You, boy

You, tongue twisting, smooth talking, ocean eyed, smoke in the air, playboy.

You, listen to this song I wrote, pretty boy.

Met you when I had deflated lungs, fractured bones, and dry lips.

Went to lunches with you, but only after we smoked.

 

You, I’m glad to have you in my life, You, manipulator, You, wonder-boy.

Never having to say please and thank you for never holding the door for me,

By the way, I can hold the door open for myself, but isn’t it just the right thing to be polite,

You, do you believe that was ‘actually’ a moment where you felt discriminated against,

You, never understood.

 

You, I keep women around for my ego, white privilege isn’t real, oblivious boy.

Spin my head 360 degrees for your entertainment, inflate smoke into my lungs with you.

I am a second chance extraordinaire, I’m really good at giving my time as if I had more than enough of it to go around, you, playboy, have taken my gift for granted.

 

I don’t value relationships with people, yet I didn’t hear a car alarm go off in my head.

Instead, I heard a fanfare of violins and cellos playing to the tune of your voice.

I hear the guitar you played for me that night,

the lyrics I created in my head when we were high.

That night where we got too drunk and felt as if we were never going to die,

never have to worry about my friend… leaving me for another guy.

 

You, I do not like the feeling of desertion. You, left.

I write about how I could drown in your eyes, no matter how bad it hurt me,

no matter how afraid I was to discover what was on this ocean floor,

discover a whole other layer of this dress and gown, you, long-haired pretty boy.

 

You, artist. You, poet. You, creator of the studio in your apartment.

I am so good at creating something out of everything, and then you told me that you were only trying to mend your broken heart.

I took mine out of the rib cage in my chest, gave you a piece of me to see if it will grow into a new heart, and instead,

you used it like a chess piece.

 

You, player of games, mastermind of the board,

I took your queen and yelled checkmate! and tossed your game out the window.

Honey, you just lost.

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I am an affectionate person.

I prefer holding your hand and

kissing it than feeling you hold my

legs up while you fuck me.

I am an affectionate person.

I would rather hear about how

you became the person you are

than hear about how you came

with only the thought of me.

I am an affectionate person.

I prefer playing with your

hair while listening to you

talk about your day than

listening to you moan for me.

I am an affectionate person.

I would rather run my hands

down your chest than run

my hands down to your jeans

unzipping them and feeling

how terribly you want me.

I am an affectionate person,

I am multidimensional,

and I am a liar. I would do

all this and more just to feel

your skin on mine one more time.

606

The other day we were walking down the 606 in Wicker Park, and the sunset was made up of hues of pink, red and orange. I looked over at you, and you were already looking at me. You always told me that I had an issue with staring at people, that I always looked too long and too intensely. But right now, you were okay with it. Right now, you stared right back at me. Right now, you became a haloed figure in front of the sunset, and right now, your eyes were no longer a shade of blue, but a mirror that reflected my golden skin.

We kept walking hand in hand down the 606, I talked about how God must be a romantic to have created the sunset. How He must’ve known that every time I looked at it, I would be reminded of how much time I spent waiting for it, waiting for the next day where I didn’t feel heartbroken. You told me that God must be an artist for all the colors in the sunset, how He must paint it differently every night. We kept talking about God and the qualities He may have, and then I started to see Him in you, and then I started to see him in you.

We kept walking down the 606 and your voice started to sound like his, your touch started to feel like the way his used to, and your words started to sound a lot like his when he lied. We finally stopped walking down the 606, you held me close and finally, you kissed me. I started thinking Maybe this is what love is supposed to feel like, I mistook your touch for roses, your fingers were thorns and your palms were the petals that cupped and collected the tears I cried.

I found you beautiful, no matter how many times your fingers pricked my skin. Blood flowed from where you touched me, and I saw the colors of the sunset within me.

you are brand new

shiny and red

you,

are the full-speed-ahead kind of crush i needed

but will never cross the finish line

 

you took me places i didn’t think existed anymore

you took me on the road less traveled,

the places i,

closed off and boarded up.

 

you are the wind blowing in my hair while going 60 in a 40,

you make me brave

i used to say that i will never be able to taste love the same way again,

but after getting a taste of almost, i have a new pallet

 

i have been transformed and i have seen myself in a different light,

i no longer mourn the loss of him, he,

is no longer a phantom of my body,

i, am no longer haunted by the spirits of my past

 

you,

are brand new

you,

gave me the full-speed-ahead kind of crush i needed

but will never cross that finish line

gunshot

there is a hole in the left door of the closet

bullet shot from the window straight through

the door is still standing even with a piece of it missing

maybe that’s how my own heart is

pumping blood throughout my body

even after you shot me down

Spring, 1999 (revised)

There’s a house on the South Side of Chicago on 63rd street,

where a four-year-old girl just moved in

It’s a house with a bright green lawn, freshly mowed, and two bushes in front.

