excerpts.

The following are excerpts of a word-count-practice I did today. The actual drabble is rubbish but I liked these lines. I hope you enjoy them, too. ❤

“They reach out to her with their proclamations of family and normal life and brothers not lost and good memories.”

“She has always been a mix of contradictions.”

“He asks her if it was worth it, to discover all those secrets. She swallows a reply, shame coloring her cheeks.”

“She breaks. The dam bursts apart and the river floods.”

“She is empty and begging to be filled. Now he is speechless, left without words.”

“He knows now. Hurt is infectious. It disguises itself as caring and nestles into your heart through all the eye-contact and brushing fingertips. He tried to stay away from all her broken glass.”

young love.

This is less poetry, more… short story, I guess. Anyway, enjoy. 🙂 

i. car rides

She sank deeper into herself when he wasn’t around. She let the silence float around her head and settle comfortably onto her shoulders. It was different when they were together. She laughed like she had never laughed before, reveling in the sound of happiness that seemed present in those moments. She became different, for the sake of his opinion of her. She’d get into his cherry-red car with a grin on her face, gripping her sleeves with her fists. He’d roll the top down and turn up the radio, cruising along the open road when the sun started slipping behind the horizon. She sang along to songs she didn’t know. When the stars came out he was dropping her back home, with a wave goodbye as he sped back onto the highway. She felt drained when he left, like he had slowly unwound her heart and was trailing the string over a road she could never reach. She’d wait patiently in her bedroom for a text that wouldn’t come, listening to the crickets chirping outside her window.

ii. late nights

Sometimes she wouldn’t see him for days on end. Then, suddenly, he’d knock on her door late at night and beckon her outside with a smile. She could never resist the way his eyes seemed to shine brighter than the stars overhead. It was like he was holding something for her, something wonderful and beautiful that she’d only get conditionally. He’d grab her hand and they’d run to some distant part of town, walking through streets that even the moonlight couldn’t reach. She didn’t let him see her lips tremble when a shadow moved too close, or the way her fingers shook when he wasn’t holding them. She laughed like there was nothing to be afraid of, like they were just two kids with nothing to do but hold each other. The dawn would be breaking by the time he kissed her goodbye. She’d sneak into the house, her footsteps as quiet as her heartbeat.

iii. spilled coffee

He didn’t flinch when the coffee mug shattered on the floor, hot liquid seeping into the hardwood. He kept his eyes locked on her. She had never been so angry, so lonely and so sad all at once. She didn’t remember what they were fighting about. She didn’t want to remember. She wanted to forget the mere thought of him. She kept watching the coffee spill out of the broken mug. By the time the door slammed shut she hadn’t even realized he was gone. An hour went by. She picked up the sharp pieces of ceramic and let the edges caress her fingertips. The broken bits fell into the trash like snowflakes falling onto the ground. She sat at the kitchen table and watched as the light got dimmer and dimmer outside. She waited for the sound of his voice in the room, for the bright headlights of his cherry-red car to come shining into the driveway, for the feel of his hand on her waist as he pulled her into an apologetic hug. But he never came back.

iv. rain

She shivered in the entryway, the open door letting in the cold, crisp wind. Her clothes were soaked through, clinging to her skin. Her hair dripped with rainwater, and droplets rested on her cheeks. She turned to the mirror on the wall, watching her eyes cloud the way the sky had clouded outside, before the rain poured down and turned everything to grey. She mistook the water on her face for tears. She wondered where the dark circles around her eyes had come from, why her smile seemed tighter than usual, and how her skin had gotten so pale. It seemed like a different reflection in the mirror, now that he was gone. She stood, trembling in the doorway, staring at the glass of the mirror and watching tears sink into her skin.

five truths.

i. I fight necessity with silence, trudge through my day like the house is a jungle, not soft carpet. we suffer together, but I hold myself to sharper knives than you.
scrubbing walls & floors, we expect pristine but are presented with looked-down-on. given shame for these four walls. home smells like life, like children & adults with too many problems. but the windows stay open.

ii. new choices, daring yourself, asking for what you hope will satisfy. playing roulette with your tongue. sticking to known & ashamed.
we laugh because we love each other, because no one wants to point fingers, no one wants the debt of disappointment. we take chances with our taste buds, not our hearts.

iii. fulfill expectations. be what they whisper you are, proving their assumptions right. hide your face, but open your arms.
your hugs are not bitter.

iv. for heaven’s sake, I’m still a child, still growing. discovering pieces I didn’t see in the instructions. I’m missing my guardian angel & I’d tell you if I could. but you didn’t teach me about my mouth.

v. pillow, be kind. nightlight, give me back my memories, those hushed conversations I never bothered to record. take away today so I can dream my way to tomorrow.
inhale exhale. repeat.

 

I don’t usually write in this style, but I figured it’d fit for this Discover Challenge… the preceding paragraphs are a response to / were heavily inspired by this post. Image found here.  

via Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making

unwanted guest.

You came in gradually.

Do I call you a leak? No; you were the sticky water if anything, not the holes you seeped through. The porous rips in my abode have been there long before anyone had time to make them. I believe I was born with those gaping, minuscule abysses.

You came, knock after paused knock; tapping on my window, rapping on my backbone.

It would be a game in itself: the waiting, the wondering. Who was it, outside? Who was it, behind me & so close, too close for me to see? I have no guards against you, no turrets to watch from. I am a flat scrap of over-worked land. I am dirt and you are thunderstorms with too-quick rain.

Yes, it was me who let you in. I called you a guest & said (I pretended) that you were temporary. You were supposed to be a flashing, fleeting presence.

You came & I accepted you. I opened my doors to you, unaware that you were the wind & I was the candle flame.

You had come highly recommended by a number of well-meaning friends. Did you know I was vaguely acquainted with your style of living? I understood the way you made yourself at home in houses falling apart, in rooms kept spotless & stark.

I didn’t think you would consider me a host. I thought if I entertained your own guests long enough, you’d leave me alone. (There were people that came to you, more than I expected. They flicker in and out; you don’t dote on them, because they want you, & you hate to be wanted.)

At first, it was only in the whisper-moments of the night that I remembered your presence. I could hear you breathing from the other room, thought I could feel your dreams invade my own sleep’s images. During breakfast (over coffee that either burned my tongue or fell flat against my lips), I’d catch you watching me from across the table. By then, we conversed in our own language, using words that consisted of passing ideas & withering gazes.

But, oh, so suddenly, you were smothering me with kisses that felt like teeth. You were drowning me in professions of love that felt like gasoline. You melded to my soul (though, now, I have doubts that such a thing even exists). You became a part of me that I could not detach. No matter what I tried, the only thing between us was superglue.

Yet, I still denied your pull.

(If you are the moon, I am the tide, forever at your mercy. I reach for the shore & you drag me back out to sea.)

The more I said no, the more you shouted yes. I thought: put a mask around it! Dress yourself up & hide it! They’ll only see what they want to see—so give them a distraction!

So I stitched on smiles & paraded laughter. Do you know what continues to amaze me?

They never once questioned.