pieces

i hope i’m not asking too much of you.

i’m not asking you to fix me,

because that wouldn’t be fair.

i’m not asking you to accept me with wide open arms,

but i’d love that.

i don’t want you to be my friend,

because we’ve never truly worked as just friends before.

i wish we weren’t on different time zones,

we always fall out of infatuation when the other falls in.

i hope that we don’t crumble apart,

because i can’t handle another landslide.

just like i’m sure you can’t handle another person leaving you behind.

i promise i’d never walk away from you,

i’d never leave you stranded.

i can’t promise forever,

that’s too much to bear.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

i can only promise you pieces of me,

a puzzle with some empty spots.

instead of presents wrapped in bows,

i’ll give you my heart and soul

in the shape of little irregular pieces of cardboard.

i’ll wait for you to fit me in next to the edge pieces,

i’ll make it easy for you.

because, it’s so easy to see myself with you,

my head fits into the dip in your chest

like we were made for each other.

maybe you’re my final piece to the puzzle,

but i’ll never force you to fit with me.

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well-traveled hands

do you remember how it used to be?

when we were still innocent,

so much younger?

do you remember the first time you saw me?

i was wearing my cousin’s old tank top and a pair of shorts.

i remember the first time i saw you.

actually, maybe not the first time,

but i do remember the first time

I really saw you.

that stubborn piece of hair that never stayed in place.

your hands worn and callused,

but like home to the touch.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

your smirk that can still melt me.

i remember that night,

surrounded by friends,

when i knew i wanted you.

but, now it’s too late,

you aren’t the same boy with the messy hair and soft smile.

our hands are like strangers,

i’m not even sure i know how yours feel anymore.

the lines i used to trace,

delicately, so as not to cause any slight ripple in their perfect surfaces.

we’re strangers,

but unlike the strangers we were when we met.

now, the uneasy feeling is from lack of contact,

not the absence of it altogether.

i don’t know the new you,

you don’t know the new me.

maybe one day,

i’ll once again trace the lines in your hands,

feeling their gorgeous warmth on the pads of my fingertips.

maybe you’ll remember the little things i do,

so unaware that i do them,

and you’ll tell me about it,

like it’s a well-known fact.

what i’m really trying to say is,

when can we not be strangers,

when can we be the new girl and the boy with the floppy hair

that knew each other like the backs of their well-traveled hands?

when i see you again

it’ll be a tuesday.

the sun will be shining, but rain clouds will be looming in the distance.

i’ll see you in line for ice cream on the boardwalk and race towards you.

you’ll turn around when i call your name and your lovely brown eyes will instantly lock with mine.

you were always so good with eye contact.

obviously my heart will skip a beat, but i’ll never let you know.

we’ll talk for hours about school, family, boys, and girls,

just like old friends.

because that’s all we were,

all we are.

maybe we’ll dip our feet into the vast, open ocean,

and it’ll send chills down our spines.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

but, maybe, it’ll start to rain,

so we’ll rush back to your car and wait for my sister to come get me.

you’ll laugh at me for still not having my license,

even though “i’m almost there!”

but, i won’t be nervous when my sister doesn’t respond to my text,

because i’ve never felt anything but safe around you.

so, we’ll talk some more and more until i check the time and realize we’ve been sitting here for hours.

finally, you decide to go outside because you just hate sitting around.

at first, i’ll let you stand out there by yourself, the rain beating down on your hair and catching in your eyelashes.

but, my speedy little heart will tell my reluctant brain to just go.

so, i’ll jump out of your car and spin around the parking lot and let the rain soak through my clothes.

then, you’ll take my hand and we’ll spin together just like out of the final scene in a rom-com.

but, my sister will eventually come.

you’ll wrap me in a towel and i’ll go home.

i’ll wash the ice cream stain off my sweater and tell my sister i had an alright time.

maybe i’ll tell my friends about you,

but i’ll probably keep our moment to ourselves.

i guess i’m just selfish like that.

tomorrow

oh god, i miss you.

i miss how much fun we had together the last time i saw you.

the stolen glances and the silent giggles.

i sat in bed tossing and turning because the thought of you was too much to handle.

it was too much to feel right before sleep.

how unfair of you to make me feel the way i do,

even after all this time.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

you’ll probably never see this,

but maybe some day in the future,

you’ll think of me too and you’ll search for my name and find this.

maybe when you think about us,

you’ll call me and we’ll talk for hours like we used to.

you’ll doodle our initials into a heart in the margins of your notebook

the same time i do in mine.

you’ll sketch my eyes while i daydream of yours.

and, when we see each other again, i’ll tell you how i missed you in the way i hug you.

i’ll see it in the way your gorgeous brown eyes twinkle.

maybe i can’t sleep because i’m in your dreams or on your mind too.

if so, i hope we’re both tired, but still dreaming, in the morning.

fluttering

be sure to go slow with my heart,

it already beats too fast.

and, for me, it’s different

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

when you hold your hand in mine

or when you look at me like that.

sometimes, i’m left without breath

for no reason,

so it’s not fair

when you run your hands through your hair.

i know in any given moment

when i’m with you,

the butterflies in my stomach aren’t simply innocent.

in our sunday morning coffee dates,

it isn’t the caffeine that makes me jittery.

no, my nervous giggles aren’t your fault.

you aren’t doing anything wrong.

but, when you do all your perfect little things,

when you do everything right,

it doesn’t make breathing any easier.

and, no, i’m not ignoring you

when i go silent,

i’m just afraid of saying the wrong things

because i don’t want to come to the day

when your smile isn’t a guarantee.

cracked rose-colored glasses

what happens to a garden that remains unkept?

