there are a million worlds living in your head
begging to be wrapped around your tongue and released like a slingshot
into the heart of some stranger you may never meet.
bad days.on my bad days,
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.
white noise.sometimes i turn off the greasy yellow lights and run the water lava hot.
the quiet porcelain is an untouched coffin
familiar as the look in your eyes.
i can hear my heart beat in my ears
and i stare at the ceiling until it darkens and blurs at the edges.
my body is heavy as lead
i cannot remember the weight of movement.
sometimes the closest i can get is the suicide between each breath
and the apology unspoken on the inhale.
my skin is a ladder i keep climbing,
i can see through the rungs to the fat cells that weigh down my bones.
my hand becomes his when it creeps uninvited over the landscape of my body
and across the staircase of my ribs.
i can't erase the feeling of his body pressed like a book
over my flower.
my head is white noise that bleeds red,
but i'm tired of all the blood.
tired of all the memories like channels
i keep flicking past.
sometimes i wonder if i cut enough slack in my skin,
a guide to her sadness.her wrists are wishbones she breaks for luck,
not knowing there is no luck in the break.
her veins are unanswered prayers
her lungs an apology sent as letters to heaven,
hoping God will forgive her for being a continual disappointment.
her head is a phonebooth for all the thoughts nobody's picking up on.
the the sadness is sinking her again.
so when she leaves at midnight to longboard to the ocean,
go with her.
when she tries to climb bridges,
don't let her.
when she's drinking cold tea and playing daughter,
it means she's trying to pull her head together.
when she's in the bathroom praying to the toilet,
decide to knock.
when she avoids you,
hide her blades.
she doesn't have the will to fight anymore.
so on the bad days, fight for her.
an apology letter to my body.i am sorry,
i treated you like disposable napkins. like cheap china, or a rug feet have worn the 'welcome' off of. for treating you like fast food in a landfill and for letting others treat you that way too.
most days i can't look at you in mirrors,
when i should be writing you love letters .
i have deprived you,
i have scarred your passages and eroded your halls.
i have let your sacred places be defiled.
you are a country i have never learned to call home,
a language no one has ever spoken.
i made you into a map i told everyone not to read,
planted railroad tracks like break crumbs, like my flesh was an industrial revolution i sometimes follow with my fingertips.
for the days my stomach became a ghost town,
my mouth a forgotten portal.
for the days spent with two fingers down my throat
like the trigger of a gun reversing the cycle of food.
i'm sorry for the nights i didn't sleep
and the days ballet became punishment.
for the days every muscle felt a
i have spent too many nights with metal kissing flesh,
too many nights just one step above empty air.
there are too many unwritten suicide notes in my head,
too many hours spent praying to a toilet that will never answer back 'thin enough'.
i have wasted my 18th year curled around too much sadness,
spending it in texts sent like stones i never should have thrown.
words i never should have let fall out of the unhinged socket of my mouth.
i am all helium and no balloon.
i have spent my problems lavishly,
i was a whore with my secrets.
i forgot how to fall apart quietly.
i fell asleep in depression loud as the thoughts in your head.
i let it settle in my bones but tried to dig it out by cutting deeper.
i learned healing is a meal i haven't learned to swallow yet,
and i am grieving something i haven't found.
my innocence is a book i never got to read,
a book he burned before i was old enough to say no.
i can feel my scars raised like white flags,
each valley a war won.
dollarstore happy.this happiness feels fragile, like if i hold it too long it will break,
the way some things just do.
a dollarstore happy,
i like the weight of it on my skin though.
the way the fragile skin over my wrists has healed into soft tapeworms.
the way the sky seems bluer even when its grey.
i can feel my heartbeat in my fingertips.
my heart lives on the tip of my tongue where i keep swallowing it down
in the hope that someday it might stay down,
and i will be able to forget.
i will learn to forget the pulse in my wrists
and unlearn the butterflies that live under my ribcage.
i will call my heart the sea and sail it
instead of letting it drown me,
and allow my emotions to wash up on the beach of my doubts
and wither until you can smell the swell of happy i will wear in my bones.
i will refit the canvas of my skin
so that maybe someday i can for once in my life feel at home under my shatterglass ribcage and unzippered spine.
anything can be perfect when your eyes are shut.all lights look like stars
through lids half closed.
but you were a supernova
even with my eyes wide open.
honestly,my heart is barefoot and i keep stepping on glass with it,
and i know i feel too much
but no one ever taught me how to cry.
(so i don't)
i just tear holes in my skin and pray to a god i sometimes don't believe in.
life.life never comes in easy breaths for anyone.
it comes in gut gasps and running pants
it comes like childbirth pains
and 115 degree heat waves.
it will take the air from your lungs;
a gut punch that will often leave you like a fish pulling on oxygen
store the pain in your spine and get up again
too many people before you
have laid down in their misery.
sadness is easy, do not settle down with it.
moving on is like growing up,
do it day by day.
sift through your heart and
implant the kind of person you want to be.
your insecurities are a flock of birds
set flight to them and
let them leave.
leave your self hate, your self pity, self absorption
in the intersection, run it over and
wrap your arms around your family and friends.
pull out the blanket of your heart,
i promise you it will do you more good
loving who you love
than rotting in the cellar of your chest.
confessionalthey say sad girls change their hair color
and forgive their monsters.
i change my morals
and become one.
001 i am a whirlwind of
an aching heart
a regret that could
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?
you are crowthroated and tumbling
through the aspen grove
hair on fire with sunrise, lungs
full of sky.
eyelashes like wildflowers
and every morning brings
a new spray of freckles
and a sharper curve to your collarbones.
the cornfields hold no shadows
for your lighthouse eyes
and there are no endings in that
ii. you have grown
autumn finds you with broken ankles
leaning on an oak branch
and watching the skies.
crow to sparrow--you are quiet.
summergirl, there is peace in silence,
fallen antlers in your hands.
you will come to mourn your deer.
keep them close.
iii. by winter you have paled,
and like the streams
your eyes have frosted over.
you feel the chill--
there is no need for sight.
Wildflowers, Imperfect BirdsI breathed your name like wildflowers under vast broken skies, in wide-open spaces. The wind blowing through them spoke of dew and dirt and petrichor, and there was sunlight on the ground like a mosaic patterned by god's own hands.
I said it like a monarch claiming new land: a declaration, a butterfly breath over old earth; like it was coffee on a warm morning with the sun in my eyes, interlacing with my lashes; like it was a dream; like it was a prayer like it was a miracle wrought of air and bone and body: you, in, out, in, out, in and in and in.
I cried it out like an earthquake between lip and lip, continents that don't quite fit: your name, a fault line that doesn't know how to apologize.
And I whispered it like it had grown nothing where there should've been feathers, no wings to fly it on, like my lips were the nest it would always call home.
So I breathed it,
And I whispered it,
And I said it,
And I sang it,
Like a castle; like a mirror; like it was the big bang and ever
SurrogateI stopped using his full title
because it started sounding too formal,
and it’s hard to be standoffish with someone
who swaps albums and memories so generously,
who loves German chocolate but hates the smell of oranges,
who knows me by my boneless,
drowsy form on the couch and by my words.
And maybe one day he’ll ask
me to drop the title altogether and call him Brad,
but I won’t.
Because it sounds too much like dad,
and I’m afraid of slipping up.
calamity.the poor boy got a lecture from deaths secretary
"deaths busy enough as it is without walk ins"
"but it was urgent," he stutters.
"it couldn't wait, it was now or never"
he was simply told
"take a number, and wait over there with the rest
who 'couldn't wait' "
post meridiemi am no lionheart.
look closely. there are small cracks
along my fragile frame. where purple
and blue blossom underneath flesh,
and pink/white lines decorate hidden skin.
i am far from what you see.
eight things that hurt more than a broken boneone,
i have never had broken bones,
but i imagine it would snap,
splinter, pierce my skin.
i imagine it would be
the pieces i cannot put back together
scratching their way out of
this body bag.
i imagine my demons would
not rest until my arms are torn
by the claws of my inside.
i'd imagine broken bones
would not hurt as much
as broken confidence,
(my lack of it.)
fluctuating positions in life.
the backbone of a dreamer
who finds nightmares her companion,
the fingertips of a mother,
pressed against feverish foreheads.
the lips of a teenage girl,
forgetting what truth sounds like.
i cannot remember the last time i did.
knotted hair pulled out at the roots.
nail polish remover spilled into wounds.
lips chapped red.
burned at the stake
dying on a scaffold,
unable to speak.
numbers on the scale,
tick-tack-toe on my wrist.
every blistering insecurity
that sends me spiraling.
