Profpic

ethereal.otherworldly

Spain

soft n sapphic

dreaming of goddesses, sunflowers and italian sunshine.

Message from Writer

on hiatus

Published Work

momma said she met god kneeling in the creek behind mr smith's farm

in a flurry of light, i invent a crying world. oh, say, can't you tell she's a newborn? earth's cracked and red, body weight 40.8 billion tons - a small girl, my hypothetical nurse comments (whether it's a question or statement i don't know). the fantasy flickers and she explodes into a flock of indigo birds -  my young world's first occupants. i hand them dreams of swimming in glassy volcanoes and leave them to evolve in a corner of the cosmos.

i speak a dead language and turn entropy into a river made of macaque feathers. slump down into a nest of cosmic fire ants, give them a taste of neocapitalism, kill them easy as blinking. out of the corner of my eye, i watch galaxies collide and slip into a sleep longer than the lifetime of the sun.

time is a shining coccyx in my halo of bones and space junk. time is a dance i've never learned.
...

assorted notes on recovery

i. it will be more painful than anything you've ever undergone.

   like salt in a cut and a throat
   torn raw from screaming, screaming and coughing up hellfire

   until your blood becomes red again.

   there will be days when your lungs become wildfire; veins felled like smoking trees and oxygen dying beneath blue-tinged skin.
 and lord, the burning -
       like icarus as he fell,
            fire burning holes in his chest
   and lust beneath his eyes.

ii. there will be nightmares - so, so many nightmares.

    dream of storms so great -
    they would burn your sins into the cross-drawn ash on your forehead -
          for a god who did not save you
 but left you crying with hellfire on your tongue, your hair, your skin, your chest, your cheeks.

    (and what could he do for your forgiveness?)

 ...

Tiny Love Story

almost (sweet music)

and some nights we are young,
moonlight dancing on our tongue tied kisses.
be still my rose-covered heart
used only to loving you and the earth beneath us.

we've got dreams of the castle on the hill
where we'll get drunk on this tainted love
and dance, pressed up together,
burnt out

oh, and to be young and in love is a lush life

you're made of this beautiful sea
where the waves roll like cerati's r's
and a landslide of pomegranate seeds 
announce your love for me

and if boys will be boys, darling -
then we'll choose girls.
 

(i think they sang, rather than spoke)

when the gods built us, darling, they were aching for a love story.

i don't know how long ago they pulled our souls from the night sky, where they had been fixed, stationary, shining like distant planets, waiting for an eclipse. for all i know, it was at the formation of the earth. for all i know, it was yesterday.

sometimes, though, i think i know. in the inbetweeness of sleep and consciousness or in the eternal dissociation of sickness, when my limbs are heavy and speaking is too difficult, when my bedroom ceiling spins above me and it is always too dark to make out the words on the pages of the books i try to read - then is when i remember things. memories, maybe, or just strange dreams slipped into my head. images of goddesses too great for human eyes, visions of the green green earth and flashes of your skin in the dark.

i think they are...

Tiny Love Story

almost (sweet music)

we talk, and there is a sense of returning. with you there is always a sense that we have spoken these words before and will speak them again. the stars aligning once again. the gods spinning us round, moving like an otherworldly dance through the cosmos of our words. you are my past, darling, and you will be my future. 

fall back into orbit with every word, every paragraph will send us spinning on our axis, trying to keep up with the wild stars. talking to you feels like the sun and the moon falling back into an eclipse again.

Love in Words

a response (because your words blew me away)

    dear a,
    we talk about the time - about all the different lifetimes we've lived.
    i think, (and i suppose this is not definitive, as i cannot remember the past ones) this is my favorite life so far.
    in this one, i found you young, and i found you in spinning words and old prayers. whatever gods are pulling us round and round, they built us beautiful, darling. they gave you soft words and endless love and they gave me italian dreams and earthly worship. i think they are good gods, to have made us so beautiful. so real. carved of earth and marble and gold. and sometimes they slip dreams into our sleep.
    last night i dreamt of you again. i was wearing golden hoops and war paint and you were wearing braids and the brightest smile. even in the dream, i could not breathe around you. we had wings...

