At some point, you’re just going to have to say
“this is my body, and it is the right body for me.”

your body might be the underscore of self-destruction
with scars and stitches and broken skin and long nights
etched into your palms and in the bags under your eyes
but you are not an embarrassment and you are not
weak and you are not a failure, you are human and
capable of crumbling
so show off those wolf teeth and say
“this is my body, and I am surviving”

your body might be sharp angles or soft curves or
somewhere in between and every time
you take a picture of yourself, i hope some part of you says
“goddamn but do i look good today” because even if
ten hundred people call you ugly
if you’re happy, they have no power over you
because weight and worth have no correlation
so if someone comments on what you’re eating,
keep eating anyway and tell them
“this is my body, and it’s my place to say. i can change things
about it, but during this journey i still love all the things
i see along the way.”

your body might come with equipment you don’t want to use
or you don’t think really belongs to you and
you’d like to change and i want you to know
that’s perfectly okay because you were
never a mistake and i love you however you
were made and if someone tries to remove the choice
of how you express yourself, you show them
your hands all full of potential and say
“this is my body and if i choose to knock it all down
or rebuild or just change the color of the paint:
not a single drop is any of your business anyway.”

your body might come with injuries or illnesses
that make people walk on eggshells around you
as if you were made of glass but they probably
don’t know that cancer scars never stopped my mother
from making excellent desserts or how my brother’s
disabilities never stopped him from achieving
and now he’s making prosthetic limbs for children
because your definition does not start or end with
what you’ve struggled through
and i hope if someone tries to hold you back
you show them
“this is my body and just because it doesn’t work like yours doesn’t mean i can’t love it”

your body might come in any color of the spectrum
and you might carry the weight of heavy silences and
clenched fists but any person that tries to justify cruel behavior
with the idea that skin and equality should somehow
be interlinked - you already know but they’re wrong
and they always have been and i cannot believe
it is 2014 and i’m still having to explain this
so if someone so much as hints that they think
they can determine anything based on race
don’t say anything just punch them directly in the face
but then when you’ve laid them out and are
shaking out your fist maybe toss over one shoulder
“this is my body and it’s excellent”

because at some point you’re gonna
fall in love with all of this
like how my ribs are supersized and i’ve got
fat on my hips and my tummy has rolls and
my thighs like to kiss and maybe it’s not perfect
because my hips still crack and i messed up my back but
this is my body and
it might not be right for everyone
but it’s what’s right for me
and it took me a long long time
to realize this and i think it’s because
other people look at me and say
“this is your body and i would like it to change”
this is my body
and it’s just fine this way.


"Never wanting to reveal to your friends how stressed and broken you really feel, to try and convince them that you’re still the happy, cheery girl they know.” (r.i.d)

“I just can’t hold it in anymore. I’m sorry.” (r.i.d)


by inkskinned

the only war i knew about was the one my daddy called “a sorry excuse for a life” and the only headline from that whole event was a hospital bill. my mother says i don’t write poetry, just confessions that people think are pretty. this is the same thing as someone ripping you open because of the gold you carry.

raquel is a winner of our third anon contest! pls check out her work, she’s a new member ! 


29 July 14

No one ever told you that the happiest four words someone could string together were “I’m used to it,” but because the moment never came when you learned, you use your glue and your staples to try to hold yourself together.
I have been thinking about that since the moment I read your poem and how evolution has shaped us all into such sad people, and how we might never know the light of day because we are never told to open our eyes, and how our children will grow up cold and alone because we will never learn how to love, like our parents and grandparents before us.
I have been thinking of what you’re not used to. Snuggled in the back of your couch, curled up watching a movie and seeing the look in his eyes that screams his love for you as your own eyes light up at all the right parts. Her fingertip as familiar as your own as your lover traces the patterns of your face. The butterflies that take flight in your belly the moment he glances at you, though he’s stared at you for years straight.
One day, you’ll be used to it. You’ll be used to how her lips caress your scars, giving testament to the battles you’ve survived, the questions answered through the years of love that you’ve shared. You’ll be used to how their eyes dart to you when you smile, as if you had to unzip your soul to let out such a merry laugh. You’ll be used to the spotlight he puts on you whenever he holds your hand, thumb stroking your knuckles in just the way you like.
You’ll be used to the pet-names, the inside jokes, the requests to just stay in tonight so he can keep you all to himself. For a little bit, you must admit, you even dipped so low as to hate the wonderful person you are- you used to think you deserved it as much as you deserved the burns and cuts and scars: and you’ll still flinch when people ask you why you look sad some days and where the thin little lines came from. But you’ll be used to being reminded of being in a better place by her smile. You’ll be able to stop trying.
I have thought about how we have adapted. I have thought about how girls like you have your monsters and your regrets that keep you up until morning, how boys can hide away their feelings thinking themselves lower for having them, how those of us who are different have long ago been told that exactly what to be so we’ll “fit in”. I have thought about how when I enter a room, my fingers immediately feel for the rubber bands that I twirl around my wrist because I’m nervous. “I have thought about how when I am hurting, I never let all of the pain show because I’m afraid of letting other people see me vulnerable.” I have thought about the kids whose friend are mean and need to be replaced.
I have thought about your evolution, and how it is not finished, how you are not the final product of who you will become, how your mother may shoot you down, and your father may make you feel worthless but how you will rise past it all the same. I thought about feelings and hope and how others have shaped us to be smaller than what we could grow to be. I have thought about the poor kids who think they should conform as if tearing themselves apart is a good thing, and those who will never recover because of it. “I have thought of the things that have killed me.” And about the things that still are.
I know that it makes me sad. The thought of what you’re not used to.



i am stones where used to be cities
and if you breathe too closely to me
you can still smell burning, i am
a shell constructed from
music lyrics and poems and
i don’t let people in

but you,
you are the kind
who sees
galaxies in your coffee
where others just see
sugar and cream
and you’re the one who says
“go on, i’m listening” even when
i’ve already realized how boring the story is
that i’m telling
and you’re the one who makes sure i got home
safe and that i’m eating well and getting out of bed

i mean you must be
an archaeologist
because where others saw ruin
and black nights and

you looked into my eyes
and whispered
“you’re so full
of life.”


