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.