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Lazhar Bouazzi Jul 2017
In the cold silence of the area
Rose a lonesome cafeteria,
Outside of it hooded forms -
Scaly horns -
Perched on white, plastic chairs
Like fifteen owls on a wire.
A grey-green bird in the distance
Sang a three-note song with insistence.
He sang on not to the white folks
But to the cold he tried to coax.
He sang to a spot desolate -
Sure thing, he sang to punctuate it.
©LazharBouazzi, July, 2017
The whole of stanza one is a true story. On the way to my home town, Kasserine, I did see the scene involving about fifteen hooded people sitting outside a café with their backs against the wall, apparently waiting for sunset and the cannonball that would announce the break of the fast in Ramadhan.
Stanza II (with the bird) is pure poetic invention.
Kai May 10
Some places always are full
yet still feel like kenopsia
Like hospital cafeterias
always hushed full of dull sounds

Everything feels like its ending
and sickness fills the air
With an uncomfortable quiet
in a place normally considered loud
eh, poorly written
dandelionfine Sep 2018
I have a perfect lunchbox mom
Crusts cut off
She leaves me love letters on my napkin
So that when the bathroom stall became my cafeteria
I wouldn't be so lonely
I have a perfect marathon mom
She runs to the beach and back just to show that she can.
And when she says she's all gross from her run, she somehow still smells like fresh air
My mom is fresh air,
She fills my sister's lungs with life
And every exhale is love
My mom is fresh air.
She is a sanctuary, she is a nest
She is rest
I have a perfect lunchbox mom,
A "Honey, what's wrong?" mom
An "If you're not here, the day's too long", mom
A "Wonder if God knew what He gave to Earth" mom
I thought God kept track of angels
She is everything
Andrew Oct 2017
A child wanders the hall before school starts
The emptiness and loneliness are his education
New children enter the school
As they exit the bus
Light shines on the school
As it exits the Sun
Yet the wandering child's eyes must adjust
To colors he's starting to see
Colors like jealousy and frustration
The wandering child is powerless to the explosive light
And searches for ways to extinguish it
He finds his solution in the room where we keep our guns
The room sits in the dark center of the building
Across the hall from where we keep our children

Kids have been playing with guns for a while now
Everyone my age that I know
Imagined shooting up their school
These are well adjusted people
It's just the times we live in
And what it takes to adjust

There are some things that will remain true
Killing is wrong
And murdering a murderer is ******
The executioner hides his face in shame
He's ashamed of the enjoyment he feels
From the power he holds over other people's lives
Unaware the power he holds
Is meant to come from love
Love that has been buried
For the temporary thrill of death

It seems like a dark joke
Giving a child a gun
And then asking them to go through high school
Because kids are ******* stupid
And some people never grow up
And high school never ends

The wandering child takes his newly found arsenal
To the densely populated cafeteria
Only to realize the other children are just as well armed
They drown in tension
When their actions have megaton weight
Before anyone can say anything
Everyone starts shooting
They grade each other in their minds
And their test comes at the end of the barrel
They find validation
In blood splattered on the wall
And bodies that once stood now lying
The gunshots deafened the wandering child
And the smoke blinded him
Reminiscent of the emptiness and loneliness before school started
This was his education

Today I watched a bunch of ants eating one another
Their ant hill collapsed as rain started pouring
Yet they continued killing each other as they drowned
They all seemed to be the same size
But their problems seemed so much bigger
So they found comfort in killing one another instead
Pleasant coffee smell.
Two slice of sugar.
So tasty on my tongue.
I'm sitting here alone.
Alone in cafeteria.

Sweetie bun of caramel.
Slowly melting in my mouth.
Taste buds of mine, awake.
Like instincts get alive.

People sliding up and down.
Life burn.
All hastily run.
I'm sit alone.

I won't run anymore.
I walk slow now.
I stopped long time ago.
Pleasant coffee smell.
Bitter Taste of sugar.
Jasmine dryer Sep 2018
i'm locked inside a prison cell,
but instead of metal bars to keep from escaping
i got thoughts
because my prison is my mind
and i've done some bad ****
so conscious is making me do the time

and as much as i try to forget
what a terrible person i am
i can't
because all i see is a girl in strips when i look in the mirror

i'm trapped in my mind

lets go to the cafeteria
instead of eating this slop they pass out
i simply just, pass out
id rather starve then eat the lies i'm shoving down my own throat
but if these lies are in my head
haven't i already accepted them?

you think because i smile
i'm doing "ok"?
no i'm not
but maybe if i play by the rules

i'll get out for good behavior

please tell me this idiot is my bail out
i need a bail out
George Anthony May 2017
I know that there is a table
in a Catholic high school in my local town
with an etch of the letter "G"
next to boredom-inspired vandal,
jagged lines, circles,
perhaps a few ******* shapes
as silly high school boys
are prone to draw.

An Advanced Maths textbook sits on a shelf
with a little doodle
of a peace sign next to an emo smiley
from a time where I was caught
between two phases,
tight black jeans and a flowing turquoise shirt.

Tobacco stains smeared
over the wood of a sealed off door
just outside my bedroom,
evidence of the first time
I tried a cigarette, seven years old,
and then panicked and tried to
flush it down the toilet,
only to have to fish it out and stuff it
in a little crevice, to be hidden and
remain there for seven years.

We leave all these little marks
and stains
in places we've been.
Spilled food, spilled ink, spilled drink,
tobacco stains and pools of blood.
"The marks humans leave are
too often scars."

I have scars.
Left forearm. Right calf. Right wrist bone. Both kneecaps.

A scar across my ribs and chest I was
so desperate to be rid of,
I bathed myself in oils and it was
the first scab I
never picked at; but a couple of weeks ago
I dreamt it was there again, fresh.
It tore open in front of everyone, bled out,
and I woke up gasping, drowning in my fear,
agonised, clutching at a wound that'd long since faded
convinced I could feel it splitting me apart again.

I have evidence all over my body
and more buried deep within the recesses of my mind,
scars so jagged they put knives to shame,
shining, pale, like diamonds in moonlight
not half as precious
but still invaluable.
Evidence of the marks humans leave behind.

I'm not innocent.
I don't pretend like I am.
I know there is a man out there
who gained another scar to add to his collection
when he was fourteen years old.
I know my hands carved it into his skin.
I know I used to use my fists
when others used their words to hurt me.

When I die, I know that I will leave
pieces of myself
I've ever been. Whether people know it
or not, whether they
remember me
or not. There are ink stains
and coffee spills. My blood
is still on the floor of his house.
The high school cafeteria
has a circle of red
from a nosebleed I didn't realise I was having.
There are parks wearing my graffiti
and children donning my old clothes, and people overseas
still alive because of me

(or that's what they'll tell me, but
all I did was talk.
Give yourself the credit you guys deserve,
you're the ones who chose to listen.
You're the ones who had the strength to
pick your head up and carry on)

There are exes who still think of me
and friends who will one day
come across some article of clothing
or a piece of technology
I left behind after a sleepover.
Teachers who will remember
that smart, sarcastic student
who had panic attacks in their classrooms
and drank coffee in the mentoring hub with Mrs. Hume
whilst buttering bagels and functioning on no sleep.

Maybe our place in the universe is
insignificant. Or maybe it's the
most significant thing
of all.
Maybe the Buddhists are right.
Maybe we are the universe, together
as one. I sure think it makes sense.

Streams of consciousness
and spirits that need healing.
We work the sun
without even realising we're doing it.
We destroy it, too,
which is perhaps why we
are so self destructive in turn.

Maybe we're
smaller than specs of dust
but that's okay.
You don't have anything
without the particles required
to make things up.
Everything is a collection of atoms:
the tiniest things of all
yet they're the centre of everything,
the beginning of everything.

So when the end comes and
we burst back into the sky,
stardust and souls and
blinking little lights,
we'll have left our marks on the earth
regardless of who remembers
and we'll still be there, twinkling,
a collection of atoms that came from a supernova
essential to the makeup of galaxies
and life itself.
What could be more beautiful than that?
I don't know. It was... some sort of stream of consciousness, perhaps? I blanked out halfway through writing it.
Lawrence Hall Aug 2018
Dixit ergo Iesus ad duodecim, “Numquid et vos vultis abire?”

“Will you also go away?” He asks us.

                                                        ­              No.

Only sinners mourn at the foot of the Cross
Only sinners approach the baptismal font
Only sinners recline at Table with the Lord

To whom shall we go?
                                   An empty shopping mall?
A 501C cafeteria?
A feast of ashes with the cardinal?
                                                       ­               No.

There is only one Place, one Space, one Grace

Only sinners are invited, and so
Our yes to Him – we will not go
Your ‘umble scrivener’s site is:
It’s not at all reactionary, tho’ it might be drivel.
She arrives silently, smiling, all consuming, and pleasant.

On the way over her feelings were being peeled away like skins on an onion,
and now the final layer is fear,
which she discards like a used hospital gown, at the door of the Hospital Emergency Department.

