This is how we fall apart// september 14th
We’ll meet in the park or in some old diner and I’ll have dark circles dripping from my eyes and my face drowning in a book and you’ll ask me about it and I’ll pretend that I like it and you’ll pretend you care and you’ll sit down with me and we’ll talk until 4 in the morning when I start falling asleep on your shoulder and you push me off because you still don’t know my last name and by now I’ll have told you about my first love when I was 15 and all the ways he made me cry but I’ll leave out the part about me drinking myself to sleep all of freshman year and you’ll have explained the little scar above your left eyebrow but never the one tumbling down your right wrist and we’ll decide that it’s time to go home and I’ll write my phone number down on your sweaty palm and the 2 in my area code will smudge and I’ll wonder if you’re ever going to call and you’ll kiss my cheek like we both know it will never be you on the other line of my phone.
This is how we fall apart// january 9th
You’re mine and I’m yours and I love you so much that I stop breathing on the nights you don’t come home. I’m on fire and you’re the water putting me out. And we fall asleep together now and you know all about that year in high school and I know how you got that scar and we kiss each other like if we don’t we’ll drown. and I’ll meet your parents and your mother will compliment my dress and then glance over to your father because she thinks it’s too short and you’ll kick me under the table and I’ll smile at you and your parents will roll their eyes when they think we aren’t looking and later that night you’ll slam the phone down because your mother called you crying and asking why you didn’t want to date that pretty girl from down the street who never tried to kill herself and you’ll kiss me before you fall asleep but not as hard as you usually do and I’ll pretend I can’t taste the hurt on either of us.
This is how we fall apart// June 21st
It’s hot out and I’m on fire again and your touch doesn’t put it out anymore. and you don’t always come home but I can’t even breathe on the nights you do. I can’t feel you. I can’t really feel anything. And you don’t care and I’m back to drinking and you’ve got new scars now and we’re both bleeding but we haven’t stopped fighting long enough to clean it up and your mother was right and you saw that girl from down the street last night and you didn’t kiss me when you got home but you never really kiss me anymore anyway. and I can’t stop shaking because I know that the next time I meet some tired boy in some rundown coffee shop I’ll be telling him about you instead of the boy I loved when I was 15. You’re it. You’re everything. And everything is falling apart.
This is how we fall apart// August 12th
We fell apart.
At our graduation party, he turns to me, still wearing his grad cap, and winks. I like the way you dance, he says. I have something to show you. Come to my car. I hesitate. I’m not sure, I tell him. All of my friends are here. Come on, he insists. Live a little.
OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you.
I walk four steps behind him to the driveway. I can hear the sounds of the party in the distance. Everybody I know is on the other side of the wall, but here, with his teeth gleaming, they seem so far away.
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
He pops his trunk and pulls out a six-pack. Want one? he asks. I shake my head. He hands me one anyway. This is a party, he says. Have some fun.
Just let me liberate you
I pick up the bottle and gingerly take a sip. He downs his in one gulp. Then he leans forward and reaches out to where I am standing. He laces his arm around my hips and pulls me so I am leaning beside him on his car. Why are you so far away? he asks.
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
He begins panting in my ear and telling me how good I look in my dress. The dress my mother bought me for the occasion. I squirm. I try to break his hold. I tell him my friends are probably wondering where I am. I say, I want to go back inside.
I know you want it
He laughs. He puts his lips to my ear and tells me to have some fun. I feel his tongue slip into my mouth and go numb. My fingers begin to shake. I try to move away and he puts his hand on my stomach until it bruises and pushes me against the car, hard.
I know you want it
He puts his hand around my neck and begins kissing me. My tongue hangs there. I try to scream and end up only tasting him.
I know you want it
My legs go dead as his hand creeps up my thigh. I kick his shin and he smiles, then bites my lip before slipping his fingers behind my underwear. I squeeze my eyes shut. I dig my nails deep into my hand. My toes curl helplessly.
You’re a good girl
I feel him unbuttoning his jeans one-handed and using the other to completely restrain me. I think about how easy this is for him to do. I begin beating my head against the car, harder and harder. The thumping sound does not even slow him.
