It was denial,
like lovers in a motel room
searching for something beautiful.
She had tattooed the universe
on her back - pretended she was infinite,
but in fact was trapped
under the weight of the world.
Morning TeaShe told him once; the evening sky left her in euphoria. The following morning, he wore all black and put stardust in her tea.
Deaf MuseI spill my soul, disguised
as words, into your palms, which
I suppose I mistook for open.
Only you throw
them away. I reel,
when you say;
“Sorry, I wasn’t listening.”
ReincarnateI imagine that I’ll come back
as a librarian, a man and somewhere
in Borneo or Edinburgh,
trying to make sense
of the things I left behind,
we’ll find each other, again -
they say souls travel
in the same circles, and we’ll remember
over words, poetry
and the music you made;
the keys to Freon playing behind us.
it may be a poignant reunion
of once weary souls,
filtering through the universe
time and time again.
I’ll tell you we were lovers in a past life
and you’ll roll your eyes
as you did once before –
a firm scientist and open cynic.
I’ll shrug, as always,
and show you how we unravelled ourselves
todaytime takes away all the pleasures
of the day; the drum
of falling rain waning
to a muted beat, and we watch
as the world glows,
from the jaded sun. today
the universe is ours
stars an exhibition as we
soar, me and you; birds
Oaki knew a girl once,
with an oak heart and guarded hands
(gloved from touch)
uncrossed her ankles,
let naked fingertips
touch well-read lips, and
her heart kind of turned
i miss that girl,
with the oak heart -
she was tougher.
SandcastlesOn the beach alone,
brown-eyed, petite, kneeling in the sand
she spent an hour of her life
that'd be washed away by sea.
the silent bardthe ground shifted
beneath the weight of their hearts
and he said;
the temperature dropped, that
time of year, warm days
and cold nights
the wind whispered
away to simple words
space junkone moment I was talking
to the man on the moon, and
then I was falling
i was surrounded by
clouds, a wispy layer as
my body started to burn up from breaking
and then, cool solace
as the ocean devoured me,
blowing silvery bubbles
as I floated like
rogue space debris -
nomadic to time and space.
what I forgot to sayto the girl who lives like a hurricane:
don’t expect to tell me about
your addiction to self-harm and
Nyquil and have me smile;
although, as I shiver from lakewater
and things less tangible, I seem to
acquire a talent for glossing over the list
of things I need to tell you--
is an asshole. California does not
begin and end in a tiny town where
people operate like clockwork around
the same happy working song. I am not
a fountain of wisdom, and, to be honest,
I can barely understand you over the
thunderstorms in my own brain.
you are beautiful and you are
to the girl I left back in time:
purpose is not a given. I am
the same teenage angst who used
to wear too much eyeliner and
complain about my future
as I’d foretold it-- loveless and whiny,
like me. I am her plus a few more
self destructions and minus
a lot more days to continue striving
alongside you for simple goals and
simple friends and simple memories
I won’t remember.
to the girl who see
jointedi remember days of holding your hands
and swearing they felt so heavy,
the synovial fluid that welled up
around your joints was liquid lead
for years i wished to give you
one thousand of my white blood cells
for each day i had to leave you
stranded on the kitchen floor
and when i finally learned the words
i wanted to tell you:
the doctors never made you stronger
with any injection or titanium bones
but you did yourself
every morning you stood
and opened your eyes
a woman asked me
if i would like to take home flowers for you
and i wanted to ask if in the coolers
she had enough yellow roses
to fill the spaces between your
kneecaps and every joint that ever ached
so maybe you would come back alive
if i could promise
pain wouldn't greet you
i do not love holding you up
like a sinking ship
--your hipbones are jutting above
seas of skin again, icebergs
tearing both you
and me apart
have you drank water today?
because i worry
there is no fluidity in the way
you move anymore
you are all angles, angel
your body creaks and moans
like an old, worn out machine
and i don't have your schematics
i know you've taken a tape measure
of every inch of yourself but
i cannot measure your mind
to figure out how to fix you
even though your spine
has more ridges
than the rocky mountains,
you know you cannot move them
you cannot pick up textbooks
your stockpot full of water
please, don't forget how to smile again
i remember all those years ago
when you lost so much of yourself
that even though i could help you up stairwells
and wait for you on the bus every morning
those beautiful twenty six muscles
my heart is just paper for muscle and ink for blood, but i like to think that if i tore out a few pages and bound them in leather, it might just mean something.
and i tell you, i want to tell you, no, i am not more than that. i am not human, made up of muscle and bones that break, but words. i am books and flowers and the coffee i had this morning because, no --i cannot be me. i cannot be this.
i don't want to be here, scared these little sinews are snapping like dental floss between my hungry teeth.
i've smeared my make up over your neck and collarbones, wrinkled your shirt with my paint-chipped nails, and somewhere between the first pain and hiccup of a sob, i've forgotten how to speak. you hold me tighter each time it steals my breath and listen to make sure i remember how to after it passes, say my name softly to remind me to stay with you.
and you've pressed your hand over my chest, as if keeping it there will hold the weathered organ together.
on loving lengthwisei.
in my near-nineteen years of life i have never wanted something, someone so much.
[no, i swear, not even death itself]
waking up without you hurts.
even though you don't have one, i slept with my webcam on last night so maybe you could catch a glimpse of me sleeping.
you say i shiver in dreamland, and i tell you that's because i hardly dream --there is nothing in my mind then but grey matter and cold air, because even with the heat blasting at seventy and four fleece blankets, i have trouble making my own warmth.
you told me that even so, i was smiling. and i said that though i don't remember, the only explanation would be that i was dreaming of you --before you were mine, you were my only dreams worth remembering. now, you're the only ones i ever have.
going out in winter seems colder than ever without you here.
it makes me think of years ago, when i found that without flesh, it is impossible to insulate bones. you would sit next to me every morning on the bus, and f
slippers your ghost eats peanut butter
out of the jar. an atomic grease
fire tongues our oven like an
if only we walked on clouds
if only we lived in the belly of the ocean
In another tongue, in a far-off townSometimes I dream that we met in a place
where sadness was a foreign language
where you couldn’t understand the words I whispered in your ear.
