sunny september day
the four of us at the lake
four girls in swimsuits and sun-soaked smiles
four almost-adults not yet ready to leave childhood and each other behind.
we sat in the water
as the day cooled around us
tossing rocks into the stillness and secrets into the silence.
she picked up a stone and handed it to me,
told me “don’t throw that one.”
i tucked it into my pocket.
when we ran back to our picnic table
i put the rock in my backpack.
we were getting chilly
it was getting late.
just one more perfect moment, please?
we stood in the parking lot and hugged
that when we let go i thought i would
nothing could ever be this good again.
on the way home i looked for the pebble in my backpack but
it was gone.
i guess that’s what happens when you
put your heart out in the open.
you lose track of it.
Is how I would describe you
And I mean it in the best way because it’s what
I admire about you.
I admire you.
You don’t seem to care what people think,
Even when you do
You don’t care what I think.
I think, I think—
You are beautiful.
I barely know the meaning of the word
If asked to define it I might call it
Warm laughter, I might call it
This feeling is endless.
Endless endless endless endless endless
Crash. It’s ended.
the compelling forces of nature & you
you’re pretty in the sort of way that eyelashes and falling stars are pretty, in the sort of way that your curly hair falls down around your shoulders and that your eyes crinkle when you smile. you’re pretty in the way of the morning sun shining on wet grass and of the way it feels when i look at you a beat too long.
you’re powerful in the sort of way that a symphony is powerful, in the focused way you hold your arms when you conduct the silence. you’re powerful in the way of jawlines and cheekbones and feet-together-at-attention, in the way that when you laugh i can’t help but laugh also. you’re powerful in the sort of way that ocean tides and thunderstorms are powerful, in that i’d stand staring at the sky while lightning flirted with my hair and rain crept up to my knees because i may be on the edge of death but that doesn’t mean i can look away.
you’re delicate and immovable in the way that it seems as though if i touched you you’d shatter at the edges like ice, but i think you could break me with a touch, no need for a knife when you have your fingers.
you’re composed of careful, delicate lines and careful, focused energy and i am
captivated by you.
in short you’re beautiful, but that’s none of my business.
good enough to be real?
i'm still waiting for the
something to wake me up so i can remember that
this is all a dream.
some things are too good to be true
but only some
so mustn't there be things in this life that are so deeply
that i will never have to remember
it was only a dream?
there must be.
the alarm hasn't gone off yet
you have no idea how often i say your name in my head, and how often my mind gets stuck on you.
you're the song that i listen to over and over at three a.m. trying to understand why i love it so much.
and it hurts because when i look at you you're no longer the only thing i can think of
because suddenly my mind is filled with all the reasons why i'm not good enough.
and if you saw that i wrote this you'd never guess that it was about you and that's why it hurts to think about you too hard.
you set my thoughts on fire and i'd lose myself in the smoke if you let me.
i still remember knowing you.
i haven’t seen you at all today and at this point i’m probably not going to.
it hurts more than it should.
talk much anyway but somehow
it doesn’t matter because being around you is almost like sunshine.
not that you are a sunny person, but
when i’m with you my thoughts turn
blurry, as if melted by your warmth, my brain turns
fuzzy and my thoughts become
you are comfort.
hard to imagine that there will be a time when i
won’t bother imagining anymore
but i know such a time exists.
i mean, i’ll forget eventually, won’t i?
forget what this feeling feels like, what this feeling
i can already feel it going, going--
and just like you, it's
is this the start of the rest of my life or the end of it?
the end comes when i let myself
stop feeling things when i
let myself keep forgetting that
the things we remember are not the only important things and the
things we forget are the things that used to matter to us
once upon a memory.
sunshine-soft lips leave lipstick-shaped kisses
on undeserving sandpaper-skin.
fingers brush honey-sweet over everywhere,
love tinted raspberry like
soft raspberry blush like
silky raspberry sheets like
the raspberry sky outside and
like raspberry-tinted lipstick-stained memories
armor, and the lack thereof
Men are the societal default
Because men came first, because
Eve came from Adam’s rib, because
Adam came first.
