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i stare at these pages
as if the words
are going to be enough
to bring you back,
as if the blood spilled
will be all you need
to see that i'm right here.
yet once again,
all i'm left with
is ink stained hands
and a fracture in my chest.
- i hate how you can walk away just as easily as i'd give you everything.
i knew you did graffiti
i guess i didn’t know how much
that is until you left me
and there were marks all over my heart
the second i met her
i knew she was
            and i guess i thought
that my entranced gaze on her limp body
            like the last
                        crinkly autumn leaf
might protect her
from the impending winter

or maybe
there's just something beautiful
about the world turning cold

so i

i watched her tuck
short hazelnut hair behind her ears
weighed down by dull silver hoop earrings
almost as wide  
as the space between her narrow chin and bony shoulders

i watched her dance in
worn-out combat boots and army green cargo pants
a tight-fitting nothing-shirt i could see her ribs right through
hickeys on her neck
and hipbones resting above her belt
watched her shake her hair and move her arms and fingers as if through water
and over my pounding heart i told myself she meant nothing to me

she smelled like shower steam and honey and coffee
i watched her chug Starbucks every morning
black, straight up
throw her head back like she was taking shots
she’d tell me that she could almost feel the pain
oozing out of her
from the nape of her neck
like a beer tap

i watched her drown in it every day

every once in a while she’d poke her head above those viscous black waves
having compressed the toxic liquid into little glittering stones of poetry
and she’d listen to my darkest secrets with wide hazel eyes
a bookworm who loved to debate philosophy
outspoken and bold
no apologies or shame
because she knows she herself is poetry
her obnoxious laugh would have me clutching my pulsating fingers and holding my breath

i could only bear to scold her and make fun
told her to unroll her uniform skirt
ran away when she blew rings of vape smoke into the bathroom mirror
collected a dollar every time she cursed
ripped my arm away when she tried to take me places
pretending that i was angry but it was because i
couldn’t stand the feeling of her skin on mine

i stopped watching for a moment to tell her she’s only chaos
i said she meant nothing to me
she meant nothing to me

even despite all my watching i
never noticed that she always wore long sleeves
until i saw her in a bathing suit
she’s only bones
her body eroded by years of steeping in pain
and she tried to hide the soft undersides of her forearms in the water
she has thousands of angry red scars
from her tiny wrists to her bony elbows

and now

tracing the blue veins up my own smooth
unvandalized forearms

i don’t know how to halt a self-destruction
i don't know if it's even my place
i don’t know what happened to me
but i know i won’t have to clutch my fingers
or hold my breath anymore

there's nothing beautiful
about freezing
for CMJ
I wanted to see the world
All I had to do was look in your eyes
 Jul 12 yuki motokane
It was 11:45 P.M. exactly
There was no more time
For any outrageous foolery.

You had to bring her home
By 12:00 no later and already
You had fifteen minutes to spare.

You stopped the car and sat
For a minute to listen
To her steady breathing.

She waits for you to say something
But you only look ahead
And listen to her breathing.

"Are you alright?" She asks you
And you reply with a smile
But to answer––it takes a while.

Maybe you don't want to admit it
But you're not alright.
Not alright with anything at all.

Not alright with the fact she's
Still with you right here
Right at this spot at this time.

Or maybe not with the fact
That her parents actually like you
And that her brother trusts you.

Does it scare you? Of course.
Do you want to believe it's real?
Of course. No gold ever mounted up.

But something still terrifies you,
Chills you to the cores of your bones
And makes your innards quiver.

Especially your heart.

But that's besides the point.
You had an imaginary woman
Stuck inside your head for years.

You're ashamed to say
You wouldn't let her out
Even though it's been so long.

She's banging at your forehead
Right now as you listen
To the other woman's breathing.

She wants out.
But you won't let her out.
She will stay with you.

No––she won't. Want to know why?
Because there's a better woman
Sitting right next to you.

She's beautiful, you know that's a fact.
She's sassy, you know that's a fact.
And you definitely know she's sweet.

So why is this other woman
The one stuck in your head
Still banging away? Trying to escape?

You know it's because you're scared.
The woman next to you? She's real.
You can touch her––she's real.

You're scared of real, aren't you?
You're scared that since she's real
She'll drag along heartbreak.

You're scared because you depend
On the woman inside your head
Far too much to be healthy.

She's fake. She won't ever hug you
Or kiss you or cuddle you or love you
She won't cry or laugh with you.

Why doesn't the imaginary scare you?
Is it because she can't ever leave you?
Is it because she's perfect?

No––obviously not.
You're not perfect,
So she's definitely not perfect.

So again, you ask yourself,
Why doesn't the imaginary scare you?
And why doesn't the real satisfy you?

It's bizarre, yes. You know that.
But seeing the woman next to you
Smile and touch your cheek,

It's terrifying.

Maybe you should leave
Maybe you should go
Hole yourself up in your room
And spend hours with the
Woman inside your head.
Maybe you should run
Before she can catch you,


"I love you." She suddenly says.
And you blink.
What did she say? I love you? To you?

"Why?" You ask with a cracked voice.
You don't deserve this.
You've been thinking about another woman.

"There are many things,
But I want you to know I do.
I really really love you."

She loves you?

"Yes." She starts laughing because
Apparently you thought out loud.
You break into a smile at the sound.

She grabs your face and pulls you close.
"I love you. I love you. I love you."
And you start crying.

Because you can hear
The genuity in her voice
Clear as a sunny day.

And also,
It's now 12:01 A.M.
 Jul 12 yuki motokane
perhaps there’s a part of me
that’s just scared of becoming my father’s son
when i have worried all my life i would turn into my mother
in the deep hours of the night they ask me
“can i tell you something”
it’s not a lie when i reply
“you can tell me anything”
as they spend the next minutes trying to figure out how to tell me
that i have always appeared as someone who is
afraid to be wrong
but when you’ve grown up
with wrong as the kind of person you’re supposed to live up to
and the kind of thing you are screamed at for being on
a daily basis
and love the kind of thing you only find in fairy tales
you grow horrified of being wrong
terrified of dreaming
and screaming in your sleep
that i will not be
my father’s son
i am having such a rough week like bad no motivation nobody likes me week. but i wrote a poem so that counts for something
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