I can’t think anymore
you’ve finally taken me down
a cup tipped over,
stalled out on all roads,
full in all this space,
there’s no room
I don’t bet on it, but
I bet you know this
I’m embroidered by this scar tissue,
the maps you left on me
leading me to empty streets
I know you left me first
I hear your plans from other people
bury you in my anger
I guess we ruined everything
I had my feet on the ground
so sure, had my arms to the wind
thought I was so free
but running brought no sheath
to the dagger that you leave
you’ve finally found your out
leave me responsible for myself
leave me cluttered and spent
I chase you in my dreams
a fractured sort of sleep
maybe we miss each other
even if we had to go,
maybe it’s never leaving
if I can’t let you go.
Prompt 001: to his horror, he realized he had been this way before.
To his horror, he realized he had been this way before. To be lost, it seemed, was not nearly as unsettling as finding a place so familiar. His stomach churned. Did they know he would be here?
He choked the sickness down. He blurred his eyes to obscure what his nose and ears could not. Reality folded beneath him. He wondered if this place might be worse than death.
He could starve out the familiar by being found. His heart bleeding on the gritty earth instead of this.
As if he could be found, when there is nobody looking.
We’re tangled by our ribs, marrow weeping
if you could just put me down, I could cut the feeling
but when the air comes in and my lungs expand
there’s a little bit here that isn’t you
there are moments where the muscles don’t rip away
and I walk to figure out my pace
but ribs rubbing on ribs and
micro-tears, it’s enough
it’s enough and I want to give up
Could I have seen you coming,
the impact of our first collision?
the consequences of being naive,
when all I needed was to breathe
I’m just a vessel for dying cells
my inner arcade, collide and reload
you count down every coin
and I pray as my hands shake
for just a little more time
I was born with your voice in my head
you had me before I could be me,
before I had a light in me.
I always said you did not transfer any of your fixation on weight on to me. It was so normal in our household that I disregarded it as much as I could, but these things have a way of coming up when you least expect them.
You look better with more weight on, you look sickly.
Comparing sizes; I’m bigger/smaller, I’m so fat.
I hate how I looked at your weight.
You’ve been gaining a lot of weight.
Angry because the clothes were too small or too big.
Don’t eat so much.
I would cover myself up in 90° F weather because I thought I was too big. Jeans, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. I would grow my hair long and keep it down as if it would hide me. I had “fat jeans.” I was hardly even a teenager.
And today I look in the mirror and I repeat the things you said to yourself.
I would feel better if I could finally be skinny.
Two down on the scale, and I’m getting closer.
Don’t. eat. so. much.
The best praise is when other people notice I’m smaller.
I wanted to tell you
I’ll be late
or nowhere at all
to let you know I’ll be home
but please don’t check on me
I wanted to tell you
I stand in a fog
I wanted to show you
my throat has cracked
I couldn’t speak,
not about that
I wanted to tell you
I’m sorry I stayed
don’t know how you could love me
not after that.
Counting ribs in the night
little notches from silly fights
the framework for things said in spite
we face our walls to sleep at night
Too scared to say what’s on my mind
the way you make up things to find
my inner sinner, you speculate,
you’re a saint to tolerate
my inferiority like a bitten lip,
holding me down between sips
when you say you love who I am
you’re full of shit, a martyred man
Kiss me on the surface, bleeding
your teeth always out, feeding
I wear the skin you weave for me
stretched thin against the knees
tethered to you by my neck
you nestle in this little wreck
uprooting all the things I know,
I’m the champion of letting go.
I am your slowest burn
you didn’t know I was here
breeding a quiet yearn,
you were a wasteland before you knew it
could have been forever but you blew it
a little bit of tugging at seams
nothing between you and me
is it the absence of feeling
or the way you’re leaving?
before the fire lit
bet you thought you had it
like it was a spillover you missed
won’t make that mistake again
some sort of fire watch, but you
weren’t looking out for me
sow your skeletons and seeds,
the barren and the rage
smoke signals, I was just leaving
particles to choke on, no breathing
bet you didn’t expect to be laid bare
bet you didn’t expect how little I care.
You were never real
all the alcohol goes down and comes up
you sipped and put the frame on me
just a few, just me and you,
Carbonated scorn, you bubble up and go
sober on the road, you go
sober on the road, I don’t know
better keep steady, better watch the lines
keep another sip in the back,
keep your eyes from the sidelines
hold ’em open to the headlights
but you can sleep that way
looking ahead, staring
nothingness, say you can bear it
Spill on the pavement but
not your drink,
scrape your knees, bless
not another pour, I guess
gonna finish this, take it down
catch a wink, won’t you?
take me down to the bottom
because you run on empty
I can’t live
not with you, not without you
I am armour holding skin
flesh too bruised to feel again
I rotate just to feel the ache
just to check on my mistakes
I cracked a rib just to let you in
a barrier not meant to break
a leap of faith to leave this place
you’re a warm touch against my soul
an invasion, a burn, I cant control
I am silver and adorned,
I run from love to stop the war
you put your lips to my throne
a naked show of flesh and bone
surrender, here falls my spine
surrender, when I say I’m fine
but walls don’t fall inside my head
these walls wont fall in your bed
You made me funny
I made you broken
we came together in a war
set between me and I,
couldn’t see what you saw
chasing the novelty of a wreckage
you thought you’d hit the bumper
and watch me go,
I thought you’d heed the thunder
and just let me go
I could flood the cities like a hurricane
didn’t you know,
I’d sink my teeth in, in a heartbeat
take you down like a rogue wave
You made me think
but I made you sad
the resignation in creases that don’t go away
the recognition I don’t grow,
not into these capsules,
never be easy to take
You tried to make me free
wrapped in my vines, can’t breathe,
halfway up to the canopy,
you lost the war between me and I,
took down my armies
just to die at the door
you fought the war between me and I,
just to fall down on the floor
you made me funny
and I made you broken.