the way i want this to be always

It’s been so long, I’d forgotten how good it felt to rest against you like this.  I know we’re both crying now, but I can’t help thinking how amazing it feels to have my face resting against your chest and your arm around me.  

I can’t explain it, but I want to be here with you…like this forever.  It’s comforting to feel this sensation of belonging.  Your hand brushes over my hair and down my back and I’ve never felt so much love for you.

The way things are right now, with you smiling down at me, kissing the top of my head and lacing your free hand with the one I placed on your chest…I wouldn’t trade this for the world.  I feel the sting of tears being brought forth and a smile coming to my lips.  

My thoughts immediately shift to a song from the opera we watched together and I feel the tears roll down from my eyes, down my cheeks and over my lips.  

I never knew I’d love you so much, but I do.

You’re My Angel

Your lips are smooth against mine
the gentle feeling of your hands against my back
holding me with whispers of desire and 
you say “don’t hold back” like you
want all of my pain to flow through you
and out of me completely.

You whisper against my neck, 
soft butterfly kisses on my throat 
and I’m gone, pushed under these waves of
time and it’s running out, but you say…
“don’t think about it” like you know
that one day we’ll be infinite.

I’m all broken beneath my flesh 
and constantly anticipating being alone
but you hold me close like the seconds aren’t 
falling behind and you say “time is on our side”
as our last moments shatter like crystal
and all that’s left of me is waiting.

Every second is perfection when you hold me
tell me “it’s only a little while longer” and I
realize that no matter what, you’re the only one
who knows what I need to hear to make me real
and untie me from the reality I lie to myself in.

& as you slip away
I say “please don’t go”.

A Moment for Realization

You, my darling are a vice
with your soft pink lips
and barely-there curves
hidden behind the most 
perfect shade of red.

Darling, you’re the essence
of perfection, small hands 
with thin fingers curved 
over keys of black and ivory
slamming out a beautiful melody.

Your laugh is like music
and your smile is the moon
you’re nervous across from me
like you know what’s coming
but don’t you, sweetheart?

It’s obvious what I want
what I need from you,
“just a taste”, darling
and you’re all mine.

X’s Over E(x)pression

I feel censored beneath
the crippling weight of
everything that is expected of me.

To be upright and 
correct, to live under
the eyes of scrutiny
to not deviate from 
the path I haven’t
even chosen.

I am who I am and I’m
tired of being someone different
for everyone else
it wears me away fast
and all I am is bones;
e(x)pressionless against
sand.

Bones so lost and broken
no one will even question
where I’ve gone or
why I was never beautiful
or eye-catching
or why I’m bent and
unrecognizable. 

I’m gone and no one
even spares a second
glance. 

The Original Marjorie Diaz Had a Happy Ending

The first time you see him, you’re in a group project together.  You’ve both been in the same major for nearly four years, and you’ve never seen him before.  You’ve never worked with him, never had a class with him. But you’re interested.  Just interested enough to overhear him when he begins talking about his girlfriend.  It seems like a dead end.  So you give up, but it’s a little more than love at first sight when you hear him laugh and he shoots you a smile when you make a sarcastic remark.

From then on out, he’s all sarcasm and wit and completely irresistible.  And you’ve decided that is just fine.  The group project keeps going, but instead of your little crush disappearing, it holds fast.  Every single time he says your name, your stomach decided to flip, your heart rate quickens, your pupils dilate.

So when you hear his beloved girlfriend crying in the bathroom, on the phone with her girlfriend, you may have gotten a little bit ahead of yourself.  But she needed help, and you may have needed her to get that help more than you’re willing to admit.  

She tells him on a Tuesday.  The day after your class ends.  And he stands there, and he listens, and he understands.  No hard feelings, he tells her and you stand off to the side and just watch.  Because you can’t help yourself, because somehow he’s become this overwhelming important thing in your life.  And you can’t breathe when she walks away. and. he. looks. at. you.

With that look.  The same look he’s reserved for her.  And you’re not quite sure what to do with the information your brain is encoding.  So you don’t do anything.  You smile a sad smile and wave a little bit as you go up the stairs to the left, trying to catch your breath while you lean against the bannister.  

