It was stupid
Falling for you, was really
Because you see I know I won’t be staying
Or you’ll be going
And we’ll run out of time
Whatever we can even call it
Won’t end by our hands but by some Unforeseen circumstance
The worst kind of ending
Because I know, that I, at least will always wonder what if
You do too
Maybe there is hope
For whatever this is
Maybe we’re bigger than bad timing
That was stupid
Faded smokey yellows
Iridescent saline esplanade
Pooling on scarred white kneecaps
Hills of rolling vertebrae
Jut and stab at silver studded hurricanes
Wings clipped close to the skin
I no longer care
Grit shifts between
Nubs of remnant teeth
A new concrete esophagus
Last night I showered
In his three piece suit
Water cascaded over Italian cashmere
Sliding into a 120 thread count
Montblanc cufflinks shone bright reflecting
Arrogance that danced across the tile walls
Notched lapels drooped over
And egyptian wool shoulder pads filled heavy to the brim
I tilted my head back
Jagged laughter rose from my throat
I let my mouth fill with water
And lazilly drooled it down
Like a bubbling crab
Over his favorite Hermès tie
And once pride lay saturated on my frame
I suctioned flat against the bottom of the tub
Inhaled the fumes of uptight pretentious bastardization
And let the water beat me in the face
Steam pruned my fingertips
Before the Parker pen in his breast pocket
Leaked out across a chest with arms of 100% cotton
Half asleep I watched it bleed
Wicking at fibers hungrily with capillary action
I’d been hollowed.
Neck Climbing Tattoos
Alana’s hands trembled when they patted her down at security. She focused on memorizing the order of the snacks inside the vending machine and tried not to compare the little cells for Doritos and Snyder’s pretzels draped in fluorescent light to the structure of Wellstone County Prison. She honed in on controlling her breathing while the guard finished checking her pockets.
Lex watched her intently from where he sat in the center of the cafeteria. Through the glass window he could see she hadn’t changed much. Her straight brown hair reached her hips and complemented her small frame just as it always had. Her almond brown eyes were quizzical as ever and he could tell she was more nervous than she was letting on by the way her nostrils flared repeatedly while she glanced around the room.
Her mouth however sat in a flat line resting on her chin. This was new to him, her permanent bubbly grin is what made him fall in love in the first place.
She hadn’t seen him yet, he sat alone at his little metal table in the middle of all the other prisoners with visitation rights. It’d been six months since Lex was allowed to have a visitor but he couldn’t bring himself to make the call and let her know. Not after he ignored her letters. Not after he heard how good she’d been doing when her mother called to ask him to leave her alone forever. He felt guilty bringing her here. Selfish.
The iron door buzzed and she stepped cautiously across the threshold. Alana spotted Lex immediately and she was convinced she was going to throw up. Her feet carried her to the table and as the cool metal chair sunk into her jeans she hadn’t even realized she moved.
Alana suddenly regretted coming. The truth was she had gotten his message weeks ago but she couldn’t bring herself to come. Anger swirled in her brain like storm clouds and she still caught herself wondering. Does he still think I’m pretty? She wouldn’t tell him how long she’d spent getting ready today. Making sure every hair was just so, tying her sneakers to make sure each loop was the same length. She’d even had her nails done. Periwinkle. Lex’s favorite color.
She focused on the line of white light that was reflected off the table between them and ignored his hands, folded and scarred that were just out of eyesight. “Alana.” That was enough to send her spiraling back to what once was and before she knew it she had met his eyes. Shit. She thought. His blonde curls were gone. Replaced by a buzz cut that made his neck look too long. His skin still looked like delicate porcelain accented by eyes so icy they cut right to her core. She shivered. Lex reached for her hands and she pulled them back and rested them in her lap, her eyes dropping back down to the table.
“I shouldn’t have come.” She said quietly. Alana had always been skittish. But never with Lex and that put him on edge too.
“I’m glad you came.” He said. His voice was rougher than she remembered. I guess that’s what happens when you end up in prison. The last word snagged in her brain, suddenly Alana was angry.
“Why didn’t you answer my letters?” Lex opened his mouth but she wasn’t finished. “Because I wrote you letters you know, I wrote you 23 fucking letters.” Alana’s jaw quivered but she was nowhere near tears. She was livid. “I called, I left messages with your sponsor. I know you’ve been talking to him, he’s a really shitty liar.” Lex stared at the girl he thought he recognized but now he wasn’t sure. He’d never even heard her swear before.
