We were driving through a lightning storm
When I was struck by the idea that I could end up like this
Like insomnia on winding highways
And background music
With you falling asleep to the soundtrack of our
Battering mutual affection
And nothing should be beautiful about a body that’s just at rest
But I steal glances of you sleeping
Like they’re hits
And my god, it just might kill me
Because how breathtaking you are
Injects itself into my veins
And my lungs give in
There was frost on the windows
And droplets of how perfect you are to me collecting on my mind
Recently you’ve been always on my mind
And under my skin
On the highway out in front of me
Just flashes of brown eyes
And kindness blanketed over me
When my own heart has been making me cold
There were signs that said we’re 1000 miles from anywhere
But I’m happy being nowhere with you
Or wherever it is we are
It was 4am
And my heart was thundering
While you slept at my side
Just barely out of reach
If I could tell you anything tonight it’d be don’t leave.
Don’t take the embryotic hope that you put under my skin
And the soul I’ve finally found again tangled in your curls
It’d be that the way you move your legs at night
When you’re restless about how twenty years later
Is only ten more years away
My heart tunes itself to the motions of your mind tracing out your future
It’d be that your hands coat my body like lithium
Silvery and toxic in excess
The only thing I need every day
You’re a regimen I don’t have the resolve to break
I’m resolved to not break myself anymore
I think I’d tell you that.
That I’m done tearing into myself
And ripping out highways of neglect
That I built into myself
That I will stay through to the end of this tunnel
Dark and winding
I’ll never leave myself
So if you could postpone the morning
And wrap me in a temporary ease
I hope you wouldn’t leave.
The sounds of your breath in the morning
When there are thunderclouds waiting on the stoop
You crawl into my veins like rainfall
My ventricles feel damp
Caught in the tangle of how your words feel
And how your hands feel
When rays of sun can’t find us
I lose myself driving through this mist
Of the sounds that form from your throat at midnight
And I emerge soft and dazed with something burning
In the center of my chest
The way your fingers trace out maps on my ribcage
Directions away from a person I don’t have to be again
Your clothes smell like promises
That I’ve been whispering against your chest while you laugh
The softness of your mouth on my temple
When you let the door shut behind you
And leave me in the quiet of your morning fog
I’m rooted in the secrets that your sheets hold
And in the kindness of your hands on my back
Pulling me away from the stormy place that I’ve been
For so long
And into you.
Honeyed, tempered, and warm.
I’m walking across these stones like they are photographs mapped onto the tapestry of our togetherness
Threaded with the feeling of beads of sweat on our lower backs and rum backstroking through our veins
Walking under this night sky feels like moving under the impenetrable tunnel of the summer that I met you
And the times this sky was the only witness to the way my eyes learned to search for you under its cover
Or the memory of my arched body under yours that only these spaces can recall
This space will not hold if ever I cannot
And will be impressed with the gravity of your existence if ever I no longer am
Under this particular scattering of distant solar systems
No run of time will ever obscure a history already traced onto these roads
Or the scar of our entangled youth on these rooftops
Walking across this corner
Of this island
Of this universe
There is a feeling of being familiar to these trees and this elegant passage of time
As if in a moment in which I have never existed before
I have already been and somehow become what I already know I will never be again
The sky is dark and studded with associations that will rustle under my feet come October
And rustle still at the equinox
And the path is long and yet gone beneath my feet as I walk along
Under a sky that knew you when I did not
And will hold you in its grasp for as long as I may go down this alley
In this city
To which these stones
Will always belongt
I miss you.
Because it’s five p.m.
And the sun keeps going down without you
And that’s a funny thing since you were always the one making it move
And the world’s still moving around me
And I haven’t moved an inch
From the safety of your sleeves that I can’t pull myself out of
And the album of you asleep in my lap
That you don’t even know exists
And I can’t look at anything anymore
Because everything looks like you
And everything’s a shadow jumping out at me
I’m paranoid about the anniversary of everything you made me feel
That’s lingering in two o’clocks on September thirteenths
And in every day we spent together
Which I really thought would be all of them
You’re everywhere inside of my veins so how are you not here
Because your laugh is stuck in the stutter of my pulse
And the way the blood that runs up my arms still tastes like you
Metallic and bittersweet
I miss you
That’s all I wanted to say.
