a letter to my future self (because i am cheesy)

to be opened when needed

you should write the poem

and stop scrolling through your phone while you do the dishes

or trying to eat your food with one hand

you should call your friends

you should listen to the butterflies in your stomach

and stop always doing as you’re told

you should get your shit together

listen to a lullaby

and cry your eyes out as you scroll through parenting articles on your phone

take a shower and get changed out of your work clothes

you should sing yourself a song

put on some heels

and dance around your bedroom

until you fuck up your ankle, and you fall to the ground

ibut t’s okay

you don’t have to be perfect

or try to make money off every single fucking thing you like to do

you survived

that’s what matters

you made it through another day

and in case no one has said so in a while, i’m really proud of you

oh tired soldier

oh crossfire baby

oh fighter girl

you’re not a weapon

you’re not wasted potential

with room to improve

so put down the mallet

put down the blade

’cause pretty soon, you’re not even gonna remember

what it’s like to feel this way

2000-and-something // sob story (2)

does it really matter how old i was?

and are we still doing this?

this stupid thing

where i will give you my silly putty heart

and you will weigh its innocence?

***

2000-and-something. i was soft

and guilty

quick breathing

clawing my skin off in the counsellor’s office

’cause it helped me focus, or something

as she told me, told me, told me

that my brain was wired wrong

cyborg girl, can’t be fixed

lazy and reckless and cold

and what was i supposed to do with that? you know?

except in all honesty

i can’t remember what she said

and for all i know, she might have been a perfectly nice person

who was trying her best

but i do know is how it made me feel

like a scratched hard drive

the faulty cog in the machine

who hid under tables

who cried and cried and screamed

but i built up a callous, you see

and i learned a few things that year

don’t cry in the hallways

don’t make a mess

and above all else, just try your best not to feel

’cause then i will be normal

i’ll be happy; i mean honeycomb sweet

i’ll curl my hair

and and wash my face each morning

and if you play the ukulele

i swear i’ll sing along

***

you know what?

maybe the trauma made me better

maybe it smashed my head against the rocks

until poetry bled out; maybe it taught me

to pick my friends carefully

and keep going on

but i was a child

i shouldn’t have had to be strong

so if you’re listening

all the way back from 2000-and-something

i’m sorry

that people hurt you

that you hurt yourself

cause you deserve good things

twirly dresses, bookstore gift cards

play-fights and daydreams

and raspberry hope

i know it’s hard right now, though

i know you trip over your circuits

i know you can’t stay in time

and i’m still working it out

but i do know:

that knife-wounds will soften

and burn marks will fade

and i am trying to be better

every fucking day


Is this becoming a series? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know, I really like this format, and also, writing this piece made me very emotional.

Lots of love,

Lorna

settle

someday, the dust is going to settle

and the scab will form

over the hole you tore through me

the tapestry of hopes you’ve torn to shreds

with your jaded fingernails

and walk away

someday, i’ll brush the dust off my cheeks

and do my hair all pretty

for no one at all

and maybe i won’t need to tear myself to pieces

just to stay awake

amd i’ll know who i am

i’ll walk onto a stage

i’ll speak clear, and loud

and if you’re lucky

you’ll catch me on the radio

wouldn’t that be nice?

and i could put two smiley faces in my email

like a heartless killer

or tell you to shut the fuck up

when you talk about your outdated opinions

as though you expect me to agree

i could live my life like an inspirational quote

and retire to the town i grew up in

with all my best friends, and the charcoal trees to keep us company

and it’d be all right, really

and i know that hope can’t be trusted

but maybe this time, i could let it walk me home

in the dark

hold my hand

and tell shitty patchwork jokes

that make me laugh hysterically

kiss me thick-skinned and old

and leather-jacket-wearing

and blow away like smoke

missing

it’s been a year now, hasn’t it?

or maybe it’s been two

because time is weird these days, and sometimes

i think about you

your fearless desperation

and your clandestine hope

and i wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world

but sometimes, on long nights, i let myself miss you

lie to my face in the mirror

that the old days were good

say i am a washed-out version of the person i used to be

slowly melting down

which makes it better, somehow

paint the past a rose-tinted shade

and let the aching knowledge

that i have never felt this before

wash away with the waves

and now i think i understand

why people cling to tradition

stick to the same routine

wear it rusty and jagged

sleep in old t-shirts

’til there are holes in the sleeves

and paint myself innocent

pretend i don’t have a clue

when you say the past few years

have changed me

made me cynical, and guarded

but stronger, too

replaced manic desperation with sharpened teeth

bite-marks and warning signs

’cause these days, i step slowly

these days i wear winter coats

and hold my keys like a knife

but i refuse to be afraid

of the passage of time

and the lines on my palm

like old wood, telling stories

of all the places i’ve been

i refuse to cower in the corner

and sing myself to sleep

lingering in a false history

like warm sheets

so i will bury your t-shirts

and your headphones i can’t bring myself to throw away

in a box in my closet

’cause some day, i’m gonna see you in the mirror

and i’ll kneel down on the carpet

stroke your cheek, as i tape your pieces back together

third person

i narrate my life in third person, sometimes, when i need to get away. i paint myself a hero, a protagonist, maybe the villain on a bad day. and when it gets bad, at least it’s only ever in a controllable way. where i can watch from the sidelines, and think to myself wow, that was some compelling characterization, all right.

because if someone’s always watching, at least i’m not alone. and when i’m lost at sea, at least i know there’s always gonna be the three-act story structure to guide me home. to hold me tight, and love me to the bone.

so i close my eyes, and pretend this isn’t really my body, on the bad nights. when i can’t help but feel like the sky is falling down. i shiver, and i shake, and i pinch my wrists, waiting for the tornado to dissipate and leave me shattered on the ground.

i take one step back, and then another, until nothing makes sense anymore. and i’m a kid on the swingset, i’m strangled tongues and rusty verbs. i’m a picasso painting, but only the ugly parts. and maybe it’s avant garde, or maybe we’re just stupid. and we take ourselves too seriously, and we never call home.

we go mad for an abstract concept. for a chance to be remembered. and so here i am, staring down my demons the runaway. and maybe this is what destroys me, but goddamn, if they’re not something to describe. i make myself mangled limbs and traffic accidents, and i know that i’m not really fine.

but i am not going down with this plane tonight. i won’t let the cancer spread to me, along broken, dilapidated limbs of this family tree. i’ve come too far to give up this early. and god, it sounds pretty, doesn’t it?

like the first page of a brand-new story.