i think that these things never come easily;

trying to be who everyone wants,

seven personas all at once,

sizing yourself up in a mirror,

confessing that you’re such a difficult person to love.

i think that these things can come too easily;

standing up the wrong way,

shutting up at the wrong moments,

measuring your waist & wondering if you’re ever going to lose yourself just enough.

but at the end of the day

when all the boys & girls you’ve kissed still haven’t made you feel any better,

& all your friends have gone home because you slammed the doors on them,

& you’re locked outside of a pastel paradise that doesn’t really exist,

you still have to answer the question…

is it ever going to be enough for you?


drama queen

there she goes again, they mutter under their breath, rolling their eyes. god, can she just give it a rest?

i know, i know.

i know i overreact.

i know i’m a bomb just waiting for someone to set me off.

i know i feel too much, too strong, all the time.

but what am i supposed to do? 

am i supposed to sit there & listen to people laugh about things that should absolutely never be funny? am i supposed to stand aside & let people insult other people who i love? 

what do you want me to do?

i’m a writer & im an artist & i’m a dreamer. i love people so, so hard, & the world hits me so, so strong. that’s why i can write novels, that’s why i can draw entire worlds from my head, that’s why i can look in a boy’s eyes & make him feel invincible.

& that’s also why i’m never going to shut up & sit down.

i know i’m a drama queen. i know it can get annoying. i know i overreact to everything.

just know that i’m not going to change.



i’ve spent way too much time

looking in a mirror & wanting

to be anyone else.

i’ve crossed way too many lines

searching, asking, haunting

to love anyone but myself.

now his eyes meet mine across the room

sighing stars & shimmering moons

as he kisses my hand & asks to dance

i’m a breathless mess with trembling lips

his hands weightless on my hips

as i forget i’m nothing but a second chance.

he spins me around & is with me every step

never making me wonder if he’ll vanish

& he never seems to fail to catch me.

his love is free of tricks & free of debt

i could spend all my years with just one wish:

just one dance with this blue-eyed mystery


rewriting romances .

here’s how this works in movies:

in the movies, people like him are the love interest, the popular jock, the gorgeous athlete. can i get an eye roll for the cliche? as if someone can be defined by a single interest.

in the movies, she would be the main character. pretty, smart, straight a student, little miss perfect. ladies & gentlemen, can i get a barfing sound for stereotypes? as if even the people who seem like they have their lives completely together don’t have problems of their own.

in movies, i would be a side character. bad girl, femme fetale, here comes trouble baby. i swear, i drink, i wear chokers & talk sex. the whole school thinks of me as a slut. can i get an impatient sigh for the lack of feminism? because why can boys rack up body counts & it makes them cooler, but if a girl kisses more than one person, she’s a whore.

in movies, the popular jock & miss perfect end up together— he ignores my shot at him, she wins his heart. happily ever after & all that.

well darling, this isn’t a movie.

this is my life, & i get to choose how this story goes.

& in this story, he wants a girl who does a little less talking. in this story, he doesn’t care about the warnings, he doesn’t care about my body count. in this story, he likes fierce eyeliner & leather, & he likes me.

in this story, he wants a bad girl, & i want him.

because fuck the standards. fuck the stupid stereotypes that culture shoved down our throats. fuck all of it.

you like who you like. you kiss who you want to kiss. the whole school is talking, baby, the whole school is wondering what a boy like you is doing with a girl like me. but the whole school doesn’t know about last summer, the whole school doesn’t know about how i was the first person to see beyond the number on your jersey, the whole school doesn’t know about me taking your hand & pulling you into a bathroom stall.

the whole school doesn’t get it, & they don’t have to.

not as long as i get you.


friends with benefits or strangers trying not to fall in love?

i know teenagers don’t know anything about love, but i know

that thud thud thud soundtrack that my heart would skip beats to the moment i first saw you, when we locked gazes & i whispered to my friend

see that boy?

he’s all mine.

i know that nervous flutter that danced across my mind when you’d talk to me first, how i tripped over all my carefully planned words when you would smile.

god. your smile.

i know your smile.

i know the way your hand would feel as it would brush against mine, casually at first, then closing in over mine.

i know the way your kiss feels, on my neck, my stomach, my lips.

i know the way you feel, your body, your touch, inside & out.


god, it’s always you.

i know that even when you’re surrounded by all your friends you feel alone.

i know that you’re the most popular boy in your school & you still feel empty.

i know that you can fall in love with anybody, just not you.

i know that blushing, tingling sensation of a meaningless crush on a stranger.

i know the wild, breath-stopping burn of the bodies of lovers.

i know the gray, faded echo of late night conversations with a friend.

& i know the lonely, quiet ache of meeting the eyes of someone who’s a stranger again.

no, teenagers may not know anything about love.

but i know about you.

& for me, that’s close enough.


cynical romantic.

you write too many romances, they tell me, rolling their eyes. there’s more to life than love stories.

i smile & shake my head.

you’re right. there’s more to life than that. but the love stories are the only ones worth telling.


dysmorphia / 00

i had this dream

where i met my imagination

all my best & worst

we struck up this conversation

i asked, “what would make you happy?”

& she said, “honestly,

you build your life off a screen

& i’m not sure you ever will be

always so 

thoroughly obsessed with

living a life out of a movie

everything always perfect

& that’s where you lose me

stupid bitch,

chasing after an aesthetic life

ruining all of this

for pastel colors & neon lights

that you know don’t exist

you’re obsessed

with looking effortless

always trying so hard

but underneath that lace dress

you’re a complete mess

how’d you even make it this far?”

& the truth is

maybe i would sell my soul

for a double zero

& if you think that’s wrong 

just don’t ever let me know

haven’t you heard

the size of your waist

determines who you are

cut off all the imperfections

smiles are the scars

my infatuation

with other peoples observations

can’t just be willed away

& if self-deprecation

isn’t a good motivation

how come it gets me through the day?

how the hell

are people supposed to love you

when you don’t even love you

how do you expect

people not to hate you

the exact same way that you do?

how the hell

will you ever be perfect

if you always have to work for it?

how do you expect

them to accept you

if your cards are always worthless?

i’d rather have the prettiest boyfriend

than someone who i love

when people tell me i’m better

it shouldn’t feel good, but it does

blame it on the cultural norm

blame it on society

because in the end, i’ll blame anything

that is; anything but me.


(i won’t) call you back.

“are you okay?” he asks, skin against mine, my breath heavy in his ear.
“yeah, i’m fine.” i assure him, realizing how forced my confidence sounds, my heartbeat slamming in my ears. god, why did i think this was a good idea? i am such an idiot. i should’ve sounded more convincing. i shouldn’t even be here.
“you’re a bad liar,” he says quietly as we put our clothes back on, & i wish he’d screamed it, threw it in my face accusingly. but it’s not accusing. it’s soft & sad, & sounds almost like an apology for something he never did.
i don’t know how to tell him i’d rather have fists & fire than the look he’s giving me now, i don’t know how to tell him i’d rather he threaten me with bruising violence than the way that he pulls me into him, arms around me, my face buried in his shoulder.
i know how to deal with the kind of hurt that leaves marks.
i don’t know how to deal with…
with this.
“come here,” he kisses me, & i almost pull away but i don’t. after a moment, i even kiss him back.
come on. you know how to do this. how many times have you done this before?
“you should go.” i’m on the verge of tears & i’m fully aware of how stupid i sound. this isn’t a movie. this isn’t a love song.
this is us, & this is real.
too real.
“are you sure?”
he hesitates on his way out the door. “call me if you need anything.”
“get out of here,” i feel a sob rise in my throat this time, & i can tell he doesn’t want to go. he does anyway.
i don’t need anything, i just need everything.
i just need to stop hooking up with pretty boys that make me feel alive for a few minutes at a time.
i just need to remember that there’s a world outside of my own head.
i just need to write all this shit down, because the worst mistakes make the best stories.
i just need to find some real friends for once.
i just need to remember how to fucking breathe.
i just need you.
but i’m never going to call him. i’m never going to say any of that.
i’m just going to wipe off the makeup running down my face, & i’m going to move on to the next one.
after all, that’s all we can ever do, isn’t it?



7– my lucky number, the one i wished on to get you in the first place.

6– how many months we played cat & mouse after our innocent little friendship shifted into something else entirely.

5– orange bathroom stalls & pretty eyes. you figure the rest out.

4–weeks until valentine’s day. no hate against valentine’s; it’s lovely that there’s a day to remind people to celebrate the special ones in their life. it’s just that a year ago on valentine’s, i was spending it in your arms, not locked in my bedroom.

3– times my normal heart speed whenever i dare myself to remember you, lying awake at night, the way your fingertips traced the shape of my waist, the touch of your lips to my neck, the jolt of your hands between my thighs.

2– how many people it takes to craft a good lie. one person to tell it. one person to believe it.

1– this number could fit so many things, really. one inevitable outcome to our dark & dirty little equation. one chance, & we took it. one me.

& always, always one you.


this isn’t some pretentious bullshit disguised as a poem,it’s just what i’m feeling right now.

i don’t know how to read you anymore.

you claim you love her.


that’s great.

good for you.

maybe i shouldn’t have assumed you knew how to read me.

me claiming new lovers.


you won’t meet my eyes anymore.

i can’t tell if you don’t care at all, or if you care too much.

maybe i’m reading too deeply, making something out of nothing.

but i could’ve sworn there was something in how you don’t hold my gaze anymore.

i could’ve sworn there was something in how you never say my name.

i could’ve sworn there was something in the way your hand brushed against mine just a little too closely; the ghost of something that used to be, leaving me with no answers, no compensation, & no you.

just that lonely, lonely question.

are you ever going to need me again?