Someone once told me that the saddest four words someone could string together were “I’m used to it,” but because the moment tasted too much like bicycle chains and not enough like laugh tracks, I made some offhand comment and everyone smiled.

I have been thinking about that since the moment it happened and how evolution has shaped the way we exist, how we are only the adaptions that our grandparents fought to handle for us, how my children might carry the same thick skin and frozen heart as the one that I do. I have been thinking about how many things we are used to and how many things we have had to grow used to throughout the ages, I have been thinking about the ways which I have adapted to fit into a jungle I never wanted to run in.

I have been thinking of what I am used to. In the back of a train when a man copped a feel I was as used to the grasp of his fingers as if I had always known the span of his palm. He was as familiar to me as a longterm lover and he whispered words in my ear with a kind of intimacy that I expect at weddings. I am used to it. I am used to every person who will take this body for granted. I am used to the expectation that my art gallery is open for the public or that to see it is to have to touch it.

I am used to it. I am used to how people will look at the scars and then glance quickly away as if they are made uncomfortable by the questions hanging in the air between us. I am used to how their eyes dart anywhere else as if they are expecting me to unzip at their feet if we exchange eye contact. I am used to the invisibility cloak I have painted onto my skin as if razorblades were just steel thread. I’m used to not being asked about it.

I am used to slurs, to being a joke, to requests for threesomes. For a little bit, I admit I even thought that statements like “that’s hot” in regards to my sexuality - I used to take these as compliments rather than blanks in a shotgun: I still flinch even if it doesn’t actually kill me because I know all it takes is for you to reload with the right ammunition. I am used to what I will hear if I try to explain myself to you. I have stopped trying.

I have thought about how we have adapted. I have thought about how girls have invented claws from keys, how sad teens can withstand long sleeves in high heat, how those of us who are different have long ago learned exactly what words to search for in a person’s speech so we know whether or not you’re going to be our friend or our bully. I have thought about how when I enter a new room, my shoulders rise up like skyscrapers as if I am expecting a knife through my jugular. I have thought about how when I am hurting, I never let all of the pain show because I’m afraid of letting other people see me vulnerable. I have thought about how last night all of my friends went to a party without me and even though I was asked after, I still didn’t go because I was terrified of the possibility of what could happen if I did show.

I have thought about our evolution, how I have my grandmother’s shaky hands and my mother’s sad brain and my father’s addiction. I have thought about dna and nature and how we have all shaped ourselves to survive in a hostile environment. I have thought about the kids who cannot conform or those of us who have lost ourselves while trying. I have thought of the things that have killed me.

I don’t know if it makes me sad. I think I’m just used to it, see?


“I’m stuck in a small town full of empty promises and I’m afraid I’ll never get out.” (r.i.d)
"i fell
so deeply in love
with death
i became convinced
he was
a poem."

there are universes where i never kissed you
i never learned what it was like
when you stopped kissing back
or how quickly intimacy becomes
bruised knees in the backseat
of your father’s station wagon, trying
not to let you hear me cry over the sound
of the music that only you like and
in some universes you might still
love me like how you used to like
how you would nuzzle against my neck
and ask for more time cuddling in bed and
you’d hunt for my hand to hold no matter
the situation
in some universes maybe i even
take that for granted

but i can’t remember the last time you meant
those three little words when they fell out of
your lips because recently all it’s been
are half-truths and stutterings when you think
you’ve got to say something

in some universes i am not picturing her hair
spread across your pillow or how her laugh
punctures the air or how she fits so much better
against your body
than i ever did
and in some universes i never tasted you
so i haven’t started brushing my teeth
until i bleed and when i lie down at night
i just go to sleep i don’t stay up

how it is possible
i never saw all of this


In the universes
where we did not meet
do you still miss me, does
your heart still ache with
some emptiness
are you still
searching for a
hint of my face

i have glimpsed into the universes
where we have been torn asunder
and i have found myself
with shaking hands and a
heavy heart and even on this world
i was filled with wanderlust
before i met you and in you
i found love and in love i finally found
the home i’d been missing from

and i know
even if we were kept apart
by the fabric of this cosmos
we would shred every seam
until we could meet
because even the stars had a hand
in making us complete
and i was made for you and
you were made
for me.


"My boyfriend says he wants to be together forever, but I’m worried that my breakdowns will drive him away." (r.i.d)

"What about the girl with pretty hair and pearl earrings who spends her nights with popular boys and perfect girls because they somehow think she fits in. I want to read about that girl. The one who supposedly has her life together and everyone looks right at her but never stops to wonder why she’s worn knitted sweaters three weeks into spring weather.”  (r.i.d)

“I feel like she sacrifices her ideals to conform to popular opinion.” (r.i.d)