncertain next moment
that engulfs the ocean floor
i stay on my toes
im trying to stay afloat.
the ocean swirls and froths
concocting brain juices
and camouflaging bruises.
the bruises left by unwanted visitors;
a mountain lion on the bed,
fuck i left the window open again.
this neon demon nestles in my mind
it comes in flashes at 2:13
when the street lights are flickering
and the old street dog is limping.
it jerks me awake and says "hey there, how you doing"
i say "im fine" and turn to my side
"wont you stay for a drink?" it whispers
"n-no thanks" i stutter
"you look like you could use one" its voice grows louder
i stare in silence and feel it coming closer
"here" i receive a handful of whisky and shards
and with my bleeding fingers and tear-stained cheeks,
i take a sip.
it smiles viciously, "i hope you like it. i made it just for you"
i smile back with a shard making its way out.
im wiping the blood off my chin
im wiping the tears off my cheeks
im hollow but im trying
not to cave in.
"it's great" i take the last gulp.
"goodnight my love" it sinks back into its abode
now with a torn throat and mangled face
i make myself comfortable;
"goodnight" i whisper back.
and suddenly it's 7 am.
the wounds are gone
the mountain lion played its trick once more
and im left here all alone
where is my head
i drink up the ocean anyway;
i'd rather lose my mind
than find it in shambles.
i'd rather it run away
than keep it in shackles.
my mind isn't home to me.
im in a mangled mess of
a confused gender identity,
a fluid sexuality,
depression and anxiety,
panic attacks and sobriety,
juxtaposition and similarity,
emptiness and mortality,
and the neon demon inside of me.
how can i be completely honest with someone
without scaring them,
without having them think i am still
in love with you?
i swear i'm over you.
i fucked up and said your name
while i was with him.
he probably thinks i'm still obsessed with you,
and he wouldn't be completely wrong.
your name and face run through my mind
at least five hundred times a day.
i just like to fantasize about what we could've had.
it was nice having hope i may have found the one.
and there's only one thing on my mind:
they kept you at bay.
but once they left,
your face and name came flooding back.
drowning every word i ever said to them,
every emotion i expressed to them.
did i even mean any of that stuff?
fuck, i even told one of them i loved him.
and it was really hard saying that
because admitting that to someone is next to impossible for me to do.
now i'm questioning whether or not
i even truly cared about him.
did i say it because i actually felt it?
did i say it because he was almost my dream guy?
(God knows guys over six feet tall make me uncomfortable.)
or did i say it because i'm afraid to be alone
and i didn't want him to go
and i needed him to stay so i can forget you?
they all told me the same bullshit
and i believed it all.
i just wanted to hear it from you.
and everyone tells me that i should be over you
and that everyone that has come after you is better.
they just don't understand that when your own psyche
convinces you that you two are meant to be,
it's impossible to stop thinking of them.
I never believed much in a god,
after my dad's death especially.
But then I found her,
and it was like I saw God in her face.
She took me to church,
on Wednesdays, sometimes Sundays.
And we held hands through the service,
so tight, I thought, the angels would have to tear us apart.
I loved her so much,
and I started to believe again.
Then her pastor started to shout,
words of negativity about our kind of love.
My heart fell,
for I could not believe a loving god would hate us just for that.
I slowly drifted further from believing,
and found something new.
But I still went to church,
and sat through the fire and brimstone services.
Then one Sunday, as I got up to leave,
she chased me into the bathroom.
And what happened there,
led me to never again go to church, as a believer.
kneel down at the church and hope to God he's listening
virgin mary was always crying, always looking up past the ceiling, the choir always singing about cleaning your heart because jesus wanted a clear glasshouse
what's that? is it the beat of my stained heart or the gasps between tears in my room?
my loss of faith only came when a new feeling knocked on my door: love
but it wasn't the "normal" love that i had been hearing in preachings –forget that, it wasn't jesus loving me or some boy trying to get my attention, it was a girl– which was so taboo in my house and school that i didn't even know that was possible.
three words came out of research: homophobic, homosexual, lesbian
I looked past the ceiling when I realised caught feelings for this girl and when she asked me out I prayed to God, the one we were taught about in preachings, that this would be worth it, that this would last long, that this would be supported love–but forget it, he wasn't listening
I tried calling him, i confessed, i mentally and physically tried to clear my glasshouse. I went to church, i got prophecies told by the local preachers, i sang and quoted the bible, where was he? where was he when i needed him when my parents told me to stop loving her? where was he when my depression came around and decided to ruin everything? did he let me down on purpose for not following his rules? and when i found out that other religions existed, was he punishing me for sinning? Questioning his existence under the catholic faith turned him into a deception
And what was the point of that? Teaching me how to be a better human being by punishing me and shaming what i thought was okay? Love is supposed to be okay, love is supposed to be supported and supportive, love is supposed to protect and be protected –and all i get is being thrown out to the curb because i found love? Because it wasn't the "right" kind of love?
jesus, i hope to god you're not listening anymore