Her heartbeat quickens,
lives weight heavily on her slight shoulders,
patients hearts beat again but some stop

Donning new rubber gloves again and giving instructions to the other doctors and nurses, her mind whispers,
“When will this end?”

She scans the wall clock,
time ticks slowly and
every second drags
against the current of life.

“When will this end?
There is so much to do”

Her shift ends and her sanctuary is her car and her iPhone is her release.

She calls him,
that good looking bloke she spoke to in the cafeteria.

“I don’t want to know anything about you” she whispers urgently.

“I want to feel something again”
Lucas William Dec 2018
Everything fell on wednesday
24 books, 7k words, 2 exams.
My phone starts buzzing at 4am.
I shut off the alarm and roll out of bed.
This report wasn't going to write itself
Mere hours to jot down thousands and thousands of letters and make it something passing.
After three libraries and 8 of the most stressful hours of my life I finished it on time.
"What takes these mortals months I made in one morning." I thought to myself, the master procrastinator.

I still had 2 exams to get through.
No appetite food but an extreme hunger to not be a failure
Exam one, finished, killed it.
I had a few hours until my next exam. A great time to go to the cafeteria
Or.. I could sell some blood to fund my **** addiction...
20 minutes later I am donating blood on a less than empty stomach with my laptop out studyig for my exam.
The *****, toothless man next to me was laughing at the sight of a lap top in the blood clinic.
I facetiously grinned back, thinking,
dont become him
keep ******* studying
I studied my *** off, and i was able to finish the exam before the others.

Everything fell on wednesday
Except me.
Këänu Sep 8
At school cafeteria tables

-social gatherings

-marital couplings.

one's skin color


-tribal belonging.


regretfully segregate ourselves
out of pure
habit and

audacity and irony
overflows in well versed,
pre rehearsed
denials of

so i ask;

if we aren't,

why do we not
individually be the breaker of tribal or racial chains?

diversity had long ago peaked my humans are humans interest.

i see no color nor
tribal lines that offend me.

i only see someone that is just like me outwardly and 'hopefully'
just as beautiful inside.
Terry Collett Jun 29
Down in that field
they are your tents,
he said, pointing,
and the rain fell
heavily, and we ran
through the rain
to our tent,
carrying our bags,
soaked to the skin.

You shared a tent
with another girl
over the way
in a nearby field;
I shared with a guy
fresh from the army,
lamenting about
his mother'snew boyfriend,
how to he
hated his bowels;
I mused
about the Apostle Paul
traveling through
the ancient world
with a new religion
under his skin,
and a savior
of the human condition
he called
inherited sin.

We met
in the camp cafeteria;
you had escaped
the bored girl,
you said,
moaning about
her underwear soaked,
and what to wear;
I sat with you
drinking cola
and eating
a greasy hamburger
in a dry bun;
you showed me a picture
of your cousin,
a guy who
thought you hot;
I liked your red hair.
and bright blue eyes,
asking myself,
if you and he
had or not.
Overland through Spain 1970
Andrew Jan 2018
You see me as the bacteria
And yourself as the antibiotic
I see you across the cafeteria
Acting psychotic
Because of what I find ******
You treat me like I'm toxic
But you're seen as normal
So I hide beneath the coral
To avoid your aggression
That will teach me a lesson
About correctly guessing
Where your fists will go next
You tell me I want it like ***
This is your way to flex
To show you have an edge
You single out the marginalized
There's no way you'll hedge
When you have harm in your eyes
And then use charm as a disguise
To make me cry over spilt milk
Because I am not of your ilk
For I am as soft as silk
Like the sheets I want to roll in with you
Instead you shoved my face into poo
As my ***** grew

I think of killing myself
With my gun
When I think of filling myself
With your ***
While pretending I'm your son
And swallowing you like gum
Those are my ideas of fun
Yours is to tell me to run
From your intensely penetrating fists
That make me regret my penetrating wish
As you brandish the weapon
From the movie Inception
That launches you into my dreams
Giving my thoughts a singular theme
As my mouth continually screams
I was born on the wrong team

You wanted to exhibit your power
In this seemingly arbitrary hour
So you broke my nose
To show off for your hoes
An off the cuff
Attempt to be tough
But I found it deeply affecting
When I could feel your hatred injecting
Making me wonder if I'd ever be free
After I saw the only ending I could see

