Guardian Angel

My guardian angel isn’t in heaven.
She isn’t dead,
nor has she ever been dead.
She is very much alive,
and she lives about 15 minutes from me.
…Barring traffic doesn’t suck…

She doesn’t wear white robes garnished with golden sashes.
She doesn’t have glowing feathered wings.
Her hair is not white blonde hair, her skin not pale porcelain, nor her eyes a shimmering blue.
She wears torn jean shorts and printed t-shirts.
On rare occasions,
a pantsuit, but only when absolutely necessary.
Her hair is ashen brown and her eyes the color of milk chocolate; her skin has seen the sun during each season but bears no evidence of burn.

Hell, she wouldn’t get into heaven given the bible’s stringent rules if either of us believed in that,
which is bullshit.

My guardian angel is a 22-year-old college graduate with a business degree.
She’s a goddamn weeb,
she swears a metric fuckton,
she games,
and she works her ass off
…even for the assholes that don’t deserve it.

She is a mama bear.
Don’t dick with her cubs [read: her close friends].
You’re asking to get rekt.
(Seriously, don’t do that; I’ve seen the outcome.)
She’s a protector,
a giver,
a lover,
but also a fighter.
That last one is important.
Don’t forget that shit.
A grave mistake you will make.

Above all else,
she is my best friend.
If I could be half the person she is,
accomplish half of what she has at our age,
I’d like myself a hell of a lot more.

I love you, dude (#NoHomo ;D).
My dear Pseudo-Homo,
I owe you so much more than some stupid poem,
but I suppose…,
it’s a start.

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Seventy-One Days

One week ago,
there was no countdown.
There was no excitement.
There was no talk of, “When you’re here…”
Now,
there is.

In seventy-one days,
I will pick your sleepy, jet-lagged ass up from the airport.
Here, only 22:30, 12/07/17.
There, already 06:30, 13/07/17.
I only get more excited as the days creep by.

In seventy-one days,
I will quite literally tackle you to the ground in the airport,
just settling in for the night,
and jolt it (and you) awake with the squeak of your name.
Your fellow passengers will likely look at me like I’m insane.
Fuck ’em.

In seventy-one days,
I will finally find myself locked in your embrace,
face buried in your chest,
(tall Dutch jackass),
and exhibit feminine, bitch-like behaviour involving tears of joy.

In seventy-one days,
after one-hundred-ninety-three days of unconditional love and support,
I will kiss you for the first time.
I will tell you to your face,
“Ik hou zo veel van jou…, mijn beertje,”
with a shit-eating grin on my face.
And I will love every second of it.

In seventy-one days,
I will sit in the back seat with you as you drift in and out of sleep,
speaking softly to you.
I will run my fingers through your hair,
a stupid grin on my face,
through the entire hour and a half car ride home.

In seventy-one days,
I will drag your tired ass inside,
put you to bed,
and shortly thereafter,
lay down beside you.

In seventy-one days,
I will drift off to sleep at your side,
in your arms,
and sleep peacefully…
for the first time in a long time.

Four Little Words

Four words.
Four little words.
And she grins a genuine grin.

Four words.
Four little words.
And her face flushes red.

Four words.
Four little words.
And her heart nearly stops.

Four words.
Four little words.
And she nearly loathes herself just a little less.

She wasn’t proud of herself.
She didn’t meet her own standards.
She never had lived up to her own expectations.
She wasn’t good enough.
She never had been—
for herself or anyone else.

Then suddenly,
she was.
At least for someone else.
They looked for the effort she put it,
and found the worth in her where she,
nor her family,
could… or would.

Not her mother.
Buck up, Bucky. You just have to keep going.”
Everyone is crazy, has issues, is tired.

Her father.
That “B” could have been an “A”.”
Everyone joke has even just an inkling of truth.

Her grandmother.
So, are you going to start getting good grades again?”

She was trying,
doing what she could,
while others played god with her life.
The life that was once her’s was no longer.

