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Tay Mar 2018
I feel like the night I lost my virginity.
I was trying to hurt myself.
With someone else's body.
I didn't know *** was a celebration of love. A warm body against yours like walking through the gates of Heaven. I thought it was a hard corner I could push myself into. Satin sheets against a sterling silver heart. Cold and lifeless.

I feel like the nights I told you at parties that I am a dangerous girl. Because I am better at playing roulette than I am at beer pong. Tell you stories about the night I taught the medicine cabinet to lose a little weight. Tell you about the night I yelled at my best friend for something as simple as her asking me to stop rubbing my hands together. A nervous tick I had picked up.

They'll tell you that I am quick to anger. I will tell you that when I feel, I become. I feel like a grassfire that has burned its way past fences and through the front doors of my childhood home. How everything I have ever known can be gone in an instant. How quick I am to set fire to those I hold closest. How easy it is to burn pictures and throw away the keys to safe relationships. I feel as lost as the day I threw myself into that same fire. How easy it was for me to decide that's the way I am supposed to go.

I feel like someone who has been lied to. Like someone who has always thought that for it to have been assault, someone else had to have done something to you. But what is assault if is self-inflicted? Because it doesn't make it feel any less violating. Doesn't give me the feeling of ownership of the body I no longer see as my own.

They'll tell you that I am too stuck in the past. And I will feverishly ask you how can I live in the present when something as simple as a song takes me back to the day I lost you. My body has become a deepened void in which ribs drop off into an empty abyss too deep for an excavation crew to help. Or a coroner. I will plead with you to give me the answer when I ask you how can I move on when sleeping in my own bed reminds me of the night I tried to turn my wrists into scarlet ribbons. I'll tell you that I can't unsee that shade of red when even stop signs look like that night. The way they feel like that night. How I've been feeling it ever since then.

I feel like I have been thrown into a room filled with everyone who ever has and ever will decide to love me. How even so, I still feel so alone. Because each one who has loved me, I have decided shouldn't. In this room, I will remember the car ride I took with my best friend when she told me to stop rubbing my hands together. I wanted so badly to tell her that I was only doing so to check to make sure I was still alive. I wanted her to know that I didn't feel like I deserved her attentiveness.

I don't blame you for not wanting to live with me when I don't know how to just live. You'll tell me that everything is a crisis with me. And I will tell you that when everything sounds and feels like a siren, it is hard to prepare for disaster. I will tell you that these trigger warnings will always be here. And we will sit shaking with the recoil thinking about everything we have done to each other. You will tell me that some days, the shell shock is just too great.

They say that whatever starves us, carves us. I will tell you that I know what they mean. I will tell you stories of the day I counted calories at a grocery store. 400, 300, 250, dying girl, 200, 150, 100, dying girl, 50, dead girl. You have told me that I am smart, but I just googled how many calories are in toothpaste. Crunched numbers to try and figure out just how much space I am worthy of taking up. I will tell you about the days I used to wear a measuring tape around my waist. How I used to put my fork down between each bite and drink two full glasses of water between each item just to hush the tick-tick my stomach had already started. The countdown to my own demise. I will tell you how I used to drink coke and chew my cheeks to satisfy my self-hatred but I will leave it at that so my stories do not become your instruction manual.

I feel like the way I did when you begged me to just trust you. To allow myself to fall into you and only think about the positives. About the here and now. To just trust my own thoughts when I am pulled into your embrace. But how can I trust my thoughts when they only speak in hyperboles? I have realized that my thoughts are an unreliable narrator who has just killed your favorite character. You'll say, just trust me. If you loved me, you'd just trust me. But I will tell you that I have been gas-lighting myself for years, so you'd better figure out a new way to get me to sheepishly follow.

You will tell me I need to just be gentle with myself. And I will think about gentleness in ways you'd never think to talk about. I will think about gentleness and how I want to be as gentle as someone who has just poured an entire bottle of pills into her hand and having the dexterity and self-care to take just one. Take one, and put the rest of the pills into the bottle that reads "may cause dizziness", and secure the lid. Remembering how the tiny pills felt cold on her hands, but not wanting to stay like that forever. But, for once, this is something I will feel all on my own. I cannot tell you how this one feels.
Tay Jun 2017
Why are your hands like the ocean?
Pull in, push out.
Come here, go away.

