21st Century Girl

She shatters glass when she walks in the room

Her sneakers graze the floor like Cinderella’s glass slipper on the opening night of the ball

And the air she breaths could be gold

She talks with an education that has come from being disrespected and objectified

Her beauty comes from the strength that she has gained from holding herself up each day after being emotionally beaten

She doesn’t hide the bruises, they lie on her skin like bracelets

Delicate and fragile, the colors slowly weave their way over freckles and scars

Her body grows hair

And she shaves if she feels like it

“Fuck ’em all” is written on the ass of her sweatpants

 

She attracts stares because she is just so god damn intelligent, it is almost shocking, that a woman like that could have so much to say

And when she opens her mouth, men begin to toy with their dictionaries

Her nails are perfectly shaped, a little sharper than usual and pointed at the tips

She wears a ring on the fourth finger of her left hand

Her grandma bought her that ring before she died

She no longer apologizes for things that are not her fault or out of her control

And the last time she said she was sorry for being in someone else’s space was when she heard how uncomfortable her mother felt after holding her for 9 months in her womb

 

Her smile though, could share a thousand moments of happiness and cruelty

“And in this life”, she says, “you only have those that respect you and those that forget you”

She laughs genuinely, because that is the only way to

 

 

Give me a dream

Hand me the motivation

Just let me believe

None of the plans will fall through

 

Everything will align

Time is just a passing thought

I can achieve, if you just give me a dream

Because I am so tired

The exhaustion is weighing me down

Each time I falter, the world adds ten pounds

 

 

I’m at the edge of the water

About to, dive in

My reflection smiles back

So full of hope, full of longing

But when I go under, I’ve forgotten how to swim

 

Hold on tight, living is one hell of a ride

But frequently I wish

There was one road

With just one stop

And the pieces fit exactly just perfectly

 

It isn’t easy

This adventure is so blinding

I’d just like to know

Where my successes are hiding

And don’t tell me I haven’t tried

Please, I’ve heard it before

Is it so much to ask?

Open the doors

Lift up the windows

Breathe in the air

Give me a dream!

Give me a dream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh How It Changed Us

Let’s talk about our future

And all of our plans

Lose the present and think of ten years…

White dresses, holding babies

Let’s talk about growing old together

And all the wrinkles our memories will have created

Sewn up scars, battle wounds that only adventure can account for

————————————————————-

Remember when we first met, don’t ever forget it

————————————————————-

Let’s think of all the ways we can fit our dreams into one existence

And soar above the stars

Do you know how to build a rocket ship?

Fly me to the moon, you always said

You’d land among me.

Let’s get grass stains on white cotton sheets

And drink wine until our skin reeks of it

Let’s buy a house, let’s buy an island, let’s buy the world!

Let me buy your heart, for a thousand lifetimes

Hold it and rock it gently to sleep each night

How often do you think of our future?

On the tip of our tongues but we rarely acknowledge it

Ahead, yet we too easily fall behind

How much will you change me, after these years

Will I see myself in you, will you take pieces from me

What will be staring at us when we look in the mirror…

Let’s talk about dying

Is it just like falling asleep

Hold my hand if time allows our feet to wander down the same road right to the end

Take it

Promise you’ll take it, when I reach out to hold you.

How did we age so quickly, how did our future so quickly become our past

 

 

Stoptime

Stop time.

Stop breathing.

Kiss me.

 

Forget blinking.

Just slowly, move so slowly.

Into my arms, out of time.

————-

Hold me, like a memory.

Smell deep, like you’ve never loved this body.

It’s an ocean, it’s the sky.

It’s the never ending things in life that make us question the goodbyes.

I can live without you, if I tried.

I’d fall quickly, out of time.

————-

Stop time.

Stop thinking.

Don’t let go. Don’t let me go on without you.

I can feel you sinking.

Out of time.

————-

Take my hand, take the clock.

Rewind the moments, we forgot.

Play them over, in a never ending parade.

