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i want to build a skyscraper, seventeen stories high
and fill each floor with a story from the people who never said goodbye.

i.
a middle child, born in 1994,
she always wanted to be loved the most
until she learned how to give a blowjob
in an alley behind Miss China’s Takeaway
at knife point.

ii.
she lost her childhood
to an ocean who always thought it was small
and never stopped pushing its borders.

iii.
he’s not sure how he’s supposed to live without her.
staring at the closed coffin, he loses the ability to want to.

iv.
it’s not fair, she thinks,
that the house creaks when she’s trying to sleep,
but when he leaves, it doesn’t make a sound.

v.
nine months and a small coffin later,
she thinks she likes the name “amber”

vi.
“tomorrow,” he says as she passes him in the hallway—
him from math, her to english. “i’ll tell her tomorrow,”
a thought he had had for the last six years.

vii.
after two years, she’s become adapt at hiding the bruises,
and telling herself this is how daddy shows his love.

viii.
“why was i born wrong?”
“you were born mommy’s perfect little girl.”
“that’s not what i am—not what i want to be,” he said.

ix.
children can be cruel, they say.
children can be fucking sadists, he thinks as he
stares down his mother’s razor.

x.
if she had been a minute faster,
she could have stopped that bottle of pills
from becoming just a bottle.

xi.
when the doctor asks him two years later
if he’s doing fine, he signs,
“I wish you had let me die.”

xii.
a slash to the throat,
a bump to the head.
her mouth open in a scream,
the concrete stained red.

xiii.
the child holds out a hand, her eyes round with wonder
and too many questions in choppy english.
much later, he wishes that instead of telling her
exactly how many mcdonalds per block new york city had,
he had said, “run, run! don’t you hear the bombs coming? run!”

xiv.
the airport feels too silent, filled with
the people left behind.
she takes one last look at the vacant runway
and turns towards the parking lot.

xv.
“what? please stop. stay with me, please,
somebody help us! please, i love you, iloveyou,
i’ve got you, we’re gonna be fine, i lo—”

xvi.
ms powell has stopped sending him the homework.
that’s okay, he guesses. at this point,
even if they find the cure for cancer, it’s too late for him.

xvii.
a boy jumps from a bridge.
if he regrets it when he falls,
there is still nobody around to hear the splash.

i don’t need to hear how i am like them.
i know how i am like them,
we all have dusty photos we hide in our desks.
we all have bloody bones that shine white
from the cracks in our chests.
this poem is dedicated to katie, hadley, mark, stephanie, andrea, alex, mary, cas, will, tori, hunter, dana, john, mili, sam, danny, tyler, and anyone else who can identify with one of these seventeen stories.

and guys, wow. i have no clue where this came from, or why it's so freaking long (i apologize for its length). and that i tried rhyming at least three times.

i want to know though--which story was, well, not your favorite but the one that hurt the most, or that made you think, 'huh,' or that caught your attention or was the best written?
don't ever let me write at midnight ever again. -.-" xD
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:iconveinne:
veinne Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
thirteen and fourteen
urgh
my ribs hurt
Reply
:iconeealithnor:
Eealithnor Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2013
9, 11 and 16. But all the others too. Write more at midnight. Night-time always brings emotions closer to our reach, because in the dark we can hide from everything and anything except from ourselves.
Reply
:iconearthian101:
earthian101 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2013
WOAH. This is so amazing! I loved every bit of it. All of the stories were the perfect length - they told you what you needed to know, while allowing the reader space to draw their own conclusions, and that's a tricky thing to do with just one story - you managed it with 17 stories - fantastic work - and I really do mean that.

As for my favorite, I liked both 5, 10, and 15 the best :)
Reply
:iconslushyveins:
SlushyVeins Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2013
i run parallel with four
Reply
:iconflummo:
flummo Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013  Student Writer
Gut-wrenching, this.
Reply
:iconfloatnaway06:
floatnaway06 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you simply, and I agree you should write more at midnight :)
Reply
:iconlacewinged-beauty:
Lacewinged-Beauty Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013   Writer
This was so lovely.
Reply
:iconcamelopardalisinblue:
camelopardalisinblue Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
These were amazing, and far too many resonated.

My only problem with this is working out which favourites folder it belongs in.
Reply
:iconarabesque-o:
arabesque-o Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Photographer
i.
iv.
x.
xvii.
and well, honestly all of it. the whole thing was a bruise that didnt stop kicking. so. powerful.
(in a good way).
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
aw, that's sweet of you to say! x was one of my "favorites" too. a quick question--if one of these stanzas were to be turned into a whole poem, what stanza would you choose and...why?

i feel like an english teacher sosorry
Reply
:iconarabesque-o:
arabesque-o Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Student Photographer
thats hard. probably x. because it hits really close to home. and because it makes you double think.
Reply
:iconsomethingsophie:
somethingsophie Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013   Writer
this is so powerful, in so many ways. vii, xi, and xv probably hit the hardest, though. please don't ever stop writing at midnight.
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
thank you so much. i forgot to ask in my author's notes thing, but if you had to choose one of those stanzas to make into a full-length poem thing, which would you like to see? and thank you again.
Reply
:iconsomethingsophie:
somethingsophie Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013   Writer
hmmm... xi, i think.
Reply
:iconomnomnomsquirl:
OmnomnomSquirl Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
crying.

