United States

the color of the ocean

Message to Readers

just to clarify things:
this poem is pretty much my thought process on the state of my country and how i got so upset yesterday at my neighbor putting a trump supporter sticker on his truck i came up with an elaborate plan to burn it down (and never followed through.)
now. i want to make very clear i don't hate trump supporters. i don't hate people. i hate ideas, i hate words, but i won't hate people because people are capable of growing past things. i do not agree with trump. i do not understand his supporters. i do not support any of his ideas nor will i pretend to, but i don't hate you if you do.
i'm all for polite conversation in the comments. i'm all for exchanging different views or opinions, but if i see it gets mean or offensive in any way towards anyone or any group (any) i will take whatever measures that need to happen, whether that be flagging comments, taking the piece down, etc.
as always, i hope you enjoy! have a fantastic day, spread kindness, and i can't wait to see what you have to say.
xx- riley

ALSO my girl A Rose wrote a sequel to this and it's incredible so go show her some love :)

burning things like trucks and my white privilege (tw for recent events and mention of dying/death)

June 28, 2020



i believe in freedom
she told me she believes my poems have an air of                          punk rock to them
           how it's true that i want to commit crimes every/single/fucking/day
         but yesterday
i couldn't even dig my fingernails into red paint that burns the most innocent sun
  like paraquat on throats like cyanide like acid like i wouldn't wish this country
 on my worst enemy.
     bring my hands up and crumple the new devil they hold into shreds.
            a three dollar sticker from seven eleven
                    just to prove
our country is run by a madman and they love it. (and they do, and they do)
i swear i'm not an angry person but hell sir how can i be anything else when
    our country is run by a rapist a racist--
countries are like homes and if this is domestic abuse i wouldn't ever know;
             i was raised real free like a butterfly over a field.
        and i must have hit my head hard on my way to seventh grade and
     third period government i let them teach me to think
                      Guns Are Good And Gays Are Not.
                 we did a mock trial that year; i played nixon.
        let it stand that i'm a traitor to their views.
sometimes i look at myself in the mirror, at how i stand like                sharp glass
                                                                             now that i know things.
how it's true i burned down shopping malls in my mind and only the mannequins ran
   because life only matters to those who can't know it how when people die
       their families spread the ashes on beaches and seas.
      how when i die my family cemetery forever holds a place for me no worries
   but i wonder
who buried terrence who buried tamir who buried christian who buried george where can i find them
             over my white family i don't even know all their names.
and i wonder what their daughters thought, if they saw the casket or got ushered away first
because little girls shouldn't see gunshots or stab wounds or their father's collapsed lungs
      i wonder if they're afraid now.              (how when i was little i was never afraid.)
   when i die i don't plan to go in peace.
              i hope they don't bury me in silk.
when i die i hope they read out my poems and put a red rose on my chest
          and the honor isn't mine
but i die for a cause 
          like she says my cause is punk rock i don't even listen to
                    (and it hurts my ears like i hurt my ears)
                                  but i do believe in freedom.
        and it is true i want to commit crimes every/single/fucking/day
   and siddy said it's not peaceful to burn but i can't make the protests
and i can't vote or scream and i can't even write it in chalk that gets erased
                           because the hoa board gets mad and so
                                       i guess
                                                we'll see
                                                            who wins soon.
                       but for me, i wish i burnt it. 
cursing in poetry is kind of my love language, but only if it's elegant
(i'm not sure this is elegant)


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  • KyraWritesCuzShe'sANerd

    This is really good, I don't know how you do it. Your obviously very opinionated, they way you put that in your poems is beautiful and shocking at the same time. I can't say I feel the anger you do, but I definitely got emotional while reading this!

    about 1 month ago
  • rainandsonder

    this is incredible! definitely one of my favorite pieces i've read on this site so far, i'll be book-marking this. i feel this piece within my bones and my blood, and i wish more people could understand everything that this is saying.

    4 months ago
  • erin!

    replying: thank you so much for your kind welcome and also your utter brilliance with this piece! i loved everything about it, i found myself reading it out loud and i was struck by the way you formatted it. i hope we can be friends <3

    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    replying: i’ll get right to it! i’ll try to get this to you ASAP, but i’m really going to try and capture the beauty of this piece, so my apologies if it takes me a moment. also: Libra squad!!! i fit the libra description wayyyy too perfectly, it’s so scary. thanks for the congrats! <3

    4 months ago
  • A Rose

    Just noticed the shout out!!!! Thanks Ri!!!! Guess who's one away from a 100???? Side note why is This Is Too Personal resurfacing?

    4 months ago
  • Wicked!

    Damn, this is so incredibly well written and powerful. I love this piece so much.

    4 months ago
  • bellairet

    Very relevant. Sometimes it feels like the world just exploding and this is the feeling, right here.

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: I am so sorry that you interpreted that piece as a retaliation. I wrote the heads up in the message box "I am not posting this to attack or call out or demean anybody!!!" for the very reason that you would not. It was merely a culmination of all my hurt; the needle that broke the camels back, in a sense. I respect you and respect your political views, even if I disagree with a lot of them. Btw, I am not necessarily a Trump supporter, but I am a conservative individual, and I was trying to point out that everyone with my views is having them twisted to paint us in an aggressive, bigoted light. I didn't post the poem to start arguments; I merely wanted to express what I was feeling so that maybe people would think twice before stereotyping all of us as jerks. I'm very sorry if any of this came on too strong. If you would like me to delete this comment, I will.

    4 months ago
  • Pravartika Wankhede

    a troubled conscience screams out through every fricking line. adore this.

    4 months ago
  • Jan Pieter

    woah this one is real good, omg girl (your name is poetri which means princess in Indonesian (I'm an Indonesian) so I assume that you're a girl) your poem is amazing! omg luv it<333333

    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    haha this sure started a wave :) mmmmmm

    4 months ago
  • lindsmariebuck

    I don't think anything I say will do justice to how amazing this piece is.

    4 months ago
  • Eblinn

    this is so strong, so powerful. i love this so much! i read this and i just feel completed. this message is so important!!

    4 months ago
  • asta

    "countries are like homes and if this is domestic abuse i wouldn't ever know" this line, just--THIS LINE.

    trump.. is a distant threat to me, i live half a world away. but i see his influence everywhere, his ideals are constantly echoed by our leaders, and it makes me ashamed and angry to see how popular his sentiments are. i've just been sitting here for a few minutes, wondering how to express my admiration for this. i don't think i'll be able to, not fully, but thank you for writing this.

    4 months ago
  • A Rose

    Go and get em, Ri!!!! You don't even know how bad I wanna buy a paint ball shooter and go after some Blue Lives Matter, Confederate, and Trump flags so I don't have to see them every day

    4 months ago
  • inanutshell

    'i wouldn't wish this country on my worst enemy' is so powerful - this piece is so powerful as a whole. your anger towards him & his ideals is extremely justified, in my country so many people here have already been influenced by him & his ideals (including people i know & my friends) & it has astounded me to see his hateful rhetoric keep spreading and resonating with people. it definitely can't compare to actually living it in the US, but i understand feeling helpless at this. there have been many a time where i've wanted to do something to retaliate, fight back, 'how it's true that i want to commit crimes every/single/fucking/day'. only the knowledge that doing so would allow them to win power over me stops me, and even then it still sucks. this piece eloquently articulates what that feels like, and i'm glad you wrote this.

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Replying: Honestly, I shouldn't have commented at all. It would just cause more stereotyping and heartbreak. Let's just say that if you saw my Facebook feed, you would hate me, no matter what you say, because of the things you believe about people like me.

    4 months ago
  • jun lei

    it is absolutely elegant. and fierce. and gorgeous. (like you).

    4 months ago
  • jun lei

    i can't put into words how much i love this. how hard this struck. thank you for writing this.

    4 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Oh did you take down a past version of this? I coulda sworn I commented.

    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    “ countries are like homes and if this is domestic abuse i wouldn't ever know” personally i think you deserve a medal for this line.
    “ Guns Are Good And Gays Are Not.” *bangs fists against tables* the amount of truth...speak your truth girl. tell ‘them off.
    “ because life only matters to those who can't know it how when people die / their families spread the ashes on beaches and seas. “ what a heartbreaking line. riley, the admiration I have for you is through the roof right now. and that ending line? girl, i’m right there with you, wishing we’d burnt it.
    “ i do not agree with trump. i do not understand his supporters. i do not support any of his ideas nor will i pretend to. but i don't hate you if you do. ” i felt this. i don’t hate trump supporters—but often i wonder about them: “there are parts of me you hate, because by principle, the beliefs you support mean you do not think well of those parts. what do you think of me?” i admire your maturity. i hope to have as much nuance as you—to vehemently dislike one part of politics but stay collected enough to not incite flames. kudos, Riley. stay awesome, girl.

    4 months ago
  • sunny.v

    oh heck yes, girl. before i give you a proper comment: 1) chainsaw gang. 2) i’ve had a couple people ask “why do you hate trump:// why can’t you just understand his supporters” and it’s like...man idk about you but i belong to several different categories of minorities and he has personally insulted every single one of them lol? so you’ll have to excuse me if i narrow my eyes anytime his supporters stand by that: those of us who have been ridiculed by him have the right to be angry.

    4 months ago