But he’s there in an instant, his voice behind you.

“I wouldn’t trust that bannister,” he says and you jump and turn around.  And he’s wearing the most warm and inviting smile you’ve ever seen.  And you’re done for.  

It seems so easy at first.  Lunch.  Dinner.  Movies.  Cute text messages to wake up to, compliments when you know you look terrible.  And you’re so far gone you don’t notice when it changes.  

They’re at the table when you walk in.  The door was unlocked because you’d said you’d be over soon.  He always leaves the door unlocked when you text him you’ll be over soon.  After all you had plans.

They look up when you come in.  And there’s this woman you’ve never seen before, but she looks posh.  She’s drinking tea and wearing couture and you’re just in some leggings and an oversized sweatshirt because you’d been planning to play video games.

He looks surprised to see you.  But you know you sent that text.  The door was unlocked.  The door is only unlocked when you send a text first.

He says your name, rising up from the table and pulling out a chair for you.  This is something you’ve never seen him do, but you go to the chair anyways, sitting down and staring at the older woman at the table.

She looks you up and down, a stoic look on her pretty face.  But you can tell you’ve already left a bad impression.

“This is my mother,” he says, same stoic face and schooled features as he watches you.  Your eyes widen just a little bit, but your brain can’t quite process what he’s saying.

“Pleased to meet you,” his mother says, and you panic.  Because this woman is not what you expected from someone so warm and inviting and sweet.  This woman is a monster cloaked in fur and prada.  

“Y…yes,” you stammer, not quite sure what to do with your hands.  This whole situation is a mess.  But no one else’s face falters but yours.  His mother chuckles.  It’s a high pitched, airy sound.  The kind of sound you hear from people who think they’re superior to you.

“Honestly,” she says to her son, “Where did you get this one?  The Big Lots?” He sighs next to you, eyes closing slightly.  It sounds long-suffering and you’re too stunned to say anything else.  You close your mouth tight and force back nervous tears.

“What are you trying to do to this family?” She asks him, tone suddenly deadly serious as she looks you over again.  For the first time in his presence you feel like complete and utter trash.  For the first time in 3 months you feel lonely.

He says your name as you stand up and take your leave.  He calls after you, but you shut the door and walk away so you don’t have to feel so hurt anymore.  You’re not even sure what happened. You’ve never been so harshly judged by anyone, with the exception of your own mother.  

You had hoped that his mother would be kind.  And sweet.  And gentle.  But she’s so dark, and cruel, and she’s made you a laughingstock.  And. You. Feel. Like. Nothing.

Two days go by before he finally finds you alone in the library.  You haven’t been responding to his texts, calls, or messages.  Because you’ve never been so humiliated before in your life.  

And his smile has you so far gone that you spend the next 8 months trying to make everything right.  Despite your family and his family fighting you.  He doesn’t talk about his mother, and you don’t ask.  She seems to be staying away longer now and you feel safe in his tiny apartment, snuggled up on the couch, playing and watching him play games.

He beats you in Pokemon more than you’re willing to admit.  

Your final semester ends with an invitation to a ball.  You’re not quite sure who is throwing it, but according to the internet, dressing for a ball requires a lot of work and a lot of money.  You feel a little silly wishing you had a fairy godmother or maybe some animal friends to help you out.

In the end, you find a dress.  Or maybe the dress finds you.  Considering you never bought it.  It merely “showed up” in the mail.  It’s gorgeous.  Breathtaking, really.  Floor length with a sweetheart neckline, a gold sequined bodice, and taffeta layered skirt.  

It fits.  And in the back of your mind you think it’s a little bit strange, but you’re excited anyways.  You spend hours googling hair ideas, but never think about talking to him about it.  It’s to the point where you assume he’s already going with you.

The week before the ball you get a text message from an unlisted number.  Telling you the ball is that night.  The invitation was wrong.  And you’re flustered because night is only a few hours away.  And it isn’t long enough for you to be ready.

He doesn’t text you back when you send him a frantic message, asking him to meet you at your apartment.  He doesn’t even show up.  But you get dressed and go anyways, sending him the address so he’ll know where you are if he decides to make an appearance.

