"I write bravery on my skin because I have none"
Victoria 

What I have can’t be fixed by a doctor
How do you tell someone
“I don’t know where it hurts”
Or more accurately
“It hurts everywhere; where should I being?”
Because how do you tell someone that the pain of inadequacy
Mirrors a blow to the head in its intensity
But far surpasses it when it comes to longevity
And as far as timing is concerned
Every watch I’ve ever had has broken
So how do you tell someone that the lies are never easy
But the ones you tell to yourself crash over you like waves
And drag a small portion of you away each time they recede
It’s like a game of Them vs. Me
And what makes the defeats unbearable
Is the fact that they don’t even know they’re playing
I’ve been keeping score
And keeping score
And keeping score
The walls are filled with white lines
One
Two
Three
Four
Slash
Maybe if I point to my chest and say, “Here”
Someone will understand
It’s a pain that feels like everything I’ve ever wished for
Has solidified and turned to stone
Making a home somewhere in my ribcage
And it’s expanding
I write bravery on my skin because I have none
I make deals with  a god I know doesn’t exist
Just so when I’m unable to hold up my end of the bargain
I have someone to blame for falling through on his
And I still can’t figure out if it’s funny or sad
That the only man I want to kiss me never will
And the last one who did traded in his lips for his hand
So he can high-five me like we’re friends on the same team
Never making mention that we kissed on the floor of his room
Until we were breathless
While breakup songs played in the background
Taking up just as much space as we did
Became witness to our nervous hands fumbling over each other’s bodies
Turning our kiss into a threesome
I have heard that silence speaks just as loudly as words
But silence builds up in my mouth like a traffic jam
And my jaw is begging to break from the weight
So maybe now’s the time to scream
Time to shout
Because I've been keeping all my thoughts filed away
Under the title, “When The Time Is Right”
But there’s no time like tonight

"You told me "Show your bravery"
Flavia 

You and I were different
From all the Other kids
You and I had demons
that the others never did.
You and I felt feelings
never hesitant to share.
you had Gall to say the thing
that I would never dare.
You laughed at my mock confidence
and saw right through my Show.
You showered me with compliments
that sent me all aglow.
I was a writer on the brink
of breaking down in tears;
You wrote songs that spoke about
my pain for all those years.
You watched me weary eyed and tired
when life would be me down.
You told me "Show your bravery
and get out of this town."
"Follow me," you murmured
"There's a peaceful world beyond,
free from all insanity
where we'd laugh and share and bond."
"Don't be Silly!" I'd reply,
dormant in a daze
I never thought, I never saw,
till you vanished in the haze.
Your funeral was touching:
A mirror of your presence
Your words were read--Your songs were heard;
You're memory's effervescent.
So here's to you, my fallen friend
I raise my glass in sorrow.
Because never will I say again:
"Oh, I'll tell him Tomorrow."

A highly personal account of what my 17 year old self felt like after a friend's suicide.
", in their ignorance, in praise of such bravery,"
Mikaila 

The world says that hope is feeble.
That it's like an ember buried in the ashes of a quenched fire,
Tiny but glowing, fragile in the vastness of midnight.
But I think that hope is truly terrible not because it is easily extinguished, but because it ISN'T.
Hope is no danger, really, if it flares and fades like a little flame snuffed by a stiff breeze, but no.
Hope is underneath.
Hope lingers, long after the wreckage has been gutted.
After everything has been burned to ash,
After every cinder has died out there, and all that is left is a charred skeleton on the scorched ground and a pile of ashes,
After even the blackest ruin is once again cold, hope lives beneath.
An underground blaze ready to rise again at the smallest hint of fuel.
An errant twig, not yet blackened by flames, falls light as a feather, and ignites before it even hits the bed of ashes.
Hope LINGERS underneath, ready to pounce.
It waits.
It sticks around like napalm sticks, and you just can't get rid of the damn stuff, no matter how hard you try.
Hope CANNOT be killed, in some instances.
And people would go on and on, in their ignorance, in praise of such bravery,
Of such a courageous little match struck against the face of the night like a mockery,
But it's just not true.
The way a fire lives on beneath the ground of the places it has recently seared and withered
So that everything must be drenched before it is at all safe to step nearby,
Hope sinks below the ruins of the soul and burns slow and white hot.
Embers are not feeble, they are the hottest part of the fire,
They bite the deepest and they hold on with barbs beneath the skin, waiting.
Hope is supposed to be a pleasant word, full of righteousness and pride and purity.
But that's not what hope IS, only what we intended it to be.
What we wish it was.
Hope is a human concept, and as with all human concepts, it was created in perfection and evolved
Like a virus, took on a life of its own,
And became something altogether different and more menacing than it was ever meant to be.
Hope can keep you going, or it can slowly cook you.
It can sustain you, or poison you, for an entire lifetime.
Depends, you see, on just what it is you're hoping for.
Hope for a brave impossibility, and it's grand, yes!
Hope for a deceased dream, a buried love, a second chance, and, darling...
Hope kills.

"One of them is not bravery,"
Megan Hoagland 

The ghost of things
I never  said
keep me up
while I lay in bed.
In the minutes
that come before sleep,
I ask myself why
I never took the leap...
Of all things I am
One of them is not bravery,
in fact, to my demons,
I am in slavery.

"the cold, the unknown, with that steely bravery of yours?"
Sarah Ann Brown 

The very first time you cut your knee, did it sting on impact?
Did the pain only come, when you glanced up and someone was looking?
Did you long for a strong arm to wrap around you, a plaster gently placed?
The very first time you cut your knee, what were you running from?
Or who were you running to? Did you ever get there, eventually?

The very first time you smelt the sea, did your eyes water, your nostrils burn?
Did you cower away from the giant tongue of the ocean, lapping the shore?
Or did you bravely scour the wall, dipping your toes in the pool of forever?
The very first time you smelt the sea, who did you long to be?
Or did you not dance with your hands in the sand, and dream of 'one day'?

The very first time it snowed, did your mouth fall in amazement?
Did you run outside, with no concerns of why, the sky was falling?
Did you burn your fingers, submerged in excitement at the innocence of white?
The very first time it snowed, who kept you warm outside?
Or did you embrace the cold, the unknown, with that steely bravery of yours?

"bravery."
Aaron Osowski 

I had a vision last night
that the moon
was giving a toast
to the first black president,

that
junkyard dogs ate my
pb&j;

     , that stain stick worked
on souls,

  that earth
  had
beauty within its core- that an

     alien named fred taught me how to
juggle,
*
and that the
galaxy   *
   revolved to fast-
turned upside down,
liquid light                        
       d r o o p i n g
from its body
into a thousand sky's mouths

like a spider
spinning silk
into a great and mighty
nothingness.

on earth
mountains like teeth,

enemies of the sun,

hung inside the skyline,
       digging their claws into
       prehistoric sediments
       and layers,

they fought for freedom, and
even though it was a dream,

i covet their
bravery.

"Only bravery let's my eyes open"
Katlyn Orthman 

Foot steps echo through the empty halls
Where have I been?
Where am I now ?
Only bravery let's my eyes open
And through the sliver of an opening
Im blinded by bright white
A room I suppose
Only then do I find that I am chained
Ever lost on this cold table
Then I hear them again
Those foot steps
Only faster
My breath quickens
My hands grip at air
They resent me
I'm a stranger here
I don't wish to see
Anymore
I can feel they're growing bored
Cold hand
Placed upon my stomach
I shrink away as best I could
Then the presence of a cold steel object
And then I knew I was done
But they're ignorance
Will let them die
For I...
Held...
The answer....

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