he’s an idiot, i know.

(I’m in a pretty wild English class right now. I wanted to share my piece from this week. The requirement was that each sentence couldn’t be longer than seven words. Enjoy!)

 

We curl up in the armchair. Our limbs intertwine. We are two bodies merged into one. You stroke the nape of my neck. Every touch warms my frost chilled skin. I am so content. We were friends for years. We’ve dated only a few months. Is it too soon? Maybe. But, I tell you everything. I want to tell you this.

“Hey, Cody…”

Why am I so nervous?

“Hmm?”

You’re always so cute when you’re sleepy.

“I think I love you.”

Think? Loving you is a fact. The sun rises in the east. Leaves become mosaics of red every autumn. And I am in love with you.

“I’m so glad you said that.”

Wait, what? You’re – what? Oh. Oh God.

You’re smiling. Your teeth look like fangs now. Lips press against chapped lips. Arms tighten around me. They feel like boa constrictors. Please, stop touching me. I can’t breathe. Mud is filling my lungs. My saliva hurts. Sharp icicles down my throat. Avoid eye contact. Fake a yawn. Do anything to get away.

“Really. Thank you so much for saying that.”

Stop talking. You’re making it worse. I get it. You don’t love me. That’s okay. My stomach is heavy. Why is my skin so hot now? Did I drink gasoline after swallowing fire? No. I’m just a fool. You brush the hair off my cheek. I feel the poison of your fingertips. It’s seeping through the pores of my skin. Infecting the cracks in my heart. Spreading, frying my nerve endings. I can’t feel anything now.

We go to bed like normal. You’re behind me, pressed against my spine. My fragile spine. Stop touching it. You squeeze my waist. Kiss my ear. I can only hear my pulse.

My pillow catches a single, diamond tear.

—-

The next day I spend running. I lurk in the shadows. You approach me, I step back. The embarrassment controls my movements. Dodging you becomes a sport. I am a gold medalist. You attempt to initiate conversations. I pretend not to notice. Why are you pushing? I am fractured glass with broken skin. And you’re a sledgehammer right now.

Mortification. That’s what I’ve been feeling all day. Why did I say it first? The girl is never supposed to. I was never one to follow rules.

Your smiles, though. I don’t understand them. They’re taking over your entire face. Your mouth, eyes, forehead, even your nose. All of it. The kind of smiles that lights cities. Guides boats to shore. Airplanes to land. I’m miserable and confused. Your grin sends beacons to the moon. Are you oblivious?

You laugh. Wrap your fingers around me. Vines circling my wrist.

“Stop avoiding me.”

I will myself to become a ghost. Insubstantial, unable to be contained.

“No.”

This amuses you for some reason.

“Oh, okay, you dork.”

Anger and humiliation churn together inside me.

“Will you just let me go?”

Your arm crawls. Up my hip. Around my waist. Feather-touches on the small of my back.

“Will you just look at me, Mallory?”

Oh. Am I still avoiding eye contact?

“No.”

You chuckle again. It grates on my nerves.

“Fine, then.”

“Fine.”

“I’m an idiot, you know?”

“Yep”

“I’m sorry.”

“Oh? What for?” (Nailed that nonchalance).

“Making you think I don’t love you.”

“Don’t say it out of pity, now.”

My grin ruins the effect. Damnit.

“I didn’t want to just respond. I want you to know I mean it. I love you. I love you. So much.”

Disbelief.

“Didn’t want to respond? What?”

He’s bashful.

“I know. It made sense last night. I swear. Okay, no, I’m just dumb. But, I do love you.”

I giddily laugh. The dread-filled bubble pops in my chest.

“Liar.”

He crowds me into a corner.

“I love you.” A kiss on my nose. “I love you.” One more for my forehead. “I” -kiss- “love” -kiss- “you.”

I’m twirling even while I’m standing still. Your arms are just arms again. Your teeth are just teeth. Chapped lips still press against chapped lips. My lungs, full of dirt, grow flowers. The moon finds two beacons now. Intense, ceaseless, incandescent light. You and I. Me and you.

Eventually, I roll my eyes.

“Oh, what now?”

I whack your shoulder, disapprovingly.

“Boy logic is just so dumb.”

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hold me back; i’m about to punch her

Trust is hard for me.

I don’t trust well, never have and I doubt I ever will.

But, while it may be hard to earn my trust initially,

it is nearly impossible to recover it once it’s lost.

I am trying so, so hard.

I am using every ounce of love for you that exists in my cold, metal heart.

I want to just forget it, it’s in the past, move on already.

But I picture it every night as I lie awake with you beside me.

I wasn’t even there, yet I can hear your voice perfectly and see her face.

I am haunted.

I walk around feeling like a hideous troll, ugly and fat and undesirable,

always keeping my eyes on the ground in front of me and my arms wrapped like protective armor around my chest.

And every time you walk away from me, I realize that I’m fighting a losing battle to find the trust I once had for you.

