you flirt too much for someone who doesn’t love me

i wanna be yours

i would wear my heart on my sleeve
if it were not in pieces
i would hold your heart in my hands
if it were not black and white
can we forget that you curled up beside me
underneath a floral blanket
and i couldn’t hold you in my arms

you kissed my cheek as a goodbye
it was tender and blush pink
you must have practiced on the mirror

i swayed and kissed back
but it was sloppy, nervous, shy
i was inexperienced then
now the chapstick stains on
my bathroom mirror match yours

i hope i get another chance
to kiss you before you go
this time, you will be the one
whose fingers trace their flushed skin
every morning when you wake up alone

xo apollo

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greenhouse

when i was a child, my family would drive down the gravel road to the greenhouse at the start of every summer. stepping inside the tent was like stumbling upon my own narnia, where it’s always june instead of perpetually winter. the perfume of so many flowers mingled together in the humid air. puddles on the floor reflected back the rainbow of blooms. bugs flitted from plant to plant. the atmosphere made it easy to pretend that i was the goddess demeter and the growing beauty all around me was my own handiwork.

my father would tell my brother and i that we could each pick one plant to bring home. my brother always chose something spiky and blossom-less, such as a serrated-edged, deep purple persian shield or a dark succulent. time after time, i was drawn to the romantic array of cherry, fuchsia, punch-pink, and candy cane geraniums. i always bought one and my brother always got a plant as sharp as his personality. some things are as predictable as the sunrise, and our greenhouse habits are no exception.

when my brother and i placed our special flowers on the counter beside my dad’s box of purchases, the worker would adjust her sin sifter and let us pick out a free marigold. there was a box of fiery blooms in the windowsill, straining for the sun. my brother would claim an orange one and i would choose yellow, and we would hold them in our laps on the ride home and plant them side by side in the yard.

my brother doesn’t care for flowers anymore. our family goes to the greenhouse without him, and i’m allowed as many plants as i would like. the woman behind the counter no longer offers me a marigold.

if we went early enough in the summer, there would be a cage around the back of the greenhouse where they kept easter bunnies. i cupped them in my hands one by one, trembling pompoms with a heartbeat, watching their bubblegum noses twitch and their fur flit around in the breeze. i begged my parents for one — promised that i would make its life heaven on earth, read every book about taking care of rabbits that i could get my hands on — but they never agreed. it’s too much responsibility for you, they said. the cats wouldn’t like them. bunnies are mean, anyway. so i never got a rabbit, and at some point, they got rid of the cages and i never held another easter bunny.

a year or two ago, i went on a walk one dusty, golden evening, and my feet led me down the gravel road to the greenhouse. i paused by the sign announcing the valley’s favorite greenhouse and stared out across the soy fields. birds rustled and sang from the crops and danced duets in the pale sky. the sun-warmed rocks beneath my bare, callused feet became too intense as i stood there, absorbing a picturesque summer sunset in the country, so i scooted off into the grass beside the road. wild strawberries poked up around my toes. a gemstone beetle crawled across a daisy as it continued its steady journey back home.

i have only known creekside junes and julys, spent hunting water snakes on slippery rocks, staining my lips and fingertips with blackberries, biking by myself through corn fields, burning marshmallows in the backyard while watching a shooting star overhead. the ache of every perfect summer i will never experience is eating me alive.

xo apollo

end of may or early june

there are days when i am bursting at the seams with light
i have daises in my hair and a love song on my lips
my forearms face the sun
i am lovely and so is the world
i believe i could live in the color yellow

and there are days when i am the static on the radio
i am lying on the floor of my room with the blinds closed
my mind is drifting
you could press your lips against mine for the first time
and i would not unbury myself to murmur i love you back
time has stopped in my suburban tomb and in my heart
i am frozen, a cold metal frame of a human
the world keeps moving on without me in it
i know because i can watch the shades of sunsets drip down my wall
and because the knocks on the door have stopped

but i will come back someday, maybe tomorrow
and i will sing my love songs with more passion than before
now i know what it is like to be alone and forgotten on the floor
and i do not want you to feel that way, too
it is not your fault that i disappear from time to time
and i’m sorry that you can’t keep me here
no matter how hard you try
just sing with me, please
so i can bottle up this love and drink that instead of poison

xo apollo

letter to a lover

i want someone to tell stories to. i want to walk nowhere in particular while holding hands, and i want to point things out and say what they make me think of. i want to talk to someone about why missing posters and sky blue make me cry. it feels like when you’ve been hurt and you have a band-aid and you’re waiting for someone to say what happened? i want someone to notice when my eyes tear up, when i flinch, when i tremble. i want someone to pay attention to the song i’m singing to myself and ask what it means to me. i want someone to know and understand me and not hate it. and i know that is too much to ask for.


happy valentine’s day! <3

the only date i have today is with my school’s guidance counselor. i have to register for next year’s classes and i have no clue which ones i want to take. i’d like to do a more advanced art class and band/percussion, but theatre also sounds fun.

i’m going on a youth retreat this weekend. i went last year, too, with my pal n (although i don’t think he’s coming this time). the lodge we’ll be staying at is up in the mountains, and there’s a forest, stream, and i think a meadow area as well. i’ll be bringing my camera, and if the retreat is as unstructured as last year, i’ll have plenty of time to take pictures.

last thing: my brother is in his school’s production of the sound of music. he somehow convinced the director to let him do a roundoff back tuck in one scene. the first performance is tomorrow and i think i’ll give him some fake flowers that i found in the attic.

xo apollo

aphrodite

blossoms from emily’s tree.