A car shows up to take you to the ball.  You never called a car, but you don’t want to drive yourself either.  So you get in and it takes you through the countryside and to a large mansion surrounded by woods.

When you arrive it’s like something out of a fairy tale.  You’ve never quite seen anything like it.  You’re a little wary of going alone, but the festivities beckon and your curiosity gets the better of you.  

That’s when you see him.  Escorting a beautiful woman in a pink and white low cut gown up the brick steps and into the mansion.  You bite your tongue when you see them, but it doesn’t stop you from letting out a strangled cry of surprise.  

And his eyes are on you in an instant.  As if he knew it was you.  As if he could hear your voice above the crowd.  And he’s shocked.  You run.

It doesn’t quite feel right going home.  So you sneak into the quarters of the mansion, finding an unlocked bedroom to lick your wounds in.  You’re crying beyond consolation before you find one, fingers cold and shaking.  But the room seems cozy if a little unused.  

There are a few pairs of shoes and white button up shirts tossed haphazardly on a chair by the door.  But your tears blur them all together as you make for the bed.  It’s a large king-sized bed with a wooden frame that creaks a little when you lay on the mattress.  You wrap the dark blue duvet around your shoulders, kick off your shoes, and finally let yourself go.

You feel so stupid to think that he could love you.  After all his mother would never approve.  Not ever.  Being in love is so stupid.  And god he’s never told you he loves you.  You think about how deluded you are while your eyes burn and you fall asleep.

He’s calling your name, and stroking your cheek when you wake up.  And you realize this is his room.  This is his mansion.  And your legs can’t get you away fast enough.  You’re not cut out for this life.

You’re not quite sure where you’re going to go, but you keep running.  Through the halls, down the stairs, and out of the front door.  The ground is muddy beneath your feet and it slows you down.  You can hear him behind you and you curse your skirts for the first time.  Beauty does not coincide with being swift.  Cinderella was a pro.

You make it into the woods behind the house.  Your feet and ankles sinking into the mud with every pump of your legs.  You’re struggling and your calves are burning and you can’t quite seem to make it far enough before you’re on your knees in a tiny clearing.  He’s a few steps away from you, bustling through the trees.  

“Let me explain,” he says, breathless and muddy.  And you don’t want to hear him, crawling through the mud to get farther away.  The clearing is less muddy than the woods, and you need to be able to stand up.  You need to get away.

“You were not supposed to be here,” he tells you, and you shoot him a look.  Filled with betrayal.

“I’m not with her,” he says, “I’m with you.  She’s nobody.  I was just escorting her to the ball…” he grabs your arm and pulls you to him.  He clings to you for dear life.  It seems like it’s been months since you’ve seen each other.  

“I love you,” you say because there’s nothing else you can say.  There’s no way to hold it back anymore.  And it hurts when the words from from your lungs.  And you aren’t quite sure he can return them.

Until he’s kissing you.  He’s kissing you all over and whispering those words against your skin and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted.  He gathers the front of your taffeta skirts higher on your legs and you don’t stop him.  This isn’t like every other time.  You’re both drunk on each other and you don’t want him to stop.

The first time you make love is in the mud.  Holding into each other like your lives depends on it.  You’re not quite sure where his body ends and yours begins.  And you want to stay like that forever, with him inside of you and whispering just how much he needs you into your hair.  

But it does end.  And you lay tangled up in each other until the cold sets in and he drags you to your feet.  

Two hours in a scalding hot shower isn’t enough to chase away the cold.  You snuggle, shivering under the blankets.  Drying desperately to warm each other up with kisses, and hot breath against each other’s necks until you’re tangled together again.  Promises of love, and need, and forever.  

He’s gone when you wake up in the morning, but you expected that.  However, you did not expect the old woman who is sitting in the chair by the door.  The items that had occupied it formerly have now disappeared.  And she gazes at your fiercely.  

“I suggest you put on some clothing, young lady,” she tells you, tossing you your torn and muddied dress from the evening prior.  You don’t want to put it back on, but you do as she says, trying your best to shield your naked body from her.  

The fabric is stiff, and cold, and grimy.  It scratches against your skin, but you still manage somehow.  The clasps in the back are broken.  She tosses you an oversized white t-shirt to cover what the gown cannot.

