Bad Liar

I was told to look both ways before crossing the street

I wish someone warned me to do the same

When I stuck my head out of the window

And puked myself out

I wish someone pulled my back

And warned me that my heart would follow

But, no one ever dares to warn you before

No one ever dares to interfere

Until you’re hanging out of the window

Begging the car to drive faster.

They just wait

and watch

and breathe

until it’s too late.

You see, my world belonged to thieves and bandits

Black bandannas and pistols

Stolen hearts and tied wrists

I cheered as they stole pieces of my memories

Pieces of my life

Piece of who I am

I cheered as they tossed it to each other

Like some treasure on a runaway train.

One bandit named me the runaway train

While the other called me the coal that fueled it

They convinced me.

I begged the bandits and breakers

The thieves and robbers

To be a line on their book,

Or a phrase,

Or a metaphor.

See I had fallen in love

I had fallen in love with being dismantled

And no one dared to warn me

That I could get addicted to it.

 

 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

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I’m Spinning Around in Circles

Like a pendulum

I watched my sanity swing back and forth 

Hitting the four corners of these hypnotic white walls.

With each thud and each bang,

I heard it echo through the crevices and dark alleys of my mind

Passing whispers and taunts

Egging me to take one step closer to the dark.

I felt the last strings that held bits of me together, 

break off and snap, as easily as I pictured my own neck would

on the nights when I saw my 10-year-old self

holding a doll in the corner, humming a tune I was no longer familiar with.

I wish I could hold on and stay for a little while longer

I wish cradling the past didn’t become a habit

I wish you were there for me. 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

Big girls don’t cry.

Falling in love with you was like skinny dipping in winter

Falling in love with you was like

Benjamin Franklin

standing in the pouring rain

holding the key high enough

hoping to feel some sort of spark

some sort of electricity.

It was reckless

It was a suicide attempt.

Falling in love with you

was the only thing I felt good at.

 

– excerpts from a book I’ll never write.

 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

 

She used to be mine

I think I watched her a little too intently. I noticed how she lifted all her hair in a high ponytail and I was lost in a thousand moments, when I saw it swish from side to side as she walked down the path. I watched as she scooped a spoon full of rice and hold it mid-air, while her head swung back as she let out the loudest laugh in the room. I was hooked. I watched her eyes – packed with a 100 stories to tell, I watched as they fell upon mine. And in that instant, I forgot what breathing was.

You see there’s something very daringly risky about watching someone so deeply and so passionately. Sometime, someone else is going to notice you. They’re going to notice how your jaw hardens when she passes, and they’re going to notice how your eyes flutter and they’re going to notice that charming smile dances on your lips the second she walks in to the same room. They’re going to notice how you barely blink when she’s talking to you. Afraid that you’ll miss even the smallest second of her. And when that day comes, when someone notices, you’ll be in trouble. Because God forbid that person starts to notice those little things too. God forbid, that person starts to fall in love with those things. Then you’ll be done for. You will no longer have your little bright star. You will no longer have her. Even if it was only from a distance.

 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

Heartbreak Warfare

Despite what they tell you, despite what you’ve heard over and over; two broken halves don’t make a whole. Two broken halves never quite fit back the same way, even with the world’s best glue and tape. There will always be missing pieces, missing fragments that got swept under the sofa or lost between the floor boards. And my darling, we had lost so many pieces, growing up. We had lost so many fragments and pieces of ourselves in corners and clenched fists around world, that our two halves, never quite made a whole.

There’s this thing about loneliness. Once you get used to it, once you get good at it, it’s hard to go back from that. And for that, I am sorry. I could never be your whole, despite you desperately wishing that I was. Despite you desperately wishing that I could be.

You see, despite the lost pieces, I had made a whole by myself – gathering up pieces I thought I needed along the way. Gathering up pieces I didn’t think I needed, desperately trying to fix my own puzzle. When you came along, I thought maybe you were a missing piece, but you were your own puzzle. My darling, you were your own puzzle, desperately trying to find your missing pieces. And it killed you, that I wasn’t one of them.

 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

 

 

Little Things

I notice little things
a little too much,

I notice the smallest things about a person
a little too often

Like the birthmark at the corner of her neck
isolated and perfect,
my empty hand already writing stories about it.

I notice the jagged lines and dents on his forearm
creating valleys that I wanted to get lost in,
as he stirred his black coffee.
I memorized their rhythm
and just like a snake;
I was fixed in a trance watching his movements.

I notice things like
your off shaped tooth
or the funny scratch on your eye brow

I notice when your eyes twinkle
and when they go dim

I try not to on some days though.
But most days, I enjoy noticing things
Little things.

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow

Are you alive?

I worry that you were one of the 61 that were killed.

I worry that maybe you were on that busy street

walking by;

or just standing there, watching the world float by.

I worry that you might have been in the wrong place

at the wrong time

and that maybe, you were one of the 61 that were killed.

or one of the 79 that were killed last month

or one of the 500 killed that were killed this year.

I wish I knew if you were okay

I wish I knew if you escaped

just like you always wanted to

I wish I knew if you got out alive.

 

Yours truly,

Painted Shadow