rome

i’m not good at objectivity. because sometimes, when the light catches my cheeks just right, i feel the whole world spin on its head. but i’m trying not to get caught up in the first emotion that comes to me. i’m trying to be cool, and calm, and collected, because i’ve heard that’s a good step somewhere along the way to being happy.

so in no particular order, here’s what i remember: nothing and everything at once. a happy girl on the swingset, coming home and crying on the floor. i’ve spent so many years, clutching secrets close to my chest, and feeling their weight. but no matter how hard i try i just can’t let them go. at least, not today.

so for now, i’ll close my eyes, and let you count out all the holes in my jeans. feel soft touches build me up like rome, because no matter how hard i try to hide it i always have been a stack of dominoes.

and that’s the kind of thing i know i’d use to share with no hesitation. because the world is good, and strangers could be trusted. probably. and there was a future out there, waiting for me, just out of reach. but now i am a circuit with no fuse, ready to catch fire at the slightest gesture. but i’m not gonna hurt you. i’m gonna keep my cool if it’s the last thing i do.

here’s what i know: i am the witch, i am her hostage, and the self-entitled prince riding in to save her too. which probably means i’m a regular fucking person, also known as a catastrophic failure, or a constant work in progress.

doesn’t that make your skin crawl? doesn’t it slip under your tongue, or slither down your spine? because it does mine, every time i think about it. but i’m told that sometimes, you just have to face it head on, break in a brave face like a new pair of shoes. and catch myself when i stumble, just like i would catch you.

i’ve heard that’s something happy people do.


Another escapril prompt! I thought this one turned out pretty nicely, but let me know what you think. 🙂

garden

let me close my eyes, and take you to my safe haven. that place i built so long ago, sitting out in the backyard with a book as a friend. it’s got castles, and a gleaming blue sky. and when it rains, it’s always loving and kind. it’ll be here, when you need it–to fall asleep at night, to get through the argument. because you’re not really good at conflict either, right?

and in this place, no one ever gets bitter, or angry, or loses their control. and you don’t have to wrap yourself up in tarpaulin hatred, don’t have to run away from home. let me show you a place where it’s all going to be okay.

where we don’t have to be afraid to speak our minds. don’t have to run and cry behind the couch, where no one else can reach, and tuck ourselves in at night. or work until the soles of our feet bleed just to fucking survive.

and when you look up to the stars, it’s all there, waiting for you–just within reach. and when you’re taller, you’ll stand up on your tiptoes and take what could be yours. you’ll cry for the weight of it all, and wonder which path to choose.

but if the idiot in your math class can grow up into a functioning adult, so can i, right? and every person on the planet has stared over this abyss at some point or other, by definition you cannot be alone. and i promise you: from now on, things are going to only get better. i’ll fight for it, i’ll try, i’ll choose the good path.

not yet stained in blood and tears. i’ll make myself anew and work it out as best i can; treat myself with the kindest love i’ve got in me, and offer the same to you.

and say it, not embarrassed, not afraid: i love you, i love you, i love you. every single day.

the deadly poppy field of oz

i’ll run my hands through the knee-high grass. eyes half-closed. i don’t remember how i got here… but i’m here now, i suppose…

and why won’t this place let me go? because every time i try to run away, the garden wall will press in; cuddling me close. stuffing my baggy lungs to the brim; with newspaper flyers and hypnotic smoke.

and it will refuse to leave me alone, you know? because i will be young. and small. and broke.

and so, like dorothy, and oh so many who’ve come before me, i’ll surrender myself to the perfect august sun.

and you may take me. you may swallow me whole. and you may run.

you may blow me out like a candle. smother me, as the bedsheet catches fire. as your walls begin to crumble. i’ll be a summer seedpod; as i come undone.

look, mommy…

look, mommy! i’m doing it. just like you showed me. and yeah, maybe i stayed up all night. but i wrote a story, and people liked it, and that’s all that matters, right?

because i gritted my teeth. and i did it. worked all week long, without a single day off. and isn’t that what you wanted?

a knight in shining armour. a china doll. a soft peach tea…

because i hollowed out my rotting chest, and stuffed it full of feathers. lay perfectly still, and let the world rest its head on this broken body–

mommy! you’re not looking at me


I doubt this comes as a surprise, but I am a big ol’ people pleaser. I always have been.

Whenever I make something–a podcast episode, a poem, a story chapter, so much as a weird doodle in my math notes, I immediately start to wonder what other people will think of it. You know the drill, right?

I am so desperate to be seen, and loved, and validated–because god knows I couldn’t do it to myself. (And at the same time absolutely paralyzed by the thought of being known, but you know.)

When I was young, and bored on long car rides, or never-ending school days, I used to just spend hours narrating my life in third person. Whenever something bad happened, I could always just… pretend it away. Imagine that this was all just another story, and that I just had to hold on a little bit longer before the author would fix everything. Or maybe I was the author. Or maybe I was the hero, just getting started on my journey to greatness. I spent a lot of my childhood thinking about that.

Reminding myself that it didn’t matter, how fucked up my life was. Because soon, Gandalf or Dumbldore was going to swoop down from the clouds, and turn me into something better. And them my parents would love me. Then my friends would worship me. Fill up all the holes in my heart with mindless adoration.

As someone who grew up classified as some form of “gifted” I learned, however unintentionally, that my worth as a person hinged upon me being able to outshine my peers. Often, I thought of myself like an animal on display at the zoo, or a circus freak—a little strange, but still fun to watch, as long as I could keep a good performance going. And sometimes I feel like I’ve lived most of my life with that mentality.  As though my only real purpose is to be amusing, or remarkable, or something along those lines—to my family, to my friends, to my teachers, to some stranger on the street. And if I let down the act for so much as a second, no one will be interested in me.

But sometimes, that just gets… lonely.  And exhausting. You know?

Anyhow. I don’t know what the point of all that was, but I hope you liked my poem, and that is spoke to you. Somehow.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

i fall asleep with the lights on

i still sleep with teddy bears, sometimes. clutch an empty body close to my chest, listening to the steady thrum of your heart like it’s all that i have left.

and i still get nightmares, sometimes. wake up covered in a cold sweat, the wild west wind brushing gently through my hair.

i still sleep with the light on, sometimes. when i get scared. when the monsters under the bed start to growl, and all i want to do is vanish into thin air.

listening to disney music on repeat like some kind of twisted prayer, and imagining the notes can somehow replace you. but they can’t.

and… they don’t want to.