“You’re ruining this family’s bloodline,” she says, grasping your wrist and pulling you out into the hallway, “and my mistress will not have a golddigger coming after her son.”  You begin to protest, but one glare forces your mouth shut as she guides you to the front door, out of the mansion, and to a car.  

“Don’t come back,” she tells you, giving the driver the address to your parents house.  But all you want to do is go home.  Back to your apartment.  You try to tell the driver that, but he continues driving the opposite direction, back to your childhood home.  

Your mother is waiting for you on the porch when you arrive, coated in mud, tear stains on your cheeks.  But she’s not warm or apologetic, she watches you like an animal would watch it’s prey as you make your way to the front door.  

“Dry it up,” she commands you as you place your hand on the knob to the storm door and pulling.  That only makes you cry harder.

He doesn’t call.  He doesn’t text.  And you’re no longer friends on any social media accounts.  And you realize what he’s done to you.  What he’s used you for.  You were nothing but a cheap, easy lay to him.  

Your mother agrees.  And you’re not quite sure how you’re going to make it home because you’re hours away with no car, and there’s no way a cab will take you that far.

But you get a text message.  From an unknown number.  And you know it’s him.  And he’s here to take you home.  You go to your old room and pack a few things.  Things you don’t really need, but want to see in your new place.  And you walk out, leaving your family behind and baffled.  

You meet him at the car down the street and it’s beautiful.  Because he’s smiling and helping you put your luggage in the trunk between stolen kisses and hugs.  And you’re so drunk on each other that you don’t even care that people are watching.  And you love him more than anything, so much that it hurts.

Then he says, “Let’s go home.” And you’re both smiling so big that you’re afraid your face is going to fall off.  Because it sounds like a promise.  It sounds like home is somewhere you go together.  

So he takes you home while you listen to music, and talk over it because you’re so happy to be together.  And he tells you he loves you a thousand times in a thousand different ways.  And he tells you about how he knows you’re going to make it and beat all the odds.  You being poor doesn’t matter to him.

Because you’re worth so much more than money.

It’s too late, I’m sure…

He was there when she awoke, standing by the window with his arm braced against the wall.  The light from outside was just beginning to filter into the darkness of the room and her head was pounding.  She could hardly look at him it was almost too bright, the light illuminating his tan skin and bouncing off of his bloodstained white button-up shirt.

“Jonas,” she croaks out his name and he tenses at the sound.  He turns to her then, his eyes filled with concern for an instant before his expression fades into indifference.

“P,”  A woman’s voice whispers in awe from the other end of the room.  P turns her head quickly, the pounding sensation worsening in her head.  She presses the heel of her hand to her forehead, closing her eyes tight.  

There’s an IV in her wrist, she realizes as she moves her hand.  Someone had provided her with medical care and with Chuck gone she had just hoped the care they had provided was necessary and correct.  Her head throbbed, her mind racing.  Why couldn’t she remember how she got here?

“What happened?” She asked, unable to acknowledge the other presence in the room through her pain. She heard Jonas shuffle away from the window and come to her side.  His concern made her uneasy, had they not only known each other for a number of small hours?  Across the room, the woman stood as well, her shoes clicking rhythmically on the floor as she came to the bed.

“What’s the last thing you remember?” She asked, her voice soft like sunset.  P was getting the distinct feeling that there was something else, something more hanging in the room between them then just a few hours.

“They took Chuck,” she answered almost immediately.  She could feel the change in the room even though she couldn’t see it.  She could feel Willow and Jonas exchanging worried glances and it made her sick to her stomach.  What had happened in these hours, these days?  A broken, uneasy feeling rushes through her and she feels the hot sting of tears in her eyes.  What had she forgotten?

“Is he dead?” She whispered harshly, moving her hand from her face and squinting up at them.  Willow’s face swam into view first and for the first time P was struck by how beautiful she was.  Or perhaps it wasn’t the first time?  She couldn’t quite recall, broken memories swam just out of reach of her mind.

