The friends you will call extensions
of yourself the day you graduate high
school may not be the first people
you call when you get engaged.
Not all kisses will be good ones.
Some will be wet and miss your
mouth by so much, you’ll start to
wonder if they’re looking for
something beyond you, something
your skin will never add up to.
The first time you go home with
a stranger, tell them they are
beautiful and spend the night
begging them to show you
more of their heart in between
your crescendos and releases.
When you leave in the morning
without saying goodbye, hope
they understand that it was
for their own good.
The people you love can be
untouchable and hard and mean
when they have been hurt, but
do not let that stop you from
breaking down their bathroom
doors and holding them together.
You will find that people often
insist that they are whole far
more when they are falling apart
inside of your arms.
It took me so long to learn that other
people are not limbs. You can hurt
for them when they break, but your
pain will not be one in the same with
their experience. Do not tell her you
“know how she feels”, tell her you
will be here when she needs to
Pain can be so great, but the
sky is always the most beautiful
after nasty storms, bent on
knocking down trees and keeping
homes in the dark.
Buy an umbrella.
Don’t let anyone tell you
that you do not already
have everything you will
1) When his fingers feel like needles on your skin, that is not love. That is the result of him sewing his touch into your flesh so he can haunt you for years after he leaves. You will not be able to get him out of your system until every skin cell on your body has been replaced - until you are not even you anymore.
2) When he taps his fingers on the steering wheel impatiently when it is your turn to choose the radio station, get out of the car. I don’t care if you’re in the middle of the fucking highway. This boy does not care about your interests, or anything that does not involve him. Get out of the car.
3) When he leaves a note on his side of the bed, do not respond with a letter written in your blood. He will crumple it up and change the locks. He will find any destruction of your body morbid and disturbing unless it is being done by him.
4) When he comes home at one in the morning with busted up knuckles, tell him to clean them up himself. Do not kiss him goodnight.
5) When he asks to read your writing, you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to do anything you aren’t comfortable with. You have walls built up around you, and if he wants to be with you, he will have to break through. Do not let him walk around.
6) When you meet his sister, do not shrink under her judgmental sneers. Do not follow the rules he told you before you entered the house. Answer her questions with your own, stand tall, and tell her that you are her brother’s girlfriend, not his property. If that doesn’t do the trick, tell her to fuck off.
7) When he speaks liquor tainted poetry, do not blush. Tell him to stop being pretentious. If in his drunkenly honest state, he sees nothing beautiful about you but the curve of your hips and the way your eyes look like a storm, tell him the storm is over. Gather your things and leave. The storm is over. Don’t stick around for dirty puddles and cloudy skies.
I drip apologies like a leaky faucet. When I open up to you, I immediately follow it with “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have told you that.”
Like I’m apologizing for feeling.
Like I’m apologizing for telling someone who cares about me how I really feel.
When you tried wiping away the tears I left on your shirt I whispered, “I’m sorry. I didn’t think.”
Like leaving a piece of yourself on someone’s sleeve is something to be ashamed of.
Like showing yourself in your rawest state is something to apologize for.
I stain your lips with the word sorry and leave the after taste of endless apologies after we kiss.
This poem is an apology to all my wasted nights saying sorry to people who never deserved it. Saying sorry as an excuse to stop fighting. Saying sorry for things that did not need an apology followed by them.
This poem is an apology for never saying sorry to the one person who deserved it most: me. I’m sorry for not valuing your actions and feelings enough to let them live without killing them with an apology.