From the bare bones of the piano

He coaxed a breath,

Then a heartbeat,

And at last the pulsing warmth.

Radiantly alive, the piano said the words

He never could.

Charming the audience with its beauty,

The piano gave itself to the listener,

Loved them with a wholeness unmatched by any human,

And the audience, in return,

Forgot their own skins,

Dreamt of notes as souls

Enveloped in ivory and ebony arms.

And at the end of the performance,

He walked away without a word,

Never once met the eyes of the audience,

But his love was returned in the click-clacking of palms,

In the glass eyes of each dreamer,

And in the words never said.

I love you the most when we’re together like this,

arms as pillows sewn together by our fingertips,

limbs curled and stretched symbiotically,

drawn out inhales and warm exhales,

sleeping in such a deep happiness

that I forget the effort it takes

to be this together in the day.

Drunk with the afternoon’s sun heat,

the blue moon glow illuminating the

crescents of you just so,

watching you so still, so close - the

nearness of former untouchable now here,

the sick thick wanting of you

                                          too soon.

Look at the night sky. Just look at it. So vast and clear and full and beautiful, exactly like you are right now. How could you feel ready to die when you don’t even know what it means to be alive?

He had eyes that were forever under a shallow pool of water; tranquil, pale blues with veins of yellow that lapped up the light, coaxed ripples out of the stillness, each wavering circle expanding until there I was, right in the middle of it all. Those eyes, those clear blues, I swear that sometimes they were able to trickle into the very center of my being, right into the rotten middle where all of my potential was wasting away. Perhaps that is why those eyes always looked so sad. Perhaps that is why those eyes, water personified, flowed right through me not once, but twice, flowed right through me, rinsed me clean and kept flowing right on by.

I’ve never been so lonely and happy as this, as I am in this moment.

I’m leaning against the shadow of reality,

Desperately praying to anyone and anything that will listen

Please let this be enough

Prop me up and push me out the door

Peel away my molting shell

I can’t see where I end and begin again

I can’t see anything at all,

I’m all feeling and no vision in a world that tells me to

Question my feelings, but trust what I see

The world is clear as can be,

I’ll learn one day, they say

But I’m looking through fractured glasses

And I’m dizzy with fear

Just tell me how to get out of here

And keep me safe, keep me safe, keep me safe

droopy eyed notions of love will never do, not when they balk at the light of day.

I need to get the fuck out of here. There are too many people, too many stories, too many eyes and hands and arms and legs, souls and hearts and brains and experiences, expectations and disappointments and dissections and emotions, all of it is too much for such a small space. I can’t handle it. Why can’t I relax? I’ve been asking myself that for years. It could be a character flaw, a deeply embedded desire to please that’s tucked somewhere in the makeup of my being. It’s filling in the gaps, that’s why there’s so much of it. So many insecurities. And when I’m surrounded by a large crowd, the desire becomes inflamed and overheats until I burst into flames. The flames smolder and fold into themselves, turning into tension and I can feel my insides contracting, twisting, squeezing out the water and leaving me dried up, worn out. You’re still breathing and your palms are only a little bit clammy, just keep walking. That’s it. Look at that, your hands were barely shaking, and no, I’m sure he didn’t notice that the money was slightly damp from your grip. Don’t worry, just breathe, walk and everything’s fine.

But sometimes I forget to calm myself and I come home nervous and edgy and angry and I can’t think about anything but getting into my room and closing the door. Fall down on my bed, don’t cry, just breathe, don’t cry. Saltwater flowing into my mouth, down my chin, collecting on the sheets. You’re safe, just pull yourself together. Gulp down water to quench the fires and the tension, keep breathing.

I’ll read a book or watch a movie, anything to get my mind off of the flames. I’ll be able to conquer them on instinct soon, but for now I’ll continue coaching myself.

"Want to go?"

Face your fears, it’s the only way you’ll ever be better.

"…Sure, let me get my bag."


I’ve decided to start living my life by following my bliss. Instead of settling for mundane days that cross and twist my nerves into the DNA strands they are, I’ll bathe in rosewater until my very marrow is softened into petals. I’ll spend my days following perfect moments of happiness like breadcrumbs, trusting that one day I’ll find my way home, wherever that may be. Every day, I’ll have a moment that reminds me about the fragility and wonders of living, like the moment resting in a child’s hand when he shows me the orange seeds he’s going to plant in his backyard so that they’ll sprout into a grove of orange trees, and even though orange trees take a really long time to grow - 5 days, he says - it’ll be worth the wait, because one day he’ll have oranges to sell, and he’ll give them to anyone, anyone at all. And Miss Lauren, he says, you can come by any day and have as many oranges as you want, I promise. Moments that remind me of my own strength - the leaping and twirling and rising that my body remembers, the strain of my muscles as I stretch further and further past my limit, the pain that follows and the delicious relief that accompanies another dance. I’ll live for those moments, and I won’t settle for anything less.

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