Hannah P 20h
Our protection.
A guardian we take for granted.
I was taught in
Science class how
 The skin is our
Barrier and protects us
From countless enemies.
A shield that is responsible
For keeping us healthy and safe.
But yet we abuse it,
We show it no gratitude.

When I was a kid
I allowed myself
To go roller skating without my
Knee pads,
Despite the infinite reprimands
My mother provided.
A scraped knee
Wasn’t anything a Band-Aid
And some time
Couldn’t fix.
I thought the band-aids in
The bathroom cupboard
Held some type of magic in the box
That I could not fathom
That patched up my skin
As if nothing ever happened.

But then I was taught in science class that
It was my skin performing
These magic tricks.
I remember those scolding hot
Summer days
Spent on the beach with my friends
Where the waves absorbed
Any sunscreen I had massaged on my body
And my face turned
Crimson from soaking in the rays.
But the burn always tempered
Down into a glowing tan
After the aloe soothed
The stinging.
In science class
I constantly overlooked
How our own flesh
Performed these illusions
To shield us from harms.

In science class
I studied how our skin
Interacted with the outside world.
How sensations were
Directed to the tips of my fingers
And goose bumps rose on
My arms.

But I was never taught
How to experience them.
I never questioned it though;
Unitl I met him.
Everything I was taught

Got lost,
As I had in his presence.
The way he gazed at me,
The way he talked to me,
The way he stroked my skin.
It gave me all those sensations
They had talked about in science class.

Everything happened so fast,
Everything happened too fast.
Intoxicated hands held me too close
And my intoxicated heart let them.

I forgot what science class burned
Into my brain and
I gave him my skin.
I let him become my armor.
I let him corrupt my flesh
Just as I had so many times before.
His finger nails
And teeth
Sunk deep into me
Leaving patters of desire in each layer
That soon soaked into my veins.
Our rib cages pressed together,
Both our hearts rattling
Within our chests,
Stimulating our brains to send signals
Allowing serotonin and oxytocin
To spill out,
Premising his lips to outline my body.

No science class ever
Taught me how to react
To my blood pressure rising,
To my sweat glands heating up.
No science class ever taught me
Why I wanted more,
Why the marks he left on my skin
Didn’t ache like a
Sunburn or scraped knee.

I trusted him,
With his hands full
Of my skin,
And the way that he
Made me feel;
I felt safe.

No science class taught me
That I could feel so
And I loved it.

But when he was done with me,
My skin felt wrinkled
And used.
When he gave it back,
It was no longer mine,
He took it with him.
My skin cells lingered
Next to his nail beds
As he dressed himself.

No science class taught me
Why I felt so desolate
As he walked out the door,
With simple goodbyes,
That did not need to be spoken,
And no amenity in his eyes.
No science class taught me
The feeling of numbness found
As my heart rate decomposed
In my hallow chest,
Knowing I let him take my
Shield and watched him destroy it
Right in front of me.
No science class taught me
The bite marks and scratches he left
Would always be sore
Even after they have healed.

No Band-Aid or magic trick
Could fix the damage
He left for me to patch up
By myself.
No science class taught me
I would feel
The sensations of
Love and loss
Aching through my bones.
No amount of horomones
Could change his mind,
Or tug on his heart strings.
So why I thought I was
Invincible when I was with him,
I can’t understand.

But it is my fault
For not memorizing my
Notes from science class and
Sticking to the known facts
Of my own anatomy.
But I do know
After years and years of
Being lectured in school,
No science class could teach me
What my own damaged skin could.

Love and science will never coincide
And love cannot be found
In the physicality of
A one night stand.
Serenade me with your skin made of silk
Your hand on my face the softest caress
I want to lose myself in your body
An odyssey of lust and obsession  

Your eyes hold everything and nothing
Windows to the universe
Their sultry allure calling like a siren
Whispering secrets you’ll never tell me

And those longing lips
They plead for a kiss with every smirk
Of which I’m happy to offer
They tremble with each touch

Your arms offer safety and security
Enveloping embrace protective and strong
But gently hold me like a blanket
Never let me go

Your voice my soul’s solace
Say your words that seduce my spirit
Spinning and dancing in my head
Anything anything you want

You are my rock in this hard place
You see the skin
I don’t belong in
The shield I wear
Is one you are unaware

