Blistered Hands

my blistered hands
have forgotten what it felt like to
reach for something that isn't
running in the opposite direction

forgive me if i doubt your love
for i have never held something
that didn't slip through my fingers
whenever i looked away

every time i wake with
a kiss on my cheek and
my heart safely in your hands

you are giving me
a break from
reaching because
you are
always
right here

Fireflies

Fireflies strobe through the streets
attracting seven year olds, convinced
their mothers will let them keep their
new captures, wishing to
replace their nightlights.

Like fireflies,
you appear as night
finds its strength,
your light radiating
and I reach out to
hold it between my
fingers, wishing to
replace my nightlight.

But,

like fireflies,
I cannot keep you in a
mason jar beside my bed.
Instead, I pray for you to
climb in next to me when
the night is much stronger
than I and the wind howls
at the full moon, sending
shivers down my shaken spine
with every slow tick of the clock.

Your light disappears into the
spaces between my fingers and
I long for your touch,

wishing

to see you again tomorrow.

 

A Loose Definition of Okay

Tears stream down my face and you look
at me like you’re watching a lion that
escaped from the zoo, waiting for me to
attack. I’m not attacking, but you back
away slowly as I fall to the floor.
“Don’t worry,”
I say forcing a smile to appear on my face.
“I’m okay.”
But you roll your eyes, shake your head, and take another step back.
The tears won’t stop and you keep walking
backwards, step after step. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry you’re here to see this.
I’m sorry I can’t hide this.
I’m sorry I want to run away and never come back.
I’m sorry I thought I could make it through a train ride without crying.
I’m sorry I didn’t stay home by myself.
I’m sorry I ruin everything.
I’m sorry I’m ruining us.
I’m sorry I’m still here.
I’m sorry I’m still
alive.

You’re a million miles away now and I’m still stuck.
Sinking.
Into the ground where I’ve been standing.
Sinking.
I’m not stopping.
Sinking.
Drowning.
My head beneath the water.
Barely breathing.
Losing.
Losing myself in the knots tangling my thoughts.
Losing the smile I used to fake to keep them from questioning, to keep myself from crying.
Losing you.
Losing
me.
Suffocating.

I’ve reached the bottom of the ocean, but I can
still see you getting better.
I want you to get better.
I need you to get better.
Please get better.
Please don’t forget about me.
Because, truth is, I’m not okay.
I’m not okay. I’m not okay. I’m not okay.
I’m not fucking okay.
I just took my first step out of the house I built when I was 5 called
denial. Now I can see the
cuts on my hips that keep getting deeper.
I can see the weight I’ve lost since the last time I ate a real meal.
I can see.
Everything.
I’m not fucking okay.
I need help.
I need someone.
I need someone to stay.
I need
you.

Please come back.

Please Don’t Forget

Words roll off your tongue,
through your fingertips,
and onto a computer screen
before I can drag them into a
dark alley
and beat the crap out of them.
I can’t seem to touch the
thoughts that have a
grip on your mind.
I want to steal them from you and
bury them in the middle of
a forest on the other
side of the universe.
It’s been so long since you’ve
cracked a smile or
whispered “I love you”
under your breath in
front of a mirror.
With too many “I need space”s
as a response to your string of
“I need you”s,
you’re convinced that you are
not worth the
weight of your statements.

Your eyes rush to every
stretch mark and scar as your
mind rips itself inside out
without realizing that all the
flaws you see prove that
you have survived
wars with demons.
You beat them before anyone even
caught a glimpse of your battle.
No wonder they don’t
understand the wounds that
appeared on your skin and
in the depths of your brain,
they didn’t even realize
you were fighting.

You have yet to realize that
without every bruise,
crease, and
imprint,
you would not be alive.
If you were really as light and
easy to carry as your
kindergarten book bag, you’d be a
ghost and hauntings give me chills that
no blanket or jacket can cure.
I want you.
I want you as a person,
as a human.
I want to be able to touch and
feel and
listen to the crack in your voice and
teach you about everything you
ignore about yourself
until you figure out that
there is more to
love.

Haiku #13

You are poetry,
words too beautiful to write,
not spoken but felt.

Can we make a deal?

If you want to talk or
need a friend,
text me.
Call me.
Come to my house.
I will find you a meal and we can
talk over food
or take a walk and
not stop moving until you’re
too tired and ill carry you
back and lie you down in my bed.
We can talk until you don’t
want to anymore or until a
smile appears on your face.
I want to help you.
Please.
Just let me help you.

I’m Not Blaming Myself Anymore

You sit on your floor
whining about the latest
wounds the love of your life
gave you for your birthday.
You sit there pretending to
smile and laugh and squeeze a
joke out of your suffocating
mind. You battle the
world in the tags of your posts,
hiding your face behind your
punch while collecting your
tears in mason jars to show off your
pain to those who won’t disagree
with you.
You got hurt.
You have bruises that won’t
go away and you
search the file cabinets and cardboard boxes
to find that you have not been as
organized as you once thought. Your
life no longer fits into
color-coated folders and binders. You
can’t throw the
blue and red ones under your
bed because the memories are too
tough to bite into. You are, for the
first time, forced to look in the
mirror and see your mistakes
projected in front of you. You can
try to break all the mirrors, but the
images will appear on
every wall you run into. You can’t
escape the cage you
built around
yourself.

I have the key.
You never asked for it.