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i had a bad dream about you. are you ok?

a zine by stephanie knipe

poems written in 2013-2014 after trying really hard to feel loved photos taken via an iphone 2013-2014 all by stephanie knipe the title of the zine is a quote from a text message from my dad


i remember laying on my bed, the surface rough where the sheets were pulled off as you told me to not fall in love with you too fast. i laid there, cold and silent, wondering how long i could hide the fact that it’s already happened. my face got hot as i wondered how long it would take you to love me too


p e r s p e c t i v e s change, paths change at 16 i thought i might marry a boy who tried to convince me that true love was similar to hour long panic attacks. at 18 i fell in love with someone who tried to convince me that the desire for intimacy was similar to suffocation. at 19 i thought i loved someone who only loved me after i was gone at 7 years old i thought i might be an astronaut, but looking back, i was more tied to the idea of floating through the stars than the journey it takes to do so


but it happened and i can’t stop now


magic is still real, connections are real, love is real, but there is magic in laying on a park bench alone and realizing that cherry blossoms are my favorite types of trees

please walk slower and try to understand why you take certain steps. appreciate sadness and it’s temporary quality


h he e n ne ev ve er r s sa ai id d “ “b be e c ca ar re ef fu ul l n ne ex xt t t ti im me e” ” when i was six i sprained my ankle on a bouncy castle because i was jumping too quickly and too harshly. in the car on the way to the emergency room my dad said “don’t be ashamed, it’s okay to get hurt sometimes.” that was the first time i waited for something to heal and the first time i was taught that jumping as high as you possibly can is not a bad thing.


sleeping with someone who likes the way your body curves is different than sleeping with someone who laughs at your jokes

the first time i had sex i had just finished eating french fries from wendy’s and i could still taste them in my mouth after he had finished


for the first time i felt reality in my hands and i thought that it was in the strands of your hair that i pushed away from your forehead so many times. i don’t know where it went, maybe i brushed too hard and maybe it fell under my bed and i just have to clean and i’ll find it again

i am so unbelievably missing you. but i can barely remember what i miss everything is incredibly unsettling


i promised i would never finish your sentences because i wanted to hear what you have to say but i found myself always getting cut off


i sat on my back deck and cried thinking about all the times i have loved and have been left with empty hands. i cried harder thinking about the people i was unable to love back when they offered it to me. weeks later i was on a rollercoaster and was shaking i was so afraid. as the ride finally started and we were speeding through giant loops i let go of the handles and screamed wildly with a smile across my face. i felt in love with no one but everything and realized then that love is not an offering, it is not stagnant, it is not temporary. i still live for love but it is not exclusive to men who stare at me confused as i hand them things they do not want.


i had a bad dream about you. are you ok?  

poems written in 2013-2014 after trying really hard to feel loved