And so men must come first, because
Is androgynous, because
“Tomboys” are praised for not being like other girls because
“Other girls” are shallow and we must
Never be like those girls because
Masculine is always better and
When even females aren’t allowed to be feminine,
What is feminine?
Tomboys are praised for being “unique” while the
Lucygirls of the world
The little boys in dresses
The men in makeup
The queens, out for the night at a bar, never made it home
They are beaten down
Told “you’re not enough,” told
“You’re too much”
Too much for this world to handle, this
Narrow-minded world that
We will never admit is
And so the
Shallow girls look in the mirror and
Put on their lipstick and
Brave the world in their armor.
Put on blush like a sword put on
Eyeliner like a shield and
Protect yourself from ugliness don’t be
While the unique girls insist
“We are not like them” and
Put on their jeans.
Put on shirts-long-enough-to-cover-your-stomach like
A different kind of armor and
Protect yourself from being seen.
Don’t be too open don’t be
Too feminine don’t be
The horror story meant to teach don’t be
The example in the article titled What to Do to Avoid Rape don’t be
Meanwhile the queens put on their makeup
Put on their clinking jewelry,
Their armor catches the enemy off-guard long enough to
They weren’t expecting this.
Put on your dress like
Fight back stand out rebel by succeeding and
Don your wig like
You never saw this coming.
There is no armor that’s safe there is no
Shield that guards no
Sword that protects.
The only armor here is
Cis men in t-shirts and pants, they don’t need any
You don’t need any armor.
i can’t look at you
you’re too bright for people like me to look at
i would go blind.
i could stare at you all day
but not when you’re looking back at me
no, not when you’re looking at me.
except for that one time
i’d been crying and when you saw me
your sunshine softened into drips of warm honey
offered to me on a silver platter and i
stared and stared
because there was nothing else
nothing else to see or do
what would be the point of life outside this moment
outside your gaze?
someday i want to stare at your sun,
directly into your fiery core
and find out what does blindness feel like?
because i can’t imagine a price too big to pay
and i would happily go blind
if it meant catching one more glimpse
drowning (because maybe you’ll meet me down there at the bottom of the ocean)
You were always a good swimmer, weren’t you?
We would go to swimming lessons together when we were six and
I was always afraid to jump into the deep end but
You had no hesitation because
You knew you could handle it.
You would jump in and
Look back up at me with
Eyes still squinting closed from the water
Hair dripping wet and
Breath washed away by the sunlight dancing off your reflection,
Air rushing in and out like you couldn’t get enough of it, and
You’d hold out a hand and say
“What are you waiting for? Come on, it’s not that bad, I’ll catch you.”
And we both knew you wouldn’t be able to catch me but
I jumped in anyway because
I knew you’d never let me drown and anyway I
Couldn’t resist you.
You’d never let me drown.
But you were always the better swimmer and
Sometimes you have to save yourself first.
Anyway I’m rambling but now when I
See you I
Sometimes feel like I’m drowning.
I see six-year-old you with
Dripping-wet hair and
Out-stretched arms and
Sugar-sweet smile and
I see you now with
Hair that shimmers and
Eyes that look through me and
When you look at me I
Sometimes feel like you’re inspecting me
Under a microscope and you’re about to
Pull me apart and tell back to me all the things I’m too scared to admit
To myself and to the world.
You were never too scared to admit anything
And you were never ashamed
Not of yourself
Not of me.
Anyway I know you don’t think of me much anymore but
I see you sometimes and when I say hello you
Say hello back and it leaves me with a feeling like I
Don’t know if I’m flying or
You’d never let me drown
Unless my drowning meant that
You’d grow wings and
You already have them so
I guess it’s a lost cause and I guess
I’ll never know what it feels like to float and
I’ll never know what it feels like for you to catch me but
I know what it feels like to have you look up at me
Eyes full of chlorine and mirth and
I know what it feels like to drown on dry land because
I’m drowning in the memory of you and
We’re both helpless to stop it but
If this is drowning
It isn’t so bad.