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Aug 2014 · 849
For John, Part I
verdnt Aug 2014
it's been a while, so i thought to get back in the swing of things, i'd post a poem i wrote a few months back. enjoy.*

“some people, most people actually, die before they die. and the death of the mind is so much greater than the death of the body,” my therapist tells me,
his frown barely hidden behind his beard, his brows furrowed and forehead thick with sweat.
i sink into the soft leather couch, hoping the fabric will swallow me whole.
“you need to accept the fact that he is gone.”
so much of my spirit has been torn down.
yesterday, i had a panic attack in the supermarket because my mom picked up a box of cheerios, i was told to avoid two-lane freeways because it would be “too easy,” and i had to run to the bathroom to keep from collapsing because someone was wearing his cologne.
“in order to be happy, you need to let go,” my therapist tells me. i have done everything i can, spent countless hours purging my memory from anything having to do with him.
but i can’t breathe and small parts of me keep seeing him in flashes;
in the wildflowers that grow in the field next to my house, a cloud of smoke out the car window, in clouds and sunsets and the pages of every book i read.
these are the parts of me that don’t want to let go.
but i’m getting there. i am a warrior, i have battled my toughest opponent for years and it will always be myself.
and today, i woke up early, poured myself a cup of coffee, and watched the sun rise.
today, i learned in health class that the femur is the strongest part of the human body. but it’s not. it’s the heart.
see, mine has been broken; it’s been shattered, ripped, torn to pieces, and thrown to the floor like a plate of glass in a fit of rage.
and still, it manages to beat 100,000 times a day and pump 1.3 gallons of blood a minute through this tired body.
i learned that something is always fighting for me, even if it’s only my heart.
i learned that letting go is not necessarily a bad thing.
“but i also think that when we die a part of our soul sticks around those we love. so if you think about it, he is still with you,” my therapist tells me.
i think that’s beautiful.
i can breathe easier.
I dedicate this to one of my closest friends. John, I miss you every single day of my life. I hope you are happy, I hope you are surrounded by wheatgrass and sunshine and tall trees just like we used to talk about, I hope you are proud of me. I love you. I can't wait to see you again.
Aug 2013 · 1.6k
verdnt Aug 2013
I drank two glasses of a cheap wine and it left a sour taste on my mouth. It was bitter like your tongue and the mindless remarks that escaped from your daydreams. I felt like it was quite appropriate.
Yesterday I read on the news it rained for three days in California. Isn’t it thoughtful of you that you took your rainy mood to fill the blue with clouds and the sun with thunder? Then I mentally cursed myself for hoping that you had taken your gray umbrella with you simply because it would match the gray from your tired eyes.
I drank two glasses of wine and, well, the alcohol didn’t work. The fridge was empty and so was the your side of the bed. I sat on the couch with a half bottle of wine as my company and it rained inside my apartment too. It didn’t leave marks, it didn’t water my plants or wet the books. It just rained and rained.
(I was with you in California.)
Until my eyes dried.
The bottle got warm.
My legs fell asleep and I tripped and fell on my way to the kitchen; I bruised my right knee. I bit my tongue and didn’t make a sound.
The rain didn’t leave any marks, the wine did. A blood red stain in my living room mat to match the dark red sleepless nights you left with your apology filled goodbye written on a wrinkled napkin. These sleepless nights you left me with to match with the city that never sleeps.
Oh, so very thoughtful of you.
(You should’ve left me with the whiskey I kept under the kitchen cabinet, your The Smiths album and some painkillers for my metaphorically shattered bones.)
(I never really liked red wine.)
Jul 2013 · 1.1k
The Art of Goodbye
verdnt Jul 2013
If you need 
to see how old

I really am

just take a sharp blade

to my middle

and count the ring-
worms inside.

I’ve been keeping

my words, lately,

somewhere other

than here,

here where

my throat itches

with the dusty pollen

of verbal pollution

with every click.
You are beautiful,

so too are your words,

they could paint the sky,

and I could paint you


What’s the point?

I’m finding satisfaction

in separation of self

from symbolism

and I would ask you

all to join me.

How many rings

did you find?

I am nearly 100-years

and a few more days

and I’m having a hard time


I keep choking

on air. That’s how old

I really am.

