happy national poetry day
i’ve been holding myself back from writing this post. telling myself that perhaps the signs and flags have all been translated wrong. but in the grand scheme of things i know this is hopeful thinking only: my words aren’t coming very much anymore. it has been three weeks in counting since a poetic thought has crossed my mind. blue eyes don’t spark up the beginnings of 4 am love poems and i don’t find myself being bombarded by snippets of inspiration at ungodly hours. its a curse. i’ve heard before that madness comes from voices inside of your head….but my madness comes when there is none. i find my grade wilting in english class because the poetry unit is battering away at me. i’m told to write a poem in a week and i would typically let an inner voice scoff. not this time. this time i find myself panicking and using websites for rhyme and scouring my mind for inspiration. it’s not coming. there has been a shifting in the plates of my world, a tidal wave of change that has hit me at my weakest. i can’t look one of the girls i called my best friend in the face……..but then again, she hasn’t been meeting my eyes for a while now. bath bombs fizz into colored water as my thoughts fall like stones into nothingness. music makes a smile wobbly on my face precariously. the truth is: my poetry is coming. i’ve tried to force it out and will keep trying for tonight. perhaps a bad poem will slip out and i will celebrate. but perhaps nothing will happen at all. writer’s block affects everyone differently. but for me, it feels like an ocean i once complained of turned into a desert. all i know is that i can’t make myself face a pair of certain hazel eyes, numbers are cluttering my frontal lobe and i find myself falling for a boy with makes me want to start dreaming again.
dear r., here is a letter that you deserve. here are some sentences that i’ve tied together with the red string of fate from the Chinese legend and i hope they will be enough. contrary to belief, i believe in soul mates. i belief that love can make everyday life magic but you shouldn’t depend on a person for that. i know that the sentences in some of your letters run through my head and i let some of your words come off of my lips daily. to clarify this in an apology and a searching explanation. i am sorry for the times i have ranted and let my words spill over each other in a torment. i consider myself a person who has so many words but only a few that really matter. truly, i think that you perhaps know a few of those words, and are closer to finding out who i am than even me myself. to counter i belief that i know you. i know your favorite is a stereotypical deep blue and your love for aviator sunglasses is unrivaled. i know that you will maybe never read this and our start with pitter off until only a few letters are left of our breaching conversations. so i apologize that my letters haven’t formed into tidy rows that are sent to you. to be frank, i haven’t yet discovered what words to say. i want to ask you where the wind comes from and you and i will both probably change the discussion to the Baltic coast where we both dream or owning cottages. i loathe the word sorry with a passion and so i will simply say that i haven’t yet found the words that are fragile and long enough to describe our relationship and the distance. if ever there a day comes where i find such words then maybe this post won’t be shelved with all the others. maybe r, we have a chance. but maybe isn’t a word that helps my fingers write to you and as the fifth day comes to an end i wonder. i wonder if have missed me. my crazy words and wild stories. i think why i pull away is that i hope that people notice. few people hardly ever do. fewer still remark upon it. i know you have noticed because you can’t be a constant part of a person’s daily life for over a month and not miss them. while the denial comes from the mouth of the brain and the heart tell a different story altogether. as a writer i can try and make it sound poetic. how i pull away and see who will come after me. comparing me to an ocean now isn’t enough. an ocean always returns but not so much with me. for an example, now r, i find myself drifting. the shadows on the wall and the lactose-free milk on my tongue mingle into nothingness as my fingers itch and i apply lip balm. to a stranger, i would appear that i am thinking but in reality, it is the absence of thought. this nothing has lasted for days now. i could compare my life to a spider web. except i am not the spider and i often spend my days wondering who is. the spider i compare to people. yet they are always different and some days they seem more like flies, the helpless prey like myself. as of tonight the spider of society. sitting on it’s web of sticky lies that have caught so many innocent and coverted all the rest. i apologize r, because it seems like when i finally sit down to write to you the words come out fleetingly slow but in great number. so while some might assume you will skip a few lines and summarize this, we both know it is not true. you read every one of my words as a caress and that is why i almost afriad to write to you. i ponder if my words are strong enough to be taken off the page and then fall from your mouth. but i will just have to trust like i do all my fairytales. before i go and finish the letter by apologizing once more, i have something else to say: don’t stay with me if i don’t make you happy. because while i have learned to take happiness from simple things, like blue early morning skies and freckled fingers, you have not learned this. and i am not worth sacrficing happiness for.
it’s funny how things change. and the ones you want to don’t at all. i’ve always had an impulsive streak threaded through with tinged jealousy and i have always had the anger of an untamed wild thing. over the years i’ve learned with careful training that i could but mask my flaws with a smile. a half twitch of my facial muscles or a spurted out joke to soften the awkward air. i like to say that friendships don’t work for me. they never have. i come on too strong or so subtle that i am over looked. i’ve has friends lie and leave. ones that denied knowing me in a group chat they knew i was in. they are the reason i grew up believing that i was a wrecking ball and to be with me was to be chained. i think some girls live on doubt like food and they loathe it so much they want to pass it. whatever the case i have grown up in the firmly cemented belief that i was meant to be alone. loneliness along with hunger because a well known feeling. but this summer i found all my piece. i found ones that had drifted away, like my occasional gentle smile. i gathered these all together with the intent to piece together a girl that i both wanted to be and could. i have always been good at puzzles. so slowly i pushed the last perfect piece in to form the imperfect beauty i call myself. i finally felt worthy of friendship. i was armed with the power of a laugh or sassy retort. i has built myself up from dust and that was a heady invincible feeling. so when high school started i found friendship. i’ve always been a social butterfly masked as a girl. what i didn’t realize was that maybe i hasn’t changed that much. and maybe my choice in friends hadn’t either. when you get broken hearted by the same people over and over again you start to recognize the eyes. of course i am naive before i am wise. i am selfish in the way that you tell me offhandedly that you tell her everything. yet you leave me with few if any information. if i was a well i would be constantly empty because time after time i pour my heart out to you. i tell you my every worry and trouble. you have talked he down from panic attacks and more. yet i always find when i turn the same questions on you and offer you the same advice i am left on read. it hurts to know that while my first choice is always you, that is not returned. i am horribly selfish, i admit. but it hurts knowing that she comes before me. i know that life isn’t a contest but i often feel i am just a person on your checklist. a big black check. conversation, check. hello, check. your time has been split between him and me and her and people. i no longer call myself a wrecking ball. i have found friends i love more than anything. and you were one of them. yet i find it amazing how you assume and don’t ask me what’s wrong the one time i want you to. i find irony in the fact that your love has turned so quickly to hate. i admit i miss you. i know this almost-emotion isn’t returned. but i miss you. so many times my fingers have flew quickly to your contact name. i wanted to tell you about this new boy i met. how the cavity of my stumach is filled with grief from what, i don’t know. for the first time in my life i am uncertain if we will end with a period or if our combined wills can turn it into a comma. a semi colon. or even a question asking me of the feelings of jealousy i didn’t reveal to you. for the first time in my life i am a uncertain writer. stuck. writers block. what happens next?
Dear friends, I am sorry that I have been a little more distant this week…..or maybe you didn’t notice. No one hardly does. There is no appreciation for the effort of slapping a smile hurriedly on my face whenever expected. So maybe you didn’t notice at all. You didn’t notice how my smile has become barely more than a twitch of my lips, and how all my nervous little habits have come back. My fingernails are chewed down to the nub again, and my fingers twist themselves tightly into knots. And my nervous yawn has come back. Or maybe you didn’t notice those things.
Did you notice perhaps how I cut my hair short again? How the edges jaggedly brush my shoulder blades as I pace the tile in the foyer of my house, clenching my fists and listening to piano music.
Have you noticed that the sweet little index cards, with flower doodles and kind adjectives, have stopped popping up? They don’t peek out of your math textbooks and get stuck in your back pockets anymore.
Do my wrists seem barer, without the usual array of neon bracelets?
Dear friends, have you noticed anything at all?
I am not the kind of beautiful that stops you in your tracks. My smile doesn’t cement you where you stand, and my the freckles by the corners of my eyes don’t draw your gaze. The first adjective that comes into your mind when you see me, isn’t beautiful. And I don’t want it to be.
I don’t want to be called beautiful before I am called strong, courageous, or alluring.
I don’t want people to look at my almost-bobbed hair and find it charming. I want them to ask why I keep it at that length. I want to sit down with peppermint hot cocoa and tell them how I lost myself when I was twelve. And how I mourned the only way I knew how: by letting go.
I don’t want people do look at my freckles and find them cute. I want them to stare at my cheeks and hold my wrist, where they form constellations. And I want to tell them of the times that my freckles were cut through with black ink because there was a pain inside of me. And I want to tell them of the days in eighth grade where my hand was covered in doodles because I needed color. And I couldn’t look at my freckles and think that they were beautiful. I want them to ask me so I can tell them of how I ran in the sun and played barefoot in the woods. And I want so badly to close my eyes and tell them of the time I remember being happy. Because once upon a time I was happy when I got these freckles.
I don’t want people to think my laugh is wonderful without hearing the story that shaped it. I want them to tilt their heads, and me to hold their gaze. I want to cling to my fuzzy pink blanket that lays at the end of my bed, and I want to tell them how my laugh was made. How for a long time, I didn’t have a laugh. And this new laugh that I have, was sculpted out of pain, sadness, joy, and freedom. And then they will feel better about making me laugh.
I don’t want people to look at my metallic golden sheen on my nails and think that it is sloppy. Or unique. I want them to grasp my hand, and trace the imperfect paint lines. And I want them to ask why gold. And I want to tell them why.
I don’t people to look at my smile and think that it is wonderful. I want them to ask about the tiny crack on my left front tooth. I want to tell them how I got my smile. How I found out how to smile again, after a time that I swore I would never smile again.
I don’t want to be called beautiful. I want to be called art.
We fall down.
It’s human nature. There are not any of us who have not fallen down.
Bleeding knees in Preschool, etc.
And I know I promised myself that I wouldn’t anymore.
That I couldn’t.
And I know I swore that I would be better, and that I was past it.
But today I couldn’t stop it.
And the worst part was, it was a normal day.
Feelings rose and rose, higher and higher.
Tears clawed at my eyes.
And I told myself I was better, I told myself I was still ok. And I said I would not break again.
But just like glass, I’m gone again.
I had just found my shape, my purpose, and my dream.
And it’s all gone again.
By god, how can someone live like this? How can I? Always fearing relapse, and then when you finally think that you are happy, it just happens all over again.
Is there no end to pain?
I’ve seen my brother cry only a few times in my life.
Showing emotion is not welcomed the older you get into high school as a boy.
And so, I watched him shut off emotion except for anger, irritation, and the arrogant “I’m above everyone else,” he is with his friends.
I watched my brother become an alien.
But today, today was different. I saw the sensitive boy he was taught to hide.
The one who sobs at a funeral for a grandmother he has always loved.
I watched his walls crumble, and his resolve flake off.
I saw him become my brother again.
My words are glass and steel.
They shoot from my lips with an evil intent, and every time hit their target.
They float out delicate like swirled blown glass shapes, or cut my lips as they fall helpless to the floor.
There are so many things I don’t say.
We hugged yesterday.
It wasn’t a movie-worthy hug, but an awkward half-hug with a couple hurried words that fell out of my mouth.
I wanted to say I was proud, and that I never had a doubt that you could ever not do it. I wanted to say I loved you as if you didn’t already know. I wanted to say that I missed you, and I would always be there. I wanted to say you didn’t have to drown out your troubles with country music and bitter jokes. I wanted to say that your eyes seemed happy, ever gold bit like a spark that was alighting a blaze. I wanted to say I hoped you were happy. I wanted you to promise that we would talk still, even after you were gone. And most importantly, I wanted you to know that I remember when we started drifting apart………….and I’m sorry.
But instead, I hugged you and hoped you knew all that already.
And the hug was perfect to me.
I’m trying to be the person I needed six months ago.
I have been asked why I’ve changed, and I scoff. I haven’t changed, not really.
I have changed from being in the shadows, watching people like me walk with a smile painted on their features.
And I am tired of it.
I try to be bubbly, sweet, and kind. Because six months ago, that is who I wanted. I wanted someone who noticed my sad little smiles but didn’t really say anything. I wanted someone who made me laugh more than I thought humanly possible. I wanted someone who could handle ups, as well as my downs.
Overall, I have just become the person I needed to.
I feel like I have been asleep for a while. And today, I finally woke up.
It’s not a sentence you can pick apart and analyze, it’s my life. And it is also the truth:
Whatever dream I was in, whatever happiness I thought I had, is gone.
I have finally woken up to realize that while in my haze, thinking of myself and floating happily from one place to another, I have left behind the people who matter most.
I have let some go, to fade away as I cut my life into a perfect square, determined to live like other girls………………….
Until I realized today, I am not like other girls.
My life is more complex, and I have people who depend on me for a smile, a kind word, a friendly greeting.
I have friends fighting more battles then I could ever keep track of, and a family who needs a thread to tie us all together again.
I have people who I sit beside, in church and school, who are missing the deep comments I made, the funny faces, and a never-ending supply of gum.
I have selfishly gone into a haze, where I was so determined to be happy, I lost sight of everything.
Because the truth is, no one is ever happy for their entire life. It is simply a battle that cannot be won.
The truth is, you are going to cry. You are going to sob as you feel your world fall apart, and your heart becomes a burning lump of cole. You are going to feel words burn your esophagus as they spew out like lava, leaving devastation in its wake. You are going to have days where you can’t get out of bed because you feel like your life is gone.
You are going to have days where your fingers are smeared with paint, and your eyes are empty…..but your head is full.
There is no guarantee in this life, that we are supposed to live in unexplainably happy.
There are reasons in every day to find joy, comfort, and even happiness, but when we feel hopeless, lost, tired and confused, we will not find them.
We will find our pillow, but while being our body shuts down, our mind doesn’t. It fills your head with a chemical overload, more toxic than tar and poison………and you are powerless to stop it.
So honey, accept, as I had to, that the haze was a shield from reality, and not true happiness at all. It was you making someone your entire life, making something your entire dream when you cut out the bigger picture.
Trust that waking up, was the best thing you could have done. Trust yourself, for knowing it was time to wake up and realize the people you left behind.
The dreams you wrinkled up like last weeks garbage.
And most of all, realize what put you in that haze, maybe it is not worth it. And maybe they never were.
I don’t chase after people anymore.
I don’t panic when I see them fading, barely an outline in life.
A text replied a week later, a few words echoed when I am already gone.
I have slowly learned to let things go.
I have always hated running, but I have run after people my entire life.
“Hey, you forgot your coat!”
You forgot me………………………
It is sad to think I am used to people leaving, having one foot in, and the other always out.
But then I tell myself, I have run after people through the darkness that used to inhabit every day.
When I could barely get up every morning, I made sure to send a text, “Have a good day!” Or scribble a quick note with hearts, “You’ll do great!”
I am used to people leaving, but people are used to me chasing them.
I won’t anymore.
If people really cared, then maybe they wouldn’t run.
Maybe they would stay and say, “I’m here.”
I’m tired of seeing people just disappear around a bend, to be with girls who are nothing like me or to be friends with someone who is not a person I can be.
Because the truth is, when I saw your outline became just a shadow as you walked away, I realized something.
You were leaving because I refused to say goodbye.
I refused to believe the reality, and accept the truth.
I refused to believe that you were all grown up, and leaving.
And so you can to leave.
It was not a choice that either one of us could make: you had to go.
Your future was gleaming brightly, and I was a person who was both parts of your past, and future.
I just had to choose whether or not I wanted to be part of your future.
Whether or not I was willing to let go, with the confident knowledge you were still there.
I couldn’t see you, but when I needed you, you would come.
I had to infinite trust that you would come back, and this was not goodbye, but a parting with a promise.
I have learned to let people go, and I have also learned to let people in. To let them stay. My heart is an inn that can never be full, and accept that some people won’t visit my inn because they don’t want to. They have found a fancier one, a more normal one. But something I have to realize is this: Even though I can’t see you, and it feels like you are gone, you are not. You are just around the bend, experiencing a future that is both wonderful and bittersweet. It is my choice if I to want to go around that bend, with the trust you will be waiting. Another thing I have realized is that just because my heart is an inn, does not guarantee people will stay. But whoever they are, they will always have a room, because letting go is not always forgetting: It is remembering that the people who really love you, will go around that bend, and call to you. They will make you want to take that bold and beautiful step. And the ones that help you around the bend, are the ones who believe you can do anything, and love anyone.
“How much do you love her?” I demanded.
His face flashed with so much emotion, and he said, simply, “She guessed my favorite color first try.”
“I’ve never had a favorite color before. I haven’t cared about color. I don’t care what color t-shirt I wear, or if it is spirit week or not. Blue is blue. There is no emotion, no feeling, no memory. I could have happy if I was born colorblind, simply because in my life I have no need for color. When I met her she asked my favorite color. I didn’t have a chance to tell her I didn’t have one. Her face was all lit up like a little kid’s and she shouted ‘yellow!’ standing on her tip toes so we were eye to eye. I didn’t have the heart to tell her no…..and suddenly, I couldn’t look at yellow the same. It brought up the memory of her. How her hair smells like coconut and sandalwood. How her two front teeth are slightly crooked, and how her nose wrinkles when she is confused. She made me WANT to have a favorite color……and now I do. I can’t look at colors worthless, because she is an artist. Her bracelets are so many shades of color, and they help express what her paintings cannot. I have never cared about color until I met her. Blue was blue. The color of my eye. My father’s eyes. My cousin’s eyes. Nothing was entirely special about that color, and yellow was simply the color of the sun and rubber ducks. But now….now color is so much more. She gave me a favorite color.”