You can see small purple flower buds growing underneath each one.

This house gave the impression of a home,

but this four-year-old girl already knew that this was contrary to the truth.

 

She looked at the house, and saw that this was nothing more

than a pile of bricks, cement and a few windows, and felt nothing like home.

This building was made on a foundation of infidelity.

This is not a home,

This is a house built on a broken marriage, already weak before she even got there.

 

It was spring. The flowers were growing, the rain had washed away all the debris;

this was a sign of a new beginning, but this house without the home of her father’s arms

felt too much like an ending.

Her thickening soft black hair whips across her baby skin, and she sheds tears that are

heavy enough to drag her to the ground.

She sits on the edge of the sidewalk.

The four-year-old cries for her father,

asking why he can’t stay in this strange house with her.

Her father comforts her while she cries, he says

 

We will be together soon, do not worry,

 

Her cantaloupe heart could not understand why

he must do this, why he must leave. She was

trying to understand why her world must come to an end.

And then, just like a cantaloupe being left for too long, her heart begins to bruise.

 

As he walked away, she listened to the heel-toe click of his footsteps,

and thought to the beat of his step

there’s no place like home

                        there’s no place like home

                                    there’s no place like home

Qualities of a Lover

call me a gift

tie me up in ribbon and present me to your family

tell them how you bought me with your wit

how this sale is final

and I will never be re-gifted

 

call me your angel

pin wings on my back

teach me how to fly

and show me what it feels like to fall after the high

 

call me the morning sun

soak up the rays that pierce through my heart

feel the radiating heat between the sheets

and the way my hands curve up your sun-soaked spine

 

call me a breath of fresh air

fill up your lungs with my perfume

let them expand and collapse with Chanel

so that I may always be with you when you breathe

stockholm syndrome

All the years I’ve spent trying to protect my heart and soul, I realize now that I have been only keeping it in a cage—I have malnourished my heart and now that it’s reached a point of vulnerability, it is crippling and hungry.

I imagine opening my chest to only find an overwhelming container of tender love. I can feel my chest expanding in every way possible with the energetic love I have within me. My chest expands and I can feel the heat building up—I am burning from the inside out.

I have so much beautiful love, but nobody wants what I have to offer. I am always too much.

questions

do you ever look at a person, and instantly feel like you’re drowning?

you look at them, and suddenly you lose your breath and you can’t seem to find the words for a reply?

do you ever watch a person when they talk about their passions?

watching how their body language changes, the tone in their voice, widening of their eyes, how their entire soul changes when they talk about what they love

do you ever think about the short expansion of time we have been given?

how life is so short-lived and we spend the whole time worrying about what we have to do, and what we didn’t say or do. who we didn’t kiss, or did. the fears building up before a single moment.

do you remember how it felt when you were at your loneliest?

the gut feeling of rejection, the fist that punched you through the chest. the heat building up underneath your eyes, you felt like a thousand suns had taken over your body. you felt so overwhelmed, you didn’t know what to do with yourself without that other person.

do you ever think about me?

i think of the time when i traced my name on your chest with my fingertips. do you think of the moment when you realized i was not the one you wanted?

what does intimacy mean to you?

some people imagine it as a purely sexual experience. i place intimacy on a separate, more coveted, pedestal than sex. intimacy is the feeling of his hands on my skin, feeling every curve, and getting to know every part of my body. it is the the feeling of his fingertips tracing my hips up and down. it is the sound of his voice whispering in my ear.

how do you feel when you think about how massive this galaxy is?

the sheer size of this galaxy is overwhelming, and it is unmeasurable. the galaxy is massive and more than any of us can handle, and so are you.

who do you think of when you think of beauty?

do you think of yourself? another person? the person you’re currently talking to? do you feel the need to prove to them that you are a beautiful person?

i know that this is hard, and he is very beautiful. but so are you, do not live your life trying to prove that to him.

these are the questions that run through my head every day. i ask myself these questions, and i still feel the need to ask more and more until i understand myself better.

my soul is expanding. i am growing a garden within this body. roses and sunflowers are blooming up into my chest. my heart is surrounded by growth.

the thorns of the roses pierce my stomach as they bloom taller and more beautiful. my soul is made up of roses and sunflowers; i am both beauty and pain.

— growing pains