you told me last night:
‘you’re a gorgeous person to me,’
and i blushed and said thank you—
but then i went home and cried
for two hours.
how can you say such nice things,
when you have no idea who
i think i am—
but you still take my face in your hands
and whisper it over and over again
until i have no choice but to listen.
your lips on my cheek is the nicest
thing anyone has ever given me,
and i want nothing more than to
build you a latter to the stars so
you can live among them and be happy.
instead i can only hand you bad coffee
and even worse jokes, but i hope you
'only true beauty finds other true beauty,'
and you are so very beautiful to me.
it’s 2 a.m. and i can’t stop thinking about
how happy you must be right at this
very second, warm in the arms of someone
who was lucky enough to love you out loud—
it’s so stupid to wake up every morning
with your name on my lips and your lips
on my mind, but i’ve never been good at
giving up on lost causes;
there is something in your bones which
calls me home; like the fresh buds of spring,
i’ve never felt more comfortable anywhere,
and your fingers ghost over my neck
like you don’t know that it takes every piece
of courage i’ll never have to not kiss you.
it’s like burning alive, but i can’t feel anything,
and i wish the rain outside didn’t remind me
of the way your hands feel on my back,
heavy and light at the same time—
see here’s the thing about you and me:
you’ll get whatever you want,
and i’ll just take whatever i deserve.
maybe i’ll live a hundred lifetimes and
it wouldn’t make a bit of difference,
i’d still dream of that night you held my
hand and pointed out orion’s belt,
but i couldn’t look at anything except you.
i know why you love the stars so much now,
you are one and the same:
distant, untouchable, and powerful enough
to make men race to get to you first.
i never stood a chance.
i finally understand why eve ate the apple;
it aches to want and want and want
something so forbidden—
i’m slipping, i’m slipping, i’m slipping—
i have to taste you or starve to death.
there is no serpent to test me;
i am already lost.
no punishment can be worse than this:
watching your mouth and knowing
that i may never taste it without falling.
i wonder if i will go to hell for
sympathizing with the devil;
what hurt worse: falling from heaven,
or being betrayed by the one he loved?
breathe my name against my neck
until i forget that you aren’t mine to kiss;
i don’t care, i don’t care, i don’t care—
i’m drowning in you,
and i don’t even want to be saved.
the first girl i ever loved had irises
the exact same shade as the ocean in july—
bright and beautiful, and i never wanted
to gaze into anyone else’s ever again;
her fingers stretched out, long and slender,
smudged with the ink or graphite or pastels
of whatever she loved at that moment,
and i longed for her to wrap them around
my own, until i no longer remembered what
clean hands looked like anymore.
the second girl i ever loved had hair, which
glittered under the sunlight, a gold that could
blind me if i stared too long.
i wanted nothing more than to run my
fingers through it, memorizing the way
it swayed when she laughed at my
poorly timed jokes—
i never got the chance to try;
i never got close enough to show my card—
and why should i?
i, who can only destroy beautiful things
by loving them too much.
they were never mine to covet;
and they remained much more beautiful for
having never been touched by the likes
sometimes i think about your blue eyes,
round and full, under the springtime sun,
and i wonder why it was never enough
just to love, love, love you.
i know that you and i are not destined
for anything greater than dust upon a
and i miss you so much more than i deserve;
i did not break you, but i would’ve
bled to death slicing my fingers on the
glass protecting your ribcage if it meant
you and i could be enough.
instead you moved on to summer and
forgiveness and forgetfulness, while i
lingered too long, wondering at how
the spring blossoms framed your
and i wish i had kissed you once more;
your lips were the softest resting place
i’ve yet to find.
i miss your hair and your books and
you art and your quiet smiles, but
that time has passed beyond even me—
i guess i never got around to saying it,
but thank you.
you once asked me what kind of person could i be;
perhaps you thought me complex or interesting or,
god forbid, beautiful—
i am a snake in the grass, waiting to strike out
at your weakness — even achilles, warrior and
hero, could not protect his own heel.
there is nothing wonderful about me;
i will kiss you only to drink your power.
like medusa, i wish nothing more than
to turn my eyes on men and watch them
freeze, blood turned to dust.
you were foolish to trust me,
i could never have been anything else.
i am not to be tamed by your hands,
roaming my body as if it is yours to
take or conquer—
i would sooner burn the heart out of your
chest than allow your soles to destroy
something so sacred to me.
i am artemis, delighting in arrows,
protecting innocence from ruin at hands such
as yours: greedy, destructive, poisonous.
you are not adam, you will lay no claim to me;
i did not come from you, but this is how i will corrupt you:
i will feed you fruit tasting so sweet that you may forget:
the serpent and the woman are one and the same.
the only thing you can do is run,
and i wish i could say i’m sorry,
but i am not.
it is a universal truth that one day
you will wake up and walk to your
window and realize that most of the
people who made you have all faded
away into their own lives, not even
bothering to wave goodbye—
growing up is cripplingly lonely,
and not in the romantic fashion all
of your favorite writers have you
best friends blur into unknown faces,
and suddenly it’s just you and your cat,
watching the same movie you’ve seen
100 times, crying over a scene about
something as trivial as a toothbrush.
get up. read a book. wash the dishes.
breathe in and out and wonder,
“what the fuck is wrong with me?”
cry. pet your cat. read some more.
call your mom and remember:
there is someone left who loves you
even when you don’t—
be afraid and terrified by everything,
but remember you also are strong
and that your favorite story as a kid
was the one where the princess kills
the dragon herself.