I’m one foot out the door and both feet over the edge
I’m an inch away from out of my mind and god damn it this hurts
I’m in limbo in between being myself and being a mess
And I’m never one or the other
I’m twisted in knots and tangled in sheets thrown over the remains of my personhood
And I’m not making any sense
I’m not making anything, not a sound, not a living
I’m statistical noise. Affordably omitted from any rational decision
I’m not a rational decision anyone would make
I wouldn’t make the choice of making me again but I guess it was never my choice anyways
I’m hovering in the space in between saying you’re okay and meaning it
On the precipice of feeling human without actually feeling it at all
Someone please push me
Over the edge that I’m slowly edging closer to
Someone just pull me back
Just push me
Gossamer and lemon drops
I’d be serendipity if I could
An evening stretched out across a field of pleasant contingencies
I’d be the way the sunlight hides itself in your hair
The way sundown feels like an anesthetic so you never feel darkness at all
And it’s all I ever feel
For you I’d be a solar system
Spinning. Not because I’m necessary, just because I am
Elegance and a box of wine, I’d be the moment your wheels kiss the runway
And if I could, I’d be starlight
Stretched in front of you, I’d be something infinite
If I could
He found her body in the lattice of jet-streams
That had carried her away from herself
At the bottom of an ocean she dug herself
Fingers broken, palms dry
With dirt lodged under her fingernails
And blood tucked into the back of her mouth
He found her tongue in cheek
Sloppy print scribbled across the receipt in her pocket
Advil, number two pencils, and peppermints
He found her on the horizon already out of reach
Something blue already springing up from the soil beneath her
He found her after she’d showed herself the way out
No lock on the door, no warmth left in her touch
She left with an apology for ever being there at all
And a hand outreached for someone to take her
Anywhere where she could grow
He found her on a Sunday night right before the day reset itself
Put her in his arms, tucked her apology into his lungs
And left her in the soil
And he reset himself again
A clearing in the middle of existing
I’ll be the place you’re looking up from
The dampness on your palms when you push yourself up
From the ground floor of this skyscraper life you’re scaling
I’ll be your secret, I’ll be your anything
I’ll be an envelope sealed with the wetness of your mouth
Postmarked to “this one time when I was young I…”
Just run-on sentences that you won’t be able to finish in the morning
I’ll be your Saturdays, but I’d like to be your Tuesdays
And the scent of second-day dishes in the sink
And detergent lifting into the rafters with the frothiness of your laughter
Following your life upwards
A string of messages, constantly being cleared
I’ll be a back door to wherever you want to go
Just hands on the back of your neck
Or just the bottom of the bottle so that you might drown your troubles in me
Since I’m drowning in you
I’m lying in bed tearing my cuticles off and rubbing my calves together
And personhood is oozing out from the cracks in these walls
I’m exhaling complacency.
I wonder who you’re thinking about when you fall asleep
And what’s dripping from the ceiling
In a room I’ve probably been in
Summer threw itself from thunderclouds
And the person I picked up out of the rainwater
Isn’t me anymore, just droplets of something vacuous
Which is exactly how you feel now
Constantly expanding and pushing me into the negative space around you
All of this is negative
All of me is empty
All this feels like is space
Infinite miles of outer space into forever
Like I said.
I guess what you should know about me is that I love the way most people drink. Recklessly. Purposefully. And I’ll pour my love into anything that can hold it until there’s no one left to hold it anymore. No one has held me in a long time.
You should know that I’m a wreck after 10pm. Because the rest of the world goes out, and I never really knew why, but now I do. Because people let the sun drag their hopes down with it and then light themselves on fire from the inside. My inside can’t be light anymore. I’m not sure it’s even worth trying. So I sit alone in dark rooms and drown in negative space. Undeveloped, and overexposed. I’m always underwater. I guess what’s why you should know I feel like I’m drowning all the time.
But you should know that I’ll love you endlessly. And that’s not a word that I use lightly. Because words are all I have lately, and even they’re running away from me too. But if you never ran away from me I’d never let love run away from you. And I would chase the sun down into the trenches and drag it back up for you, dripping in pearls and shipwrecked hope that I’d do anything to give you back.
You should know that I mean the things I say. Not all of them, but I mean this. I’ll love you until my soul breaks onto the shore, and even then it will wash up at your feet. Matter can’t disappear just like that, and you have no idea how much you matter to me.
You should know that I’m up to my ankles in tidal pools of apathy, and the only thing growing around me is you. I stopped growing quite some time ago, but I blossom when you’re around. My love grows like an algae bloom. Nice until it kills everything in its path. Sorry.
But I just want you to know that I would love you. Not effortlessly, not painlessly, but eternally. And at 4am when exhaustion finally finds me, you’ll be the last thing sailing across my mind. Because you’re the wind that moves me forward and my broken, uncontrollable self.
And when these words wash up where you are, bottled up inside of me, sink them in the ocean with whatever remains of the rest of me after I shatter it. And just know that I would have loved you.
Just thought you ought to know.
I’m writing because it’s midnight, and that’s what happens. My fingers start itching and words start running around in my neural pathways. I’m writing because I’m not really sure I have anything to say.
That’s not true though. I’m writing because there’s always something to say. There’s always something worth hearing, something worth breathing in after it rains. There are metaphors I’ve already overused, so why not use them one more time. There are metaphors unexplored at the bottom of these literary chasms I chase my mind down into and somebody’s got to find them.
I’m writing because I have nothing else to do. Because it’s midnight and the world always starts falling asleep right when my sense of security starts waking up.
