Teeth

stuck is a bible

it is running down a rising escalator

like going to college

because you would have never learned how to cliff dive

stuck is a home

that you bought into with more loans than your 9 to 5 will ever pay off

made up of Abc’ s and quicksand and abuse

and a diamond ring from the man who doesn’t give you butterflies

but pays the bills

stuck is the guy who works at a sub shop

with two degrees under his belt and a full scholarship at his disposal

who wears intelligence on his neck like dainty jewelry that he hides under his t-shirt

but still requests to work open to close on weekends

stuck is being in the middle of the wilderness

made up of aged teeth and fire

but being too afraid to bite

and being too intimidated to spark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crack

The other kids glided up to their stolen pedestals, while she spent her nights struggling to make her own. Her most valuable possession wasn’t anything that she could hold, but was something she found difficult to keep beating. Assimilation was a daily meal, forcing itself down her throat poisoning anything that made privilege feel uncomfortable. She ate mouthfuls of enslavement and the inability to become anything more. Bathed in lemon scented bleach, and skin whiteners. Told to look presentable because her coils were too black. Told to quiet down, because her opinions were too loud. Her hair reeked of scorching relaxers, and her soul struck by lightning. She quickly learned that the most beautiful version of her was a shining, reflection of you. She was never adequate for such a high standard, so she found it the only way that she knew how. It’s not like she ever really mattered, she was only ever pretty for a dark girl anyways.

Medicine 

When you fall back into your seat of depression. I know that you will think of me. It will be nearly three in the morning, with a melancholy voice you will swoon aching feet into stumbling over to you. And I will be there, like I promised. You will reach for hands that have always been willing to recieve, to help,but today those hands will not be present. This day, I will push you back until your ankle reaches the back of those wobbly legs of the chair,that you hate so much. And I will reach over and buckle you in. The same way that you kept me. A seemingly unbreakable cycle of you singing me my favorite songs to sleep,holding my hand, the next day your angry shouts echoing against the walls, with the promising threat of another girl on your side. This time I will fasten the locks. I will not love you out of your pain again. I will make the seat more comfortable, I will furnish the wooden frame with your favorite sports team and add a plush for you to sit on. And I will play doctor. I want you to watch it all happen. I want you to feel every second of pain that I sat through with you and remained silent. I will be strong. I will wear a pocketwatch as a heart. I will wear armor on my body, like skin. I will learn how to play those songs, with a strained and creaky voice and I will sing, and stitch myself back to healing. 

Ignition

You have put yourself up for demand

fiery aurora moving closer to me

like a challenge

you tell me that you like a girl who fights for what she wants

 

I swore to never get involved with someone like you

I’ve seen the damage of a smile like yours

noticed the way people vaporize you

but your flickering scent brought me back

 

I began chasing after you

no matter the harsh side effects

no matter how much it burned

because this dopamine is real

 

Wanting to be intertwined with whatever you’re laced with

 

But you’re treating me like a hallucination

like I am ‘just another addict’

raising the effect

changing the prices

moving your flames further away

my run becomes involuntary

 

I am on the edge of an overdose

recklessly popping the pills of you

wildly inhaling your words

like I’ve never been taught the importance of rations

like I’ve never seen sparks fly before

like I’ve never been taught the value of healthy lungs

 

We both know this is nothing rehab can fix

I am afraid that you like it that way

that you enjoy the affect that you have on me

 

No matter how much I try to detox

no matter how many other fires lite

stubborn moth to a wicked flame

I will always make my way back to you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect

 

I am tiptoeing through routines

afraid of false accusations

as my mother uses her tongue as a sword

 

I want to defend myself

but children that know their place

aren’t allowed a shield

 

stiff hugs and a joke for the crowd

trying to persuade the actress to act

the princess to play nice

the writer to tell a convincing enough story

 

 

 

my father is starting to believe her

as the queen always gets her way

 

it’s easier to protect the love of your life

than to protect someone that wasn’t your offspring in the first place

 

the gates are opening again

as my parents arrive

loud with bellies full of laughter

and fingers intertwined

I can not tell them that I am starving

 

today I feel more bones than flesh

more prisoner than child

while they enjoy honeymoons in their new castle

I lay behind the scenes scrubbing walls

just trying to enjoy the view

 

 

 

 

 

Combination

we are gargling glass

disguised as curled feet in the rain

scratching matches onto broken strikers

forcing jumbo squares into triangles

we are the loose gaps and holes

of “Are you busy”

 

I suppose we missed the lessons

that you can not force tessellations

 

we are the missing pieces

that we try to fill up with “I am sorry” and “We are still learning”

and teenage desire

if you recite it enough

it will almost satisfy you

 

we are nerves

confused heartbeats

shaky hands

texting about the meaning of life at 1:29 am

 

we are stirring water and oil so passionately

to try and form something we thought we had memorized on our lips

we thought we double checked the ingredients list

we will just blame it on poor procedures

 

we are black ink tattoos and cement

never wanting to leave without a trace

but we do not realize what we had was irreversible

 

we make up months later with clear eyes

our night vision goggles aside

to see that we have cuts on the back of our throats

ink flowing in our veins

and excuses that no longer fit

 

Homemade

marching down the stairs

mud caked on my boots

humming the memorized melodies of my sisters

I prepare for the battle I am instructed to call home

 

creaking hollow strained feet beneath me

crashing metal pans in the kitchen

loud stomps approaching

my heart pounds

 

today I wish I had better camouflage

 

he looks up at me that crazed look in his eyes

“how was your day” I murmur

he scratches his eye

he blames it on the dirt of this house

and turns the volume up to 98

 

body aches from the explosions

slammed doors

separate bedrooms

eggshells scattered along the floor

 

I thought training would help me avoid this

 

I watch him glide into a car

no longer an itch in his eye

he places his earbuds aside

practices a stellar smile in the mirror

it is nearly 2 am

 

my mother slips me a folded twenty dollar bill

like a piece treaty after war

I know that this is the only way that she knows how to say that she is sorry

 

It is hard to stop loving filthy wounds

when infection is part of your DNA

 

like a greedy fool pricked fingers curl back into promising hands

but I know that these temporary apologies will never add up

to fully cover the casualties