You learned to cry quietly because it's prettier that way. You hate that your cheeks get red- like transparent ghosts found a way to put handprints on porcelain skin. You wipe your tears before they touch your cheeks. Don't give any clues that you're breaking.

Remember the first time your mother told you to not look directly into the sun? You asked why and she just laughed. "You'll burn your eyes, silly girl." You remember this conversation each time she calls you her sunshine.

You were nineteen the day you were told, "you're so soft." It was the twenty-ninth time someone had told you this, but this time those words were coupled with soft eyes instead of a hard-pressed stare. Maybe you could have loved him. But falling in love meant jumping, and there were sharp rocks at the bottom.

You jumped once before. You jumped and swallowed seawater as you watched him standing on the bank scrubbing your poetry off of his hands. You remember water setting fire to the air inside your lungs as you realized that no matter how hard you screamed for him to just love you again, he'd only whisper, "you're just too broken."

You remember two months later- the first time hearing the pop of an orange pill bottle lid thinking that maybe you should write the time- like you're calling the last time you'd really be you. It was a "first kiss, first dance, missed call, last chance, yes, no, maybe-so" kind of night. The kind of night that puts your soul on a sinking boat in the middle of the ocean. There's no coming back from that kind of lonely.

"Be good." She told you. You remember this when you go to type "food" in a text and your phone corrects it to "good". Your ribs drop off into an empty abyss. There is no fulfillment to the kind of starvation your hands feel when you reach out to hands that will never love you back.

Those bones hold you enough for you to sit upright in a hospital waiting room. Spine straight and lungs held in a panic. This happens every time they put cold hands on the parts of you that no longer work. New mothers tell you that children are a blessing- that they'll change your life for the better. Hollow eyes meet the baby blues of another and your hands grow heavy with longing as you realize that your junk really is just junk and you'll never hold tiny hands.

You wonder why you miss someone from years ago. You wonder why it is that you cannot remember what their voice sounds like but you can remember what it smelled like outside the day you two met. The last time you picked up a phone, your hands knew to dial their number. But you haven't called in ages now. You quietly realize that you only miss certain people when your body becomes medicine cabinet.

You now know that you have hands like the ocean because people may love you, but no one wants to stay on the beach after the sun sets.

You remember turning the mirror around and telling you mother the sun didn't shine that day.
Tay Feb 2017
"Tell me what you're thinking right now."

He stood a few feet from me now, like he wanted to come closer, wanted to know what demons I was harboring.

I have a theory. My theory is that being in love and falling in love are two different things. You can be in love with as many people as you want. You can fall sleep in the arms of a million people who you think you love. But then in the morning, it can all be gone in an instant."

"So, what about falling in love?" He whispered, inching closer.

"Falling in love is like jumping off a cliff. Meaning, when you jump, you end up with scrapes and cuts that never go away when it's all done. It hurts, so you learn to never do it again."

Now his hands hung just inches from me.

"I have a feeling you've jumped once before, haven't you? And you can't do it again? Not even for me?"

I looked him in the eye this time.

"No. I've never jumped. But, I pushed the one I might have jumped for off of that cliff. I hurt him. He'll never be able to jump again. And I'm afraid karma's a real theory, much more real than mine."

