Waking up in a sweat,
tired and hungry,
but no one seems to listen anymore.
Smoke another cigarette, drink another water bottle, fall asleep in a lawn chair.
Riding in a car feels like doomsday, but I swear I’ll go anywhere with you, babe.
I don’t eat anymore, but I still want to devour every inch of you.
My mother still asks if I’m okay, but she doesn’t want to know the answer.
At least you know to listen. You know what you’re in for, you know?
I’m so overworked and overtired, I just want to bawl. But I know that isn’t an option.
They told me they were sick. Sick of this shit, sick of everything. Sick of all of it.
I miss them, still. Can we at least pretend to still be friends?
No one seems to listen anymore.
But you do. At least, I think you do.
I think you should. We all do, right?
I ask how you’re feeling, too.
Just to make sure.
You always answer the same, even though I never do.
Are you sick of this shit, too?
Same old same old, commonplace complaining, secondhand sadness.
My anxious tendencies leave me on the floor. Again.
When I woke up, I heard that old song playing in my ears again.
Acoustic, of course.
♫ I tremble… They’re gonna eat me alive... ♪
But there’s nothing left to eat.
Not even a bone to pick at.
You left me out for the vultures and I let them devour me, like you’d hoped.
Houses fall, roofs tumble into the dust.
A pile of shrapnel and glass from a broken home stand at attention.
My mind is a musty pile of old drywall,
building material that no one ever really cared about anyways,
so who cares if I fall? I don’t mind;
no one ever really cared about this anyways.
Whoever really cared about this, anyways?
My mother gave up the house today;
my father signed the divorce papers today;
we all moved out today;
my old life was crushed today.
Today, it was demolition day;
today, a wrecking ball went into my house;
today, we filled our empty hearts back up with cement in hopes that no one would notice (1 part water to 1 part aggregate to 1 part cement mix to 1 part truth to 99 parts lie ((It’s a lie, it’s all been a lie, from the birthday parties to family picnics; I don’t care))).
What’s a little white lie, anyways?
Whoever really cared about this, anyways?
(Not me, oh no, no, surely not me; you must be mistaken.)
I’m crumbling into smaller and smaller pieces,
I’m blowing away with the wind,
but…no one ever really cared about this anyways.
“I wanna go for walks with you on brisk fall days, the leaves crunching under our feet, our fingers tightly laced together. I want to feel your warmth beside me on cold winter nights and the softness of your touch on warm summer days. I want to make you tea while you study for a test in college and whisper sweet nothings in your ear every night. I want to feel the grass between my toes as I hug you in our yard; I want to feel the cool tile of the floor as we brush our teeth in the morning. I want to sit together, watching the sunset. I want to experience it all with you, Madi. And all that comes our way, the good and the bad, I want to be with you through it all. Having you by my side, I know we can get through anything.”
“I just want to do normal people things with you. I just want to enjoy the little things, like your wet hair after your morning shower or your crunches coming from the kitchen while you eat cereal. I want to hold your hand while you flick through car magazines and kiss your cheek before we go to bed at night. I want it all with you, Owen.”
“As long as I’m around you will never be alone, okay? I will always be here for you, even if I’m not with you at the moment. I’m only ever a text or call away.”
“My love for you is absolutely indescribable.”
“Putting it into words would be impossible for me.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, You make me so happy. I really wanna cook with you.”
“That sounds so lovely, baby. I’ll get up extra early one day a week to mix up my never-fail homemade pancakes. You can help me make some ganache for them, if you’d like. I’ll be sure to get chocolate and batter all over you, just to hear your adorable giggle. Of course, what’s a pancake without creamy chocolate? I’ll also top it with maple syrup. Just for you. You’re so special to me, making some pancakes for you isn’t anywhere near enough, but it’ll have to do until I find the right words (although this feeling is indescribable). I can’t breathe without you. I can’t live without you. You are my everything… all of your quirks, flaws, everything… I live inside of those things like bees in their hive. You are my entire life, baby. Seriously.”
“I love you no matter what and I always will.”
L I’m ok by myself but you have to agree we make a pretty good team and I don’t want to lose that. I never wanted to lose that, miss that.
