dear god, i ruin every pure thing i touch
i took something young and tender as a peach bud in spring
and made its hands and teeth yearn for flesh
almost kissing, almost killing
i was as white as the pages of my mother’s bible
before he showed up
now i only pray to the satin-clad goddesses on the dance floor
and communion means french kissing under streetlights
being loved is like cupping fresh summer berries in your palm
it’s warm and it tastes sweet but when you hold on too tight, it bursts
and your skin, once so clean, is stained with juice like blood that never washes off
father, forgive me, i should have stayed in heaven
you can love a mortal, but you’ll have to go to hell to keep them
and is it worth it, for one night of peace? well —
i’ll tell you when the sun rises
oh love, tell me about the way it aches
seeing the sweat glitter on her collarbone, just out of reach
one perfect night when time stood still
and the sunset lit up her hair like stained glass
oh baby, tell me about the flowers unfurling in your chest
when she confessed her sins to you in the dark
all the years spent sobbing in front of altars fell off your shoulders
you asked God for an angel and here she is
oh sweetheart, tell me about the bitter taste of betrayal in your mouth
when you saw her draped over him
did your world fall apart?
did the apocalypse begin when you were writing her love notes?
how did you not notice your one good thing
slipping through your fingers like liquid gold?
oh honey, tell me, did anything hurt more
than when you kissed him while she watched?
three hearts shattering like a robin’s egg knocked out of its nest
sticks and stones, loving and losing
when playing with hearts, there are no winners
wrote this at 3 a.m. one morning when i was very caffeinated from drinking too much tea. it’s not drawn from my own experiences as much as most of my poems are, but there are still some lines that ring painfully true. love triangles are so much fun.
i had to write a poem in my english class, and i liked it enough to post it here. it’s sort of an expansion of this piece of prose, salvador, late or early by sandra cisneros. it’s a pretty powerful short story with some really beautiful lines like “where homes are the color of bad weather” and “its geography of scars, its history of hurt.” i’d really recommend looking it up sometime.
yeah, so, the poem. i hope you guys like it. :)
| your father |
your father sits slumped in the dank den
hunched over in the cracked leather chair like a gnarled tree
the rancid beer bottles rattle together on the crumb-infested carpet
as he rocks sluggishly back and forth
your father hasn’t gone to work in four years
your mother creeps into the den, a wary ghost
she hovers by your father’s side the bills, she starts hesitantly, wringing her trembling hands
your father bares his yellowed teeth
takes another swig of beer
his eyes never leave the television that drones on about car insurance
your mother apologizes as she trips over herself on her way out of the den
you wake up every morning to see your mother going to bed
she spends all night by the colicky baby’s side
lulling it to sleep
telling it i love you so many times that she almost starts to believe it
the baby was an accident
your family can’t afford a fourth child
your mother does all the work for the baby by herself
because your lethargic father refuses to put down his beer bottles
and take care of it long enough for her to take a nap
your father sits slumped in the dank den
he will stay there, oblivious to the state of his family
as your mother wilts away
and the baby grows into a sullen toddler
and your younger brothers repeat a grade
because no one at home helps them with their schoolwork
and you faint everyday and your hair begins to fall out
because you make sure everyone in your family eats before you do
and there’s not enough food left for you
school started for me about two weeks ago, so summer is pretty much gone. but this summer felt like i was living out the plot of a ya-novel. i can confidently say that it was the best summer of my life, and maybe just the best time of my life in general. i think i’ll miss this summer until i die.
summer started with my best friend and i driving to the state border to frolic by a lake all afternoon. our sweaty hair was still tied back in ponytails from that morning’s soccer game. we picked bouquets of wildflowers, followed animal tracks through the sun-hardened mud, and fished (without any luck).
i accidentally locked our keys in the truck. we were miles and miles away from home and we didn’t have any cell service. we had to yank down the window an inch and use a fishing pole to pull the keys out.
my best friends and i were all reunited for one perfect day in late may. we met up at our co-op’s end of the year picnic and then relocated to bethany‘s enormous farmhouse. it was so hot that we couldn’t do anything more than lie around on the trampoline in their dusty barn and nibble on strawberry popsicles.
we caught up on how our lives had been going since the last time we’d been together. romance, summer plans, dreams, drama — everything confusing seems to fall into place once you share it with the people who know you best.
singing old love songs when your lips are stained bright red from the strawberries leaves me dying for a kiss.
it started to cool down in the evening, so we decided to go on an adventure. this “adventure” consisted of splashing around in a muddy stream until kelsie screamed that there was a snake in the water with us (there wasn’t).
we split up awhile later, three of us going to a lawn party while bethany went out to see another friend.
it’s easy to pretend that everything is simple when it’s twilight and you’re tumbling down a blow-up slide in your socks. this is what it’s like to be a kid again. this is what it’s like to be joyful.
we sprinted into a barn when it started to rain. beneath the fairy lights strung across the rafters were tables of food and desserts. i think i cried when there wasn’t any cheesecake.
and then there’s the old power dam. i biked there a few times to wade in the river and look at the graffiti. i don’t think i’ve ever found a place that’s more me. i love how it’s hidden but has lots to say, overgrown and vibrant. it seems almost romantic to me.
one day someone will love me back, and i’ll take them here so they can see who i really am.
sweltering august days often lead to flushed faces
but summer isn’t the only reason for the heat in my cheeks
the staccato rhythm of the drumline across the parking lot
matches the pounding of my heart when i see you
the sweat glittering on your brow shines like tiny gemstones in the golden afternoon sun
it lights up your hair like a halo
sometimes, you are so beautiful it makes my chest ache
| summer 2018 playlist |
peach (lobotomy) // waterparks
take her to the moon // waterparks
stupid for you // waterparks
rollercoaster // bleachers
young volcanoes // fall out boy never fall in love // MØ
time-bomb // all time low
rock to my roll // anarbor
still be around // a summer high
shut up and dance // WALK THE MOON
on top of the world // imagine dragons
favorite record // fall out boy
crush // tessa violet
wild heart // bleachers
riptide // vance joy
of course, there’s also all the time i spent at camp, and that’s what really made this summer so overwhelmingly wonderful. i’m working on a post right now about the highlights of my weeks there, and hopefully i’ll be able to get that up soon. :)
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
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