I. THE FALLING IN LOVE

i should have known

from how the very first thing you told me
was a lie, and your eyes captivated me,
perhaps because i could never read them;
you were a mystery

that it was wrong

for you to say you liked me, so soon
just because i brought you cookies
just because i did; i must have been so good
at falling in love that you thought
you were too

II. THE FALLING APART

i should have known

when you’d say you love me
but i’d find myself alone,
when i’m blue, when i’m in tears,
and you search for words
and come up empty

that it was wrong

except i’d gotten so used to it,
to making excuses, to finding comfort
in what you offered, to convincing myself
it meant more

III. THE HOLDING ON ANYWAY

i should have known

when i was too afraid to be honest; i knew
the hurt my words would cause; i knew
they could never be taken back, and that
we would both be left hollow

that it was wrong

if i ever hurt you i would have had to be
broken myself, shattered beyond repair; and
the bullet i would use to shoot you were the
pieces of metal i dug from my own heart
with shaking hands

i should have known
that it was wrong

and i did,

but i thought that if i kept quiet you would
never notice and i would rather live with you like
this, because you disable the ticking time bomb
of my heart and in its place a dull ache,
throbbing instead of beating, and because
if you left, no one would care if i exploded

Angela Rose Nov 2017

Getting married at 22 sound a lot like leaving the party at 9:30
Like leaving the party when there are only three people there
Like leaving the party although you have not uttered a word to another soul
Like leaving the party before anybody new arrives
Like leaving the party when only the beer has showed up and no liquor
Like leaving the party before the cool kids even show their faces
Like committing the rest of your life to vanilla ice cream and you’ve only ever tasted vanilla ice cream
Like sticking with what you know and not venturing away
Getting married at 22 sounds a lot like settling down

Ariel Knowels Feb 2016

There's that boy
who you know your parents
would absolutely love
cute smile
great hair
athletic
tall
and treats you so sweetly

We could spend dinner
having polite conversation
telling cute stories
discussing global issues
and everything would be fine

but I'm not looking for fine

Cody Henatt Jan 2016

Don't have a flame,
Have a bonfire.
Don't have a spark of power,
Create an empire.

Don't sing a note,
Croon a ballad.
Don't dance a move,
Reanimate those pallid.

Don't stop because you can,
Don't stop at all.
Turn this message
Into your motto and call.

Cody Henatt Dec 2015

So undesirable, being forgotten after death;
What's the point of living at all,
If you're forgotten upon your last breath?

Perhaps I could be happy
Constructing a modest, pleasant life for my family,
And then passing away a wizened pappy ...

But I endeavor to reach higher
And to achieve goals that some deem unattainable;
That is one of my ultimate desires.

Settle not for mundane,
Be comfortable not with
What just barely sustains.

Don't be an obstacle
On the path to your success:
That is not logical.

Sean Tierney Dec 2015

here comes the one
down a flight of spiraling stairs
she sees you and your buddy
she picks him
she introduces you to her less than
breathtaking friend
and you live together
for three years
a couple of twos

Cody Henatt Dec 2015

Intrepid, a boy strode down the mountain path,
Into nature's unchanging wrath;
The dust stirred at his feet,
The sun kissed his back, fiery heat;
He thought of the bloodbath.

They'd told him to run,
And he did, under the heat of sun.
Now, he'd slowed to a crawl,
Heading away from the desert brawl;
On his waist, he still had his gun.

He came to a stop,
Sat on a rock,
Ran his fingers through his hair-mop.

He should have known not to settle,
It always took a toll.

jack of spades Oct 2015

You're in a bar thousands of miles from home in a city that
your tongue struggles to properly pronounce
watching a seventeen year old chain smoking nicotine he bought from
a girl on the corner
when you first feel like you're beginning to settle,
a familiar weight settling in your stomach,
an old acquaintance a stone's throw from a stomachache,
so you slip off of your stool to stagger to the bathroom
where you clutch the porcelain and kneel with fingers poised
like a prayer to your gag reflex,
but you don't do it,
you just sit and feel cold tiles seeping a chill into your knees
and you're trembling.
You don't get up for a long time
but you know you have to settle and sit eventually.
When you go back to the bar,
a boy with a galaxy smile will take you outside
and buy you candy from a sketchy vending machine,
and you can let yourself believe that sweets solve everything:
sweet words and signs and cards tucked into your jewelry box,
tongues tucked between teeth in smiles and screenshots as receipts
of ten second Snapchat dreams.
But other people can't fix you.
Learn that.
Don't you dare let yourself believe,
don't you dare let yourself put something as fragile as
your happiness in someone else's heart
because it probably won't beat as hard as your own,
and it won't pump life into your joys for long,
and before you know it,
that happiness that you tethered to someone else is gone.
That's okay. You'll be okay.
You just need to learn that memories will only ever be memories,
that things only shine when you
remember that you have to keep them clean,
that the chemicals of development take white pages and make them
dark,
that photos come from negatives,
and that you've never had a predisposition
for rose-tinted lenses.

this is me trying to get over you
Emily Von Shultz Jan 2012

His ring was cold when he put it on my finger,
but I took it anyway,
hoping that it might warm up after I wore it a while.

I may have steamed up the inside of this car with him,
but when he leaves,
I’ll still write your initials on the window.

I might not see you,
talk to you,
or feel your touch ever again,
and my existence is absolutely crazy,
but this is my way of staying loyal to you,
your memory,
and all that you were to me.

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