When you meet a boy that’s too good to be true,
run fast and hard
in the other direction—
things that are too good to be true
are not telling you the truth about their goodness.
When he tells you he loves you,
do not say it back.
Do not be enthralled by the way he is best friends with Death.
Death was never supposed to be a wing-man,
first encounters should not be held in graveyards,
and first kisses seen only by cinema psychopaths
are a terrible omen, indeed.
When he is drunk and afraid, he will tell you
that parts of him belongs to you, that you hold his heart in your hands.
Tell him no.
Give that part back.
Reject the very notion that you are anything but you,
in all your naivety and youth.
Don’t let him under your skin,
like a news story of a drunken car-crash
that he could have been a part of.
When you drive in his car,
and he tells you, I loved you in a past life,
I know it,
tell him to fuck off—
that you do not owe him the smiles,
the kisses, or the love that you are giving him
just because some woman in the past loved someone else.
that you are not a reincarnation, a rerun already known by heart. Tell him
that you are an unfinished novel
he has not yet bothered to read.
When you leave that boy who’s too good to be true,
do not hold on to him.
He is too much to carry to a new place.
Do not let him hold on to you.
Sometimes goodbyes are for-nows and see-you-laters,
and sometimes they are just goodbyes.
When he tells you that he misses you,
do not say it back.
When he calls you on Skype at two in the morning
to tell you that he wants to die,
tell him, This is not my problem. I
am not your solution.
Hang up on him. Do not
call him back.
Three years later, when you meet a boy
who is too true to be good,
examine that thought. Ask yourself
why honesty is inherently aromantic.
Ask yourself why I love you means less than I can’t promise,
in case I am wrong. Ask yourself
if you are going to let a ghost of a man
who never bothered to read your story
write the next page.
Tell yourself no. Tell the honest man that you are trying,
because you are.
Tell him that you love him,
because you love him.
Do not ask him to trust you, or to love you back.
Let him do both things by himself.
Do not think to yourself, he is too good to be true.
Love him, instead, without pedestals and judgement, without
expectations that make you both afraid.
Because when you meet a man that is true
and is good,
do not push him away.
You are still a ghost in the back of my head, making me doubt every plan for the future I have ever tried to make with a partner who loves me.
You are the reason “I can’t make promises” screams louder than “I want you in my life.”
You should have cut me loose the day I left instead of stringing me along like some sort of emotional plan B, calling me drunk on Skype at 2AM and telling me we’ll make something work.
Because now I have someone to talk to at 2AM who wants to make something work, who wants me in his life, who wants me in his future, and all I can do is start shaking and crying because the text on the screen sounds like your voice and your voice said, more often than anything, that I was naive and stupid for believing you.
Fuck that. Fuck you. Fuck every moment of time and hour of sleep and night of panic and distress I gave up for you.
I have a future. I have plans with someone who loves me. And he makes fewer promises than you ever did, but that makes the ones he keeps all the more important.
You never loved me and I am allowed to hate you for making me think that you did.
I am watching surrealist romance movies and thinking that almost every lovestruck person in the world tries to make their story big. They want it splashed on a silver screen in indie music and vintage, oversaturated/strategically faded colorings and they want it to touch people’s hearts the ways theirs have been touched. They want to fill them like ink in water, swirling, sloshing, touching the edges, leaving stains in hues that mix as they move. They want these feelings, deep like the drop-off in a lake you weren’t expecting, to make your emotions shift places in order to make room.
But love doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to wait for a hundred years for a spell to break. It doesn’t have to be crossed fate-lines and tragedy.
This is how I love you at 2:53 in the morning on a Sunday-Monday night:
I have never loved someone quite the way that I love you.
It’s like when your leg falls asleep, and you have to get up, but you know that when you do it will be nothing but pins and needles and pain. And you’re not sure if you can stand it, and you’re not sure you can walk, but you have no choice. So you stand, and you can feel these sensations grating down the nerves in your leg and you think to yourself, well, that isn’t so bad, but then the numbness leaves, and there it is—pain and discomfort mixed in such a way that just sitting back down seems like the best option. But you know that if you just get up and walk away, it will fade from pain to pleasure as the prickling leaves, that it was only temporary.
Loving you is like that moment in time right when you stand up, and both options seem completely okay.