M I miss you. Sometimes, I get hopeful, like you’ll come back and rescue our broken friendship, but it’s damaged beyond repair.
We’ve lost it.
L I never wanted to lose you but I’m a ticking time bomb, we both know that.
As my mind counts down faster and faster, my heart skipping seconds as I’m thrown into absolute hysteria.
M Explosion -- scattered hearts, scattered memories
Scattered, shattered, and battered
I can’t remember exactly what happened but all I know is I can’t move -- I can’t think.
L I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe
But you’re telling me to
Breathe, you say, as if it’s the simplest thing in the universe, as if there’s not a ball of clay in my throat, not a haze of panic clouding my mind. You say it as if my life hasn’t become a low quality movie download, where the sound is off a few seconds and the picture is too pixilated.
M The air hitches in my throat and I feel like I’m drowning -- can you tell?
I can see the tears welling in your eyes, a sea against the bluest of skies
I want to tell you it will be okay -- but I’m stuck.
I’m lost in this world of nothing and I can’t find my way back. Please find me.
L My mind is a perpetual lost and found, filled with gloves and stability that no one wants to claim. I can tell you won’t claim me.
I can tell by your stony grip, I can tell by your completely ineffectual commands.
I can tell by the way you won’t even look at me.
Like I’m some kind of embarrassment, some crybaby you’re being forced to look after. A nuisance.
M I’m afraid to look your way, out of fear that you won’t be looking back.
Will you look back?
I feel ashamed, like a child stranded in the aisles of a grocery store.
I can tell you’re angry. I know. I just know.
L&M Friends like us could let this go
But you stopped looking at me as a friend a long time ago.
It’s what they throw at us like an afterthought, an attempt to humor us.
“Don’t be sad, it gets better!”
“You shouldn’t whine, it gets better!”
What would you know about our pain?
About fear, blood, screaming into the void and having it scream back,
Don’t tell me it gets better.
After a week of lying in bed, everything always feels worse.
Don’t tell me it gets better.
As if I can just wait this out like the flu.
This is a fever that will not break.
Don’t make this seem like something that will go away and stay gone.
As if it’s not a continuous battle,
Even when the weight of my armor is enough to bring me to my knees.
Don’t tell me that it gets better,
because after 14 years of hell with a man who never learned how to love
I ended up with another who didn’t know what to do with someone so broken,
so he chipped away at the glass.
And, then, I was stuck with someone who knew EXACTLY what he wanted to do with a broken girl like me--
break the glass more.
Because the gay girl in your new family was the first one you’ve ever met,
And she seemed so fragile, like cracked glass,
Ready to snap into a billion pieces at any moment.
And, what’s more satisfying than the sound of a hammer against a chunk of old window?
Because “stop” and “no, please” never really meant what they should’ve.
Because his hands kept wandering way past the metaphorical stop sign plastered across my waistline.
Because his hands crossed my mother’s too many times,
battling and bickering, bickering and battling, snap, slap, crack,
cracks in fragile glass never heal themselves.
Because no one listens because girls are too soft to be a razor edge, too fragile to ever hurt another. The bruises still blossom like a gunshot wound to my head.
How many times will I have to explain it?
Not all damage is visible
Like a war fought inside my head, divide and conquer
Take away the power that lies in numbers
Until I only know her
When I don’t even know my own army anymore
Who am I fighting for?
“It gets better” when I stand to say it does.
It never gets better when you’re stuck in the same cycle,
pain, crash, yell, collision, crash, pain
Pain, pain like the fresh wounds created by the words of your peers
or the knives within your desk drawer
or the hands of a seventeen year old boy.
“It gets better” when you stop sitting around, telling me that and take a stand to MAKE IT BETTER.
Because complacency gets you nowhere,
Because I know you don’t really care when you’re whispering hollow phrases in place of sincerity and action.
“It gets better” when our safety comes before your comfort
The future will never erase my scars
And thinking of the past will only bring more.
So we only have the present, wrapped in the same bloody tissue I wiped my wrists with last week
wrapped in the love letters I tore apart, every word that bound us together
It “got better” because I screamed and fought until it did.