“I know I’ve only ever seen places like this in movies but tell me Lex could you have made a phone call? You know just anything so that I didn’t worry for ten months that you got stabbed trying to take a shower or something ? Hm? Could you make a freaking phone call Lex?”
Lex had never seen her this mad. He usually had all the right words for her. He remembered when he could rub circles on her back and lull her to sleep no matter what that day had hit her with. Slowly he nodded. The color drained from Alana’s cheeks.
“Oh.” She said and her anger dissipated. Suddenly she looked small again.
“Alana I didn’t want you to come here. It isn’t a good place for you.”
“It isn’t a good place for you either.″ She shot back.
He noticed she still wore the necklace. The one he gave her on their three year anniversary. He presented it to her weeks early cause he was too excited. A little gold spoon. Because she was his little spoon. She thought it was super cheesy and made sure she told him every chance she got but she never took it off after that. Alana noticed him staring at it and rubbed her hand across her neck leaving a red mark. She had so many questions. So many all at once but the one that rose from her throat first surprised her and Lex at the same time.
“Why’d you do it?” Her words stuck in the filtered air.
Lex exhaled. “Alana.”
“Stop saying my name.” She snapped. “Why’d you do it.”
“How’ve you been?” Lex’s eyes pleaded with her.
“Lex I have been patient.” Alana growled this so low he could barely hear it. “I have been more than patient. I have been loyal to you. I have been only for you and you ignored me for ten months. You destroyed us. You destroyed me I-” Tears rose in her throat and she swallowed them quickly. “Why did you do it?”
“Why did you do it!” Her fist hit the table and one of the guards took a step forward. Because I love you. He wanted to say. “Because he deserved it.” He said instead.
“Deserved it?” Alana whispered, her shoulders shook violently. “Couldn’t we have talked about it. You never mentioned anything, I know I hated him too Lex I really did just- damn.” They both sat silent for a moment. Her eyes traced the tattoos that climbed the neck of the boy she loved.
Lex still remembered the fire, the way it consumed the skeleton of the house that was left when he got there. The way it reflected off the tears in Alana’s eyes as she stared into the blaze from the front yard. He remembered being white hot angry at her. Gripping her shoulders he screamed at her emotionless eyes. “What the hell did you do? Do you know what’s going to happen to you now?” He remembered how she never answered. How the tears just rolled as she stared at him blankly. Drained. He remembered the moment he realized what he was going to do. How he sobbed to her and told the only person he’d ever learned to love how much he cherished her. How he kissed her motionless lips knowing it would be the last time. The rock knocked her out cold but he made sure she was still breathing with a finger under her nose. “I’m sorry.” He whispered hoarsely, stroking her hair. “It’s gonna be okay now.” Lex had walked up to the flames that ate at the door and grabbed the doorknob. Letting the flames lick and bite his hands groaning until they were bubbled and peeling.
He didn’t know that Eric Carrington was burnt up inside the house when he willingly let the officers bring him to the curb and cuff his hands. He didn’t know that he wasn’t just confessing to arson and the assault of his girlfriend but premeditated murder when he was questioned by the detectives.
Part of him wondered sometimes if he had known whether he would have done it or not. But he would have. He knew Alana wouldn’t remember a thing when she woke up. Her face looked the same as it did anytime someone asked about her family. About her childhood. That same glossed over haunt of a girl who’d been through too much. The evidence of a piece of her soul gone missing. Alana’s next words could have carved a trench in the table. “I hate you.”
I love you. Lex’s mind screamed at her. He wanted to tell her everything right then. Grasping at loose ends the next 29 years of his life would never be able to hold on to. He balled his fists on the table. “Alana if you remember anything about what happened, I did it for you.” And his voice broke at the weight she’d never know those words had on him. Her face flashed emotions cold and hot and his heart palpitated in his chest. She remembers. But her expression settled down into stone.
“I wish that rock killed me.” And with that Alana gathered herself and fled the room. Lex watched his tears hit the silver and when the door slammed he crumpled to the shape of the table. “I love you.” He mouthed against metal. And when the guards half guided half carried him out of that room he managed a smile. Because no matter how he longed for everything that could have been. Alana, would never end up in a place like this.