“She hates saying bad things. She told me once, ‘I am made up of milk. One bad word and I am soured. For days I feel angry, lost, sad and confused. I feel guilty. I feel like the words I said were boomerangs and hit me with a force harder than two tons of steel.’ I have had no probably ever expressing myself. Words, stern, angry, sad or not, easily come out. With her, it is like she keeps them on the inside until they dissolve because she knows how hurtful they are. She knows the impact of words, and how they effect people. That is dangerous and wonderful. She can tear someone down with one sentence, and put them on cloud nine with one word. That is a gift. She has started teaching me the impact of words, how what say starts a chain reaction. Now, I watch my words, because I can. And I will. For her.”
He nervously mumbled, “She changed my life…………..isn’t that love?”
She always used to love hide and go seek. She would look in every knook and cranny for the people hiding, peeking in the most impossible places.
But now all she is looking for is herself.
I’ve always loved hide and go seek. Folding myself into tight knots, waiting silently to be found. But now I hate it.
Because I have been in this knot too long, and no is going to find me.
Rachel Platten’s Fight Song is playing on the radio.
Pasta is cooking, and I’m dancing.
Old chacos, slick Nike pangs, t-shirt full of holes
Maybe I’m not as happy as I was a few months ago. Maybe I’m still finding myself. Maybe I’ve had a lot of bad days recently.
But I can dance
And I can sing along
Nothing is guaranteed for me, and maybe is all I have to grasp onto…….but I know that is is enough for me.
I still know I can be happy.
I refuse to write about you. Aside from the fact that I have already written about you. Poems. Songs that I will never have the voice to sing. But, now I refuse to write about you.
I don’t take friendship……….and maybe more lightly. I pour myself into, 110%, letting you see my dark corners, and the words I say when no one is listening.
But, after all that, you left.
So I refuse to write about you.
A flag came back instead of her daddy,
And a police man for her brother,
So please don’t leave her all alone,
She doesn’t need another.
I have finally realized why every poem of heartbreak is written by a girl. From her point of view. The broken girl. The tired girl. The sad girl. The lonely girl.
I have not once found a harshly sad destroying emotion poem of heartbreak by a boy……….and I realized why.
Girls push out their heartbreak, expelling it from their bodies. It comes out like song lyrics, rhymes, awe-worthy art, and true creative form.
Boys absorb heartbreak. They pull it into themselves and curl themselves around it. And their pain pulses like a mock heartbreak……..why? Because I have yet to find a boy who loves half-way.
Say I’m young, but no boy I know loves half-way. And so when they love, they give you their heart.
They entrust it to you, and even when you break it, you still hold it in your hands as you try to throw back the love you said you wanted.
But they let you have it, and you push it away. You expell their love, and then sing a song of heartbreak.
And they only get their heart back, when they are truly over you. That is why my brother, has two gaping holes in his heart………and those are only the ones I can see.
Boys don’t write poems or songs. They don’t expell the love and let it form beautiful things, because all in all, it is still love.
No, boys whisper it. They laugh and coated on the edge of the laugh like sugar to a string, you will find the heartbreak. The split-second memory of her, with green eyes and curly blond hair.
It’s in his bedroom, where all their hushed phone calls took place, and all the selfies he sent her.
It’s shadowing the school, and all his classes, memories like dust particles in the air.
It’s at the softball game where he stares her back, wondering what he did wrong.
Boys don’t expell love, or at least my brother didn’t, he held it tight to his chest and whispered to her, but all he saw was her back. “Why?”
Maybe she expelled his love, or maybe it wasn’t love at all, at least not from her……….but my brother thought it was love because that is what he gave her.
“How to be an explorer”
The book my aunt gave me said,
But didn’t she know,
I’m already an explorer in my head.
It’s miles of untamed forests,
And mountains as tall as the moon,
Full of people I said I had forgotten,
And loved ones gone too soon.
Rivers that are deeper than the sea,
And animals scarier than nightmares,
I’m an explorer in my head,
Fighting the evil of “No one cares.”
Old friends live in moments,
And faces make me cry out loud,
Surrounded by so many people,
That form an endless crowd.
There are places I once lived,
And picket fences I use to play by,
But one thing this explorer knows,
Is that it is all a lie.
I’ve explored the sunny parts,
Of my dark and dreary head,
But in the darkness I can’t go,
Full of people and things better unsaid.
I’ve tried crossing the border,
Only to run back in fear,
Because only the scariest things,
Can make in the darkness here.
There are people I want back,
And words I never said,
All encased in the darkness,
Inhabiting most of my head.
It’s a jungle tangled and tall,
That is best left all alone,
With my dark thoughts and words,
Hidden and overgrown.
Maybe one day I will tell her,
My aunt who gave me the book,
That if she wanted a place to explore,
In my head she only needed to look.
But she will stop at the edge,
As they always do,
And my dark jungle will grow,
Until no light shines through.
I may be an explorer,
But they still can lose their way,
Just as I have started to lose myself,
In the dark of my head where there is only gray.
“Be afraid of the quiet ones,”
Was what I was taught,
But how can be afraid,
Of someone I’m not?
I was once called quiet,
In the busy and loud sixth grade,
But they just didn’t care enough to listen,
And to talk I was too afraid.
But when ninth grade came,
I refused to be silent,
Never taking time to be afraid,
Or wonder what people’s word meant.
I was done being quiet,
And done being something I’m not,
I’m not a quiet one,
So don’t believe all you’re taught.
I use to seal my lips,
And keep my eyes on the ground,
But now my lips can’t stop,
You should be afraid of the quiet ones,
And words they never say,
But you should also be afraid of the talkers,
Because they are going to be famous one day.
I am a little bit of both,
And you should fear either,
And let me go just to whisper,
“I use to know her.”
There’s a road that runs by my house,
That leads to a busy high way,
That I am going to travel,
And let it take me far away.
It will lead me through the mountains,
Evergreens and earth,
And when I get lost on trails,
I’ll finally figure out my worth.
It will take me around curves,
To the wide expanse of the coast,
And while I am gone I will learn,
Who truly loves the most.
Who will tape my postcards,
To the dashboard of their car,
Crying softly at night,
“I wish I could be where you are.”
When I take the high way,
To places pictures in my mind show,
People might start to wonder,
Why I had to go.
The reason is simple,
And every bit true:
I left on the high way,
To go find you.
All the pictures you showed me,
All the dreams you never got to see,
And the ones I didn’t share,
But now I love them completely.
I wonder if I follow the clues,
Like a breadcrumb trail,
Will they lead me to you,
Or be as empty the postcards I send in the mail.
You got lost in life,
And your eyes are empty,
But maybe one day you will come,
And follow the trail to me.
If I was asked what love was,
I would say us together,
Me getting lost so you could one day,
Find me and whisper “By golly I love her.”
Until then let them say,
I’m a traveler who’s forever lost,
But for you to find yourself,
I would do it at any cost.
The high way is taking me,
To the desert now,
And if you will follow the clues,
You can find me somehow.
You’ll find my love at the seashore,
And in the first snow,
But do you love me enough,
To follow me wherever I go?
What happened to your sword?
Did you believe him when he spoke with words of gold that twined around your head in the cold weight of a crown?
You are used to iron, and ore, the blunt and sharp all at once.
Not the carefully crafted and engraved words he told you, as your tower was built brick by brick.
He spoke them like poetry, but they were memorized because he didn’t want a brave girl, he wanted a broken girl.
And I am sorry that he didn’t learn, you can’t break a brave girl.
He built the tower, but he is not all to blame, because, in your doubt, you listened to the lies they all spun.
And you hefted the last stones, trapping you inside an oblivious darkness.
But as you sat inside that tower, silk like cold hands on your skin, did you believe him then?
As you waited inside your dark stone prison, wearing silk and surrounded by pillows too soft for comfort, for a prince to save you, did you wonder?
And did you realize that you were a brave girl?
That you felt the weight of the crown, but it was heavier than it should have been?
Because what you felt, brave girl was the pushing and pressing of all the dark and suppressed thoughts that fester underneath that roof.
The doubts and insecurities and the unsubmissive rebelling of your inner self.
Brave girls don’t bow. They stand, tall, and even alone. Brave girls don’t break. They bend and bend until they think they are broken, but they are not.
And while you scratched at the sides of that stone tower, until your fingernails bled and you begged to be let out, did you realize that everyone said he was your prince?
Did you realize that your prince locked you away because it was the only way to make you submissive, to make you break, and to make you fearful?
So when you took the heavy crown from your head and flung it across the room, did you realize you could escape?
You ripped the cushions apart, only to find that you had true friends.
Because in the heart of the things you despised, you found a hammer.
A dull, small and broken hammer.
And you worked.
The crown became a sword, which you held above your head once you kicked down the walls of the tower that you loathed.
And you screamed with every atom in your body quivering with your power.
“I am a brave girl. I bend, I do not break. I stand, even if alone, but I do not bow. I will rebel until my breath leaves the cage of my ribs, and I will fight until my bones explode with combustion, but I will not be defeated. You did not break me. You did not make me submissive. Because in that dark and foul tower, that I helped build with my own callused hands as my head swam with doubts, I found myself. And you can never take away her.”
And when you screamed, your voice raw and powerful and sad and strange and hoarse and strong……..and brave, your prince rode away.
He grabbed his thin sword, and his shield, and mounted a horse.
And he rode away, after saying, “You will regret the moment you rebelled against being a true princess.”
But you never will, because you were never a princess.
You are a queen, a warrior, a brave girl who rebels against the words of those who wish to see her trapped in another tower, away from the kingdom that is rightfully yours.
And brave girl, I don’t think he ever was your prince.
Because real princes don’t try to place a crown upon your head and mold you to their will.
They give you a crown, knowing you won’t need it, and a sword, knowing you already know what to do.
He was never a real prince, only a foolish knight who sought to a break a girl, who could never be broken, because she was brave.
I’ve never seen such a beautiful girl, looking so sad, except when I look in the mirror.
It was then I knew, that so much unlike you, I was not sad because of a person.
And if I was, I would be sad because of my myself, not because of someone who never deserved me.
But I can only hope, that one day you realize that, and you think to yourself, “Fourteen is too young to live my entire life in misery, over a person who only thought of me when he was around me, no longer than that.”
But if you still are having trouble, and you still need help, I’ll fold this away in a cheery pink envelope and place it in a mailbox.
“The Getting Over Him List”
- Unfriend him. Lift your trembling finger through the mental block and hit the rectangular blue button. He’s gone. His messages. His photos. And the constant alerts that light up your phone screen.
- Unfriend anyone. You’re free. Soak in that feeling of utter freedom. Unfriend the people who always made you want to change yourself in some way, and relish the courage and powerful feeling it goes you: You’ve started to let go.
- Delete “his” Pandora stations. You can finally say out loud you hated his taste in music. The twangy country music with cuss words and tunes that never quite matched up. Now you can replace them freely with words and songs that flow around you like billowy golden silk. Your music.
- Block him. Delete him from everything. He’s gone, and you never want to be close to someone who is like him ever again. Delete the temptation of sending him something that says sorry, because you’ll just be apologizing for yourself.
- Dress up. Put on the loose, baggy, and quirky clothes you never did around him, because he gave “Advice” on what you could and couldn’t wear. Cover your wrists with all your crocheted bracelets, and paint your nails a wonderful startingly shade. Put on your most favorite and most comfy pair of jeans, and pull your hair back ANY way you want. Put on lipstick, because even though you don’t usually wear it, it gives you courage, and that is amazing. Rebel against his remaining memory as you dress in the outfits you always wanted to, but never had enough gut to wear.
- Hang out with friends. Let them make you laugh your head off, as you wonder why you EVER let him influence your view of them. Let your girl friends take you out on a shopping spree, get your nails done, or do something amazingly fun. Let your friends that are boys buy you soft serve, and have video gaming battles with. Let all the countless months of rushed conversations, and short phone calls end. Because you start to wonder how you evens survived without them.
- Run. Lace your tennis shoes at 6:05 a.m. and run half a mile. Run until you sweat, and you cry just because. Run until you are about ready to drop, then drink lemonade……………….and forget him. Because I guarantee a horrible boy like him has already forgotten how endless talented and wonderful you are.
Smart girls aren’t perfect, and the A on their report card doesn’t reflect their entire life.
Those who seek perfection, are often surrounded by imperfection.
All the teacher’s love her, and laugh at her “nerdy” humor, but only three students care enough to remember her name.
She’s insecure about everything and thinks too much.
She’ll think about Math or English, or how the girls stared at her scoffing, and the boys looked right over her head.
She’s called different, but I wonder if anyone ever thinks that the different people are the ones who make an impact and are remembered?
She overanalyzes everything, pondering the “what ifs” and every single point of view. She never wants to be hurt again.
She thinks if she avoids the danger long enough, ignores the risk, then there is some kind of happiness just waiting for her. Because she’s tired of being hurt.
Because even though she’s considered smart, having to figure out every single detail and reason behind a boy’s smile, and a girl’s lie, can make anyone try to look for the best.
And she didn’t find it, and after years of hurt and being pushed down, she let go.
Tried to cover the scars, and ignore the glances in the halls.
Even a smart person can be tricked, and even a smart person can deny all the signs when they truly love someone.
She stays up late trying to find an answer to her problems, and everyone elses. Searching, dreaming, wondering, trying to unravel a mess of string tied too tight.
She thinks too much and trusts very little.
Sometimes she laughs, and retreat behind a mask of “friendship” but she never trusts.
Because after a while you start to hear the same words, from different mouths.
See the same eyes, in different deceiving faces.
And after a while, you stop trusting.
She’s smart and trustworthy.
Fragile and cold.
Strong and wonderful.
And she’s worth making friends with, because once you get past her friendship mask, and all the small smiles of politeness, you’ll find a girl more hurt, broken, smart, independent, brilliant, and more vibrant then you’ve seen.
And she’s worth all the risks.
To the friends I haven’t met yet:
I’ve been through a lot. I’m sorry for the days I can’t smile because I feel insecure about my teeth, but cover it up with a joke, and whisper to myself, “I’m fine.”
I’m going to say a lot in this letter, and when you meet me one day, shake me until my teeth rattle. Because I shouldn’t be saying sorry for myself.
When I hum musicals, and whisper words like “Demiji,” and “Muggle” ask me. Because somehow I will open out, and you will find me in the pages of the books I tell you about.
I like remembering all the little details about someone. It makes them feel good, and it makes me feel good when someone does the same to me. Don’t forget my birthday, or tilt your head when asking how many siblings I have. I suck in all independence and brilliance, thinking if I was worth enough to you, would have remembered like I did.
Some days I am going to push away my lunch, or eat a handful of tomatoes. On those days, don’t ask me what is wrong. Because as much as I want someone to notice, to care, I’m just so sick of lying by then that it doesn’t even matter that you noticed. Because I am still going to have to say the same lie, over and over again. So instead, make me laugh.
Make me tilt my head back and snort because I find it the funniest thing in the world. Make me laugh when you do crazy things to lift my spirits, just as I would yours when they are down.
Listen to my words closely, because they’re one of the most important things EVER to me. If you don’t, then I’ll know you don’t care enough about my hobby, my dream, my glue that holds be together, because I’m just pieces, but some of the best are, and I’ll let you go.
Overal, get to know me. Listen to what I say. Respect my decisions, and don’t challenge my opinions……
Because I would really want to be friends with you, and not go through another heartbreak, but I won’t respect you if you don’t me.
You’ve always been a lion boy to me.
Walking through the halls with a cat’s grace, throwing my insults right back in my face.
You ruled the classrooms sprawling on your throne, a red and black chair, lazing as the teacher spoke as if you didn’t care.
You were fearless they said, and one day that recklessness would make you end up dead.
You conquered the boys with one sharp grin, and they never challenged you again.
But you never could conquer me, because I’ll always remain free.
You’re a lion boy, a golden boy, but you should know I can read people better than that.
Because I see a broken boy, a dark boy, who wants to destroy.
But they see you as their lion king, the golden boy of everything.
You capture girls hearts with just one action, and spar with words with me because it is fun.
You’re a lion boy, or so they whisper, but while you have their devetion, me you will never conquer.
So tell me what it is like to burn, and smolder, as my bullet-sharp words hit your shoulder.
You may be their lion boy, you’ve never been mine.
And you never the huntress, underneath my sheep’s skin.
I still write poems for you.
You’re gone, and I don’t think you’re ever going to come back. At least, not as a person I know.
You hurt me, and you don’t even seem to think you did. “How can,” you asked scornfully questioning, “Can words hurt? Or break a heart?”
I don’t know, but all I know it, I use to have a whole heart before I met you.
And that hurts.
The stars you saw in her eyes,
Was only a peek,
At the universe inside her mind,
That made her so unique.
“You’re the kind of girl I want to have conversations with.” He said plainly.
And she was.
Her words were often fragments of her favorite musicals, and quotes from books you wanted to read because she had.
She put a tune to every quote by Jane Austin and sang them on long car trips.
She flat out refused to use to slang terms because it was “slaughtering the English language even more than we already have.”
She discussed the “wonderland weather” and the lost art of letter writing.
She went on long rants about Harry Potter and often switched to a British dialect when she became invested in making her point.
She spoke using words that you had never imaged even existed.
She was the kind of girl you wanted to conversations with.
She’s growing up.