You move to strike me again
This time I have my mac 10
That I brought to school
For a one sided duel
You changed the trajectory of my life
By changing the trajectory of my bullets
You taught me about strife
You taught me how power is the coolest
You taught me to move on to your friends
Their lives I must remember to end
This is the message I'm choosing to send
When they sat back and watched the hate
Like it was 1938
I lost my sympathy
After being treated differently
And gained a ruthless anger
That turned me into a stranger
So I let the automatic gun spray
Faster than they could pray
For their hoots and hollers
I shoot their collars
Creating shade in the halls
That I make when they fall
The feeling goes to my *****
I become strangely intoxicated
By the death of those who hated
So I go back to your dead body
And do what you felt was so naughty
And now there is no one even around for you to tell
That I ****** your corpse while you watched from Hell
Mr Quiet Jul 26
Hi. How are you? Are you still holding on well? We probably haven't spoken in quite a long time, well it depends on how long I've been keeping this note. Today is June 25, 2018 and surprisingly I haven't grown tired of you yet. Shocking though, I thought you were extremely annoying back then and yet now I cannot even imagine a day where you don't send me a message or a dank meme or especially a vine that I have yet to see. Pretty weird, right?

I'm writing this letter so that one day, in the vast future that scares both of us to death, I'll find it and give it to you as a hell of a throwback. Well there is a possibility that it could work... or I could totally forget about this note in a week and never see it again.

But for now, I'm just gonna say and ask a few things to you that I've been wondering alot lately. Are you actually fine now? You're the worst liar I know and that "i'm fine" crap that you keep blatantly saying to me is kinda making me worried. Are you still sending me those vines??? 'Cause if not then I'm probably going to miss out on alot of hidden references and that would be a disappointment. Are we still keeping that stupid pinky promise? I understand if one day you're going to break it, believe me I know how tough life can be sometimes, but I really hope whether you decide to keep it or not, you'll still wake up breathing and have something to live for, even just the tiniest bit of reason to live I hope you'll still have.

Are we even still even friends? It's strange to ask that because we're like super close at the moment and we're "bEsT FriEnDs" but I hope we still talk to each other alot when you read this. Do we still hang out in the cafeteria at the balcony? Am I still sitting on that same spot beside the door (****)?  How's your family? I hope things really do get better with all that's going on right now that I don't know in your life.

Welp this note is getting long so I'll end it with this. No matter what will happen in the future, I hope you read this and know that I care about you. I'll always be beside you and will always want to help you with whatever you're dealing with. I know I can be extremely annoying and who knows maybe I'll be abit clingy (i sure hope to god I won't) and will be a complete ******* to you and for that I'm so sorry. Istg if one day I'll be a bad person to you and not treat you like a human then I hope you beat my *** infinite amount of times 'cause I deserve that. Anyway, I hope non of that ever happens and that we'll still be friends and will still be talking to each other. Always remember that you are valid and loved and you're not who your anxieties tell you to be.

Your stupid filipino dude,
Found this in the deepest part of my closet as I was packing a few days before I leave Indonesia. Decided to post it here.
Mallory Michaud Dec 2018
You know,
It’s just me but I guess I just find it
That people say it’s girls who have loose lips
When the boys at this table have mouths
Like open caves
With stalagmite teeth
Bats come flying out

I guess,
It’s just my magic trick,
The way I become invisible
When the boys
Sit down for dinner
And they open up their backpacks
And their gym bags
And pull out butcher knives
That shine like brand new quarters
In the cafeteria fluorescents

I’m not sure,
But maybe
The churning of my stomach
Is a sign
That there’s sharks
In these waters
I feel my wet socks in my wet shoes as I jiggle my knee
And watch the boys
With their knives
Start chopping up girls on the plastic top table

They cut slices off of Julia
and Megan
And Kara
and lob them across the table
to their friends
Just Like the men at
Pike Place Fish Market
Fling whole salmon
Into each other’s gloved hands
I saw them do it
When I went to Seattle once.
I feel water climbing up my legs.
I see a shark fin.

Did I blush red?
When the boy next to me catches
Katie’s legs
In his calloused hands
And laughs a laugh that sounds like
An out of tune violin
They’re all laughing now,
Like car horns and fire alarms
Laughing about
Katie’s legs
And Kara’s ***
And Megan’s hips
And Julia’s ****
It’s the ugliest orchestra I’ve ever heard

And perhaps,
I’m the only one who’s noticed,
But we’re not in the cafeteria anymore
We’re right there
In that room
In that bed
In that moment
And I don’t want to be there.

And I know,
For sure,
No maybes,
That If JuliaMeganKaraKatie knew
We were all here too
In her room
In her bed
In her
That she’d cry enough saltwater
To flood the whole earth
And wash it clean.

