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
My spine is kissing the ground
And I’m looking up at planets dying out
I wonder if my death will ever be that bright
There’s a constellation of bruises on my shoulders
In the pattern of raindrops
And everything is dusty and damp
It hasn’t been bright inside of me in longer than I can remember
And I don’t remember what you feel like
I don’t remember feeling at all
Or what skin feels like when it’s not puckered into white lines
I’m as dark as ashes
Maybe that’s all I am today.
I’ll be the tip toes out of your door at night
The last headlights to ever kiss your driveway goodbye
Since I couldn’t do the same to you
You can be the break in my heart
I can be the good in your night
And I’ll never find out if you’re a breakfast person
I’ll be clothes littered on the floor
Dirtying up our consciences
Until someone comes and picks you up
Out of these messes I make
You’ll be the hollowness I feel at night
Because I let you fill the holes in my body
When I couldn’t fill the holes in my heart
But I’ll leave a space for you between my fingers
And clear a room in the basement of my thoughts
Where you can stay always
If you ever want
I woke up one morning with a seed in my heart
And an incurable inability to ever let it grow
I held it in my palms
Cupped and concealed in overgrown cowardice
And it never broke past the spaces between my fingers
Or through the holes in my heart
I held a seed in my heart
When my heart couldn’t hold anything else
Waiting for it to spread it wings
I watered it in the stormy procession
Of four in the mornings and twenty years laters
And I woke up one day just a seed
In the heart of… this?
So it’s this again.
Sitting at the end of a year, looking over the edge, and there’s still nothing below me
I’m at the bottom of my own “to do list”
I’m on the underside of the world
And I’m alone on the linoleum
Blowing out the flickers of another year
Cupped between my palms
While the wax melts down my ankles and into pools
It’s another 365 degrees of suffering
Because there are different degrees of that, you know
And I’m still sitting here alone
At the beginning of another year
Happy birthday to me.
June 16, 2014 — Distant
There are sixteen messages on my answering machine
Human interaction, you know
I try not to do that anymore
Although I’m not trying much of anything lately
I’m not sure there’s anything left to try
Everything I’m feeling has already been felt
Everyone I love has already been loved more
I don’t know how to love someone anymore
I don’t even know how to be someone anymore
People make my sense of self shake
People made my sense of self in the first place
There are splinters of humans in my consciousness
But mostly it’s just me in here
And it’s actually none of them on my message machine
Just a bunch of telemarketers
Selling me their souls for nineteen ninety nine
I forgot how silky apathy can be
Constricted around my waist
And laced up in the back of my mind
Always there, always far away
Until everyone’s out of sight
If you break my heart give it back to me
Not that it’s worth anything anymore
Not that it was worth something to begin with
Not that it matters
But there’s a hollowness under the indent
That your palm pressed into my spine
And it’s beating against my skin
Just liked you did
I’ll be whatever you want
I’ll be silent, I’ll be small, I’ll be still
But if your words cut into my wrists again
And tear my veins right open
Collect my blood in a honey pot
And keep it on your shelf
So when the addiction sneaks in
And you need one more hit
I won’t be your dealer
I won’t be here anymore
And if your hands can’t contain themselves
If my pain is just that god damn sexy to you
When your heart is done with mine
Please just give it back
I’ll take it in bits and in pieces
I’ll take with a brave face
I’ll take whatever you haven’t already taken
Just give it back
April 7, 2014
Three cigarette butts at the end of the table, three more days and I hope you never come back
We’re June in winter, and if that’s true, you’re Springtime too early
Came up too fast, pushed through the ground
And winter never left
Now all the flowers are dead and you can’t bring them back
Fuck you and your lazy Earl Grey voice
That never said a single true thing to me at all
And your bedroom window that filters light like you filter your thoughts
Keeping all the kind things in
I’m gasoline underfoot
Don’t tread me onto your carpets
One drop of a match and I’ll set the establishment on fire until they’re burning in the capitol building
I’m burning in all capitals.
H E L P M E G O D D A M N I T I A M D Y I N G.
No one really reads these days
For anyone who is interested in how things have changed:
Give her your affection and she’d give you the freckle on the inside of her hip
She was that kind of girl.
Green apple vodka with bruises under her shirt
The kind of girl who’s smile broke your heart before you even realized your heart was hers
The kind of girl who made you wish you’d taken painting classes so you could keep her morning eyes always
Hanging on your walls in distant shades of grey
The kind of girl who made you wish you’d learned to write music instead of learning to paint
Because her laugh was bells and whistles
And the saddest thing you’d ever heard
Give her ten minutes of your time and she’d give you anything you asked for
And you’d never know what to ask for because you’d never imagined you’d have a girl like her
A fear of the dark, torn cuticles, and an inability to stay within the lines of time
One morning you would wake up to an empty closet
You’d realize she was everything and you were a tally on a bedpost
She was that kind of girl
January 30, 2014 — Dandelions
Little dandelions poked their heads out of the graveyard in my chest
And proclaimed to the permafrost and broken branches
That they weren’t afraid of death
So my ribcage shook, the structure burst, the foundation crumbled in
And the dandelions laid flat, made foolish
Never to be seen again