and some men
turn dreams
into ghosts
and you find yourself
face down
making love to your pillow
hoping tears will come
or anything that feels
like a release
because you saw it coming
and you knew all too soon
but kept hoping
kept clinging
to who he said
he would be

because girls like me
love stories mostly
and we want to believe
that dreams come true
and people are
who they say they are
so we
choose pain
on repeat
because we get attached
to what they said they’d do
because we get hooked
on fantasy
and fairytales
that we never knew the ending to

i wish we all truly understood
the impact of words

my least favorite saying is
“sticks and stones may break my bones
but words will never hurt me”

it’s not true
not as far as i can see
not as much as i can feel

i see words
profoundly informing
our reality
they shape us
words do
and we use them
to connect
we use them
to establish camaraderie
to make agreements,
and to articulate
shared values

so when used
please know
they can cause harm
words are not just words
scratches of ink across a paper
they are a way for us to find
each other in the dark
a way to know your people
and express yourself

and as much
as it’s our responsibility
to not take what is said
so personally
as much
as it is our responsibility
to do the work on self
to be stronger
and smarter
to not let the words of others
take us down

it’s also our responsibly
to honor words
for what they truly are
for what they truly do

they connect us deeply
they can inspire us endlessly
they let us preserve history
and they infuse life
with meaning
that can only come
from being able to share
words with some agreement
on meaning

so as i turn
my face away
from the soaking
salty wet pillow
i think
never again
no never again
will i choose someone
who doesn’t value
as i do

❤️ emily joy rosen

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