We leave the table
Bones on the floor
Shark boys clean their teeth with toothpicks
My clothes are soaked
All the way up to my neck.

-I never go in the ocean, I’ve seen the sharks when they frenzy.
ollie Dec 2018
The first time I broke up with him
It wasn’t a break up
We weren’t actually dating
And it wouldn’t have been a break up if we were
It was a drift apart
And maybe we’d healed all of our hearts we could by then
We needed time to explore the rest of them
And we did
It wasn’t a break up
But it was the first time
It was friendship and flirting and things in between
I remember he used to ask me what we could ever fight about
And I would laugh because kids laugh
I would say “nothing”
And we fought about nothing
Everything was nothing and it was worth fighting about
A disagreement, a mismatch of opinion
Our first fight, he said, hurt like its own kind of hell
It wasn’t face to face
It wasn’t screaming
It was quiet
I don’t remember what it was about
It doesn’t matter
It was a different side of him
Worth ignoring for his friendship
The second time I broke up with him was a break
A platonic waiting for the punchline kind of passive aggressive
It wasn’t on purpose
Anyone who makes your stomach do flips is worth it
They’re worth it
But it started to flip anxiously
Like the season had ended for those happy little butterflies
I started to get nauseous around him
He joked that I’d **** him if he ever cheated on my best friend
I agreed seriously
It wasn’t a joke
It was a threatening to rip his intestines out by shoving my hand down his throat
It was breaking the skies in half
It was a boy I once upon a timed apologizing to a broken heart with chocolate
I lost trust
Losing trust is finally breaking through the facade
Losing trust is still laughing and never asking for someone’s advice
Day by day it got harder
To ignore the fact that my butterflies were dying
I didn’t want friendship
I didn’t want a bunch of skeletal wings and dead aerial beauties
It got harder
He shouted
And ignored
And forgave me for things he’d done
I wanted to be better for him
I didn’t want to talk to him
I wanted to break up with him the third time
Severing a link we’d had too many times
I broke up with trust and wanted to break up with love altogether
It came out in a flurry
A week where I couldn’t control the sarcastic thoughts
“Are you saying that you think our friendship should end?”
I don’t know what his notifications sound like on his phone
But sometimes he laughs
Says the reply made him cry himself to sleep
And I imagine a ping at my response
“i’m saying i think it would be better for me if it did”
I’ve never been good at using capital letters
But that scream ended some kind of sound I’d been holding in too long
I may as well have turned caps lock on
I loved a persistent boy
And a charmer
Who never wanted to give me up
But it was a break up
And there were no drunken hookups
I laughed at his jokes
I made polite conversation
I still hear his screaming in the back of my mind
Across a cafeteria
About every name I was for ruining his
It was confusion
It was ecstasy
It was everything he’d said before fitting back into place
It was tears
But he doesn’t need to know that part
I broke up with him because I wanted to wake my butterflies up
And I could not do that with an abusive best friend
New girls and boys tell me they love me
And I suppose I’m just confused
Because he never treated me the way a friend should
If he ever reads this
Hears me perform it in a passing coffee shop
I want him to know I love him
More than I’ll ever be comfortable admitting
There’s a hurt to it
A breaking note in every song
That remembers
There’s a love for him that remembers jokes and late nights talking and a dare devil
And sometimes
I want our break up to just be a break from the relationship
But when I hear him scream
I want him to know
I cried because his butterflies had died too
Not because I was scared
But because I thought I would be the one to bring them back to life
wow this one is emotional tm how about i yankee doodle don’t
mike dm Jan 9
depression is like finding
a phillip morris pack
of cigs left behind the drywall
in an old burb splitlevel tract house
now being renovated.

you bust down a wall
to make room for
a new space only
to find old ways,
cute and smarmily nostalgic.

billboards of then,
marlboro men.

it's no michelangelo.

the not-too-far-back past
is a looseleaf ghost
binding you in three rings,
one of which won't snap
shut all the way, letting you
be here and there, drinking
your dumb boring blood
like a can of tab soda
from the cafeteria vending machine

replacing your numbered collarbone
with a googol of transfinite plateaus.
Natalie Gancheva Aug 2018
I want to go away,
Go so far away
From all the drama, all the movies, all the scenes.
I'm getting tired of this.
I'm getting tired of the same exact ******* every single day.
I just want to take my time.
Take my time somewhere far, far away.

