in copious, chilling darkness
canned lights fixate cold cadavers
two on each bed, one for me and
one for you and her and
i cannot gnaw on crystallized skin cells forever, waiting on whenever it will be
you won’t put me on the floor, whenever it will be
you’ll stop vivisecting me to watch
how my heart sinks in increments
every day (out of curiosity).
i write boring poetry about you en route to boring lectures in a
boring car ride sitting in boring traffic
and it makes me think how i’ve
really caught the essence of you.
i’m happy to.
and don’t fret, big boy. i can help you bury
those nasty bodies on your bedroom floor
of the subjects who just gave out (because they were happy to) and
i’ll dig the grave, and you can watch,
i know how you’re just stricken
with grief (always at the best of
times), and you can trust that
i know all the things you like.
you expect me to be still and quiet in this darkness when you stir from sleep with your bedmate,
when i have not even closed my eyes with my back turned to you.
i know you think i’m just another
cold cadaver on your bedroom floor, lit by those can lights:
“yeah, this one gave out last night
digging seven graves. bummer, i know, she should have dug eight.”
you set the worst kind of feeling in me
like cement in dry skin
or pumping lead through veins
with a dying heart.
we have an hour to compose ourselves
and act fucking normal
like two human-beings who are not
always at ends with one another
or two enemies groping
with the idea of friendship
like it is this new
i cannot fucking stand this lockjaw
the tremors in the tendons of our dynamic
i cannot bear the bear between us or the
wasted kinetic motion (that used to be)
turning us stalemate, or just stale-late.
what i cannot do is
grip you with my teeth any longer
or let my lines recede into the vanishing point
of your sunken side next to
the neatly-tied boxes
with black ribbon
that is all
what i can do is
concede you to bedframe across the room
with an armful of those boxes burdening you
worse than your basic inquiries
or put my arms on top your shoulders
saying short shit synonymous with,
see you soon or clap you on
the back without saying
gumsore scoring one point per cavity,
i cannot can captivity, cannot
curate, i cannot keep cementing
my mouth together for anyone’s
you can be smooth-unsmooth, both at once and i find it a feat. you’re coy and cute because i am being coy and candid in the most unceremonious of ways all while you’re unsure how to take it; well, you take it just fine. i noticed while i apologize profusely, you’ve a profusely apologetic tone, and wondered what the difference was, wondered why you like scratched backs just as much as me and i wondered where your mind goes, in the spaces of time i can feel your fingers laying in-between my ribs over my shirts quite innocently because to me your nature insinuates nothing else and i like that. your greaseless hair and and soft sweatshirts suggest sincerity even as i wonder if you wear stripes so frequently since i mentioned an affinity. i am interested in the way you like the lights on and the fan on and the covers on and maybe i admit it is weird for me to have my back turned and it is not to their taste, they’d rather my face, they’d rather the lights on. i imagine colors as shapes now, as green as black and purple as blue while you kiss my bruise, i like to be heckled by you. you’re too sure-unsure but you’re most sure behind a wheel, i feel, while i am most sure about the rule of thirds: this is an assurance we’ll fail to ever be seen in the center lane; not unlike a venn diagram overlap is o-kay (“hey there,” “hi”) because things like hair and shirts are superficial and inaccurate by now or so i’ve heard. i’ve heard. i don’t like that your body churns, but mine does too, and i don’t mind that your lips are parched, because mine are too, and i like your bones, because you see mine too. it’s somewhere unnaturally natural and that is a good depiction of how i feel, i feel unnatural but you are natural; digging the soil for warmth, i just want to feel it too. if you’re bark i am porcelain, you are the rich warm shelter of trees and i am the cold enamel of bathtubs people die in.
i thought aloud briefly, “it is my friends birthday at eight” and i was surprised by my use of ‘friend,’ surprised i used the term my.