There’s denial in her room, old Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals in her closet, and Disney Princess posters on her wall, but she’s growing up.
The stuffed animals are covered in dust, shoved away to make room for fluffy pills, knitted blankets, and abstract bedcovers.
The Princess posters are covered with doodles, and other posters overlap them.
Her old dance trophies are cluttered on her dresser, but slowly being overtaken with soccer medals and signed volleyballs.
Her pink, mauve, and bubblegum crayons are broken or thrown away.
Metallic and neon pens replace them, in bright and cheery coffee mugs.
Her old jewelry is a box, “tacky” it was called at school.
She is growing up.
Her closet isn’t full of tutus and flowey dress, but athletic shorts, and baggy t-shirts.
She is growing up, and I think somewhere inside you know it too.
You wanted to so badly to show,
That you were not worthless,
That you changed the way you talked,
And the way you dress.
Oh but darling, you were always enough to me
My roses haven’t been red for a while,
And the violet’s and I are blue,
And darling I only wished,
You knew how much I loved you.
Light skinny jeans, cotton candy, pink ice cream cone earrings, stuffed carnival toys, rose gold headphones, Ana Santos art, pink watercolor calligraphy, polariod photography, rough twine, “Piper,” the smell of honey and lemons, pastel eyeshadow pallet, random words, scribbled poetry, warm sunshine, cough drops, early morning sunrises, soft voice, Jasmine Thompson playlists, Tumblr account, 11th grade, yellow tinted sunglasses, messy buns, ponytails, “Um,” introvert, peaches, sour cherry jam, white tea cups and sausers, sensitive, vintage photographs, great grandparents name, dusty purple notebooks, sparkling pink lemonade, crochet flowers, random color pompoms, fresh mint, white and gold stationary, metallic pens, neon sharpies, colored bobby pens, softball jeresy, yellow and purple hair ties, Brandon Woelfel, old art contest ribbons, Sundance magzines, portfolios, wire rimmed glasses, bright yellow converses, brown mascara, dusty matte lipstick, fading freckles, butterflies, tumblr picture posts.
Hemp cord, Eno hammock, bent and battered blue notebook, Athleta bathing suits, wood shavings, dirty bare feet, clear stream water, golden bird charm necklace, yarn bracelets, crystal light prisms, pressed leaves and flowers, big wooden tree swings, rough crystals, blue eyes, messy hair, postcards and letters, green glazed pottery, sunflower seeds, brown leather jackets, the smell of smoke and rain, thick sketching paper, smooth round skipping stones, colored pencils, crushed basil, lost smiles, daisy chain crowns, telescope, fresh salad, crushed mint leaves, herbal tea, sage green yoga pants, leather sandels, antique silver earrings, ice water, pasiley designs, canoes, nature summer camps, camp songs, green eyes, quiet voice, a robin named “Polaris,” dusty old books about stars, canoe dates, a small garden patch, silver minows, dolls made out of grass and sticks, energy bars, Erin Hanson poetry, bunches of wildflowers, rusty bike, plaid too-big shirt, loose hair, love letters slipped underneath the door, goats milk soap, flushed cheeks, mud stained feet, clunky hiking boots, cold stream water, the word “wanderlust” summed up, leaf tracing, has a tree friend named “Chester,” fairyhouses made at the bases of trees, leather bound journal.
Jean jacket with patches, ankle boots, golden eyeshadow, DIY safety pins clipped to converses, old necklace charms strung on a string, grunge fashion, the word “selcouth,” crazy, big words, straight hair, endless bling, a blue bike with a white basket, cute boys, healthy foods, baseball games, 67 missed messages, day-girls, bargain finds, melted strawberry ice cream, bent bobby pens, acoustic guitar music, coffee with cream, big sunglasses, road trips, jangly bracelets, penpals, coca cola in a glass bottle, strawberry smoothies, hippie music, peace, funky clothes, boho style, Pinterest, golden dangly earrings, chervon styles, balloons, cherry lollypops, BMW buses, french nouns, Snapchat, stripes and pocka dots, sparkling lemonade, online friends, drama class, school play scripts, “Elisabeth”, neon yellow and green highlighters, unicorn keychain, frizzy and bushy hair, email love letters, homemade bracelets, sunchips, butterfly paintings, strappy sandels, thin books full of jokes, multi syllable words, vibrant, brilliant, brown henna designs, bright sticky notes, teal desks, cheery smile, popular.
Shy smile, “wallflower,” Spanish 3 class, bright eyes, crumbled notes saying “Just brave out the day,” dusty books, cracked floor tiles, hall passes, equality, chewed fingernails, a kind word for everyone, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, A+ average, faded green bracelet, country music, ragged nike tennis shoes, soft panio music, doodles music notes in her notebook, messy hair, “wrong” priorities, golden retrievers, apple juice, short list of contacts, inspirational quotes, photos and sayings taped to her wall, Burning house by Cam, Broadway shows, teal dyed bangs, navy bedcovers, yarn cat toys, yellow envolopes, no missed messages, “May God bless you,” cinnomon rolls, “mam”, old minivan, golden honey comb ring, green thumb, apple sause, warm summer evenings, rainy days, finger painting, pen pals, hastily scribbled notes, lots of colorful pillows, Etsy shop, blogging, AP classes, peanut butter crackers, Mormon, pale pink backpack, brown hair, musicals, “Maddy”, tilts head, no make-up, scuffed shoes, hums music notes to herself, sits alone at lunch, friends with the librians.
British accents, hazel eyes, black dresses, white converses, “darling,” shoe fanatics, awesome beauty advice, glittery eyeshadow, blue teacups, silver family heirloom locket, macrame pillows, Big Ben stamps, red telephone booths, cheery ivy, plaid skirts, bright smiles, endlessly romantic, Emma Watson, fairytale lovers, daily croissants, lazy gray cats, rainy days, blog posts, leather side bag, Honors English, theater class, dance shoes, stage lighting, brick house, white bed sheets, lavender and rain smell, “The Secret Garden,” honey and camille, park benches, old book shops, cute cafes, No. 23, burks, french braids, messy buns, cheese lovers, delicate but lovely, best friends, kind to everyone, impossible to dislike, bus time schedules, lemon creme pie, Adele music, white picket fences, cute window boxes, paper air planes, tall buildings, the smell of gas, the sea shore, tall grass, windy day, green hat, people and nature photography, mossy statues, sleek silver laptop, golden designed notebooks, abandonded gardens, old records playing, the Beatles, matte red lipstick, old letters, small smile, glass vases, marble floors, early morning bacon, type-writers, small apartments, friends laughing, boys messy hair, brown eyes, questioning look, “The Fault in our Stars,” home made doughnuts, powdered sugar, dusty pink clothes, “Awesome!”, 9:00 p.m. bedtime, thick acrylic paint, old velvet, golden chairs, fancy lighting, black ankle boots, pandora charm bracelet.
Tough times, black yoga pants, golden charm, small smile, 6:00 a.m., old bridges, Ireland, coastlines, dance routines, never quit, quiet ponds, water lilies, complex braids, ham and cheese sandwiches, white pebbles, frogs, koi fish, whispered conversations, ripped postcards floating on water, violent tears, soft tired smile, striving for balance, cute country house, yeast, old stone, all alone, loose leather sandles, baggy boho pants, white cotton top, loose crazy hair, green eyes, white bread, marmalaid, pineapple yogurt, Jane Austin novels, bullet journalling, the sound of the wind, cocker spaniels, orange peels, cute straw hats, growing cactus, lotion, creamy custard, lacy crop-tops, sage colored vans, half updos’, calm, orgami cranes, green apples, old window panes, greenhouses, misty evenings, early morning bird song, ripped boyfriend jeans, chipped white nail polish, biting lip, bold black marker, green notebook, round brown hairbrush, lip balm, flour stained hands.
Pale pink spring dresses, whispered hello’s, mumbled French, creamy pastries, cream high heels, clean swimming pool lanes, purple scallops, crochet hooks, gauzy yellow fabric, strawberry perfume, chicken salad sandwhitches, long conversations over the phone, Rainbow Rowell books, Beauty and the Beast, blue eyes, chemistry, washi tape, golden butterfly charm bracelet, tinted sunglasses, “The Great Gatsby,” lime popsicles, fishtail braid, detailed paragraphs, long bucket list, shy smile, energetic “bestie”, long distant relationship, A+, Instagram, cheese cake topped with blueberries, gray bikini, chalky pastel stained on their hands, cute skirt, small handbag, “What’s football?”, DIY makeup, multiple choice tests, a cafe waitress, gold and white nails, “merci”, love details, macaroons, Inmarcesible, On ira by Zaz, white fur rug, side braid, washi tape, tissue paper flowers, fairy lights, fruit de la passion soap, gold pens.
Black hair, sharp smile, silk, long braids, Fall out Boy, microphones, stage lights, music notes, lyrics, protective, loves purple, “She is beauty, she is grace, she will punch you in the face,” graphing, electrical guitar, the sound of drums, blue bangs, skateboard raised eyebrows, bowling alley, short temper, rough-n-tumble, combat boots, allen wrench, dark skinny jeans, silver hoop earrings, Finland bucket list, rice, clunky black laptop, burnt rubber smell, “No, I don’t believe in love.”, algebra and figures, old arcade, James Bond spy movies, gasoline, violet-colored eyeshadow, scoffs, anti-bullying, black bike, skeptical, “Excuse you?”, silver bird necklace, speedway, brown eyes, Japanese ancestors, band concert tickets, tinkering in the garage, “Tacky”, lots of neon bracelets, math mathematical genius, Mulan, “Girl Power,” hot showers, black smeared grease, don’t-mess-with-me vibe, black mascara, bold, fair skinned, fiery eyes, sharp whistle, fortune cookies, hardware store, “It’s complicated,” after-school job at a garage, late-night gigs, opinionated, bold.
Black hair, raised eyebrows, watermelon, martial arts, pick-up trucks, rusty bicycles, black jacket, beef and corn, “This is my casa,” flower garden, sculpture, rusty machine parts, fresh tomatoes, grape juice, red earth, rain,freedom, Marvel obsessed, dark chocolate, old comic books, hot cocoa, tribal designed shorts, baggy red t-shirt, dominates PE classes, deadly in the rink, cherry flavored soda, dangerous temper, peeling paint, mildew stains, fitness, bright blue eyes, laughing, athletic shorts, “She broke his heart,” wild child, yellow pineapple earrings, bleach stains on jeans, rolled up cuffs, faded green baseball cap, cool head, dirt roads, cracked bathroom tiles, tom-boy, dark tanned skin, rebel, no expectations, boxer braids, “You’ve picked on me one too many times,” baggy black pants, wieght room, knots tied in thread, old gyms, flickering light bulbs, trash blowing around, cherry limeade, piling up bills, crazy day with friends, high school football game, water stained books, sleek ponytails.
“You talk too much,”
He told me,
And I laughed at his attempt,
To try to make me act differently.
I don’t talk too much,
Because there’s so much to say,
But if he never saw it then,
Maybe it was best he let me get away.
There are words I never told him,
And thoughts I never shared,
But that is for the best now,
Since I never think he cared.
I’ll never talk too much,
And neither will anyone I know,
Because we all know when to keep things,
And when to let them go.
She chooses wisely who she lets in her life now, or at least that is what she tells herself.
“I’m just of being hurt.” She says when asked,
“I’m tired but not from lack of sleep.
“I’m just tired of being the last.”
She’s the last one he calls,
And the last one they invite,
And by golly all she wants to be,
Is not last for one night.
To be somebody’s first call,
And first thought when they open their eyes,
“That,” she tells herself,
“Will be worth all the goodbyes.”
But she’s still last in contacts,
Because of her ending name,
And she always smiles at the excuses,
Thinking, “These people are all the same.”
They don’t want to hurt me by saying,
I’m their last thought,
And I’m hoping that someday,
I’ll find a person whose I’m not.
Being a wildflower is wonderful,
In almost every single way,
But not the lonely wilderness where planted,
Since all the garden flowers consider it astray.
They stay in neatly tended lots,
Prunned with clippers and spray,
But wouldn’t you rather grow freely,
Even if it is considered out of the way?
But perhaps that is why I am a wildflower,
Far away from the neat lawns and crowded spaces,
In all the wonderful,
And inconvenient places.
I’ll never look a pansy,
Or be as tall as a sunflower,
But then again I wonder if they have the determination,
And the willpower.
You wear the same clothes, only bigger sizes.
You have the same hair, only styled differently.
You have the same eyes I have always known, but tell me:
Why don’t I know the boy standing in front of me?
I think it is sad that I just realized something. I have friends. I hang out with them, and I eat lunch with them.
But when I am curled on my bed, sobbing my eyes out over something, there is no one I can call that would understand.
When I’m feeling silly, or a random thought hits me, there is nobody I can send my random texts to:
Me- “There needs to be a prank war between the Weasley twins, the Marauders, and Teddy Lupin.”
Me- “Cuz, I mean of course he is going to be a prankster, his mother is Tonks, and his father was best friends with James Potter and Sirius Black. You can’t tell me that he does not have any talent with pranking, because we both know he has to have it in him somewhere.”
Me-“But of course this would require someone contacting J.K.Rowling and making her rewrite the last three books where pratically everyone dies, and leaves HP fans in mourning. That would have to happen, but I mean, C’mon, CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MUCH FUN IT WOULD BE?!?!?!”
Me-” Forget about contacting J.K.Rowling, get a producer, and a director in here, we’re gonna make a MOVIE!!!”
Me- “Where do you think the wind comes from? Even the earth has a center, where it turns around in a axis, but where does wind come from? Space is utterly still without sound, and there is an extreme lack of oxygen. So where does wind come from?”
And the saddest part it, how can I say I have friends, when these texts are deleted before they are even sent?
I once saw a girl in a pink wheelchair,
But I don’t think anyone else did,
Always looking away as if was a contagious impair.
She was trying to act normal,
And keeping really still,
Trying to control her arms and legs,
That always moved against her will.
And I wish I had enough courage,
To walk up to her and say,
“Don’t try to normal,
Just because you feel like running away.”
I’m sorry your legs don’t work like mine,
And I never appreciated it before,
But thanks to you,
I’ll never over look it anymore.
I’m sorry people see your condition,
Which is not at all of you,
But people never see that,
Because their point of view.
You can never run away and hide,
Like I can always do,
And when there are games to be played,
I wonder if anyone invites you.
It must be hard watching from the sidelines,
And watching actions seem so effortless,
And I don’t think people even realize,
The extend of their unkindness.
But as for me I now know,
I’ll never look at you differently,
Because I now understand,
How hard it must be.
She was brilliant and witty,
With glasses, freckles and a smile,
But the one adjective she wanted to hear was “pretty.”
She waited and waited,
Her head hidden behind a book,
But “pretty” has became so physical,
No one looked past her “nerdy” look.
She was concidered wierd,
With polariod pictures of places she’d never been,
Taped to the inside of her locker,
And an entire bag full of highlighters and colored pens.
But when the day comes,
When “pretty” stops being all physical,
When you look at her,
It won’t be critical.
You’ll see her round glasses,
And her snub nose,
Her crazy and quirky style,
In “not fashionable” clothes.
And you’ll really see her,
Not just the spine of a book,
And when you really get to know her,
She’ll alter your entire outlook.
Blue won’t be one shade,
Or one emotion anymore,
And you’ll regret all the times,
You would just face the other way and ignore.
She’s like that I guess,
A world changing view,
And I can’t wait to see,
How she’ll change you.
I saw her friends gathering homework,
From all the classes that she missed,
Saying softly when asked about her imperfect lungs,
“She’s on the transfer waiting list.”
But every knows how long it takes,
To get a perfect set of lungs before it’s too late,
And soon enough you start to despise the words,
So all she does is try to inhale oxygen,
That no one else seems to struggle to do,
As every day she wakes up and hooks to a tank,
To start Chemo anew.
Her friends stop by every day,
Wondering if one will be her last,
And if all the times they talk about her,
Will be forever be spoken in the past.
The school sends hearts and cards,
And her best friend brought balloons and teddy bear,
Everyone trying to show her,
How much she makes them care.
But as she grows pale and thin,
Waiting, Waiting, Waiting,
For a set of perfect lungs,
To be hers again.
You just wish that bile didn’t come up,
Instead of food,
And that she can somehow can gain weight,
And do anything but sit and brood.
She’s stuck in a bitter cycle,
Just like she’s stuck with imperfect lungs in her chest,
As every day she is prodded with needles,
And takes another new test.
The teddy bear she named “Hazel Grace,”
Hoping that somehow it will bring her good luck,
And not have doctors say bad news to her face.
But there’s always more waiting,
And people only see her condition,
Waiting to throw a celebration party,
When she goes into remission.
But it never happens,
And the teddy bear doesn’t bring good luck,
As the tears and screams as the news comes,
She never wanted to be,
Just a girl with cancer,
Waiting for a set perfect lungs,
To take the imperfect ones away from her.
But someone in the end,
That is how she ended up,
A girl who tried her best,
To fight the lack of oxygen in her chest.
There are tons more like her,
With a similar story,
Trying to fight the horrible monster,
Stuck in the “cancer” category.
It was annouced on a Friday,
In the old speaker system,
That a boy was gone,
Because he didn’t think anyone would miss him.
I only wish he could have heard,
How silent the dirty halls were,
With only softly muffled sobs,
Coming from her.
It’s so sad that he didn’t think,
His life wasn’t worth living,
And I wish he had not done something,
So lasting and unforgiving.
