Why do you always warn everyone
who gets close to you?
You personally send them a white flag,
so they can wave it when they’ve had enough.
you paint your body like a yield sign,
and put caution tape all around
With slippery-floor signs
and watch-your-step posters,
you make sure everyone
thinks you are
a car wreck,
a liability issue
they don’t want to deal with.
You assume everyone
will get broken
if you touch them,
that everything you breathe on
and you have a bad case of butterfingers
when it comes to glass hearts.
this isn’t a game of who can run away first,
who can show their scars and say,
“mine are bigger, and
I will hurt you”
a game of dodging bullets
and dodging hearts.
give yourself a chance.
give yourself a chance,
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.
by Kait Rokowski
Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
Took the bus home,
Carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
And cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
Worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
Only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
And slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
Locked my door,
And remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course,
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
How I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs,
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
Cleaned every dish I own,
Fought with the bank,
Took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
But I don’t speak for others anymore,
And I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burnt down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
And it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
Or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”
when the moon hits ur eye like a big pizza pie
when u swim in a creek and an eel bites ur cheek
thats a moray
Actually, Morays can’t live in creeks because it’s too freshwater for them to survive long. They need to live in brackish environments in order to live a healthy life.
when u swim in a brackish environment and an eel bites ur cheek
thats a moray
Sunlight pouring across your skin, your shadow
flat on the wall.
The dawn was breaking the bones of your heart like twigs.
You had not expected this,
the bedroom gone white, the astronomical light
pummeling you in a stream of fists.
You raised your hand to your face as if
to hide it, the pink fingers gone gold as the light
streamed straight to the bone,
as if you were the small room closed in glass
with every speck of dust illuminated.
The light is no mystery,
the mystery is that there is something to keep the light
from passing through.
After Rachel McKibbens
My sister told me a soul mate is not the person
who makes you the happiest but the one who
makes you feel the most, who conducts your heart
to bang the loudest, who can drag you giggling
with forgiveness from the cellar they locked you in.
It has always been you. You are the first
person I was afraid to sleep next to,
not because of the fear you would leave
in the night but because I didn’t want to wake up
ungracefully. In the morning, I crawled over
your lumbering chest to wash my face and pinch
my cheeks and lay myself out like a still-life
beside you. Your new girlfriend is pretty
like the cover of a cookbook. I have said her name
into the empty belly of my apartment. Forgive me.
When I feel myself falling out of love with you,
I turn the record of your laughter over, reposition
the needle. I dust the dirty living room of your affection.
I have imagined our children. Forgive me. I made up
the best parts of you. Forgive me. When you told me
to look for you on my wedding day, to pause
on the alter for the sound of your voice
before sinking myself into the pond of another
love, forgive me. I mistook it for a promise.