She stood tall near her, clothed in the same soiled red dress she had always been in.  Her black hair was still a mess, her dark skin marred with the same bruises and cuts she had treated only hours before.  If they wore the same clothing it couldn’t have been longer than a day, could it?  She hadn’t lost more than a few days at most, but she remembered suggesting they change, she remembered them gratefully accepting a change of clothing.  

“Why are you back in those old clothes?” She asked suddenly, not wanting to hear the answer to whether or not Chuck had survived The Glass.  She looked at them each in turn, watching with an anxious feeling deep in her gut as his Adam’s Apple bobs in his throat.  Next to him Willow sucks in a breath, her pink lips parting.  P was shaking now, her whole body trembling with anticipation and fear.  

“You’ve lost a lot of time, P.”  Jonas was the first one to speak, his brown eyes filled with so many emotions.  He was sad, concerned, angry, but there was so much more there left unspoken.  She turns her head slightly, slowly to look at Willow who was looking at her with a similar mix of emotions in her eyes.  Something dangerous passed between them, something she didn’t quite remember.  She felt her stomach knot, her skin prickle with something electric.

“How much time?” She asked, her body reacting to their closeness.  Willow reached out and gripped her hand while Jonas settled his arm behind her shoulders.  The touch was both new and familiar, it made her feel like she was floating, dizzy with an emotion she didn’t quite understand.

“It doesn’t matter, P,” Willow says with a soft smile, leaning forward to press her forehead against P’s own.  At first P wanted to flinch away, the contact seeming so new and unwanted, but she remained there, unflinching and allowing the contact.  It made her stomach roll, erupt into a feeling she had never before experienced, her skin was hot beneath the touch.

“It does matter,” P complained, her eyes fluttering closed in some sort of muscle memory as Willow bumped her nose against her.  Jonas, for his part, remained calm and silent next to them, his hand gripping her shoulder in a reassuring touch that should have made P feel disgusted, but left her wanting more.

“You still remember,” Willow whispered, noting how she leaned into them for comfort.  P tensed, she didn’t remember, not quite.  She could tell there was something hanging in the air between the three of them, something she couldn’t quite touch, but it was there and it was palpable.  Willow tilted her head, nose brushing against hers once more.  P opened her eyes slightly, mouth watering, heart thudding in her chest.  

“I don’t remember,” P corrected, her eyes half closed, her lips parted in some strange sexual way she had only seen in magazines.  Her body reacted in ways that betrayed her.  In ways she didn’t quite understand.  

When she surged forward, so quickly it almost hurt, Jonas’s hand falling from her shoulders in surprise, it was almost as if she had not acted of her own accord.  Her lips found Willow’s, soft and warm against her own.  Her head ached, her body stinging in pain, but it all took a backseat to the feeling of the moment.  

Willow allowed her hands to rise, cupping P’s face, tilting back her head, fingers scratching softly at her jaw in a way that made P shiver.  She could feel the tears now, falling hot over her cheeks, catching on Willow’s fingers at her jaw.  Jonas stirred next to her, his hands on her again, cradling her back, rubbing soft circles between her shoulders.  She knew she should find it strange, should find the touch in such an intimate moment to be unwanted, but she didn’t.

Beneath his touch, her skin ignited.  Her lips moved hungrily against Willow like a woman starved.  It was like she had been without food, without water, without breath in her lungs.  When she finally pulled away, Willow lingered, eyes still closed and lips parted.  

She struggled to breathe, these newfound sensations nearly overcoming her, but before she could think another set of lips found her own, his fingers beneath her chin, tilting her head back gently.  Her head sang in pleasure and pain as he kissed her.  His once clean-shaven face now had a very pronounced stubble that tickled and scraped against her face in rhythm with his lips.

She had lost time, she had lost too much time she knew.  Her body’s reaction was a not only a betrayal to her mind, but it was also filled with a whisper of her memories.  When had they done this?  When had they become this?  She pulled back from him, heart thundering in her ears as she laid back on his arm and watched them.

Both of their eyes wide now and glassy with tears.  She swallowed as her own tears continued to fall.  This was a situation she had never been in before.  She had never lost her memories, never experienced the power of whatever electric feeling passed between them.  She reached up to run her hands through her hair, noticing for the first time that her head was closely shaven and her fingers had instead met the indentation of a large wound.  She pulled her hand away immediately, a loud, sharp sound escaping her mouth before she could stop it.  

