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

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

 

Tomorrow, Dear Heart, Tomorrow.

Without a sound, you empty your mind onto the coffee table that sits in the middle of your living room. You fall back onto your couch and stare at the mess of thoughts dispersed in front of you. Your tired eyes glaze over the memories and you take a deep, painful breath. The sun glides through the room and reminds you that the day has come to an end. You run your fingers gently over the new set of scars branded onto your skin from the last 24 hours. You bury your face in your hands and you keep yourself from losing it. You place all the broken pieces back in their places and you wearily start to get ready for bed. Your legs are heavy and your eyes are red. Your hands are rough and your soul is exhausted. It takes everything in you to push forward but you do it because you don’t know anything else. You don’t have a choice but to keep moving regardless of how slow and tired you are. You shuffle your way through the motions and the routine continues at an utterly infinitesimal pace. The mirror reflects the face of someone you used to know, such a long and forgotten time ago. You steady yourself against the rocking earth and tear yourself away from yesterday. You crack your bones and settle yourself into bed. The darkness takes over your room and your eyes grow heavy under the pressure of the wounded world around you. You take a final moment to mutter last words of hope into the buried atmosphere. What a waste of gross expectations. No matter how loud your heart is, pounding against your ribcage, you fall asleep.

“I’ll just deal with you tomorrow, dear heart, tomorrow.”

-jl

Daffodils

A poem inspired by my lovesick heart and my dislike of flowers.


I fell in love with daffodils because I fell in love with you.

I remember walking with you through the park,
You stopped and crouched down over a bed of daffodils
Your eyes lit up and the most perfect smile was painted across your face
“Daffodils are my favorite,” you said, looking up at me with childlike wonder.
You asked me what my favorite flower was
I said, “Daffodils.”

I remember standing nervously at your front door,
Holding a bouquet of daffodils.
Your face stretched into that smile that I was so madly in love with.
“I got you my favorite flowers,” I said jokingly.
You laughed as you gentle placed the flowers into a vase.
I still hear your laugh when I see daffodils.

I remember begging you to stay, to not do this.
Standing at your door steps, holding your shaking hands.
The air was brisk and our breaths lingered in front of us.
Your eyes watered from the smoke of the bridges you burned.
You closed the door behind you and I caught a glimpse of the daffodils I gave you,
Withering away to show too much time had passed and we were different now.

Even with the pain of loving you, I still love daffodils.
Even though it hurts, I can’t stop loving them.
Even after everything, they are still so beautiful to me.

So when someone asks me what my favorite flower is,
I think of you
and I fall silent.

-j.l

He and I

I wake up, he held onto my body tight.

I feel him grasp the air from my lungs. He would only give it back if he wanted to.

The morning light would creep into through the windows and he would ask me to stay.

“I have things to do.”

“So? Just lay here with me. Forget the world out there.”

He wouldn’t let go. He would never let me go.

The sun would slowly descend and I would be alone with him.

He would hold me tight, sway me back and forth.

“I think I need space.”

“You don’t need anything but me.”

I could hear him scream through the doorway.

He would throw me against the wall and scream.

I’ve been out too long. I’ve been with my friends.

My friends no longer call. They say that they don’t like how I am when I’m with him.

I’m with him all the time. They can’t handle the two of us. He prefers it that way.

At night, he tells me all the things I am:

Pathetic, boneless, useless, a waste of space, fat, ugly.

He also tells me all the things I’m not:

good enough, worthy, a good person, beautiful.

He sometimes whispers them until they are etched into the insides of my skull.

He sometimes screams them until it is all I’ll hear.

“Please, stop.”

“You don’t tell me what to do. I tell you what to do, you piece of shit.”

He takes over my body until I am a shell, a shelter for him to hide in.

That night he told me that if I wanted to be away from him, the only way was to die.

So with every ounce of my body, I tried.

He realized that night what I would do to be away from him.

He finally loosens his grip and steps away.

I don’t know what it’s like to be without him. I’ve been with him for so long.

He’s all I know. This is the longest I’ve been with anyone.

He says that he loves me and that he will never leave me.

He will stay with me forever.

Since that night, he doesn’t hurt me anymore.

Maybe it’s because I’m stronger now.

He doesn’t yell at me much.

Maybe it’s because I stopped listening.

He doesn’t get angry when I go out with my friends.

Maybe it’s because I don’t care what he thinks.

It’s a process to get better.

Maybe one day, we’ll go our separate ways.

For now, we just need to focus on getting better.

For now, what we have going works.

It’s going to get better because it was only get better from here.


 

This was inspired by a poem I read earlier. The poet personified his battle with depression and I really liked that idea of giving the illness a more tangible explanation. I hope you guys liked it. I hope it wasn’t too much. Thanks for reading, you guys.

-Jonny