Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Someone

When I meet a Someone
I want them to have scars.
some girls want images,
the fa├žades the media has painted,
the parts that they have played,
but I do not want first-date material.
Even when I yearned for love,
I was not foolish,
And I have always yearned for the painful domesticity.
I want the fighting that always hits where it hurts most,
The sleeping next to another body,
The excruciating give and take.
I do not want Prince Charming and walks on the beach while the sun is setting.
No, I want a Someone with scars,
With painful memories that I will accidentally trigger,
And who will not treat me as though I am weak on the days that I cannot get out of bed.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,
And I want a Someone whose biggest strength is their character,
Their personality,
Their steadfastness and amiability.
I want a Someone who knows who they are,
And who knows how painful it is to find that out.
I want a Someone who is a real person,
with an overbearing mother and a bratty sister,
whose dog died when they were nine,
who had a friend who kept them from killing themselves in middle school.
I want a Someone who likes old radio shows and Hitchcock movies,
And who hates kale because it was the only vegetable in the house for a month in fourth grade.
I want a Someone with a story,
A life that they have really lived,
A painful past, but one that is filled with videos of school plays and choir concerts.
And I have not yet met my first Someone.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Write Me A Poem

I want you to write me a poem:
tell me you love me,
and let me hear it in the absence of your voice.
I want to hear your words in the silence,
to watch your hands move and your pulse jump,
I want to let your colors swirl in front of my eyes
as I fall even more in love with you.
I want to let you to rest on my shoulder,
heavy and warm,
so that I can breathe you in
and let you rest because you are too world-weary for someone your age.
Let me have this moment:
I have never gotten to say I loved you to your face,
and although you knew,
there is still something missing
that will darken everything.
So please, write me a poem:
tell me that you do not love me,
that your skin will never burn for me,
that your colors only move in straight lines,
and that you do not actually talk with your hands the way I always picture you.
I want to hear silence,
I want you to be still and steady,
and I do not want you to make me fall in love with you.
Let me brush your hair back as you sleep,
and then tiptoe away,
and cry softly so I will not wake you.
I will not be okay for a while,
for now.
I am not as okay as I tell you I am,
and sitting on the edge telling you about who I can't seem to hate
hurts just as much as you standing on the other side of the shelf did.
And as much as I want to have no drama this summer,
there is an inevitability that surrounds us
that will manifest itself in tears and absences.
Those absences should never be yours,
because I know you will have the starring role,
and they need you more than I do.
I am begging of you,
write me a poem:
tell me that you do not love me like I loved you,
that your heartbeat is even and slow,
that you are saving your feelings for the ones I've been jealous of
judged by
wanting to be
my entire life.
Tell me that I am not good enough,
prey on my insecurities,
and never say the right thing.
Write me a poem:
tell me everything I couldn't tell you,
and make it all okay,
and make it so I no longer see you in the absence of light,
because I do not want to feel this way unless I have to.

Monday, June 17, 2013


(so i'm reading this story, and it's all centered around the father's interaction with his son, and his observations on the son's behaviour in general and this kind of sprang from reading something from the point of view that i have no experience of. this passage in particular kind of sparked it: Isaac is instantly surrounded by a horde of children asking his name and helping him adjust to the game, Isaac smiles shyly at everyone but even from this far away Derek can tell he is feeling overwhelmed. He regularly turns to make eye contact with Derek, as if reassuring himself of his father’s presence. Derek nods patiently each time, holds a steady gaze with Isaac and tries to convey the reassurance that he’s right there and he won't be going anywhere.)
i have these strong memories
of being walked inside my school in first grade
and hanging up my tiny backpack
and feeling important when i went into the classroom.
and these memories
they have a sour tang to them now
because every time i felt so powerful
all of that power was taken away
because whoever walked me inside
i have been Not Okay for my entire life.
the word anxiety has followed me from the day i first heard it.
separation anxiety
performance anxiety
social anxiety
a Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
it took me a long time to know what it meant.
and now?
now i know it means
mama or daddy leaving too soon.
it means sparkle plenty,
and being lied to,
that breathing deep dispels nausea.
it means sleeping until noon because someone asked you where you were yesterday
and you don't know how to say,
i got so scared of interacting with people that i almost threw up.
and it means feeling isolated and ostracized and wrong and Not Okay and like a lie
because of a neat little box that someone put you in,
closed the lid and said,
there's no way out without making it worse, so much worse.
but the point is,
i remember feeling so small i couldn't breathe.
i remember being small and wishing people took me seriously.
and then i became a social being, and i forgot all about my Big Ideas.
i forgot who i was for nearly a decade because
because children are not supposed to have Big Ideas
and they were pounded out of me.
and now?
i am 80% an introvert
and the other 20% makes me weep for humanity
because the only people i know
they do not understand my new Big Ideas.
this is not the point i was trying to make.
i have that tendency to get off topic and find new Big Ideas.
also not my point.
all i'm saying is,
i remember being small.
i remember being scared and worried and being told it was okay when it wasn't.
i remember crying for no reason because there was just so much tension and i couldn't handle dad being grumpy.
i don't remember the happy parts.
i remember being scolded and chastised and brushed off.
i remember tantruming and my sister laughing at me and not feeling good enough.
i remember being told i was exceptionally smart and then, ten minutes later, getting something wrong and thinking,
what is wrong with me?
i remember being just as Not Okay then as I am now.
when i remember being small, i can only wish i remember being Okay.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

imperfect perfection

things are not         perfect
is too hard         and not worth it.
but it is in our                               nature
to try
    to strive
              to ask for perfection.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

But He Loves You

You’re in a car with a beautiful boy,
and he won’t tell you that he loves you, 

but he loves you. 
And you feel like you've done something terrible, 
like robbed a liquor store, 
or swallowed pills,
or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt, 
and you’re tired. 
You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, 
and you’re trying not to tell him that you love him, 
and you’re trying to choke down the feeling, 
and you’re trembling, 
but he reaches over and he touches you, 
like a prayer for which no words exist, 
and you feel your heart taking root in your body, 
like you've discovered something you didn't even have a name for.
~Crush by Richard Siken

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

To The Men Who Stand Alone At Graves

I don't know your story,
I don't know if you lost a wife or a brother or a friend,
But the other graves have families or flowers at them and this, 
The one you stand quietly at,
This only has you.
I do not know their story,
I do not know if those children lost a brother to the war,
Those parents a son,
Or that woman an abusive father.
But somehow, they do not seem sad,
Not the way you do.
They have each other,
While you are the men who stand alone.
Was there a house fire,
did your wife die from cancer,
was your father a police officer who got in the middle of a gang war?
And you may go home and inhale your sister's favorite perfume from her dresser,
Where it has sat untouched in her room for ten years.
I don't know your story.
I don't know if you were an innocent touched by death too young,
or if your grandmother waited to die until after taxes,
but you look devastated standing there with your hands shoved in your pockets and your head bowed.
This death made you aware of your own mortality.
At the very least, it made you realize who to hold dear and who you need not worry about.
It changed you.
And I am sorry for your loss.