I’m proud of you.
He was though.
Your best is more than good enough.
He meant it.
“I told you you’d pass, babe.
She didn’t think she would.
EZ.
She nearly shit a brick at an “A” in Dev Psych.
“I told you everything would be all right.

She never got her hopes up;
better to be pleasantly surprised than crushingly disappointed.

I’m proud of you.
A fuckwit grin.
Every.
Goddamn.
Time.
He meant the world to her.

And when he was happy,
she worried just a little less.

I’m proud of you, Jessie.

I Am Not

am not cookie dough.
You can’t just find your favorite cookie cutter,
hidden in the cabinets,
long forgotten from my childhood,
and press me into who you want to see—
what you wish I’d turned into rather than what I’ve become.
am not cookie dough,
and I am not sorry that you can’t handle the warped finished product.
You burned the cookie.

am not a quilt.
You can’t just take your favorite fabrics,
your favorite pieces of me,
and sew them into a pretty little blanket.
Crisp edges and bright colors with wide fields of May flowers preceded only by mild April showers.
am not a quilt,
and I am not sorry that you’re unhappy with the aesthetic of a frayed, storm-torn, barren cluster of scraps.
You fucked up the stitching.

am not a military contract.
You can’t sign up for 18 years,
serve your time,
and choose not to reenlist when shit goes south;
decide that you don’t want to re-commit because the state of my psyche has declared WWIV.
WWIII was mandatory—
year 16 or 18.
Damn.
So close, right?
I am not a military contract,
and I am not sorry for the wars you let happen, contributed to.
You were blind to the red flags.

I am not your “smiley baby girl.”
Not anymore.
You can’t just stick your head in the sand,
watching the clips of the past in the recesses of your mind.
She’s dead;
she has been for ten years.
What’s left is the husk of the creature she wanted to be.
I am not your “smiley baby girl” anymore,
and the only thing I’m sorry for is the burden you place on others in picking up your slack because you can’t face the truth.
You let her slip away.

Have You Ever…?

Have you ever felt like your life was falling apart?
As though you could physically see the world around you crumbling away,
piece by piece?
Heard the sickening crack of the debris striking the back of your head,
dropping you to the ground,
but just leaving you there helplessly to do nothing about it?

Have you ever felt like you were drowning—school, work, family, social obligations?
As though you’d fallen from your ship in rough waters during a storm,
and as hard as you tried to fight,
the waves kept overtaking you?
Frigid waters continued to fill your lungs,
Salty sea waters seared your eyes,
and your sputtering, choked cries for help forever deafened by roaring thunder?

Have you ever felt like others had absolute control over your life?
As though that life that was once your own no longer was?
Like a puppet on many strings,
with several puppeteers,
and you only moved as they moved your strings?
Are they your gods,
and you an unwilling participant in their cult religion?

Have you ever felt like 22 years was enough, and maybe it was just time to say goodbye?
As though you were exhausted and you just wanted to rest?
You’d done everything in your power to push through life,
the odds often against you,
but it all seemed to futile?
As if you’d been marked from very moment you took your first breath,
and now it was time?

I have.
I still do.
And I’m sorry if you ever have,
and still do, too

Guardian

An ocean between them,
he watches over her.
When she sleeps under her sun,
he stands and subdues her demons into submission.
She wakes not,
resting peacefully.
On even just those few hours,
she can get by.

When her sun falls,
and he has returned home to rest,
she awakens.
She knows even in sleep when he is not there.
Now,
she stands guard.

While she cannot see him,
as his sun has drifted off to sleep with him,
he can see her.
She is there if he is ripped from a peaceful slumber,
or his sun has slept before he and keeps him awake.
She is there simply to speak or lull him to sleep until his sun stands and stretches again.

When his sun is up,
she often tries to rest again;
but her demons pester her.
They prod her awake,
haunt her dreams,
strangle her.
She gives up.

Though when he is there,
she grows tired and drifts off.
The demons shy away,
and for a few more hours,
she rests.

And so the cycle continues.
Each take a shift,
an ocean apart,
protecting the other from the monstrosities that pervade the other’s dreams.