Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.
You taught me how to drink that night.
(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)
Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)
You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.
beautiful broken things must stick togetherbecause she is a broken pretty thing,
and he is the little boy who grew up
Hemingway Would Hate ThisThe trouble with the Boy was that he didn't have the heart of Shakespeare, the voice of Poe, nor the soul of Wordsworth, nor the knowledge of Rembrandt in his darkest days. He didn't have a trace of Michaelangelo's spirit nor the angst of Carvaggio and this on its own was enough to dissuade him from understanding that technique was far better than solidarity and possession far more ageless than youth.
He didn't have any of this knowledge because his father hadn't had the courage to tell him that he needed all the qualities of these great men, to win over the heart of a woman who had the dreams of Austen, the ideas of Da Vinci and the scent of a high priestess of Venetian origin.
The Girl was all those things and more, and her value, her estimate in the market of souls was higher than most. She was an angel amongst Gods, and He should never have let her go into the world thinking that it was Keats hearted. Because like all women who live their lives story shaped, she was soon broken by
Wistful"I am the boy who wants to love
your misshapen words,
your broken hearted pieces,
your ink split fingers.
I am the boy who wants to kiss
those scar tattooed arms,
that tear stained face
mend what has been broken.
I am the boy who can
make your heart
sing poetry again."
If only he would say it
like he had
Bones"There are good days and there are bad days," you would say to me as you would try and explain away why the whiskey bottle was empty again this morning, why you smelled like her and why you thought it was best to let me know what you had done. At least that way, you were absolved of the gift of lying; the one your bones were too light to lift and just couldn't take, by bestowing me with betrayal.
My mother would bring me an encouraging cup of tea in a giant pink mug instead of a cup and explain, "There are good days and there are bad days." Her eyes were always full of positive energy and strength and good will. I look back to those days and try and gain the strength she had in her bones from her words. I always fail.
They told me I had a disease within my bones. It started from the bottom of my knee and was moving upwards. Because that is what bones did. They broke from the inside out. "There will be good days and bad days," they warned me. I knew at that very point that it was going
Because the Blue Fairy Said So(Addendum from Sleep Deprived Brain: Clare calls it mourning sickness. As in 'Mourning for my Single, Carefree Life' sickness.)
"I would make a terrible mother anyway."
"I don't think you're in the right place right now to make those kind of judgmental indecisions about yourself."
"I would, though."
"Your word still doesn't make it true."
"Last I heard children are usually raised in clean, pretty houses with a white picket fence outside and a daily routine that is organised from the word 'Go'."
"What have you been listening to? The Stepford Radio Specials Circa 1951?"
"Firstly, there is no such thing. Secondly, I couldn't be bothered to cook, I think a clean house is life being wasted, I procrastinate like its a job to do just that and I am a firm advocate of the fact that all fairytales are based on some form of evidence that we just haven't discovered yet."
"Can I just say that if I was your brain, I would be so exhausted that I would want to give myself a lobotomy?"
dearly belovedthese days
your name has been slipping
in and out of my rib cage
my heart forgets to beat.
how even after all these months i still
don't want to believe that
you're dead. how during the
first couple of weeks i prayed
to a god i didn't believe in and begged to know
if death tasted sweet to you. how once,
when the monsters in my head
didn't let me sleep, i
wrote you three poems and then
you were a supernova that
lit up my life for
a few radiant moments before,
like all good things in this
you came to an end.
the sinner in me hopes that you have wings now.
but i think that,
most of all,
i hope you no longer
remember what pain
Poisonous Eyes“There once was a child. This child was no different from a child you might find elsewhere. However where you’d find this child was what made it unique. The child was left behind in the forest without family or home ;however, the child did not weep for it was not alone. In the forest a bird gazed upon this child without love. Without hate. Without care. It saw the child and that was enough. It saw the child when no else did. So the child loved the bird. The child loved the bird as one might love a mother. And the bird gazed upon this child. As the child grew, the bird’s gaze also grew. Into something more. Into frittered whispers and welcoming chirps and tweets. But along with those the gaze held. Without love or hate. And the boy’s gaze also held. Filled with love. They continued in this idyllic ignorance until one day the bird went to hunt. The hunt itself was nothing new however the prey had changed. Rather than the snake which the bird
I'd Rather Be DeadYou're always asking me if I had anything worth dying for.
I'll pose the opposite to you and ask you this:
"Why is it that you find life to be worth living?"
Is it so interesting to go through each day feeling anxious?
To the point that you feel nauseated enough to collapse.
Is it so joyous to spend each night staring at a blank ceiling,
Hearing the clock tick on toward morning,
And yet you lie awake.
Tired, but awake, emotionless, but awake...
Do you truly get up each day, facing it with optimism.
Or do you look at the news and the state of the world,
And genuinely fear for your safety?
Now, if it were me that you had asked my dear,
I'd tell you quite honestly: That I'd rather be dead.
At least I would not have to hear the white lie inside my head.
That tomorrow will bring me a 'better' day...
But of course, you are welcome to believe that.
DisposableYou can look for me anywhere
And I'll be there
I have multiple uses
So I can be kept around a bit
I'll always be there when you need something
That's just how I am
You don't need to care for me
You just need to keep me by your side for a while
And when you've had your fill
You can throw me away
I won't cry
I won't scream
I won't bleed
I won't die
I'll just be lying on the ground
Waiting for someone to pick me up and use me
Just as you did
EntropyI’ve got this personal theory that all couples tend toward a breakup. It’s science, you know; not that I ever paid much attention in that class. I did learn about entropy, though, how everything is in a gradual decline toward chaos. Well, if being in a relationship represents order, being single is most chaotic.
