Categories
poetry

Help

I never see your tears

I never see your fears

I never see you here

I can feel your grief

Heavy, beyond belief

A silence that suffocates

I try to placate the mood

But it’s like throwing water in the sea

It just adds to your misery

A misery so palpable I can feel it too

I see you use tissues, going through the box

Yet hiding your face

I never see the place your mind takes

“***, are you okay?”

You turn away

I recognize your stride

Of someone trying to hide

The sickness inside

I can never see your sadness

I can never know about your pain

And everything, you’ve always taught us,

Would happen again and again

“***, are you fine?”

Don’t keep yourself in line

Show me the hurt

What you think you must skirt around

Tears fall to the ground

But you still wipe them away

It’s not your fault

You never had a say

Chemical imbalance

Is what stole the day

I want to tell you that it will pass

That what you have will never last

But I’m too choked up on tears to say the words

I would turn from your problems too

If I didn’t know I couldn’t take them from you

Please, ***, just be okay

Get up to see another day

Fight through the grief for my greed

Battle the pain, because I need you

Please

***?

***

There is a silence that comes with being in a room with someone who struggles with their own mind and thoughts, and it’s not a silence I could ever describe. It’s worse than the one at funerals, because at least there is a peace in that silence. If I had any experience on a battlefield, I might describe it as one looking at the remnants of war, from the fresh corpses to the mementos and lives they used to carry. It’s heavy and thick and suffocating, yet it is nothing, I imagine, compared to what those who must constantly war feel. Be kind to the mentally ill, folks. Walk a lifetime in their shoes before you judge.

Categories
poetry

Would It Matter to You

Would it matter to you

If I was black or blue

From bruises given to me

Or from the ones I gave to a few?

Would it matter if I could fly

Or crushing ants made me cry

Because their lives aren’t something we should pass by

Since they still have souls

It wouldn’t matter to me

If you were in prison or roamed free

Walking the streets or confined in a cell

Living in heaven or going through hell

Because I still love you

So if I told you I deviated from the normal path

Would I have to face your wrath?

Or would you shun me like I think you would

You don’t have to agree, but I think you should

At least understand my heart

Which overflowed from the start

And it couldn’t contain everything inside

So I stopped hiding feelings I tried hard to hide

Now that you know me outside of the game

Do you still love me just the same?

***

This poem was written a couple of months ago, and a lot has changed since those couple of months. While this poem is plagued with uncertainty and sad devotion, it also depicts hope. A silver lining in the clouds, and I’m happy to report that the bad weather eventually dissipated, metaphorically speaking. And, perhaps naively, I still hope that the silver lining will prevail.

Categories
poetry

A Day in the Life

Every morning I put on my scars

Just to get yelled at for still having them

Every night I pull at my hair

I shaved my head to break the habit

And feel my nails

Short for scars

Dig into my scalp

I tattoo my arm

And scrub at it in the shower until my arm turns red

Because I don’t need another person asking, “what’s that”

Every morning I wake up and cry

Because I watched someone die in my dreams

And since they’re made of paper others don’t understand

But the sun hits differently when it’s reflecting off my tears

I say goodbye to my little night thoughts

And birds

I sit through another day of orchestration

Composing my life symphony and desperately hoping I can share it with you

At twelve I go out to draw new scars on my knuckles

And come inside only to have others turn away

I’ve been told more times than I can count to “go easy”

But I bleed to know I am human

I feel pain to know I am alive

I watch my hands shake and redden and swell

Just to see them differently from my vampire body

I scream at the punching bag

Use my anger to destroy its sharp leather

Dance with kicks and hooks and jabs

Fly for five minutes

Then the song changes

I go inside

Every night, I bandage my scars

Hide them from the people in my head

And wait to draw them again

So I can get yelled at in the morning

***

I’ve taken up the wonderful art of kickboxing, much to the dismay of many people I know. I live very intensely, and as a result, I have returned home with knuckles skinned and busted more times than I can count. There’s a vigor to kickboxing, a vitality you cannot receive unless faced in a life or death situation. While I am very much an amateur, I wish to continue the sport until my hands break or I lose interest, whichever comes sooner. Needless to say, those around me hardly agree with that sentiment and usually worry about the new blood. If you favor a warped sense of humor, you will understand my delight when I see others pale at the sight of my freshly-wounded fist. Take up the activity, my friends. It is good for the body, for the mind, and for the soul.

Categories
poetry

Am I Enough to You

My achievements run miles long

I’m reliable through and through

But when I see your face

And watch your pace

I think, “am I enough to you?”

I’ve had 4.0s for years

My work ethic is unique

But when you’re here

I disappear

And start to become so weak

Maybe it’s my smile

And the way my teeth always show

Maybe it’s my laugh

Or how I vocalize what I know

Perhaps you don’t like my attitude

I’m made of spikes instead of curves

Or how I hit when I’m upset

Or become a huge bundle of nerves

I’ve got friends that run for miles

I’m a wonderful pal for more than a few

But lying in bed

With nothing but my head

I think “am I enough to you?”

