The first time you kissed me,
you asked: “Is this what love’s supposed to taste like?”
I giggled and bit “yes” into your bottom lip,
even though I had no idea.
I was only fifteen,
trying to pass for twenty,
with a baby face that you couldn’t possibly
have been fooled by.
when I told you my real age,
you went quiet and stood in the corner for long enough
that I felt like I had grown into someone
you could undress without guilt.
“We can’t do this,” you said, your hands in my hair.
In reply, I left a purple bruise on your neck
in the shape of “I know.”
At school, my friends ask me if the best part about
loving you is knowing someone who can buy me alcohol.
I tell them that all of your kisses taste like wine,
so I have no need for it.
When I relay this story to you in the parking lot,
you laugh and let me take a gulp of you,
big enough that I’m drunk for the night.
No, the best part about loving you
is that you showed me parts of my body
that I didn’t even know existed.
The best part about loving you is that
you took me home to meet your mother,
even though she thought I was
an illegitimate child that you’d hid from her.
The best part about loving you is that
I never want to stop,
even though each time I feel my raw cheeks
after kissing your beard-covered mouth
on the playground,
I know I should.
Your 30th birthday fell on the same day as my 15th.
When I went shopping for your gift,
I stood in the men’s section
for hours after my mother dropped me off,
staring at the things you were supposed to want.
I saw no place for my baby fat amongst
pressed slacks and shirts.
The sales lady asked me if I was lost,
checked her calendar and said: father’s day is in three months, hun.
I wanted to scream that age was just a number,
that I was old enough to know better
but could not imagine knowing a love any better than you.
I wondered on which of my birthdays I would be told
I was now capable of understanding love.
If wondered if you would be able to find anything
close to it in the “young adult’s” section.
"You always looked good in red," I said,
as I straightened the tie I’d decided on.
But I wanted you to look good in me,
to not appear like a monster holding me down in bed.
I did not want my friends to think our love was “dirty”
or for teachers to study me because they had “heard the rumors.”
When I convinced myself that the amount I felt for you
was too much to be disputed,
I got sloppy and
forgot to delete your texts.
“I love you?”
“My tongue still tastes you?!”
“I can’t feel without you beside me??!”,
my mom screamed as I lay crying.
The last time I saw you,
you were tense in your seat,
separated from me our lawyers and
my mother’s protective arm.
“Confess your guilt”, your lawyer urged.
“No one will give you any sympathy.”
But on the stand you looked at me and said:
she was half my age,
but I have no regrets in making her half of me.
Edited/extended this at the urge of a close, wonderful friend. (via soggypoetry)
Don’t walk out that door
I can’t stand my own company
I don’t know what to do
With my hands
And my skin feels
Like I accidentally took the wrong one
When I was born
I need your mind
because you want to
live forever and I’m
a girl who immortalizes
the past in words.
I’ll get sick of
writing about love,
but until then,
I need a subject
for a new poem.
and I am a semicolon
begging you to go on.
Sometimes Sleeping Beauty
likes to sleep alone
Rapunzel wears her hair down
for no one but herself;
her neck is sore
from trying to pull you up
and Cinderella still sweeps the floor
when the prince isn’t looking
because she isn’t sure he’d love her
with dust in her hair.
1. After him, every white cotton pair of underwear I owned was replaced with silky things that I hid from my mother. The humidity and his hot breath saying, “I think I love you” fogged up the windows and my insides. When it was over, I swatted away mosquitoes and drew shapes in the steam as he ran outside in your boxers to dispose of the evidence. While he drove me home, he stared straight at the road to avoid my grin. There was no goodbye kiss. There was no “I’ll see you soon.” By the time I got inside my house, I had nervously scratched my fresh mosquito bites so hard that bits of blood stained my bra.
2. He taught me how to be touched and feel nothing. I taught him how to care for a ghost. The day he muttered “bitch” outside of the bedroom, I left.
3. Friends and I giggled about him in a bathtub, as we made drinks with $10 vodka. Later on, I could not explain how I fell for his speech about how much he cared about me, until I remembered his face backlit by the moonlight as he lifted my dress.
4. Sex, adventure, and red-hot passion don’t compare to the way he smiled when he curled up beside me.
5. We shivered in his parents’ apartment, but still took off our clothes when the movie got slow. I led him to the spare bedroom as the credits rolled, and pulled a quilt around us as we kissed each other’s goosebumps in the hazy darkness.
6. When he rubbed his foot against my leg, I pretended I was sleeping. I thought he had offered me a place to sleep off my high out of kindness. The next day, on the phone with my boyfriend, I shook with anger as he told me, “Oh, don’t get so worked up. He was probably just being friendly. Besides, he’s just like that.”
7. He was so sad, he used to shudder when I’d touch his shoulder. I was always scared to let my hand linger for fear he’d fall to pieces.
8. I should have known he wouldn’t call me back when he didn’t ask for my last name. Because of him, I dream about a stranger cupping my chin as he undresses me in a bedroom I don’t recognize.
9. I don’t know if it’s harder to believe that he used his sadness as a tool, knowing if I pitied him, I would be less likely to push you off when you kissed me, or that it worked.
10. I fucked myself harder than he ever did.
You make out with a boy because he’s cute, but he has no substance, no words to offer you. His mouth tastes like stale beer and false promises. When he touches your chin, you offer your mouth up like a flower to to be plucked, all covered in red lipstick to attract his eye. When he reaches his hand down your shirt, he stops, hand on boob, and squeezes, like you’re a fruit he’s trying to juice. He doesn’t touch anything but skin, does not feel what’s within. In the morning, he texts you only to say, “I think I left the rest of my beer at your place, but it’s cool, you can drink it. Last night was fun.”
You kiss a girl because she’s new. Because she’s different and you’re twenty two, trying something else out because it’s all failed before. After spending six weekends together, you call her, only to be answered by a harsh beep informing you that her number has been disconnected. You learn that success doesn’t come through experimenting with your sexuality, and you’re left with a mouth full of ruin and more evidence that you are out of tune.
You fall for a boy who is so nice, you don’t think he can do any harm. When he mentions marriage and murder in the same sentence, you say, “Okay, okay, okay.” When you make a joke he does not laugh, but tilts his head and asks you how many drinks you’ve had in such a loving tone that you sober up immediately. He leaves bullet in your blood and disappears, saying, “Who wants a girl that’s filled with holes?”
You find out that a med student does. He spots you reading in a bar and compliments you on the dust spilling from your mouth. When you see his black doctor’s bag posed loyally at his side, you ask him if he’s got the tools to fix a mangled nervous system. He smiles at you, all teeth, and tells you to come with him. In the back of his car, he covers you in teethmarks and says, “There, now don’t you feel whole again.” But all the incisions do is let more cold air into your bones.
You wonder how many times you will collapse into ruins before you give up on rebuilding. You wonder if maybe you’d have more luck living amongst your rubble instead of looking for someone to repair it. The next time someone promises to flood you with light to erase your dark, you insist them you’re fine the way you are. They tell you there’s hope, that they had holes in their chest too, that they know how to patch them up. When they offer you a bottle in exchange for your mouth, you tell them you’re not looking for a way out. No, thank you, you tell them. Even though you are filled with ruins and rubble, you are as much your light as you are your dark.
why do people
think that this is
a poem even if it’s
not because i am
just clicking return
if i feel like it to make
it look like i have created
the most sensible poem
anybody could ever think of.
when i was eight my mama taught me that
poems had to rhyme because…