the reason i’m so desperate

to be needed
is because being wanted
never lasts and
i wish i figured this out
about 100k in psych treatment ago.

i could have taken a trip
some far-flung destination
five star accommodation
in the heart of everything
a tourist could want,
so i could fire up my laptop
and spend the time watching
friday night dinner again.

sort of how my life is now
except more interesting
and aesthetically pleasing
for the Instagram grid.

There is nothing beautiful about me

Nothing that is unique anymore
I’m no longer an adventurer
driving across the desert in the dark
Wondering how I’ll get through the monsoon
If I should pull over under the overpass
Hoping to be spared while the rain floods into the road

I’m not waking up and watching the frost burn away
from the wheat fields in my backyards,
Like so many bonfires burning away
Everything holding on to me
Keeping me from turning to ash

I’m not the woman who was mysterious
Driving to Newport Beach
With the top down
Like so many Midwest dreams coming to life
Running into the waves crashing into the sand
Alongside my brother
While the sun drops down from the sky
Behind the edge of the world that I’ll never see again

Never again will I be brave enough
Wearing torn lingerie while the time warp
Plays across the screen
And I forget everything I hate about myself
For a few hours
Pretending life is wonderful
And worrying about where I’ll end up
Later that week

I’m not capable of going to concerts
Without a major anxiety attack
When I used to not be able to go
Without meeting the band
And I can’t spend time after two am
In some afterhours bar
With beautiful musicians
Playing beautiful sounds
While I sing along
Or honestly anything that used to spark
The magic inside me
And I wonder if I’m already dead
If I’m already a ghost and you
Are living as a widower
I’m not a woman anymore but just a shell
Formed out of regrets and anxieties
Covered in half-closed scars from piercings
Thin ribbons of scars from all the moments I knew too much
Damaged ends of bleach and a bloated
Makeup collection designed to cover up
The holes in my identity in this season’s
Glitter metallic silicon-based shadow

Everything that made me interesting
Is nothing but Facebook memories
From two years ago (delete this post)
Three years ago (delete this post)
Five years ago (delete this post)
Nine years ago (delete this post)
(Delete your account?)
(Delete your existence?)

(Maybe it’s time to go back to the doctor)

buoy

i’ll never tell you, my darling
i don’t think i should —
is it fair of me to put the pressure on you?
i don’t think so.
i don’t think you’d be happy to know
simply by your being here
(with your sticky hands
and your gummy smile
and your unruly curls)
you have saved my life every day
this year.

the habit i’ve hidden for 23 years
i am finally able to stop
because how can i mar the skin
that now covers you?

still hearing voices but
i start ignoring them now
because how can i believe lies
when i owe you the truth?

still chanting mantras
but silently
because how can i speak cruelty
when i owe you mercy?

so much pressure
for such a little love
but you don’t need to do anything
and when you find this when you’re older
know it doesn’t change anything —
you simply are the buoy
i never knew existed.
of all purpose i could have
it’s an honor to be the dark ocean
that keeps you afloat.