harlequin boys dream of
water-logged girls with
tired eyes and sloppy mouths that say,
i guess so,
and don’t fight back.
with strawberry raspberry red lips
and their violet eyes,
they’re the hangover
you can’t get rid of
no matter how many bottles of Aspirin
they’re the priests and the saints
sitting with crossed legs and
sweaty palms while
the alter girl sits in front of them
repenting for her last
and asking for forgiveness down
the crevice of her chest.
mad and raging
and you have a headache the size
of his fist;
and you have a nose bleed and he calls you
darlin’ darlin’ my little darlin’.
mad and raging:
you have never seen something so
pale, pale lips, fuller than a Cheshire Cat moon,
but turned down just the same.
ivory skin like glass,
too fragile to touch,
too enticing not to touch.
their bodies are maps:
sun-kissed scars (freckles)
designate your journey,
and scar tissue (wounds, burns, sores)
marks the spot of where
you claim land;
you claim her;
you claim everything.
on the streets,
while they’re walking back,
hands shoved in their pockets,
heads down low,
and ass cheeks poking out,
you call here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty
and you don’t get why they go home
and drain their wrists in bathroom sinks.
so damn sad and pitiful
and you have a desire
that can’t be satisfied (not even when
they’re bent over into a Capital C);
and you have a fire that can’t be put out
with a couple wet finger tips.
so damn sad and pitiful:
you have never seen something as
we just wanted to kill the pain
with a little self-medication
instead we ended up
being held responsible
to be “The Next Generation”;
instead we ended up
divided as “virgins” and “whores”
in dirty church pews ;
instead we ended up
we all just ended up so damn unhappy.
all we wanted to be was
we are supposed to be tomorrow:
but we are nothing we are so damn
lost in trying to be found that we don’t know
which way is up anymore,
and i mean, does it matter? does it matter
if you have nowhere to go which road
you take, even if it’s the wrong one?
because if i go this way and it leads me somewhere,
at least it’s anywhere but here.
and if i take the other road and it leads me off a cliff,
but we are nothing and we’re all just sitting here
and we’re waiting
we’re waiting for it to rain or for the sun to come out
but we’re waiting for change and i can feel it
in these winter bones that
there is a summer petal still stuck in between my teeth
and i can taste it,
i can taste autumn and it tastes like
a ruby river of blood
running from the tip of my tongue to my wrists
and i can’t hear the wind outside my
window and i’m scared that if it really has stopped,
if the winds really stop calling me,
i won’t be able to tell the seasons apart anymore.
i taste autumn and i feel like summer,
but oh god,
what if i can’t hear winter anymore?
(don’t ask about spring,
she’s dead, she died.
bad things happened.
please, oh god,
don’t ask me about her again.)
but so we are nothing and i am at the bottom
of a jack daniel’s bottle and i am trying
to claw my way out. i have bitten my nails down to
the nail beds and don’t look at my hands,
there are little men hanging underneath my eyes
and they are swinging from the bags beneath them
and i hope they’re having fun,
i hope at least someone here isn’t so damn sad.
i am nothing and i hope for a contradiction:
i hope that no one else feels this way,
but at the same time—
please tell me i’m not alone,
don’t let this be my fault this time.
tell me it’s part of growing up
and everyone feels like this
and it doesn’t matter if it’s
6:30 at night or 8 in the morning:
it’s okay to feel like this,
it doesn’t mean you’re going to die though.
we’re supposed to be tomorrow, you know?
like the next generation?
but hell, how do we get from here to there,
from now to next? the only direction i’m sure of
god, we’re so fucked.
A woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.
You will not tell anyone that you liked it.
It is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.
You can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.
All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.
You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.
Every writer has a cold heart. It lives inside the apartment building of their ribs, on the very top floor close to the fire escape, where it can flee through the window if need be. They like to ruin the things they write about. Even the moon feels broken when they’re done with it. Nothing a writer mentions in their work can ever be whole again.
If writers had gardens, they would be full of words, buried deep down under the sweet dark soil like vegetable seeds. They take root and grow there, sometimes for months, sometimes for years, until a story is born, and then they bloom. That’s why so many well-known authors had green thumbs. In their spare time you can find them out on the terrace, smoking a cigarette or drinking tea, maybe down at the beach with their limbs splayed out in the water like the five points of a star.
Writers are easy to fall in love with. They make their lovers feel like ghosts, transient and luminescent. When they have sex it’s never just sex. They speak when they’re making love, endless sentences of poetry and prose. Some of their best works are created when wrapped around the body of another. They’re always taking mental snapshots of the way their skin fits into someone else’s. They notice every little thing. Each bruise, freckle, callus, and vein. They could write an anthology all about the hidden parts of the body.
When a writer captures you, all you can do is stand like a deer in headlights until they’re finished with you. They’ll keep you locked up in their den for days, their pen endlessly moving across paper. You’ll never forget the sound of that typewriter. It’ll haunt you in your sleep. They’ll let you drown. If you were at the bottom of the ocean, with the bubbles already escaping from your lips, they wouldn’t save you. There would be no anchor to throw down to you, no lifeboat to come your way. Writers always let their subjects drown. It’s just easier that way.
And if a writer falls in love with you, you’re done for. Be prepared for a terrifying existence. They’ll want to watch you all the time. You’ll live off of ramen noodles and packets of instant coffee, and your limbs will always be wrapped around theirs in the bathtub. The coldness of their heart may melt a little, until it’s less like the Arctic and more like a glacier. Only you can warm your hands over their fire. But they’ll kill you, slowly, without mercy. They’ll kill you with pure poetry and prose. You can never escape from their stories. If a writer falls in love with you, you will forever be caught up in the web of their words.
I went on a date last night and then you texted and asked, again, whether I would come there. Start our days with coffee, end with you making dinner. Forever. I feel myself tug towards yes and then I remember why it will always be no with you and I.
There are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the best part of your face, the best part of you naked, the best mood on your best day, the best story you ever wrote, the best outfit you ever wore.
They are going to miss the scar on the underside of your nose from the time your older brothers dared you to run across a pile of logs. They won’t know that you fell on a hidden nail just as you completed the challenge. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, too from the time you were seven and closed a swiss army knife on it. They won’t understand that these are two of only a handful of things you can remember about your childhood. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming. They won’t know you get migraines. They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll love it because it feels real to them. They’ll miss knowing the sweatshirt full of holes that they criticized you for wearing was your dads. You might tell them some of these things along the way, but they will remember the best things instead.
They will love your good moods, your energy, your sense of humor, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the back of your throat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.
When the parts that aren’t your best come out, some people will shield their eyes as if you have just forced them to look directly into the sun for hours until their irises burn. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.
And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you.
i think it would be fun to tightrope walk over the telephone lines
to climb from my bed to yours.
i wonder if you would ever let me
kiss your eyelids
and rub my nose against yours
or maybe just hold your hand
before i go to sleep,
i think about you
and it makes everything ten times easier
and twenty times harder.
i really think everything will be okay
but the thing about sometimes,
is that sometimes doesn’t get you through all the times.
not even a little bit
not at all
we’re out of time.