the roses

i don’t think i’ve ever really been happy.

because i am a girl of long nights, and bloodstains. i don’t want to fight you, so just leave me the hell alone, okay?

i chisel my heart right out of my chest and keep it somewhere far away. because there is a time, and there is a place. but right now, you made a promise, little girl.

so i guess i’ll keep it, no matter what it takes. i’ll plaster on a smile, i’ll wash the dirty dishes ’til they break.

and i’ll clean them up tomorrow, but… not today. because i’m tired, and lonely, and maybe pandora’s box will open no matter what i do, but i still don’t want to encourage it any more than i have to.

so i sit there, in my office chair, waiting for the rain to come. for the endless woods, and the thunderstorm at hell’s gate. i look both ways, and run for my life; i’ll do anything to just get out of this place. but i think i lost a piece of myself in the roses; i haven’t heard from her since.

double checked the address, and sent old-fashioned letters all to no reply. but it’s all right, i guess. just one more part of growing up; i’m told that it happens, sometimes. that i’ll be all right, that the wound will heal with time.

and i have to believe that’s true.

safekeeping

i’ve written so many essays over the years. cut out paragraphs; stitched together points of view. i’ve gotten pretty good at it, honestly–figured out what you want to hear, served it steaming hot on a golden platter. i’ve walked these beige halls so many times; memorized the graffiti conversations on the bathroom stalls, and grown weirdly fond of the inspirational posters. but in the end, does it really matter?

because i’ve waited at the bus stop in the pouring rain. i’ve watched it go right past me, and wished i could just scream wait. but the bus doesn’t really care about me, so i’ll just… walk around campus, and catch the 1:30.

i’ve drank coffee from a thermos, rubbed my eyes and plugged in my earbuds with a melodramatic sigh. then spent half an hour, rehearsing in my head how to ask for some graphing paper. and it’s awkward, and painful, and i’ll probably have a panic attack about it later. because i never wanted you to hurt me–but that doesn’t mean i intended to disappear so completely.

i’ve come home, and just collapsed on my bed. put on cartoons; changed into my favourite yellow sweater, drowned out a bad day beneath scalding bathwater. screamed at the sky, and cried to the river. called every single number in my phone. because i’m scared, and confused, and it feels like forever, i don’t know what to do–

because if i had a dollar, for every time someone has told me that i’m wise beyond my age, i could finally get some rest. i could take a day off, i could dream about the future. i could unclench my fists, and let myself be a kid for a few more minutes. and god, that would be nice.

i could let down my guard, for the first time since march. i could cling to your hand as we cross the street, and cry into your shoulder. i could sketch out your face on scrap paper; godlike and simple, and shove it in my wallet for safekeeping. put it in a scrapbook, someday–or whatever happy people do.

thicker than water, i suppose

blood really must be thicker than water, i suppose. if it can ooze down the stairs this way. slip into the cracks in the sidewalk, so i don’t notice when it follows me home.

or when slips into the bombshell eyes of the people i used to trust. the people i used to know. and now a thousand spiders find me, in broken promises. and frantic whispers. but when their shining eyes beg silently for help, i will always say no.

and i will ignore the stories. oh, the thousands upon thousands of stories, swimming through my lungs. devouring my shaking body whole.

and i will listen closely, when the butterflies say… oh, little girl, wouldn’t you like to fly? wouldn’t you like to rip up the rotting pages of history, and just rise above it all.

and so i will live vicariously, through telephone poles and long-passed airwaves. leaving behind nothing but crumpled yellow wings, and crimson bloodstains.

matchstick

the blood drips off my fingers. and i should just fucking go to sleep, but the charcoal hatred lingers…

and i can’t breathe, as a thousand razor-sharp teeth devour me. so let’s call it a superpower. call it anything, but the emptiness, congealing in my bones. but my burnt matchstick limbs; threadbare diary pages suddenly exposed.

my cheekbones splinter, the words spilling out of my papercut tongue faster and faster. i sit cross-legged in the garden, laughing maniacally as the flames drink up that silly. little. aster.

but i’ll write a happy ending for. just like i always do. paper maché gates and a glimmering castle. you’re running out of time, little girl….

at this rate, no one’s going to remember you.

polaroid

i am faded paper, and greyscale eyes. waking up with a headache, and not knowing why.

and i am begging you to pick up the phone. but you never did care. so you won’t. and you’ll leave me, stranded in a run-down alley, all on my own.

so i’ll bury it; beneath check-marks and to-do lists; a constant, thrumming debate. but despite my glimmering hope, none of those things ever really did take off the weight. just made me scared, and selfish. and desperate for escape.

but here i am; staring into the mirror, at a face i know all too well. and don’t you remember being ten, writing for hours on a shitty computer; laughing like alice as you fell?

or that night, in eighth grade, your first time using a microphone. but despite the hummingbird pulse of your heart… something about it felt like home.

and in that small moment. despite my sagging eyes and weary bones, as the midday light hits my broken skin, i feel… whole.


For the first time in a while, I really feel… I don’t know, like writing can be something I actually do for myself—and not just for, I don’t know, capitalism? A bunch of strangers on the internet? The voices in my head?

I just… I feel like something new. Something alive. A new leaf, I guess, pushing up from the ground. (Is that a really cheesy, overused metaphor? Probably. In my defense, I have a job gardening and I just got off, so my brain is a little bit fried—if I see one more invasive vine, I think I’m going to explode.)

Suddenly, I remember exactly why I fell in love with writing. And even if no one else is ever going to care about it, even if it won’t get me rich, it doesn’t matter. Because as cheesy as it sounds, I know that this is what I am meant to be doing. And I can’t help but feel like… like everything I had to go through to get here was worth it. That it happened for a reason. And whether or not that’s actually true, sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the hard days. The days when everything feels heavy, and impossible, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and give up.

For the first time in my life, I look in the mirror and like who I’m becoming. I like her twirly dresses, and her tousled brown hair. I like her round, soft cheeks, and her tan lines, and her freckles. I look in the mirror, and I see someone who is strong, and alive, and maybe just a little bit of a badass.

And I think that’s pretty fucking cool.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings