07/25/17, 2:48am

you have made progress! this progress is painful, but it is progress. you can not deny what you felt. you could not keep going that way. that was not an undesirable path, it was an impossible path. you could not keep going that way. you can not change what he can give. this is progress. do not go back. do not fall back to limbo.

he didn’t want your expectations. he didn’t want your trust.

he doesn’t want your trust.

that wasn’t a slip in a charged moment. he knew

what that meant. he knew what

that implied. he knew what that entailed.

you laid down all your cards, every last

one: he made the final decision. you loaded

the gun and pointed and he pulled

the trigger, that was all he did

in the end, shot the can of worms

you shared so they could finally writhe

through your hands. There’s something

freeing about being so dirty that you gladly caress

the slime: you can’t believe it; it’s as if: finally. Finally

you’ve shaved your scalp but only to reach

inside your head and pull out your innards

of the skull; you’re getting into the empty kind

of meditating and you’d heard they were obnoxiously

sentient sometimes, sometimes like

when you finally fold your clothes, you face the drywall, like when

you enter with one headphone in and leave with both

shut tight as the double doors of

your childhood, one for each ancestor: the orchid

and the bee. Sometimes it’s not okay to cry

in front of the little bird who has told you

more secrets of yourself than

you knew you had in you, though

you wonder if it knows anyway

without needing to see the sound-

less spread of a shadow on a carpet.

Is that the secret of the little bird? Sometimes you must

close the door through which you entered without knowing

where the exit is or if it was meant for a person

such as you: it’s ok to sit in the dark just as

it’s ok to install the shadow

of yourself on the floor of lobbies in

apartments and hotels and offices and point

its empty eyes at nondescript tile so confidently that night

shift security takes one look at your crumples and thinks: not this

one, not today. Why bow your head in prayer when you can look

up, up to slopes, slope the neck to

a dejected question, up so

the cheekbones become your personal twin

electrical towers; tall enough to draw the whip

of lightening depending, of course, on the height

of the sorrows around you. If you generate

enough water you might conduct energy, a new kind

of life. Electricity’s a bitch and, contrary to popular thought, often strikes

the same place over and over again just for kicks. A tip: do not

be so sure that the tallest takes the hit. Another one: don’t

swell there for too long, sweet sow, sweet

sow. Didn’t you buy the morning

glory seeds to cover the escape hatch with the wonky can opener? Didn’t

you swear to drag yourself from eternal sunsets? Even worms come up for air

only in between showers. Remember: there are other

natural disasters on your bucket list: sharks to poke, seas in which

to flirt. You are not yet done breaking.

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05/21/17 9:53am, on the plane from DC to Beijing

You keep flipping through photos because What The Heck You’re Kind Of Enjoying This. Here is another photo: it is you and MH on the grass outside your dorm. You think about the half-conversation you had the other day: you asked, Did Your View Of Me Change This Year? and she said, I Suppose It Developed and you said Yeah Me Too. You think about all the late night conversations you had in the fall. You think about all the late night conversations that you didn’t have in the spring. You wonder what happened. You sort of know what happened, but you don’t really know why. You think, It’s Not Really Completely Your Fault. You think about how distant MH was, how odd you thought it was, how confused you felt. You think about how slowly, you branched out, and then stopped bothering to invite MH to things, or ask to eat together. You remember how she would do small nice things, but nothing else. You remember wondering whether she was mad at you. You remember wondering if she was going through hard things. You remember wondering why she always said things were fine when you asked How Are You Doing, Really? when you kind of knew they weren’t because you could hear her late night conversations that she now had with JV instead of you when she thought you were sleeping (which you usually were indeed doing before they would begin talking). You remember talking to her when you both talked to each other about how different your style of friendships were: how you handpicked friends and stuck to them like hell and she loosely spent time with whoever and that it was hard for her to keep friends without constant exposure. You wonder if you will be friends next year. You think it’s kind of a waste. You think, that was awful to say. You think, I’m actually going to miss her. You feel sad because you will probably not be friends next year not for lack of trying on your part but on hers, and it will break your heart.

MS

On a oft-unmentioned note:

MS is becoming a stressful nonpart of my life.

When summer started, I was so sure that our friendship was solid. I was the last person he said goodbye to before he left; we hugged insanely tight and his dad went

Wow, I’ve never seen Max light up around someone like this

and we stayed strong through struggles like being pitted against each other for a job we thought we would do together and we were so solid.

And then summer began and I visited him and we hung out and made plans to do drugs and visit so often

And then summer wore on and he stopped responding to my messages and Snapchats so I started messaging him less and less and less

And then he very conspicuously forgot that we’d planned to hang out that involved my extensive planning

And then he kept not responding to my do-over plan suggestions

And then I started getting annoyed and passive aggressive

And that’s where we are.