Worship the seconds that always quickly fade.

Feel my heart, the way it sighs.

Into your heart, out of time.

 

Swallowed

*trigger warning*

 

He never called me beautiful

When we walk down the street he never holds my hand
But he rests his hand on my shoulder and slides his fingers under the leather strap
(To show he owns everything I carry)
And he pulls on it, the leash gets tighter

We lie in bed sometimes
And a stranger holds me, with the face that matches his face
His eyes are blazed with fire, at the times I stare
Sometimes I catch my reflection in old picture frames, of us and our smiles that were always fractured
And hid away the shadows
My eyes are light blue
Like the color that paints the eyes of the almost dead, but dying
I can’t look away, it’s the only time I’m free

He rolls over and all I see are his fingers
How his ring is bound to the golden band on my hand
Yesterday I tried to take it off
But it had molded into me, almost so much that the skin has crept up to swallow it
To try and swallow myself

I get up and go to the bathroom
All I can smell is my body rotting into him
Over and over again
The water is running, at least it has that freedom
I throw my body at it
Scrub him off of me until the water is scolding hot and flowing red
So I can no longer see his name sketched on my skin
Taunting me with ownership
Just to try and destroy anything that is his
I remind myself that this is not loving

This is not living

This is drowning

4am

I wake up every morning at dawn
When the world is asleep
And so are you

I smoothly move out of bed
And tiptoe through the kitchen
Just to feel invincible

When I open the backdoor
And it speaks goodmornings to me with little creeks
I think it’ll stop time
And then everyone will awaken
But I pass through as your snores continue to carry your dreams

As I sit down and the wood pillows my body as best it can
I close my eyes and just listen
So much of our daily lives are lived with our eyes open
That we forget that so much can go on
In the darkness of ourselves

I love the way the birds talk
And how the grass dances to the rhythm of the wind
Eventually my eyelids turn to red, I know the sun is stretching her arms
Preparing herself to play throughout the day
To be hidden at times and shining brightly at others

My eyes slowly unfold
And I take it all in
Knowing that while I am here in this world
You are still in yours
And I hope that your dreams transport you to where I am
Even though you are asleep
And I am awake

Now I still have a couple hours to snooze
So I pass by the door and say my goodbyes
And hope that tomorrow
The beauty of the world
Is still, such a great surprise

Slow Dance

Most days I just want to slow dance with you
We don’t have to talk, and there doesn’t even have to be music
I just want to feel that we are moving together
That every part of our body is in sync
That we can create something, worth continuing

And most days, I just want to slow dance with you
Words will be lost in thoughts and we will make our own music
Dance, isn’t anything more than self expression
With you, I want to express the universe
And when our hands lock together, we are stuck forever
In a  different sort of time that we call rhythm
And the beat. I like to think it is our heart’s feat.

To let you know, most days I just want to slow dance with you
Our lips will speak silence and our ears will sing like the deaf do
But when we move
The edges blur, our steps form symphonies
And all they are playing is the way we are swaying

For all the world, most days I just want to slow dance with you
In olden times it used to be about telling a story
Ours will advise that we are all electricity
That our brain sends throughout our body
It was always a shock how easily we trusted each others next action

Today, I just want to slow dance with you
It doesn’t have to be sexy or steamy like they show in the movies
I want it to be like we are eighty, holding on to things that have passed
Knowing that after all this time, you still believe that love can last

I want to slow dance our way through life.
There will be dips and there will be spins
And sometimes we are going to fall only to get up again
Dance is beautiful. That we could never lose.
Most days, I just want to slow dance with you.

Here’s to the friends that wish they were lovers
And here’s to the lovers who wish they could get rid of their significant other
Here’s to the sheets that are stained with red wine
To the front or to the back of the line
Here is to the rain that poured down like sweat
To the fact that this bed smells more like sex than sleep
And this week, I don’t think I’ve eaten anything more than chocolate
Because I like watching the way it melts in my hands
Like the control of time slipping like sand.