I’ll love you forever.

That’s a fact that will never change,

The sun rises in the east, leaves are painted with reds and yellows and oranges in the fall, and I will love you forever.

But trusting forever is a different ballgame, and I’m one pitch closer to a strikeout.

As I write this, that skank is sitting three tables over.

She doesn’t even know the effect she has on me.

I am miserable.

girls, not dolls

We live in a world that breeds dolls made of porcelain, then throws them on the sidewalk until they’re shattered beyond recognition, a world that romanticizes the shapes created by the broken pieces.
We live in a world that romanticizes cruelty whispered in hallways and bruised knuckles and teeth as broken as our hearts.
We live in a world that romanticizes emaciation, thighs the same circumference as my arm, counting ribs and vertebrae, and skin stretched elastically over sharp edges.
We live in a world that romanticizes the beauty of dark crimson on broken skin, the wonderful contrast making it look pale blue.
We live in a world that romanticizes relationships full of passion, even if that passion is anger and rage and leaves bruises on your chest and fear is tattooed on the inside of your eyelids.
Instead, why don’t we romanticize shy smiles and touches as light as a butterfly’s kiss?
Why don’t we romanticize kindness and soft skin and the joy of that first taste of homemade pasta touching your tongue?
Let’s romanticize the breeze in the summer sliding over your sweat dampened skin.
Laughing with friends over nothing at all under blanket forts that seem bigger than castles.
A soft kiss on your forehead from a guy who is loving and wonderful and comfortable, and it’s for those reasons that you feel passion tingle in your fingertips.
Do not break yourself because this world demands it.
Build yourself, heal yourself, love yourself, because that is truly what makes you beautiful.

a mother’s love

Sometimes, when my mom drinks too much wine, she loses it.
It’s like a flip switches and she goes from happy to depressed and no one knows why.
And she’ll run away. Alone and drunk and irrational.
We never know where she is or if she’s safe or even if she’s alive.
One time, after chugging too much wine at a Christmas party, after running off into the night,
after I called her 9 times, panicked with the feeling of lead in my stomach,
when I felt my airways closing like windows during a storm, and rubber bands tied themselves around my lungs,
she called me back.
She told me life was too hard.
It was too much.
She wanted it to end.
She said to me, her 18 year old daughter that was sitting on the cold floor of a laundry room with hot tears spilling out of my eyes and heaving sobs controlling my body,
that she was worth more dead than alive.
“You could cash a big life insurance check, it would just be easier without me.”
My mom sobered up and apologized and, just like every other time, I forgave her.
I always forgive her.
Now, she doesn’t go to the doctors for checkups, and she says it’s because it’s too expensive,
but sometimes I think it’s because she still wants to die.
Every night, I wait for that phone call that will end my world.

THESE. ARE. NOT. COMPLIMENTS.

Walking down a crooked sidewalk dressed in clothes that show a little skin is not an invitation for guys to call out.

Yet, when the car drives by, and a bunch of perverts lean out of gaping windows and pound violent rhythms on the car doors, my friend perks up.

I know it’s wrong, she says, but catcalling makes me feel more confident.

Who was is that told girls to see ugliness in mirrors?

“Hey, beautiful, come over here and we’ll show you a good time.”

When were girls told that it is the opinion of men that matters?

“Oooh, I love watching asses like yours walk by.”

Why is our world controlled by impossible beauty standards and horny boys?

“Hey, legs! You’d be prettier of you smiled more, sweetheart!”

Men do not define my beauty.

“Darling, I want you to sit on my face.”

Why? Is your nose bigger than your dick?

stuart hill

Heartache comes in a lot of forms, but it’s the romantic kind that hurts the most.

She was in the midst of that heartbreak,

and it was the kind where she had to keep moving so it didn’t catch up to her.

So she walked and walked and walked, through a neighborhood with a mix of old houses in shambles and new houses covered in fresh paint.

Through a campus of red brick and grey concrete and kids drowning in classes taught by shitty professors.

She climbed up a hill, up and up to the very top,

and she was out of breath when she finally made it to the peak, but that was lucky because the sky was the kind that reaches out and steals your breath from your lungs.

A sunset that painted the sky every shade of red and orange and pink that our flawed humanity can imagine,

and above those perfect colors were the purples and navy of the promised night to come.

It was in those last dying rays of sunlight when she realized that she didn’t love him anymore.

But, more importantly, those rays helped her recognize that it was time to love herself.

california

Falling in love with you was like taking a shot.

I first saw you and I swallowed fire and I felt the burn slowly fall through my body.

And the warmth started spreading.

Like a wildfire, it started with just one burning bush and then suddenly, trees were engulfed and cities were destroyed.

The heat in my stomach caught my lungs on fire, then my heart, then my blood,

and I became nothing more than flame and magma, spilling over the edges of my skin.

But while hundreds of firefighters try to stop a wildfire from ravaging too many miles of land,

I want you to ruin every inch of me.

There’s no stopping it.