The words mean less
When I am in distress
To bring love
I must shove
Fight your battles to your own self love.
Everyone’s feeling something behind closed doors.
Her skin looked soft,
Yet piercing in the pale moonlight.
Almost like
A knife
Covered in red felt
That's been doused in gasoline
And set aflame.
Someday I will be under the sun
Feeling calm
With you carresing me
From the tip of my forhead
To the tip of my feet
And I will feel like I always feel with you
But mos importantly
At peace
It feels like a lump on the throat,
the sensation of feeling everything and nothing at all.
This skin feels tighter than usual
or a little bit loose to let the cold in,
or thicker that the blades are incapable of digging in,
or wispy like the clouds.
No, my clouds are thunderheads
bring storms to my normal day,
screams the sound of dismay.
I long for the warmth,
yet cold air barges in
wrap up and supply tears for rain.
The rain brings comfort, though
have patience, it's going to feel
like forever before you unlearn the lead
in your feet and the shake
of your hands, but forevers
come in waves and some
seem longer than others, and I think
that we will know the weight of this decision when it's all
said and done and you are falling asleep
in my arms and we can breathe
without looking over our shoulders and without covering
our footprints as we go.

come home, it's going to feel
like an eternity trying to draw warmth
into your bones after all the cold nights,
but after a while you will learn
that it is not so much you as it is
everything this world has put you through, and I
will be the one to help you un-learn everything
that you sharpen against your skin and use
to tear yourself apart.
KM Hanslik Jun 9
I learn to hibernate in layers, I keep
different peoples' secrets tucked into the folds
and pockets of my clothing, or injected directly
into my veins where the softness can soothe
any leftover ache. I dilute
my blood with better safe than sorry, as if saying that
will make up for all the could-have-beens and missed chances
that I make excuses for.

I'm slowly learning
not to feel so much, I press words onto pages now instead
of into people. We can't keep counting up
everything we've lost forever, that isn't
how this works. We were meant for more
than paper promises and paper dreams, we were meant
to lose our breath when the sun hits our eyes and I'm trying
to expand my heart now instead of clinging
to the half-spoken things that still rest under layers of dust on
my nightstand.

I kiss
my palms before turning up empty at your doorstep, I tread
softly over property lines that read do not disturb;
my tongue knows better how
to ask permission than anything else.
It's hard to tell lately what I'm becoming, if it's
simply a replica of an older version or maybe something
new & unrecognizable - other people have pressed
themselves so far into me, I don't think these leftover marks
will grow out; maybe I'm shaped by whatever
crosses my path every day and maybe I'm supposed to live
for all the dreams that were cut short before
they took flight.

Teach me how to pour these colors into new moldings, cast
my promises along the same lines as fate;
it's getting late now and I'm slipping into the fog where everything unspoken haunts me
just the same as when I'm awake.
I'm feeling this sense of responsibility in every inch
of my hemispheres,
warm and heavy in my brain, weighing
me to some reality where duty matters more than
my life. Keep me grounded so that I do not drift along
the breeze with the scattered notion
that our lives amount to anything more than
the soft skins we try to harden;
we are all small and easily bruised in the end, but that never stopped me
from lining my lungs with the world's illnesses, from storing
the battered remains of your dreams behind
my eyelids, it never stopped
us from throwing our bodies around, thinking our soft flesh
can catch bullets and barricade
others against the diseases that try to wrap themselves
around our skeletons - mine is melded with
the remainder of what could have been if I'd been braver, but I'm going
to try harder now, I'm going
to re-write our stories so that you can rest
all your burdens beside mine, and I'll catch
all the shrapnel and debris for you.
Julia Jun 9
Someone, interpret my silence
as more than shyness.
Hear my muffled cries, please! –
somebody, put me at ease.
Nerves are shot,
every artery and vein tangled in knots.
My mirror of a heart has too many cracks in her face,
she now sees nothing but disgrace.

On the countertop,
another pill awaits to be popped.
No matter the size or numbered dose prescribed,
my demons know how to hide.
So, here I am once more,
laying on the bathroom floor,
feeling numb again.
God! why can’t anyone comprehend

when they say drink this, it’ll never make it better.
Does it ever?
Explore a strangers skin –
I promise, you won’t get lost within
the mystery of every crevice,
or fall in love with every blemish.  
For, in the morning, it isn’t guaranteed
you’ll be made complete.

That isn’t how you recover.
How you piece yourself back together,
after moments of falling backward on the ground,
instead of someone’s arms where you felt found.  

Hate being alone,
but nobody deserves a broken soul
who doesn’t love herself
as she should before loving somebody else.

Pick me up off this floor,
I can't do this by myself anymore.
Help me.
Wrote this the other night while listening to Shawn Mendes when I could not sleep because of anxiety. You aren't alone. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
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