Here’s to her heart. And here’s to his hard on
And hoping that they can both get off on
A new foot. Or just a new start
Preparing herself for falling apart
Here’s to their makeup
And all their painted faces
Here’s to their rhythm running through races
To the ups and the downs
And the merry-go-rounds
To the cotton candy that you wish lasted forever
Here’s to wishing everyone ended up happily together
To the angry love making and the happy tear taking fights
That last all night til the sun says good morning and the moon says sleep tight.

Here’s to the children that wear innocence like winter gloves
That by the end of the season have already been lost or thrown away
And today, it is summer so what is the need to protect yourself from the wonder
That stays with holding on to the good old days
And the way boys and girls looked at the future with youthful joys
Now they look at it with all their handy toys
Here’s to the teens that act like their thirty
And all anyone ever is these days is too thirsty
To walk straight
Or sit down at dinner with eye contact and smiles that are more real than fake.
Here’s to the parties that run until dawn
And those annoying hip-hop party songs
To the lack of caring and the focus on sharing
Your connection with a stranger without even considering the danger

Here’s to looking both ways when crossing the street
Or for the one time you don’t look and are missed by just feet
To the moments that take your breath away
And the ones that sway you to live like they say to
Here’s to the first kiss that tastes like forever
And here’s to the ties you were never meant to sever
To getting down on one knee and wedding rings
And white dresses that collect dust up in your attic
Here’s to the fanatic, that is obsessed with never growing old
To wishing we were born with wrinkles and ended up crinkled back up into babies
Here is to wishing I could afford a Mercedes
Or maybe just college because everyone says there is no worth like knowledge

Here is to everything good that turns into cancer
To my daughter the ballet dancer who won’t know her mother
To my father that wasted his whole life giving me whatever I needed
Here’s to the ones that are never quite wanted or flaunted or told they are beautiful
And that they have a voice and to scream and to yell

Here is to the religion that leaves irerasable ink like tattoos that you can’t escape from
And here is to the believers and that I will never be one
Here is to the atheist and the Jew
That don’t quite fit into Christmas
Wishing they understood that this is a privilege
Here is to the priests that accept what they stand for but hide in the closet because they hate themselves so much more
To the boys that like men and the girls that like ladies
And that we can all hold each other no matter who we call our “baby”
To the people that love their faith and people that don’t
Here’s to the straight and the late and the outshone

Here is to plain thought and did you know they have matter
To the way that our actions destroy or flatter
The one’s we love most or the ones that we hate
Here is to loneliness and the ones that are protected by fate

Here’s to beginnings and to the way they must end
To everything that happens in between them
Here is to the way this poem shall be forgotten
But at least you’ll remember I can sure damn rhyme
And that as time passes don’t fear that you’ll be another who passed through
Just believe that as long as you’re breathing,
Here’s to you

These Days

She took all his pictures from the wall
And wonders how is it so easy to fall
With such little gravity

Walking around town, she picks at the scabs
They start bleeding when she turns around corners and sees their memories
Like scrapbooks with burnt pages

She goes to the library and laughs at things that are no longer funny
And connects with strangers just to feel connected to something,
It was easier when she wasn’t carrying pounds of her past on her back

Her pillow still smells like him: like love and sweat and that green deodorant he used to wear,
When she lights it on fire the ashes fall like the flowers on their wedding day
She smiles at the thought of how easily something can fall apart that once supported you
She hasn’t cried this hard since his dad died and she had to hold him as if she was carrying the world

These days, the floor seems like a safer place than his arms were

Their bed is now a crypt where their relationship lies
She sleeps on the couch like she used to do when they were in college
And she would sneak out at six in the morning, to make it seem like a secret
Now, everyone knows

She feels young again and naive
Like the first time she became a woman, helpless,
Knowing things had changed and life would never be the same

Her mind starts to slow as she remembers the first day they met
All she sees are his eyes

“Forever is such a shorter word than it was intended for it to be”, she whispers.