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (romeo and juliet)

roses in pennsylvania.

i’ll send you the sunset i love the most. (tokyo // owl city)

roses at a downtown café.

i am beginning to think
that i am a liar
i can’t open my mouth
without crooked words tumbling
over crooked teeth
like when i shrugged and said
we’re kids
we can’t love each other yet
and i felt aphrodite
dewy rose petals caught in her
dark dripping curls
twist her bruised lips in sorrow
because what is young love
but praying you’ll make it
while reaching for sweaty
shaky hands in the dusk

xo apollo

december memoir

documenting a month through poems and journal entries and song lyrics so it doesn’t get lost in the gray fog that is my life.


i. another year of loving something just out of reach. you are a ghost of a kiss.

ii. it hurts that you are replacing me and i have no one to take your spot. i am tired of missing you and not being able to do anything about it.

iii. i wish i didn’t really kiss the mirror when i’m on my own. oh god, i’m gonna die alone. (teen idle // marina and the diamonds)

v. i haven’t been this angry in a long time. i know that she is just trying to help, and that i am being completely unreasonable. but, god, she is ignorant and i want to break things.

vi. i don’t blame you for being you, but you can’t blame me for hating it. (a little less sixteen candles, a little more “touch me” // fall out boy)

vii. i ran across the city to get to you. cold air, street lamps, heavy breaths, tight chest, shoes pounding against concrete. with every step, i thought, i am getting closer to my future or closer to heartbreak. but i missed you. and i sprinted through the crowded sidewalks again before missing you a second time.

viii. i’d promise you anything for another shot at life. (disloyal order of water buffaloes // fall out boy)

ix. i had a dream where we danced together as it snowed. i have been smiling all day.

i just want to dance with you. i’ve never learned how and i don’t think you have, either, but it doesn’t matter. i want to hold your hands and sway and spin and have you fall in love with me again.

can we try? i don’t care if your palms sweat or if you step on my feet or if the music is bad. just dance with me, please.

x. and i’ve been talking to God, asking for just a little help with you, but it’s hopeless. it’s not the first time, but this one really carved it in. tell your new friends that they don’t know you like i do. it’s over. i wanna see you again, i wanna feel it again. (oh well, oh well // mayday parade)

xi. i am at a party with sweets in my hands, smiling with my friends, and something goes wrong. suddenly everyone is staring at me and expecting the right words from my mouth and the world is caving in, and i can run and cover my ears, but i can still hear the laughter.

xii. one track mind, one track heart. if i fail, i’ll fall apart. maybe it is all a test, cause i feel like i’m the worst so i always act like i’m the best. (oh no! // marina and the diamonds)

xiii. anger, even when it’s not directed at me, makes me hate myself. maybe anger is contagious. maybe one person’s cruelty sparks it in others until everyone’s fists are raised and tears feel like acid on your cheeks. if you could just say you’re sorry — would that be so hard? — i could lower my hands and leave you without guilt tucked into my suitcase.

xiv. the best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realize that two out of three ain’t bad. (i’m like a lawyer with the way i’m always trying to get you off (me & you) // fall out boy)

 

xv. i am afraid i will not go to heaven. i have been told so many times that i do not deserve it.

xvi. mama who bore me, mama who gave me no way to handle things, who made me so sad. mama, the weeping. mama, the angels. no sleep in heaven, or bethlehem. (mama who bore me (reprise) // spring awakening)

xvii. i woke up before dawn and ran outside in my pajamas to watch the sunrise. water dripped down my forehead  and the sky was pink and orange and i was freezing. it was beautiful and you never realize just how little you matter until you are huddled under a watercolor sunrise.

xviii. i’m just a moment, so don’t let me pass you by. we could be a story in the morning, but we’ll be a legend tonight. (outlines // all time low)

xix. life goes on. life goes on, even when you don’t want it to, when you want to pause it and live in that moment because things are good.

things were not good, but i had you and a dream of leaving, and that made them good. i do not want life to go on if you are not in it. i want to live in a moment when you are still here.

xx. best friends, ex-friends to the end. better off as lovers and not the other way around. (bang the doldrums // fall out boy)

xxi. my friends and i cuddled on the fold-out bed in the basement that creaks when you move and pokes you with its springs in the most tender spots. we were laughing, hands intertwined, radiating warmth and lazy joy. i said that i could never be the one to end things because i wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt of breaking someone’s heart, and they agreed.

i didn’t know that you were thinking of ways to say goodbye. i wonder if it would have made a difference if you’d been able to hear us sift through our memories and remember how things began. i am both angry and relieved that you do not seem to bear the same guilt that i do, and i don’t know how that can be.

xxii. i would’ve married you in vegas, had you given me the chance to say “i do.” (vegas // all time low)

xxiii. i said that 2016 was the worst year of my life, because i lost you for the first time and nothing had ever hurt more. now i am saying that 2017 was the worst, because i lost you again and it hurt more than before, more than i imagined anything could hurt. today, it is 2018, and i am afraid that it will be the worst year of my life, because i think i am going to lose you again, permanently. maybe i will recover from this, but not if you are gone forever.

xxiv. i came out grieving, barely breathing and you came out alright. but i’m sure you’ll take his hand, i hope he’s better than i ever could have been. my mistakes were not intentions, this is a list of my confessions i couldn’t say. pain is never permanent but tonight it’s killing me. (december // neck deep)

xo apollo