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Blurry Futures And Kissing Me

A Collaboration with Ari Eastman and Chelsey

Story by Wesley Verhoeve July 26th, 2016
The images below were inspired by the poetry of Ari Eastman and the interpretive movement of model Chelsey. Five poems are included betwixt the photographs, and more can be found in Ari’s recently released collection “Bloodline”.
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Expiration Dates

I have a dangerous addiction that causes untimely deaths.
Relationships come equipped with coffins.
I’m mourning too many endings,
Because I’m so high in the beginning.
I pin “could bes“ and “what ifs“ above the headboard,
forget to even look at you.
My eyes are still shut and I don’t see the silhouette in front.
My hands are going through the motions.
I’m not there.
Someone told me I was a natural at acting,
Maybe I am.
I‘m so content with loving in accelerated time frames,
The ideas.
The next steps.
The fantasies of it all.
What I will wear to the funeral procession of our love.

I’m too busy thinking.
I’m too busy thinking.
I’m too busy thinking.
And then it’s gone,
and I forget to even tell you
what you mean to me.

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For Everyone Ever Called Crazy

I have so much to learn,
but this much I know:
I was born a fireball,
TNT of potential,
my oranges will blind you,
my magenta might be too much.
You will tell me I am too much,
attempt to flatten my design,
but I have learned this:
You will push me to the edge,
and that will be when I remember
my own wings.
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Everything I Don’t Know

I read a journal entry from three years ago,
marveled at how hard I was trying to fool myself.
I wanted to make it poetic.
I wanted to find the right combination of words that would set me apart.
I wanted to be something different.
Maybe it was stupid of me,
Some naive insecurity
masquerading as confidence,
narcissistic tendencies,
Thinking I could find the missing link.
I could be the one who donned the suit,
The cape,
whatever bullshit cartoon characters wear that indicates a hero.
I was hoping I could be a beacon,
A light to attract a swarm of moths,
Beetles,
Anything.
I figured a following of any kind would mean I was worthy.
I was something.
I didn’t know how to be honest in wishing I was the one
who would set all of us free.
I wanted to find the answers,
But I’m learning I can’t.
I’m just one girl,
answering dumb texts,
Crying over boys,
Thinking I’m getting closer to discovering some truth,
Some path,
Some key.
We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Including me.
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The Things I Won't Actually Say

He says, “Write me a poem.”
He keeps pulling roses out of the garden
and handing them to me as if I should celebrate
something missing roots.

He says, “You’ll fall for me.”
He keeps predicting blurry futures and kissing me
with those roses in his glasses now.
And I’m kissing him back.
But my mouth is different.
It’s not erupting into fruit bowl smiles like it used to.
Turns up only a little on the side.

I’m not writing him poems.
I’m finding dead roses and wanting to throw them away
with the rest of this empty.

Think maybe my heart is the one decaying.
Because I used to write poems for boys
before they ever even asked.

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Untitled

He doesn’t remember our heart beats synching up perfectly.
Like a drum and a steady hand,
we formed a rhythm that was the only thing ever constant about us.

***

For more poetry and images follow @arieastman and @wesleyverhoeve on Instagram.

Footnote: Poetry (c) Ari Eastman, Images (c) Wesley Verhoeve
Brooklyn, NY, United States