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zb Sep 2019
it's been twenty-five years since i've seen you last
it's been twenty-five years since i set foot in these halls last
since i've heard your voice echo down these staircases and in my very bones
we're forty-three years old
a far cry from the eighteen year olds we'd been
before everyone had left and
before i'd held your hand for the last time

you're there with someone else
someone probably better for you in every way i wasn't,
couldn't ever be;
you've gotten a hair cut, i notice; it looks good
you look good in that shirt, under those lights
you look good
you've always looked good, to me

i'm standing in the corner.
where else would i be?
surely not in the fringes of the middle, by your side.
the lights are too dim to see you clearly
but i still remember your smile
the lights are too bright
to consider daring to approach;
i've spent years content in your orbit
i can do it for a night more

i'm glad i get to see you again
i don't know if i will, ever, after this
you live half-way across the country
you don't live alone
you don't think of me
not like how i think of you.
twenty-five years, and i'd never
forgotten the warm press of your hand on my arm,
the brush of it on my neck
i'd never stopped longing for you
but our paths diverged too early, and
we were too young, and
i had only ever been the one pining.

i can't get any closer, anyways,
you'd notice me
you'd remember me
you'd smile at me
you'd hold your hand out,
and of course i'd take it.
but there'd be no familiarity, no comfort,
not like how i want it;
there couldn't be.
she's right there, and
you never thought of it like how i did,

i wish we were eighteen forever
i wish we could spend an eternity
as seniors goofing off in the library
as juniors at opposite ends of the school dance
as sophomores in the hallways after school
as freshmen hiding in math class during lunch.
i wish i could hold to that simplicity forever
no pressure
no isolation
just you and me, friends,
comfortable with each other
comfortable in each others' spaces.
who cares what kinds of feelings i harbor?
who cares what you think of me?
i had the freedom to press my hand
against yours, and you
had the freedom to put your arm
on me as i slept,
and that's the only thing that
ever mattered,
could matter,
would matter.

i wish i could stay here forever
i wish twenty-five years from now never happens
i wish i could stop time;

i wish you were mine.
zb Jul 2019
i'm so glad i'm still here-

there are so many people
(genuinely good people)
that i've met

that i have yet to meet
zb Jun 2019
i hope one day your teeth drip with
the taste of your own cruelty

one day you choke
on the fog of your own anger

i hope one day your fingers dangle
slick with pain and regret


i hope one day you r e g r e t
zb Apr 2019
i barely
remember you.

i barely
remember your
hands on my waist

your face
on my neck

your hair
under my chin

i barely
remember holding you

i barely
remember loving you

i had
everything, and
my everything was you

it was you and
your hair and
the way you moved

i fell
for you, i think?

i think
i fell, for you.

for you
i fell, i think.

you fell,
i think, for i.
come back? i miss you.
zb Jan 2019
when you get mad,
i know it's because you want to prepare me
you want me to be ready for the real world
you want me to grow up
and be your perfection

oh, i'll be ready,
but not for the reasons you think
i'll be ready
because no one
could ever hurt me more than you have
and i could never hate
anything more than what you've said to me
zb Jan 2019
you destroyed me in the best way possible
your hands on my heart
impossibly warm and all-too hot
i never planned on loving you
the way i do now;
you've earned it
(as if my love was anything worth earning)
you haven't seen it
(as if my love was anything worth seeing)

you destroyed me in the worst way possible
because you mean so much to me
you're just out of my reach
i never planned on losing you
the way i have now;
you smile at another
(as if i could look at anything else)
you care for another
(as if i could care for anyone else)

you destroyed me,
but maybe i destroyed myself
for you
zb Jan 2019
how different am i,
that you can no longer love me?
i swear not very long ago,
or maybe yesterday,
or maybe tomorrow,
i smiled, smile, will smile at you
it is the same smile, on the same face
you just haven't seen it
in quite some time

you ask me if i am the same,
you ask if i am still me,
and i answer of course,
because i am more me than ever
and maybe that is why you're so scared
that i've changed
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