I took every single word I ever wrote
in the last two and a half years
and set fire to them
on a mountain
surrounded by snow
a beautiful girl
and three men I didn’t know.

I walked up
slipping across the ice in the night
a brown paper grocery bag
tucked inside my arm
like an infant
my infant.

the fire was open and large
and orange sparks floated out
inside the beams of light
from the full moon
shimmering between
the branches of a nearby tree.
the tree wasn’t very tall.
it was young, I could tell.
it was green and black next to me
and blocked the wind cascading down
over the slope of the mountain.

they were drinking out of bottles of cheap beer.
it was new year’s eve
and they were celebrating
or mourning
I didn’t bother to ask them which.
I took out the pint of whiskey inside my jacket
to show them I lay within the cracked glass
like the rest of them.

“you mind if I burn this?” I asked.

“kind of,” responded the bearded one closest to me.

the girl I had come up there with
sounded off from behind me:
“he’s a writer.
it’s kind of a ritual thing.
it’s all his stories.
we’d really appreciate it.”

the drunkest of the three
nipped at his bottle and said,
“well shit, man, we gotta let him.
if it’s a spiritual thing.”
he turned to the bearded one:
“we can help him out with that,
can’t we?
I mean,
it’s a spiritual thing.
he’s a writer.”

she had said ritual
but it just as easily could have been spiritual too.
people have pretty liberal interpretations
of that word nowadays.

the bearded one grumbled something about
the embers reaching the baby tree
protecting us in its green youth
from the wind and the cold,
but then begrudgingly conceded.

I began taking handfuls of it
throwing the sheets beneath the heat of the flames
pressing the weight of the logs against them
until they seared and disintegrated  
into bright, glowing red fragments of my past.

the last two and a half years of my life:
every trauma and every anxiety
every excessive drunk and every bottle
every mistake and every regret
every fear and every nightmare
every fight and every fuck
every hangover and every depression
every love and every hatred
every suicidal thought
and every quiet, blue night they each fell away into
all condensed down
into twenty pounds
of ink and computer paper  
fluttering away
with the current of the mountain wind
like the thin wings of bats.

I watched and drank
until the bottle became light in my hand
until the entire bag caught fire
and became nothing more than fuel
for the warmth of strangers.

I watched it turn a stark black
and twist and wither into the dirt
and I waited
for the person that I was on those pages
to somehow burn away with it.
as if those words
were the physical manifestation
of that dark time in my life
and if I could just
hold those intangible moments in my hands
conjure up and gaze upon the face
of my misdeeds and regrets
and kill it
then maybe
I could kill the part of me
that created it
in the first place.

I stood there under the full moon
breathing in the ice of the mountain
and the hot ash of memory
spreading across the snow
like the contents of a dead relative’s urn
in the company of three drunk strangers
and a beautiful girl
and I waited to feel different.
(I can't type a capital s with my keyboard for some reason)

The moon shines down with a crooked smile
onto the streets below
The Drunken crowds, the smoke haze
The empty stores, the neon blaze
All awash in a blue-white glow
The clouds gather in the darkness
The ships reinforce their hull
The sky above is starless
In the Kingdoms of the skull

You're driving home on the same road
You've taken every day before
You curse the truck that cut you off
With an American flag pasted to its door
At a glance you know the driver, inside and out.
A fool, no doubt...hateful, witless, and dull...
You're judge, jury and executioner
In the Kingdoms of the skull
Trust me, I like what you expect of me
I think about it every day
I may not live up to expectations
But I like what you expect of me

Funny how all expectations I got from my 5 years of existence resemble my 13 years
I like what you expect of me because I was that kind of person for 13 years
Trust me I more than will like it, I loved it

You see, I wasn’t always like this
I’m going to lie if I tell you I don’t want to live up to your expectations
I want to relive that 13 years
But I guess life wanted me this way

I got used to this thinking
That who you are now will never be enough for society or for anyone
So, you must strive hard to satisfy them or else you won’t belong
You aren’t living

Trust me I like what you expect of me
I think about it every day
I may not live up to expectations
But I like what you expect of me

But that’s the thing, I don’t live up to expectations
And if you don’t like the person I came to be, blame life and not me
We grow through everything we’ve been through
And I chose to accept the outcome of everything
I embraced change
Hope you’ll embrace yours
Ashamed of what she did just to seek approval
Ashamed of what she did just to feel secure
Ashamed of what she did when she was being real with what she felt
Ashamed of ever being in love or maybe not

Some people might say we’ve been there, you know, a little naïve, foolish and soft back then, I mean we’ve all been young once

But how about a shame overwhelming, a shame that won’t change how they see you, but a shame that will change how you see you, how she saw herself

She couldn’t stand the thought that she did it
She can’t believe that she did it
She couldn’t even look at her own eyes knowing she did it
She did them all, shame

But how about a shame overwhelming, a shame that won’t change how they see you, but a shame that will change how you see you, how she saw herself

One day she started looking at the mirror finally, staring at her own eyes
While saying out loud that that mirror, right there, will show beauty with every reflected shame she has

So, I look
Why do I put myself in a position to be attached at all?
I  have only set myself up to heights I cannot survive the fall.
Why am I the only one trying to break down your walls?
I have only been moving from one connection to the other.
Why can't I be alone, instead of someone's lover?
trying to analyse my behavior. even though its vague, can anyone relate..?
so now we're making new memories.

we're skateboarding down the streets
of our sleepy little town and i'm still

letting our old memories bring up old
emotions because yes, it still hurts me

to see you flirting with another girl but
can you blame me? i could barely salvage

my heart after the last tornado you created
had blown through me.

but then i look at you and i
and wonder if you were  really worth

all the heartache and late nights,
because of course i still love you

but not in the same way anymore. i still
want you, but not in the same way anymore.

i miss you, but not in the same way anymore.
and you'll be okay without me. you will make

new memories without me, i swear.
here's to moving on.
lysa 2d
though i know you still have her in your heart
you keep forcing me to fit in

though i know your heart isn't with me
you keep begging me to stay

though we weren't fated
you keep saying that separating isn't the answer

though i try so hard to hide it and pretends like it's nothing
your eyes keep telling me that it was always her
New York, I won’t come home
Not even if you call
This arcade is on fire
And I laugh and laugh

The blistering cold winters
That took away my soul
In this suburban hell hole
Filled with computerized cynics.

Please don't even call
I won’t pick it up
I never answer the phone anyhow
Why would this be any different?

It surely won’t be.
It surely won’t be.

New York, I won’t come home.
Today is my birthday and I guess I got what I wanted, which was talking to you again.

The past two years I missed having someone to talk to who cared about me, and I’m not sure if you still care, but you seemed like it because you told me, “If [I] don’t have fun tonight [you’re] going to be mad at [me].”
That was just one of the things.

Well I guess I had fun because I listened to the playlist that you made me and I talked to you.
And that’s what I wanted right?

What I didn’t want was to lie on my floor crying off and on for an hour because that playlist, a simple thing, made me so happy and so scared. I am so scared because I do not know what is happening and I am afraid it is just going to vanish before my eyes like last time.

But I’m timid and I’m shy, too shy to tell you this, too worried about how it might affect the course of events playing out, so I will just write it down here in hopes that you’ll come across it one day. I hope you do see it and take note of just how much the little things you do matter to me.
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