Sticks & Stones

The first act of violence I vividly remember was September 11th, 2001. I was in third grade and my mom pulled me out of school that day because apparently, to her and a lot of other parents, schools were no longer safe. It was the first time I remember thinking that it was safer to be out of school than in it. That day, schools were seen as a potential target.

I learned about Columbine in high school. One of the first school shootings that rocked the nation. I am sure those older than me remember where they were when that event took place; the moment they first realized school wasn’t safe. When the shooting took place in 1999 I was only 7 and yet it took years for me to fully understand the tragedy that was Columbine.I have read about it in books, watched interviews, documentaries, you name it. When what seem like random acts of violence strike, obsession skyrockets because humans have a hunger to find answers to what they don’t understand. And at first, no one understood. And now, I am still not sure if we do.

I have grown up with gun violence. I have never held a gun. I’ve never witnessed a shooting or heard a gun go off right before it ripped through the skin, but many others have. Rolling Stones reported that in 2015 alone, there have been 264 shootings in the 274 days of the year.

The first time I remember a school lock down drill was my first or second year of high school. This is how lock downs worked: we first heard the overhead alert and the lockdown began, no one goes in and no one goes out. We were told that if we were ever alone in the hall and heard the alert, we were to run to the closest door before it was shut and locked. I remember asking, “what happens if you don’t get into a classroom in time?” And the response was pretty much, “good luck.” When the lock down begins, no one one is allowed to let anyone into a classroom until it is over so if a student was to be locked out, they stayed locked out. After the initial lock down alert, the teacher locks the door, turns off all the lights and we all huddle up silently in a corner out of sight from the door. Then, we wait until we hear that the area is safe. When I was in high school they were mostly drills and no one took them seriously. We were all just happy to get out of having to participate in class and be on our phones. We all thought it was a joke, I never took it seriously. We never thought it would happen to us. We never thought we would be a target and luckily the schools I grew up in have yet to be one.

I say yet to be one not because I believe it will occur but because it would not surprise me if it did. School shootings don’t just hit dangerous inner city schools where dangerous people live, they hit nice suburban towns with nice suburban people, places no one would expect. If anyone had wanted to bring a gun into my high school, nothing would have stopped them. Our bags weren’t checked, we didn’t have metal detectors, all you needed was an ID to step into those halls. School shootings seem too easy and why would they not be? The way we perceive school shootings has changed minimally. The media continues to focus on mental illness instead of also pointing out other sociological causes, as if the only reasonable cause for a person to shoot up a school is because they are severely mentally ill. People become obsessive over the shooter while slowly forgetting about the victims. There were multiple injuries and deaths during the Columbine shooting and yet I only remember the names of the shooters. And unfortunately we are still tiptoeing around gun control.

I have grown up with school shootings to the point where it doesn’t even shock me. To the point where I say things like “it hasn’t happened yet.”

How sad is it that my generation has grown up with this type of violence. School shootings have become so common that they are just another news story to scroll over along with the other thousands of terrible stories we hear about everyday.

How sad is it that we do not fear the use of guns although people are killed daily by them.

That we do not fear schools although people are killed in them, that they bleed in them, that they cry in them and that children die in them.

Schools are a target. We can all see it. But we do not believe it.

I am no expert. I don’t have all the answers. I am just someone who grew up with this as my normal and if I were a parent, schools would terrify me. But schools continue to be filled and we raise a whole new generation of students that lack the fear of guns but continue to hear their shots.

“‘Where have all the birds gone?’ The young girl asked her father. ‘Well, do you see those stones over there? People realized they could kill two birds with one stone and have continued to throw them at the birds until all the birds died.’ The girl stopped and stared at the stones and defiantly said, ‘If the stones were killing the birds, why did they not just take away the stones?’ The father considered this for a moment but did not know the answer. He took her hand and they walked away until the stones were far out of sight and out of mind.”