I am waiting for the day when I can finally tell you
that I am no longer stranded on the island of my self-hatred
piling grains of sand up in the bones of extinct sea creatures and
expecting them to rise from the dead.
I am waiting for the day when my faith in the feeling that your hand communicates against my heart
no longer crumbles as easily as the sand-dune organs I gave them and stays with me longer than the seaweed breath I breathed into their lungs.
I am hoping to tell you, soon, that I grew a fifth ocean inside of my empty self and called it by our names.
Just the same,
I am waiting for the day you can tell me that you are no longer searching for sand dollars on the waterless beachfront of your soul,
that your body is no longer scattered into a million weathered grains of sand across the many oceans of this world,
and that if the self you hope to call your own was stranded at the bottom of the deepest trench in the largest ocean on planet Earth,
you would allow me to help in fishing it back out.
I am waiting for the day when you figure out how to reform—
when whatever your atoms are made of finally collides back into the stonework of your soul,
successfully beating a billion years and the process of erosion.
I am also waiting, patiently, not infinitely,
for the day when you ask me for my help in looking for all our missing pieces
and we comb through the beach together,
slowing assembling the bodies and bones and bloods
of a thousand extinct sea creatures,
who rise from the dead
because we give them life.
"Of course I understand,
all I do is understand,
I’m always understanding.
I am always wrapping my jagged edges in the bubble wrap and packing tape of understanding,
I am always making sure to poke the bones that jut out too sharply back inside of myself,
I am always hushing the anger and irrationality of my heart in order to be
smooth and tightly knit and soft
, “I’m just happy that you understand”
"Last night I went to the beach,
to the same spot where we always make love,
where we always see shooting stars,
and where the water is flat enough to reflect the moon and the headlights across the water into our eyes.
And I laid flat in the wet sand because the tide was high
and I clutched my coat around myself
and curled in a ball while the sobs slammed out of me
and I wrote in the sand until my hands bled,
and I spit in the sea,
until my mouth ran dry and
then I drove home and I called you to say
and I am so good at wearing this disguise that
you didn’t even ask me if I was okay,
and I didn’t need to say “I’m fine.”"
In May I walked the city streets
feeling like a princess let out of a castle,
iridescent in a red ripped evening gown.
In June I felt empty,
like the bottom of a bottle of Jack,
and I told myself I didn’t care. Empty and no feeling
I forgot you and I moved on.
Empty like a dry sink basin, but sink basins
never stay dry for long.
In July there was me trying to be happy for you,
happy that you’d moved on, happy that we were both wrong.
Neither of us had been in love with the other and
none of it mattered.
In July I squeezed my arms so tightly around myself that my skin almost
cracked open and my guts almost spilled out onto
the seashore imagining how I’d hurt you,
and I worried I was too messy for him to clean up.
In August I wore all black because I
couldn’t get the taste of your name out of my mouth
long enough to like myself in any other color.
In August I kept repeating your name like a rhyme, like a quote, like a curse.
I kept thinking I’m happy for you, be happy for him,
but the tenor in which I said your name spewed
like poison and I was fooling no one.
I turned the tap on high and I spilled out
all over the bathroom counter and the sides of the tub
and onto the floor.
But I am not too messy to clean myself up,
and he is not interested in scrubbing me off of the floor anyways—
he likes me like I am.
-L.A, “Summer like an oil spill”
I already know how this ends.
We don’t need to have a conversation about it, so don’t worry,
please don’t even try.
This ends in September with me crying in my bed,
alone in the moments when my roommates are gone,
missing you like a slowly burning pyre,
our two bodies the only fuel.
This ends with you forgetting—
don’t worry I’m not mad, it’s in your nature—
but this ends with you forgetting.
This ends with me raking my nails over my skin in guilt
because the boy I just slept with wasn’t you,
this ends with you seducing a hundred other blondes.
This ends with you fucking them and wishing it was me,
but only in the moments afterwards,
you’ll miss my soft skin, and the curtain of my hair,
and you’ll miss the curve of my lip,
but you won’t miss me.
This ends with us agreeing to keep in touch,
but I already see you slipping away,
like a slow motion bullet leaving a loaded gun.
"I’m sorry it’s just that I have a really hard time imagining that anybody could need me. Even the friends and family in my life. Even the boys who have “loved” me. Sure, they all wanted me there. But did they need me? I don’t think so. I don’t feel as if anyone in my life has ever truly needed me. At least not in the same way that I needed them."
Would you still say that there is no point
in fixing something that isn’t broken,
if I told you
that the other day, when you left on the train—
you said it yourself, you are always leaving, so why are we trying?—
I cried in my car as it pulled away from the station.