I know what you'll say.
"Don't go, I love you so much, you have to stay."
But... do you really mean it?
Do you still love me, when I'm sitting alone at the cafeteria, eating silently my lunch.
Do you still love me, when I'm home alone trying to distract myself from my own.

The answer is no.
What, Isn't my answer correct?
Or am I missing some details which I don't want to admit
Just to be the victim in all of this?
Feel free to fill me in.

If you have nothing to say -
don't make me stay.
Because I just want to be away.
Away - for my fresh start.
Because I'm tired...
I'm tired of all the lies you say,
I'm tired of all the words that I left unsaid
I'm tired of waking every morning,
Pretending to be OK.

Now I'm in the bathroom,
water running down my cheeks,
making my tears blend with it.
I'm tired...
... but I'm OK...

I'll wake up tomorrow as if nothing have happened today.
I'll wake up tomorrow, putting that fake smile on my face again.

Yes, I'm friendly.
Yes, I'm kind.
Yes, I'm happy, yes I'll do you a favour, yes I'm smiling
I am...
I'm tired if this.
Pretending to be all good to everyone,
Trying not to upset them,
Trying to help them,
Trying to comfort them
And then what?!

They still go talk behind your back remembering that time,
That one time you wanted to help YOURSELF and not them.
Wanting all from you
And never really turned back the favour.
They even stop asking for it.
You just give it to them
Because you're scared, that in the end of the day
you'll end up alone,
Crawling in your bed,
Hiding from the world,
Cause you feel ashamed.

This is why I want to get away.
From all the people whom I used to call "friends"
I want to scream,
I want to sing,
I want to fly,
I want to break free.

The first step to my dream is to get away...
Get far, far away, where there's only me.
Rohit Mane Aug 2018
Sitting at my workstation I kept swirling my chair around,
Battling the strenuous drowse that tried to yoke me to the ground,
“How could this happen? This is the first hour of my job,” I wondered,
I chuckled. “How fool of me! It’s Monday today,” I remembered.

I peeked to my left to see an empty chair,
“No-one to talk around; hey, that’s so unfair!”

I cringed viscerally at the thought of spending the day without uttering a word,
I tried to re-task my focus on my computer screen when a soft voice I heard,
Made me turn, and as I did, I veered myself to the source of the euphonic voice,
I felt the dumbfoundedness of a person bewitched by a magical spell, twice.

For some moments I couldn’t decrypt the words that her lips uttered,
As I just kept staring into her graceful eyes, helpless and all cluttered.

She asked with a soft smile, “Is this person absent today?” and  motioned to the workstation on my left,
I felt my dopamine surge at the possibility of what might happen next,
I nodded as soon as I realised my tongue has gone numb,
She ensconced herself and smiled, her cheeks as rotund as a plum.

I swallowed a lump in my throat that I didn’t realise had formed,
I wasn’t hoping for anything like this but I liked what my day had unboxed.

“What is she? Are humans allowed to be this beautiful?” I questioned my mind,
Was she a manifestation of my dreams or an angel in disguise!
It seemed like her eyes possessed a power in them like Midas in his hands,
A sight of innocence that could even force the flying time to land.

I leaned forward a little to catch a glimpse of her pretty brown eyes,
She turned to me with a gaze of a doe and my tongue again got tied.

“Any problem?” She questioned me with a raise of her brow,
“Yes, your eyes. They’re too beautiful,” the response I couldn’t let out,
Instead I shook my head and turned my eyes away from her,
My peripheral could see her blushing; it seemed the bubble has finally burst.

I tried to venture a conversation but failed to remember the morphemes,
The anonymity between us allowed the nervousness to sweep in.

I sighed deeply and turned about to do what I’m paid for,
But her presence beside me made it harder for me to stay calm,
An unexpected “Hello” came from my left and an introduction followed the greet,
Although stunned by the suddenness I tried to smile at her, from cheek to cheek.

We exchanged our names and conversed a little for a while,
Before she got engaged in her work and I in mine.

After hours of punching the keyboard buttons I stretched my arms and yawned,
She giggled at me and I took it as a cue to move my first pawn,
I embarked, “I’m going to the cafeteria to have some tea”,
I hesitated for a moment and resumed, “would you like to come with me?”

She rolled her eyes and I understood she has refused my kind and genuine offer,
I began to walk away. “Wait a minute, let me lock my PC,” and then I saw her got up.

We walked our way to the cafeteria, slower than two people normally would,
My chivalry erupted as I held the door open for her as she entered the room,
We occupied a table for two and  it appeared like a date-night is about to happen,
With she in front of me and  the stories that we shared, it seemed like all the troubles in the world didn’t matter.