to myself i thought “what else would i say?” because you’re no longer an enigma and if you’re anything to me you are not any part of a friend, except for maybe the -end part. and maybe the fri- part if i think, but never together, like
but never my,
simply a (curved)
i wonder if they’re considered that heady-heart moment when you tell someone you’re interested in that you are interested in them. i wonder if they’re considered that odd choice of yours to see someone twice instead of none before shutting down the idea of them. i wonder if they’re considered that point in time when you grit your teeth and message someone you miss when you feel like you shouldn’t be doing either. i wonder if they’re considered that sad moment when you see someone you don’t miss at all who pathetically infrequent your vicinity. i wonder if they’re considered that uncomfortably thick gall-in-your-throat feeling when you tell someone something you’re oddly convinced they should know, when you shouldn’t have said anything. i wonder if they’re considered that moment when you feel miserable about someone you thought you knew but accept their absolute plea to change for the better. i wonder if they’re considered that bleary moment when you subconsciously find yourself committing an act that didn’t make anyone feel good when you did it a while back. i wonder if they’re considered that raucous, gasping sob-fest with someone in the car when your words begin to hit the top interior of the metal frame with their levied shouts of “i know” when for a brief moment you didn’t think you could understand that someone any more. i wonder if they’re considered that uncomfortable feeling when you want to follow what your heart has to offer even though your best friend is just spouting negativity about it. i wonder if they’re considered the moments when you abruptly begin crying in front of a friend because of another friend with the faith that they won’t make you cry, too. i wonder if they’re considered the moments you’re thinking clearly enough to realize what you have to do and how completely you do not want to do it. i wonder if they’re considered the moments you try something for the first time and it makes you do something for the first time. i wonder if they’re considered the moments when you turn off your car with a tight throat and get out and walk up the steps towards that damn house. i wonder if they’re the moments you don’t correct someone when they say something untrue without knowing any better. i wonder if they’re those moments you lie to a friend for a friend. i wonder if they’re those moments you don’t lie to a friend for a friend. i wonder if they’re those moments you consider saying no or consider being spiteful or consider being malicious. i wonder if they’re those moments when your friend hugs you and tells you they’re going to be there for you when they haven’t before but you tell them “i know” anyway. i wonder if they’re the moments when you’re so completely honest you aggrieve someone because of it. i wonder if it’s those moments when you’re so completely honest you know you’ll aggrieve someone and decide to be honest any way. i wonder if they’re those moments where you tell a friend big news and they don’t take it the right way. i wonder if they’re those moments where you’re hypocritical for a week just because you can’t fucking commit to a decision that would make someone feel awful. i wonder if they’re considered being blindly honest on an internet blog in front of a whole wide audience automatically willing to misunderstand. i wonder if they’re considered every single moment in your mind where you think you’re about to say something.
i’ve never seen some kid dig in the sand maliciously or maddeningly or with abrupt abandon. it’s soft, for the most part, you don’t see people wage war on the weak without word, and sand doesn’t speak simply, just deep.
i can sit there in front of the entire world, the entire ocean, the entire open sky and everything at my back a mirror image and all you will see is that i look at the sand. annoying, the grains pressing against my skin and anyone you ask will tell you how much i hate the beach. come, ask me. i hate it. but I’ll just sit there covered in it and breathing it in and hating it, staring down.
because it’s a trick. beaches aren’t beautiful, it’s the light that is, at seven o’clock in its feverish descent into the murky, refracting depths that people stare at and vicariously wish they were the sun, that they were the ones descending into those dark, dark depths. i know i do. it’s the haze of fading light that is enchanting, the orange and red and yellow and dizzying warmth of it and how it scatters against the glass grains and warms them, humbly warms them and makes me fall in love with that warmth and scratch through its surface with soft and timid fingertips, sinking my hands into the gritty, glassy depth of it.
but like i said, it’s not real. the chill underneath the wonderfully warm top layer is sickening and striking and unexpected, gnashing at your hand, damp and cold and uncomfortable and pulling you in because you were fooled because you were stupid and have left yourself perceptible to the harshness, allowed yourself to be in a position where it can hurt.
i’ve never seen some kid dig in the sand maliciously or maddeningly or with abrupt abandon, but i began to. the cold disillusion of the sand’s depths was betrayal, betrayer of me and betrayer of the sun, all the things it lives for: the sun to be beautiful and the person to admire it, it had betrayed as knew it and now couldn’t let it go, and so i indulged the awfulness and i tore at the sand, tore it apart. the glass was unforgiving and i bled into the spot i furiously attempted to hollow out. the cold was bitter and began to turn my blistered, bleeding palms black like the deepest depths of anything in the world, and they would fall off soon i knew but i would get to the bottom first. i would win this, it would not beat me.
i wasn’t digging into only grains and sand and rock anymore but mud, my blood whetted the hollow i worked and i tore into it even more, viciously, hostilely, morbidly and it felt terrible and excellent all at one awful moment and i did not stop. i dug and dug and the light has burnt out now, it has gone away, swallowed by the sea, and i found myself again wishing the same fate, to not be tricked by beauty or the sincerity of touch. i would let myself become engorged by my surroundings, become sodden and waterlogged and let my pasty skin balloon out, make my fatty skin scream for stitches, and blow all the air out of my lungs in complete embrace of the deepest dark interior of earth, i would drift there so exploded by the darkness filling me up nothing else could touch or fool me and it would be a real beauty: the complete lack of insincerity.
and all of a sudden, i fell in. the cavern i had dug with my black and red hands swallowed me up into its midst hungrily, cunningly, welcomingly, because the sand had known all along my stubborn insolence and i had been tricked by it for the very last time, at least, because as i stared up at the dimly lot opening in horror all the rock and sand and grains and glass and blood poured upon me, cementing me inside the dark and it was completely waterless and the sand stung my eyes but i could not cry and when i tried it avalanched down my throat and held me there in that completely lightless, insincere place of trickery.
i have made huge realization’s in my silence. massive realizations, earth-shattering ones, bountiful and brash and painful and not-so-painful but realizations all the same. among the most strongest i have realized things about myself that make me terribly sad and realized things about myself i am sadly apathetic about and wish i weren’t and i have realized things i wish i never knew.
i have realized for all the amount i do not talk in real life i talk an extreme amount in my head and in fact i never hush and it makes me go insane i think, i think this is why i am insane. and then there’s the internalized everything inside me perpetually revving to get out perpetually encased in this suit of skin that refuses its release and no wonder i am prone to both explosions and implosions and things pressurizing inside me causing grief and anger inconsistently like i am insane.
i also know i am vastly afraid and horrifically scared of stupid things and frightening things and things that should not be altogether scary and people, especially people, my god do people frighten me especially when i am mentally on my knees already afraid and they just breathe fire and frighten me more and the smoke from their flames choke me up and further encases everything inside me to stay there and i nod, on my knees. i never knew before this i was frightened of fire. and i am afraid of absence, afraid of inferiority, afraid of a lack thereof of the people who do not frighten me, what a sick cycle, making me thereby afraid of these people, “please don’t leave.”
i have also realized as much as i hate balloons and want balloons the rare moments i have balloons i feel sick and encumbered with the immediate need to let them go because despite my hate and despite my want i am agonized by how much balloons no longer mean to me and holding them feels empty and wrong and weird and wrong and sick and yet i miss them the moment i let go, and more importantly i do this over and over again like a toddler who hasn’t learned their lesson. you’d think when i pricked them the first time to hear them horribly pop i would leave the balloons alone—yet the fascination refuses to follow their absence. i have an addictive personality and the worst part is its all in my head.
another horrible thing is i am so wretched, wretched in my mind and wretched in my body and wretched in my lips that frame words that say things like “doing that will make me feel bad” while i am doing that, and i don’t feel bad but i 100% wish that i did, i do, i wish i did, and some facet of me does, some facet beats myself up for indulging hypocrisy but it is not enough because in truth i need to hate myself. i wish it made me hate myself. and yet meanwhile all this time i am conducting this game of tag i can’t discern definite feelings about: i don’t mind the infrequent loss when you touch me and the infrequent win when i touch you but what happens if we just kept on losing and winning over and over again ? would i hate myself then ? i somewhat wish and somewhat think so but somewhat want to find out. this makes me realize that though i say i am not curious i am horribly, sadly curious.
once i wrote a post that bastardized every touchstone i have that symbolizes people i know and people i used to know, things people see me write all the time but fail to grasp the abstract meaning. it felt good, it felt brave; i was invigorated with a need to starting seeing friends anew, start perceiving people differently, i really was, i was enthralled by the idea, and i was doing it. then i slept, woke up the next day and promptly deleted it.