I keep a journal

in the dirt

but it keeps washing away

but at least the rain

doesn’t equate my fragments

to my figure.

At least the sun

has the decency to apologize

for burning bits of me

into the earth.
Jun 2013 · 1.7k
Anaphora and Acoustics
verdnt Jun 2013
I love the girl who is too young to smoke cigarettes but lights them anyway. She sits on the high school bleachers at 9 on a Sunday night, gets tired of the smoke in her eyes, and tosses eventual death in the trash can.
I love the girl who has never enjoyed the taste of alcohol but feels like Holly Golightly when she holds a glass of Cabernet so she drinks it anyway. She sits in her grandfather’s lounge chair on a Monday night, plays the songs he taught her on the *****, neglects her English essay, and leaves the red remains in the bottle.
I love the girl who cannot stand the sound of my guitar, but pretends to like acoustics because she knows the music brings out the best in me, and that even if she asks me to stop, I will play anyway. She lies on the floor on a Tuesday night, wishing she were in another town too small to be called a city, listens to melodies that remind her of where she is, ignores my creations and leaves my heart in her hands as she finally falls asleep.
Jun 2013 · 2.2k
four a.m. knows my secrets
verdnt Jun 2013
this is very jumpy. i have been up for 24 hours. i don't know

There are miles between us on the queen sized bed and all I know right now is *words words words
and nothing spilling from chapped lips. Passion and lust and I need you's coming out in the form of long kisses and hands-on-my-chest types of expressionism. This isn't the kind of dizzy your momma warned you about. Deep sea swimming inside your head and I'm trying to figure out a way to mean more than just someone you want in your bed. There's a tug at the bottom of my navel pulling me away from the edge, but I've already dived in. Sparks flew where your careful fingers met my hip bones, but lightning struck where your feelings for me lay and with a thunder clap they were gone as fast as rain slides down a window.
The night I found out I was not important to you, regret was just a knot in my throat. But now, it is a hand choking my heart. How beautiful it would be for you to understand just how much I miss you.
I only wanted someone to hold me like I was the source of every bit of his happiness. This wasn't love but it sure as hell felt like it, or more like it than my hand being guided to the zipper of your jeans.
I can't think much else beyond 'I miss you' and it makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Why can't I write about anything or anyone but you? I still can't shake the notion that this is a feeling best tried to outrun.
Our story is a half-packed suitcase. I will tell myself that this is going to be okay, that I am going to be okay. Even though I really think it won't be.
Jun 2013 · 1.1k
verdnt Jun 2013
everything is silent outside,
but the screaming in my soul
gets louder as the day drags
on, and by twilight there is nothing
but noise in my head,

today i woke up with chaos
in the crevices of my eyelids
and terror like a rumor in my
chest, my legs begging to be
set free, to run away as fast
as they possibly can, but
my body is a caged bird, and
my heart, is telling me to stay.
verdnt Jun 2013
i hope she loves you more than her thoughts could ever build the words.
i want her to hold your hand and laugh when you say the dumbest jokes.
whisper seductive things to make you stay.
i hope you stay.
happy? of course!
i hope she makes your grin stretch so far
you need a gps to find your way back to sanity.
i hope she leaves “i love you” spelled out in magnets on the fridge.
you deserve it! yes, yes, you do.
when you’re on the verge of tears
i hope she’s close enough to catch them just before they hit the floor.
i hope her kiss leaves you drunk and parched.
i hope you yearn, lust, fall so hard
that nor cement, concrete, or bricks could bring you to a halt.
let her be the best thing that’s ever stepped into your life.
memorize every inch from the strands of her hair to the space between her toes.
i hope her taste stains your tongue.
her touch leaves prints on everything.
i hope she tells her friends about you and lets her parents know you’re the one.
if you both happen to run into me
i’ll smile and chat about my day
ignoring that what she is to you
you used to be to me.
(but most of all i hope she breaks your heart.)
Jun 2013 · 1.5k
Plane & Not Very Simple
verdnt Jun 2013
I wrote this a few months ago on a flight across the country. Not my best, but it healed me a bit

