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Withering Colors

A collection of poetry about a toxic love and its true colors

Photographer: Emily Henry Model: Natalia Sayedarous

Imagine a flower sitting on a window sill,

Waiting to be watered with fresh water;

A pot is placed over it, and what comes down is nothing fresh but toxic.

Toxicity makes its way through the roots of the flower,

And it could no longer nourish;

This is you when you stay glued to toxic love,

When you were destined for better things.


I always feel really sorry

for the girl he meets after me,

because she will soon feel as empty,

as he made me feel,

and all her beautiful colors

will soon start to fade away.


I feel this same fire burning inside of me coming back; I stare down at my hands, and I see them turning so red, and I feel the fire rubbing against my skin, and my ashes are spilling out right into your hands, and you pick them up right where you found them, and you feed the ashes left of my broken heart to me. The ashes remain deep inside me, and I can’t even forget you for a second. I’m running back to you and losing every part of me.         


We took sips from the bottle that we soon used to drown our sorrows when the love we thought would last didn’t. Now we’re sitting here alone in our rooms, miles apart and drowning ourselves in alcohol. We’re barely ever sober, and we stand still as we feel tears running down our face; we’re screaming and hiding under our covers. We’re reminiscing every little moment we spent together. We’re thinking about each other, but we won’t pick up each others’ calls. We’re dragging ourselves out of bed just to eat a meal with our families. We’re doing everything we can not to light up a blunt, because we don’t want to teach our younger siblings that this what you do after you watch the person you love walk away. We’re too scared to sleep but too sad to stay awake, and as the sun rises, we’re looking off to the side to see that we’re all alone. 


 We’re friends who act like lovers,

on some nights,

We like to hold each other’s hand,

and say we love each other,

but we don’t think we mean it.

 We’re friends who like long hugs,

  we’re friends, and not even the biggest tornado can tear us apart,

  our hands locked to the other,

as we walk down the streets.

We listen to each other talk

and consume each others’ hugs,

 and when the clock hits eight,

 we rush home

 and wait for each others’ texts,

 but we’re friends, not lovers.

 and we’re strong and not in love,

 even when we look each other in the eyes,

 we’re friends, not lovers,

because we’re too afraid to say we’re in love,

with each others’ smiles,

voice,

because we’re friends, not lovers.

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I am from New York City. I take an interest in Writing, Reading, Swimming, and going to Art Museums.

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