Photo Credit: keithbarraclough.files.wordpress.com

the flowers start wilting,
their petals falling into the dry, crackling dirt.
the resilient weeds start sprouting,
entangling their way around the stems of the dying blooms.
that old rose bush that you prized is now riddled with thorns.
i tried to pluck one,
send you a picture of it,
but my fingers got cut up and started bleeding
and i knew it wasn’t worth the trouble.
the single flower wouldn’t bring you back,
why try so hard to make it bloom again?
why keep it in a vase that glistens during the 3 pm glow of the sun?
why stare at it, remembering the day we planted the damn rose bush?
no, i’ll stick to bandaging up my hand,
ridding it of the metallic red,
dripping down my palm,
almost staining my pants.
i’ll stick to staring out my kitchen window at the garden, once blooming,
now only a couple of rotten, lonesome plants.

Time’s Been Up

At this year’s Golden Globes ceremony, the usual sea of colorful ball gowns and loud accessories were missing from the red carpet. Instead, all but three women wore completely black dresses.

Photo Credit: timesupnow.com

Their dark choices were in accordance with the Time’s Up movement, founded on the first of this year, in response to the Harvey Weinstein allegations, with nearly 100 women accusing him of misconduct, and the #MeToo movement. Its mission statement is as follows:

“TIME’S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.”

The movement is backed by hundreds of actresses and other entertainers, who sent out a massive social media campaign on New Year’s Day. Just a week later, they all donned their midnight black dresses in protest towards the years of abuse faced by many female entertainers. Since then, they’ve inspired the adornment of white roses at this year’s Grammy Awards.

Ironically, many men who donned the Time’s Up pins with their black suits at the Golden Globes have since been accused of sexual misconduct, such as Aziz Ansari and James Franco.

Many Time’s Up activists were also present at this year’s Women’s March, which was held on January 20. With notable speeches from Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Halsey, the massive crowds got even more heartbreaking first-hand accounts of the grotesque incidents found throughout the industry.

With all of these very public protests, people are finally recognizing years of sexual misconduct from producers, directors, casting agents, and more.

It is abhorrent and dehumanizing for a person to be put in the position of having an undeserved, unwanted sexual encounter forced upon them, with health of their career being at stake lest they say “no.” When a thirteen-year-old actress receives a rape fantasy in her fan mail, as Natalie Portman recounted in her Women’s March speech, she loses a slice of innocence that she cannot get back.

Foundations like Time’s Up are certainly bolstering this movement, making the harsh reality of the age-old misconduct much more public than previous years. Finally, sufferers of sexual assault are being heard.

This year, I’ve already seen so many cases against previously respected men. Harvey Weinstein was fired from his company following an article published by the New York Times and Kevin Spacey was removed from the fifth season of House of Cards.

Finally, abusers and rapists are receiving repercussions for their actions. Not just in Hollywood, but throughout many different industries.

On January 24, Larry Nassar, former Olympic doctor, was sentenced to another 40-175 years in prison (added to his 60 year sentencing for child pornography possession) for the decades of molesting and raping young gymnasts under his care. Notable athletes, such as Aly Raisman and Jordan Weiber, have spoken out against their abuser, even appearing in court to deliver impact statements.

With so much awareness, the time for change has come. No longer can we sit idly by when a man or woman is accused of assaulting another. No longer can we support known rapists. No longer can we support sympathizers of abusers.

While Time’s Up is a good first step, it’s the first of many we have to take to reach change. If a victim comes forward, they have to be taken seriously. They have to see that their bravery is matched with justice.

Woody Allen, who has been accused of sexually abusing his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, is still making films. While many actors have spoken out against him, he is still in the industry.

Casey Affleck, who went to court for sexually harassing two women back in 2010, won best actor last year. However, he has been asked to not present at the 2018 Oscars this year.

Melanie Martinez was accused by former best friend Timothy Heller of being raped, but Martinez fans instantly shot down the victim’s narrative, calling it “attention-seeking” and “jealous.”

Lena Dunham has admitted to experimenting sexually with her little sister in her book Not That Kind of Girl. However, she still went on to act in another three seasons of hit show Girls and continues to act in many other projects.

Another sad reality is that too often people across all walks of life are being abused. Sexual misconduct isn’t a “Hollywood issue.” Everyday, thousands of people in offices, farms, bus stops, stores, schools, and even in their own homes are being sexually abused. The issue goes beyond what 300 celebrity signatures can achieve.

No matter the instance, thousands of victims are still being de-legitimized daily. No amount of colorless attire can deter from the sad reality that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. No amount of celebrity endorsements can stop the years of distress faced by victims after their assaults. While time’s up for sexual misconduct, it’s been up for far too long.