she looked past me, into the eyes of a stranger. she couldn’t bring herself to say it out loud, because saying it makes it real. she pursed her lips, forming a thin line between love and manipulation. we have such shitty parents, i wish we had it better. that was the first time i’d ever agreed, that perhaps life wasn’t so good right now. perhaps i was this way for a reason. i smiled and laughed, but i could feel the belt around her neck. the knife she’d held against her porcelain wrist. the pills she did at her friends house, to save her mothers mind. the belt her boyfriend had worn since they met. the knife that made her want to bake, in a little patisserie in the city. the pills that made it easier to live. i was looking in a mirror. she met my gaze. though those eyes were grey; cinnamon hair and pale complexion, i was there. hiding behind her eyes with my hands on glass corneas as i begged to be unchained. we wondered into each others bodies, linked atoms for an hour or two. drew the same breaths, shed the same tears, plead the same wishes. i looked into the eyes of the stranger, i couldn’t let myself say it out loud, because saying it made it real. i wish we had it better.