Thinking about you doesn't get any easier and even at 30,000 feet in the air the feeling you left with me somehow manages to suffocate me, through twenty different layers of clouds and pressurized cabins. The lady sitting next to me has a sad look in her eyes. Maybe she is suffering through some kind of heartbreak herself, just like me. She orders her coffee black. I want to reach out to her and hold her hand, but it's probably too cold, and she might **** away from my touch, the same way you did that day when you left. She smells like cheap perfume and the lies of lovers she has tried too hard to forget.
I wonder about jumping right out this plane right now. I wonder if I'd land with a *splat
and if a nice young man would arrive with a broom and pan, sweep me up, and discard me into the nearest trash can, like they do in the carnivals. Would I regret it the moment my feet left the edge of the plane? Would I get the same feeling in my stomach on the way down as I did when we were together? I think I'd only jump if I were holding your hand.
I wrote “I miss you” in a too big sharpie across the front of my notebook on Tuesday. Colored it in blue because there’s not enough green to feel much else when you're not around. Two hours to go and my entire life is falling down around me. (Leave me be leave me be leave me be.) I want to be the space that water fills between your toes and hidden among the things that keeps your rusty heart beating. But I can't be the oil that makes your wheels keep spinning. At best I'm the hot hot steam that keeps your hands from burning and bleeding. You don't want me and you never fell in love with me. You fell in love with words I learned to recite and looks I knew when to give and this carcinogenic smile.
Apologies don't sound as true as they should and I never really say what I mean. I'm just as ****** up as you. And these are words carved into walls of abandoned asylums and painted on canvases with blood in lieu of paint and this is the only way I know how to say that I know what you're going through and what you've been through and how sorry I am that I can't be everything you expected of me.
verdnt Jun 2013
you didn’t want me

not when your fingers dug into

my hips or when they trailed 
their way up my thigh

and i don’t think 
i really wanted you, either

we wanted skin and we wanted flesh

touch without connection

we pressed our lips together

once or

twice but i think it was habit

more than anything

we were doing this

so we had to do this

touch me and i’ll touch 
you but really

i was touching him

and you were touching her
verdnt Jun 2013
I am in a bad state, physically and emotionally (mostly emotionally) and this is mostly a self healing type of thing. Bear with me. A lot of swearing and some mild crying were involved.

1. For starters, I'd like to say that I am sorry for the current state that we're in. Our friendship has slipped through my fingers faster than any liquid could and left me numb and confused and sort of hung over. I never meant to cause you anger towards me in any way but I guess sometimes these things are meant to happen and there isn't anything we can do about it.
2. I kind of miss your small hands and the way they were always outstretched, ready to catch every drop of disappointment and wonder the world had to give. They were always cold too; maybe from all the icy truths they held. I liked the way you moved them when you couldn't figure out the exact words to say, as if they were your cue cards you couldn't quite read.
3. I don't know if we'll ever speak again or if you will look me in the eye when you walk past me, if you even think of me when you see me. I don't know if you still consider me a mistake or the nights we spent together a mistake the way chopping off my hair with Crayola scissors when I was four was a mistake.
5. When this is over, remember that you are not any less loved: you are still the girl who has looked fear in the face every day and fated, “I do not belong to you.”
6. You taught me that everyone leaves. This is no longer something I can romanticize, I’m not capable of turning this pain into poetry anymore. It’s just sadness. It’s just hurt. It’s just hard.
7. In fifty years when I sit down to write a poem about us, (and I will), I will word the way this situation
panned out, pinpoint perfectly why you are letting go, I will have just enough knowledge to write a funny sarcastic quip about how sorry you should be for losing me, but today I am desperate for some explanations, and the present does not seem comical or ironic— it is Cinderella’s lost slipper sad, a future slipping away because you are scared of the clock chiming midnight, and although in hindsight I will laugh at myself, at you, at this, I will tell my children things like, “Wasn’t I silly?” and they will nod, and tuck my cautionary tales under their skin as little life reminders. Although in 50 years I will call you 5 decades too late, say I'm sorry that I never seemed to say “I love you” at the right time, ask how the years have been, and wonder of all the things that could have been if I'd had the right words. I cannot see the future, and all I am is filled with uncertainty rusting my heart and tainting my hope the way rain rusts metal in the spring, wishing that if nothing else, at least someday I will be able to understand.
8. The past three days have been a rollercoaster of emotions, from the highest elation, to the lowest depression. I hope you're happy, I really do. If nothing else, I hope you think of me and the times we shared and smile a little bit. I hope your wildest dreams come true and I hope you realize you are full of bountiful potential spilling out from every bit of you, even your aura. I hope I'm on your *List of Things That Keep Me Up at Night
but in a good way. I hope you actually read Things Fall Apart and make literary connections between the characters in that book and our friendship. I don't even know what I'm saying. I hope you find the words I never could. I hope you wake up one morning and say "I'm going to change the world," because you can. I hope you dance in the rain and not care if your hair gets wet. I hope you get yourself figured out.
verdnt Jun 2013
december 29, 2012

