These years will be glamorous—all the
magazines say so. You’ll learn what not
to mix tequila with, what shoes to pair
with that dress, what your default lipstick
will be, the book and movie and song
that will save you after every failed relationship,
each summer-at-the-beach fling. You will learn
the measure of patience and most important,
how to be alone. You will collect lonely like
some people collect stamps, and you will
learn to keep the light on for it, because lonely
needs company, too. You
will learn that self-love is not
dragging a random from the bar home to
sleep in your bed, but that it
is making your bed before you leave the
house for the night.
On these nights, you’ll stumble home—drunk,
in a dress that clings to you like a second skin
and shut the bathroom door behind you,
tired heels hanging from your hand
as you get down on your knees in front
of the toilet. You’ll greet it like an old
friend or a past lover, wrap your arms
around its porcelain neck and
whisper apologies after vomiting all of
your awful down its throat.
And then there will be boys, gloriously pale
boys whose veins you can count at the
wrists and jugular, boys buying you drinks,
handing you a cigarette despite your
refusals, leading you with your hands
twined down the street in a city
whose name tastes like smoke
in your mouth. Boys with coffee eyes
asking you if that seat is taken. Boys
who look like sin as they shrug themselves
out of their leather jackets. Boys
your mother warned you about. Boys
your father keeps a knife in the drawer for.
Boys who will break your heart, leave
you for dead on the side of the street and
you, not knowing what to do or say to
keep it from happening all over again.
Soak in these years like sunlight. Re-position
the needle over the vibrancy of your youth. Get
up from the lawn, brush the grass from your
kneecaps. Hail a taxi.
Find your way home."
“You will be out with friends when the news of her existence will be accidentally spilled all over your bar stool. Respond calmly as if it was only a change in weather, a punch line you saw coming. After your fourth shot of cheap liquor, leave the image of him kissing another woman in the toilet. In the morning, her name will be in every headline: car crash, robbery, flood. When he calls you, ignore the hundreds of ropes untangling themselves in your stomach. You are the best friend again. He invites you over for dinner and you say yes too easily. Remind yourself this isn’t special, it’s only dinner, everyone has to eat. When he greets you at the door, do not think for one second you are the reason he wore cologne tonight. In his kitchen, he will hand-feed you a piece of red pepper. His laugh will be low and warm and it will make you feel like candlelight. Do not think this is special. Do not count on your fingers the number of freckles you could kiss too easily. Try to think of pilot lights and olive oil, not everything you have every loved about him, or it will suddenly feel boiling and possible and so close. You will find her bobby pins laying innocently on his bathroom sink. Her bobby pins. They look like the wiry legs of spiders, splinters of her undressing in his bed. Do not say anything. Think of stealing them, wearing them home in your hair. When he hugs you goodbye, let him kiss you on the forehead. Settle for target practice. At home, you will picture her across town pressing her fingers into his back like wet cement. You will wonder if she looks like you, if you are two bedrooms in the same house. Did he fall for her features like rearranged furniture? When he kisses her, does she taste like wet paint? You will want to call him. You will go as far as holding the phone in your hand, imagine telling him unimaginable things like you are always ticking inside of me and I dream of you more often than I don’t. My body is a dead language and you pronounce each word perfectly. Do not call him. Fall asleep to the hum of the VCR. She must make him happy. She must be She must be his favorite place in Minneapolis. You are a souvenir shop, where he goes to remember how much people miss him when he is gone.”
— Sierra DeMulder, Unrequited Love Poem (via acylate)
“i love you more than you love me”
no, listen: shut up, that’s impossible
that’s the stupidest phrase i’ve heard anyone utter
in the history of phrases
have you seen you?
perfect, beautiful, kind, caring you?
have you seen me?
girl who tries to be all those things
but mostly just embarrasses herself?
let’s switch places
and you can read all the words i’ve left unsaid
about how much i care for you
and how i think about you while i’m washing my hair
wondering what you’re up to
you’re welcome to step into my shoes
and feel the curve of my ten toes
that press lightly in the ground
as they follow your imprints;
as they hang on your every word
do not convince yourself
that you’re condensation on the side of a glass
i’ve left untouched
when in fact you are the ocean
“Everything is nothing, with a twist.” - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-house Five
My fire-eating career came to an end
when I could no longer tell
when to spit and when
Last night in Amsterdam,
1,000 tulips burned to death.
I have an alibi. When I walked by
your garden, your hand
grenades were in bloom.
You caught me playing
loves me, loves me
not, metal pins between my teeth.
I forget the difference
ignition and cognition. I am a girl
vices and you have a filthy never
mind. If you say no, twice,
it’s a four-letter word.
You are so dirty, people have planted
flowers on you: heliotropes. sun-
flowers. You’ll take
anything. Loves me,
loves me not.
I want to bend you over
and whisper: “potting soil,” “fresh
cut.” When you made
the urgent fists of peonies
a proposition, I stole a pair of botanists’
hands. Green. Confident. All thumbs.
I look sharp in garden
shears and it rained spring
all night. 1,000 tulips
burned to death
We didn’t hear the sirens.
All night, you held my alibis
so softly, like taboos
Thanks to I Eat Poetry!
these are fragile beginnings.
wrap my eyelids with wax paper
make thin contact:
and between shallow words exhaled on a b flat
i’ll write long winded, long handed
responses to the way you passed the wine at dinner
(i am a leaky faucet)
there are half a million ways I could try to get your attention, there really are
and maybe none of them start with
at the nape of your neck
likewise i know even thinking about your goosebumps
leads my heart down a slippery slope
but i cannot help my mind from wandering
after rose has passed me a joint that i think
may be laced with the coke she bought last month on a dare
i breathe in like a landmine
choking on broken palaces
waiting for my eyes to water
she’s like “wake up, relax, stop thinking about it.”
for she’s noticed
that i keep tripping my eyes over the freckles that bracket
the steamy teapot lids of her languid shoulders
“m’s out with her family tonight anyways,”
said in a whisper.
“so the possibility
of her calling you…”
“…and finding out that you ate
a panini with a little too much pesto
for a 3 pm brunch…”
rip me apart.
“…is probably a thousand to one.”
these are the moments that make me want to pluck her father’s car keys
from the back of her pocket when she’s too busy
dancing fingertips on an ipod track pad to pick out some love song to play from a stupid band she saw in brooklyn
so that i may take that red mercedes
in the overcrowded parking lot
out for a spin
heading blazed and bleary eyed
directly for collision with an oak tree
in my old neighborhood.
i’ll think lazily, in the heat of my bleeding forehead
and my fractured spine
about how many rings that tree must have had
before i smashed it
and if it amounted
to the number of times i’ve sat in the basement
with your number already dialed into the phone
waiting to press send
(from malted, nanowrimo 2012)
wee i love my words words words tag, it’s the best thank you and goodnight