The tears bubbled out of me like lava as I drove
and when I got home I exploded all over everyone I knew.
I think that you are beautifully naïve,
the way you think that everything will work out the way it is meant to
and that the universe will put us where it will.
There was a time, too, when I called a heart beat love and
called love enough.
I swear I’m not trying to spackle plaster into cracks that aren’t there,
and I promise that I’m not trying to nail us back together even though we haven’t fallen apart.
I tell you all this and more,
but you don’t believe me because you weren’t listening when I told you I was broken.
See I’m only trying to fix myself.
See, I’m only trying to diffuse the bomb before it detonates in our hearts,
and mine ends up more mangled than yours.
I am not beautifully naïve,
and I do not see the point in building something that’s just going to be blown up.
”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
"You make my heart do that flippy thing in my chest,
That I haven’t felt since seventh grade.
not even for my first love did my heart flip in my chest like a shooting star in a cage like this.
I like it, I can’t keep track of the beats,
and for once I’m forgetting to keep checking if I’m still alive
and I’m forgetting to have to remind myself to keep worrying
and I’m forgetting the details that don’t have to do with the curve of your nose.
And I’m sorry if I forgot what you said about your family
but I lost track somewhere around the beginning of your sentence,
you see the thing doing somersaults in between my lungs was too loud for me to really concentrate on your voice
So I’m sorry, I just like you,
please repeat yourself because sometimes it stops
at the sound of your voice and my breath hooks like a fish in my throat
when you look at me.
I’m sorry, I’m paying attention to the story,
really I am, it’s just—
do you know how beautiful you are? Have I ever told how alive the underneath bit of your skin seems even on the outside?
I’ll stop I’m sorry, I’m listening, I swear.
No, you don’t understand, my heart is flipping over, and I’m forgetting to worry and I always worry.
I just really like you, and you like me too, right?
I think I can hear the flippy thing in your chest bouncing up and down in excitement too;
I think it’s true."
When my best friend told me
“Hey look, you’re good at getting boys to fall in love with you,”
I just nodded and agreed.
What I should have said was
I am good at getting boys
to believe that I can save them,
and I am good at finding boys who have no one else to love them,
and I am good at making these boys
feel better about themselves.
I am good at crying for them more than they
will ever cry for themselves,
and I am good at worrying over them—
their homework, their laundry,
their hair, how many drinks they have before they drive.
I will even remind them
to brush their teeth twice a day.
I am good at fucking them
and I am even better at making them want to fuck me,
I am good at making boys think
that they can own me,
and I am good at fooling them
into saying “I love you” first
and kissing me on the forehead,
and rubbing the back of my hand
even when I say stop.
I am good at convincing myself
that I love them,
that each one
is the great love of my life,
I am good at pretending for months at a time.
And I might be good at saying “I love you”
and believing the lie as it slips from my mouth,
but for all the boys who’ve loved me,
I don’t actually know how to be in love.
”Boys Don’t Fall For Me, They Just Sink”
"But now, here we are, in the very moment that I planned out so carefully and I can barely speak. I’m too caught up in the urge to kiss you until my feelings disappear into moans and I’m too afraid of your answer to tell you that we should end things now. I’m too afraid that you’ll agree, I’m too afraid that you won’t have a solution; because no solution to this problem exists, and maybe we are tragedies. Maybe we are star crossed lovers and maybe we won’t be able to fix this; maybe I’ll just have to accept defeat and move on from you; maybe we must try our best to be like two cars driving in opposite directions on the highway, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be lucky enough to escape each other."
I am tangled in the moment
when you laid me back on the beach,
flat in the sand
and your eyes were so close to mine
that I could see your lashes like spider webs in the sun’s reflection.
And I am having trouble breathing,
as I count backwards from ten
ending at the moment you removed your jeans
in the broad daylight of our sunlit haven in the trees,
unbalanced on just one foot,
not drunk, just awkward—
you want this as much as I do.
My white skin blended into the sheets,
as you pressed into my hips,
and I’m wondering if you liked it—
the way I am soft and you are hard,
how I am fragile and silent
and you are large and loud enough to fill
all the quiet, empty places inside me.
I am caught up in circles now,
that begin at the beaded sweat on your brow
and end with the scratches I left
on your sun browned back.
I am in circles now,
never ending circles,
that start off quickly in desperation,
and wind down slowly to sweetness.
We want to repeat the pattern for hours.
that begin in your eyes
and end in mine:
I see you,
I see myself,
I see the way you see me,
and suddenly, I am tangled again,
the spider webs of your lashes in the sunburnt sand
making an ocean that flows between us.
The waves are roaring in my ears;
I pray they don’t recede.
, “Spider Webs of Summer Love”
Now I am sick to my stomach
just looking at you
sick and sweating cold,
gripping sides of chairs
and my best friend’s hands
and nails digging into my own palms,
trying to steady myself with pain.
And I don’t miss you
but lately my bones feel hollow when I think of you
as if when we fell out of love,
all of the marrow was sucked out at once.
And now I’m dry,
like corn husks after harvest,
like flaking pale skin in the hissing winter wind,
dry like the desert you grew in your heart,
dry like clay baked for too long.
And I know that the most dangerous place for me would be
alone in a room with you.
Because just the thought makes me shake like
a slender pine in a hurricane,
shake like I’m freezing cold in August,
shake like how I shook when you said “I love you”
and I couldn’t reply.
My own heart was freezing me from the inside out,
and I huddled under five blankets that night,
but still couldn’t get warm.
In the morning I let you touch me,
and as I came,
I was cold.
— L.A “The most dangerous place for me would be alone in a room with you”
I may have broken us,
but you cracked us—
Like when I didn’t want to have sex,
so you refused to sleep in the same bed as me,
and stormed off to the couch to sulk in peace
to some overrated punk rock record.
Or how about that time
when you argued with me on a train,
about how my lack of desire made you feel insecure.
As if my body was up for negotiation,
as if it was some type of barter or game:
“I’ll give you one orgasm, if you give me one minute of cuddling.”
Or how about this one:
“Fuck me or I’ll feel bad about myself.”
You have the audacity to wonder
why I never wanted you to touch me again.
I was the one who felt pressured,
I was the one who felt sick to my stomach,
not moving as you stroked the inside of my thigh,
too choked up to say no when you choked me—
But still, you were the one crying at 2 a.m.,
never understanding that sex has nothing to do with self-acceptance.
And that the entrance to the space between my legs
can never be a substitute for love.
And that I didn’t want you anymore because
I knew you didn’t want yourself.
So next time I hear you talk about consent,
I’ll remind you that it isn’t consent when one person is in tears
and it isn’t consent when you scream at each other about it
and it isn’t consent if one person can’t wait for it to be over
and it isn’t consent if I’m just fucking you so you can go to sleep at night
and it isn’t consent if I try to tell you no and you get angry.
You once told me
that you destroyed all the things you loved the most—
I didn’t believe you then,
but I sure do now.
-L.A, “It Isn’t Consent If”
There are a lot of things I am sorry for, but this is not one of them.
Because, I said,
This isn’t really a good thing.
Because I love with too much apprehension.
Because the seed of bitterness grows strong even in the summer.
Because my heart will think I’ll love you but I wont,
because I’ll tether myself to the ground at your feet, because
I’ll fall so heavily you won’t want to catch me. Because
my heart either feels broken in my chest, limp, dead in my hands,
or pumped so full of ecstasy that it speeds up to the point of eruption.
Because I have only ever known how to love the microphone of a moan or the podium of an erection and I can never find the ground in between that doesn’t involve my heart.
Because I fell in love with you when you ran outside to catch me
and swung me up in your arms like my heart wouldn’t break your back.
Because I’m so tired of falling and breaking and mending and gluing and saving and wrestling and putting myself back together alone.
And I can’t just enjoy it because I am exhausted from hoping and finding and fucking and fighting and crying and rinsing and repeating and squeezing myself out so tightly and crumpling like a ball of paper in a clenched fist.
And I am tired of trying to fit myself into people who don’t want me.
Because I have loved and been loved, shallowly and deeply,
and I have no idea which one hurt more.
— L.A, Why Things Won’t Work Out
"I guess I fell out of love with you
when I noticed that you were using me
just to prove that someone could love you.
And instead of doing that job yourself,
instead of just loving yourself enough for yourself,
the black hole of your self-deception,
the quicksand of your self-importance
sucked in all my love
and refused to spit it out.
I know, dear, it has never been that easy
to just wake up one day and decide to live with love,
but I’m saying fuck you for convincing me that you would try.
And fuck you for lying to me,
saying you were always all right.
I thought that you would know,
better than the rest,
what it felt like to never be enough:
to love and love and to press your palms flat against
to feel their heart beat breaking,
and to wish they were having a heart attack,
because at least that’s something you could save them from.
I thought that you—
in all your zealous, eager, all-consuming, arrogant self-hatred,
would see me and notice
my back breaking under the load of all your unfulfilled desires,
and I thought that you,
would notice and save us both from drowning.
But the fluid of your pathetic self-pity
filled both our lungs regardless.
And I learned the hardest lesson of them all:
that you can only ever save one person,
and that person
better be yourself."
L.A, “Pull Out”
Loving someone who does not love themselves is damn near impossible.