She has so many regrets now,
About not telling him,
That the darkness inside his mind,
Could be conquered if he learned how to swim.
She would have taught him how,
If only she had courage enough,
To walk up and tell him,
She saw through his laughing lies and bluff.
She had once spun the same tales,
Of how she “ate before she came,”
And all the smiles she plastered on her face,
To ignore the adjectives beside her name.
She has so many letters inside of her locker,
Written in blue and black ink,
All begging him to forget about,
What people might think.
She had told herself one more week,
And she would have given them to him,
But what a difference a week makes,
On those who don’t know how to swim.
There’s so much in a photograph,
That sometimes we forget to see,
All the endless tears and pain,
Behind a simple memory.
Although I’m smiling there,
With bright eyes and red cheeks,
Can’t you see I’m trying to tell myself,
How little he meant to me in those weeks?
He has messy hair and glasses,
That have a tiny crack,
From the bullies who corner him,
Behind a teacher’s back.
I think it is hard to see real happiness,
Unless you’re in the picture,
In the moment,
Seeing him with her.
There are so many times,
My smile was never real,
But no one could ever see,
All the sadness hid inside me.
He looked at her like the moon.
Not the angry glare reserved for the sun when it was “too bright” or the bitter whispers when it didn’t shine at all.
No, he looked at her like the moon.
Wondering her mysteries.
Thinking she was too far away.
Wondering how to reach her.
Admiring her from afar.
He looked at her like the moon.
I wish we could back, to when I knew who I was.
I had flowers in my hair, a soccer ball at my feet, and a home I never thought I would leave.
I had ferns tucked in my tightly knuckled fist, forget-me-nots in Polaroid pictures hidden away, moss fairy gardens in twisty forests, and traditions and names only we knew.
I had an older brother I knew inside and out.
We had our language of childhood, written in the scrapes on our knees, the twisty sticks in our fists, the cloth tied around our heads, and the forts we build inside the woods we called home.
Take me back to then.
Where things we simpler.
Before “five minutes” became never, and “just gimme a sec” became “don’t bother me.”
It’s like I’m having to learn a language, and all the translations equal, “Leave me alone.”
Why did we outgrow easy names, with eight letters, and lots of vowels?
When did I grow up?
I wondered if you only fell in love with me, by how I looked and acted around other people.
So I cut my hair short,
And screeched when I saw any bugs.
I wore dark eyeshadow, and neon leather bracelets.
I painted my fingernails more, and only hummed along to my favorite songs.
And you didn’t love me any less.
I won third place in my sixth-grade poetry contest,
With the first poem I ever wrote,
And that day I felt like my poem was the best.
I hit seventh grade,
And finished my writing program with an F,
On my report card,
And I hated seeing all the red on my paper,
Wondering when writing became so hard.
Essay guides were shoved at me,
And teacher notes said in bold,
It seemed that I was not good at writing,
And I started to doubt my yellow ribbon,
Among other things.
I grew into ninth grade and I applied,
To the best writing school around,
But they put me under “waiting list,”
And there was no longer something in me,
I heard the people say,
Wondering in my title “poet” was real,
“Can she write good?”
And I let writer’s block hit me,
Harder than it should.
My fingers didn’t touch a pen,
Except to cross out red,
With a deep and dark blue,
The color of my feelings,
Matching in shade and hew.
I guess I finally learned something,
From the red and one letter alphabet,
Echoing in my head,
And that is:
A writer’s words can never be dead.
He asks her all the questions,
He used to ask me,
And I wonder if one day,
She will be part of the family.
His phone is busy,
And hurts to try schedule myself in,
Just so he can make time for me.
I understand she is important,
And I like her a lot too,
But please don’t forget along the way,
You have a sister who loves you.
She is almost always seen with a pencil in her mouth,
Staring at something no-one can see,
And I wish I could find a way to tell her,
Being a “weird oddity,”
Hasn’t just attracted me.
He stares at her every time she looks away,
And I can only wish and hope,
Their eyes meet one day.
Although her head is filled with poetry,
It is pushed back my darker thoughts,
Ones similar to the things that once plagued me.
She doesn’t think herself beautiful,
Or even worthy of praise,
But without her the world would be even more dull.
No one who cares about her,
Would ever think her weird or ugly,
Not him and certainly never me.
I once met a boy,
Who made me clover bracelet for my wrist,
But it wilted like his infatuation,
But I remained forever the optimist.
I once met a boy,
Who made me feel shy,
But later I wasn’t,
When I screamed by goodbye.
I once met a boy,
Who pushed me to my limit,
He started changing me,
And that is why I had to end it.
I once met a boy,
Who told me he cared for me,
But the words were faker,
Then the heart he carved on a tree.
I once met a boy,
Who made laugh,
But he loved my heart so much,
When he left he took half.
I haven’t quite found,
The right boy for me,
The one I will laugh and cry with,
And the boy who will carve a real heart into a tree.
There’s watercolor dashed on her cheekbones,
And thick pastel smudged on her right finger,
And then she smiles and you remember,
This is all her.
Freckles and black acrylic paint,
Are splattered on her ankles,
And she grips a wet paintbrush,
And lets it hit the canvas as she just feels.
You can take away the paint,
And try to make her world colorful,
But there will always be a blank space in her mind,
Needing colors to make it less dull.
She can paint smiles on faces,
She wished she could in real,
And there is discrimination against races.
Her world might seem simple,
But you can’t take her world,
And try to make it less colorful.
If you want to find perfection,
Just look at the world she paints,
It has no problems or bullies,
Or mental constraints.
It is a world you can’t conquer,
Or take away,
And it is a world she wishes she could live in,
Every single day.
If I sent you a postcard,
With a piece of red silk from china town,
Would smile crookedly,
As If I was still around?
If I sent you a letter,
The blue ink smudged by tea and raindrops,
Would say missing me has gotten better?
If I sent you a package,
Your name with a heart beside it,
Would your honor your promise,
To never forget?
I use to love vacation time,
Because you became the boy I knew,
But now I’ll just add me,
To the list of things you outgrew.
Inspired by Fault in our Stars, by John Green
Hazel Grace’s POV:
You hit me with that look,
All hazel eyes and half grin,
And after that I think,
My lungs have yet to work properly again.
You took the oxygen,
Right out of my blue cart,
And enlighted an infinity,
Right inside my heart.
Oblivion doesn’t scare me,
As long as I am with you,
And I hope you like your choices,
Because I do.
I’ve gone camping, dearest house.
Your rooms will be empty of scamping feet of any size, your rafters empty of lilting Ella Fitzgaurd and Jamie Grace, and your beds with occupants.
The creek will be empty of stomping feet, white nets, and stick boats for racing.
The backyard will be without soccer games, a black and white dog, and water gun fights.
The garden will be without soft ungloved hands, bird seeds for the feeders, and dirty bare feet.
But it will only be a week, dear house.
Because you are home, and leaving longer than that would hurt.
When my fists clenched,
And my anger boiled,
“Watch out world.”
Because I am not the only one,
Who is tired of being a bridge,
For other people.
You offered me a world,
That was seemingly innocent,
But I later found out,
It was scarred and bent.
You gave me texts that were lies,
And flowers that wilted so fast,
And boy you made have been my first love,
But I won’t be your last.
You are like a deadly snake,
I once saw when I was a child,
So bright and brilliant,
But deadly and wild.
I thought I could belong,
In the world that you did,
But while your colors are poison,
Mine are not the deadly ones I saw as a kid.
Compared to you,
I am a butterfly,
My colors harmless and sweet,
But I will forever misidentify,
Deadly poison boys like you.
She was a fighter.
I watched for hours, wishing I could be like that. People shoved her down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. They invaded the very core of her before she learned to build walls, and they had no mercy.
She was spat on, she was kicked, and yet every single time she got up.
It wasn’t always right away, because even a fighter has to mourn, but she always got up.
She fought through him, all his charming smiles, late night texts, and bitter heartbreak.
She bruised her knuckles on her childhood bully, and again in defense of someone else.
And I admired her with young eyes, wondering how she became that strong and wishing I could be like her.
But I was young, and I didn’t read in between the lines.
Because maybe if I had, I would have seen her differently.
Because hidden there, as if wrote in invisible ink, were hidden secrets.
The boy she didn’t get over, the best friends that betrayed her, the friend that left, the brother whom she lost, the hurtful words that she cried over, the dreams that slowly faded because she was told they were worthless.
And that made her a fighter.
All the black eyes, angry and helpless tears, the bruised knuckles, the biting words, the people who she never forgot.
And maybe then, I wouldn’t have wanted to become a fighter so bad.
And I wouldn’t have fought to become one, to become her, and looked behind me at the person I had left, and the person I was becoming.
Because then I wasn’t a fighter, I was just a mourner who had yet to figure it out.
worn white, red, or black converses, leather jackets, logo shirts, parking garages, neon shop lights, graffiti, coffee with cream, is never in bed before 3 a.m., blocks people just for the fun of it, low grades, chain link fences, dark eyes, bright yellow and green highlighters, concrete walls, skate-boards, shady burger joints, black leather bracelets, ripped jeans, half smirk, big boy-band sunglasses, gold sharpie signatures on their wrist, old rusty dog tags from Vietnam, light gray blankets, sleek black cars, bridges, big bass speakers, list of prank call numbers, old 80’s music on a vintage radio, striaght eyebrows, old gum and candy bar wrappers in their pockets, black hats with truckers backs, the smell of burnt rubber, football stand lights, yellow and blue of cheerleader’s uniforms, clear powerade, Dr. Pepper bottles.
Dark circles underneath their eyes, black coffee, Hardey’s stop at 12:00 a.m., wrinkled clothes, laundry detergent, 34 missed messages, bright sun, the alarm that was forgotten to be turned off blaring, old soccer jerseys hanging out of open drawers, fresh cologne, wet hair, styling gel, arcade tolkens, laser tag usernames, Ford trucks with rap music blaring, the smell of smoke clinging to them, cozy date at a taco place, catching a ride with a friend, blue raspberry slurries, Hershey chocolate bars, plaid shirt and tank top, wieght room visit, morning run, sweat stained shorts, garbage being taken out, movie playing in theaters at 3:00 p.m., metal ref’s whistle, red jersey, cleats on turf, black and white ball, hanging around the gym with friends, guzzling Diet Cherry Coke, tousled hair, arrogant smile, dusty textbooks being shoved aside, mis-matched socks, gravel driveways, fore-wheeling, skateboard ramps, Air Head dyed tounge, new numbers in contacts, light washed jeans, dark roses hidden behind backs, Christmas lights strung on tree’s, “BOYS ONLY” video game battles, Lazy sweatpants.
Hair hurriedly combed through, the smell of gel and mint, 9:00 a.m. morning, yard work after lunch, big barbeque roast with baked beans, old shirt from a few years back, baggy black lounge pants, lemonade in water bottles, Snickers candy bar, rushing out the door, Mustang honking, neon lights at the arcade, pouring over messily written notes, longing on the couch watching the final four of March Madness, sleek black headphones, country and rap music, selfies for Snapchat, hurriedly finished projects, the smell of freshly cut grass, long bike-rides with friends, ice cream, and pizza, early bed time, Youtube videos, Instagram stalking, black and blue ink pens, messages send to Coach, putting up laundry, sending a quick text, turning your brightness down, mid-afternoon walks, watching old football replays, chess set being dusted off, collared shirts, pressed pants, black shoes, bowling alley, Sonic milkshakes, watching golf tournaments, chewing cinnimon gum, saving paper on your laptop, popping in a few breath mints, laying on your bed.
My ears ring, and the air around me grows thick.
Everything is fuzzy.
Your mouth moves, but I don’t hear you.
I don’t want to.
And so I cry, “No!”
As my stumach turns up,
And my face turns pale.
“I’m just a girl with ideas.”
And nothing is more dangerous but is better to be looked over, then to be pushed down because of the limitless potential that I told you all about.
It’s okay to cry.
It’s okay to scream with sobs choking your throat as your hair sticks to your cheeks, and you taste salt on your lips.
It’s okay to hug your arms around yourself, to try to keep in all your breaking pieces and let tears slowly inch down your face.
It’s okay to lay on your back on a couch that always seemed so perfect, and just the let the memories hit you again and again.
It’s okay to bury your face in your pillow and let your tears leave soggy wet marks on the pillowcase.
It’s okay to sit with your back against the wall in the bathroom, and cry softly while staring emptily at the white tiles.
It’s okay to wash your face after crying and try to wash away all the salty tears from your mottled cheeks.
It’s okay to cry.
I grew up with flowers in my hair,
Dirt on my knees,
Stains on my elbows,
And roots in my heart.
I dare you to try to uproot me,
Because I am a wild thing of earth,
Roots, dirt, clover crowns, and flowers.
And they take care of their own.
Darling, don’t be so sorry about being pretty. Because you already are.
You are pretty kind.
You are pretty strong.
You are pretty beautiful.
You are pretty curious.
You are pretty wonderful.
You are pretty adventurous.
You are a pretty good friend.
You are pretty funny.
You are pretty smart.
Darling, we are living on a giant sphere, turning on an axis, in the middle of space, going around a golden circle.
It’s okay to feel lost
Pre-schoolers make shapes out of yellow wooden blocks, and say, “This is a bear.”
“This is a waterslide.”
And, “This is the sunshine man I pray to.”
Kindergarteners slowly color in their worksheets, and ask, “What are crayons made out of?”
“How can people not see color? It is right there.”
“What makes the sun look white when people say it is yellow?”
First graders pull out pencils and paper. They ask,
“How do make a pencil?”
“How is white paper thinner than colored paper?
“Why does the word ‘deer’ have two ‘e”s, instead of an ‘ea’?”
Second graders ask, “What is a dream?”
“Why do some people not have toes?”
“Where does the earth end?”
But in seventh grade, people say:
“Dude, are you asking Tracy out?”
“Yeah, these are just clips of hair I can stick in if after I straighten my hair, it doesn’t look right.”
“Man, can you believe how much homework we got?!?!?”
Twelveth graders say nothing, faint mumbles in an answer to questions. Texts ping, and faces smirk as the camera flashes.
What are dreams?
Because when you can finally find an answer, you don’t.
“You knew her?” she exclaimed.
A worn out smile stretched across his face, all the happiness wrung out, “Yeah, I knew her. And I knew that she was going to change the world, I just wasn’t there to watch.”
And around them, people cheered, all chanting her name, just as his heart had once, but he just hadn’t the courage to tell her.
You’ve always been,
A wandering boy,
Too restless to stay home,
To scared to roam.
You liked me skin,
But oh boy you didn’t like,
What was inside my head.
I am not sugar,
And everything nice.
I am fire,
And everything queer.
I am lace,
And everyone fighting.
I am worries,
And old records.
I am music,
I am cards,
And crumbling walls.
And I can never be defined by just two lines, and one rhyme.
I remember the first time I was called annoying. How easily the words tumbled from my older brother’s lip and down………………and I accompanied them.
I was only around seven.
I remember the first time “five minutes” turned into twenty, and how easily the doubts slid through my facade as I thought, I was not even worth being on time for.
I was no older than nine.
I remember the first time a boy only noticed me because I had dressed differently than what I normally wore.
I was fourteen.
And I remember every time in between when I felt less than what I was.
All the times I felt unworthy, too much, and too faulty.
They don’t go away when you say sorry, and they always find a way to creep in when I don’t suspect it.
Lost girls, pale faces, dark half-moon circles underneath each eye,
Having grown used to everyone’s goodbye.
Lost girls, fifteen-pound backpack, wool socks,
Having grown used to being about what everyone talks.
Lost girls, black skinny jeans, safety pins,
Having grown used to the bullying that never ends.
Lost girls, bright pink matte lipstick, dark eyeshadow,
Having grown used to being asked questions they don’t know.
Lost girls, thin fingers, bright eyes,
Having grown used to the lies.
Lost girls, great report card, fancy car,
Lost girls not knowing where they are.
All she wanted was for someone to look at her, and gasp, “By golly she’s poetry.”
Because hiding is hardest when no one knows that you are doing it.
Don’t tell me I don’t know how to spell, because even if my voice might shake, I can still spell out, “L-E-A-V-E-“
You made me feel like I was hard to love.
And I was never told to stay away from people who made you feel like that.
You made me feel like my fuzzy, curly, crazy, wild hair, was messy. You would laugh when you saw my hair on the days I didn’t spend a lot of time and fixing it. And I would smile, and laugh, but I didn’t like my hair was easy to love.
You made me feel like my clothes were hard to love. When they reflected my personality, you made that feel it was hard to love. When I wore black leggings, and baggy sweaters, I didn’t feel like wearing those made me easy to love. When I wore my older brother’s faded t-shirts, a ballcap, and dark blue shorts, I didn’t feel like wearing those made me easy to love. When I wore my DIY shorts, a cute t-shirt, and homemade bracelets on my wrist, I didn’t feel like wearing those made me easy to love.
When I wore my Chacos and laid in the hammuk on my yard, you made me feel like it made me hard to love.
When I ranted about my favorite books, you looked me oddly, and made me feel hard to love.
When I laughed and danced in the rain wearing an old white t-shirt and soccer shorts, you made me feel hard to love.
When I laid my head on the library table and pushed my glasses further up my nose, groaning, you made me feel hard to love.
When I didn’t like what “other girls did”,you made me feel hard to love.
When I wrote poetry about girls with stars in their eyes, and calcium in their bones, you made me feel hard to love.
When I waved my hands around during class, and danced in the halls, you made me feel hard to love.
When I smacked my bubble gum and had a bubble contest with my best friend, you made me feel hard to love.
When I pulled up my big bad of colored pens in English class, you made me feel hard to love.
When I had paint on my clothes, arms, wrists, and face, you made me feel hard to love.
When I had on my fuzzy socks, and my hair was in a hastily fixed pony tail, you made me feel hard to love.
When I played hide-n-seek with some little kids at the playground, you made me feel hard to love.
When I acted out Shakespeare in drama, you made me feel hard to love.
When I had watergun fights with my family, and my shirt was soaked, you made me feel hard to love.
When I twirled around during the summer and wrote stories about girls who were like sunlight, you made me feel hard to love.
When I was being myself, you made me feel hard to love.
And the sad part was, I blamed me, not you. I found fault in myself, not in your judgement. And I, tried to change the parts I thought were hard to love about me.
And when my time with you is up,
Would I have done enough?
He placed his palms on my shoulders,
And curled around my lung,
I gave him the power to destroy me,
All while we were young.
He cradled my heart,
And clasped my wrist,
But I should have seen the clues and signs,
Of all the lies I had missed.
If he really loved me,
His hands would be on my mind,
Not my body.
He didn’t love me enough,
To get to know me first,
And to think I thought it was love,
And all his lies unrehearsed.
There’s a flower blooming in her ribcage,
And twisting around her traitorous heart,
And she could tell you the story of heartbreak,
If she could only find the words to start.
You were crafted in the stars,
And given a luminescent glow,
But even if I love you,
I can’t join you in the stars you know.
While you were crafted out of stardust,
And figments of the moon,
I was crafted out of earth,
And of friendship ended too soon.
Star boy I am an earthling,
As mortal as can be,
So while you are drifting with meteors,
Please remember me.
I know I might not be born on Saturn,
Or a distant star,
But please believe that I can’t return.
The lack of oxygen is crushing my heart,
And homesickness is curling up in my ribcage,
But know that I will think of you while we are apart.
I’m sorry star boy,
That I couldn’t stay forever in the stars,
So remember me,
While walking over Mars.
You were a universal thing,
And I was trapped in the atmosphere,
So the best I can do is to ask you,
Not to forget me while I’m here.
Maybe one day I’ll join you,
In the indigo sea,
But until that day,
Remember me in the billions of galaxies.
Don’t let me,
Be just another teen casualty.
She doesn’t talk a lot,
Always busy pretending to be someone,
That she is not.
It starts first thing in the morning,
Around 6:35 a.m.,
As she thinks about the popular girls,
And wishes she was them.
She dresses in clothes that pinch and pull,
Because that is what everyone else is wearing,
And smiles as brightly as she can,
Wondering how the popular girls are faring.
She decorates her backpack,
With neon beads and charms,
Because why should she lack,
What the popular girls have?
She doesn’t like having make-up,
Covering her freckles and cheeks,
But she hopes that maybe,
She will stop noticing after a few weeks.
Her shoes pinch her toes,
And squeeze the sides of her feet,
But nobody knows.
Her smile is perfection,
After hours spent practicing it in he mirror,
Because why should she be a nobody,
When she could have people want to be her?
Her day of acting ends,
At 11:12 p.m,
And by golly I hope it’s worth it,
All the fakery she is for him.
Tell the lake that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry that I left so soon.
That I left without another summer spent fishing with my legs hanging off the dock.
That I left with another winter, picking my way across where water once was.
That I left before the first swim, the first jump off the end of the dock.
Tell the lake that I am gone.
Tell the lake I am sorry that I left because I know a thousand days lay among the pebbles on the shore.
Tell the lake I am sorry because I left without a word or ripple.
Tell the old school that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
That I left without another day swinging on the old rusty swing sets, or running through the flower gardens that had taken over the fencing.
That I left without wandering the old paint-stained tile halls, to the old auditorium.
That I left without walking in the dance room, with worn wood floors, and old dusty ballet shoes on the shelves.
That I left without wandering into the tiny closet-sized library and selected another book to curl into a corner with.
Tell the old school I am sorry, that I never gave a warning.
Tell the old school that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
Tell the apple orchard that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
That I left without another fall, plucking yellow, green, and red apples off spiny branches.
That I left without playing hiding-n-seek among the tall grass, and draping branches.
That I left without making one last batch of applesauce, cooling on the stove.
That I left without twirling around in a circle barefooted underneath the blooming branches of apple trees, and the green branches of pine trees.
That I left without kicking my shoes by the old rusty table and chairs and running over the moist moss.
Tell the apple orchard I am sorry, that so much time has passed since I have through it.
Tell the apple orchard that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
Tell the pottery studio that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
That I left without donning on my favorite blue and yellow flowered apron.
That I left without dipping my hands into the water turned grey by clay.
That I left without pressing my foot to the wheel peddle one more time.
That I left without crafting more vase, or pitcher.
Tell the pottery studio that I am sorry, that I have never come back to visit.
Tell the pottery studio that I am gone.
Tell it I am sorry I left so soon.
And tell my bed that I am sorry, that I couldn’t wait one more night.
Because my heart was yearning, for something this place never had.
Because you can’t make a home in a place that you have never belonged.
So I will go searching across the oceans, and on highways, until I find the place where I belong.
I might end up in New York, or maybe I’ll end up in the rundown town ten minutes away from the place I called home for eleven years.
But wherever I go and every postcard I send you, make sure to tell everyone that I am sorry, that I am looking for my home, because it is not here.
I have left.
I am sorry that I left so soon.
But somehow in my heart, it was never soon enough.
Ripped skinny jeans,
Teenage girl dreams.
Why couldn’t I have been like that?
Life would have been easier,
But then again,
Why should I have wanted to be like that?
I guess I’ve been dreaming, because I woke up today.
She is a wanderer, and she is trying to find herself.
She thinks it lies among the high topped mountains, the clear cold streams, and the sunflower meadows far far away.
And I wish I could tell her, that everywhere she goes, she leaves a little piece of her.
Herself is her body, and she need not look for it.
But there is freedom where eagles fly, and perfect skipping stones look slick and black underneath the water.
Yet if she is trying to find herself, she should start in her little old town.
With the fried chicken place with black booths, the dance studio that always smelled like paint and leather, the old bargain store with mismatched hangers and old toys, the old school that was a community center where she used to take piano lessons, the old playground with rusted metal slides and swings.
There she can find herself.
Her little six-year-old self wearing a pink tutu with a messy ponytail.
Her eleven-year-old self racing her friends down the slides.
Her nine-year-old self with fumbling fingers and black and white piano keys.
Her ten-year-old self scarfing down chicken fingers after soccer practice.
If she wants to find herself she should go to the lake house.
With paint peeling on the deck, the dock with dark brown stain, the waves softly lapping the shore, the view of the island across the way, the dusty canoe hanging near the rafters, the old single lightbulb illuminated the shed full of beach toys and floats, the mayflies that perch on the poles, the water snails that cling to bits of algae on the bottom.
There she can find herself.
Her twelve-year-old self canoeing with her older brother into a nearby cove.
Her six-year-old self with a pink float around her waist paddling around in the shallows.
Her nine-year-old self jumping off the end of the dock into the deep green water.
Her eight-year-old self clutching a fishing rod to her chest while reeling in her tiny catch.
Her ten-year-old self wading through rocky stones to find the hidden blackberry patch on the shore.
Her five-year-old self wearing a pair of pink sunglasses on a jetski.
But if she wants to try to find herself, in sights, smells and places, then she should go back to the soccer fields.
There she can find herself.
Her six-year-old self proudly wearing a tiny pair of black cleats with an orange jersey.
Her ten-year-old self bringing facepaint to wear on her team’s cheeks on game day.
Her eleven-year-old self being the only one of three girls on an entire boy team.
Her thirteen-year self finding the true meaning of teamwork through laughter and tears.
If she wants to try and find herself, then she should go to the mountains.
There she can find herself.
Her six-year-old self sitting in a green and pink camp chair.
Her eleven-year-old self wearing chacos to wade in an ice-cold stream.
Her seven-year-old self finding the biggest pinecone ever.
Her thirteen-year-old self bounding over rocks and logs in the middle of the trail.
Her nine-year-old self roasting marshmallows and waving away the smoke.
I wish she would stop searching because there are enough lost people in this world, and if she wants to find herself, she can.
She can go back to her old town, the lakehouse.
She can camp in the mountains, and wade in streams.
But if she really wants to find herself, she will find all the old photo albums she tucked away.
Because inside those pages, are the secret to who she is.
They hold the laughter, the tears, the friendship, the heartbreak.
They hold all the little pieces of her that were left in all the places she went to look for herself.
She didn’t need to look at all because her mind and body are herself.
She’s a beautiful storm,
Trapped inside human skin,
And if you look close enough,
You can see her storm raging within.
Her eyes are a stormy grey,
And her words like raindrops hit,
But just because she is a wild storm,
Doesn’t mean she is perfect.
She hasn’t learned to control her lighting,
Or time her thunder just right,
So don’t leave this beautiful storm,
Just because she has power to fight.
She has gotten so used to trapping it all within,
That she has all but forgotten,
This was never her real skin.
She once stretched high above,
With dark and light power,
In the majestic form,
Of a thunderstorm and rain shower.
But somehow she was confined,
To trap it in all inside her freckled skin,
And let everyone tell her,
That releasing it was forbidden.
You were born to be a wild power,
So why be anything else but,
A storm, a thunder clap, a lightning bolt, and a rain shower>
“I am not that kind of girl.” She exclaimed with passionate conviction.
“Well then, what kind of girl are you?” He asked curiously.
I am this kind of girl:
I am the kind of girl who dances on warm spring days in my favorite blue fuzzy socks, wearing one of my older brother’s T-shirts and listening to Coldplay.
I am the kind of girl who feels happier when her five-year-old brother gives her a tiny blue forget-me-not than when a boy gives her a rose.
I am the kind of girl who wears her brother’s baseball and golf hats for two reasons: 1- She doesn’t have to do her hair and 2- They smell really good.
I am the kind of girl who writes poetry about sticky notes but always loses them before she can use them.
I am the kind of girl who is hopelessly and utterly romantic but finds that fictional boy characters always beat the real ones.
I am the kind of girl who celebrates beating her book reading record, and paisley drawing record more than getting an A on a test.
I am the kind of girl who recites lines to all the best Disney movies and sings along to Mulan’s songs.
I am the kind of girl who loves Chaco’s and gets insulted when no one else seems to recognize the brand.
I am the kind of girl who watches calligraphy handwriting just because it is so beautiful.
I am the kind of girl who uses paperclips to pick locks when she accidentally locks herself out of her own room.
I am the kind of girl who forgets when Science homework is due and stresses out about doing it.
I am the kind of girl who loves chess, one of the reasons being that the queen is the most powerful piece of the board. (It can do everything)
I am the kind of girl who reads Erin Hanson poetry and cries, because words are completely, unexplainably wonderful.
I am the kind of girl who has an addiction to applesauce and eats out a big container in her fridge.
I am the kind of girl who wears a PJ shirt and slick pants while studying Latin verbs.
I am the kind of girl who listens to Adele and eats ice cream.
I am the kind of girl who eats celery and peanut butter for a snack.
I am the kind of girl who grew up on porch swings with orange popsicles and her older brother’s best friends.
I am the kind of girl who buys postcards from anywhere and everywhere and leaves them tucked in books in her bookshelf because she has no one to send them to.
I am the kind of girl who makes sand sculptures of dolphins and flowers at the beach.
I am the kind of girl who runs barefoot while having a water gun fight with her younger siblings.
I am the kind of girl who recites all the main bones in her body before she goes to bed.
I am the kind of girl who was once ashamed of her smile because her teeth are not straight.
I am the kind of girl who paradox.
I am the kind of girl who believes that people are the best and worst forms of poetry.
I am the kind of girl who listens to Grace Vanderwaal and swings her little brother around in a circle.
I am the kind of girl who gets paint on her hands and wears it proudly.
I am the kind of girl who studies with a lead pencil in her mouth.
I am the kind of girl who has to work hard not to go over the limit of words, not to stay in it.
I am the kind of girl who writes everything in a neon green sharpie.
I am the kind of girl who writes too late and dreams too much.
I am the kind of girl who didn’t know who Millie Bobby Brown was until last week.
I am the kind of girl who always loved white crayons because they only showed up on dark paper.
I am the kind of girl who painted on an old pair of shorts to make them DIY.
I am the kind of girl who knits when she is nervous.
I am the kind of girl who made a slingshot out of a hanger when she was eight.
I am the kind of girl who quotes Shakespeare as comebacks and Jane Austin as love advice.
I am the kind of girl who wears an old stretchy teal t-shirt with a salsa stain on the left sleeve on Sundays.
I am the kind of girl who gathers ferns and flowers to make crowns.
I am the kind of girl who dressed up in a toga one day when I was eleven.
I am the kind of girl who wears an old pair of Burks from a bargain shop.
I am the kind of girl who fishes every day she can with her older brother.
I am the kind of girl who loves the words “The” and “Okay.”
I am the kind of girl who reads books for the Children’s section at the library still because the creativity and magic they express is wonderful.
I am the kind of girl who got creeped out while reading Alice in Wonderland.
I am the kind of girl who spins around in a circle and says, “Laetus.” (Happy in Latin)
I am the kind of girl who calls boys, “Arrogant toe rags” similar to what Lily Evans called James Potter.
I am the kind of girl who lets her sketch books grow dusty, and her hands never become clean.
I am the kind of girl who gets lighting inspiration for stories and poetry.
I am the kind of girl who never does anything but swim at a pool.
I am the kind of girl whose dream job is at a library, bookstore, or bakery.
I am the kind of girl who slips little notes in her library books in case one day she will meet her best friend in the best place.
I am the kind of girl who walks around the house at 3.am. just wondering at the stillness of it.
I am the kind of girl who rather have penpals then people email her.
I am the kind of girl who listens to Lost Boy by Ruth B. and cries than the girl who cries over a chipped nail.
I am the kind of girl who watches Broadway shows, then the kind of girl who watches Stranger Things.
I am the kind of girl who lays on her brother’s bed and watches him play video games.
I am the kind of girl who spends Friday nights at home and doesn’t go to parties.
I am the kind of girl who loves rainy days.
I am the kind of girl who likes hot showers because they are the best place for thinking.
I am the kind of girl who loves the name “Wednesday.”
I am the kind of girl who loves watching sports.
I am the kind of girl who says “Tushie” and “Tootles.”
I am the kind of girl who loves eggrolls, lasagna, chicken salad, Italian food, and Mexican food.
I am the kind of girl who loves canoeing.
I am the kind of girl who loves metallic pens.
I am the kind of girl who loves the smell of lavender and lemons.
I am the kind of girl who reads Fault in our Stars when she is done with homework.
I am the kind of girl who cries when hearing about WW2.
I am the kind of girl who makes little notes and hearts for her friends.
I am the kind of girl who thinks that times like 8:44 are special.
I am the kind of girl who likes a.m. better than p.m.
I am the kind of girl who loves sleep.
I am the kind of girl who rather aviod boys.
I am the kind of girl who loves little kids.
I am the kind of girl who loves adjectives.
I am the kind of girl who can punt a soccer ball.
I am the kind of girl who can crash a golf cart.
I am the kind of girl who loves writing calligraphy and other funky writing styles.
And I am the kind of girl who is utterly fascinated with you.
You taught her to be ashamed of her opinions,
Before she even talked,
Because there was no saying any words,
Even the most important ones.
She never shared her ideas or thoughts,
Because that was forbidden,
And at school she tried everything she could,
Just to be able to fit in.
No one else seemed to understand,
The words trapped by the cage of her mouth,
And how she sobbed at night because words were banned.
She was always told to quiet down,
And “speak up” but how could she,
When she was only listened to in the silence,
And only the walls seemed to agree?
She always melted into the background,
Because no one ever asked,
And expected a word or sound.
She was the quietest girl in class,
Because once she was told to quiten down,
She couldn’t do anything else,
But blend into the background.
Words came easy as thoughts,
But harder they were to say,
Because by the time they came out,
Everyone was already walking away.
It is amazing what that does,
To the little girl inside,
When she see’s everyone speak,
And not stutter or want to hide.
She had no filter or net,
So once the words escaped,
They were to forget.
I wonder if things would have been different,
If ou had told her thoughs,
And opinions mattered,
Because now all she knows is silence,
That should be filled with her words,
If only she wasn’t too afriad to speak.
Here is the truth about monsters:
They don’t always live underneath beds,
Or in scary places,
Because sometimes it’s darkest inside our heads.
They thrive in dusty corners,
And in misplaced moving boxes,
Living on your nightmares,
And the sad little doubts about how nobody cares.
But not all monsters are shadows,
Or lumpy shapes in corners,
Because I once knew a monster,
That was human.
She had a secret and dusty smile,
As if it wasn’t used much,
And she had a dark part of her,
That no sunlight ever touched.
Inside her head was the gaping mouth,
With dark and shiny teeth,
That attacked all her brightness,
And never ever missed.
It tore it to shreds and trapped it away,
And said in a whispering voice,
It was only to keep the pain at bay.
How the lies never stopped,
And how she never questioned,
What was living inside of her.
And that is the sad truth about monsters,
That not very many people know,
That the more dark thoughts you feed them,
The more they grow.
They surround your bright and happy thoughts,
And keep them locked away,
With only the lying excuses,
When you ask them where they went.
Monsters only thrive on darkness,
And on secrets never told,
So the only way to kill a monster,
Is to unfold.