because honestly, once the drive fades and you wake up feeling sleepy and vulnerable all over again, it is terrifying to think people get such a look into my mind. tongue-tied and terrifying. it shouldn’t be fair that i would mention the tower and obtain criticism by strangers or friends for not being over it, when passing thoughts are human and just because i write them down doesn’t make me any weaker than all the times they pass by your head all cramped and internalized inside your dark ivory skull, i promise it doesn’t. but it gives you information, whereas i am no less knowledgeable about you, stranger. and it shouldn’t be fair you know who i’m talking to when i talk to monsters in the crevices of every corner, or who i’m thinking about when i mention red over and over again like it’s symbolic of something more than anger or embarrassment or the wistfully wise or lion’s manes or fucking balloons or red velvet anything, it shouldn’t be fair.
i’m not weak because i preserve all these old motifs of people loved and lost, or lost and long gone, or proper assholes stiff in the neck as per usual, because you do the same thing, stranger. you just don’t write it down. so why should you get to know ?
you’re laying in bed, all sprawled out on your back with your limbs at awkward angles like you were just dumped there on that bed with abandon — because you were, you just fell upon it and turned around violently in all directions like a whirlwind and chose a random second to stop and that is how you ended up. then you shut your eyes tight, tight enough to make wrinkles all around your eighteen year young eyes, all blotched up and scared, and fell asleep just like that, all blotched up and scared and a whirlwind on pause.
and morning, dreadful morning, came too quick. it was fast and bright and hostile, falling across your sprawled out limbs and on your currently crease-less face until it made those wrinkles turn up like an old unwanted friend, and fuck, there they were. so you poked play and shook around, thrashed into a new position on your side away from that awful light and your elbows hugged all awkwardly at your stomach and hands fell close to your still wet face and touched something and it annoyed you. so your hand swatted at the thing to make room, eyes still closed and face still wet and elbows still awkward, swatting at it as if the insistent motion would absolve the problem, but it didn’t absolve.
one eye peeked open, the one closest to the bed and therefore the most shelter from the awful and it peeked open just slightly, level with where your hands were pressed for room by that thing and that thing was a piece of paper and you were annoyed you had to open an eye to figure that out, and even more annoyed that it hadn’t caught the wind of your hand’s insistent swatting and just flown off on the ensuing windstorm, and why hadn’t it flown away in any of your whirlwinds ? your other eye peeked open, just slightly, until it reached the point of open that made both your eyes blink consecutively against the awful and stare, strained, at the little slip of paper that has intrigued you more than sleep.
so you touch it with one fingertip, confirming it’s substance (paper), and it’s type (real) and your state (awake), and then you poke out you lip at the annoyance of this all, tried to tell yourself how much more inviting sleep sounded over investigating this dumb slip of paper that shouldn’t be next to you on your bed so early in the morning, but it only intrigued you further. your eyes didn’t want to be, but you were awake, could feel it in the heartbeats that rocked your chest every so often, as if complimenting the throbs that the awful light attacked your mostly open eyes with. you could be awake and not tired but still exhausted, you see, which is how you felt most times, even awake with your lip poked out and your face still wet and your elbows still tucked against your stomach all awkward. even though you had swatted with all your previous half-asleep strength, you were now suddenly caught by the whim that moving your elbows in any fashion would cause the paper to float away with the winds of the movement, and this wasn’t going to happen for then bothering to wake up enough to investigate would be in vain for no soul was going to be awake enough to fish a slip of paper from off the side of one’s bed so early in the morning, even if one had woken long enough to want to read it. so you touched it with another fingertip now, slowly and gently, and spread the paper out flat against your bed and your eyes peered, stared, strained, at the paper to read it so early in the morning, with the sleep-blurs still in the eyes and the sand in them too and the consecutive blinking that was a sign of not yet being completely awake yet still going on. so you blinked a good few times until your vision cleared for the most part, and in the light that revealed the very fine details of the texture of that slip of paper, you pressed forward just a fraction to read, heartbeat throbbing with more than the effort of waking a sleeping human body, and you caught sight of the shape of two precisely printed words, and blinked to clear your vision once more, and woke up.