this is so heartbreakingly beautiful
You should write more during midnight

<3

i
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
thank you! and i would love to write more during midnight, except i'm pretty sure that on school nights i will wake up and act like the devil xD except, really. thank you so much for your words. and you "like" one the most? definitely not the response i've gotten for that stanza. i'm glad you "liked" it.
Reply
:iconomnomnomsquirl:
OmnomnomSquirl Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
haha same. im nót a morning person especially when I barely slept that night :)

and yeah i 'like' how it starts right in the chaos, if that makes sense to you :)
Reply
:iconrayoflight20:
rayoflight20 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013   Writer
viii, xv, and xvii. They really, really hit me. The first one...I dunno about the first one. Its so wrenching and raw but it seemed I dunno, a little harsh to start out with. Unless you were going for sheer shock value, because then it did the job; I couldn't stop reading. And xvii is just so deeply sad, I don't know why it hit me so hard since I've never been suicidal or known anyone who is. I'd be just like the boy, I know that I would bring myself to the bridge, I would force myself to jump...but the minute I'd leave solid ground, I'd regret it more than anything. And that's just sad, no one should die with regret as their last emotion.
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
to be honest, one is my least "favorite"--rape is a sensitive subject for everyone, i guess. i had already written a poem about rape--"half-priced whore"--where i used a lot of metaphor and "pretty language". so i guess with this stanza, i tried to just state the facts, instead of using flowery languages to dodge the topic. maybe it's so harsh or strong or forceful because i didn't avoid the topic--i told the facts. and you're right i really shouldn't have put it first. ^^ well crap

it's hard to know if that boy--or anyone, really--who commits suicide regrets it as they die. no one around usually, you know? no one to know except that person. it's weird to think about all those thoughts that we will never know. like love letters that get destroyed or poems that someone erases. all these beautiful thoughts, emotions, and words we can only guess at. it's sad, it's really sad.

and i think i'd do the same thing as you. as soon as i let go of the railing, my brain would tell me all the reasons i should have kept going and i would wish i had.
Reply
:iconalternativemeanings:
alternativemeanings Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Student Writer
iii.
ix.
xvii.

Those ones really hit me for some reason. This entire piece is so breathtaking. So painfully true, so raw. I love this. Thank you.

And x. Because I lost someone to a suicide overdose.
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2013   Writer
thank you so much for loving this piece! three is one of my favorites. well. i mean. i didn't--well, you know. and i'm sorry you lost someone from an overdose. a poem or a book or a movie or a song can never truly capture any of that pain, i think. i hope you yourself are doing okay. thank you so much, again.

this is why i never respond to comments. i'm so awkward
Reply
:iconalternativemeanings:
alternativemeanings Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Student Writer
♥♥♥
Thank you sweetness. Please write more, you're really good :aww:

shh you're cute
Reply
:iconadrolyn:
Adrolyn Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think vi was my favorite. Number ii is also good. The first one seems a little strong to start out with. I don't think I understand what is happening in xv. Number xii uses a rhyme scheme that seems to keep me from getting to know the girl as much as the other sections do, so it doesn't carry the same weight.

Very good overall. By age 20, I only knew 2 people that died. A drowning and a car accident.
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013   Writer
yeah, vi is something a lot of people can relate to, and you have to think about it for a bit to make it sad. number ii was one of the easiest to write because hadley talks about the floods where she lives a lot. ^^" yeah, i can understand how the first one is a bit too...deep end for its location. do you have any ideas on what could go first? because this wasn't the order i put them in, i just switched them all around before putting it up. and in number xv, basically it's like the dialogue of a person dying in someone else's arms, and that someone begging that person to stay. that's a cloudy explanation, but i guess i just needed a dialogue piece without a subject pronoun. cause there's eight stories about a guy and eight stories with girls, so i needed one gender ambiguous one, to keep it even. xD gooooooo writing tools. and the thing you said about xii is true, but there's a reason i used a rhyming scheme--dana, the woman is the only one in this poem i hadn't ever met or heard about. she was just from the news, so i didn't feel a connection to her either.

thank you so much! by the age of fifteen, i know at least sixteen people who have suffered more than i will ever know.
Reply
:iconadrolyn:
Adrolyn Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think ii would be good first, but don't put i right after it, lest the reader think you are referring to the same person. =)
Reply
:iconmelodysnow:
melodysnow Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
*adept

This is just so incredibly gorgeous. Thank you for writing and sharing it.
Reply
:iconmisfitablegrae:
MisfitableGrae Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013   Writer
oh god, thank you for that correction. i really thought i had put adept. i'm going to blame Word and not myself. xD

thank you for commenting and favoriting.
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