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black holes and maps.i will pretend
i do not fall asleep
thinking of you
if you pretend
not to know.
i wish i knew
how to tell you
exactly how i feel about
you're a black hole
and you pull me in
and all i can do
is try not to lose myself
please do not confuse
for him with
we are not a
rollercoaster, so please
stop saying this relationship
[haven't you heard that
rollercoasters have ups
as well as
x marks the spot,
this is a map,
and if you follow it
you'll find my heart.
you don't really care
enough to look.]
nuclear wars of the heart.this is how
nuclear wars of the heart
fireworks are really
just another kind of
explosion, did you
[you are causing
to implode within
there is a
a fault line
you like to cause
that shake my whole
[but this crack
is only getting wider.
could you please fill it up
hopes and dreams?]
did you know that?
but you could also
[all you have to do
late night secrets.i. have you ever been so hungry that, when food is finally ready and it's burning hot, you're not willing to wait?
because i want to love someone like this. love someone so much it doesn't matter if i get burned. love someone so much that it just. can't. wait.
i want to love someone so much that i'm not afraid anymore. not afraid of the consequences, of getting hurt, or of losing myself. i want to love someone so much that it's consuming and i can do nothing but love, love, love.
ii. sometimes, i wish i didn't have so many shots at a decent future. sometimes, i wish the only future i could ever have would be in writing. maybe then people would leave me alone to chase my passion.
[i hate this about myself. i hate that i can't just be grateful for what i have. i hate this secret.]
iii. i worry that one day, when i call up a friend, she'll answer the phone and ask, 'who's speaking?'
i'll say, 'alyssa.'
she'll ask, 'who?'
my greatest fear is being forgotten.
iv. when i ca
last night.last night the electricity went out in my neighborhood.
last night i lit some candles and burnt my fingers in the process. i watched the flames flicker in the dark and i stared at my reflection in the bathroom mirror and wondered why it looked different, somehow.
last night i remembered how sometimes, when i touch people, i shock them with static electricity. and i wondered if this has any significance.
last night i reread your letters and counted them. nine. there used to be ten, but i threw one away when we had that fight, remember? and i spent the next day looking unsuccessfully in the trash for it and wishing i could control my temper.
last night i wrote 'i wish you were here' on a piece of paper, but i'm not sure who the you was. maybe it was everyone.
last night i cleaned my room just to mess it up again, mostly because i like messing things up. maybe this is some strange revenge on the world for messing me up. i'm not sure.
last night i tried to write but it only ended up
already gone.mommy used to put me to sleep with horror stories.
'boys don't have hearts,' she'd say, shaking her finger in my face. 'if something doesn't have a heart, it can't fall in love with you. remember that,
remember that before you fall in love with one.'
and i don't know what scares me more -
the memories of her horror stories, or the fact that this boy has a heart.
'you'll feel better tomorrow morning,' she tells me. 'i promise.'
lights are swirling in the background, forming shapes. there's a heart made of an icy blue, i notice, and raindrops made of black. 'what am i supposed to feel bad about in the first place?' i ask after a moment.
'you'll see,' she tells me, sadness on her tongue. she turns to leave, dress swirling in the dim lights.
'wait!' i call out, and she turns around. 'who are you?'
'someone you'll know, someday,' she says cryptically.
there's a beating growing in the background now, getting faster as time passes. it reminds me of a time bomb. five minutes
circles in the sand.you will be drawing circles in the sand when he finds you.
'why are you bothering to draw in the sand?' he'll ask. 'the waves will only wash your circles away.'
you'll finish the circle by writing love in the center, then you'll stand up to answer him, hair in your eyes from the wind and sand on your face.
'because maybe it won't get washed away,' you'll say. 'isn't it a chance worth taking?'
and instead of laughing at you like you expected, he'll smile. 'yes,' he'll say. 'oh, yes.'
you will be weak with lack of sleep, drowsy and stumbling, and he'll catch you before you run into the wall.
'go away,' you'll tell him. 'just go away.'
'no,' i don't think i will,' he'll say. 'want me to tell you a secret about you?'
'no,' you'll murmur bitterly, but that won't stop him.
'see, you have this dark view of love and hearts,' he'll say. 'for one, you don't believe in love, or the fairytale happily ever after kind. because it always gets washed away, doesn't it? that's how you see it.
worlds.today, i scribbled planets on a piece of paper and gave them names. 'friendship', 'acceptance', 'hope', 'love', and 'happiness', i called them.
then i drew a stick figure that i named 'alyssa'. i wrote a story about how she visited all of these planets and learned all about them.
