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Category Archives: Writing

The Fight

Sometimes when we fold ourselves at night, we pretend to be tiny origami cranes. Delicate, unfeeling, simple.

Sometimes when the dark finally sets in and shadows come to play, we pretend they’re our drunk dreams warding off the bad ones.

Sometimes when our eyes have to be pried open in the dimly lit room and the ache sits so deep in the morning air, we pretend it’s Christmas morning just to get out of bed. We’ve got a life to live, let that be our gift.

There are days our heads feel so heavy and our chests feel like caskets. There are days our skin feels ragged and our muscles feel sore. There are days feeling our heartbeats is the scariest thing in the world and each breath feels like razors scrapping on our every soft surface.

But our legs still carry us and our necks still hold our heads. We manage to survive another damn day because that’s what we do: we survive.

When I look around to see all of the survivors, the warriors, the ones who made it, I see lights that refused to dim. I see hearts that didn’t get the best of us and I see bravery in the exhaustion.

And I say congratulations.

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when you have a cold, your nose runs

Who is there
when the lights go out
and the cold knocks on your window
to hold you?

Who lets you know
you’re safe when your own lungs
are afraid to open
for fear of letting in a draft?

Who is there when they are so busy
and your life is so stagnant
and you don’t know how to say:
“Something’s wrong”?

Who can pry open your mouth
when you have tied it with
black lace so pretty, so hurtful
and it looks like you’re smiling?

Who can reach down with their hands
to help you from the grave you’re digging
when all you manage to do
is flinch at the thought?


War Paint

Sometimes, I want to paint my face pretty.

Dye my hair a different color – any other color, something not my own.

The mirror shines my face back at me and I notice everything that needs to be fixed. I notice the color of my skin, the scars, the lines and wrinkles, the bone structure, my nose. I think about what would make it better, prettier. I think about how I’m not better, prettier.

I daydream about makeup and pretty skin. I fantasize about being what I’m not.

I have to build myself up every time I don’t pick up the brush, or apply foundation. I have to forget my face every time I step outside.

Most of the time, I want to be pretty.


A Magician Knows

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I can’t think about it. If I think about it, I feel and if I feel it…

I miss it.
I start missing my heart before it was covered in scars and I miss him when we had no lives to get on with. I miss her and her outrageous laugh and the way she looked up to me.
I miss being looked up to.
I miss the freshness of my blood and the way every feeling hit me like an electric shock. Every breath would fill the outline of my chest, take it’s time on the soft parts of my mouth, and become an invisible cloud I could still somehow see.

If I think about it, I’m older. I know more and I’ve felt so much and I know how to keep things at bay. Every arm’s length-distance I place between me and whatever-it-is makes me wish I could go back to how I was before I hated things touching my heart.

Maybe I’m not as messy as I once was. Though, was it all bad to be that raw to the world? To drink from a glass and let it dance from the edge to your tongue and feel it like it was the first time?

I can wield my words like magic, but what’s the use if I know the secret behind the tricks?

Maybe I want to be awed by it, too.

I want to feel for the first time, again.


Tainted Love

You can leave me in the cold and like a loyal dog, I’ll stay. The dark can creep up on me and shroud me in its claws, but I’ll picture you and feel at home.

They shake their heads at me like I should know better, and I should.

But my heart beats for you and I can’t change the source of heat in my blood. So I’ll make friends with the shadows and tell them your name.

When you come back (and you will come back) don’t be afraid of the devils on my shoulders. Don’t be afraid of the cold in my skin or the damage in my eyes.

Your name will be forever on my lips and I have signed over my soul for you. The ink left bruises on my heart, is this love?

I will call it love as long as there is air in my lungs, even if it leaves me with smoke between my lips. I can learn to love the taste of toxins – just as I have learned to love the bruises on my heart. Just as I have learned to love you.


Blossoms

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Her front yard was always scattered with blossoms from the neighbors tree. They often offered to rake them up for her, but she always declined. It was like seeing a sea of white and pink, she told me. It was like being in a dream.

Her eyes were always lidded and I think that was her way of living in a half-dream state. The real world was never really her friend. I’m not sure if I really ever was, either.

I remember driving up to the vast white yard, her front door wide open. I found her sleeping in the filed of blossoms; she had been laid out like an angel. I got her back inside but she never seemed to wake up. She was half-asleep. Like always.

It was surprise, of course, but somehow not very surprising at all. She looked just like she always did, like a sleeping angel on the ground, surrounded by her white flower petals. I could feel my chest constrict when I saw her as though I knew before I even touched her. Before I saw the blue tint to her lips, or how her skin was pale, so pale.

The tears took a while to come. So did any emotion, really.

The ambulance was silent when it rolled to a stop. The whole day was like a silent film. I wanted to change the channel but I couldn’t. I stayed seated by the snow angel of blossoms when people entered and exited the house.

They said they had found an empty pill bottle.

I just wish she would wake up. I’ve always been waiting for her to wake up.

Wake up, I pleaded in my head.

Please, wake up.


The Light Flickers

Don’t forget to tell me good-bye when the time’s right. Don’t forget to hold the door open and watch me leave. Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face and, please, don’t forget to dream about me every night after.

When the next one whispers how much they love you when they think you’re sleeping, don’t forget to hold your breath and pray they don’t know you’re awake. Don’t forget to distance yourself and stop answering the phone. Don’t forget what those words sounded like when they came from my lips.

Down the road when you hold the-one in your arms and look at their sleeping face, don’t forget to picture mine. Don’t forget the feeling in your arms as they ache to hold me instead.

When things stop working and they leave you, don’t forget about the way you left me. Don’t forget the sway of my hips, or my tensed jaw.

Don’t forget me.

Don’t forget.