Let your darkness out,
And transform the shape,
Because even the tiniest wings,
Can find a way to escape.
And as for the girl,
With the monster living inside her head,
She finally found her brightness,
And now her monsters dead.
All the lies and doubts it spun,
And all the company it provided,
When she had no one,
Because she finally realized the truth about having a monster,
Trapped inside your head.
And that is,
It never really existed at all,
But only lived for your downfall.
There was a little adjective,
That everyone stuck beside my name,
Simply because I had bad days at school,
And still came.
I was caught crying in the girl’s bathroom,
And was expected to act with shame.
But I could only feel unjustly called “sad”,
When I expressed my emotions,
When no one else did.
I had a bad day and sat alone at lunch,
And kept my head down in study hall,
And while I waited for my mom,
I leaned silently against a wall.
You can call me sad all you want but at least I know,
Who my true friends are because they bothered to call.
I had a few bad days,
And expressed emotion,
But don’t call me names or get angry when I am moody,
Because whatever you are I don’t want to be one.
I want to a person who there for bad days,
And doesn’t need constant attention,
To be a friend.
Whatever you are,
I don’t want to be one.
It is amazing how fast my walls came down,
Only for me to remember why I built them in the first place.
You were born and raised,
In just a small little town,
Where nothing ever changed.
Same old streets,
Same old houses,
Same old shops,
Same old people.
You were a boy who hated normality,
And the slow pace of your little town,
Was bringing your spirts down.
But I wonder if things ever changed,
When a girl who was different,
Started living there.
Did things seem to brighten?
Or was I just another mistake,
In this old town,
Just another heartbreak?
I don’t think I made things better,
Because you still escaped,
From the cage, you thought your little old town was.
Don’t tell me you’re sorry in another postcard,
From a place I will never go,
Because if you really sorry,
Why did you say hello?
Why did you meet me,
And make me your friend,
If you were only going to leave me,
In the end?
You grew tired of this old town,
With the same old people,
The same old shops,
I’ve been a little bit of rebel, with the dislike of being told what to do.
And the most rebellious act I have ever done is not listening to you when you told me I was nothing.
I sent your postcard,
From my last vacation trip,
And didn’t think waiting would be this hard.
I know you probably won’t reply,
Or if you do you will scoff,
And tell me that I lie.
But if I do,
It is the most beautiful lie,
Because by golly I love you.
You judged me by my skin,
And my crooked smile,
And didn’t even dream of the words I hid within.
You didn’t spot the metaphors in my freckles,
Or the smilies in my eyes,
So maybe it for the best,
That you never saw through my disguise.
I will forever just be a girl to you,
And that knowledge doesn’t hold pain,
Because if you really liked me you would have knew.
They used the word defect, more than they should have. Because baby girl, you are no defect. You are no long named problem with your heart or just another pale fragile patient. You, angel, are a wonder. The white plastic flat hospital bed was caged around you, the first time I saw you. It held you away from me. It trapped my baby sister inside its cold arms. I couldn’t see you. I couldn’t touch your soft baby skin. I couldn’t feel your little red fingers clench around mine. I couldn’t hold my baby sister. And I couldn’t kiss the very soft beginnings of hair of your tiny baby head. Tubes that were plastic and pale wormed around you. You were only in a diaper, baby sister, and you looked so small. An oxygen tube was stuck in each nostril, a constant reminder of how little it could take for you to leave us. Your first surgery, and baby girl, you were only barely a day old. A white knitted hat was on your baby head and a tiny hospital bracelet on your right wrist. Baby sister, you were perfect to me.
You grew fast, baby girl. You loved the world around you, and acted like any other angel baby. Except you were not: You were my angel baby. My little sister. You were a pale and beautiful warrior angel, and I didn’t want to think about a day where you would really become an angel. It could have happened, baby girl. You could have left us, little sister. And I don’t know what I would have done. Your first surgery was only at a day old, but it was clear you would have to have another. And baby girl, you were six months old. You were peering at the world with bright blue eyes, and it hurt to know that you would go through it again. More time without me touching your dimpled hand. More waiting before I could hug you to my chest. More waiting before I could kiss your soft baby cheek. And angel, I didn’t want to have to wait.
I came in after the surgery, and there you were a baby girl. Laying on your back, your baby belly button a sickly yellow. Your eyes were closed, and oxygen nubs stuck in your nostrils. Your rainbow silk blanket was tucked beside you, and a family photo album made out of soft cloth beside that. Oh baby girl, you looked like you were gone. You had blue and white stickers all over your chest, and cords of every color. Thin blue ones, thick grey ones, medium size white ones. And one was in your chest for the drainage. Baby sister, you were perfect.
You laid on your back weak for days, and could only move your beautiful blue eyes around the sterile hospital room.
Your arms and legs were wrapped in padding whenever our mama held you and rocked you back and forth.
You were just a baby. Just a six-month-old little baby and you had already had two heart surgeries.
You cried whenever you sat up, red-faced and tears streaming down your face. It hurt. And baby sister, I wish it didn’t have to.
Yet angel, you still smiled your baby smile of all gums. You still gazed innocently at the world around you.
Baby sister, you were perfect to me.
At two years it happened again. They took you away from me, baby sister. They stepped onto a plane, and this time I couldn’t come.
Three long weeks, baby sister. I waited for you to come home.
This time it was worse, I couldn’t even see your little round baby face. Or hair. Or hands. Or smile.
But when you came home again, more scars on her chest, it was worth the wait.
My piggy bank may have been empty, but my heart was full when I saw you hug the ballerina doll to your chest.
Baby girl, you are not, and will never be just a heart defect.
It doesn’t matter that you can’t run as fast as the other people on your soccer team, and it doesn’t matter that your chest has a billion scars.
You have battle scars, baby girl.
Ones you should be proud of because I sure am.
Some shirts show the scar because it creeps up to your collarbone, and sometimes you are ashamed, to have something that other little girls you know don’t.
Baby girl, you are not so little anymore, and the nightmares do not come as often.
But remember: If they do, don’t hesitate to wake me.
I waited so long, and through so much for you, that an hour of sleep, is just a blink of an eye.
If I had a big sister, I would want her to like you.
I would want her to sweet.
To have the heart to care for others, even after they have hurt you.
To have the brains to give me advice I would have never thought of.
And the kindness to forgive when I couldn’t.
If I had a big sister I would want her to be like you.
Prove them all wrong
I wish I could say all the things I never did.
To let the words I always held in, come pouring out. For you to stare at me, with words falling from my lips, and think, “And I let her go.”
Because you did.
I dug my nails deep into my palm,
And clenched my fists around my anger.
I closed my eyes to trap my tears,
And put my hands over my mouth to keep in words.
I put my hand on my belly to quench hunger,
And wrapped my arms around my myself to keep all of me in.
And I think it’s time to let go.
I miss you.
I miss you, and the sad part is that you are right there.
I’ve heard you can’t miss somebody when they are still around, but that isn’t true.
I see you run in the door, drop your backpack and leave.
I see you stay out until I go to bed, doing things I could never understand.
After all, I’m only the younger sister.
I miss you, and you are right here.
I didn’t see for two days last week, and I have not seen you yet today.
I miss you, but I don’t think you miss me.
I was always there and always have been.
Three years, Three months, Three days, and a matter of hours never seemed to long until now.
Until the doors of a high school seemed to mock me, and the words “Senior” and “Freshmen”.
You bought a new Xbox, a few years back, and our old Wii controllers gather dust.
Sadly you only have one controller for this new game, and I watch you play, an outcast yet again.
I try to remember times when we actually hung out and didn’t tramp around each other awkwardly.
It is hard, that is true, but I can still remember a time when I didn’t miss you.
Our “Olympics” in a blow-up pool, sticks that were trusty swords, the “stew” made out of moss and tree bark, our secret jokes, the plays we would put on (Robin Hood, etc.), the advice I gave you on girls when you were eleven, and the map I sketched out of a certain girls habits.
I miss you, and the sad part is: You are right there.
In the kitchen at night, when you open the fridge looking for snacks, I pass by on my way to bed. I whisper, “Goodnight, love you.”
“Uh, goodnight batch.”
Your old nicknames rings around the night silence, and I always wonder if you remember the other ones you use to call me.
It is comforting to hear a nickname, one that you never fail to call me even if we never really talk.
You’ve never called me by my real name, and I never want you to.
I know I miss you, but somehow you calling me my nickname makes it better.
Growing up is an odd thing, you never realize you are doing it until you find yourself changing.
Good or bad.
I miss you, and I feel like you changed in an odd-good\bad way.
I once knew a girl,
Who was everything to me.
Who I even considered,
More important than family.
But when I lay on my bed,
Sobbing became of another argument,
My family was all I had.
My brother gave me advice,
My younger siblings made me laugh,
And after a while I started to feel a beat in my chest,
But how could my heart act like you didn’t have half?
As the months past I started to realize,
What I should have long before,
You were only a girl, only a friend,
Simply a person I didn’t need anymore.
It’s human nature to grow stronger,
To change and to grow,
So while I still mourn the heartbreak,
I celebrate the knowledge I now know:
You were only a girl, only a friend,
And though it hurt,
It was a good end.
I learned my lesson from those trying times:
Nothing and no-one can take the place of my family.
She has been feeling it for a while now, the feeling that you were better off as a friend.
She liked the days of water gun fights, lip syncing to rap songs, school chicken dances, and video game battles than this.
The awkward silence in the car, only broken by too bright smiles and stilted conversation.
How holding hands became more of an expectation, than something done out of emotion or fun.
The texts saying, “Sorry, something came up. I can’t make it.”
How she has started feeling darker. Her music taste has changed because she has to with the knowledge that you were better as a friend.
You are not immortals.
When you fall you bleed, and when you hit you bruise.
Please stop acting like you are, with your leather jackets, converses, and cocky grins.
You are not immortal.
I said I was fearless, of practically anything.
Yet someone you were one of the things I feared most because you alone had the power to break my heart.
I told him I was a writer and was rewarded by the sparkle of interest in his eyes.
He didn’t want a normal girl, an artist girl, or a musical girl, he wanted something different.
I wonder if when he saw me, he thought, “Aha! A writer.”
He only saw one thing, one hobby, and one talent, and that was his own downfall.
He saw me as only a writer, and I am so much more.
I told him I was writer,
And saw his scheming glance,
He could live forever,
If I gave him a chance.
He thought I would write him in every story,
As the dashing hero,
But I guess it is time he learned,
No one can control a writer you know.
I typed his name in ink as black his intentions,
And said it was no mistake that he was the villain,
Because that is all he would ever be,
To a writer like me.
Imagine if the world was blind, then how many people would you impress?
Would people still like you because you smell like sandalwood and lemon?
Would they like you because your words are so descriptive and colorful that they don’t need to know you to know that you are wonderful?
Would they like you when you blurt out random facts about art techniques and how you imagine the color blue looks?
Or would you impress no one, because you counted far too much on your physical appearance?
There is bravery is being soft.
When the world wants hard, with crisp and straight edges, be soft.
Have talents, and abilities that don’t fit into the lines, and that flow beyond measure.
There is bravery in being soft.
A kind word will carry you farther than an ugly one.
And a nice person, will get further in life than a mean one.
There is bravery in being soft.
Thank you, A
It wasn’t until after you that I realized one very important thing:
It is true that I adored you, with everything that I thought I had, but I adored you, not myself. I should have adored bot.
I should have adored your green eyes, and freckle on your left cheek.
I should have adored the days spent at my best friends house with my feet propped up on the couch. Laughing my head off at some comedy, while my hair is being pulled into a french braid.
I should have adored the days you sat randomly down at the piano and plunked out “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” as best you could.
I should have adored the way your nose crinkled when you smiled or laughed.
I should have adored the black constellations I drew across my knuckles in Study Hall.
I should have adored the little notes you would pass me via paper airplane in Math.
I should have adored the white school chalk stain that was always on my church sweater.
I should have adored my short and stubby pinky toe.
I should have adored the songs you would put in your CD player whenever I went to your house.
I should have adored how my right pinky is slightly shorter than my left.
I should have adored how my palm had a callus for over a week thanks to hard work.
I should have adored all my blue t-shirts.
I should have adored how you always smelled like pine and cedar.
I should have adored the comfy pillows on your home’s sofa.
I should have adored the chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake I got for my birthday last year.
I should have adored the scented sparkly pens growing dusty in a mason jar somewhere.
And most important:
I should have adored myself.
And I should have adored you more.
You’re the kid who tried to find the end of the rainbow, and I guess you finally found out why it is so colorful: There is a world full of gray people at the other end.
You asked me to show you who I am, the real me.
And I couldn’t.
So maybe you left because of that and stopped talking because you thought I was too far gone.
The truth is, that I can’t because I don’t know how to start.
I am a thousand different things, outfits, foods, colors, memories, feelings, emotions, words, movies, flavors, tears, etc.
I am the time I fell off the hammock and got stung by a bee.
The time I saw my first violet/lavender colored crocus.
The first time my color pencil touched the paper.
The taste of my favorite Italian pizza.
The colors of New Years Fire Works.
I am half a billion things, and I couldn’t summarize myself if I tried.
If you were a more patient boy, you would have waited and found out.
Yet you have always been too eager, and I guess I was shut too tight. Whatever the reason, you found someone else who was more open. I found another memory to add to my millions.
There is something utterly courageous about having your nails painted. The euphoric feeling of having a bright pair of nails that clash and contrast with the bracelets jangling on your wrists.
I am not an extremely girly girl, in fact I might be considered a little bit of a tom boy in a fashion sense, but getting my nails done in a downfall.
My feet are okay, but nothing can compare to the euphoric feeling of confidence that comes when I see my brightly colored nails typing away.
They way the teal, dark blue, and coral clashes wonderfully with my bracelets and drawings on my hands.
There is almost nothing as euphoric as having your nails painted by a friend, and knowing you can make a mess out of them.
After all, isn’t being human a messy experience?
You can scratch them, you can chip them, and you can make a general mess of them, but of course you can always paint them again.
What’s your metaphor?
I found some pictures of me,
Before I started being ashamed of my body.
I didn’t look slightly out of breath,
From holding it in.
And I didn’t wear baggy clothes.
The drive to be thinner,
And prettier wasn’t there yet,
And there were so many hurtful people I hadn’t met.
I looked different.
And I don’t know if that is good or bad.
Did you forget everything I will always remember?
Dear Peter Pan, what kept you away?
I waited by window, a fairytale in hand but you never came.
I was ready to leave this place, and stop growing up, but you didn’t seem to feel the same.
I know it’s not London, and I am not Wendy, but I would have loved to fly away for a while.
But you didn’t come, even when my window was opened.
Peter Pan, what kept you away?
Growing up is a blessing, but it is also a curse.
I like to think that I am a lion-hearted girl.
I’ve been told that I am 110% bravery and 90% fearlessness.
But that is not all true, because even lions get afraid sometimes.
The day before I started my first day of middle school, I laid for hours on my bed.
I couldn’t handle the fear that was swamping me, and all my doubts that were killing me.
I went to school the next day.
And I lived.
With that knowledge, I went to school the next day. It didn’t kill me, but sometimes it sure felt like it.
An hour before I had to give my presentation to my entire class, I got nauseated.
Yet I did it.
You see, that is what makes a lion, a lion. They feel fear, and yet they conquer it.
They are able to go through fear, and not take that away in a memory.
I like to think I am a lion-hearted girl, but that doesn’t mean I am always brave.
Life is more than fitting into your jeans.
When you wake up in the morning, and you are all messy bed hair, and blurry eyes, that is an example of beauty.
On the Tuesday mornings you wake up sobbing because you feel too much, that is ok.
The funky days you spend with your friends, using an old art pallet you found in their attic paint on wrists and fingers.
The day after Valentine’s day when you have a tradition of bringing all your friends peonies.
The sleep-overs that have a secret code, full of shipping fictional characters and villains.
The late afternoon Saturday mall-trips where you try on every barret a certain store sells.
Buying old cameras at thrift stores just for the heck of it.
The times you laughed so hard soda or milk came out your nose.
The nerf gun fights you had with all your older brother’s best friends.
The late Sunday nights where you randomly make paper airplanes out of blue construction paper and throw them around the room.
The day before your Science bone quiz, you go about the house singing them in order to your own tune.
The sob-sessions with your bed, as you try to figure out how to unlove someone.
The random 3 a.m. sketches where you try to get the green eyes on paper to have the same glow and density of his.
How your friend wrote on your arm in 3D block letters, “DARLING”
The month where every Tuesday you wore a blue shirt of some shade.
The day your best boy friend took you to the fair and bought you cotton candy.
The mustard color sweater you stole from your best and tucked away in your own closet.
Your favorite blue and white striped shirt that has a stain from barbeque.
The rainy Monday morning you woke up and had to walk to school.
The grey tabby cat that you always use to see out your window every day, until one day you didn’t.
The first time you ever had vanilla soft serve.
Life is more than fitting into your jeans, and it is time I learned that too.
People act like beauty is all physical.
From your body to your hair, to your clothes. Yet somehow, that has never connected with me.
How can only the physical aspect prove your beauty?
Those things would only be a carbon plastic shell without kindness, brilliance, creativity, love, and emotion.
Those things are not a definition of beauty, and they shouldn’t be.
The truth is: What inside of them is the definition of beauty.
Being beautiful on the outside does not come with a guarantee that you will be beautiful on the inside.
It’s okay my little sister has a crack between her two front teeth.
She is the epitome of kindness and sass.
I am certain that we all would be just shells of ourselves if we did not have something more than the physical aspect.
After all, we are all beautiful.
I could tell that you were upset.
The basketball hitting the cracked concrete of the driveway gave it away.
As I pushed my wet hair out of my face and put an apple in my pocket, I knew that life was unfair.
Because it was messing with you.
One of my favorite people in the entire universe.
My best friend since day one.
I pulled on a worn pair of your old flip-flops and padded out the garage door.
I caught you mid shot, your long-fingered hands poised to shoot the ball towards the hoop.
Your back muscles were taunted underneath your forest green sweatshirt.
Stress lines cut through your forehead as your shot bounced off the rim.
It tumbled into some bushes, and your hands clenched.
I watched as you stalked over, and grabbed the ball again.
It was a perfect night.
Quiet, with only the street light illuminating us.
Early spring frogs croaked from the creek, and the night air was humid.
You poised to shoot again, and I said, “Pass.”
Your head swerved towards me, as your hands launched the ball at my chest.
I grabbed with awkwardly and made a crooked pass.
You caught it effortlessly and dunked it hard.
As it bounced back again, I wondered.
I wondered how I could I could bring it up, without you closing up tight like a clam.
When people are upset, silence is a delicate thing.
I can say that I am happy.
I danced today in the kitchen, wearing a pair of leggings my older cousin gave me, purely in bliss while making tacos.
My feet still have chipped nail polish (Coral colored) from a beach time a thousand years ago it seems, and they wildly swirl.
I leap, I turn, I twist, and I dance.
I hold the spatula in my hand, singing along to my favorite song blaring from the speakers.
I am wearing an old stained t-shirt (The stain thanks to pizza) passed down from my older brother.
It hangs like a long tunic over my leggings, and my short ponytail tickles my neck.
And you know what?
I am happy.
I was always told, that happiness is choice.
I never believed it, because I guess I never felt like I was happy for the past three years.
But now I can say, that I a happy.
I have my two best friends, that are as quirky as they come.
I have my blue polka-dotted fuzzy socks, I have my video-gaming sessions with my older brother, and I have a life.
That is enough to make me happy.
I once met a boy,
That I loved more than postcards,
Vintage photographs, looking up at the sky with my telescope,
Calligraphy, watercolor paintings, highlighters,
Loopy gold cursive “L”‘s, brown and blue Ilama socks,
British accents, creamy pasta, my vibrant yellow pastel crayon,
Seashells, lollypops, black hair, names that start with “P” or “R”,
The number “32”, peonies, dimpled baby hands, the word “aqua”,
Hot cocoa, 7:34 a.m, cookie dough, yellow ribbons, happy tears,
Metallic pens, abstract art, sea glass, robins, slides, coca cola’s in glass bottles,
The year 1955, cactuses, lumpy soft pillows, dark green bedsheets, breakfast toast,
Ice cream, pop music, mysteries, the smell of an old book, lemon and honey tea,
The month of May, Narnia, cute mugs, creme pie, recycled light bulbs,
French braids, wildflowers, fairytales, bonfires, pizza, blue and grey beanies,
Record players, typewriters, garden gloves, fresh cucumbers, feta cheese,
The word “Someday”, baggy sweaters, brown paper bags, purple roses,
Turtles, neon letters, Ireland, journaling, hippie grunge, marble, yellow sunbeams,
Velcro, Switzerland, butterflies, charm bracelets, dream catchers, soccer cleats,
Quotes, easy math equations, Literature papers, perfectly thin and grey skipping stones,
Cold lakes, the word “Smitten”, paisley designs, crepe cakes, scrambled eggs, marshmellos,
A boy with sandy blond curls,
And sea green eyes,
Only loved me as much as he thought he could,
A curly haired dreamer,
With blue-green-gray eyes,
Whose mouth was always full of opinions,
And head full of words
That wasn’t love,
That was trying,
And he (The boy),
Only hurt me,
In the most tragic wonderful way possible.
And in the end I finally realized my mistake,
I loved him entirely too much,
Because I forgot to love myself,
Along the way.
It is such a hard world to be different in.
I want to live life as if I am looking through a camera lense.
The color is set on black and white, and all perfections are blurred into a beautiful masterpiece of pure self.
I want to see life as if I am looking through a camera lense, because it is better that way.
You spot the little imperfections are beauty, because in a picture, they are.
You don’t mind that your left eyebrow is slightly more high than your right.
You don’t mind that your eyes seem more green than blue, or that the left freckle to the right of your chin looks like a loopsy-sided star.
In a picture, all imperfections are beautiful.
My morning routine is simple, the pattern etched onto my brain.
I get up.
I wander into the kitchen.
I sit in my favorite chair near the window.
And I miss you.
My baby sister called me pretty today.
She grasped my tangled curls and watched with wonder as they slid off her palm.
Then she said, staring right at me, “Pretty.”
Oh baby girl, thank you.
It was a bad day, with the usual head-aches and peer comparison.
Yet, I forget it all when you told me that.
I could have a thousand boys say it, and it would still not hold the meaning that it did.
Baby girl, you called me pretty.
And for a little while now, maybe I can feel it.
Once you write something, it becomes part of you.
Like something physical, but only you have that mental connection.
You can see the girl you wrote it for or the boy with green eyes you pictured.
You can feel the same sadness and heartbreak, and the same joy and love.
I was asked one day, what poem what my favorite.
What poem I loved the most, and what poem I had the most connection to.
I couldn’t say because they all were little pieces of me.
The bits that sometimes hid away, like some scavenger of words and emotions.
I couldn’t say which was my favorite, or which one I loved the most.
I told you the facts, as I always did.
How I wrote Missing, and Sweatshirt first.
They were the first poems that sparked my desire to change my writing style, to something a bit more me-ish.
How “Zoee” was inspired by a girl, I sat by in my history class.
And “Beautiful” from the time I got weird looks when I wore my older brother’s baseball cap, and a baggy hoodie.
But they were just facts.
Because the simple truth is:
My poems are a part of me, I am just the breathing roots.
They are tiny fragments of myself, that have flaked off.
Been broken off, because people didn’t see them as good parts of me.
Been tore off, because of the days I didn’t think they were beautiful.
And been gathered from around me.
In the few seconds, I stare into a boy’s eyes or a few minutes with a “nerdy” girl.
You can’t expect me to have a favorite when they are part of me.
That is like asking which toe I like best, or which one I wouldn’t care being cut off.
There is no answer to a question when I can only state facts because the truth is:
My poems are part of me.
They don’t breath (Maybe), and they don’t do anything really physical, but golly, they are real to me.
Don’t let them tell you, that you are not beautiful.
That the reflection you see in shop windows, dressing room mirrors, reflected in still water, and seen in bathrooms, is ugly.
Or maybe they don’t call it ugly.
Maybe it’s skinny. Stick girl. Or “Poor little skinny stick.”
Maybe it’s fat. Jello. Or “Fatty.”
Perhaps it is “unattractive,” or some other horrible adjective.
But you know what?
I rather be called those names a thousand times, then be nasty enough on the inside to be able to say them.
I don’t need opinions, of those who do not know me.
I don’t need nasty words because you don’t approve of how I look.
I don’t deserve to be treated that bad, and I won’t.
Because if I ever listened to the numbers on the scale, and the words people said, I would see myself as those things.
But since I know the truth, I don’t believe lies.
I know the truth that everyone is beautiful.
I am beautiful.
That there is a world full of people.
And among them all, there are people who love me.
They love my quirky words, like “Catdoodle,” and “Pringle-Popsicles.”
They love my Thursday night dance sessions and my Sunday night school dread.
And because of that, I can say proudly that I am beautiful.
A mirror reflects what you feel, remember that.
So please feel beautiful, because that is what you are.
I always hated the word “empty.” I would be sitting at a restaurant drinking, and I would stop.
“Don’t drink it all.”
My brain said.
“Or it will be empty.”
There is no such thing as empty. An empty glass is full of atoms, and memories. Maybe a boy with curious green eyes drank out of the cup, three days before you.
Perhaps a famous president touched the dusty china in your grandmother’s cabinets.
Yet nothing is empty.
A room cannot be empty because it is always full.
The walls show images in wallpaper and paint if you look close enough.
A red stain near the top trim tells of a sleepover full of giggles, secrets, and red nail polish.
Wallpaper is slightly more blue in one spot, from a never-admitted paint accident.
A room is never empty, as long as the walls speak.
And a room is never empty as long as the floor can tell the tale of footprints and more
Giggly summer feet from a sprinkler
Graceful dancing feet, as a big night approaches.
And floor-angels for the giddy nights of cloud nine happiness.
A room can never be empty.
A closet can never be full, or empty, even when everything physical is gone or stuffed to the ceiling.
Nothing can ever be empty, as long as emotions, memories, music, and atoms exist.
I once knew a girl,
Who was the was the must wonderful person.
She was the kind of girl who danced alone on Friday night wearing her unicorn slippers.
The kind of girl who learned how to crochet just so she could make her cat Quincy a collar.
The girl who made DIY Harry Potter Remberalls, and wands out of chopsticks.
The girl who liked poppies and pansies in a bouquet, even though they clashed.
The girl climbed on her roof the first day of spring just to see if “her robins” came back.
And the girl who met a boy.
A wonderfully strange and tragically normal boy.
And the last time I saw her,
Was when she was scribbling a note for me to tape on his door before she moved to Florida.
The note said,
“P.s I never told you, but I was falling in love.”
Becaus she thought the boy was wonderfully strange and unique, but in reality, he was tragically normal.
Because he broke her heart.
We spent our Friday nights dancing in my kitchen.
You liked country, I liked pop, but you always let me choose.
I would be wearing a big sweatshirt and my blue fuzzy socks.
A spatula was my microphone, and I never could get the tune right.
But you didn’t care because things were perfect then.
I would make fried ham and pancakes, my favorite night indulgence.
You would always laugh, as I hogged the chocolate chip pancakes.
Afterwards, while washing dishes, just a few minutes till you had to go home, you would always say, “Promise me that you will always dance in those socks every Friday night.”
I always said yes.
But what I should have said was,”Promise me you will always be there.”
Because you were not.
So when I swing my siblings around, listening to their favorite Disney music every Friday night, promise me that you never forgot.
Never forgot the girl who danced in her blue fuzzy socks, listening to pop music.
Because by golly,
I have yet to forget you.
I grew out of my jeans today.
I have been wearing them for over two years, and somehow I still feel like I grew too fast.
I wore them when they tightened around my waist and thighs.
I wore them when they squeezed my calves and ankles.
And I wore them because I was in denial that I needed new jeans.
Some people would consider it funny, how others hate getting new jeans.
It is not the fact that I spend money on denim, but the fact that I grew.
My waist got bigger, and my thighs probably did too.
Which means while I have been avoiding the scale, I have gained weight.
No, it is not the denim.
Or the squirmy feeling in my stomach when I pluck size six jeans off the rack.
It is the feeling of the failure.
Like I have failed myself somehow.
All the days I only ate one meal or less.
All the days I tried.
All for nothing, because I grew out of my jeans today.
And I cried when I folded them away.
I know my little sister might never wear them because her thighs don’t touch.
And she doesn’t hate the scale.
So I will fold away my jeans that I grew out of today and perhaps never see them again.
Goodwill might have them in a few years, or make I will make so new DIY craft out of them.
But the fact is: I grew out of my jeans today. And I cried because that means I have somehow failed.
I don’t know why or how, but I do know that I feel like two years is not long enough for a pair of jeans.
There are so many types of hair.
I cannot even fantom all the different kinds, designs, and types.
There is the silky golden brown hair, that is just the right length. It tumbles and twists in a mass of waves and puff. Whenever it is wet it turns into beautiful little spirals of ringlets, that never seem to stay. It is pinned in place with billions of bobby pins and gallons of hair-spray. Or on the days when no one is going to see, it is pulled into a crazy messy bun. Pieces of hair darting in every direction, not confined by clips or hair products.
There are the springy brown and black curls. They circle your head like a halo of thickness, and dance whenever you throw your head back in laughter. They are let loose, to “breathe”. There is no confining this thick and glorious hair. Sometimes it is battled down with hairspray and other products to be shoved into a tight bun. This is only for VERY important events. Usually, it is left to spring about when you walk jauntily down the sidewalk, and frizzy whenever it gets too humid.
There is the thin and poofy dark brown hair. It is a “dreadful” mix between curly and straight. The end results if poof or frizz. When it is vainly tried to be curled or straightened, the end result is never like the package covering. You lose pieces, or it makes your head look very up and down. It just won’t seem to behave at all! So most days it is pulled out of the way is a very practical ponytail, or in intricate braids sprayed with hairspray so the hair does not come out.
There are the slick and glossy short waves that fall to barely your shoulders. They are pinned with cute gold pins so it wildly but beautifully frames the face. Every day a new and neat style, because the hair seems so manageable.
There is the hair that is dyed a dark emerald green. It is very bob-like and has mini waves running through it. Bangs brush over the eyebrows when they get too long, and cutely curl around the top of the head. It is constantly getting tangled in dangly earrings of pom-poms or silver flowers. It is complemented by little girls and tattooed women. Everyone else seems to think it is too bright and weird.
There is the dark hair that is highlighted at the bottom tips. It is always neatly curled at the ends, and pulled back expertly.
There is the thick black straight hair. Each strand is glossy and healthy. It tumbles down the back like a black waterfall. It is usually pulled back a by golden flower clip, or lazily flung over one shoulder.
There is the pin straight golden blonde that falls exactly to the shoulders. It brushes the top of any jean jacket and comfortably brushes up again ears.
The thick dark brown frizzy hair that only hangs to your shoulders. It sticks out wildly framing your face and tickles your shoulder’s blades when you wear a swim-suit.
There is the faded orange color that is bound to be straight. It compliments fair skin, the multiple freckles. It is awfully hard to style though. When you wear braids people say you look like Anne Shirley. When you wear a bun people say you look like a businesswoman (Which you are not) and when you wear a ponytail people find a way to disagree with that too!
There is the light matte brown, which is unpredictable. It is sometimes straight, curly, frizzy, poofy, or wild. It is, however, the perfect hair for buns.
There are the wild auburn waves/curls that tumble around a set of blue eyes. It is crazy hair, streaking with gold and red.
There is the dyed pink hair, that earned the woman who has it the name, “Bubblegum”
There are so many types of hair, and each one is unique and beautiful. Never forget that.
A bed is the most loyal thing in the world.
It holds you and your little girl and boy dreams.
It spikes imagination of the monster hiding beneath, and the kind fairy who keeps it away.
It is the perfect reading spot for Nancy Drew books and the Dangerous Book for Boys.
The best place to lay on your stomach and play video games.
The best place to write poetry and stories.
The most wonderful place for pillow fights, and action figure battles.
The quietest place for inventive thinking and messy little child engineering sketches.
The best place for angry and embarrassed tears, for when the older boys tease.
The most secret place for sad and heartbroken older girls tear.
And the most loyal place, to find a friend who will never talk when you need silence.
And when you grow out of bed in height, I can promise you will never grow out of it in spirit. Because if your bed only taught one lesson, let it be loyalty. Your bed has always been loyal to you, and when the day comes for it to go away, it is your turn to be loyal to it. Your turn, to be loyal to its memory, and always remember the lessons it taught you.
I was your best friend growing up.
We caught frogs, dressed up as King Arthur and his knights, and did everything that wonderful together.
I held your hand during a scary movie when we were both six.
We had our first sleepover together and laughed so hard chocolate milk came out our noses.
I tried to braid your hair and fix it with my pink and purple butterfly clips. You kept saying, “Ow, ow, ow, OWWWWWWWW. OW, ow, ow, OWWWWW.”
Once you stole my ice-cream cone and I cried for fifteen minutes until you had your mom buy me a new one.
I taught you how to do a fancy spin while dancing to classical music.
You taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow.
We raced laps in the pool, and you would always let me win because you were faster.
We always use to fight over the last slice of pizza.
You would always say, “Ladies first.” When we went to a haunted house. That was literally the one time you remembered to say it and follow the rule.
You loved avocado’s and I hated them.
You were an extrovert and I was an introvert. You made me do amazingly risky things, and I made you stop seeing the world as you always had: A playground.
Wanderlust was twisted in every strand of your DNA, but I was fine to stay home.
You let me draw a Harry Potter lightning scar on your head in sharpie, and you wore it to school with pride. (5th Grade)
On my birthday one year, you bought me ten blue and gold balloons.
(My favorite colors) You bought them with your own money and hid them in my room.
We were playing tag with some of your friends one day after school and I tripped. I hurt my ankle but didn’t want to seem like a “crybaby” because that had been my nickname for a very long time. You noticed and insisted we stop because you “Had a broken toe.” When we went to the doctor it turned out I had a bad sprain. You, in order not to embarrass me, wore a bandage on your toe for a week.
Remember the sledding accident we had? You had a black eye for a week because you hit the mailbox, not me. You always said it was luck, but then I wonder why you leaned the sled……….
One day when I was being teased at school, you called your mom. Then after school, you guys took me to a bookshop, and I got to buy the series I had been wanting.
I like remembering things like this when we were younger. Because when you got older, things got different. You were more distant and less caring. Football practice, parties, and other social events kept us apart. You rose in social rankings, and I stayed at the bottom. I liked spending Friday nights at home, drinking hot cocoa. You use to do it with me, but you stopped when these things started taking up your time.
Why did you change? If I had a reason, maybe it would not hurt so much. I hate how people tell me we were so different, from completely different universes.
We were not. Our differences made our friendship stronger because we were each other’s support. We changed each other’s views and helped each other think outside of the box.
