so i take deep breaths
what else do you want from me?
what else can I give?
you have wrung me dry
you have chewed me up and spat me back out again
and I have written so many poems
about hope and survival
about flowers growing in sidewalk cracks
about the patterns I've carved into my ribs
about sunrises and stars
that i wonder if you've taken all my words from me
i dont think i have any room for those kinds of poems anymore
i think maybe all i have left to give is the air in my lungs
the blood in my veins
i don't know what shape my heart is anymore
i think maybe it's crying
i think maybe it's crippled and bruised and begging
i used to think defeat would feel like a bullet wound, but it doesn't
it feels like the world inside me is shutting down
it feels like falling from a 5 story building and not breaking a single bone
i have nothing left for you to take
but please, don't let that stop you,
you can have the salt from my tears
you can have the oxygen from my lungs
you can have my ashes
you can have the dust and the shadows i leave behind
you can have the marble of my tombstone
you can have the
you can have
And this is for the people
Who can only fall asleep
When they imagine someone holding them
Here’s to the words we never heard
And the love we never got
Here’s to the worlds we never saw
And the lives we haven’t lived
Here's to our messy journals
And half baked second chances
Here’s to fairy lights
And overflowing bookshelves
Here’s to hours spent alone
And weeks spent silent
Here’s to the worlds we build in our heads
And break down in our dreams
Here’s to the insomniac over sleepers
And the cynical optimists
Who put the hope into hopeless romantic
Here’s to the mediocre overachievers
And our overflowing planners
Here’s to the people we almost were,
And the pedestals that mark their graves
Here’s to the midnight cigarettes
And the stolen deep breaths
Here’s to everything we haven’t learned yet
Here’s to the flowers that grow
in the spaces between our ribs
And the in cracks in the streets of our hometowns.
Here’s to the places you’ll go.
Here’s to the things you’ll build.
Here’s to the people you’ll love
And the ones who might love you back.
Here’s to a book that’s empty
And the pencil on the floor next to your desk.
This is what happens when you read sylvia plath
bravery is in the flowers that grow
through cracks in crumbling pavements
in their bent stems and crushed petals.
A resolute brokenness
that seems to whisper
I have been broken before,
I have been shredded and torn
and troddenn on
and I am still here, and you can't change that
neither can I.
My heart beats,
even when I don't want it to.
It pumps blood through my veins
It times the tempo of my breathing
a metronome in the shape of a clock
that counts the seconds i try to steal from it
that watches my youth slip through my fingers
trying to catch success like smoke.
My heart is a glorious mess of scar tissue.
It loves me when I beg it to stop
it squeezes and grows to make room for every new sunrise
when I am particularly hopeful
I imagine its craters and hollows match the moon
when I am not,
I imagine it shapeshifts
takes on the form of a fist
closed tight enough to leave
the pulse in my wrist taunts me
with a timed ode to existence
a sonnet of survival
That seems to whisper
Who do you think you are
To think you could break me
In any way that matters.
(I take a deep breath and listen to the triumphant beat of my heart. I am, I am, I am)
you look at me
and I am carved out of marble
I am the Sistine chapel
You trace patterns into my skin,
connect the freckles on my thigh into a constellation
you study me like the stars
I hadn't accounted for the possibility
That I could be loved like that.
and when you have left
and the altar we built together crumbles,
I will always know
that you loved me enough,
to turn me into art
i found you at an altar of ivy and gold
we tarnished the ground we stood on
spilt blood and salt and made it holy
and i have never believed in anything
bigger than myself
but in the silence
and the glow in your eyes
I have found something to pray for
Before you go, do me a favour,
don't go kissing stars
and looking for gold.
Because no good has ever come,
from pedestals and promises.
And no love has ever grown,
without dirt in the soil.
cite your sources.
I spent years in a classroom
learning how to pretend my thoughts were someone else's
learning how to quote Plato instead of
that one time i spent too long looking at the sunrise and suddenly the whole world made sense
learning how to trim ideas down,
too big to cram into textbook margins or 12 pt times new roman (double spaced).
i shoved ideas too huge for the open sky
into 800 words, 3 pages single sided
and i learned to pretend like what i was saying still mattered.
tell the story of the whole world
in ten minutes
anything over 9 minutes 59 seconds doesn't count.
you are only worth how quickly you can talk
before losing your breath
how many words in the lines
artful cursive, before your hands start to cramp and the clock runs out
and anything you had left to say fades out of existence
as if it had no value outside an A4 page, college ruled and stained with expectation
No matter how many people who promise you'll get better
You'll still do it alone
there is so much of you in me,
sometimes it takes my breath away.
And i think that maybe we stopped time,
bottled it and put it into a locket,
and so these moments have never left me,
they stay nestled at the broken skin of my collarbones.
And because I knew you,
part of me will always be frozen,
at fifteen, sixteen, nine and ten.
watching the clock and counting the seconds,
writing in a diary that I should have let you read.
And because I knew you,
I'll never leave behind first kisses and acoustic guitars
playing love songs i don't recognize (even when i should, when you wished i would)
growing pains and metal fences and tear stained shoulders (and the way the stars look when they're reflected in your eyes)
the version of me that was yours,
the people that we were when we held the whole world in our hands and our hearts in our throats --
they'll never die.
the people we were to each other
are immortalized in the space between us.
tethered by the threads of time and fate
and stolen moments with stolen whiskey
connecting us at the ribs.
Because of you,
I will live forever
as a fifteen year old heartbreak
with chapped lips and hunched shoulders
and because of me,
you will live forever
as drunk and in love and a maybe little bit broken
with too many ghosts in your eyes.
we stopped time and built statues,
marble and bronze and ivy and elmers glue
and they'll crumble and rust
but they'll mark the hallowed ground
where our hearts will always beat too fast
encased in stone, and dipped in gold
the sum of my parts
I am more than the sum of my parts.
I am more than bleeding nail beds and silver scars.
I am more than unsent letters with no return address.
I am more than chapped lips and wringing hands.
I am more than untethered shrapnel.
(And I'll always be those things; I'll always bite my cuticles and disappoint people -- "hi im jade and i'm out of breath from keeping up with who i'm supposed to be")
But I know that I am more than the sum of my parts.
Because the freckles on my nose, arrange themselves in constellations
And I know that the stars fell and landed on my cheeks.
Because my eyes tear up and spill
The same water that carved mountains.
Because yesterday I saw a flower
Growing out of a guttural crack in the polluted pavement
And I saw the shape of my scraped knees
In the pattern of its petals
And I am more than the sum of my parts
Because I kiss my friends' papercuts
And I feel the night sky in my chest.
Because I write rambling poetry on napkins at midnight
And fall asleep with my arms clutched at my chest.
And i am more than the sum of my parts
Because the world stops spinning when I hold my breath
And the walls of my bedroom are stained with ink and dreams and melting candle wax.
Because my eyeliner smudges and the ground shakes when i walk.
and because of you
I am more than the sum of my parts.