His hands grazed my arm, then dropped to his sides. The room went cold, and I left the windows open.
Tay Jul 2016
It's called anxiety.
Sometimes, I can pay attention to you.
Sometimes, I can't.
Some days are better than other ones.
But the others,
Well, the other ones look a little like trains Going a little too fast for their tracks
Like clocks that break their glass fronts
And cartoon characters with smoke
Coming from their heels when they run
Running faster than the 60 seconds a minute allows
It is my body moving too fast for me to Catch my breath but I'm just sitting at my Desk tapping my pencil and I can feel the Teacher drilling holes into the back of my
I know the God-awful sound is killing her
But it is keeping me from going insane
It is chewing away the insides of my Cheeks
And scratching at my forehead
Looking for answers
But always coming up with hungry hands
It's hearing white noise
And glass shattering
And candles flickering
I know I should not be hearing a candle
But I do
It's just me spinning out of control
I know you've noticed I'm no longer using Punctuation but this is how I always feel
This is how my mind is
It is always racing
My foot swings back and forth like
Poe's Pit and the Pendulum swinging faster and faster towards my chest and it's Always on fire
My hands fumble with puzzle pieces
Because I identify with the one that's
Always missing
It is being lonely in the hands of someone
Who loves me
I feel his calloused hands hollowly like I
Don't have a right to them
It is wanting to scream to the hooded
Figure in the door "I'm scared" but it
Coming out as an inaudible crack in my
I find solace in the cracks between tile
I'm looking at my reflection in black Screens wishing I could just pick myself Up
From the bottom of orange bottles with
Safety-***** lids
A doctor once told me one day I would be
But one day seems to be miles and
Years away
I've shrunk to the size of a stick
My bones jutting out every which way
Paper-thin and too many words to fill the
Hole in my confidence a man once bore Into me
My hands shake when I step into a church
Like I've done something wrong
My mind goes over every event up until
Now wondering why my hands shake and
My chest drops below the floor
Grandmother tells me I will go to hell if I Do not act right and my mother tells me it Is
All in my head
But again a doctor gave me
An orange bottle with thirty tiny white pills And told me one day everything Would be
I just want it to be okay.
My mind is always racing like the way "Normal"
Ones do before taking a test not studied for.
I'm sure you will consider this an episode
Of marked depression, but this monster is Anxiety.
Sometimes I can pay attention to you.
Other times I can't because of this
Tay Jun 2016
Don't fall in love with a girl who reads.
The girl who feels everything, who dreams, who writes..

Fall in love with the girl you find in a bar. Find her in the squall of smoke and sweat of an upscale nightclub. Make sure she doesn't mix her coffee with bourbon. Love the one shooting tequila straight from a cheap, half-empty bottle. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure it lingers a little too long. Use pickup lines and entertain her with meaningless slurs from a long day and mistakes you know are about to be made. Take her outside and kiss her in the rain because you saw it in a film. Comment on its silliness.

Pull her into a tolerable relationship. Let the months pass by without remark. Then let years pass by unnoticed. Talk about nothing of significance and retreat into it when the air grows stale and the evenings become long. Fight about how the shower curtain needs to be kept closed. Propose a little later because you realize you'd have wasted so much time otherwise. Take her to a restaurant that wreaks of marinara sauce and sheepishly ask the waiter to bring a bottle of expensive champagne. Offer up a modest ring and don't become too concerned if you feel nothing of sincerity or commitment. But fake it, ******* it.

Do these things. Because a life lived in purgatory is better than one lived in hell. She will make it hell. I'm begging you, stay away from the one who reads. Who laughs or cries when she makes love. Who can neatly fold her spirit and spin it into prose and poetry. If she loves poetry, run away. Don't dare to look back. She is to be left alone. Dangerous little smiles should make you shake. Do not smile back.

Do not fall in love with a girl who thinks. Who is made up of magic and knows herself. Do not love the one who knows how to disappear inside of a book or a poem or a painting. If she spends any more than a few seconds looking into the eyes of a sinner, get out of there.

Don't fall in love with the girl who is interested in politics, who feels disease in injustices. Don't love the one who is intense, who is lucid and charismatic. Stay away from the one who has any sense of ambition, of rebellion, or even the smallest hint of wonder in her eyes. Be cautious of the ones who can't live without music. If she can draw, quit, and quit fast.

A girl who reads is one who knows herself; who is sure. She is educated and she is fire inside a bottle of rye. The girl who reads is one who is comfortable with goodbyes. Think about it: she's read millions of novels and each one ends. Most end with the death of her favorite character. They make her think. And she flies through the pages like they are wet wine on collarbones. And she is okay with each and every ending. Sure, she might cry, but she'll wipe her face and pick up another book. Just to do it all over again. Remember this if she ever says her favorite book is you.

She is a romantic and how can you match up to the princes and heroes in her books? She knows nothing else. You can't love her the way those characters could if they were to take shape. She holds a vocabulary that lays claim to her ability to distinguish between the specious and the soulless. She holds rhetoric hands that turn black streaks into the books she loves so deeply. She deserves a man who can hold her hand the way she holds her books. Someone who can write her notes and hide them in her lunch box. Can you write in cursive the way she can?

Please, don't fall in love with a girl who reads. Because a girl like that, you never come back from.
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