Can’t let it get past me
He is pulling himself out of me with a smile. There is no condom in sight. My underwear are ripped and at my feet. I look at my legs and notice I am bleeding.
I hate these blurred lines
With his arm still tied around my waist he asks, This wasn’t your first time, was it? My eyes are still shut. I do not say anything.
The way you grab me
The way you moved in that dress and your smile. Damn, I saw you from across the room. And the way you laughed at other guys’ jokes. If I didn’t get on that one of them would.
Must wanna get nasty
He grins. I knew I was going to get lucky tonight, but not as lucky as you made me.
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
He lets go of me and I am hit with a sudden burst of air. I fall to the ground, heaving, as I listen to him open his trunk and crack open another beer.
What you don’t like work?
I’m going back to the party, he says. I lie still on the ground, feigning death. Are you coming? He reaches down to touch me and I begin to shake. Fine. Suit yourself. You should clean yourself up anyway.
I know you want it
I listen to his footsteps echo away. I try to sit up and collapse onto my knees. My limbs refuse to work. For the first time, I hear the sound of someone crying and choking on their breath. It takes me to realize it is me.
I know you want it
I roll myself to the front of the driveway and lie, with my head against the concrete, crying. On my legs there is still dried blood and cum. I open my mouth and nothing comes out.
I know you want it
I lie on the ground for the rest of the night, convulsing. I hear him
come out hours later with his friends, look at me, and laugh. I listen to him tell them I must be another “shit-faced bitch.” I stay still. I dig my nails deep into my hand. I try to scream and end up only tasting him.
Charlie’s Last Letter
heart-beats-slow said: I love your poems! You have such a beautiful mind! Congratulations hun keep on that way <3
Thank you so much!
I smell like mountains
I smell like grass, dad
I smell like the boy down the street, dad
I smell like his carpet
the walls caved in on me
maybe I smell like falling walls
I am debris, dad
I look like something dying, dad
I look like a lullaby
like soft notes
like nothing anyone wants to listen to
I sound like a car crash, dad
I am a car crash
my skin is turning yellow
I am rotting, dad
I smell like mountains, dad
I smell like a place I have never been to
the only place I can remember is his bedroom floor, dad
I smell like a child, dad
I can’t spell my name anymore
I mess up somewhere between ripped underwear
I can’t keep doing this, dad
I’m going crazy
he told me sad girls fuck better, dad
I am traffic, dad
I am waiting
for nothing but destination
I smell like cologne, dad
I smell like sweat
I look like a whore, dad
not the dictionary definition either
I smell like semen
like him all over me
I cannot forget, dad
I don’t want my body, dad
I don’t want my body
why the hell did he
i am stones where used to be cities
and if you breathe too closely to me
you can still smell burning, i am
a shell constructed from
music lyrics and poems and
i don’t let people in
you are the kind
galaxies in your coffee
where others just see
sugar and cream
and you’re the one who says
“go on, i’m listening” even when
i’ve already realized how boring the story is
that i’m telling
and you’re the one who makes sure i got home
safe and that i’m eating well and getting out of bed
i mean you must be
because where others saw ruin
and black nights and
you looked into my eyes
“you’re so full
Johnny said once, Eating with someone is really intimate
and it’s stuck with me. So I decline dates at restaurants
because he’s right and it’s too soon and, anyway,
maybe I’ll hate how these long-necked boys
who don’t know how to hold a fork eat. I’ve written
a lot of things for him, Johnny, more than he knows about.
I am 22 now so naturally I miss everyone.
I am 22 so I roll my eyes when someone says love.
Dad has the air conditioner all the way up but I’m still
waking up sweating. My brother has taken to degrading
women in that casual way that boys do—flick of the shoulder,
dark-eyed, he is my father in miniature, but I love him,
as sisters do, even if I don’t agree with his mouth.
I wanted this poem to go somewhere important
but I keep looking over my shoulder. I hate mornings.
I keep spilling my guts out to strangers on the internet,
and this is not the first time I waxed my legs for a boy.
We’re all fighting over who we’re going to take home
and I’m still pretending I can play the clarinet.
Everyone keeps complimenting my nail beds.
Remember mood rings? Mine stays black.