I just wanna feel safe again

This is the thing about height,
that for once,
I’m shrouded by someone that can make me feel small again,
easy to carry,
and engulf in one steady breath.

Like my outside matches how
I’m feeling inside
and someone is taking care of me,
for once.

It’s always
“for once”
but never twice
because otherwise
I internalize wanting to be this feeble
thing that craves protection
and affection
and forehead kisses like they are
all the same thing,
found within the same person.

That my life is (once) again
under his control
and I am no longer brotherless.
That hugs and hand holding are understood
to make sure my fingers
can still make contact
with warm bodies
even though I’m freezing
from the inside out.

I missed the memo where
turns warm.


I Fear the Ink’s Immortality

I’m out to dinner
with my father
talking about how I can talk to some guys
and he asks:
“Do you ever talk to them
about your poetry?”
And I shake my head like the answer is obvious,
laugh at the image of them caring before stating:

Because how do you explain
to someone that
when they smile in your direction
Vesuvius is erupting
and you are covered in lava?
That the way they breathe
is a lullaby
and when they pull away
you ache for the gentlest of touches
and though
neither of you are breathing heavy
you kiss their nose,
their forehead,
make sure
their pulse
is not tripping over itself
in order to form
your name in Morse Code beats.

How do you look someone in the eye
and say I hear your footsteps
like rain on a tin roof
and close my eyes;
fall into daydreams
when you come closer,
picture you holding me
tangled up in sheets
with rivers racing down the panes
of our future home?

How do I explain
that my heart
and all the shrapnel embedded in
its four chambers
are lying in wait
in your open palms
and though I never thought you were
one for cannibalism
I’m waiting for you to take a bite
and eat up my love?

How do I look across a table
at brown or blue
eyes and tell them
I’m drowning,
don’t send help,
don’t throw
life preserver
but do dive in?
Join me in this ocean
with my flushed cheeks
and your tide-like pull,
I am sinking
and wanting to spill all over you.

I date boys
who gets degrees in science
or who waste time
in high environments
and consider this
what I deserve.

I fear loving a writer
because who’s to say
I’ll turn against the light
and he won’t write about the curve
of my profile against a candle,
envying the very wax that drips
from the wick.

I wouldn’t know what to do with this.

Let alone how to talk about it.

So I keep my mouth shut,
smile coyly,
snarl sarcastic,
and laugh loudly
to fill the pit
that sits in my stomach
waiting for someone to find
beauty in the letters
that spill of my tongue
rather than the lips
that conceal it.

Night Wonderings

I want someone to talk to.
To want to feel my pulse in their ears when my head hits the pillow.
To wake up buzzing with the thought of my skin as an echo.
I hope they dream of the smiles that they could carve on my face
like Michelangelo.

I hope they aren’t all like you;
that some find me good enough,
and others refuse to let go.

How to Keep a Bed Warm

This is what it comes down to:
we put our efforts into people
like we are
wrecking ball.

A few swings and
we’ll break the mortar;
heart becomes warm hearth
in welcoming cavern.
but darling,
while idealizing fire,
we often forget the burn.

And I am often
over anything else,
I am the
magic 8 ball,
collecting dust on the shelf;
I and I alone am
for repeatedly doing this
to myself.

this is what it comes down to:
that an empty bed
is a
worse fate
than a
hurting heart,
we aim wrong
on purpose,
knowing we’ll make
some sort of mark.

this is what it comes down to:
as a boy
and a girl
cross paths,
making rotten decisions
on both their parts.

we choose things
laced with heartache,
because they’re better
than what we’ve got.

(I needed to write this out)

There is nothing
left to revive
so please don’t speak
when you pass me.

I don’t even want your hellos.
Not now,
not after all this time.

Not after the month you made
me pariah
thing with a disease called virginity
that wasn’t willing to give it up
to something that would leave her unsatisfied and

You are a boy
in man’s clothing
and overly priced branding.
I am a girl
who knows how to dress
and wears
her bruised ego
like an ascot
and you stand behind her back,
pulling the silk a little tighter.

Don’t you know
that even if you choke me
the silence will still scream?

That your brother and I can have a
without complaining how bad we got it;
there is no education barrier,
there is no made-up sexual tension
and he accepts that
I know when the material hugs me
a little too

I walk every day
in a graveyard of what
we could’ve been.
I walk every day
feeling like there is blackness
crawling over inch of my skin,
letting my brain rattle in my head
just to knock my thoughts out
and let delusions in.

Let another parade me by a girl
who only finds interest in him
when he’s with me.
And I let it be.

I know how to let them use me.
It’s one of the few things I’m still confident
of being good at.
Ace at.
Some view of myself
that I’ve accepted as beautiful
if not by her brokenness.

And this is why I’m pissed,
because there never was any friendship,
there was some false allusion of respect
and there was the constant reminder of him
treating me like shit
hoping I’d like it,
even though I never deserved it.
And I still don’t deserve it,
even as I’m sitting here crying about it.

You pulled your mouth away
and slid the knife in.

Wonder why my blood is rusted
ignoring my back
where the tip of a blade is shoved
and a heart is ruptured.

Glorious Ache [Rest]

Stop holding out your hand
like he can see the baggage that
twisted Indian burns
onto your fingers.

He doesn’t know the difference
between your lowest moment
and your highest,
the same way he doesn’t know
why one of your front teeth is chipped—-
all he sees is your smile.

We always talk about scars,
us poets;
our demons,
our pasts,
how one of us
is more
than the next.

We don’t realize that
scars come from wounds that have healed over,
that demons
are just fallen angels,
that our past does not have
to repeat itself.

So take my heart in your hands
like a stopwatch.
We can run this race together
or wait until the alarm goes off.
Either way,
we will be together,
sprinting or benched.

I have not wasted bandages
to never risk re-opening my wounds.
I have not tried my hardest
so the next time could be easier.

is all about that glorious ache.

That fear of falling before you fly.
That jump you take,
where there is no him,
or I,
but an us,
and goddamn it,
he will not notice
the blood under your fingernails,
or the dirt on your knees,
so please,
just realize:

You are covered
in new beginnings.

He does not see your failures
in the gaps of your teeth.

Let him peel off your layers
only when you’ve found peace.

My Blood Thrums an Anthem

And here we are,
straying from what we know
to take a chance on something
we believe in:

there is beauty in the chaos,
the pain is worth it,
there is someone for everyone——

But only if we risk it;
put our heart on a butcher’s block
and watch the cleaver fall,
wait for the crash to then unbuckle,
pull out stitches and sutures because scars
mean stories and

I have watched the ink bleed from my
pen knowing some days it could’ve been
from my veins instead,

To think,
‘chance’ is reserved for the bold,
while I have a roar growing in my chest—-
I am far too young
to be a coward just yet.