wish fulfillment 1

i breathe like someone’s watching me. because maybe they are, i don’t know. i mess up my hair, make a face in the mirror, and strike a stupid pose.

and don’t you just adore my movie star smile, my irresistible hope? but it’s okay, if you don’t. i’ll just… i’ll do better, next time. i’ll make it perfect, you’ll see. i’ll be pretty, and strong, and i’ll smile for the camera until my chapped lips start to bleed; a sickening drip down my chest, the suffocating guilt, and the desperate loneliness.

and then you look at me, and suddenly you’re the whole fucking galaxy, and i am just another dizzy planet, spinning around desperately.

i sleep like it’s a movie. and imagine you piece me together like a puzzle. imagine it’s perfect, and easy; a snow-white wedding on a sunny day. imagine we have two kids, nice jobs, and a castle with no moat. and no matter how many times i try, you never let me go.

the roses

i don’t think i’ve ever really been happy.

because i am a girl of long nights, and bloodstains. i don’t want to fight you, so just leave me the hell alone, okay?

i chisel my heart right out of my chest and keep it somewhere far away. because there is a time, and there is a place. but right now, you made a promise, little girl.

so i guess i’ll keep it, no matter what it takes. i’ll plaster on a smile, i’ll wash the dirty dishes ’til they break.

and i’ll clean them up tomorrow, but… not today. because i’m tired, and lonely, and maybe pandora’s box will open no matter what i do, but i still don’t want to encourage it any more than i have to.

so i sit there, in my office chair, waiting for the rain to come. for the endless woods, and the thunderstorm at hell’s gate. i look both ways, and run for my life; i’ll do anything to just get out of this place. but i think i lost a piece of myself in the roses; i haven’t heard from her since.

double checked the address, and sent old-fashioned letters all to no reply. but it’s all right, i guess. just one more part of growing up; i’m told that it happens, sometimes. that i’ll be all right, that the wound will heal with time.

and i have to believe that’s true.

safekeeping

i’ve written so many essays over the years. cut out paragraphs; stitched together points of view. i’ve gotten pretty good at it, honestly–figured out what you want to hear, served it steaming hot on a golden platter. i’ve walked these beige halls so many times; memorized the graffiti conversations on the bathroom stalls, and grown weirdly fond of the inspirational posters. but in the end, does it really matter?

because i’ve waited at the bus stop in the pouring rain. i’ve watched it go right past me, and wished i could just scream wait. but the bus doesn’t really care about me, so i’ll just… walk around campus, and catch the 1:30.

i’ve drank coffee from a thermos, rubbed my eyes and plugged in my earbuds with a melodramatic sigh. then spent half an hour, rehearsing in my head how to ask for some graphing paper. and it’s awkward, and painful, and i’ll probably have a panic attack about it later. because i never wanted you to hurt me–but that doesn’t mean i intended to disappear so completely.

i’ve come home, and just collapsed on my bed. put on cartoons; changed into my favourite yellow sweater, drowned out a bad day beneath scalding bathwater. screamed at the sky, and cried to the river. called every single number in my phone. because i’m scared, and confused, and it feels like forever, i don’t know what to do–

because if i had a dollar, for every time someone has told me that i’m wise beyond my age, i could finally get some rest. i could take a day off, i could dream about the future. i could unclench my fists, and let myself be a kid for a few more minutes. and god, that would be nice.

i could let down my guard, for the first time since march. i could cling to your hand as we cross the street, and cry into your shoulder. i could sketch out your face on scrap paper; godlike and simple, and shove it in my wallet for safekeeping. put it in a scrapbook, someday–or whatever happy people do.

thicker than water, i suppose

blood really must be thicker than water, i suppose. if it can ooze down the stairs this way. slip into the cracks in the sidewalk, so i don’t notice when it follows me home.

or when slips into the bombshell eyes of the people i used to trust. the people i used to know. and now a thousand spiders find me, in broken promises. and frantic whispers. but when their shining eyes beg silently for help, i will always say no.

and i will ignore the stories. oh, the thousands upon thousands of stories, swimming through my lungs. devouring my shaking body whole.

and i will listen closely, when the butterflies say… oh, little girl, wouldn’t you like to fly? wouldn’t you like to rip up the rotting pages of history, and just rise above it all.

and so i will live vicariously, through telephone poles and long-passed airwaves. leaving behind nothing but crumpled yellow wings, and crimson bloodstains.

matchstick

the blood drips off my fingers. and i should just fucking go to sleep, but the charcoal hatred lingers…

and i can’t breathe, as a thousand razor-sharp teeth devour me. so let’s call it a superpower. call it anything, but the emptiness, congealing in my bones. but my burnt matchstick limbs; threadbare diary pages suddenly exposed.

my cheekbones splinter, the words spilling out of my papercut tongue faster and faster. i sit cross-legged in the garden, laughing maniacally as the flames drink up that silly. little. aster.

but i’ll write a happy ending for. just like i always do. paper maché gates and a glimmering castle. you’re running out of time, little girl….

at this rate, no one’s going to remember you.