zb Nov 29
am i a puppet?
what are these strings?
i was told i
could become so many things

i'm used to the whispers,
i'm used to the lies,
i'm used to the looks
i've been given so many times

am i not my own?
can i not fly?
instead of being given my wings
i'm told not to try

kick me while i'm down,
split my lip across your fist,
i'll be what you want,
the nightmare for which you've wished

don't cry when i come,
don't cry when i leave,
i was never a thing
for you to grieve
zb Nov 25
i found love
in the burn in your throat
from wanting to cry,
in the breath of air after a lie,
in the space between heartbeats,
and in the chill of broken air-conditioning
in an empty room

i found love
in the dripping of a tap
left on and abandoned,
in the echo of voices in a canyon,
in footprints dried in years-old mud,
and in the negative spaces of my hands
where yours used to rest
zb Nov 7
open textbooks like broken promises,
pages creased and corners frayed,
sticky notes smudged;
my eyes blur over the words
the words in black and white and blue;
my fingers in blue spots and red tint
fumble with the edges of the paper,
cold and clumsy -
it's hard to stay awake.
zb Oct 31
i hope you're happy with her,
i hope her hands fit perfectly in yours
i hope it's everything you ever dreamed it to be,
i hope her smile makes your dreams come true, i
hope, i
hope, i
that every cliché i see
when i think of you,
you can find in her
zb Oct 31
i smear oil paint across your lips.

your face, outlined in pale brown and
robin's egg blue and
rests gently in negative space.

part of me hurts
when i look at this part of you,
this part i am
so familiar with,
in an unfamiliar way.

the lines of your eyes
(eyes i've gazed into a thousand times)
betray my secrets and my soul;

the whisper of your hair
is the same as the quiet brush of mine
on the tops of my bare shoulders;

i reach out to touch you,
and my fingers touch dried oils
in shades of raw umber and cadmium lemon;
my paintbrush still dangles, wet,
from my other hand.

the creased wax paper on the table
carries swatches of color,
the potential energy of
my pigment-smudged hands;
you are still unfinished.

i am still unfinished.
zb Oct 29
you left me, you know
see: i don't think you do
i don't think you've ever, ever realized
what you did to me

but whenever you ask
my tongue freezes up
fear clogs my throat
and i can never seem to get out
the perfectly-worded, numbered list of grievances
i laid awake composing in the dead of night,
throat raw from whispering my vindications
to myself over and
waiting patiently
for situations exactly like this one
zb Oct 25
raindrops crown your face
a wreath to your purity
your smile is enough
to make me forget even the
sun, hiding behind clouds

i'm caught in the riptide
that swirls beneath the tug of your lips
behind the timbre of your voice
you have me,
even if you do not know it
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