Haunted.The nightmares are back
and they end with your face;
always asking why I didn't follow
when you left.
i would say my father is a wari would say my father is a war horse but that is a failed symbol
because he has been dragged through the dirt as many times as this metaphor
i want to write in abstract like in a book of
contemporary poetry i bought over the summer;
it was all syllables and lines of 'talk talk talk' repeated over and over
i want to write something that describes how i feel without saying a word that describes it -
dust and ache and tired and bone and overflowing and lonely and fuck and .
i want to write poems that have meaning without being cliche i want poems
that defy grammar and space and time because when someone reads them, they become me
i want someone to read this and know
it is approximately 12:04am
and my ears are itchy and my eyes -
my eyes -
i feel a deer prancing behind my eyes, his heavy antlers pushing
against my forehead and i should name him athena because i've got an olympic-sized headache
but instead the deer yells WANNA GO?
and he says it like an angry, unde
SurrealismThree a.m., and
God is in my bathtub
a freshwater moon
in the mother-of-pearl sky.
Bitlets 12If hitchhikers were any younger
they'd skip hopscotch across
states and provinces; instead
they play four-square
in the same four counties
close to their home town
because they lost their sense of wanderlust
when they bought a map of North America
and drew stars on where they wanted to go,
but never made the effort to take it
out of the glove compartment.
one day, i sent a letter to the mooni got sick of our tired old earth
and asked if i could join
the man in the moon
on an afternoon for coffee;
he preferred tea.
coffee talkthey speak in the
rattle of coffee cups—
sea bent lungs await the press
of the espresso crave lips
as taste fills curling limbs
water stainsmy father's silhouette painted on
the canvas of waves
assures me that
water stains are not permanent.
darkened fabric means nothing more than
the fruit of possibility spoiling on countertops.
i ask grown men for more answers
than there are chandeliers
in my parents' abandoned mansion.
the creases of my grandmother's forehead
skitter over concern and
land on laugh lines.
i've always been a clever joker,
spreading lips like a contagion.
they could never catch me;
my intoxicating serpent
slithering through sidewalk cracks
breaking backs as children do.
my limbs may have expanded,
but i am just a hot air balloon.
if there is anything
pavements & dark rooms have taught me,
it is that
broken means i'll be okay again.
i felt most violated
when you denied it—
evidence may have mounted
in the mouths of other victims
but i haven't spoken—
even in the wake of certainty,
family and loyalty
forked my liar's tongue—
maybe it's enough
that you know what you did—
because i can't bring myself
to hate you.
your son's beautiful—
you were my first
and i don't regret that—
in your arms,
i realized myself.
it wasn't my fault—
i received the letter
years too late
has never been sympathetic
in the eyes of those
who suffered to live—
yet, i write for you,
remember your face acutely,
long for the night
we bathed together
and you told me
God hated us.
i wrote a poem for you—
it was long and vitriolic,
full of anger's energy but—
i realized you aren't worth it—
have a nice life,
long and unfulfilling.
you hid food under the bed,
said we were bad children,
did everything in your power
to make us f
are what brought us together;
with a stir of paint chips and skin,
we made clumsy love on the concrete
of a condemned factory,
moving in the shadows of machinery
that loomed like winter trees
or judgmental Gods
who still stopped to smell the alcohol
in our pores.
"will you pass me a cigarette
and along with that sign your lust
on the paper that will gray in a flicker,
bitter acrid and addictive
like the first high of tobacco—
a euphoric quiver
that lasted only a minute,
gone when you inhaled your second
seeking the same."
indiana is the land of crossroads,
where the wind blows
to find a better destination
and the tired rest in restless homes
with wheels that creak
beneath the hardened earth;
you said you were meant for something
better than a bible belt,
sought my eyes when you whispered
i paid for your bus tickets.
i wondered if love was letting go
or knowing that you never loved me
as more than a first.