Take my parents, for example: they were happily married for thirteen years until my mom stopped talking to my dad, started sleeping on the couch, and finally left him. And then, chaos: angry phone calls, fights, lawyers, all while I switched between parents like a disoriented particle.
It all turned out okay, though; a few years later, my mom even found someone new, and I believe that my parents are much happier apart than they ever were together. She and her new boyfriend have a lot more in common: they both like living in the city, TV dramas, and Steinbeck novels, whereas my dad is more of an action movie-watching, suburbs-living kind of a guy.
Only, my mom has re
VanishedThe candle flickered when the wind blew
and the flames turned to smoke that flew
right into the wind and it whisked away,
vanished like she would one day
titans.they don’t tell you that
sisyphus just let the rock roll down
and collect his body
they don’t tell you that you can still walk
with holes in your legs
and you can still love
when your heart has already been ripped open.
they don’t tell you that
you are 75% of an ocean
that is six miles deep
and eats ships alive,
75% of the water that shapes canyons,
75% of the rain that drowned the earth
for forty days and nights.
they don’t tell you that
your body is made of the same carbon
they don’t tell you that
there is a fire burning inside of you
or that your bones are stronger than steel
or that the things that fuel you
fuel tigers, too.
the greeks and romans wrote stories about
how strong you were
and you are icarus,
and you died laughing
because they didn’t tell you
how beautiful the world really was
even as it was swallowed
by the waves.
StrengthMy grandfather was the strongest man I ever met. If you’ve ever seen someone on TV perform some superhuman feat of strength and thought that it wasn’t real, you’ve never met my grandfather. I have seen him rip a telephone book in half. He reached his full height of 6”4’ at the age of fourteen, and by the age of fifteen he had left school to work in the metal works. No one thought twice about it, because he was more than capable of the work and looked older than he was.
I am not strong. My joints frequently hurt, although I do not think I can convey to you how much of an understatement the word ‘hurt’ is in this situation. Most people didn’t understand why I didn’t run as long or as fast as the other children, or take delight in the frequent football scrimmages that almost all the boys I knew took such delight in. when I told them “I can’t, my legs ache,” they just told me to be strong.
My grandfather didn’t.
suicide can come in bottles.dad was an alcoholic
by the time he was twenty-two.
he was thirty-three
when i was born.
i am eight years old.
dad is drunk on the couch.
he wakes up and tells me to buy him food
and i tell him i’m his daughter.
he gets up to yell at me
then, as if realizing, starts laughing.
i am scared.
i am nine years old.
there’s a picture i don’t understand
printed out on the table.
i look at the web address and type it in
and there’s a site full of them.
the men look like they’re hurting the women.
they call them mean names
and tie them up.
in the one my dad printed
there are no faces. just genitals
and i am nine
and i understand.
i don’t tell my mother.
i am nine years old.
every night i get up when dad leaves
to close the browsers open on his computer.
there are seventeen open
and i close them
one at a time.
some of the pictures are scary.
one woman is screaming.
another is one who looks young,
like a high school girl.
We Kissed...It tasted of rainwater and warmth and something real—something alive.
It was a mistake and I can't fix it but I don't think I even want to.
It lingered on my lips like a stain and dyed my insides nervous.
It hurt me like nothing else and I can't breathe any more because I'm scared—so scared.
It was too rushed and teeth clattered and glasses brushed and why—why am I so awkward?
It felt like something rumbling under my feet and I didn't know what; but then I realised it was just me being me.
It needed to last forever because not enough things do that and maybe I want something like that (even if I deny it).
It was bitter and possessive and I couldn't let go.
It was my first.
It was our last.
It made me forget.
It made me remember.
It broke me but in that good way like breaking emergency glass in an emergency or breaking a ruthless military regime or breaking my fast in the morning with cereal and toast or like breaking the seal on a jar when no one else co
The PainterThe waves were still crashing, washing away the remnants of sand castles, long after the town was asleep and dreaming. Even the usual late night strollers were safely in their homes by this hour. The only movement came from the cool, salty breeze, the endless waves and a man. Just one man.
From a distance one might have assumed him to be nothing more than an unfortunate visitor's belonging left behind. He seemed but a shadow, a shapeless nothing. Upon a slightly closer inspection, one would find two things of importance: firstly, there was a rather large canvas placed immediately in front of him which was, as of yet, completely blank. Second, for a man who seemed to only be getting started with unpacking art supplies, he was covered in quite a lot of red paint.
As the wind picked up, the man continued his unpacking and then sat down, quite still. Slowly he turned his head and, it seemed, took in every detail of the silent beach. His gaze seemed to catch the waves and he stared a long w
HerI never knew her name. Nobody did.
She wasn’t like the other girls, though everyone was united beneath the black leather and metal studs we kept hidden from society. Where the others sang, she screamed. Where they swayed, she thrashed. Where they slowly ground their hips and maintained eye contact, she was lost beneath a curtain a wild, untamed hair; her rage and passion overtaking everything until there was only the music in her soul to guide her. Where others batted their eyelids and giggled, she was matching the men on the boxing machine – even beating some. They spat out their drinks in surprise, caught somewhere between admiration and disbelief.
She was incredibly beautiful, but she never realised it. I had thought she might’ve secretly, until I saw her turn a fierce red in the face of admiration. Above the flashing lights and screaming, she gracefully turned scores of men away and instead lost herself in the music; revealing every fear and rage in the way she da