bookstores used to be our home

i wish us back to//when we used to//hunt for clothes//at the mall//counting our pennies//down to the cent//guessing on the tax cost//before coming up short//laughing at full pockets//at ragged old jeans//we’d spend hours//in the bookstore//thumbing through//e.e. cummings//and edgar allen poe//like they were//the very oxygen//that was keeping us//alive.


if i was not born a woman \ i would have been a seed \ and instead of learning \ how to be a perfectionist early \ i would have learned how to grow when buried \ and accept that having thick stalks \ was not a downfall \ but instead a gift \ beause if i was a flower \ instead of a woman \ i would not have lived \ over half of my life \ thinking i was less than \ because no one looked like me \ and if i had been a seed \ my differences would have helped me flourish \ instead of making me want for \ different features \ and by saying this \ does not mean \ i regret what i am \ because i do not \ by saying this \ i am telling \ that young girls should not be raised \ to be perfectionists \ just like flowers \ shouldn’t be picked \ when they have yet to bloom \ because if i was raised \ the way a flower grows \ i would have been a sunflower \ but i was raised \ the way a woman is raised \ and a woman is raised \ to forever be a rose / so that a man might take away her throns / for sport / and be called the one / who tamed her wildness / and prunned it to perfection / so for all who taught me  / how  to be a woman  in the worst way /  because i was taught / that i could be a flower / as long as it was a rose / and i think my biggest regret is / i could have been a sunflower

her and you.

              i’ve been thinking about her a lot this week. she’s like that scab you pick and pick until bloody all over again. you know you shouldn’t but you do. you get so engrossed you almost stop feeling the pain as an almost-healed wound is split open again. the saddest part is that no one knows her anymore. her name is a meaningless collection of five letters but they have the power to drag me under. (she was riptide.)

you see, i had three months with her. one hundred and twenty-two emails. i remember each one. i remember the day she told me she cut her skin like it was paper and the knife was a pen. i remember the day she told me didn’t want to each because she wanted to leave. i’ve never been enough to make anyone stay.

i remember the blurry picture she sent of hair she dyed with blue koolaide. she sent a heart face emoji. and what some people don’t realize about me is that i have always been selfish. i liked that i had the title of best friend and i believed she would quit. i believed my words sent digiatally were enough to make one girl see the light. and while i called it friendship her sexuality called it a relationship.

but things turned toxic when i couldn’t stop messaging her because i knew when i stopped the knife would meet her skin. i didn’t realize that i was fighting a battle i couldn’t win. i never realized she was selfish doing what she was doing. i never realized she wanted all of my attention and that my friendship wasn’t enough. i just never realized that her name had irony concidered how little faith she had in herself….and in me. the day i stopped being enough for her was the day that we met.

and i remember with vivid clarity the day she told me that she had set her suicide date. i never saw her telling me this as selfish, but i do now. i see it because when she told me this i cried for hours. i messaged her a total of sixteen times using the most pleading words i knew. i said i loved her and that she was my best friend.

when she replied her email was short and simple, and she just said she was sick of living. sick of feeling what she was feeling and sick of locking herself in the bathroom to escape her parent’s yells. and what they don’t tell you about a teenage girl living in a broken house with a broken family, is that she learns to hide her brokenness. you learns how to sloppily dye her hair to hide her sad eyes. she learns how to pull off long sleeves and jeans. she learns how to stud her clothing and dress emo just for parential attention which she doesn’t get. the day she stopped hiding her brokenness for me was the day she broke me.

and as i felt my heart shatter i told her to tell her parents. tell them she was broken and that she needed help. i don’t know if she ever did. my inbox dinged that night with her saying she couldn’t email me anymore. i still don’t know if that was her parents, sexuality or her talking. i guess i never will.

all i know is that on her suicide date i tried to contact her. i tried to sent her messages only to find all her accounts disabled and her email nonexistant. and as a girl who found herself rather broken, i blamed myself. my what’s ifs caused me to look at razor blades with a new kind of fear. and when i cut myself shaving for the first time i burst into tears as my blood mingled with shower water.

she left me because i wasn’t enough. my love wasn’t enough, my friendship wasn’t enough, and my newly broken pieces were not enough. she left the world because she saw it in all grey and as a colorful broken girl, she refused to live without color. and so she left in a splash of red.

i still cry how i never got to go to her funeral. i still cry because i don’t know were she is buried. i still cry because certain days of the year i think of her and i’m triggered.

and you remind me so much of her that it hurts. your smile is the same….sadness, hope and a little bit of joy. your story is almost the same. some days i almost catch myself saying her name instead of yours, typing her name in instead of yours. i think it is unfair for me to that to you. and i find myself  concealing how much she broke me, from you. i find myself telling you the story once and never again. i find myself holding back the memories  because you will tell me something. and you will sound exactly like her.

and i know it is unfair of me to compare you to her. but this past week all my brain has been chanting is that you are leaving me like she did. you will not be in the ground but you don’t be in my life either. and it scares me how easily i have let myself get attached to you and it makes me angry how easily you say that you are leaving.

and the biggest thing that you both had in common is that you both find it easy to leave me.


i just don’t get it. i don’t get how we can still make each other happy when we are the way we are. i don’t understand how we can laugh and laugh until our sides ache but then i find myself falling apart. how you find yourself falling apart. i don’t understand that when i’m curled up crying i don’t text you. i don’t call you. because i’ve come to understand that you won’t answer. you don’t need to answer. you say that your phone died or that you asleep. i day it’s ok. and i sound mistrustful but that is because my trust has been shattered so many times that it’s barely there. and i sound clingy but when i feel jagged edges of all my insecurities breaking through my skin, i want you. and if i hadn’t convinced myself years ago that i didn’t need anyone but myself, i would say that i need you. i know you are tired of me hot and cold. i know you are tired of how I’m just not the same girl you met in that french class with your green dress and jacket. and you know what? i’m tired too. i’m tired of the nights i spend without sleep and the days i spend building people up while i’m breaking. on Monday things will be normal again. we will ignore the message i sent and we will ignore the underlying truth that you are leaving me. and i am leaving you. and it scares me so so much to think that out of all the people i have met, i think you could be the one i need. but we both know you don’t need me. we don’t have long conversations anymore. you’re too busy. we don’t sent pictures with funny captions or attempt to plan anymore. i think deep deep inside we both know that our friendship has become a habit and we just don’t care enough to break it. you didn’t steal my skittles anymore, that’s not how the story goes. i gave you a piece of my heart willingly, but now i want it back. we both know i’m selfish.



for rebecca


it split the barrier of my mind

and carved a cozy  cavity

a little indent in the ground

a perfect place to haunt me.


it flourished in the darkness

finding nightmares to feed on

and each day i woke up with a prayer

that it woudl be gone.


but it had settled in to stay

and stay it surely did

but when people made me smile

it ran away and hid.


it hated me with painful thoughts

and i hated it with chalky pills

because a lot of people have an it

and an it kills.