I wish you could see me like this in the daytime: unafraid, that is. Unafraid of what sort of patterns my fingers will stroke out on this invalidated copy of Microsoft Word that keeps asking me to validate it. We all want to be validated. You’ll have to get in line.
I’m writing because there are words like efflorescence that roll off my tongue like new pennies dropping into wishing wells.
I guess I’m writing because I’m sad.
We’re all a little sad though, some of us just see it when we look in the mirror. We see it under our eyes and in the empty space around us. We can see it where others can’t. In the empty space inside us.
I’m writing because there’s an ephemeral “her” to be written about, and she’s not even me. She’s this sad girl who curls up in bed at night and wonders what it feels like to be loved by another human being and wonders if it will ever happen to her. She’s one of these girls you pass up and walk past without noticing. I’m writing because my whole existence notices her.
I guess I’m just writing because well… it’s what I do. It’s what I do when I’m empty, it’s what I do when I’m full, it’s what I’ve always done. It’s what I do when there’s nowhere to run to and no one to run from. There’s nothing chasing me; it’s just me in this dark room.
I’m writing because the sound of keys is nice. It’s really nice. It’s the sound of pancakes on the griddle on Sunday mornings when I was young and of heavy breathes against the curve of my neck when I wasn’t so young anymore.
I’m writing because one day I’ll be older and my sadness will be out of touch. It will be a thing of my youth when I was self-indulgent and my universe was still small enough to only spin around me. Because one day you wake up and realize all the pettiness is still there but you don’t matter to yourself anymore.
I’m writing because I do matter. I do matter.
I’m writing because I can.
I’m lying at the bottom of the universe staring upwards.
I guess I find myself here a lot.
With the sand making love to my hair and the stars running away from my fingertips so that I can never touch them, I wonder if this is over. I can’t feel the Earth’s heartbeat anymore and no one can feel me. I’m wind blowing across the speed bumps of my own body. If I scream in the middle of this forest will anyone ever heart it?
Can anyone hear me at all?
I’m drowning in plain sight just at the sight of all these things I can’t hold onto. You’re slipping away from me light years at a time.
Summer’s leaving and I’m still trying to sterilize this endless expanse of bleach white that coats my body. I think it used to be my skin but it’s your skin now and I can’t slip out of it. I’m slipping into something from which I do hope I never escape.
I’m underwater. Just down here looking up.
You were fingers drumming on the steering wheel, eyes always on the road ahead, inhaling the blend of my anxiety and your charm, exhaling gusts of songs I didn’t know I liked and ease that doesn’t belong to either of us. You were major chord progressions and eight o’clock lighting that you can’t hold under your thumb any better than the youth that you tuck into your back pocket as a precaution, only there for show, never for use.
You were self-deprecating humor that’s not real anymore by the time it’s fallen into your palms and a dose of sincerity pushed under your tongue like a vitamin you hope you never taste before washing it down. And you wash it down with everything and anything that makes you feel warm. You were the bits of everyone who’s ever made you feel warm so I sat like a radiator in your passenger seat hoping to radiate right into your core.
You were kindness on the dashboard and fears in the trunk, bumping up against the shell of your light blue disposition at speed bumps and leaned up against the walls of your mind on the straight aways. Audible under the sound of your laughter. Only audible if you were listening (I was listening) while you hummed along to words you don’t mean enough to say out loud. But your affections sit like pennies behind the windshield, clinking together in sync with the sound of conversations you can’t help but have. You can’t help yourself at all. It’s always warm behind a wall of glass.
You were nights right before they became mornings because if time slips away then you never have to catch it. Time got caught in the space beneath your ribs until you diluted it with a love for everything bigger than you and filled yourself until you could be something bigger than Thursday nights and dog eared pages to books that no one recommended. And in the middle of a sunrise, something you could always say goodnight to, you were arms wrapped around someone smaller than you, holding onto something bigger than any of us, tapping out syllogisms like Morse code and like fingers on steering wheels.
You puffed out hatred
In blushing clouds that glowed against the hollow sky
And I writhed in the back seat
To the music of a broken carburetor and a lack of self-respect
Inky purple stains strewn across the dashboard
To match the ones on my shoulders
There’s a sky up there and I don’t think you’ve ever seen it
Because you say I’m a constellation that someone wrote the story of
Before they tossed me into the sky
So you toss me around like candy wrappers and train tickets
Because you like me when I’m crumpled in the center console
Below the strength of your hand that holds the cigarette
That you burnt your name into my skin with
This highway smells like gasoline
Maybe because I’m doused in you
And every time the road turns itself over into a new year
I tell myself that I’ll love you
Better than I do from below your feet
Peeking out from under your tread
While I’m treading water in the bottom of your cup holders
Or maybe one day from the passenger seat with your fingers pushing bruises into my thighs
You’re driving me towards the milky way with ashes in my palms
Away from city lights, away from myself
There’s a solar system next to my body in the trunk
And it always spins around you