Because I spent every day and night making these years more like a war won rather than another fruitless battle against terror,
Because I took your words and crushed them beneath my feet,
and owned my identity like it was finally mine.
-m. jarnot & l. myers
You, Sir, are beautiful.
I want to write with you. Can I write with you? I want to correct your grammatical errors while we giggle over casual, accidental alliteration.
It’s not hard to be a writer; I can teach you how. How? How! All you must do is put a pen to paper (or pencil, in case you’re not into something that permanent, you have options; I rarely use pen, as my creativity isn’t set in stone) and allow yourself to feel. Even if it’s angry or sad or cliche… write it down. Let it out. Pour your heart and soul into mine.
Let them mix. Let us work like dyes on canvas -- spreading, leaking, filling.
Fill up these pages. Fill up my heart.
Just let loose for one single moment. I promise, it’s the best feeling you will ever experience.
Write some poetry with me. Better yet, make poetry with me. We are our own lines and stanzas, made up of an entirely unique combination of the alphabet.
Rest your broken mind in my arms; I will be its infirmary. I will pluck the little negativities from your poor soul like a child picking weeds from his mother’s garden.
I will heal your wounds and release the caged bird within you, so you can finally…
Breathe, deeply. One, two, three (there you go) write fucking poetry with me. Please.
I love this and you and us together.
We’d make a great piece.
It’s been a week since I’ve last brushed my teeth (do ice peppermint Halls count?) and probably longer since I’ve even checked the handles on my shower.
My hair is in knots (I didn’t think it could get this ratty when it’s so short) and I can’t nervously run my fingers through my bangs anymore.
My chest hurts and I’ve spent so long laid out on my back that I don’t think my little legs can carry me up anymore. My head won’t even support itself anymore; I can sense it wobbling back and forth as I type.
I can stomach soup and crackers but anything else feels too heavy, like it’s blowing my stomach up to proportions even I can’t grasp.
My pajamas are the same ones I wore last Saturday to bed.
I am gross. I am pathetic. I am dirty and a mess of balled up hair and dried up tears and shriveled up dreams.
But, today I was going to call you.
So I got up.
And brushed my teeth, hair, and put on new sweatpants.
I ate breakfast; a feast of cereal and citrus fruits.
And then showered, all the while rebrushing my teeth.
When I finished, I blowdried my hair (the first time in 13 days), the warmth of the dryer making me smile.
I got to curl up in bed with tea and my laptop and enjoy your face. Finally.
This is a once in a lifetime feeling.
This is purity and wholesome love in its finest, rawest state.I will drink -- no, chug -- it faster than my tea, devour it faster than my nectarine, crave it harder than I crave the feeling of my mattress against the flat of my back.
“Slut!” they chanted.
“Use a mirror the next time you curl your hair!”
“Did you even turn the lights on in your bathroom this morning?”
And that commences the beginning of a life-ruining sequence of events,
in which one snooty pre-teen passes a ‘secret’ onto the next bratty pre-teen
and that bratty pre-teen passes it along to another arrogant pre-teen who passes it down (a warped rendition of what once was, of course) to another [insert negative adjective or derogatory noun here] pre-teen to another [insert negative adjective or derogatory noun here] pre-teen and… you get the point.
When I was in the second grade, I thought I liked a boy named Josh.
I told my best friend that, and, promptly, she told her other best friend, and so on.
Eventually, it got warped to the point where people thought that Josh liked me.
Needless to say, I heard about that one. And got excited over nothing.
When I was in the sixth grade, I started wearing makeup. Too much of it, of course.
And, to make matters worse, my overly-makeup’d appearance (blue eyeshadow, heavy eyeliner, red or bright pink lipstick, dark brows) made someone along the way assume I was a prostitute.
And, courtesy of snooty and bratty and so on preteens everywhere, I was being called a whore left and right.
Eventually, someone decided they’d call me a bombshell as if it was an equivalent to skank.
I got home that day, cried, cried, cried some more, and then remembered I didn’t actually know what a bombshell was.
Twenty minutes and about four awkward google searches later, I realized what a bombshell I truly am.
(I've decided to write in barebone gmails so that I don't concern myself with over-formatting.)
Yesterday was a weird day.
I woke up at 3 am and showered. It reminded me of those weird teenage-ry movies in which the main protagonist's (the "loser-but-somehow-still-normal-and-
That wasn't my 3:00 am. I just showered late.
I never seem to get those cutesy fairy tale endings (or beginnings); you know, with my boyfriend living 415.883 miles away and my own mind lost even farther.
Do you ever shower at 3 am and contemplate the meaning of female sexuality?
Why is it so easily taken? Whose really is it?
Why can't we keep it?
I wish my only problem was getting to school on time.
I've got 99 problems and all of them happen to involve men. Of course.
Manipulative, disgusting, abusive men. But #notallmen.
I just received your letter immediately after waking up this morning. I wrote some of it while I was half asleep around midnight and I'm now continuing it today.
I tend to do that. Leave messages to others broken and fragmented, unintelligible, nothing more than a scrambled mix of the English (and sometimes French) alphabet.
Which is why your poetry graveyard is so important to me. <3
I'm not very good with communication. It's why I write. And why I'm so honored to write with you.
We make an excellent team, you and I.
I want to grow up and be like Rachel and Fallon; I want to make something of the shit I spew from my fingertips and the grip of a messy pen.
I'm going to walk to the post office now and hope I can get enough money for a stamp outgoing to Canada. Why do we even need special stamps for Canadian packages? It's not like you're crossing an ocean or going on a plane or anything. Ontario is only six hours away, but the post office is making it seem farther.
I hope I make it there one day. He doesn't know I want to be an author yet.
He thinks I'm going to be a physicist, like everyone else. But I don't know.
He wants me to live with him and make lots of money, but I'm perfectly content with a small Pittsburgh apartment in which I write my novels and poems and short stories (okay, maybe I've never started one of those).
But I still love him. Which is why he bleeds into all of my work.
Wish me luck,
12.00 - I am tired and lonely and I think you’ve fallen asleep again. All my friends have long gone to bed and I’m scrambling through this darkness for some sense of security before I have another late-night panic attack; before another emotional disaster strikes my feeble mind.
12.05 - It’s been (about) a mere 300 seconds (I’m shocked I can do that math in my head), but I’m still fidgety and crying. I think some would call this “fear of detachment,” or maybe simply “paranoia” with a mix of obsessiveness.
12.10 - I’m still tired, less lonely. My stuffed animals and slow, sad music bring some peace but you are still missing. I want to get lost in your voice again over the late hours, playing dress-up and reading bedtime stories until my tiny almond brown eyes can’t bear the weight of the air anymore.
12.15 - Do you call me babygirl because I behave like one? It all makes sense now. I am a baby. I’m a kitten, too, annoyingly mewling with my squeaky, newborn voice after four seconds without attention.
12.20 - Now that I’ve started counting, I think it’s been three (four?) days since we’ve talked in what you call “face-to-face” and I feel a bit neglected, although simultaneously clingy (you pretend it’s cute, which I’m okay with). For some reason, the anxiety that you may, at some point, not love me anymore hits me. Hard. You are not yet here to cease the storm.
12.25 - I recall that you worked this morning, from a prompt and early 7am (you are very punctual, if I remember correctly) to 3pm. I slept until one and played on Webkinz again until three so I wouldn’t feel like I do now. Isn’t that upsetting?
12.30 - I can’t really tell why I ever thought that boys would be reliable when you need someone to lean on. All of my girlfriends would’ve ran cross-country (in a literal sense) at midnight just to see me if I was ever sad. We are empathetic souls.
12.35 - I refresh my email. I refresh my twitter page. I refresh my messages. I reload our Couple app (and turn my phone off and on, just for good measure). I checked the Skype status to make sure they were correct in saying you’re online (hoverclick, click click, click, on a mobile device, click, sigh, click, Last activity 13 minutes ago). They were.
12.40 - I stayed up until 4am last week on a Sunday and woke up at 5am (to be clear, an hour later) just to make sure we called and I’m starting to wonder how appreciative you are of that.
12.45 - I heard a noise in the kitchen and stopped typing. I hoped it could somehow be you. Just grandma. Cigarette break from sleeping at 12:45am? Okay.
12.50 - I forgot to tell you that I’m reading Lolita. I thought you’d think that’s cute. I won’t tell you until morning, though, because I’ve already sent you two messages in a row (“Are you asleep?” “Goodnight, dear”) and three would be too risky.
12.55 - I need to get someone to stay up with me until I fall asleep and tuck me into bed before I rest my little head like my mom did when I was five. She would sit at my bedside while I cried my demons away and brush her calloused hands against the side of my face. Sometimes she sang me lullabies. You sing to me sometimes. I like that.
1.00 - It’s very late and I’m very sad. I have barely talked to you all day and it is Valentine’s day, you know. I sent out your letter today. I really hope you gave me the right address and not your dad’s by mistake. You tend to do things like that.
1.05 - Speaking of Valentine’s day, I didn’t like your gift to me. No number of orgasms will amount to the feeling of hearing you say I love you or the sight of your mouth curling while I start to doze off. Sex is not love, and love is not sex. I always forget that when it’s most important.
1.10 - Maybe I should do my math homework. Maybe I should do my English homework. Maybe I should start a less embarrassing, revealing piece. Maybe I should go to sleep. I’ll drift into emptiness while I’m sure you’re counting infinite sheep and dreaming of things that have nothing to do with me.
1.15 - I hate puppy love. It leaves me empty and broken during times like these.
1.20 - I’ll make myself some food to keep myself awake because, oh my gosh, what if you wake up? I really can’t miss that, baby.
1.25 - “Read at 1:22 am” is plastered under my messages to you. The lack of new notification bubbles in my app collection is concerning. Are you angry with me?
1.30 - I counted up our messages today. You sent seventeen to me. 47% of which were three words. They seem more empty now.
1.35 - Sleep is clouding my childlike eyes (you really like those, I know) so I think I’ll curl up with Angels by The xx on repeat. Everyone at CWR will be curious as to what came to this work a few weeks from now. I am too.Goodnight.
When they hit you, strike back.
Strike with full force. Put the fight to a full stop. You’re stronger than they think. Let it be known to all.
When she leaves you, do not become bitter.
It feeds her. You’re better than that. I know the loneliness consumes you. I know the pain of that breakup will devour you for weeks. Don’t show her the success, though. She lives off of others’ pain and suffering.
Know he’s lying when he holds you and says it’ll all be okay.
Life is never going to be ‘okay.’ You’re not okay. It’s okay to not be okay. Let yourself be ‘not okay.’
He won’t call you when he gets back to Port Saint Lucie.
He just won’t. You know he won’t, too. Don’t trick yourself into thinking he cares. You’re the last thing on his mind.
Those kisses aren’t real.
They truly, honestly, are not real. They are not genuine. They are not meaningful or lovely. They’re little pecks of empty, hollow lies. Stop thinking about it. Stop analyzing them. Accept the truth.
Stop objectifying yourself.
That obscene rap music isn’t cool. These television shows don’t depict proper interpersonal relationships. Those boys aren’t complimenting you. Those girls don’t care about your being. Wake up. You’re more than your body.
Self-care is important.
You come first. You’re allowed to treat yourself. Buy more lotion and less makeup. Buy more food and less diet pills. Eat that extra cookie. Sleep that extra hour on Saturday. Skip your third run of the week. You’re worth it. Really.
Boys and girls suck.
Neither is better nor worse. You don’t have a preference for either. It’s not trendy or cool to hate men and it certainly isn’t okay to harm your fellow sisters. Accept that all types of people can be equally bad and leave it.
People are always going to dislike you.
Stop trying to please everyone. The only person you must make happy is yourself. Someone will always hate you for the sake of hating you. Stop setting yourself up for failure.
- I know it feels like you can’t. I know it’s hard to even get out of bed sometimes. I know you want to press snooze on that 5:30 alarm. Don’t. You can do it. I promise. You always have been able to, sometimes you just refuse.