You Said It

Someday Our Youth Will Be Behind Us

Our inaugural edition of reader poetry.

Kelsey Jones


Loving you
was like holding on to a candle
long after the wax turned into
a tsunami of doubt
pouring over my fragile fingertips
leaving them burning like icicles,
melting like forest fires.
I thought my very soul was burning for you
but it was just a signal flare
already warning me that I was lost.

Loving you
was like reading an entire novel,
immersing myself in each typewritten letter
so painstakingly pressed to the paper
only to find that
there was a really shitty ending
or that the last page
was missing,
like being torn out of a book myself,
like all my words were worth nothing
and the only place you could find me
was crumpled in a ball
under the bed
with a book and some pens
and an apology I’d crafted with my bare hands.
Loving you was like trying to shovel rain.
I’d never wished for snow
until I watched your steps leave dirty footprints on the pavement.

Loving you was like having just enough dirt under my fingernails
to feel messy,
like being so close to sleep,
then jumping awake because suddenly I’m falling,
and they say love feels like falling
but I’ve always hated roller coasters
and tumbling makes me nauseous.
I think I’d much rather step gingerly into love
or see it coming, or ambush it from above,
instead of tripping and falling face-first into it
like a puddle so muddied that I can’t see my own reflection in it anymore.
Loving you was a train wreck.
And when they use that phrase they always say
that it’s so painful to watch
but you can’t look away
and as I looked in your eyes
I watched myself burning up
with the railway tracks still carved into my wrists.
And the night you left I pushed a pin into my flesh
because I didn’t want to forget that I was just another marking
on the map of places you’d been.

It took me weeks to wash you away,
like the way a new pair of jeans leaves all your skin blue,
leaving you wondering how your whole body could possibly be so bruised.

But loving you was like learning how to walk
by losing my footing over and over,
like remembering the name of someone I forgot
by listing all the names I knew it wasn’t.
It felt like falling but every once in a while
the scent of the floorboards reminded me
how to stand on my own two feet
and even though loving you was a mess to say the least,
I’ve never minded getting a little grimy.
So I guess all that I’m saying
is thanks for your bad timing.


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  • whatever April 19th, 2013 3:12 PM

    what a great collection! i’m going to print out some of these and stick them on my wall ♡♡
    “rather” on page 11 made me laugh


  • Ree April 19th, 2013 3:23 PM

    Gosh, Rookie readers are the best, this is brilliant in every way :-)

  • o-girl April 19th, 2013 4:09 PM

    “There is a 13-year-old girl,
    tall for her age, gangly.”
    This is a perfect description of me. Perhaps the exact definition of my appearance.

  • FlowerandtheVine April 19th, 2013 4:30 PM

    This is really a tremendous collection. It’s amazing how people can feel so many of the same emotions, while going through completely different situations!

  • indigosunday April 19th, 2013 4:49 PM

    Such a great poetry collection

  • KatGirl April 19th, 2013 5:50 PM

    Summer Nights T_T

  • paige.xo April 19th, 2013 6:14 PM


  • Jasmine April 19th, 2013 6:39 PM

    very lovely to see so much talent c:
    it definitely inspires me

  • Bianca April 19th, 2013 6:52 PM

    Aw Rookie has such talented readers! Their words and hearts on page move me greatly…nice job everyone <3

    PS – I also followed the links left in comments above by readers to their blogs…also very cool.

  • Maddie April 19th, 2013 7:21 PM

    This is such a beautiful collection of poems! I love that Rookie publishes reader work… thank you!

  • Miss Pink April 19th, 2013 8:28 PM

    LOVE this collection!! Such talented poets! <3

  • TessAnnesley April 19th, 2013 9:26 PM

    looooooooooooord i love all of you

  • rockwrenroll April 19th, 2013 9:36 PM

    I just watched Dead Poets Society, so I’ve been on a bit of a poetry kick lately. These are wonderful.

  • AnaRuiz April 19th, 2013 9:39 PM

    Things like this help me understand what Mary Poppins referred to with “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

  • wishfulwanderer April 20th, 2013 12:54 AM

    These are so great! I am kind of disappointed though that I didn’t submit my poetry… will there be another edition of reader poetry?

  • Tara A. April 20th, 2013 1:00 AM

    Rookie readers are amaaaazing and so talented! This collection is the best!

  • Tangerine April 20th, 2013 2:01 AM

    This is so so great

  • Cactus Woman April 20th, 2013 4:35 AM

    I have been waiting for something like this for SO LONG. You’ve no idea. Can’t wait to submit to a future one!

    ~*~**THANK YOU!**~*~

  • diniada13 April 20th, 2013 6:30 AM

    Love these!!! But if I want to submit poetry should it match the monthly theme?

    • Anaheed April 20th, 2013 6:34 AM

      No, it doesn’t have to.

  • Alex S. April 20th, 2013 10:51 PM

    I can almost feel the words behind these poems, is that weird? It might be but these are beautiful, can’t wait to see this revisited in the future.

  • cornly_ April 21st, 2013 9:05 AM


  • cornly_ April 21st, 2013 9:12 AM

    P.s Childhood Playmates made me kind of tear up, it was just beautiful.

    • chestnutsumo85 April 21st, 2013 3:22 PM

      thank you so much! – Sophie

  • Ella W April 21st, 2013 1:26 PM

    I wish this was a monthly piece on Rookie!

  • Maddy April 21st, 2013 10:26 PM

    IS STEVE HAPPY?! More poetry! :D

  • abby111039 April 22nd, 2013 8:06 PM

    I wish I had read these sooner. What a lovely collection of poems.

  • April 23rd, 2013 1:25 PM

    This was just beautiful.

  • HaverchuckForPresident April 27th, 2013 4:47 PM

    I really love these. The fact that they are from this community with people around my own age thinking and going through similar things as me makes them super-relatable. I especially like Keep Open, Consumable Yourh Rebellion and Divorce is a Dirty Word :) :) :)

  • pubertyblues April 28th, 2013 11:44 PM

    every single one of these made me cry

  • Rini July 29th, 2013 11:13 PM

    So fresh:)