busy saturdays, drowsy mornings

i convinced you to go back to school.

jesus, we're teenagers. 
we shouldn't be doing this to each other
me convincing you to go back
you convincing me to stop this
and though i know neither of us
ever want to live white-picket-fence lives, 
this matters. 

i wish you didn't touch me
like i'm the only person 
who will ever see your worth. 

i wish you didn't scratch at your skin
and give me that look when i 
gently move your hand away
like you're saying it won't make a difference
or why do you even bother? 

i wish you didn't lie to everyone
and tell me only the truth
and laugh when people ask you questions

i wish you didn't clean your locker out
and leave the school like you did, 
all blazing eyes and red t-shirt,
even though everyone knew it was coming. 

i want to wind my arms around your torso,
hold you tight until you finally break and shatter,
just do i can put you back together properly again,
instead of the crooked pieces you have now
(but i don't, not really, and you know that)

you wear too much makeup,
and i want to convince myself 
that it's not because of the
bruises dotting your face

it doesn't work, though, 
so i take you into the bathroom,
wipe it off, and reapply it properly

i can feel your stare burning into my back
when i manage to get control of my feet 
and leave the bathroom, door swinging behind me

the other day i nicked your bag
and you were good enough not to mention 
the helplines folded neatly in your pencil-case

i want to cradle your face neatly
in my palms, sore fingertips framing your jaw,
because i don't know what else to do
but i doubt you'd let me that close

i took a bus the other day
to try and convince you to go back to school.
when you weren't looking, i shoved myself
into your phone's contact numbers

you know i want to scream and hit something. 
you seem to understand the goliath anger 
contained inside of me until i practically vibrate
and pour steam from my ears, yet you still
whisper "still green?" at me when it's late

and i love you 
because you use traffic lights
to know when i'd like everyone to very well f-ck off, 
and when i can't take someone else
sliding their arms around my shoulders

and i feel like i should laugh
because you twist my hands within yours
and run careful fingers over the fresh cuts on my legs
even as i look away
and your eyes just seem pained, 
even though i know your wrists by touch

darling, i don't know what to say to you.

i guess i'll just keep trying. 

The End

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