(now, i can pretend to know these things. now, i can pretend to be a part of them.)
today, as i was on my way home, i saw a couple in the grass by the highway. they were dancing to music i couldn't hear.
for a moment, i thougth they were crazy. but a few minutes later, i felt like mourning.
because these people and their somewhat crazy actions were part of a world i would never know; never understand.
today, i told you how i feel like i'm in a world in which i don't belong; don't understand. i showed you my planets and the stick figure.
you smiled and drew a stick figure of your own. you said, 'this one will be me. and we can both just notbelong here. together.'
(but notbelonging with you fee
plastic roses.i. our love was a rose, and
sometimes, i wished it was
do not have thorns.)
ii. i'd like the fireflies to
stay in my life. at least
they could light my way through the
(they'd be much better
friends than you ever were.)
iii. we once said
that we were each other's
but i am not
losing my halo;
only you are.
(throwing knives in my back
doesn't make you an angel.)
iv. you told me that our fates
were lucky enough to cross one
(your version of
is very different from mine.)
v. my love for you
was made of hope and fragile
dreams and it was
(you never thought
it was worth enough
to be considered
vi. you told me i was
like your special brand of
(but chocolate always made you
vii. your nicknames for me (sweetheart;
mi amor) and claims of love
always seemed to burn
your lips, as if they were
(did it ever hurt you
viii. i was such a fool
for searching for things
in your heart that
tomorrow.i used to hold you close in the hopes that you'd keep me warm.
it worked physically, but my heart always felt colder; heavier afterwards.
you never liked to hold me, anyway.
you and i are not the same.
you like it when the rain falls, and you like being startled when its peace is interrupted by thunder. you like trying to catch the rain in a bucket; you try to 'save' it from colliding with the ground.
i only like to watch it fall.
you are beautiful when you cry; when your body shakes uncontrollably with sobs you can't hold in. you are open when you cry, and i can see past the marble mask you put up and i feel like i know you.
but i am only broken when i cry.
if i could hand you my heart, i would; you would never trust me with yours.
you think you can shape broken things and the broken people - people like me. you think we are like clay and you can make us into what you want. you think there's a mold that we will one day confine to; give in to. you believe you can
melting point.I'd like to get you off my chest
to heave one big cough, and you'd be gone
being alone is a lot like being sick
when i have you, i can't stand you.
I'd like to laugh at things you say
to feel something inside from you
laughing is a lot like lying
it's always at someones expense.
you always said you wished you could die young
to be living beautiful, and die beautiful
living is a lot like a puzzle
little house.she said: what i am telling you is important;
she said: your fairytale is nothing new.
i have grown weary of your recycled
cinderella stories, your glorified train wrecks in print.
she said: i am retiring the typewriter
and the ballgowns, rent and frayed. i am
threading you into a tapestry without your
flaxen locks, your fair-haired prince.
i am bleaching the dungeons:
overuse has worn the stones too thin.
she said: there are angels living down your street
in little houses decorated with doctorates and
she said: evil does not wear a sign about its neck;
the heroes do not ride white horses,
she said: real life does not always sell
a shine and a song.she is a daughter and a matchbox woman, hard until you strike her and
she ignites. she is a daughter and she is not meant to drown today and
death with his square toes will not count her among his prizes.
she learns to grieve in whatever skin she's wearing
and the angels cannot smother her shine, cannot
silence her song
though they tied the horizon
round her neck and bent her back with the weight of heaven.
hers is an albatross named beauty draped across her spine but she does not drag her wrists. she is misled and misloved, she is
ten feet tall; she is strong enough to sing again.
catch a falling star.you would trace letters on my back, like broken messages
you forgot to say out loud. i would whisper my replies, but i
always felt too noisy compared to your silent stream of gentle
words. your silences held secrets and sewed them to your worn-
out lips. danger and understanding stayed glued to my eyelids.
in one night we created our own means of communicating.
i wonder how many others know that language now.
you could make fireworks sparkle and dance in the brightest of
colours. it just took a few moments before the sound to reach
our ears. it all happened so fast, it was like someone turned a
light switch on and off. even the stars looked dead as they began
to fall and tumble from their places in the midnight summer sky.
"catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.
A Poeta poet
is a prism
of chameleon color
over a boy blue sky
is a drum
of simplest sound
is a heart in half
years, in carmine and violet
is a song
lyrics in pen onto raw paper
in one mouthful
is a bird
the fluttered- a collectioni
Hear my joints dislocate, coming apart at the notion of sunlight. It falls and it settles in pictures of loveliness, golden tree branches and hints of leaves; of autumn, of spring.