Pretty smiles mess my heart up
Your crooked goofy grin is still the worst I ever touched
I wash my hands a million times
Tryna get your cooties off my mind
My walls got tired of hearing your name
Every song I wrote about you always ends the same
Cause I'll always twist it to your side
In your lies I reminisce
In your short comings I abide
Your halo was a collar
White wings were such a bother
You whisper that you miss me
White lies that taste like whiskey
I wish I could get over
Your influence on my shoulder
Too long I have been blinded by your light
Angel, you don't look so good in white
What I’m like in love
A letter to the next person who holds my heart
Take a trip inside my heart and learn the ways I see us. In my mind we’re almost never talking. Just experiencing things alongside one another while a current flows between us. I want to compare the sizes of our hands in your car at 2am. I want you to drive me home, knowing our silence can hold our secrets. Your eyes drive me crazy. Eye contact is one of my favorite things with you. And if there’s anything better than that it’s watching you while you’re focused. I wonder if you’re allowing me to look at you. I shamelessly take you in and think you must know. I wonder if when you catch my eye it feels like your soul caught fire. If in that moment you can see us years from now working everything out. I’ll dance around at 9am in your boxers lazilly picking up the house while you shower before work. Do you see that like I see that? Would it look as pretty to you as it does to me? Or would your future look nothing like that? Can I see it anyways? Where we go? To sit six feet from you right now I could give anything. Just let our eyes do the talking. My entire body responds to your presence.
This is not a feeling for words. It’s panic and exhilaration and wanting to tackle you before you finish a sentence. It almost makes me mad. Like seriously, shut up. How do you do that to me. It’s perfect agony. But I want time to get used to you. I want to fall asleep looking from inside my eyes to inside yours knowing I'll feel you get up hours before me because you’re weird like that. I want to be comfortably starstruck by you because this feels a bit vulnerable. Normally I cannot stop talking but you probably think I’m so slow because I literally lose brain function when you blink, or yawn. Like sirens in my noggin I swear. I hope it’s like that for you. You have to know I’m strung out on a line for this when all I muster is a grin for a solid five seconds after you finish talking. I am in overdrive, you scare me and challenge me and excite me all at once. You set me on freaking fire.
Watch me look at you and you’ll know how honestly I mean everything I say. To the person who holds my heart, know that if I am passionate for you it is the most dangerous part of me. You’ll not only have my heart, my desires, my motivation. I’ve always been the type of person who gets paralyzed by love. I sit around and wonder about the fire in your eyes, the movement of your fingers, the way you slowly complicate my life. The truth is, you make my chemicals go bonkers. Absolutely haywire. Hold this truth gently. I will break for you, not because of you. When my eyes take rolling trips over your shoulders know that I’m not worshipping your shell. I’m searching for your soul. You are striking. Be careful with me please. I’m all in.
Beneath the Undertow
My evil is winning
I'm ready to just blend in
Im keeping my head up above the
While seaweed is pulling me in
Sometimes I think about drowning
Seaweed is pulling me
Giving into my surroundings
How easy it'd be to just
They’ll coo “you’re strong”
And mock “you’re durable”
It can't be wrong
That I'm not unbreakable
It won't be long before I struggle
From this sickly hold
This ocean has on me
Am I allowed
To look at him like that
Could it be wrong
When he's just so nice to look at
He smells like Apple trees in fall
He stands confident and tall
U would find him
In a Polaroid picture
Means everything to me
He smells like lemongrass and beach
He feels like cotton balls and dryer sheets
He deserves to be
In every Polaroid picture
But that's just me
He talks bubbly like soap
His voice is full of kindness and hope
And I would love if he
Would take a Polaroid picture
Ik hoop dat je me blijft verrassen
I wonder if he remembers the time we played truth or dare. He proposed the idea like every suave 17 year old should ask, with the twitch of a carved jaw and the flick of an eyebrow that “he does absentmindedly.” But he doesn’t. You think he does. I thought he did. But trust, he knew. And I giggled and said sure like every stupid adolescent girl will for a handsome pair of brown eyes dusted with gold around 2am. We go a few rounds before it goes where it always did for me. By now I know that he didn’t get along with his family, he was a democrat, I knew his most embarrassing story, his aspirations. He wanted to work at NASA, and write books like I did. And he knew what I looked like minus the yellow sweatshirt and ponytail I had when we started. Oh and my middle name, but only because he asked, “what about you?” with a lopsided grin after I learned that his was Eduard.
I wonder if he knows I can barely write about him still and it’s been ages. I think about it sometimes. But I still only manage to sheepishly slip bits of him in here and there. Untraceable mentionings. I’ve tried. I’ve written out entire pages that may as well have been blank as they were when I started. After him I learned the art of talking about a 6 month period of my life for an hour and still saying absolutely nothing. It’s not that I’m not over it, I just don’t know how to access that place in the dark anymore. It wasn’t something confrontable, the only chance I had of survival was just to look straight up at the sun and keep moving while my retinas burned blue and green until another few months had passed. And when they did and I finally assessed the situation in front of me, my eyes clouded around the spots the sunbeams had left behind. So I scraped up the fried ends of what remained of the organ that had been harvested from my chest and barrelled on. And even still, here I am going on in my infamous circuitous manner that only seems to come about when I try to recall the things that happened between him and I. Sometimes I convince myself they weren’t even real. And maybe they weren’t.
I wonder if he remembers the part of the conversation that made my cheeks burn hot. The vulnerability I gave him before truth or dare at 2am went where it always did. The words I gave to this boy that still prick at the corners of my eyes like needles before I manage to swallow the lump in my throat with a smile. “Tell me something in another language.” He prompted. Fiddling with the eagle charmed chain that rested on honey kissed skin between his collarbones. His eyes burned holes into mine and I stared back expressionless. “Ik hoop dat je me blijft verrassen.” I said almost at a whisper. He never asked me what it meant and I never told him as he accepted my answer and moved forward with his unintentional intention.
And as I went to bed that night my mind ran dizzy over our conversation. I was so effortlessly taken by him. Sometimes when I was asked to list reasons why he gripped the wrinkles on my brain I made up a few. Because I was convinced nobody would get it except me and him. I was wrong because the only person who got it was me. I still smile when someone says his name, a shameful childish smile that should be slapped from my face. Because I was his fixation for a moment. Tattered butterflies swarm somewhere hollow inside me. I wish he asked me what the stupid words meant. Because I can’t seem to write them out. To put that dated truth into the universe for the beasts of the field to shred and devour. I know that when I do maybe I’ll have to face the irony of the statement that once made my heart do acrobatics in my chest.
I hope you continue to surprise me. There I said it. These are my wilted words to him. Frozen in dutch translation, preserved in the cryogenic chamber of his amnesia. If I saw him again I think I’d scream these words out of necessity. I hope you continue to surprise me. I’d chant it from afar and maybe he wouldn’t hear a thing. And I tell myself this is what it would take for me to be okay. If by chance a breeze carried my words to his studded ears, maybe I’d rattle on. “Consider me surprised. Consider me shocked! Really.. “ And swallow looking up at the sun to feel the familiar burn on the tears that threatened to form when I thought about the time we played truth or dare. Or the time when I shamelessly took you in perched on the counter while you did the dishes. Or the time I read you scary stories in my best British accent while you stared at me with a look I thought was near impossible to fake. And maybe I’d have the guts to look back at him. And as a tear fell. Staring into his eyes. Those damn eyes that managed to end the world as I knew it. Maybe I’d finish. “Or don’t, don’t consider any of it, especially not me. You never did.” I’d bite my tongue as I walked away suppressing any glimmers of hope that sparked from between us when his body was in proximity to mine. I’d pour gasoline and drop a match on every thought I had for us and watch the flames lick at my favorite memories of us that I had posed nicely in front of every time I broke for you. My fists would be clenched tight until the stains of cinder and soot danced around me. Uncurling my fingers and addressing the nail marks in my palms, I still think I’d find a copy saved. A salvaged pathogen unknowingly protected from the embers. Ik hoop dat je me blijft verrassen. The words bleed from my nails dug into my flesh. “Maybe I’ll have better luck tomorrow.” I’d gasp my throat raw from smoke. And then maybe, I’d turn and go home and try to write about it. And nothing would satisfy the everlasting fulfillment those words scabbed into my hand needed. And nothing would budge them or shape them into anything more than the hinge my next breath rested on.