So maybe I’ve got flaws

We all have a few

Maybe I’m too mean or nice

Or can’t decide on a view

You probably hate the way I walk

Like a freight train about to crash

You probably hate how I say the truth

It always comes out too brash

I’m a little strange and stubborn

But I’m willing to take your side and see

Make my day

Just please say

“You are enough to me”

***

There have been plenty of people in my life I’ve tried to impress. My parents, friends, even close family members. Everyone puts on a show for others, I believe, and we do so because humans are social creatures and we need acceptance. Crave it, more than perhaps anything else. I wrote this poem a while ago, at a time where I was both uncertain with whose acceptance I desired and how to achieve it. That wonderful feeling of complete uncertainty, you know?

Categories
poetry

Phantom Love

You are my Christine

And I’m your phantom ghoul

We had to change the story

Because it didn’t follow the rule

First off, I can’t sing

But your voice makes me want to fly

I don’t think in my secret home

We’d have to say goodbye

There’s no Raoul to keep us a part

But the rest of the opera still shuns our love

There’s no angel to help us out

I’ll admit I’m not from above

While my skin wasn’t scarred from birth

I still have ugliness inside

But your love helps me through the pain

I try so hard to hide

We have several Darogas

Who check up on us from time to time

And we’re dancing to the organ

When we here that welcome chime

We can still rule Paris

From our underground lake

But we’d still have to hide our love

Until we could escape

But once we’re across the ocean

There’s nowhere I’d rather be

Than at your side on Coney Island

And hear you’ll stay with me

***

A poem loosely based off the genius of Gaston Leroux and all his proteges. For years, I’ve loved Phantom of the Opera, a timeless classical romance and the gateway of modern mystery novels. When I was younger, as most little girls did, I thought of myself as Christine. However, as I grow older and converse with the person my heart begins to grow fond for, I find myself in more of the phantom’s position. I desperately hope that our ending isn’t parallel to poor, unhappy Erik’s demise.

Categories
poetry

Doubt

Doubt is the thing that eats me inside out

Questioning the life I live

What I did

And who I am

This is a question that makes me understand less about myself

And more about society

The variety of people makes it harder to choose

There’s more to lose

When you are expected to pick one out of a million

A billion stars in the galaxy

And only one supports life

But I don’t know if my life is worth the energy it took to create me

I can’t see myself in the mirror because all I know is my present

Which is weighed down by my past

I feel my life moves too fast

And slow at the same time

I can’t tell people what is mine

Because I don’t know what I possess

I like to digress from the natural path

That only makes it harder to exist

Yet I persist and hope that what I have is right

In hindsight

I should’ve played mute

***

I am at a very uncertain time in my life, yet I feel as if this is the path I’ve chosen to walk from the beginning. I have a hard time talking to other people, to communicating with friends and family, and even reflecting upon my own past. I hope that there is a viable excuse for this state of mind, and I believe that it will disappear eventually. The style of this poem is a little different, yet I enjoy writing like this because it feels halfway between a couplet and a spoken word. One of the most important things to know, my friends, is yourself. Everything else is only a consequence.

Categories
poetry

Off

My portrait’s kinda crooked

I tried to tilt it back

But then it slid off the wall

And I lost my track

My records started to scratch

The song sounded lame

And my head was pounding

Because the song had no name

I sat in my room

And felt utterly alone

One moment I was melting

And the other cold to the bone

The walls breathe and whisper

When they think I don’t hear

But where they’re gone

It’s the silence I really fear

My head’s a little displaced

I don’t have room to complain

Because I have a papercut

Compared to other’s pain

My skin feels backwards

But I can’t turn it around

Not when my birds are watching

Otherwise their fuss will make a sound

I find I kinda miss you

And everyone I’ve hurt

But now you’re all in the clouds

And I’m crawling in the dirt

I feel stupid sick and foolish

But at least I look okay

Maybe this week got started all wrong

Tomorrow’s a new day

Tomorrow I’ll stop missing you

And go outside the home

Maybe then, it’ll stop being “if” not “when”

I start to feel alone

You’ll never read a word I write

I’ll never give you that chance

But when we’re old and shrewd

I’ll meet you back in France

***

A rather sarcastically whimsical poem about a once dear friend of mine. We had a wonderful time together over the course of about one or two years, then dissolved into a bitter acquaintance. I wrote this poem a while ago, long after we stopped speaking but near enough to the present that I can still feel my frustration from his words. Give me a nice little comment if you ever get your hands on this, won’t you, Zockales?

Categories
poetry

Civilization

Everything started out slow

We didn’t have places to go

We had to know everyone in the village

Before invaders started to pillage

Our treasures and delights

Speed up the world and its light

The sun sets faster when you’re running from time

Because it always runs better

As we crawl out of the slime

Civilization begins to start

Everyone walks around with metal in their heart

We start to create words meant to part conversations

Small talk

Takes a walk

Into a town that started small

But now grows tall

With walls to keep out invaders

Later, we begin to hate our fate

Envious of those in a population so ginormous

We try to take on new forms

This is what we call societal norms

And it shapes our new state

We debate topics

That skirt the edge of new propriety

We climbed high in society

But conversation burned

We learned about technology

That rocked our world

Information in seconds

With ones and zeros that unfurled into lives

DNA becomes simple and our race strives

For bigger

Better

Faster

Rules down to the letter

Who has time to read the full news?

We just choose who needs to lose

And win

Politics become a joke

Our government goes up in smoke

And we stay glued to our screens

Their bright sheen pierces our eyes

And when we look up through the lies

We fantasize the world we were just in

When ones and zeros become slim and slimmer

Our minds become dim and dimmer

As we take a trimmer to our thoughts

Now tell me how conversation’s gone

I’ll try to tell you that it’s wrong

But that’s an opinion, never a fact

The fact is, we’re just on a different tract

Yet if I hear another phrase repeat

If I see another bleed before yell defeat

Or another cheat while the honest pays

My hours stretch into days

With all these pleasantries

Questioning frees the mind

But not the kind we hide behind

How’s your children?

How’s your wife?

Did you get a new cat?

How’s your life?

What happened to you five minutes ago?

Tell me the news I already know

Tell me about your hobbies that pass the time

I’ll tell you about my possessions proud to be mine

If I hear another word that sits flat

I’ll ask, “who wants to know that?”

I want to know why you wake up in the morning

What rain tastes like on your tongue

What songs make you dance

Or cry when they’re sung

What a child’s smile does to your face

How did you get your grace?

What is your favorite place to escape to

If you have any vices, if so, how few?

Please

I can’t take another conversation that dulls my mind

I don’t want to feel behind

But ahead

Don’t make me dread listening to you

But I don’t know what to do

Tell me there’s another one too

Who feels like me

And wants to be free

From the mind-numbing placidity of normal life

I’ll take it in strife now

But expect me to snap soon

***

This a longer poem, because it encompasses the very beginning to the present of humanity and its interactions with each other. I enjoyed writing this piece, because it allowed me to reflect on the conversation I have with people closest to me. A recent frustration of mine involved observing how shallow most conversations seem. I start to abhor how people repeat themselves and each other, or how small talk can stretch for hours. There is a direct correlation with how fast our world moves and the depth of our social interactions, because I believe if we were to take all the schedules and electronics and deadlines away, we would be left with nothing but time to discuss and think.

Categories
short stories

Hollow Boy and Fire Girl

I waited for you. Hour after hour, day after day. We spent more time together than this. Usually. Finally, I heard a knock on my door. Relief, then trepidation. Tentatively, I turned the brass knob and opened it. Relief again. “Hello,” you said. The door flung open. A tight hug. A joke. A smile. Shutting the door behind me, we walked from the porch and the street and the civilization towards the ocean.

She calmed me. Her waves, her color, her tides. You sat on the sand, as gray as the sky yet still as tragically beautiful as ever. With a hand clenching the earth below you, and teeth barred into a smile, you said, “life’s a little too gray for me today”. I laughed.

That was my first mistake.

We returned and watched the sunset through my dirty kitchen windows. You said goodbye. I smiled and waved until the door closed. After a few minutes of starting at the spot where you used to stand, I went to bed. Said my goodnight to the moon and her stars. Buried my head in dreams and today’s memories. Your words were left on my nightstand. Alone. Forgotten.

The sun rose. A new day. I grabbed for the phone, dialed your number by heart. It rang. One. Twice. Three times. Your voice clicked, but it was nothing more than a recording. I frowned but carried on.

That was my second mistake.

The day came, the day went. Business kept me from calling, as more and more responsibilities dropped onto my heavy shoulders. No worries. I burned through them all, for I was a fire girl. You were my hollow boy. We were an unlikely pair. Sometimes my flames charred your flesh. Sometimes you extinguished my blaze. Most days, we found a balance. A thin wire we walked on precariously, together.

Another night passed, and this time my dreams were tinged with your grimace and the smell of the salty ocean brine. When I awoke, there were no new messages. Concern gnawed at my edges, distorting my disposition. I called you. No answer. Again. No answer. Again. Again. Again. Finally, in a final act of desperation, your mother. She hadn’t heard from you either. With dread looming over my head and licking at my flames, I took a day off and walked to your home.

It was a little dinky suburb, just like mine. Same paint, same cookie-cutter format. I jumped up the steps, two by two. Knocked twice. Waited for five minutes. No answer. Finally, I sunk down onto your welcome mat – the bristles tickled my legs – and I waited.

Hours passed.

Days.

A week.

A month.

I went out, every morning, and waited for you. Some days, I slept on the old wood made of fireflies and questions and music. Others, I glanced at your home before traveling to work. Every day, I called you. One. Two. Occasionally eight times. Once, two days ago, twenty times. The same voicemail, every time. “Hello. I’m not home right now. Leave a message.” Eventually, I stopped calling and just waited. It’s okay. Despite my fire, I was patient. There wasn’t anyone else I’d rather wait for.

That was my third, and final, mistake.

Finally, someone came. Relief, then trepidation. I looked up. Disappointment. Two men, two blue uniforms, two badges. “Ma’am? Do you know this residence?” one asked. Slowly, shaking, I stood. The dread that sat in my stomach for the last thirty-three days still ate at my mind. My flames burned blue, simmering instead of their usual passionate red. Blue as the police uniform.

“What happened?” I asked, and one gave me a gaze full of unwanted pity. I didn’t need comfort, or reassurance. I just wanted to know what happened. Where were you? It had been too long. Were you hurt? Vacationing in a far-off land? Taken? Pulling a joke? Despite your hollow inside, you still loved humor. And the sea. Almost as much as me.

“I’m sorry,” one of the officers said. His mouth continued to move, but I didn’t hear him. I couldn’t. My knees buckled and I collapsed onto the welcome mat, one that you would never wipe your feet against again. The two officers stood over me, two giants. Two reapers, with only useless words and condolences.

Your funeral was small. Me, your parents, your little brother. Everyone else wanted nothing to do with it. They said they found the gun in a different place. Of course you couldn’t do it here, I thought. Not with all the memories. Not with me around. I thought of the last time I saw you, on the beach, one hand clenching the sand while your face contorted into a smile unnaturally. “Life’s a little too gray today.” My first indication, and with every second I felt your death haunt me. The body in the casket wasn’t yours. It was a husked out shell, a hollow boy more hollow than you. You still whispered those words in my ear, over and over, until I wanted to scream.

I waited at your porch again. Lied against the welcome mat. The bristles no longer hurt because there was nothing to feel. Once my cheek pressed against the worn wooden door, I cried. Cried for your absence. For my absence. For your family. Most of all, I cried because your heart was broken and you never told me. Now, you would never tell me anything again. A small verse came from my lips, words I must’ve muttered before or scratched into my journal or the neighbor’s tree.

“You are my hollow boy

And I am your fire girl

Together, we’re broken

Inside a tiny fragile world.”

The words repeated over and over, raking its claws in my heart and picking up every buried emotion with it. You are my hollow boy and I am your fire girl together we’re broken inside a tiny fragile world. You are my hollow boy and I am your fire girl together we’re broken inside a tiny fragile world. Hollow boy fire girl broken fragile world. Boy girl broken world. Boy girl broken world.

My fire roared for the first time in months. It destroyed everything around it. Devoured your home. Our home. Our memories. Our lifetime. Charred the welcome mat. Blackened the wooden door. Melted the brass doorknob. Finally, it burnt out. And so did I.

“You were my hollow boy

And I was your fire girl

Life was a little too gray today

So we both left this world.”

***

This is the tragic story of two friends who couldn’t live without the other, a realization made only after the death of one. I’ve never experienced such loss, but it’s always been a great fear of mine that someone I loved should decide that their life wasn’t worth living. I hoped to capture this fear, and its reality, in the most artistic way possible while still writing a short story. For anyone who may relate to this story, whether they’ve been the fire girl or survived being the hollow boy, you have my condolences.

Categories
poetry

Darling

I think I want to slow dance with you

Or hold your hand, as friends might do

And maybe wear your sweater too

Or you could try my jacket on

I didn’t realize that maybe it was you who made my heart feel light

Since you were always in sight

I find your words a delight

And it hurts to be away

I don’t know if you’d feel the same

I’ve been in the manipulation game

Too long to give name

To whatever feeling traps me

I know that society wants us to conform

Into neat little societal norms

But I think together we have the power to reform

Whatever rules might stand in our way

For now, I’ll just take your texts

Revel in the thought of what comes next

I would love to ask you to tea, then be direct

In the way I address you

So, I think I may want you at my side

I think I’m done trying to hide

But if you don’t agree, I’ll say I lied

And enjoy your presence all the same

***

After a few years of chasing people in a mad scramble of unrequited tragedy, and a few months of a thick, uncomfortable relationship, I believe I’ve finally found someone who lightens my heart and doesn’t weight it down with doubt and lingering fear. Maybe I’ve just fallen in love with the idea of worshiping another human being, but I believe this time, I’m willing to try. Try, my friends. It’s harder to find happiness with relationships when you spent months punishing not the other but yourself.