i used to dream of glory, of gilded lights and something more. i had it all planned out on a corkboard on the wall, all my heroes just another wish away. another fight, another early morning, as i watch myself turn to stone. i used to taste it on my tongue, and i’ll be hearing that echo for the rest of eternity. if i closed my eyes, i could hear a choir singing in my throat. and i used to look at your eyes and think i deserve this. i used to clench bedsheets in my fists; i was going to do better.

and maybe in another world, i could have played that game.

now you look up to me, ask me to catch you while you fall, and i am failing in all categories. just like everyone else is. i snap too quickly, and i jump to my conclusions. stay up past midnight, laze around all morning, blaming my problems on anyone else. anyone, anyone—anyone but myself.

i used to stay up late, working in a frenzy. i used to sit inside all afternoon. i used to scribble down plans in the margins of notebooks, and now all i want to do is lie on the floor and breathe, like i only just woke up.

i used to follow my dreams with a desperate kind of certainty. it all felt years away. when fate was on my side, because it had to be. because i was made for this, no really. and in my head, it all seemed neat, and easy, a clear narrative carved into stone.

now i sit by the water, and i close my eyes, rest my face in clammy palms. now i walk slow by the shore. i bite my lips until they bleed, and waste time staring blankly at the walls and chewing on my cheeks. now i fill my head with cotton-candy, now i curse the gifts i have.

now i sit by the bus stop, watching the graffiti conversations grow. i want to scratch my name onto the railing, scribble initials in pen. i won’t do it, but i’ll think about it, every now and then.

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