I mulled over the thought that I might have a crush on her smile,
But there was an absolute certainty that I had fallen in love with her eyes.

She shared some cheerful stories about her childhood and also the moments in her life she remorse,
She had a way of crinkling her nose adorably that made her appear cuter than she was before,
“You may have a body of a woman but you have a sweetness of a child,” I abruptly blurted out,
She smiled deep into my eyes and I could feel the brightest smile I ever had form on my mouth.

“That’s the sweetest thing someone has ever said about me,” she flushed a little while she said this,
It took us a moment to realise that we’re holding hands; the touch of hers was something I couldn’t resist.

We got up as we finished our beverages and sauntered our way back to our daily routine,
I tried to rein my thoughts that our day was  about to end, but my efforts were all just futile,
I just wished this night shall never pass as I wanted to spend more of my time with her,
We logged out of our PC’s as our shift ended but I craved for one last conversation with this girl.

While ambling towards the exit in silence I turned on my heels to look into her beautiful brown eyes,
I sighed as I looked at her and tried to settle down the feeling to hug her that was about to rise,
“I spent this beautiful day with a beautiful girl I wish I could see more of,” I said with truthfulness in my voice,
She smiled at the ground and then looked up, “You will. Tomorrow at 8. Here’s my number. The place is your choice.

I wrote this poem for a girl I have a crush on (read: hopeless crush!). She works in my organisation only but in a different location than mine so I get to see her only once or twice in months.
When I first saw her it was the last week of March. For some reason she came to the location where I work and sat beside me for the whole day! But I didn’t get to talk to her or even ask her name as she was a complete stranger and also she was immensely busy with her work. (She was working on some important document.) During that day I only got to see glimpses of her beautiful brown eyes and her sweet smile but it was enough to give me butterflies in my stomach.
As fate would have it, after some weeks we ran into each other again!
She visited my office that day for some important work and asked me to help her with the printing machine as I was walking across her while she was having trouble with her prints. I immediately recognised those pretty brown eyes and the beautiful face but she didn’t recognise me. For her I was just a stranger that was helping her but for me she had become my crush.

That night while riding back home a couple of lines sparked in my head:

“I mulled over the thought that I might have a crush on her smile,
But there was an absolute certainty that I had fallen in love with her eyes.”

I instantly had a thought of writing something about her and what I did write is completely in front of you. I never had any intention of giving this poem to her and woo her with my writing abilities. I just used my affection for her as a muse to do something for me that I’d feel proud about. The above poem is the fictionalised version of the day I spent with her when she sat beside me for the first time.

I sincerely hope you guys enjoy the poem. :)
While I cannot say that I have experienced a "true", once in a lifetime love, I do believe that I know what love is.
Love, to me, is not just an emotion, but also a thing or a person or a memory or a place.  

Love can be a memory or moment.
Love can be the blissful lazy Sundays spent with your favorite people after a long night.
Love can be the family meal with sudden, abrupt laughter that just bubbles up from your throat.
Love can be the hugs you never knew you needed and the words you thought you'd never hear.
Love can be that favorite song that makes you want to scream its lyrics until your voice is hoarse.

Love can be a thing.
Love can be the last gift your grandmother gave you.
Love can be a picture of your best friend right after you did the flamingo challenge.
Love can be a book of poems that gave you the start you desperately wanted.

Love can be any place.
Love can be a library that gives you an endless amount of worlds to choose from.
Love can be the school cafeteria where you spend your favorite minutes of every day with the people who make you laugh and not care about how you may be perceived by others.
Love can be the small space in the back of the house where you paint and listen to the rain.

Love can be anything or everything or both.
It can be life, and it can be warmth, and it can be the good standing hand in hand with the bad, and it can be what makes you happiest.

I do not believe that you have to have a significant other to have love, I believe that you can be fulfilled by others and by the things you enjoy.

Love is just, love.
these are just my feelings, they may differ from yours
Katie Miller May 14
Clumsy Love

It was clumsy the day they first met

A hot day in New York City, photography at a baseball game, purple hair, and overpriced lemonade. There was a 15 year-old girl and her friend, and there was a slight fangirl moment when meeting a 17 year old boy who was famous school-wide for his singing and acting. There was an exchange of names, a photograph, and a friendship.

It was clumsy the second day, too.

Persistently bought coffee from the little round shop with way too many sugar packets, a misguided museum employee, too much root beer, and pigeons that were startled by the boy yelling “44!”

The third day was no less clumsy.

