I Won’t Let You Break Me

He says he will wait,
says it all romantically
because he knows that’s what I want,
know I have always been guarded
when it comes to matters of my body,
but never my heart.
He knows I’ve always been a woman of faith;
my body will always be my temple.
Mine to own
and to protect.
He says he will wait,
says it all sticky-sweet
coating my mind like syrup.
Says he will wait
but push my limits
to see where I’ll stand firm
and where I’ll falter.
To see how far I’ll go.
But that it isn’t love—
making someone lose
a sense of who they are
just to find a place in your arms.
Bending someone
until they break
for you.

I Dreamt Of You (Again)

In this dream, you were different.

This time, you didn’t tell me that you missed me, that you never stopped loving me, that you knew we’d find each other again. Instead, you handed me a note when I walked through your apartment door. An apartment I’ve never been, mind you, but it felt like you, smelled like you, looked exactly how my non-sleepy mind would have imagined it. Continue reading

Illinois Thunder

I still remember that rainstorm. It was late August. Night.

I woke from my sleep and crawled towards the window, pressed my nose against the glass like I used to do as a child, hopeful and tender. Outside, the rain scattered across the streets, persistent and unafraid. Thunder cracked, and I forced myself to stay, to keep my eyes open, to watch as lightening ripped across the sky, bold and brilliant.

All my life, I’ve wished to be a storm, a force to be reckoned with.
But in that moment, my hands shook as they gripped the wooden window frame. Continue reading

Comparing You To The Ocean

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There is much to be said about the ocean’s consistency,
The waves, the sound, the break against the shore,
The warmth and the cool and the rushing tide turning to foam.

There is much to be said about the ocean’s reliability,
The settling, the sweeping, the shards of shells coming in and out,
The salty air in noses.

But the ocean is big, is endless, is ever-changing
even in all the ways it is steady.
And I think that’s what scares me the most.

To The Beautiful Souls Who Die Young

For John & Meghan.

I feel sick in my own skin
this is not what death is supposed to feel like,
not for the ones who are still living
still breathing this damn air
pretending
wondering
asking ourselves how we will continue on
just the same
without those other heartbeats
passing next to us in these tired halls
But we know we will.
And we did.
Somehow. Continue reading

On Being A White Woman

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I’ve never been afraid to walk alone.
To put one foot in front of the other
and head to my destination, no worry
of whether the path is bright, but still dancing
in the streetlights, just in case.
Always prepared, but never frightened.

Is this white privilege? Continue reading

Today I Saw a Flirty Comment You Posted On Facebook

I say it doesn’t bother me, but it always does. It always will.
I hate seeing the face that you put on for the outside world.
The face that screams, I’m fine without you.
And I’m left wondering if that’s really true.

I can drive myself crazy. A prisoner in my own mind.
I see the way you interact, the way things seem easy.
Are they really easy, or are you just pretending?
And how can you keep pretending if you’re really missing me?

I think you’re happy, and that’s good. It really is.
But I don’t know which is worse:

You being happy without me,
or being just as good as pretending to be.

To The Spider, Who Understands

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But what about the spider?
Who builds a web so intricate,
so perfect, so impenetrable
that not even the most adept creatures
can escape. Sewn silk that glistens
in the afternoon sunlight, twists and shifts
in all its captivating grandeur. Capturing.
Never releasing. Walls built to keep safe,
to save.

But even the fiercest of us,
are fragile.