Ma, I don’t know how to tell you this
so I’m just going to say it.
Little Tommy runs inside slapped in mud
and says he’s dirty.
I’m dirty, Ma. I’m dirty in ways that can’t be washed.
At eight you used to say to never forget
my knees—back or front—to scrub hard,
let go of all the filth of a good day.
I can’t remember the last time I had a good day, Ma.
I scrub my knees and I scrub until they burn
a bright pink but I’m still dirty.
Do you hear me? I’m still dirty, Ma.
Yes, I went to church last Sunday and prayed
but I think I made the holy water dirty too.
I think I ruined it before it could save me.
The boys always say my name wrong but I still
turn around, I go along, I let them call me
what they want as long as they want me.
Do you get it now, Ma?
I have grime under my fingernails and my stomach
is full of swallowed regret and I’m dirty.
I look in the mirror and pronounce my own name
wrong, too. I go along. Until it sounds real. Honest.
I don’t know how to tell you this
without breaking your heart, without you
checking behind my knees and nodding.
I don’t know how to tell you I’m dirty without
begging you to please not say,
“I know, I know. A mother always knows.”
The night isn’t dark; the world is dark.
Stay with me a little longer.
Your hands on the back of the chair—-
that’s what I’ll remember.
Louise Glück, from “Departure,” Meadowlands (HarperCollins, 1996)
I’m a poet, the people I love will always be somewhere else.Kait Rokowski (4/8/11 late night walk during CUPSI)
You are so good. So good, you’re always feeling so much. And sometimes it feels like you’re gonna bust wide open from all the feeling, don’t it? People like you are the best in the world, but you sure do suffer for it.Silas House, This is My Heart for You (via larmoyante)
1. When you’re outside in the middle of the night with your best friend burning the old pictures you have with him and the poems he wrote you and the little teddy bear he won for you at the carnival that you’ve slept with for months, make sure you don’t breathe in the smoke because you’ll cough so hard you’ll throw up and then you’ll be left crying and shaking and wondering how he still manages to make you feel sick even though he’s not around anymore.
2. Delete his number so that on the nights when 8 shots still don’t taste like enough to stop the aching and your blood turns to liquor and you let the alcohol fill your lungs till you choke, you won’t call him to save you because he’s not going to come and when he sends you straight to voicemail you won’t want to be saved anyway.
3. It’s okay to cry but when you’re pressed up against the wall screaming into your knees at one in the morning, hair in your face, blood on your bedspread, don’t let the tears tidal wave through your teeth and hit your tongue because you’ll taste him again and he’ll stain your mouth and god that hurts more than anything.
4. When you were sad, you two used to go up to your roof and light matches and toss them down and watch them burn out the way you wish your problems could. Don’t go up there for awhile because when you’re sitting there and you turn to kiss him and remember that he’s gone you’re going to want to burn yourself to the ground and disappear like the matches you’ve been throwing
5. Read a lot of books to keep yourself busy. Fall into the words instead of falling into him. But jesus christ stop picturing him as the boy in your novel. You can’t let him seep into everything, it’ll kill you.
6. When you go to the beach and the water mixed in with the grey sky reminds you of the way his eyes looked when he was falling asleep next to you, try not to drown yourself.
7. Kiss the next boy who tells you that you look like death, go to bed with the one who tells you you taste like sunshine. It’s okay to fall in love every weekend. It’s okay to forget the way he made you feel. Not everyone will hurt you. Not everyone will leave.
8. Don’t start smoking to wash him away. Filling your body with smoke won’t make you any less empty. Your throat will burn all the time. Not just when you’re thinking about him.How to forget him (via extrasad)