Strangers in Coffee Shops

you look out of the window,
on a rainy sunday, gently holding the coffee with both hands
the coffee shop is filled with noise and discussion
but you sit there, quietly staring out into the world
i wonder what would happen if i walked over to you,
if i sat across from you,
introduced myself
i wonder if we would fall in love
i wonder

do you like your coffee black or with cream and sugar
do you prefer tea over coffee
are you a dog or cat person
what habits do you have
what do you love to do
do you love fully or are you scared to fall in love at all

i wonder if we would be lost in each other
what if our lives started in this small coffee shop
if one day we would walk by this coffee shop, hand in hand,
and you would laugh and remind me of how awkward it was
but how you knew since then that we would be together forever

if one sunny day, years from now,
i lead you into this coffee shop,
sit you down where you are sitting now
get down on one knee and ask you to marry me
i wonder

i wonder what our lives would be together
you and i
how many times would you break my heart
and how many times would i break yours
i wonder what it’s like to wake up next to you
how you look in the morning
how you look at night
what your smile is like
what your hands feel like

i wonder
as you gather your things
and walk out the door
leaving behind
the what ifs
that i wasn’t brave enough to find out.
-jl
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Storms

There’s something so devastatingly beautiful about storms
The way the lightning leaves cracks in the sky
Letting us peer through the other side
The way the rain soaks the earth
As it drums against our windows
The way thunder bellows into the atmosphere
Rattling our bones
Reminding us that
we are simply living in a world that does not belong to us
and that we are truly defenseless
no matter how much we puff out our chests
and yell back
the storm always yells back a little louder
strikes back a little stronger
and we surrender to the echoing
of something much bigger than us.

You Could Do Better.

I am made up of failures,
Mistakes,
Faults,
and flaws.

I am built on disapproval,
judgement,
fear,
and inadequacies.

I have lived my life on cracked foundation,
made from melting ice sheets,
I have built my life on rotting wood,
on fragile china.

I have bled on pages and pages of
self-deprecating moments,
over exaggerated comments,
and silent disapprovals.

I remain bleeding,
as I slowly break my bones
Hoping that I am bent into the shapes
Everyone else approves of.

I have erased myself from mirrors,
Painted pictures of nonsensical images,
of things people approve of.

I can’t remember what I used to look like.
I trace the outlines of my being
and it feels foreign to me.

I sold myself to the lowest bidder.
I used people’s approval as currency
In hopes to buy myself back.
But nothing I do seems to amount to the cost
Of a real human soul.

So I exist,
In my own emptiness,
I hear the hollowness,
Echoing sounds of “you could do better.”

The Settling

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke softly but firmly, “I just can’t.”

She drowned her face into her hands and her body moved with her breathing. Her voice was filled with disappointment and a tinge of shame. She felt everything and it hurt her. She didn’t just give her heart, she gave her soul, her body, her everything. She started to numb herself, she spent her days into neutral. She always ended up feeling empty and hollow. She entered love like a sin and flogged herself with the pain of self-questioning, leaving her bruised but hallowed.

She breathed into the air, hoping for an answer from a silent god. She felt the world seeping into her skin and onto her bones. She twisted and turned her soul like an old Rubik’s cube in hopes of fitting into the colors of the spaces around her. She couldn’t do it. She never really could get it right. She thrusted her chest out and threw her head back in a desperate attempted to feel something. She let it all in. The anger, the pain, the sadness, the memories, and finally the calm.

“I can’t do this anymore,” she spoke weakly with determination, “I don’t want to.”

-jl