one eye open

started saving up for college at six years old

squirrelled away birthday money in preparation

 for a world that didn’t give a damn about me

i was gonna be an actuary

make a lot of money

and never worry about rent

or if i had enough money to pay for food

started planning for the end at seven years old

‘cause the documentaries said we were burning up the sky

and there was nothing i could do

and i’d kill

to go back to fifth grade, and give myself a hug

‘cause i sure as hell wasn’t doing it

when i was that age

and neither were you

because the kids aren’t kids they’re machines

they’re weapons, they’re standing in place

cracked-glass skulls and coffee-cup brains

cause she doesn’t want to walk home at night

doesn’t want a hand on her shoulder

she hasn’t had a nice dream in years

and that says something, doesn’t it?

that even your dreams, the only thing that matters

is raw, pounding fear

and when he falls asleep, he just wants it to be like in the movies

wants it to be fun, and easy

wants adults to have his best interests at heart

wants someone to hold him, and call him sweetheart

but the adults are worn ragged and thin

only off at ten-o-clock

the kids, they are burning down

they are taking their lives in middle school

they have lost and they have loved

they’ve seen it all at twelve years old

felt every rotten word on their tongue

the kids are not kids

they’re chessboards and loaded guns

crying with one eye open in darkened bedrooms

bitter and unlucky

calloused fingers and stars entwined

and i wish i could go back in time

i wish i could give you a hug, and tell you

that things will get better

even if i don’t quite believe it yet

i wish i could preach to the choir

and tell you to do as i say, not as i do

‘cause i’m a wreck, really

smashed out on the rocks, fingers sticky

from slices of honeydew

wish i could walk back in time, and find the girl i could have been

sometimes, i miss her too


I’ve always felt like the way childhood was characterized in the media versus how it actually happened in a really messy, fucked-up world were two different things. And I wish it was fun, and easy, and that kids didn’t grow up so fast. Because I think what to what I was like, and hear stories from my peers, and it just breaks my heart.

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