Her eyes were on her companions again, searching.  She was mutilated.  She had been injured and severely at that.  The indentation in her head indicated a wound that was deep, but had begun to knit together again.  The time she lost echoed between them, her fear and self-hatred escaping through her tears that had begun flowing faster.

“Am I dead?” She asked suddenly, not trusting what was passing between them.  This harmony of need and want.  The feeling of something so much larger than herself, unable to be contained within her.  It felt so much like bliss, the harmony she had always been taught death brought to the people of The Sand.

“You’re not dead,” Willow spoke immediately with a sharp, startling laugh.  Her tears finally began to fall down her face, her gaze settling on the wound wound that marred P’s face.  It was a large, terrifying scar that stretched from her chin to the apex of her scalp that was held together by stitches and grafts of skin from the dermal regulator.  It was a wonder they had saved the sight in her eye.  

“You’re not,” Jonas confirmed, pressing a soft, tentative kiss against her scalp to the right of her ugly scar.  She felt his tears slide against her short hair, tingling against her skin as he wiped them with his thumb.

“I don’t understand,” P said, her voice sounded broken, confused.  She looked at both of them in turn, the ache in her head and neck forgotten for now in lieu of understanding what had been done to her.  

“You are very much alive,” Willow said, her voice sounding almost distant.  As if it had sparked something within her, a ghost of a memory that skipped away from her probing finger tips.  

“You’ve said that to me before,” P said, brow furrowed.  Willow nodded sadly, her tears zig-zagging against the dirt on her skin.  She could feel it, the ghostly haze of a memory igniting within her.  Next to her Jonas and Willow were silent as she worked through it, lost in the fog.

She could see it, almost as if she were watching a story.  There was screaming, impossibly loud noises popping all around them as she lay bleeding on the floor.  Her head ached as if it were on fire, her eyes coated in a liquid so thick she could not open them as she lay there choking on her own blood.

She could feel Willow next to her, her voice was soft and still against the torrent of other impossible sounds.  Her hands were gripped harshly against her wrists.  

“Stay with me,” her voice said, the only thing she could hear.

“Am I dead?” P struggled to ask against the blood streaming into her mouth.  She was choking, fading away by inches.

“No,” Willow said, voice loud and certain, “You are very much alive, and you are loved.”

“Loved?” P asked when she came from the memory, her eyes on Willow an understanding settling between them.  Willow nodded, choking back a sob. Love.  She was loved.  She turned to Jonas, her tears falling in earnest, making her eyes ache.

“Loved?” she asked him and he nodded too, holding her to his chest as gently as he possibly could.  

Poetry: Mediocrity

There is no escape from mediocrity 
Look around, see the world for what it is
It’s eroded, broken, filled with doubt
Yet, there is always someone there
in the distance, smiling
But, in the end it’s empty; Absolute.
nothingness

Look! Look and see
Time it ebbs and it flows
And history is just a repeat of a repeat of a repeat
Regardless of knowledge, regardless of intellect 
The pattern goes, goesgoes
forever.

It’s never-ending,
time 
Is a never-ending thing
but you
Are not infinite
In ignorance, this is an absolute
forgotten
By the passage of time
Where we believe ourselves immortal
immune
                     &
unbreakable.

But see
We; you & me, are nothing more than
specks 
Us; we, are less than insignificant
less than nothing.

There are no marks, 
No legacies left
        to leave behind 
And yet
Life continues on
Its ignorance unopposed
And there are people still glad,
Still happy every single day to be 
What they consider:
 alive.

Are they; them & I living the same life
Are we part of the same existence?
Because all life does to me
Is it makes me feel as though I have failed
That, instead of being unborn, 
Instead of being nothing
I have been made to live
    & suffer
a life of mediocrity

I am not resigned to pretending
That there is something more than this
More than looking up and realizing
One day I will die
and leave behind nothing.
No matter how much I live
No matter how much time I am allotted 
by life, by god, by powers beyond comprehension
I; me & myself
Am no more, than insignificant.