it’s cold. the kind of cold, cold night that good books begin on. it’s cold enough to start snowing and if only for that reason i have all the blinds on the windows pulled up high, just in case flakes start falling before i close my eyes. it's cold and i'm waiting for snow that i know isn't coming and i'm lying on a bed that was never quite intended to be just mine, curled up in sheets that i bought after a week of sleeping on ones that had too much history.

(i want to be what makes your bones weak)

my fingers are starting to go numb, tired of writing love notes and tucking them into pockets only for them to be forgotten. i wear red lipstick when you're gone to kiss the underside of your pillow so that you'll be able to remember that you're loved even when i'm not asleep beside you.

before i'd kissed you i imagined what it would be like. would it be like fourth of july fireworks on the back of black eyelids? expensive white wine and fingers touching skin so insistent it’s bruising? would it taste like the people you wanted to kiss before me and would you mix up the first letter of my name with letters that come a few spaces after it?

the way you look at me sends shivers up my spine unrivaled by any look of lust in a dark corner of a hallway. rich lips on rich skin couldn't compare to the feeling of waking up with you warming your toes on the back of my legs and i don't think i could ever be persuaded to give up a second of a memory i have where you were in the same place as me.

i can't imagine living in a world where you can't look at me, and i can't imagine who i would be without you. thank you notes aren't exactly my specialty but i’m trying to convey how much the feeling of knowing you'll be home soon means to me. how the novelty of the idea that you and me are something more than an idea. we're concrete.
Jun 2013 · 2.2k
verdnt Jun 2013
Doors slam like Satan himself is
in a fit of rage below us, even if he is
in the deepest level of Hell, I feel the floor
shaking like a 6.0 has just swept us but it
is only a consequence of wood slamming
against wood and fists fighting doorknobs.

Voices rise like the temperature in Arizona
in the summer, abruptly, hot and heavy, so
quickly stifling any chance of relief—
anger is an emotion I am far too familiar with.

Some people live quiet family lives, are never
interrupted in their sleep by screams from a
father who dreams of death and a mother who
carries a scythe of shame as if she is the Reaper,
some people wake up in the morning knowing
there is breakfast waiting on the table, fresh eggs
hot off the stove and orange juice with pulp, but
others wake up and make coffee for themselves,
knowing parents sleep past noon and
we are the ones who are doomed to repeat the
history of abuse and psychological suffering but:
we are the ones who will help to stifle the shouts,
to put a stop to slamming doors and shrill screams,
dysfunctional daily routines and waiting for hope
that never arrives, we have had lives consisting
of always having to act stronger than we feel
when the floorboards seem to be breaking just
beneath the force of our feet, because our
bodies are not just our bodies, we are carrying
burdens that weigh more than our bones and
blood cells combined, so when we step on the
scale the number we're reading is really how
much hurt we have been holding, not how
much food we've been hoarding inside of us.

We are the children of complex family situations,
we are spend-more-time-in-psychologist-offices-than
we-do-in-our-own-roo­ms, we are no-parent-to-tuck
We are daydreams of escaping like Rapunzel,
we are how do I save myself from a nightmare when
I am already awake?
We are years of reading self-help
books in Barnes and Noble until we finally understood
that the only thing to do is to help the world help us:
we are strong. And we understand that family exists,
but for us it is different. We are the children who find
comfort in books and coffee and anything outside
of a house so filled with tension and hatred, and we
have been waiting to fix ourselves for too long.
Jun 2013 · 657
Untitled No. 1
verdnt Jun 2013
this moon is swimming in our
this heart is losing its
these lungs have learnt to love

— The End —