i never liked the color red

my emotions make themselves known by pumping my blood faster and faster until my breath can’t keep up any longer and my head seems to forget its place during the day is under the sun, not rested on a pillow in my blackened room

my emotions spiral themselves around the bagel i brought myself to eat and i can’t help but wonder how it would be to live without an urge to reintroduce my finger to my throat and let them dance around for awhile

my family says to control my emotions but i keep letting my emotions control me until they burst out of my dirt-colored eyes, creating a muddy monsoon that sweeps up any sliver of hope and rushes it away with all of the people who tell me i’m a liability

maybe the problem is me because my days of the week pill container is full of chemical happiness but my heart remains empty, longing for the days when my nervous system did not rely on prescriptions to stay alive

as i resist the temptation to let my anger swallow me whole, my lilac manicured nails fight the urge to make drawings on my skin that has been broken too many times to remember

my emotions continue to control me
and i don’t want to remember any of it at all.

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sweet dreams

there is no scarier feeling than laying in a blackened room with nothing but my delusions to lay beside me
laying there thinking that my dreams will be heaven but here i am, stuck in purgatory
i am swallowed whole by the thought that my yesterdays were a daydream and my present is a nightmare
my future haunts me yet it’s all i want

staring at the swivel of the fan,
i lose all reality
i forget my favorite things and an all too familiar monster snuggles against me
here i am,
alone
yet with so much unwanted company

and with burdened eyes, i lye there unable to control the spirals
slowly, i fall into heaven

hopes, dreams, & haircuts

I’m losing my grip on everything I’ve ever held close, not sure how to grasp onto things that are slipping through my fingers like the crumbles of dirt from which the person I am becoming is growing

The temptation to cut off what is dragging me down and watch it fall to the floor with six inch locks of my fiery hair is consuming me more than any heartbreak ever did. To finally have control over something in my life would be my greatest feat, even if it’s just for a moment.

It is difficult to understand how I can mourn my old self and also long to make everything new. To start over, forget who I am and focus on who I am becoming. I don’t know how to live a life of self-love, but God knows I’m trying. This October, I hope I can look in the mirror and smile, knowing I’m well on my way to a happy heart and some semblance of bliss.

my mother’s daughter

every time your words pierce my fragile mind, i find myself six years old again. staring at my thighs and wondering why they can’t look like yours
why i can’t be what you want

you have a funny way of pushing me away, then dragging me back into your twisted games, your crooked lies. i never wanted to see that the most lethal danger to my peace has been you

but yet again, i am taken back to when i am nine years old
and you don’t allow me an ice cream cone
not really a big deal, except i watch my friends eat guiltlessly as i sit staring at my thighs wishing i could burn them away

and now i think to myself, it’s always been the same with you.

because now i am thirteen years old and i step on that ruthless black pit every morning like clockwork
the digits burn into my mind, as i cry because another tenth of a pound is going to make me lose you

but i never had you, did i? i was always asking for things you couldn’t give
how selfish of me
unconditional love is too much to ask

and now, six years later and i find myself hunched over in the bathroom, doors locked, eyes watery, red scratches on my thighs
my finger has found a home in my throat and i think about how i could never find a home in you, and never will.

monsters under the bed

little potted plants
white duvets
crinkled sheets
and a bleeding heart

dim lights
stuffed giraffes
my favorite sweater
and tear stains

how terrifying it is to
be in a place so safe
but feel so
in danger

dear life

There are no words in any language to describe the feeling I get in my chest, like something awful is happening even though I’m halfway through a laugh with my friends.

I hate the way my throat grows a lump big enough that I swear it could crush my entire body. Sometimes I wish it would, because God knows it’s already crushing my spirit.

I’ll never understand how I can stare at a wall and feel so empty, so hollow, yet feel everything all at once. Underwhelmed yet overwhelmed by life at the same time.

I don’t know how I can sit across from a person every week, protected by four comforting walls and a promise, divulging every nook and cranny of my mind, yet still feel like I am losing control.

I can’t comprehend why it brings me comfort to cause my body pain. How a sting can feel like relief. Like the hurt is flowing out of me, yet regret and disappointed rage in.

And so the cycle continues.

worth it.

the heartbreak and pain
were not accidents
for they led me down a narrow trail
accompanied by old monsters
lonely and shattered,
i fought them off

there i was,
winding through the forest and crawling through the gravel
torn up

on an isolated and dangerous path
that led me right to you
and to myself

we live in a jungle.

it is the sly comments
the uninvited stares
the suggestive look
the desire-filled look
the i want you, i will have you, whether you like it or not look

every whistle
every step a little too close
leaves us trembling

do you see me?
your eyes gaze at me
but do you see me?

do your eyes see me as more than parts to be coveted and dreamt of?
do your ears hear me as more than a voice you’d like to silence with your lips?
does your mind comprehend that my shaking hands and racing heart cannot take another minute of your company?

because of you
my eyes see yours looking me up and down like a project to conquer
my ears hear a young girl catcalled in the streets
my mind cannot comprehend why it has to be this way
and my legs run towards the idea
that it doesn’t have to be
             —no more staying quiet

conditional

guilt suffocates me like cellophane
each layer clinging tightly to my body
one for each year of heartbreak

she says her love wraps around my being
what she doesn’t know is
it fights so hard to break through the barrier she has built
it pulses against me
unable to penetrate the 19 layers of pain she has provided

and through tears
she whispers,
“you know i love you, right?”

despite all her cruel words
she expects me to know this
to wholeheartedly embrace it

i can see it,
but i cannot feel it
for guilt and shame overwhelm my senses
and suddenly i am drowning in my memories
admitting to a love i do not feel

wrapped in this godforsaken cellophane,
a gift from my mother
i am bursting with emotion, yet empty

wrapped so tightly
desperate for love
i walk around suffocating
desperate to feel
something she cannot provide

         —i know you did your best, mom

recovery

i use to swing along the line of life and death in my mind
teetering with reasons to stay and reasons to go

how could i ever think such thoughts when there are sunsets that make even the most pessimistic of people stop to gaze,
with hues of orange and pink and lilac
covering the horizon in swirls and gradients so beautiful that only the naked eye can capture its true essence

how could i ever think such thoughts when there are sunday mornings filled with pancakes and my father in a small café
hearing the clinking of coffee mugs and the strange yet familiar laughter of strangers

how could i ever think such thoughts when there are beaches with velvety sand and a symphony made up of gawking birds and the sound of the ocean kissing the shore,
filled with naps in the scorching sun and the reading of new novels that have been left in my bookcase for months

how could i ever think such thoughts when there are soft kisses and passionate kisses laced together with sweet smiles and the whisper of “i love you”, leaving even the most grounded of people up in the clouds

the sad thing is,
i know exactly how i could think such thoughts
because they once took up all of the vacancies in my mind
they are unwelcome visitors that still bang on my door from time to time

to the broken:
i hear you,
i see you
i will hold your hand until you see light again, just as people have done for me
and i will walk with you until the heaviness turns to feathers of hope