i. they told you

you shone bright

like the sun


like the stars in the sky

you wished on every single night

they told you to drop out of school

and write like your life depends on it

study economics, or history

spend all your money and make it all back

change the world, save some lives

don’t throw away your chance

like those who walked before you

swallow your pride; nod along, and do the dance

they told you you shone bright

called you god almighty; called you

sick little thing, no place to call home

they watched you spin your wheels

and waste away in pity

stroked your greasy hair

and pushed a water-glass against your parched lips

ii. so i am god, let’s say

so i am going to save the world

i’m going to make my family proud

with another wikipedia page

and i’m going to be happy

because that’s what makes me happy, right?

and i’m a crying baby in an empty room

i’m singing look at me, look at me

my wretched, crawling vermin heart

my lazy brain

i burn with all my might, i shine like a death rattle

i look in the mirror

and i still crumple like paper, i’m still cold to the touch

when they say,

you’re the dream come true

but you still don’t know that everything i’ve ever made

has been for you

if i’m bright

if i’m warm like the sun

it’s only on the outside

a hollow cast of paper-mache

’cause inside, i’m black ice

and shivering moonlight

begging for someone to love me so

Most of the time, like every other person on the planet, I love getting compliments. But on hard days, sometimes they make me feel really sad about myself. It can be kind of depressing, to hear someone tell you the things they like about you, when you have no idea what they’re talking about. Like they’re complimenting someone who doesn’t even really exist. But I’m still so desperate for it, desperate to understand that girl they’re talking about, and try to be her as best as I can. Because she seems like she’s doing all right. Like she at least comes across as though she knows what she’s doing in life.

Sometimes I think that I make art because I love it. And I do. That remains static, always. But sometimes, it becomes less about the art, and more about proving something. About getting attention, any kind of attention, to fill the holes in my chest. It gets tangled up in all these other things too, and I don’t really know how to deal with it yet.

i hope you win.

oh, you burning child prodigy. with your long, spindly fingers, slamming down on piano keys. an empty auditorium; nights without sleep.

oh, you technicolour fever dream. oh, blemishes and bruises, blooming on my skin. stretch marks and scars; my neverending sin…

oh, you masterpiece in hiding. slowly crumbling to the floor. you desperate atonement, you don’t have to hide anymore.

oh, bonfire girl. oh, shattered violin. you dutiful daughter, you loyal friend, you perfect little nightmare.

i hope you win.