I am so tall in the water. My legs are never-ending, crooked lines of peachskin- watching my fingers draw out ripples until they strain and buckle and fall into the cool. Ill touch my toes and loop my figure and Ill make giant ripples, abhorring fallen leaves and sending shivers of blue through his legs.
Its a faded crimson red holding my breasts, tugging my hips and leaving my ribcage bare to the current. Its smudged lipstick and smeared blood to him; its the soft of petals and the heat of summer to me.
With dirt up my thighs and crushed flowers beneath my elbows we sat in echoes of bark; lit with the little light the leaves could spare. We were a picture. We were lovers in the dirt, near the stream, soft nothing above and heaviness beneath us.
It came tumbling down by my
day one, again, hello.five.
counting down to naming fears, we could
call them resolutions to put them off the
scent. (they might be figfigfiguring us out.)
there's a lot riding on this one, boys.
this is the year i will be sevenseventeen or
something in between the andes and a flower
with twelve syllables. there's nothing more
refreshing than keeping score and firing associates.
local anesthetic and just a hint of cannibalistic
instinct is the perfect recipe for a new year but
wait!we haven't yet decorated the welcome wagon
and i want this to be the anticlimax of your life.
sink your teeth into processed awareness or
consumer capitalism fresh out of the oven and it
tastes like film critics tourist attractioninterrogation.
dear time zones, our apologies got crossed, exexex oh!
hyperthesis like pages of phonetic egowisdom
explaining jet lag and jersey accents, off the shoulder
butterflies, symphonies in eight parts exploded.
unearthing everything we'd lost, written
poetic rampages.secret number six-six-six,
i'm scared to love you.
a few hours ago, we were giggling and smiling
you were tugging up my skirt and i was blushing,
trying to cover my ghost-pale legs. i was comparing
my sad pasty arm to yours, the colour of over-sugared
coffee, pursing my lips and saying that you were the
white one. now the only words i can melt out of you
are either four letters or whatever, and my skirts all
hiked up without me even meaning it to. imissyou.
- - -
i wish all our conversations were all made
up of the pretty half-lies you tell me.
"i love you.""you're always beautiful." "i'll never hurt you."
liar liar liar liar liar.
[but you tell the prettiest lies i've ever heard,
and i want nothing more but to believe them.]
i've told you a hundred times about my
broken heart, and every time you ask
how my heart could possibly break and
every time i tell you it's just like breaking
porcelain or glass, you can't put all the
shards back together without getti
kissing your eyelidsi.
i cannot tell you.
i am afraid to open my mouth because i know the aperture is tempting, and i do not want you to see the raw that has spread from my heart to the back of my throat.
i am afraid to speak because the slightest movement will give me to you, and i cannot trust that i am ready for the plunge. your hands are inching me closer by the day and i am trying to read the fortune of your open palms but they tell me nothing about how to fall. they dont even tell me your story but somehow they still manage to be the most beautiful thing in the world.
i am standing on the verge. i have noticed that you give yourself better when i am not looking, so i unlock our gaze with the key of my patience and look away when you speak of the things your heart skips over.
anything to make you feel safer.
there is sleep in your voice when your baritone carries over miles of wire and i am amazed it does not crackle with the electricity
ways to say goodbye.i. i want to make your heart
bleed and laugh and cry and
smile and feel instead of just
yawning from lack of love, but
i'm afraid being around you
makes me too empty to do so.
ii. i'm sorry. it hurts
too much to explain.
iii. go to sleep. i'll be here when you wake up.
except you weren't. you lied, and you left.
and i'm afraid to go back to sleep because i didn't even get to say goodbye.
iv. i think i'll be
like the city of
atlantis and pull
a disappearing act
out of your life.
Nine TimesI saw him nine times.
The first time we were both sitting in the room together, getting ready to take the math test that would determine our placement. I was scatterbrained and throwing things around, trying to find the pencils that I had known I would need but had still just tossed in my purse. He was lounging backwards in his chair, looking for all the world as though he didn’t have a single care in the world, including the upcoming test. It annoyed me, that I was frantic and ready to scream, while someone else could be that relaxed.
I tested out of the class.
I don’t know if he did.
The second time I saw him, it was a few months after I arrived on campus. He was the one rushing and frantic this time, running across the square. He was probably late for class, though I had no way of knowing for sure. I was already lost in my own thoughts and ideas, deciding on my major and convincing people that yes, this is what I really want to do with my life. If they weren
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