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Changing Lanes

You're going to crash this car, she said to him, and glass splintered around her like a halo. Pressure forced the metal sides to fold like a slice of American cheese. The tires burned against the asphalt as he tried, unsuccessfully, to stop, turn, slow. Her bones cracked and splintered, flesh wholly unprotective against the weight of the car that slid across the sunshine yellow lines and into their lane. Their skulls flew forward, back, bounced against the plastic headrest, ricocheted off again. That's what she would remember, how her head hurt, how it never seemed to stop hurting. How it hurt as they screamed about his eyes, her hands, forgotten times, stretches of silence that seemed to crack her skull in half. The summer had gone like that. Pressure, crack, fold. He brought her daisies one afternoon, after he gripped too hard and left a bruise the size of a plum on her bicep. Everything hurts, he said. She nodded even though she hated him. Her head hurt. She would wake up in the middle of the night to him standing in the doorway, eating scrambled eggs, a black figure lit from the kitchen light behind. He would sit and put his hand on the back of her head and feed her a bite. His eggs were always overcooked. She would be asleep by the time he came back in. She never turned over, even when he said her name, even when he talked about how he had dreamed of her with her hair up on the porch of that house with the windows and the lawn. For them. A real, daytime dream, not the kind she had, the nighttime visions that soaked and exhausted her. So much of the time, she trembled. He tried to hold her tight but even that wasn't enough. Neither of them knew why, not really. It was a relief, the colliding of the cars, the smashing of the metal and fiber. Every tooth and splinter and hair hung, suspended, unmarred in that one, singular second. One swift and delicate moment for the two to coexist, united in thought, before the shards came raining down around them.

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From A Long Time Ago (I Still Love You)

Shot and Color

How do laundromats make their money? They pay utilities for the constantly running washers and dryers and have to count piles of coins to make up for it. It seems like a grossly mismatched payoff, but the same could be said about you and me and I'm still here.
I've been writing a lot about pain and love and how they manage to tangle themselves together so very often. And when I say writing, I mean making note after note after note on my phone of jolted lines and memories that make the heat of immovable air in my room nearly unbearable. 
What is it about pain, exactly, that is so much easier to trust than love? The source? The deservedness? 
Why do I look in the mirror and search for the weight of you behind my eyes?
I used to think that existing only in the dark was a negative, a sign that rain and the depth of night was the only thing keeping us alive. But every time I leave, the sun feels exhaustingly bright.
I'm living in this very temporal space. My clothes and pictures and notebooks sit in a room that I return to only to leave again. I let lettuce rot in the fridge and wine go sour on the windowsill. I cannot relax for the ten minutes it takes to get out of the city. I am living here, but I'm holding on to there so much tighter. 
I used to think I could do it. I could be the smart one and never look back. I could make it. But then I see the way your hair is mushed against the back of your head in the morning, as I watch you cook eggs and toast, and I can barely swallow my heart back into my chest.
You ask me how the movie was. Disgustingly cheesy. A 2000s pre-teen joyride. I miss you the kind of way you can physically feel but I just saw you two days ago so I cannot admit that.
In case you couldn't tell, I cannot walk the not-so-fine line of graceful mystery and garish oversharing. One or the other. All or nothing. Sound familiar? 
I don't mind going to the laundromat. You put all your loads in next to each other, a minute or so apart. You watch them whirl and whirl. You know exactly what to expect and when. The space you occupy is for a reason. There is no questioning, no hesitation. Only the mind-numbing drone of machines stripping what they can.
This is the thing-are you ready? I would leave you every day if it meant I get to come back.

Paris, Day One // 5.10.18

Day One.
Arrive, gawk.
Join the masses.
See, walk, buy.
Eat. Drink.

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I'd Like To Be In Paris

I'd like to be in Paris. I am a different person there. My insides do not shake. My body does not weigh a thousand pounds more than it should. In Paris, there is a world of investigation and exploration and new, brand new. Cafes and boulevards and huge, sacred monuments to forces we humans could not ever hope to understand. When I stepped into the Notre Dame I thought that maybe I would not step out. I thought that maybe a force would take over and make it so that none of us ever left. I did, though. We did. I walked out and all the way down to the Louvre and back again. I would like to walk the Louvre a hundred million times and maybe then the lump in my throat would dissolve. Maybe I could hold my thoughts still. Did you know there are love poems etched into stone that are a hundred hundred hundred years old? I've seen them. I don't think I saw anything more beautiful. Not the buildings, not the paintings, not the bread through the windows or the dogs or the Seine. We saw ancient sculptures and famous brushstrokes and hallowed halls, and I think the ceiling of that staircase was the most beautiful thing I saw. Maybe that I have ever seen. 
Can you imagine a love like that? A love that requires tons of limestone, riddles and symbols, royal force to create decades of proof? 
A love that lasts? 
I don't think I've thought of anything else since.

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12.29.17 // Phoenix, Arizona


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