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 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
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
“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 fell in love with the way time stops when we are together, like love is an ocean and we are drowning in it, only able to hear the muffled sounds of life above the water.
i fell in love with how you promise to help me conquer the rainstorms in my head, because you don’t want me to fight these battles on my own.
i fell in love with the way your eyes gaze at me with sincerity, the way they light up when you talk about your future and how it now includes me.
i fell in love with your quirkiness and your dorkiness, the kind that brings out the child in me and makes me want to laugh with you forever.
i fell in love with the way you kiss me, soft yet passionate, but innocent and filled with fire.
i fell in love with the way we found each other, peeling back layers so gingerly until we were both raw and vulnerable, two transparent bodies with beautiful souls.
I fell in love with your resilience, because god knows you’ve moved mountains; now, you don’t have to move them alone.
i fell in love, and you caught me.
and i promise i’ll never leave your arms.
when you cry, i can feel your tears streaming down my own face
and when someone stabs you in the back,
i find myself bleeding, too
i’ll never forget the way you took all my sorrows and burdened your own heart with them
and now, it’s my turn to take the weight
after all, what don’t we share?
so here’s to our indulgent lunch dates, repeated so many times that the wait staff know our order by heart
to the way you rushed to my side with my favorite milkshake when i had my heart broken
to our reality tv-filled monday nights coupled with laughs and pistachio soft serve
to sharing everything from our favorite bubble tea to a therapist
here’s to flamingo-searching and bargain-hunting every time we shop, and laughing the whole way home
to family dinners and nights in the town we call our second home, ending with screams of our favorite songs down the highway
to all the times we answer each other’s urgent texts at 2am, choosing each other over a good night’s rest
and most importantly,
here’s to you
the biggest blessing in my life
and the reason i kept living
i will never forget you
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
When I’m with you, there are never enough hours in the day.
Every minute we are together passes like a bolt of lightning during a humid summer storm,
and every second is gone as fast as my heart after you ran away with it.
You’ve picked weeds from my brain and turned them into sunflowers, planting them with beautiful words and nurturing them with your gentle spirit.
No one can make tears of happiness fall from my eyes like you can, or make me want to leave my perfect little town to be a part of yours.
You’ve helped me find myself, and with each self-discovery, I find a little piece of you, too.
The gaping holes of despair and bitterness that use to cover my soul have been filled so lovingly by your caring heart.
Like a stunning mosaic glued together with pinky promises and childish giggles, I am whole again.
I will never stop being so captivated by what we’ve built together.
Our broken pieces bonded together so effortlessly, and I can’t wait to keep creating artwork
at one year old, i giggled and toddled around,
and at 5 years old, i began to understand.
at 6 years old, i proclaimed my need to lose weight off of my thighs.
time came and went, but the message remained the same.
as other mothers passed down a love of baking or hiking to their daughters, my mother held my hand and walked me down a self-destructive path.
at 14 years old, i began counting calories.
at 17 years old, i found my finger down my throat and lines on my wrist.
at 18 years old, i crumbled.
& at 19 years old, i learned how to walk away.
how to run away.
escaping the lies that had been fed to me along with a 900 calorie diet.
i learned that strong is all that matters.
i learned that words said to try to shrink my thighs and my hips can be silenced by the fortitude of my own thoughts.
most importantly, i decided that this ends with me
when I have daughters of my own, i will pass down a love of running, not because it will make their bodies thin like bending branches, but because it will make them strong.
i will show them the wonders of writing and emptying out every nook and cranny of their brains.
i will expose them to different cultures, exploring new food, excited by the flavors and not trembling because of the calories
i will show them how to love themselves, and hold their hands when they do not.
i will never comment on their bodies,
only their brains, their hearts, their spirits
above all else, I will love unconditionally
because this ends with me