Unsolicited Advice to Questioning Teenage Girls

When your friends go on about their crushes
do not feign interest in a boy just to blend in
tell them you would rather kiss girls even though that scares you
tell them you’re confused but
do not lie

When your uncle asks if you prefer Gail or Peta
explain to him that you like Katniss
that her female form strikes you more
than any teenage boy could

And when a girl comes up to you and offers to tell you a secret
listen to her
she will become the first love of your life

When a priest tells you that the way you feel is wrong
spit in his face
who you are is not a sin
and his cross is the biggest lie of all

When you start getting feelings for your best friend
do not ignore them
contemplate what it means to feel
and how friendship differs from love

When you can only imagine kissing her every time you see her
do not feel ashamed
your feelings are healthy and valid
and you deserve the same in return

And when you cry so much your eyes swell up
do not cry for her

Your Pain Isn’t Beautiful

Your pain isn’t beautiful.

It’s a cankerous sore that

demands to be felt

that opens old wounds

and litters new dreams

until your only focus becomes

the suffocating pain

that consumes your being.

Your pain is toxic.

Your pain is a deadly cancer

and romanticizing your sadness

will never make it go

away.

A Weight of its Own

I used to feel an aching sorrow
in my chest
as if every mistake I had ever
made had been piled on top
of me

and although I have since been
relieved of that weight
I do no feel light
I do not feel free
Like a soaring bird heading
to find warmth

all I feel is anticipation
for a journey to a
destination I am still
uncertain of
and that is a weight
of its own

Depersonalized

I am but a window
and my eyes only see
what they want me to see
and while your words effect this body,
this heart has very carefully shut itself away.
I watch myself live my life as a passive viewer,
an uninterested audience member
and only occasionally do I stop to question if this is reality
when I feel as if I am only a pawn in a video game,
alive but not quite living

It could only ever be you

And of course it was you I dreamt of
when my hands were tired
and my face went numb
and nothing at all seemed to matter
to the hopeless eyes
that watched the light slowly fade
and trickle into darkness.

It could only ever be you
that my thoughts drifted to
and grasped too tightly,
too firmly,
that even the darkness began
to resemble light
and the blade felt too much like your hand
to notice the difference between
blood and sweat
and what it feels like to be dying
or simply falling asleep

This is how I love you

I give my love to you
Through ragged puffs of breath
Through arching backs
And grasping hands
And shaking arms and legs

I give my love to you
Through moans of staggered breath
Through pouting lips
And clenching fists
And trickling drops of sweat

Sometimes

And sometimes it still hurts.
Sometimes I still feel the lingering sting of it all,
a memory long gone, slowly fading, but still within sight.
And sometimes I have nightmares about you
that give me shivers and cold sweats,
the image of your screaming face still imprinted in my mind.
But you were poison oak and my skin was much too fragile
to make it out unscathed.
And sometimes I can still feel the bruises you left behind,
jamming my fingers into them,
as they weep like tiny stab wounds.
And I am left here,
still trying to wipe your name from my tongue,
and oh how bitter it tastes.