Statistics

statistics

Today is a bad day and I think I write better when I’m drunk.

Last year was more like turning off my phone so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for the call that was probably never coming. Every morning was exhaustion and disappointment and heavy eyes until I turned it all off. I couldn’t feel sad about loneliness if loneliness was a choice.

And I chose it.

Everyday, I chose it – keeping my own hands empty so that no one could ever tell me how unholdable they were. Keeping my feet ungrounded so that no one could ever tell me how flighty I was.

This is not a triumph story.

This year, I hate that I have to write so much about violence.

My name is

Baby

as you lean out of your car and spit at my feet. It lands in a puddle in front of me and I am thirteen in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and I run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home.

My name is

Sweetie

and I am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block.

You name us.

We are

Honey

and

Darling

and

Why the fuck won’t you talk to me.

My name is

Nice ass

and it’s two in the afternoon and I still feel my heart slam against my ribs because I am under the earth with weak lungs and even weaker fists and while you stumble down the steps with the crumbs of someone still in the corners of your mouth, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my brother who is walking behind me shouts, “She’s seventeen, you dipshit!”.

I saw the error in humans that day.

My name is

Little lady.

My name is

Sugar baby.

My name is

Fuck you and fuck your friends.

My name is

Look me in the face!

My name is

Stop frowning.

My name is

Smile.

My name is

This is a compliment.

This is not a compliment.

It’s the beginning of November and I feel like I’ve been cold long before the leaves started falling.

My name takes nice words and turns them into bullet wounds.

My name is

Damn girl.

My name is

Drunk girl.

My name is

Just let me finish.

 

I did not give you permission to “fuck the shit outta me.”

 

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

 

My name is

I cannot breathe.

 

 

I am

Lock the door once,

Lock the door twice.

Leave the lights on.

 

Stop shaking.

 

I am

Is there someone downstairs?

There’s definitely someone downstairs.

Where the fuck did the phone go?!

 

There’s no one downstairs.

 

I am

tight-chested mornings.

I am

take a quick shower so that just in case someone breaks in, you have time to get prepared.

I am

don’t forget to look over your shoulder.

 

My name is

I still remember the way the carpet tasted pressed against the side of my face as you crushed me with your one hundred and ninety pounds of booze and daddy issues.

My name is

I can’t even get high anymore without thinking about the way you so easily emptied me without any intentions of ever filling me back up.

My name is

I scrubbed my hands twenty six times the next morning in an attempt you to rid you from beneath my fingernails but sometimes, I swear, I still taste shreds of you when I’m throwing up dinner.

 

Fuck you.

I did not ask for this.

 

Today is a bad day.

For Those Who Want to be Inspirational

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing. I remember spending hours after school hiding away rocks from my backyard I deemed too fragile for violent hands in cracks of Earth no one dared explore.

Half burnt candles,

Unraveling shoe laces,

Old prescription glasses that hardly even fit at the time of being prescribed; soda stained movie stubs, nights my mom took her time raking out yesterdays and weaving tomorrows into my hair-

my God, I wish I remembered to collect those too. I’d have entire dresser fulls if I could.

They say after heartbreak, a haircut is like a clean slate for every mistake one’s ever made but I remember in the fifth grade caulking my trust into the cracks of a criminal who had no intentions of ever being mended and,

my God, I’ve cut my hair four times every year since then.

Thirty six damn times now and some days it seems as if  I have no more hair left for cutting and even less soul to be erased.

I guess I’ve kind of always been afraid; hesitant. Even in photos of me when I was small and unworldly, I could see the resistance; almost like I could call it by my own name.

Almost like I was more of a semicolon and less of an exclamation point.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

Sometimes, I am morning black coffee. A carpenter, a preacher- a halfway house savior; breaker of dollar menu buns and boxed red wine seals.

I am not always stable.

Sometimes I am caught white-knuckled between the hands of my angry god gasping for air.

I am red-light running meter, pawn shops and barred windows; second-rate security system and neon district lights. I am fleeing.

Fleeting.

Freeing.

I am underground.

I will draw you into my nine-to-five traffic; oncoming, you jump in front of slow-moving cars. You are convinced you can paint streets, burst veins. Bumpers paint you purple, paint you blue,

Paint you black.

I will knock you down like recession.

I am plywood anchored windows; two-tap needle sans dope.

Some mornings, I feel like a menagerie of outcries. The acts of defiance published on my flesh will outnumber the words in every failed actor’s this-will-be-my-big-break manuscript.

Take time to read me.

Decode me.

Run hands across the braille that brands the back of my palms.

I am fragile.

Sometimes I find myself trembling for no real reason.

This does not make me less than.

With all that I am, I want to be a hurricane of unmatched force. I want to be a tidal wave hammering at the very epicenter of the earth. I’ve never been okay with being mediocre; with being a small breeze that pulls at hats and scarves and is more of an annoyance than anything else. I want to be a tornado.

A typhoon.

An earthquake.

I am made of blood and ashes and passion and I am not a force to be reckoned with.

However, some days, I am hide and seek.

I want to be kind and gentle even when I lose things I wish would stay. I want to be strong and the right kind of violent even when I need help rebuilding. I want to be innocent and pure no matter whose dirty hands I’ve held.

However, some days, I am bulletins with tear-away numbers.

Dialed payphones and spare change.

Warped paper and hot glue.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

But I suppose that’s okay. Because we don’t make impacts based on how triumphant our lives are but,

rather,

how triumphant our journeys were.

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing.