#sbeck Tumblr posts

  • sbeckham
    18.06.2021 - 15 minutes ago

    To June

    18/30: the news

    She announces it like she’s telling me the time, reading a headline, there’s nothing implied. Even the sigh she gives after is in answer to a wrong order. She exchanges everything for cinnamon, my head is still swimming in the news. We choose a table inside, I try to hide the lilt in my tone when I bring it up again. It happened over the phone, she says, it was the end of the line, it was time, it was an amicable goodbye. I nod in the right places, keep my face neutral, drink scruples down with my coffee. I bite my tongue and run through sympathetic expressions as my mind wrestles with itself. I don’t offer advice, I devise new ways of saying "yes" and "uh huh" while staying passively supportive. I furtively search for traces of regret on her face, but she doesn’t seem sad. Only tired. They thought they’d anticipated the effort a long-distance relationship would require, and they’ve both been trying, but college is winding up, they have other interests vying for their attention. They didn’t grow together. She mentions wanting to watch extended episodes and I agree immediately. If her way of healing is by stealing laughs from mockumentaries, I’ll play my part in the scene. She’s out of creme cheese, that’s something I can fix. I quickly get up, are two packets enough? Grab them fast, make it back and distract her until class. And as the lecturer gets herself set, I finally let myself breathe. I cleave to cinders and stoke at embers of hope.

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  • sbeckham
    17.06.2021 - 1 day ago

    To June

    17/30: souvenirs

    I got the chance to go to France this summer. It was warmer than expected, the pictures I collected along the Seine don’t capture the sun’s heat in their frames. It’s quite a feat to bring back souvenirs, now I realize why my peers in grade school always chose merchandise that was more transportable than the not-so-durable artsy prints my gullible tourist self decided needed to reside on all of my friends’ walls. From the start, the city seemed unwilling to part with its street art. I held the relics tight to my chest under a slicker, running a bit quicker as an opening formed on the sidewalk, hoping the cheap plastic would last till I got to the hotel. Packed carefully in my carry-on, I ferried them on to the next test, airport security, wincing as the guards hurried me through and threw my luggage onto the belt. As a flight attendant helped me shove my oversized bag into the overhead rack, I stepped back, knowing my prized gifts were undoubtedly ripped and crushed. But, as I rushed to open the zipper, whispering swears under my breath and forming epitaphs for the gifts’ untimely deaths, it was all for nothing. No amount of shoving or shuffling sullied the papers. And that’s how I gave her (and others) the wonders of Paris. I came back from my quest with a prize from the West and it warms my chest to see my hard-earned treasure measured, framed and hung over her dresser.

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  • sbeckham
    16.06.2021 - 2 days ago

    To June

    16/30: fearless champion

    She’s my fearless champion, a hero wrapped in a college sweatshirt, the protector of the lecture hall. All it took was a little blue booklet to set this crush ablaze, saving the day and keeping my grade safe in art history. It’s a mystery to me why we need to use this special paper as if we’re traitors to academia herself if we dare excel outside of teal covers. I wonder if the color is embedded with a credit checker, a mood ring that springs to life with greens and yellows and reds depending on the rubric. “If the book isn’t blue, then there’s no score for you” is the law of the land and I ran into a curriculum-fight empty handed. But, before the panic fully sets in, she grins and pulls a second booklet from her bag. I take it like a shield, wielding it up to the light as if inspecting my weaponry before a fight. The phrases that are usually so close to my tongue come undone and I gush out her praises as a blush grazes her cheeks. My speeches are cut off by the clock hitting noon. I strewn the gifted pages with words on Monet, still thinking of the hero who saved my grade and the day.

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  • sbeckham
    15.06.2021 - 3 days ago

    To June

    15/30: enough

    I’m bad about getting distracted. I lose track of my tasks as fast as “what if...” and commit to new topics as quickly as stones skip water. There are too many options in silence, I hide in the unconscious consonance of constant sound (white noise from a cartoon, a new podcast on true crime) but it’s only a Band-Aid on a wound, it soothes without healing and I’m left feeling like I’m moving without gaining ground. I steal moments of enough. The low buzz of the editing room, the glow of a half crescent moon, the way April, May and... hold their own presence. She’s the tune I never want to leave my head, the thread that leads me back from Tenarus, the reverence of a sunrise. Existence is enough when her eyes close the distance and scrunch up at the edges as she smiles. Time is always running out on me and I study doubt so often it should be tossed on my transcript as a minor, but when I tire of my tantalean indecision, she’s the vision that stokes Elysian hopes for something that finally feels like enough.

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  • sbeckham
    14.06.2021 - 4 days ago

    To June

    14/30: sweater weather

    She’s wearing a black and white striped sweater and I can’t form the words right so instead of saying I’d buy one like it, I throw out an absurd line about how she looks like a mime. Her laughs ring out and my doubts are drowned by waves of sound. It’s easier to tease her with sarcastic jokes than unanchor romantic hopes from a throat weighed down by the unsaid praises in my head. I pirate her smile to admire it while she’s not in view. It swims through my day, but I push it away by night. There’s no gray, it’s black and white, and I try to move on, go on dates with Blake’s friends. But once again she pulls me in like a lighthouse, asking if her blouse looks too much like Waldo. (Uh, well, the answer’s not no). I’m thrown into choppy waters, I barter with deities to release me from the plank, think fast! change tack, fall back on old habits by taking jabs at the fabric. I finally tell her to get it, she looks nice. She says it depends on the price and when she doesn’t hesitate in turning to the next contender, I offer to wait outside the dressing room and hope my quick exit won’t offend her. I want to borrow her sweater. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get better about braving tidal waves, but I don’t have my sea legs yet. I sit framed by the door and the dressing room sign, thinking about how it’s not really the sweater that I wish was mine.

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  • sbeckham
    13.06.2021 - 5 days ago

    To June

    13/30: thrifting

    I’ll be honest, I don’t want to be in love today. And I don’t mean we should admonish the way love is described as eternal and unconditional, but traditional sights are always black and white and I live in gray, loving love but hating the way it complicates a relationship. I’m not equipped to wait, I’ve never been a patient person, yet every makeshift attempt to rip it away only worsens my fate. Can star crossed lovers be singular? Make it go away, if only for a day, so I can look at the scene as it is, dispose of rose-colored glasses and see the world as the masses do. Is it true? Are half of all I-love-you’s said in vain? I know my unspoken declarations are made from recycled refrains, but maybe original sensations are hard to explain without the frame of reference given by rations collected from better known sources. It’s in fashion to go thrifting, and if every thread has a story, maybe every addition to the history of those three words grants greater significance to the next time they’re heard. Maybe yes, maybe no. Even so, is it okay if I play pretend just for today? Say yes and I’ll take back my heart, mend it whole, forget the parts she unknowingly stole.

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  • sbeckham
    12.06.2021 - 6 days ago

    To June

    12/30: jealousy 

    I get dark when I think of her with him. He’s the stark reminder of the whims I can’t give into and as he grazes fingers on her waist, or tastes the chapstick on her face, I feel a shroud begin to descend and I shut down. Even now, she looks at me bemused and smiles, all the while he’s sitting too close and playing with the hem of her clothes. I want to rip it out, sit out the feeling and steal existence from another who isn’t bothered by the awkward way he can’t recall the name of her cousin coming into town. I’m looking down, I can’t see if she frowns when he mispronounces her hometown. He brings her flowers in the morning but forgets to water them by night. I fight the urge to let them die but the way she says goodbye has me tending gardens and handing out pardons like roses. I suppose it’s my own fault for playing parts I want to shed, and I should tell her what’s in my head, but as she dozes off too soon and the room starts to get dark, it’s a stark reminder of how far she is from me. I can’t kiss her into dreams so I place blankets with ripped seams over her uncovered feet and hope her form of darkness is sweet. It’s platonic agony, a cyclonic jealousy, reaching out for what I’m not allowed to be.

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  • sbeckham
    11.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    11/30: insomnia 

    She’s making me wired again. I’m too tired for sleep, insomnia fits me better than slowed breathing and the feeling asks to stay up, just ten more minutes and I’ll convince myself this is all pretend. Will I reach my limit at three or four? The seconds speed by like they’re keeping score, placing bets on how many can sneak through before my eyelids droop a final time tonight. They’re right, I close my eyes and hers swim into view. I don’t like dreams that make reality seem unreal. I steal existence from others’ words, dive into scripted worlds where hopeless romantics have sympathetic endings that spell new beginnings. They collect their winnings in a final kiss and I wish I could keep the light on forever and never have to admit that happily ever after isn’t something I can fit into two-hundred and fifty pages. As the morning braces itself for its daily graces, I place a self-imposed starvation on rest in the hopes that sleep deprivation is the best remedy for the pining of a traitorous mind.

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  • sbeckham
    10.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    10/30: unoriginal

    Typewriters are my aesthetic, I have a special pen for my poetics, I’m overly apologetic and dye my hair like it’s genetic. I’m as predictable as a sunrise, I’m as cliche as describing her eyes, so no, it’s no surprise that I would choose the trope of the unattainable muse. It’s a lose-lose scenario, where love unrequited sits quietly rotting and words written must be hidden unless their meanings are found out by the object they’re about. I’ll admit, it’s a bit more like lose-lose-win, I chose the best rose to pin inspiration to and if adoration is a game, then I’ll gladly claim my blue ribbon. I’m so smitten I stack her name with Beatrice and Laura, describe the flora of her blush, string together sonnets on a crush and call it love. I’ll keep writing about cherubs above, words of pinning and lightning that stings with perfect timing. It’s so stupid, that Cupid strikes in arbitrary things, I find red strings in the way she overuses the laughing emoji or how she’s totally addicted to the sticker packs at craft stores. I pack her into neat lines and if I’m as unoriginal as every other individual, maybe the effects of this one-sided love will wither in words choked out by the conventional.

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  • sbeckham
    09.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    9/30: a reminder

    I was told college life would unfold between library shelves and moments of discovery, recovering from nights of flights filled with bubbles and double blocks dusted with chalk. And it does. But it feels lackluster. The buzz wears off and I’m back to mustering up words in my room for an assignment that’s due at midnight tonight, what time is it? Shoot. One Saturday it’s an essay, another’s due to Brontë, Blake walks in as I search for Berlin churches and my dearest roomie tells me that I need a break. We make our way to a little cafe and a familiar face sits by the bookcase. She motions us over, I whisper to Blake that I know her from class. She’s a friend, a good one at that. She’s here with her boyfriend, he drove in for the weekend. He seems nice enough, he brings up our cups once the dregs have dried up. Two hours are spent in light conversation but assignments and translations still need my attention. Back to essays and citations and quotations in German. I read Goethe like a sermon, the words swim in and out, I settle them down and don’t think about how it felt to watch her leave with him.

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  • sbeckham
    08.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    8/30: studying

    She’s made a fool of me and I don’t mind. I find myself reenrolling in school and I’ll pay for books that are way too expensive if they’re the ones by her bed, if I can water the dead plants on the sill above her desk, clean up the mess on her dresser for extra credit. I edit my responses when I’m texting, guessing at the answer that will give her the biggest laugh. The paragraphs she sends back of stacked hahaha’s are better than a glowing report card. She’s my favorite friend in the schoolyard, she’s the scent of freshly sharpened pencils, the sleepy nectar of a darkened room lit only by a projector. It may sound silly, but quiz me on the embroidery on her left shoulder, the folder in the corner where she keeps her receipts, the leaky faucet she won’t put in a request for even though it stresses her out more than she admits. I want a textbook on the longing looks she gives airplanes, to ask if she likes her middle name, if Coke tastes the same across the equator. And later, when it’s just me and her and our extracurriculars, I’ll take time to memorize her favorite lines from franchises I only knew as sound bites on streaming sites. I’ll graduate with a degree in holding her hand as we ice skate because she’s clumsy but can’t stand falling. My calling is listening to her describe the tie-dye fabric swatches and scrapbook boxes she’s getting this weekend and when Monday morning comes again, I’ll keep learning all I can from this endless lesson plan.

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  • sbeckham
    07.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    7/30: ictus

    I have trouble staying focused. I lose the locus of attention like a ring of keys, I leave doors open from neglect, I simply forget and let in every type of insect. I get caught up in thoughts that crop up like forget-me-nots, I split my brain right down in half and laugh when a part tumbles through my heart. For fun, I chart how many times my mind leaves me in an hour. The page is overflowered with plotted dots. At least a few times a week I have conversations with her in my head, not about the obvious things left unsaid, no, instead, on the mundane cares I want to share. Does she know the picture we took at last week’s game sits in a frame on my desk? Has she guessed that when the coffee runs out on me her texts are what get me to finish assignments before I fall asleep? Or that nothing can compete with the chocolate espresso cookies she brings on Fridays? They’re my favorite treat for getting through the week. My mind is fraught with kaleidoscopic thoughts, and yet, through every vignette, she’s as constant as a pulse. When I finally close my eyes and the world dulls, her soul is the metronome, the lone tone signaling a new kind of way home. She’s everything, she’s in the small and the warm and the sweet. She’s the everyday wrapped in the ictus of a heartbeat.

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  • sbeckham
    06.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    6/30: déjà vu

    Holding her hand isn’t a big deal. I feel a soft weight on my palm and nothing but calm fills my chest. I guess this is normal, no formal declarations need to be heeded for interlaced fingers to find a friend’s. I willingly go as she pulls me along, matching her long strides in skips, thoughts eclipsed with getting from point A to point B. We’re dodging a sea of orange and blue to get to a game that’s two minutes in, and as she mentions the win from last week, that same, unnamed familiar sense fills my core. Has this happened before? A memory laps at my sore ankles trying to catch up, but it’s ignored in favor of the match’s cheers and score board. It’s weird that it’s not weird… she steers me through the crowd to the seats beneath our feet and I don’t mind our intertwined hands. It’s usually tough for me to stand the touch of a new friend, but hers feels a little more than new. I wish I knew why holding her hand feels like déjà vu.

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  • sbeckham
    05.06.2021 - 1 week ago

    To June

    5/30: texting 

    We’re typing novels to each other. Another line in ALL CAPS, a word wrapped in ✨stars✨, we swap hearts in parts of speech and playyyyy with form for the sake of making narrations as  i n t e r e s t i n g  as possible. Stacking run-ons like we’re tracking punctuation, we tack adaptations of our inflections onto the square screen, watch it reflect the scream of the elated (AHHHHH) or perhaps something more sedated (nah) and I’m getting a Pavlovian reaction to the satisfaction that three little dots can bring... We’re meticulous with ridiculous things, we’re pouring effort into half written “wut”‘s in the hope of scoring long-distance laughs. I want to preserve this with the classics, bind the oeuvre of our classless typing (and self-righteous griping) and place it on my bookshelf. Our two names look good together, those tiny letters above the spine seem designed to fall in... line with each other. Just ask a Collins or a Harper and I bet they’d both agree. We make great writing partners, she dots my i’s and I cross her t’s.

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  • sbeckham
    04.06.2021 - 2 weeks ago

    To June

    4/30: calligraphy

    Hypnotized, I watch her scribe my identity in calligraphy. She catches me spying and slides her paper into view, still outlining the sides of a ‘U’. I try to look nonchalant as her custom font pours my name into curved frames. For the sake of the professor, I try to pull my attention back, but her sketches are far better than the lecture. She’s moved on to threading lyrics from her favorite song, I hear it playing along in my head. My car speaker hasn’t featured anything else since she mentioned it last week. This is her tonic to chronic boredom, she draws modern sonnets with loop-de-loops on them. Has she noticed, in her focused study of the alphabet, that the vowels she sets in our names are almost the same? We share some letters, but I’ll wait until after class to tell her. She’s still on the bridge and some words remain hidden. I’ll keep stealing glances till the last note’s been written.

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  • sbeckham
    03.06.2021 - 2 weeks ago

    To June

    3/30: what is art?

    There’s a part in the semester where every humanities professor decides to conduct a demolition on the definition of art. Pretending to work apart from each other, they smother us in rhetorical questions on the historical concessions made on the constitution of “good.” Should this have been the first time I was presented with the paradigm, I might be impressed. But the effect is lessened when I’m lessoned every second on the merit of a song or a poem or a painting, all while feigning interest in the antediluvian fixture. Though the lecture’s strictures leave me feeling bored, her whispered words give moments of tedious discernment purpose beyond the discourse. She’s the answer to the useless squiggles, she’s the lesson learned in stifled giggles.

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  • sbeckham
    02.06.2021 - 2 weeks ago

    To June

    2/30: motions

    Wake up, peel my eyes open, go through the motions. Brush my hair and teeth, reach for the first sweater in view and pull it on as I dart out of my room. Warm my hands on the travel mug Blake pours out for me and make a beeline for the door, but not before I hug her thanks. Floor it to my class, cutting through grass paths that leave dew on my boots. Shoot, forgot to bring lunch, I’ll munch on vending machine trail mix instead and catch up on political twitter threads. I’m texting and the next thing I know it’s the afternoon and soon I’ll be done for the day. I place a binder on the desk, find her again, the girl with the gif sets and purple background whose smile I found so familiar. I stare at her and she looks back. Startled, I nod slightly and turn to my MacBook. She gathers her things and brings them to the seat next to mine. We greet each other with muttered “hi”s, swap names and utter out the same questions everyone asks when they begin. As the lesson quiets our spoken exchange, I grin at my new friend and feel okay knowing that not all of my day is arranged.

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  • sbeckham
    01.06.2021 - 2 weeks ago

    To June

    1/30: meet cute

    I shoulder my backpack, head to the back of the room and remove what I’ll need for the first day of school. I like sticking to fundamentals, my tools of choice are a gray notebook and pencil. Ah, to a semester coated in essentials. I look out the window, wish I could open it wide, let in the outside. It’s a day of colored bricks and textured façades smothered in lectures and nods of understanding. The professor is standing and pacing, drawing and tracing strings of words while students sit facing the board with glazed over eyes. Amid the sea of newly bought supplies, I spy a laptop with a bright purple backdrop. Unlike me, she easily opens a new window and it looks like she’s shifted from books to a gif set. I grin at the pictures, a mixture of actors from shows that grew popular after they ended. An extended silence signals the longwinded speech has reached its conclusion and pupils make futile attempts to hide their confusion. They scramble to gather their things while I amble and twirl the rings on my hand, choosing to take my time standing to avoid the loud bustle of the disbanding crowd. I notice the girl from before is still circling the floor and smile softly as she passes my desk. For the rest of the day my focus slacks when I think of the way she smiled back.

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  • sbeckham
    14.04.2021 - 2 monts ago

    April 14th, 2021

    You don’t have to read between the lines to know this is a love story. It’s written all over her face, love is stuffed into every syllable like she has a surplus to give out, like to hold love in is a sin.

    #sbeck #a little gay for your day #foreshadowing#Sapphic#poetry #writers on tumblr #WLW#spilled ink #from my latest fixation project
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  • sbeckham
    06.04.2021 - 2 monts ago

    April 6th, 2021

    I’m on fire today. I ask myself, my dear, what are you doing in another life that the mundanities of a Tuesday can light your being like this? I don’t sit still, I feel magic at my fingertips, I stare at my hands and wonder when the sparks will shoot out. Embers over a keyboard, flashes in the reflections of my eyes. Fire, everywhere.

    #got the second dose today #that may also be why I feel this way lol #but this is much more poetic #sbeck#My writing #writers on tumblr #prose#writing#quotes
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