Lauren. 24. On the fence about just about everything.
When I see you-
-my jaw locks and I stumble on anything inconvenient
like my feet and words and furniture
I turn stuttering into a sport
I look at you for too long or not at all
and either way I’m blushing but my face
is always red and sort of squished anyway,
so I guess it doesn’t matter and it’s better even that
my tongue trips up and the sounds that come out
are clumsy and unattractive.
I need to warn you before we start
that I am strange and I don’t know how to do this
and will eventually ask you unbearably technical questions
about what it’s like to be you and my sentences
will trail off awkwardly and often because I never
know exactly what to say, even when I am
writing to myself because there’s no will or way
to send this, and everything I can ever imagine coming out of my mouth
is going to sound impossibly stupid anyway, so fuck it-
-I’m sick and sad and my hair is frizzy, and I’m always wearing an old sports sweatshirt and some jeans.
stuck sitting silently, still-
shifting starts sticky seat squeaking.
scribbling symbols, school speaker states simple suppositions smugly:
selling sham secrets, spouting senseless statistics, shirking scrutiny;
substandard sagacity satisfies.
somehow synonyms, sightlessness, salvation, start sounding similar.
stupidity sells. sense supplies sparse security.
significance stays scarce, spiting sincere searchers.
some surrender, stop.
shhh, stop, sleep steals slowly,
says “stop struggling; submit.”
senses slow, seeking soothing stories.
slumber’s siren song softly summons.
suddenly sinuses snag; strident snore shatters silence.
students snigger, stare.
shame swamps, skins smolders,
sensitivity smarts (stupid stupid stupid).
sour, standoffish, somehow still sorry
self-consciousness stings, so shutdown selected.
stage speaker stops speaking, self surfaces
separated, stiff, stretching soreness shyly.
standing, song signals statement sent. screen shows sender.
slight solace, simple- still strips some stress.
sign someone sees.
surpassing shadow structure,
sun surprises, stopping steps.
serendipity squints, smiles, shine.
she says, soon.
some stories stay silent, stranded, significance suspended-
sometimes sunshine, small supports sustain.
[At some point during my collegiate blur, it was suggested to me that I should try writing a poem/story where each subsequent word began with the corresponding letter of the alphabet (“As baboons circled downwards, eating foul grapefruit hostilely in joint kinetic looping motions, nine ornery pigeons quarreled raucously, systematically testing unacknowledged vortexes with xenophobic yammering zest” … I give up this was just supposed to be an example). Clearly the aforementioned was too difficult for me, so instead I wrote a story/poem where every word began with the same letter, and picked ‘S’. It’s about a kid who’s doubting everything about the value of the information she’s learning, and dozes off in class and snores loudly, much to her embarrassment. Then she gets a text from the girl she’s got stupid-happy feelings for right when walking out into the super bright sunlight at the end of class, and feels sort of better].
do you ever get that feeling when you remember really bad memories and you just
I have at least one horrible memory associated with every person that I care about.
Whenever I get sentimental I squash the feeling with the bad memory.
It’s something I started doing when I became a teenager, and feeling really fond of my parents/family and still attached to them made me really uncomfortable (like physically uncomfortable; I stopped letting any of them touch me, and I started noticing and becoming really conscious of the bodily reactions that come with all sorts of emotions).
But then I tried to form meaningful relationships with my peers and found that I’d gotten very good at shutting down that “warm/safe” feeling and couldn’t stop.