twisted

it’s funny, how old habits always die hard. by which i mean, that i know logically the voice in my head is full of shit. but i still do exactly as it says, just to be safe about it.

let it rest its greasy hands on my shoulders. tell me what to say, and do. because it’s kept me safe so far. it loves me, really. just like you. it slips inside my throat, and pulls the strings, ever-so-quietly.

and half of what it says isn’t based in reality so i’m sorry, if i’ve got my head in the clouds, it’s just sometimes i think my mind is one big cobweb, and i am the fly. if i could disappear into the floorboards, i would do it in a heartbeat, and i still don’t understand why.

but sometimes, it feels like i’m walking through a dream. sometimes i collapse on my bed, and let its warmth sing me placid, and safe. wouldn’t that be better? if i just stayed in this room for the rest of my life, where everything is okay?

and i still don’t know why i let you strip away the layers of me, calloused armour built up over years, only to shatter like ceramic as you strike me to the core. i’m sorry, my dearest love, but i can’t do this anymore.

and yet, as i stare into your eyes, i still can’t cut the fucking cords.

weight

i swear, these days i’m mostly all right / i just can’t breathe sometimes when i look at myself in the mirror / run my hands down my thighs / sometimes my phone makes me sick / sometimes friday is a sinkhole / and it’s all i can do not to pass out on the carpet / i swear, i’m feeling better / but that’s just a testament, really / to how bad things were before / because some days / it takes all my energy just to change into pajamas / and go to bed on time / some days i build up the smallest tasks into herculean efforts / some days i dig my nails into my skin / pick myself apart like a riddle and watch hot water burn / have you ever felt lonely, in the pit of your stomach? / watching seconds flip by on the clock / like soldiers / or bodies / one after the other / and i swear it’s not always like this / but sometimes i just lie awake at night, and see my life flash before my eyes / because i have never known how to live in the moment / but tomorrow, maybe i will try / to learn love like a second language / and smile wearily at stomach rolls / and old scars / and let just a bit of this weight go / because i could use some rest, god knows

things they don’t tell you about living through history

i can taste the blood / coursing through the page / and feel its pulse twitching in my veins / watch the letters stamp themselves out across my skin / it sickens m / but there’s not much i can do / ‘cept for sit / and wait / and wonder if this is what it felt like, to watch the fall of rome / but cry into a pillow, and wonder how they’ll tell this story / and thank god, or whoever’s up there that i’m not the main character / because i don’t know what to do / so how ’bout i burn quietly / among the trees / laugh to myself through tears, as i flip a coin for the fate of humanity / i’ll be careful what i wish for / i’ll try my best / and pray for normalcy / i’ll romanticize the little things / like never having to worry about turning on my phone, and having it all taken away from me / i’ll pretend it was perfect / ’cause nostalgia promises she’ll save me / butter me up and coat me in the pretty paper roses / but in the end, she’ll leave me wrapped in red velvet / as the blizzard starts to bury me / but if there’s anyone listening / i’ll do what you say / i will dote after your holy texts / i will give my life away / for another moment of denial / a glass of gasoline / oh darling, for what it’s worth / i’m sorry

shift

the quiet corridors creak and shift, with the weight of ghosts unseen. but it’s not a haunted house, not really. just awkward, tiptoeing silence, and cold leftovers for dinner. dim blue light, baptizing the room in its glow.

and yeah, i’m sure it’s a great use of my time to watch tik toks on my computer until my eyes glaze over, playing audio from three different sources, until it all just fades to static. but at least i don’t have to sit in my head any longer.

feel its murky stench, pressing close like sewage against my skin. its scar-lined passageways, and scuffed floorboards. but now all i’ve got are goosebumps and bone. ’cause my friends are gone. the party’s over.

and all i’ve got to show for it is plates in the sink, and a to-do list scribbled on my palm. but the portrait halls never did tell the truth, and when i look into their eyes, all i can see is what i could have been. a thousand shortcomings, and skills it seems i’ll never grasp.

’cause i wanna roll down the hill, snow wrapping my bones like a blanket. even if you should have been there with me. i’m obsessed with the way the sky swirls like milk in coffee. and for a moment, i’m too caught up gasping for breath to worry.

swim

when i was a kid, i loved swimming

going fasterfasterfaster, feeling the water part around me

like a god

a good daughter

a proper lady

.

so i learned frontstroke, and backcrawl

and even tried to pick up butterfly

but i couldn’t

my tissue paper body ripping at the seams

i still try it sometimes, out of habit

’cause you would have been so happy

.

when i was a kid, i realized

there was no warning sign i could not dismiss

false confidence and forced bravado

i was born for this

.

to cry on camera

’cause i can make misery look gorgeous

straighten my hair

and shatter my life like stained glass

and get drunk on my own tragedy

.

so i swum down to rock bottom

and stayed there ’til my lungs burned

i remember how i learned to worship the pain

and grab bricks from the bottom

drag them up with feeble kicks

of little feet

.

remember thinking to myself, on a bad day

that if i could just stay under the water

i’d be happy

with the tin-foil silence

that always felt like home

.

and i stopped swimming years ago

but sometimes, that feeling still slams into me

’cause i’m drowning

in the 40-hour workweek

the thrumming pressure

of it all

building up in my throat

.

i rinse off the chlorine

in an echoey changing room

and i don’t let my fears show

refresh my notifications

grab my backpack, and go home