Where I couldn’t taste it like molasses on your tongue or read it in your smudging script,
see it painted on your face or feel it, warm between your thighs.
Sometimes I dream that I met you in some other fashion, stumbling over unfamiliar lines
but not here. Not here.
pedicellariaeI am not a
I am a sea
spikes and venom and
but everyone seems
to call me
by the wrong name
I am a natural lucid dreamer. When I was sick,
I dreamed away whole strings of days that burst
with causal power, as if the sun, shining past
my silted eyelids, had spilled a home behind them.
You watched how well I played that girl:
high heels, sparkle eyes,
sitting on his work desk with my lips curled,
legs crossed, booze at needle length
beneath my skin expelling floral tones,
I pretended to fall asleep on top of his blankets
so I had access to my concave nest,
a place without his hands on my stomach, no,
and without his mouth on my shoulder.
Now I am not even here
and he doesn't know, not at all.
My respectability besieged
the rest of me when I believed
in being respectable, for,
like a miasma of red night,
pulling up sleep in orange-tasting sinews,
you were born from a nautilus shell
to ensnare the thirst of laughing.
Had you been tossed so far beyond yourself during the night
that you woke up aware that you think about eternity
because it's manifes
The Giantsthe earth is our ship, and we turn through
oceans of time
on the mad waves of a
dark cosmic deep, lost in a vast sea
billions of points of light our guides
the ghosts of stars lightyears away that have already died
and been reborn,
swallowed into blackholes
like the skeletal masts of wrecks
and lighthouses torn asunder.
in gravitational tides we are pulled
and seafarers draw strange patterns in the sky -
so that we might cut the universe to size
to stop our minds from drowning.
we forget to look with fear and awe and
we whisper (why)s -
at a world we cannot touch beyond the hull.
they are reborn again.
with minds awake we voyage, dreaming softly
of gods and reincarnations
lost in delusions of afterlifes and
And beyond us in our black ocean
the stars are reborn
the light of millions of ghosts touches us
and fills our sky with sights that rob us
all energy survives and recycles into
we are immortal ghost-watchers
thirteen steps to falling in love1. i spend the first two years we know each other sprawled out in the back of our school bus, trying to befriend girls with cigarette ash for skin. it takes months of letting tar settle in my lungs, but finally i find myself sitting next to you.
2. when we are fourteen, you write out my name in an entirely new alphabet of obtuse triangles and right angles and on a chilly fall morning, dare me to guess who it is you like. i lie my way through the entire school year until two weeks before summer, when you give me all the clues.
3. to this day, you swear you fell in love with me the fall my mother was given her expiration date. i tell you the first morning of our sophomore year, and even though we are too scared to touch, your words would mean more than every heavy embrace up until her funeral.
4. you watch me fall down the stairs just once, and after seeing how i fold in on myself, swear never to see me hurt again. for four years you've caught me, and have amended th
The swerveI tore my flesh on the corner of the lake & bled in cubes
and my best friend knew the weight of my green eyes and tried to sell them
and the spring left me heavy in my skin and the air she breathed me
tasted of umami and B12 and water. I drank it all in just like water
and began the aviary process of collecting budding groves and early springs.
you came to me with eyes like empty jars begging for sparks
and the hundred scraps of paper of pretty lies in pretty cursives,
the firefly wings and peonies and ocean salts and river rocks
and you were the first one capable of rustling the dead leaves
at the creek floor, so those went in, too. adding pensive things
to your eyes until they flooded over. they keep flowing
You were beside me trembling at being essential
and I could barely contain my laughter
from spilling into the air of the auroral forest
and getting caught naked in the mountains
The first time I didn't mean it to tear
through your skull and plant flowers
and you were beside me
Automatonone day i asked him to rewire me and he did
and there was a key that opened up my ribcage like some safe
like it’s worth protecting what’s in there
and he cut open nerve centers and peered inside with his microscope eyes and
he fixed me, replaced lines of nerve cells with copper wiring and didn’t realize nerves are made in the synapses, in the spaces between the cells
he rewired me and left no spaces in my head and
i didn’t feel real anymore
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.
(the good kind of) purgingdear mom,
i know i've written you dozens of letters in my life and none of them have made their way to your hands, but just maybe this one will.
because this year, i will take this paper and plunge it into the earth where not a bit of your bones rest, but roses in your memory grow. on christmas, when the rest of the world is opening presents, i will drive too fast to the ocean where you sleep. i will run barefoot on the jetties you warned me never to step on until my feet string with salt and split open from shells. and this time, i will not be a self-fulfilling prophecy. i will not tumble myself heart-first into the sea where we laid you to rest, but stand at the edge and scream above the tumult of waves and your voice carrying in the wind. i will tell you i'm sorry, sorry for every time my hands misplaced themselves down my throat and found their ways inside my skin. sorry for lining myself with morse code, and never showing you a single message. sorry for swallowing sorr
wallflower clippingsthere's scar tissue in her throat,
swollen around the words she never said;
dark rings around her eyes
like planets unremembered, and
a staleness to her touch,
the crystalline Dead Sea.
she's living like a story
that's already been told
"if no one loved you
would you mean anything at all?"
in that moment,
we forget to exist.