Today, your name stuck
on the roof of my mouth
like accidental poetry
and somewhere in my
body, I felt the discomfort
of it growing into the
things I held to be familiar.
Today, I realized that your
name, though held by so
many others in this world,
will only ever mean you.
Today, I realized that the
difference between us, is
the next girl you meet with
my name will not be me,
Today, my knees went
uneasy with the thought of
my name in your mouth,
stuck to your teeth, digging
into your back, if that name
did not come with the
image of me.
This is how to run a stick of Chapstick
down the black boxes on your scantron
so the grading machine skips the wrong
answers. This is how to honor roll. Hell,
this is how to National Honor Society.
This is being voted “Most Likely to Marry
for Money” or “Talks the Most, Says the
Least” for senior superlatives. This is
stepping around the kids having panic
attacks in the hallway. This is being the
kid having a panic attack in the hallway.
This is making the A with purple moons
stamped under both eyes. We had to try.
This is telling the ACT supervisor you have
ADHD to get extra time. Today, the average
high school student has the same anxiety
levels as the average 1950’s psychiatric
patient. We know the Pythagorean theorem
by heart, but short-circuit when asked
“How are you?” We don’t know. We don’t
know. That wasn’t on the study guide.
We usually know the answer, but rarely
I want to strangle someone
I want to hear them cry out as I pinpoint my confusion
as my face becomes red and my hands start to cramp
so that finally my mind will be empty- no more numbness.
Maybe their near-death will make me feel alive.
I want to kiss someone
I want to hear them moan as I run my tongue along theirs
and interlock my lips with their’s, gently, slowly, then quickly
as I draw in my breath sharply and close the space between our bodies
Maybe the control will make me feel alive.
I want to squeeze
Until there’s nothing left.
I want breathe in silence
without breathing out death.
sometimes I kiss people I shouldn’t kiss and let them unbutton my jeans sometimes I leave English class without asking and walk in angular circles until I can hear the blood rushing under my skin sometimes I run until I can’t breathe sometimes I sit in the rain sometimes I sleep for six hours in the middle of the day
sometimes I drive too fast and listen to my music so loud that it hurts sometimes I drink until everything goes black and I don’t remember talking about you all night (even though I do)
sometimes I cry about books and about people who died hundreds of years ago sometimes I don’t cry even though I want to more than anything sometimes I ignore the people I love sometimes hold myself to keep everything in because you are not here to do it
sometimes I think I’m alive sometimes I think I probably never will be”
This town is full of tormented people.
There are couples everywhere
and carrying their children
on their backs.
Their backs are broken
from carrying so much that is constantly growing.
Their names are white
and dance upon tongues
and their stories seem to all be the same.
I don’t know what it means,
to be placed here,
to have a birthday
and a mom and dad
and hands that open and close windows in Spring.
I just sit and watch the dirt raise its head
But there are girls in this town
who love boys somewhere else
and there are girls in this town
who love boys in this town
and there are girls in this town
who love girls
but have never once held hands with anyone
except in the back of a bar.
No one here is sad when they eat ice cream.
No one dies on purpose.
does not talk to any of our neighbors,
afraid they’re going to bring their Western ideals
into the house she has tried to build
from Syrian dirt,
unaware of where she is on the map
She just waves hello
and dreams in a different language.
Everyone here tells their story,
no one knows how to keep a secret.
No one likes to talk on the phone.
No one likes anything here.
I like it all.
Do you ever feel like you’re faking all of your emotions to the point that you believe they’re real?
Never trust a guy that will spoil you with romance.
A guy that gives you his sweet words and expects love in return.
He may seem charming and even demure,
but that is only the first layer.
and yes his heart is large,
but notice how it’s hollow.
He expects you to fill it.
If you don’t right away,
He tosses more empty, echoing rhymes at you,
saying “Am I good enough NOW? Do you love me NOW?”
I know you’re still thinking “Better him than no one”
but the thing is, when your adoration is finally starting to sprout,
he’ll shower you with love and lust
And your little seedling will quickly drown.
When you’ve had enough you’ll pull your roots up and wriggle away,
but you’ll always remember those days when love was too much.
And from then on, any nibble of
will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth