runaway

i. sunlight is no alarm and all annoyance clock on summer days when the only thing separating dusk and dawn is the moon peeking shyly over his shoulder as he whispers for permission to stand up straight at long last, done with his nap.

i am tired of sunny days. i want it to rain and rain until water sluicing down the glass brings me back to the time when i could feel without it cutting back into my skin as i pushed it outward.

ii.
books are not oceans to sink into and i should stop trying. i’m not as great a swimmer as i’d like to think and anyway this is less like the brutal atlantic than i’d like. i am no virginia woolf, and you are not a pile of stones.
i’m too dramatic to go down that quietly, anyway.

iii.

i spread my hair around me on my pillow at night and let the straps of my nightgown slip down my shoulders to prove that i can be sexy, but i know the nightgown only slips because it’s finally too large for me and my hair is too frizzy to be sirenlike. it makes acne on my face in the morning and i laugh as i push my fingers into the tiny bumps; they make me feel like the teenager it’s (not) too late for me to be.
i can still be the ugly duckling, can’t i?
but that duckling was never in love and only my fingers are webbed. this dreaming seems hopeless.

iv.
books are not oceans to drown in.
my legs are short but they’re strong enough to kick upward from the sandy floors of this loneliness i carry in my chest; it’s only that i am too lazy and woven pages stamped with someone else’s stories are easier to dive into when the pressure of alone compresses me into origami shapes to blow quietly across the waters of my mind. i make no sound as i tumble inside my own head,

v.

but i am screaming all the same.

vi.

books are not oceans to fling oneself into.

vii.

each heartbreak sends me straight to barnes & noble wielding my rectangular plastic swords named Member and Debit, pillaging wooden caves for more and more of these novel drugs.

i roll them up and snort romances; i smoke adventures and shoot up psychological thrillers.

the highs only last until the last page but as long as there’s another book it’s all good.

this has to stop.

viii.

books are windows to other worlds,

ix.

but they were not intended to be permanent portals.
reality must intrude eventually.

x.

books are not oceans and i am slowly learning that one way or another it’s eventually going to be my turn to swim to the surface.

sunlight on my sheets means reality penetrating the fevered dreamy haze,
and it will take all of my strength to open my eyes and kick my way to the air–

xi.

but i have enough.

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