My Basket

Free Verse

I have a note saved on my phone titled “What I Want to Say to Him”.

Sandwiched right between my “Grocery List” and “Budget”.

And it’s full of cliché sayings like “It’s almost as if fate brought us back together”, “you’ll know it when you find it”, and my personal favorite, “you’re so easy to talk to”.

There are also questions such as, “Do you think there’s more than one person out there for you?” and “Was our match on that dating app a coincidence?” Because I want to know “Why is it that we’ve stayed connected since our match even though we’re 1,000 miles apart?”

Let me explain because I’ve known him since the seventh grade. When I had a terrible haircut and his brace face grin showed off those chubby cheeks. We weren’t close, not even friends, but I knew him and he knew me.

So much so that when I saw him at a college house party several years later he was hanging out with some of my closest friends. We said our “Hellos” and “How ya doins” because I knew him and he knew me.

And when I came back home for Christmas (another) several years later I saw those chubby cheeks on my dating app screen. I laughed because he looked the same yet so different which made my swipe an immediate match because I knew him and he knew me.

I get the sense that we’re friends now. Now that it’s been quite some time since that match. I understand I can talk to him about mostly anything. But what I don’t understand is why I can’t stop thinking about him.

The “What I Want to Say to Him” note is filled with advice from friends. Advice that makes my head into a spiral. Say something, don’t say anything, or wait it out to see what he says.

But he says enough. He says I care about you when I receive a silly picture of his face. He says I’m thinking about you when I receive a picture of a couple and their dog playing at the lake in his city. He says listen to me when I receive another song from his playlist. He says I think this could be something when I receive a video of a carpool karaoke proposal.

But I don’t say much. I’m afraid to admit that I can care and think and listen just as well as him. But my subconscious knows me all too well and sends him into my dreams. I dream of him coming to pick me up and knocking on my glass door. I can see him just as clearly as he can see me. But it’s up to me to let him in.

Because the biggest piece of advice I have received is from myself. From when I’ve fallen and haven’t been able to gather my life and get back up. I tell myself don’t put all of those damn eggs in one basket.

And yet I have my hopes, my dreams, and my deepest and darkest desire to be with someone like you sitting here in my basket.

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February

Free Verse

A sea of red is rushing towards me. The color of blood swarms my eyes and the only way to save myself is to close them tightly. But I slowly open them and the more I focus, the more I see the blending of fake flowers, candy boxes, teddy bears, and February.

February. How is it already February?

My shoes tap the tiled floor as I wait patiently to be the next customer in line.

My mind is telling me that he was born in February. He was born only sixteen days before me. Sixteen days before my birthday in March. I wonder what you were like when you were sixteen. I wonder who’s heart you broke then. The month you broke for me was February.

But I met you in April, I met you after each of us had turned the dreaded age of twenty-six. The age most people choose to forget. We had spent our birthdays without knowing who the other person was. But the rest of my twenty-sixth year I spent obsessing over you.

Over the way you made me feel like a person I hadn’t met. I hadn’t ever melted to the floor when I was in anyone else’s presence. I was enamored with our love. Our cliche, foolish, and reckless love. Maybe that’s why you were born in February. You were born during the month of love because you were meant to break so many damn hearts.

A dullness takes over my body. My shoulders droop towards the tiled floor. My head hangs over my chest. I can’t stand up straight. I drag my limp body and bloodshot eyes closer to the cash register. I’m melting again. But this time I don’t want it to take over my ability to react. My body waits in line.

I’m waiting for Spring because I don’t want to see my shadow anymore. My shadow who follows me around and tells me I’m not good enough. I’m not who you wanted. You wanted to leave and I wanted to see the flowers bloom. You see, I don’t want to wait around for you to come back.

Twenty-eight days of waiting. I’m waiting for February to end and it has only just begun. It has only twenty-eight days but I can’t wait that long. I can’t wait for this month to stretch me thin. Stretch me into someone I haven’t met. I haven’t met a day that goes by where I don’t think about you. I don’t think I can do this for twenty-eight more days.

Twenty-eight is now the age we’re both about to turn. We’re both in new phases of our lives. New phases of new people and new states. New me. A me I don’t want to know without you.

Because without you, I’m just a lonely girl in a grocery store. A lonely girl spending her money on Valentine’s candy because she has a case of the February’s.

 

White Converse

Free Verse

I want to know why you picked her over me.

I want to know why you picked her over me when you can clearly see.

You can see the parts of me that are hidden inside of her face.

Everything is symmetrical and put in the best place.

But it wasn’t her perfect smile than shined brighter than mine.

It wasn’t her dark wavy hair that suddenly caught my eye.

She wore a flawless pair of converse in the whitest of hues.

Four years younger than me, and everything seems brand new.

Because the curves in her eyes matched the creases in mine.

The twists in her hips and thighs just reminded me of my small cup size.

Her skin has a dark glow and there are no freckles in sight.

And sometimes I wonder if it’s weird to think of what she smells like.

But let’s not forget her white converse that could shine.

She is adorning a pair that looks very similar to mine.

Except mine are covered in dirt and grass.

Because I’ve been through shit but she’s a class act.

I would wear these shoes over to your place.

I’d leave them by your bed on nights that I would stay.

But you don’t remember because now I’m hidden inside of her.

I guess I can now clearly see what you prefer.

You prefer someone that turned out to be…

beautiful, perfect, a better version of me.

 

 

In Between Girl

Free Verse

I’m that girl. The girl I never expected to be. The girl you find during the in-between phase of your life. The phase most girls know all too well. “He just got out of a relationship so he’s not looking for anything serious.” The pain already begins to swell in my heart.

Because I know nothing serious comes in the form of actually being your girlfriend but not reaping all the benefits. I won’t ever meet the parents or siblings but I hear plenty of stories about them. You show me pictures of your childhood home and I’ll pretend like I’ll eventually meet your family someday. Someday when he’s ready.

I’m that girl. The girl that never pushes the girlfriend label. The girl whom you always consider totally cool with just a chill night in. But what you don’t understand is that the night chills me.

I feel the shiver run down my spine when you slowly begin to touch me. I feel like if I let go I will crumble into a million pieces. I have to keep up the image. You use my body like it’s some toy for you to play with, that is of course until a better version of me comes out.

I’m that girl. The girl that never deems herself as the competitive type. Because why care? It only hurts to do so. Like when I played soccer and every girl on my team cried but me when we lost a game. I thought that meant I was heartless.

But like most people, I found out I had a heart just because I felt it break. Now I can only sense a deep hole where my feelings used to belong. A burning sensation of total numbness.

I’m that girl. The girl that’s easy to leave without a trace. Because I was never your girlfriend. I just was the girl who rubbed your back in bed after a long day of work. I was just the friend you would cook for. I was just the girl who put you to sleep. I was the just the friend who willingly stayed the night.

But when you leave me you won’t find another girl like me. You will find the girl that you were meant to be with and she will meet your whole family and see that childhood home I only dreamed of. While I’m still that girl stuck in between.