It has been seven years since the first poem I wrote for you. It has been two and a half since the last time I saw your face.
And you still pop out of the darkness and the void at the strangest moments, calling to me from the fog.
I’m never sure if I should answer. I’m never sure if you’ll hear me. I spent years shouting until my throat bled and it all fell on deaf ears.
I don’t need you anymore. I haven’t needed you for years. But god dammit, to say that I don’t want you in a dozen different ways would be a lie. You’re wrapped up in my spine and you linger in the skin of my forearms, just like you always have.
I have never loved someone quite the way that I loved you, still love you, have loved you since the days you put me back together. We echo each other across the lost time like we were made to do this. Like we never had any choice. Like the plagarised poem in an eighth-grade English classroom existed just so that someday, we would bind together. No one ever warned me we would break apart. Certainly not you. I learned to break in such infinite ways because of this.
Still, in the palms of my hands and the back of my throat, I am convinced that you have part of me.
I just don’t know what I’m willing to go through in order to have it back.
At 2:45 AM on February 7th, there is dissonance.
There is a red door I have never seen that screams life and pain at equal levels. There is a feeling like the ones windchimes give me—deep, resonant, and hollow.
I am not inside my body. I am on a front porch with a girl whom I love more than anyone I have ever met, and I cannot explain why. I am telling her that when she laughs at me, it hurts my feelings, and she laughs again, and I love her more. God help us both, I love her more.
I am not inside my body. I am standing in front of that red door, with its broken telephone dangling from a stretched cord, waiting for my best friend to come back. She won’t. She has fallen in love and in need with the people inside that house. I can’t even say I blame her.
I am not inside my body. I am watching my loved ones cry. I watch my brother as he watches the world end and inscribes it in ink in his sketchbook. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an apocalypse myself, but it doesn’t matter—he has. And that dread is more real than any life I will ever try to lead.
I am not inside my body. I am not outside of it, either. I am barely a soul, existing on simple, failed dreams and a desperate love so strong it rips me to shreds every time I dare to probe it. I want to be a lighthouse, even after all these years. I want to be a harbor. I want to be the shore. I want the hurricane inside a five-year-old girl to pass above me over and over and overandoverandover until it stops. Until the clouds clear and maybe she can do better than me.
I am not inside my body and I wonder if that means there is space for someone else’s fears to nest in the bowl of my pelvis, or roost on my sloping shoulders. Can the people I’ve met with no voice borrow my vocal cords? Can they find peace in the newfound silence of my inner ears?
I am barefoot on the porch with the girl whom I love more than anyone, and when I watch her reach for my hand I am filled with vehement passion. I am filled with poison. I am filled with the question of existence—hers and mine, here. Someone loved someone else, and neither person was us, and now here we are, the Big Dipper shining pin-point bright over our heads, and we are here. We are here because someone else decided we should be, with not a single thought spared to what that means.
I watch the hurricane-girl spin and spin and spin and I am filled with anger. Because here she is, volatile and beautiful, and no one ever thought about what that would mean for her. Only for themselves. Only in her creation. But she’s the one who will deal with the storm inside her small and hurting head every moment from now until her world ends. Until she is not inside her body.
I love them. With the atoms in my blood, I love them. With the neurons in my head, I hate that they are here. That I am here. That someone else pulled us all from the void and said, it is your job to exist.
There is dissonance.
I am not in my body.
There is dissonance.
I am in one someone decided should be mine.
There is dissonance.
There is love.
Even here, where there is no choice, there is love.
So I was talking to kalitena and realized I haven’t written fiction in ages and ages.
In the spirit of maybe trying to fix that, leave me any word or prompt in my ask box and I’ll write you something from my forever-in-progress female-focused sci-fi novel.
The Poly Gospels, Psalm 1:1-16
I’m not just brainstorming I actually wrote a thing.
I seriously don’t think anyone expected me to take this idea seriously but I’m taking it fucking seriously okay.
I don;t think anyone quite gets how seriously Lynx and I are probably going to take this Poly Gospel thing.
Lynx is all excited about like, writing a queer/poly/kink/feminist/et cetera “gospel” and he may have gotten me super into the idea and my head is just screaming ZINE ZINE ZINE ZINE.
…this might be a thing.