There was a broadway show in Shubert Alley, an unknown desire, and a sleepless night for the boy, though the girl remained ignorant of his new-found crush. If only the girl knew that a year from now, a promposal would be reenacted, a first kiss would be given and taken, and “I love you” would be said. If only the boy knew that his “immature” desire would be replaced with love, and passion, and, well, her. If only they knew what would happen in the next 365 days.

It was clumsy that one night in the pool.

A sticky, humid heat in the air, string lights hung over head, four friends swimming in the girls pool, stars in the sky, and the boy, throwing the girl into the pool simply because he could. The girl loved him then, though she wouldn’t allow herself to think about it, so they remained as they were: friends.

It was clumsy that day in Hershey Park.

There were sharp turn on the Wild Mouse, a stranger met and then lost again, and the boy, who kept telling the girl of other boys who were staring at her. Maybe it was his secret way of telling her that he thinks she’s beautiful, but she never knew.

It was clumsy in the movie theater.

There was crab rangoon and smuggled sushi, an 11:00 movie about superheroes, and a returned wish to hold a girl’s hand, though the girl, somehow, remained oblivious still.

It was clumsy in September and November.

There was a girl with a broken heart, betrayal from the friends from New York, a different boy who was never meant to be, and the boy who was meant to be, listening to every word, watching every tear, and slowly, unknowingly, fixing her heart. Through three hourlong video calls, text messages, and abandoned lunch periods he loved her still, though he remained the friend that he knew she needed.

It was clumsy in December.

There was a realization of how much he meant to her, a lot of poems, a revelation of jealousy of the girl who was flirting with him, and a lot of tears. There was a still 15 year old girl and a now 18 year old boy, and she allowed herself to fall, in the clumsiest way possible, into him.

If was clumsy on Valentine's day.

There was a singing Valentine, as well as one with a bad pun, there was a comparison to a sister, there was a"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and there was a hug. A question was asked that day "Does he like her?", But was disregarded with a shrug "He said she was like a sister, so I guess not". It stung her her heart just a little, but she accepted the hit that was unintentionally given. And clumsily, once again, she laughed and smiled, after all, he and to her.

If was clumsy at the cabaret Cafe.

There was some pie and ice cream, a song sung to her, though she only wished he meant it that way, a slippery cafeteria for and tights, a confession, and two questions. The confession being to him, that she was happy to know him, a question to her, does she like him, to which she lied "no", and when the question was returned, the boy avoided an answer when the girl returned a question.

It was clumsy the Monday afterwards.

It was clumsy when he wouldn't meet her eyes. She still can't explain how much that hurt her, it stabbed at her heart and caught in her throat. After all: her best friend didn't even want to look at her. Her heart was slippery and clumsy as it sunk towards her stomach. There were tears during first period, and a text after school from the girl who apologized for lying because she liked him after all, and was too afraid of rejection to tell him before, yet no confirmation came from him.

It was clumsy on March 3rd.

There were poems, missing heart beats, and grammar mistakes. There was relief and there was fear. There was nervousness for the next day, knees shaking, heart racing as she turned every corner, waiting to see his face.

It was clumsy on March 16th.

When she fell to the ground. There are six pink roses, a stuffed turtle named Cleopatra, and a PowerPoint slide with a pun. There was an expectation he had wished to live up to and there was success. She fell to the ground and feel into his arms and they both cried of happiness and shock.

It was clumsy on March 18th.

There were silent cellos, empty risers, a dark room and racing heartbeats. There were seven kisses before saying goodbye, they were her first. There were two definitions of perfect, coincidentally, there were also two names. There was a broken water bottle and a boy in a parking lot. There was a girl, now sixteen, and a boy, now eighteen, and they were talking in love in the dark.

It was clumsy on April 3rd.

There was a stairwell, a thought, a confession, and an "I love you" returned in the same breath of air held between them.

It was clumsy in the hammock.

There was an unbalanced swaying, a list of questions and answers, and a metaphor about falling.

It was clumsy at lunch.

There was an attempted hug, an accidental tackle, and a girl who tripped over her own feet.

It was clumsy yesterday, it is clumsy today, and it will be clumsy tomorrow.

There was New York City, coffee, Broadway in Shubert Alley, root beer, Hershey Park and movie theaters. There was a broken heart, video calls, realizations, poems, songs, and apple pie with ice cream. There were grammar mistakes, pink roses, turtles, teddy bears, silent cellos, risers, absent heartbeats, and stairwells. There was love unreturned from fear of rejection born from the roots of doubt. And then, there was love, and memories, and secrets. And they became them, and "us" was their new favorite word.
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