No, what changed us I think was what we believed. I believed in simplistic, and that life did not have to be fancy to be real. You believed in the better things of life. The partying, the sports, and the fans. You didn’t want to change your views, to help fit into my world or understand me. So you stopped trying. I could not fit into your world, and you didn’t want me to. You somehow wanted us both: Me, and the world of your devising. Where you were popular, a sport king, and had tons of friends.
In the end that is what made us split, you didn’t care enough about me to try. And I cared enough about you not to.
I will respect your choice, but that does not mean I will ever like it.
People say I was just your imaginary friend because we never talked again after tenth (Sophomore year) grade. I was simply enough shy introverted nerd, and you were the school’s popular golden boy. Athletic and chivalrous to the very core. (Was what everyone said.)But boy, you were never anything but real to me.
Some days I still wake up with the urge to talk to you. Tell you about my life. But then I remember: You don’t care anymore. We grew apart, because being friends with a girl, especially one like me, was not cool.
I hope you are happy, living the kind of life you chose over me.
Because I’m not, but I would give anything in the world to make you happy. And it seems like you are.
“I once knew this beautiful and talented woman, and one day I finally asked the question I had been thinking:
“What made you so happy in life?”
She stared at me for several minutes and said,
“I was having body image problems before I turned eleven. I was battling with the beginnings of anxiety and soon-to-be depression at the time. There was this little old woman who ran this bookshop and coffee store just down the road. My friends loved to eat there after school, and I would often tag along. I would only get water, or something I knew had barely any sugar or fat. I was already counting calories and watching my weight before I turned thirteen. Anyway, the little old woman watched my friends and I come in day after day. One day she finally called me over to the side of the shop and told me, ‘Love, why don’t you eat?’ I was scared and embarrassed. I said shamefully, ‘Because I don’t feel pretty.’ Her wrinkled eyelids closed for a moment and she said, ‘Let me tell you something, darling. It will guide you through life and help you live it to its fullest. And so she told me this list:
- Flaunt your rolls as well are your curves.
- Take up whatever space in the world you want, and remember, big doesn’t mean fat, it means more.
- Eat whatever you want, because heaven knows you are wonderfully made, darling.
- Be vain when you are feeling ugly, or like a misfit.
- Never listen to the haters, because they never tell the truth.
The little old lady died after my sixteenth birthday. Her name was Birdie Mae. She was one of my best friends and biggest supporters. Her coffee shop and bookshop closed down and was made into a shoe store. But I never forgot Birdie, because she gave me something better than friendship: She gave me a code to which I have forever lived my life.
“Sorry” you would say. And I would reply back, “It’s okay, we’re good.”
Oh, but we were not.
I wish I had remembered what mama taught me,
“Never say it is just okay. If they did something worth saying sorry over, then it was certainly not ok. Say ‘I accept your apology’, nothing more.”
I never said that you kept doing things that were worth saying sorry over. Again and again, you made the same mistake, and I always said, “It’s okay.”
No, it’s not. It’s not okay, and I’m not okay.
You don’t make me feel okay, and that should matter more than anything else.
I danced to Disney songs last night, wearing my PJ shorts and favorite pair of fuzzy socks. I wore an old sweatshirt I forget I had, and pulled my frizzy hair out of my face.
And somehow, I felt ok.
Don’t text me
Please by golly text me so we can talk about it.
Don’t try to get your friends to talk to me in the hallways.
Please do, because they carry little pieces of you. Like their leather jackets and quirky smiles………except they are not you. Never you.
Don’t still call me sweetheart.
It hurts. But I feel like it still means something, so please do.
And don’t act like every girl is invisible just to make me feel better.
It did make me feel better for a time.
I like your midnights,
And your sunrises.
Does that make me a hypocrite?
No, that simply makes me someone who loves you,
Don’t let one thing define you.
Don’t just be the girl who wears pink,
And blue striped socks.
Or the one who doodles on her hands and shoes.
Don’t take your wonderful mess,
Of large hips,
And wild words,
And try to squeeze it,
Into a 2 by 4 square,
Don’t take the normal adjectives,
You have always heard,
And place them a label,
Right below your name.
If they were ever used to describe you,
They have been overused.
No one could simply sum you up,
From your bright painted toe-nails,
To the roots of your curly and frizzy hair.
Take crazy words,
And throw them around like confetti.
Don’t trap or squeeze yourself,
Under a one word subtitle,
Underneath the word “Me,”
When you are,
So amazingly magnificent.
Be a never-ended scrapbook of old thoughts, obessions, feelings, and emotions.
Because that is the best way,
To live as yourself.
I laid in bed awake until 6:30, where I watched the sun rise through my gossamer curtains.
I traced the pattern of a heart on my bright yellow bedspread.
And most importantly:
I tried not to think about you.
My mind drifts from random subjects to important memories every passing millisecond, until finally, inevitably, it lands on you.
The word is poetry that this world is not grand enough to write.
My startling saffron sweater is draped over my reading chair, and I wish that all the atoms that composed would just disappear. Take the piece of cloth that holds some many memories stitched into the very core of it, from the bright yarn to the mismatched buttons.
My black and light blue striped socks are thrown somewhere. Anywhere.
I couldn’t stand to wear them, it was like the very wool they had been knitted with was reacting to the news just as my heart was breaking.
My hands are dead pale and lifeless objects attached to my arms. They are folded gracelessly in my lap like all the muscles died. I could move them. But then I would be bombarded with the memories. Your own pale hands. How they held mine. How it felt, your rough palm cradling mine.
I can’t smile. The muscles in my face and jaw have been frozen in the moment. The moment of extreme and horrible shock. I can’t even manage your quirky little half smile you would pull off even on your worst days.
Why? Why did you say what you did? I hate myself for loving you, because you never did me.
And the sad thing is,
Is that to me,
The word you,
Is still the most beautiful poetry I have ever read.
Dear Subway Cashier, who made you doubt?
I saw the words tattooed on your wrist, the black ink stark against your fair skin.
“I am art.”
Oh, but do you believe?
Red hair, freckled skin, lifeless brown eyes, what did life do to you?
We all come into the world, as crying red babies flailing our fists at life. And I can tell you for certain, that you were perfect then.
I can tell you the pale white scar you have on your wrist from a bike accident, does not mar anything.
Beauty is not defined by the supermodels we see on the fashion covers. Their faces flawlessly sculpted by make-up and camera flashes.
Beauty is not defined by all the “teen” stars we see on Instagram, posting their snap-chat photos.
That is not reality.
That is not the beauty I see in you, and that is not the beauty I see in others.
You don’t do Sephora commercials or have 10,000 thousand followers, but by god you are beautiful.
I can count one hand how many people I have met with red hair and fair skin.
You have a slight smile that never seems to leave your face, even while working.
You have wonderfully white and unique teeth and a freckle on your left earlobe.
Please don’t stare straight forward, your chewed nails tapping the cheap plastic of your keyboard.
Don’t let the sadness and darkness well up in you while waiting for just another customer.
Don’t come to work with thin slashes on your wrists, and an empty look in your eyes.
Because subway cashier girl, you are art.
And I am sorry for what the world did to make you feel that you are not.
“I’m very busy,”
“Thank you so much for inviting me though.”
“I hope I can come next time.”
She chants words in her head:
Smile a plastic smile.
Say what they want to hear.
Act like the person they want to be and to look up to.
And never act like you are heartbroken………………because that is social suicide.
She’s not busy at all. She finishes her HW in class, so her mind is filled with equations and metaphors instead of him. It is always him. After school, she sobs into her pillow, her mascara smearing. She rips off her tight and restricting clothes. She puts on her baggy sweatpants and a big t-shirt advertising some college she will never go to. And then she tries to find something to do. Watch a TV show everyone loves, so she can add into the gossip. Research her favorite beauty products to see if they are on for sale. None of it ever works. Her mind always drifts back to him. Always him.
This is a letter to myself,
Because I must remember you,
As a lesson,
Not as something I lost,
When I could have had it.
Please forgive me,
For not hardening you against him,
And forcing my cardiac muscle,
Not to flutter so.
Why didn’t you,
Protect the heart,
As you were made to do?
Because he reached his fingers through,
And crumbled my heart to dust.
I didn’t have better control,
Because maybe I could have done something,
So every time you smile,
It wouldn’t be painful.
For growing up and wiring you,
To believe in true love.
Because that was my downfall:
Believing in true love,
While he only believed,
Push me down.
Watch my face hit the dirt.
See the scratches, cuts and bruises.
And watch as I get up every time.
Missing comes in stages, that I never could predict with you.
It would strike me in the middle of the day while in the cafeteria laughing with my friends. We would be acting out one of our favorite memories. One of them would laugh, and say, “Who is going to be __________________?”
Just like that, it was a hammer blow. It’s been over two weeks, but still, your name can make all my armor disappear.
Or it would hit me at night while I looked my worst. My hair would be pulled up in a bun, and my glasses slipping down my nose. I would have multiple pencils stuck random places like behind my ears, or threaded through my hair. I would be knee deep in homework when I would be struck by a thought. A memory. We use to have homework “dates” at least twice a week. Just studying together, or sharing knowledge. Those were the best times, with neither one of us wearing our social masks. Your hair would be sticking up everywhere, and you would not be wearing your usual ball cap. Sometimes we would finish homework early, and I would mess around with your hair. Trying to braid it, and twist it into funny styles. You never complained. I would remember the homework date, or my phone would buzz with a notification. I would pick it up, and a picture of us would blare at out me. I didn’t have the courage to change my lock screen, and it hurt every time I looked at it.
Sometimes missing you would hit in the morning after the first period. My friends would be whispering in the hall, saying your name because they dared not to say it to me. It was the subject that was danced over, like as if someone had died. I guess maybe two people did: The people we were together. They would act like you were the villain, to make me feel better. They just don’t understand, that you were no villain. You were not some horrible playboy who made friends with me with the purpose to break my heart. Or something else equally horrible. No, you were wonderful. And that is the hard part, knowing you wonderful and that you are gone. It might have been better if you had done something horrible so I maybe perhaps I could hate you. But I don’t think I could ever hate you.
Some days I would start to miss you before I even woke up because even dreams were no escape. Every single little thing around me, in the “haven” of my room, reminded me of you. Us. That is what life is like when you were friends with someone for over two years, and then dated for five months. It is like a curse. Several times a day I hate myself for choosing the classes that I chose because our paths crossed daily. I would be on my way to Art, and you on your way to PE. I would walk past just as you were stepping out the gym door joking with one of your friends. Or walking down the hall towards the door. You would freeze, and the laughter would drain from your face. That is one of the worst parts, watching you look at me pale-like. I know you must be going through what I am, and that hurts too. I promised you that no matter what, I would never hurt you. It was a stupid and fickle promise to make, and I should have known I would break it. Yet after five months, it was like we were in the clear……..until we were not anymore.
I feel like an imposter in my own skin, walking through the halls in a zombie-like daze. Sometimes I will catch myself, walking towards your Marine Biology class. We use to meet there every day to walk to the cafeteria together. Habits die hard, and I can’t seem to shake them. My friends and I use to sit at the table with your friends, but now we choose a small side table. I can tell that it hurts some of my friends because they are close to your friends. I hate how I talk about them in two separate groups because they use to be one. We have broken them in half, and the guilt is swallowing me.
My closet and my clothes are not touched often enough. I will sneak into my older brother’s room, and take an old sweatshirt of his. His cologne is comforting, it’s like he is not at college but here holding me. My clothes are infiltrated with yours because I use to love stealing your shirts. They smelled like pine and rainwater and bagged around my shoulders. I would snuggle into them, and wear my favorite pair of fuzzy socks. I have ball caps you gave me, that still hold the memory of your teasing grin as you said handing them to me, “If you keep stealing mine, I might as well give you a few. Of course, I expect my other five you took back, but I don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon.” It didn’t because I have a total of sixteen ball caps sitting on top my dresser, cluttering the shelves on my bookcase, and tucked in random everyday places.
My favorite books mock me, and I often cry silently staring at them. Am I weak for doing that? I shared them with you, and sometimes you would read them aloud while I curled myself into a ball listening. You understood how connected I felt to the stories, and bought me ice cream after you read aloud Fault in our Stars.
You understood my mood swings like no one else did. When I was reserved and shrinking into myself you knew my anxiety was at the surface. You would make me laugh, or purpose a cooking battle where the loser had to clean up. You lost more times than I could count, but you always made me laugh. Dancing around the kitchen wearing a purple checkered apron and a pink bandanna around your head. When I was stressed you would help me break down all my work, and help me by doing little things like unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming my house. When I was angry you would put on a soft pop music playlist, and said with that crooked grin of yours, “Would thou mi’lady care to dance?” You would prance me around the room, stepping on toes and banging into couches. When I was extremely happy or funny you knew I was on cloud nine. You also knew that one wrong move while I was in this euphoric mood could cause me to come crashing down in a sad heap. So, you would indulge me. You would play video games with me, listen to my micro-chatter, and laugh at all my jokes.
You always had the best hugs, ones that were tight but no confining. I loved how you were barely taller than me (3 inches) so I could mess up your hair playfully while on my tip-toes. You would hug me randomly without reason. I would ask you why, and you would only say, “Does every hug need a reason?” You would come up behind me and hug me in the hall. It was always a surprise and I would screech like some inhuman thing. Everyone would stare and you would laugh yourself silly. It was one of your favorite things to do. Even when it stopped being scary, I would scream. It was one of the things we did together, something that made us, us. You would hug me while I was doing homework, washing dishes at my house, playing hide-in-seek with my family, and everything else I did.
You were truly funny. Not the “funny” that every girl seemed to love. No, you were the funny that never insulted anyone or put anyone down. Whenever you made a hilarious joke or comment I would laugh my head off and call you goofball. All our friends would stare at us and either say “Awe, you’re so cute together!” (GIRLS) or “You get his jokes?!?!!?!? What was that one about?” (BOYS) You use to say when we were friends, “I’m gonna marry you because you are the only one who gets my jokes!” I always laughed it off, saying to myself, “He is not serious. Plus, other people get his jokes……right?”
I never wanted to take French in high school but it was the only class they had that was not full. You would always laugh when I was angry because I would insult you in French. I would call you cow, and mouse and anything else insulting we had learned so far. The French say, “tu me manques” instead of “I miss you.” It means, “you are missing from me.” When I learned that last week, I sobbed on my bed. Why must everything circle back to you?!
I woke up a few nights ago, sure I heard your voice. I did because my phone I had glitched. It was playing a video of the two of us having a pizza eating contest. I had downed seven, but you had beat me by three. We were both laughing through mouths full of sauce and cheese, our lips smeared orange from grease. One of the things I loved about you was your voice. It was not incredibly deep, or very high. It was in a class all on its own, and I loved it. You use to recite to me to make me laugh, a line you had to memorize in third grade. “You’re entirely bonkers But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” I would smile, and you would grin. That quote was our always.
I miss how you made me feel. You knew one of my quirks was that I didn’t like being called “beautiful.” I thought it was an overused adjective. So, you called alluring, astounding, captivating, bewitching, disarming, elegant, dynamic, exquisite, genuine, glowing, lovely, intriguing, magnetic, phenomenal, radiant, sunny, rare, unique, and wonderous. You complimented me evry other sentence but you never used the word beautiful….and that was wonderful.
You would text me random questions in the middle of the night, all sweet and weird. “If you had choose between these two things to live without what it would be? (Pizza or me.) I replied pizza but I knew that I would give up almost anything for you. And that scared me. “When people say it’s raining cats and dogs, do the raindrops really resemble animals?” you texted me one morning at 4 a.m. You would also text jokes, bad puns, and your favorite songs. I screen shot so many of your messages because each one was more surprising and sweet than the last.I let one of my best friends play on a phone for a few minutes one-day last week and she told me, “Chica, you have an obsession.” (Talking about all my photos) No, I don’t. We both did, we both had an obsession for each other…..and that was the special part.
I have wrote so many text messages that I never sent to you. It hurts to say I am cowardly when it comes to you, but I am also selfish. I know you would probably be better off without me but I can’t same the same for myself. (It is the third week of radio and verbal silence from the both of us.) At first you use to try to text, still telling me goodmorning. And goodnight. You would tell me a different way each time how sorry you were, and try to explain yourself. I read the texts, and told myself not to respond. I missed you, but if you really wanted to talk me, I passed you multible times a day at school. Some people would say you were “respecting my space” but I knew that everything in life was solved by comminication. If you were not willing to even try it, why should I respond to a text?
My younger sister started to sing along to a song on the radio a few days ago. It was Lost Boy by Ruth B. It use to be our favorite song to sing together because we were both fans of Neverland. You use to say that you were Peter Pan and I was Wendy……………..I don’t think I’m a Neverland character anymore, because every character has something to do with you. “Peter Pan” And I couldn’t bear to be your enemy like Captin Hook, so in the end, I don’t think I belong at Neverland anymore. The time we can together was wonderful, our little slice of perfection, but like Neverland must one day: It has come to an end.
I will still hold a little hope that things might change, but I know in my heart that this happens all the time. Relationships end. People cry. And people move on. It happens daily, hourly, and every second around the world. I just wish that maybe you and I were the couple that got through it.
I will always miss you, or at least remember a part of you. Yet I will delete the photos, and walk more confidently. I have accepted that we are done, even though I wish we were not. Your name will not be tip-toed around, because after all, what we had was wonderful when it lasted.
Goodbye Peter Pan, Goodbye Neverland, Goodbye.