Atoms (Slam Poetry)


I like to think I walk in a straight line. Correction: I do not ever walk in a straight line, I am not straight enough to walk in a straight line, and I love to lie to myself. It’s sort of become a habit of mine. When I was little (honestly, not as little as I would tell people) I loved to lie to myself about magic, though I liked to think I was really innocent enough to believe it. Now I love to lie to myself about what I will mean to the world. A few months ago I loved to lie to myself about what you meant to me. What could happen. What if. What if. What if. Never. I wish I hadn’t kept all the nevers for that long when they never existed in the first place. I never walk in a straight line and every day I walk in countless crooked lines heading for you.


Most of the things I think I overthink. Correction: I overthink the things that matter too much to my crooked-walking heart. I shiver when you drop a heavy sentence. When you surprise me I run back alone and close my eyes. I hold my breath and touch you. After looking at you like that I don’t know if I can do this with anyone else. But I will try to ride the rebound rope back up when you open your eyes and leave me.


I only move a fraction of the atoms I touch. Correction: I swim through the atmosphere moving so many atoms and still I don’t leave a dent. There are so many more on either side of me that will never touch my skin, never meet the atoms that make me. So I move sunlight atoms, dust and breath and lemonade. I move feathers but never pillows, wisps but never smoke. I move peanut butter atoms, gift wrapping and olive oil and lavender soap. And now I move Hannah atoms, soft and skin and loneliness and together. With pure movements I make some of your memories. If I only move a fraction of the atoms I touch, I’m glad some of them are yours.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/24/17



From the way you walk

I knew you were something,

I didn’t know

how much you can move me,

how I can make you move

and breathe

and look

and talk like that.


Tastes like magic-

eyes closed

heart crossed

love wide open


I can’t stop

holding you,

missing your touch when you move an inch,

begging for you to be part of me

let me steal a piece of your words

so I can taste your need again.


The world fits back together

when we pull each other

up this slope,

I want all of you,

I can’t tell where I end

and you begin.


It’s like I didn’t know I had skin

before you.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/22/17

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Holding You


Holding you

I am breathing like I’ve never held the air,

I am curled in your human

and our shapes fit like a snowfall.


Touching you

I am bound and falling apart

and I am reckless,

it doesn’t seem to matter now when the lights are down

and you look at me like that.


Next to you

I am out of the spotlight

I have been running from,

you don’t need motion to tell me your story,

tell me something old or something new.


Holding you

I am warmer than I have ever been in summer,

I bend into your breaths,

I curve into every dip of your world

and I still have not explored them enough.


Holding you

I am whole.


Holding you

I am home.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/20/17

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Invisible Playlists


I go quiet for days

when I’m dreaming in lyrics,

streaks of my memory somehow written down by someone else,

shards of a moment I might have left behind.


I go quiet and collect

every note

every rest

every rhyme

that makes me think of you.


I have given you all of my words

and none of them are broken.

I have given you all of my time

and none of it’s wasted.


I have run out of voice,

I have no other stories,

I exhale invisible playlists

you will only find if you unfold my skin.


I am not doing much you asked me to do

but I could answer all your questions

in this symphony.


Maybe you should

learn the music filed under your name 

to know what’s going on in my head.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/20/17

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Everything You Want


I will never be everything you want,

the blend of lost and found.


I am soft edges

not a broad shoulder to collapse into.

I wish too much

and do too little.


I am half a meal and you will always leave empty.

I don’t have the world

or even a place for you to break down like I have.


You tell me I am beautiful.

I want to believe you

but I can’t when you keep looking the other way.

I know this does not mean you are dropping me,

the slippery fingers of a question mark girl,

just holding me the same way you hold your dreams

and I am the last person to hold that against you.


I would hold out for you

if I knew you didn’t want to hold someone else’s hand

so I bleed what I lack and I can’t stop bleeding.

I paint you in red and you still can’t find the colors we are.


You will make someone happier

than I have ever made you

and I hope it is easier than this.


I don’t give you a forever…

if I did it would be rocky

and I don’t want to be the reason you trip.


I hold you like a girl.

This is not everything you need.


My thoughts say

you had to try falling

for this whirlwind head,

for the halfhearted space I take up.

And I can’t help but think if things were different


you would be more in love.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/18/17

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Too Many


My head is busy when you’re around,

so used to motion,

it is working hard at not thinking now.

I often trip over the easy.


We are not flawless,

we are not falling apart.

We are somewhere in between.


I don’t want to take this state of mind for granted.

I remember too many things you might not want me to

but I want my world to begin and end with you.


I want too many nickels,

too many minutes,

too many words to cry and call home.


I want too many decisions,

too many moans,

too many breaths I hope I won’t regret.


My head is busy when you’re around,

not used to sitting still

and letting every letter slip out

so you can hear it,

I fill it with the freedom to fall

and hope it catches me-


will you catch me?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/17/17

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In just a few hours you learned I cry at everything.

I didn’t sleep for a week because I wanted to know you.



I said I only take the necessary risks.

I don’t know why this one felt necessary.



I decided to freeze on a porch swing looking out over this electric city

so I didn’t have to leave without you.



I spent all my time dreaming.

Maybe that’s not any different than usual.

But now I spent all my time dreaming with you,

about you.



I caught all the ways I fall

pushed them away so you wouldn’t be scared of this…

whatever it is,

and you found them anyway.




Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/15/17

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Freeze Time


I have never seen

those double rainbows,

the glimmers of light

little voices point out.


I have never known

the smile of an angel,

the kiss of the wind.


I have never been

the kind of girl

to hope for magic.


I wish things

because I know they will never happen.


But in your hands

the world holds something

more than just a sunset…

I might call it love

or magic.


I am a realist

but in this moment if you asked me to freeze time

so we could take one more breath in this world together

I might try.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/9/17

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Yesterday I was haunted by you,

your careless laughter to cover everything,

every step you took in front of me

blind, without looking back.


Now I sit here wondering

why you decided to look

at me this way.


Now I sit here wondering

how your hands hold this well,

even more than they were made to do.


Now I sit here wondering

about all the gems of good in you

and how you overlook them.


Now I sit here thinking

that tomorrow when I miss you

you will deserve it.


Now I sit here wondering

how I got this lucky.


I know you don’t always want me to fall.

But tomorrow I will deserve to miss you.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 7/9/17

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