_"How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!"
I remember you asked me how it felt to be an angel, and I told you everyone was born with wings.
I regret the way you believed I meant whole wings, white wings, strong wings; some wings
are no longer wings at all but exist as tiny pins on corkboards where wings used to sit quietly under glass and eyes.
Here I am fractured, broken by sound and the lack of sunrise in this winter, where the grey space of summer dawn is perpetually frozen until night, and the stars that dot the blackness are skyscrapers and aeroplanes wandering the empty.
Twenty miles outside this grey city lies my heart, buried under snow and ice from a time where love existed, now another isolated bump in the landscape under a pale grey sky, but I exist in a city where the skyline is peppered with lights, each one a different window into someone else’s life; in this city these buildings are flung up like satellites, flashing on and off in half-day intervals, yet so quickly when seen in rapid succession.
And I am greyness alone on a grey train to a destination that has already been chosen and I haven’t accepted yet because if life is impermanence then I am just a blip on the radar, once then fade out of sight, out of sound.
Then when phones ring out grey in silence like gunshots, when grime lines the lines of grim subway tunnels, when teeth jar upon impact and hands are too tired to grip the rails like they were a sword bent on defense, I will remember pain.
In this measure will I bring my own salvation;
in this measure will I measure out my name.
do i need to be self-deprecating to be loved? because that’s what seems to be the trend. if you say you’re pretty you get hated on, and if you don’t say anything at all and just accept yourself, you don’t even get acknowledged. or when you do, it still doesn’t compare to the amount of people disagreeing with “i’m shit, this is shit, fuck this shit, my body is shit”. no, i’m not saying that we should stop encouraging people, but i don’t see why the only people who are considered pretty enough, smart enough, under enough pressure to be told, are the ones who “don’t see it”. why does a photo of someone smiling get less likes on a social media site than a photo of someone staring vacantly into a camera? i understand that there are reasons why people enjoy these photos, but i am annoyed that we can’t even celebrate someone else’s happiness anymore because it’s as if they don’t deserve it. is the girl smiling less worthy of a compliment than the sad one standing next to her? is it really worth it to make that comparison and say “oh but she seems like she’s got herself together; she’s happy with where she is right now; she doesn’t need me to say anything..”? no. she’s not. you don’t know her. you don’t know that maybe one compliment now might help her later. you don’t think for one moment that maybe the fact that she is pretty and smart and capable is an achievement that she has struggled with for awhile, and that maybe it would be nice for someone to recognize it. and that is a problem.
Loud riffs and brighter lights away leave me on my knees in humble heartache. I am broken by the stares that pierce blindly though the night and this symphony of sounds is only undermined by the feel of snow settled on my cheeks. The concrete cuts but only shallow, red bumps of self-regret embedded in thick skin, and I am a melancholy mess in need of saline sustinance; I want to cry but the tears are stuck in mental limbo and I am Weakness itself. I cannot feel my bones because they are rubber swathed in folds of gelatin and I am the burn of cold smoke in the universe’s lungs. The stickiness of my skin is tantamount to the yawns that rip through my skull and while flashing lights run tenfold through my head I am pulverized in stereophonic sound.
I can’t believe the only broken people are those with brittle bones and tired skin. I have strong shoulders but they spend their days compensating for a heavy heart while carrying stones of solace to those who ask, and yes I can smile but I am still in pieces, and you don’t have the right to say I’m not.
In the midnight hours the darkness clings to me like a sweater I will never outgrow. Do not tell me that my body is perfect because I know the truth and this does not make me self-abusive in understanding my flaws, but if you tell me that I am perfect all the while showing me things of what I am not, I will not believe you and I will call you out as the hypocrite you are.
If you write novels about thin girls who lock themselves up in tall towers, staring at mirrors that can barely show their reflection, don’t expect me to relate to the way she wastes away with frozen teeth and cigarettes when I have mold growing in my joints. I am not a doe-eyed colt with shaking knees; my bruises are not lovely and my collarbones are hidden. I have fat folds that you could crawl into and I’ll bet you the lettuce on your plate you could fit both of your legs in my jeans.
But God forbid I cope differently; God forbid I am myself. You see, maybe I let my laugh out like my waistline, covering up the fact that I’m shrinking inside. I am tired of being told that my heartbeat is louder than my footsteps, because when I walk away in shame I can hear the thumping against the tiles well enough without reminder. I am not deaf. Do not add on more burdens to my cause and pity me in silence. Do not deny me that right to accept myself.
it’s seven p.m. and you’re sitting on the crapper with your head between your hands and the tiles are spinning in directions that you never even thought existed. you’re wondering why sadness is not a pain but an emptiness and you’re hoping to shit the feelings out but of course you’re just sitting on the crapper for no reason besides watching the tiles spin in concentric circles in different angles and of course that doesn’t make sense but that’s the way you see it. you’re thinking about that boy at the bar who hit on you last night, the one who spat on your shoe when you turned away, the one who said that he would have taken you right there with the bar stool digging into your pelvis, slightly straddled, because you know, rape is the new kink, with “bitch” named for the slain and “I have a boner” is still synonymous for “I want to fuck you slowly over the counter like a drug I hate to take”. and while you stare at the way your bare toes grip the tiles like gravity was about to let go, he is grinning in your mind like a demon, and as he whispers your soul becomes eaten away; you’ll slump further and fall to the ground with the porcelain crapper before you and above you like a throne you don’t deserve and you’ll know that even though his circle will never meet with yours again, he’s still got you orbiting within his hands.
Do I look at you with lips upturned in acceptance,
pursed in barest defiance,
parted in quiet compliance,
or would your ever-present heat
take hold and push me
to my broken knees
in stagnant misogyny?
But I can tell you are not one to lie
and I imagine your chest feels hollow,
cold hands grasping
at your heart as it beats with every tic,
with every tap, tap, tap of every hit,
glass against the tabletop in numb agony.
And what if you catch me
staring at my feet, wondering
what it would be like to sit closer,
to find out the reason your fingertips
are stained with grape juice,
and why your breath smells like rotting grain?
See, I am cold hands under the sunset
and red cheeks in the wind,
and sometimes when you tilt your head sideways
your nose makes your face seem noble,
but your eyes sit sadly in your skull,
saturnine and somber, apologizing
with every glance my way.
Yet if you slip your hands over me
like you would with a girl in so many sweaters,
searching for little bones to hold,
you might forget what I am not—
a one-night-woman with the darkness slipped over me like a dress, no;
I am soft light shining above the winter snow,
and your heat glares where I barely
cast a shadow.
You are like gasoline—so am I but instead I am trapped fumes; you have been left out to air, seeming quiet on the surface, but underneath so easy to spark, easy to set off, easy in your path of self-destruction. How can someone so small fight against you? See, I am only flammable when exposed, yet still unable to put you out and this is why we cannot be.
I see the light and the heat—I feel it in the way you stare at me but here I am frozen and whole, preserved; I know your touch will make me slippery and dangerous, and I am not one to melt like butter in the hands of a man. My body is not a temple; it is a weapon in my own hands and war is a measure I do not take lightly, but when I fall to my knees deep in slush and the cars race around me as if I am invisible, I hate that your name spills out of my mouth as both a Hail Mary and a Damn—damn you, man-I-do-not-love, damn you.
See, your name is a brutal reminder of a love that pierced my tongue, hanging there in mockery as the cold seeps into my bones with such intensity, and as soon as you are exhaled you become fumes; the sound sends shocks all over my body and you are bright and you are gasoline ignited and fueled by these memories of you.
Yes, in one quick spark you are made inferno, and in sadistic temperance I am taken with you.