june 3rd, 2022

the flowers i picked last week have started to wilt. i haven’t touched my paints in ages, but i miss it. that quiet, peaceful feeling. if i fuck up, no one’s gonna be around to see the watercolour stains on my desk. i’ll wipe them up with paper towel, and start all over again. i don’t fit the old t-shirts i wore at thirteen, and i never really liked that grey sweater anyway. but i wore it, all those years ago, and for three minutes i really felt pretty, so i’ll take it with the grave before i give up the memory. the pictures on the wall are starting to peel, and the pages of my favourite books are turning yellow. i’m reading for hours, and i’m talking on the phone. practise smiling in the mirror, and think who the hell is that girl? i curse my quick tongue, wish i knew when to speak and when to shut the fuck up. for now, i’ll have to make do. i’ll sit by the lake, and i’ll think about you. about fate, and destiny, gods who never did much for me. poke holes and rip at seams, bite my lip until it bleeds, and stay up reading advice columns on my phone. but i am not thirteen, and when i see the author’s picture, i wonder: good god, what do any of us know?

heavy

sand your skull down to tissue paper and thread over the course of two weeks, in search of something that you might never reach. pace back and forth, talk on the phone. smile and nod, set the weight down on the table when you walk out the door. buckle beneath its weight as soon as you get home. feel it in your gut, shifting and squirming. in the ache of your spine, the creaking of your knees. learn about tragedies, how the darkness will only sting if the reader sees the sun, and define life aross the pathways of your veins. every night, you lie awake, and every morning you rise with the sun. do it for love, or money. or a half-baked chance at survival. go swimming in your sorrows, dress them up in bows and ribbons. eat dirt for breakfast and lunch in hope of forgiveness that may never come. walk the line, and stare into the sun with eyes that never close. feel the ice of june crawl down your spine. soften, for half a moment longer. find something else to glorify, to worship on an altar and smash to bits a few years down the line. after all these fucking years, i can’t beleive that i’m still scared to look you in the eye.

wreckage

the other day, i found ripped-out pages from my notebook in a  box under my bed. they’ve been sitting there for ages, and when the paper crinkles beneath my fingertips and dust starts to bury me, i feel like i’m ten years old, half the world still unknown to me.

nostalgia’s gonna be the death of me. i treat old notebook pages just like they were people, left them rotting in desk drawers and tucked under pillows. sometimes i wish it wasn’t all framed on walls for show. sometimes i put on my old flannel shirts and feel like i’m fourteen years old and seeing red, cause the world wasn’t even halfway like what you promised it would be. but you didn’t care, you didn’t even try to help me. and i knew then like i know now, that i’ll never get those years back. i’ll never know what could have been, if only.

if i would have been stronger, wiser, a little more grown-up, and a little bit more ready as i stand by the shore and wait for waves to come.  i thought grief was supposed to feel like motion, like a valley i could walk through. but i’ve been sitting here all morning, my fingers all stuck together with glue. my t-shirts forever damp, and my room a mess. i should have said what i meant when i still had the chance. i should have held on tighter, i should have tried harder.

but i didn’t. i stood out in the rain and i tripped over my shoes, i fucked it all up. i didn’t listen to my heart, i pulled my hood up and blasted out my ears with my headphones and sat in the wreckage til morning. and i’m still aching down to my bones. still picking forget-me-nots and biting my lips ‘til they bleed.  cause i took your word as gospel and you were full of shit. sat on your lap, practised justifying the ends by the means, and lying through my teeth. 

but i don’t trust you anymore, and now you barely know me.

stages of grief

1. this can’t be happening, because i have dreams to chase. because i’m fourteen and the ball is rolling for me, or that’s what my english teacher said. she said i hope it doesn’t stop and i felt like i was flying, when they said they were proud of me. this doesn’t happen, not to me. ‘cause someone bigger and smarter’s gonna make it ok. it’s just another two weeks, it’s just another two days. it’s just another holding-your-breath-underwater kind of day.

2. and i didn’t ask to be thrown

into this fucked up shitstorm of anger and hope

i didn’t ask to spend all day sitting alone

and trying to get out of bed

i’ll watch shitty tv until my brain turns to mush

just write and write and write for hours on end

and the sound of the blender

or a car going past

is enough to melt me down to tears and i’m screaming

and i’m slamming the door

and you were supposed to stop this from happening

you were supposed to be good, and fair

but you weren’t, you fucking shit

you walked out and you left me 

standing all alone in the thick of it

3. but i can’t be feeling this, i can’t deal with it, or i’m going to shut down. i’m gonna stare at the pictures on my phone until my eyes glaze over, and i don’t feel quite so alone. i’m gonna crumble like the dry, hot summer soil any other way. god is dead, but mostly so are all my heroes. so is everyone i thought i could turn to in a crisis; they’re just gone gone gone like whispers in the night. and those that remain are flickers of light across the bay. (i’d rather they were dead to me; i’d rather close my eyes and watch the hurt fade away like wildfire smoke.) 

4. i could dig this grief a garden

or i could fashion it a grave

i could sit in the mud of it for hours

i could stare at this bitch in the mirror, cut off all her hair

watch the new grow back in its place

and feel the years blend together

watch myself get a little bit stronger, and taller

a little bit sharper in the face

i could watch my life roll past me 

through the rolled-up car window

just blink and you’ll be nineteen, all living on your own

still swallowing back the lump in your throat

and trying to numb the ache of your old-woman knees

but the one in your chest, it’s cold and it’s empty 

singing for something that i will never reclaim

5. and maybe someday my heart won’t feel like a singing bowl

forever ringing out one damn moment in my life

but all i see right now is water, ‘cause i’m standing by the shore

i’m not ready to be an adult

cause i didn’t have the time to be a kid

so i lie down on the rocks and i close my eyes

feel the january waves hit my shoulders, rush over my head

fill my mouth with bitter saltwater

again, again, again.

This one took me ages to write- I’ve been reflecting a lot on how my feelings have changed over the past few years.

daze

these days, it all seems to blend together like different colours of paint on a pallette, congealing into brown and grey. and the sun streams through my bedroom window, but i don’t have time to go out today. i come home tired, and i wake up worse. i scroll through my phone, and i waste my time away, then stay up ‘til midnight in a panicked daze. yeah, these days i don’t know what i’m going to do next. what my life is going to look like in a year. these days my feet ache, and my back is sore, and every success makes me wonder when i won’t be able to do this anymore. and i walk slow around the halls of my childhood home, trying to memorize every creak in the floor. ‘cause you hate it ‘til you’re already standing halfway out the door. i lie awake ‘til two and i can’t get to sleep. i hope it mattered to somebody, i hope there’s at least one person’s life i’ve improved. these days i spin around my mind,  ‘cause i’m just terrified i’ll lose you too. i go to school. i go to work. i close my eyes and let it fade. i watch each second pass in the clock on my computer, and i wonder if i’m wasting away. i get my bed all nice and made. try to smile at the little things, and look on the bright side. it’s just another one of those days.