i'm sick so i wrote a poem

i feel bad and sad

huh

same people that say killing a bundle of inviable cells is murder also read a book where a man is willing to kill his son for a possibly imaginary god huh

(i love my goddess, but i would defy her if it meant killing my children)

The Vistas Beyond

asteria

it has never snowed in my lifetime in this city and it never will, but sometimes at night when the city lights are dim the stars look like snowflakes. i wish i could keep my window open and let the stars take shelter in my home, but if i did the cold would find its way in and hide in the corners of my bones. for now, i will let the stars watch me from outside until the sun swallows them up.

february fourth 2019 - a transcript of a recording i made while locked in my room

i'm turning fourteen tomorrow. 

i think my mom will wake me up with some cheesecake. no i think she'll try but she won't get the time right because i think tomorrow i'll shower in the morning instead of showering tonight, because my hair looks okay right now but when i wake up it'll be messed up and i don't want to look gross when i turn fourteen. i think she'll put some honey in the tea n maybe make me coffee in an effort to keep me awake or spiraling on the day that's supposed to be mine.

maybe tonight i'll have another dream like the one i had last night,
where i'm standing on a beach somewhere on the coast n i'm wearing 
yellow sweater
high-waisted jeans skinny size 0 h&m made in indonesia in 2017 probably by children being paid 2 cents a day
and those black socks that always disappear in the washer
n i'm on the beach and the...

lessons for my daughters

i. if you have to fight (and you will), fight as if it is the only thing you know how to do.

ii. do not trust men blindly. some are good but some carry hate in their hearts and blood on their knuckles and were never taught to love like they should have been.

iii. you owe your life to the earth. love her and care for her beyond all but your own children. she loves you, and she bore our foremothers beneath her maple leaf skin and eyes like the end of the earth. take pride in being born of the earth. they will tell that people born of god overcometh of the world, but let us reply that we are the world and no god need bless us.

iv. worship emotion in ever form. it is better to feel pain than to feel nothing, and to live without suffering is not living.

v. we are ocean-witches, my loves. no man...

lust n disgust

rating - for the love of god if you don't like suggestive content this is not for you. please leave now. anyways tv-14

~


i. let me dance on the edge of dreams where my skin tastes like ash and blood. in my dreams, i wear red diamonds and rule a kingdom made of fur and dead stars, and those who touch me turn to snakes. here the world is mine to burn, and burn it i will.

ii. play me a song that sounds like your teeth on my neck. you always pretend to be charge, but even when you tie me down and whisper me nightmares, i am still wearing my crown.

iii. i knew the first time i saw you wearing the wings of a devil that i wanted your hands around my neck. we will dance on this knife's edge together, my darling. 

iv. when i am gone, build me a shrine. maybe then i'll remember the...

bi-sex-u-al-i-ty

is a strange word. at least to me. comes with so many implications. so much attached. i don't know if i want that. all i know is that girls are made of moondust and boys sunlight, and i'm searching for an eclipse.

seven years

when i am twenty years old,
every cell in my body will have been replaced
what a beautiful thought it is
to imagine a world where
you have never touched my skin

A Pair of Poems

how to pray (in the light and in the dark)

light
here i pray in the open, painting river-water into my skin and giving to the sun, the sun, the light and what it brings. here, when i kneel to the goddess i am speaking prayers into the grass beneath my feet. the goddess gave me flowers in my eyes and herbs in my skin, so i will plant them for her. i will offer here my skin, my hair, the way my tongue rolls my words and speaks my language into crescendoes, into hymns, into the rhythm of the earth's heartbeat and the way life flows through my veins. i am alive breathing speaking prayers verses giving, because to be alive is the greatest gift i have been given and i will give my thanks unto the earth until death silences my words and takes me down into the ground where my ancestors are waiting.

dark
where my ancestors have been waiting, painting me constellations and setting me aflame. i am...

to: lm

one day!
i will punch you so hard you won't be able to breathe properly for weeks. i will slap you so hard you have a mark for days. i will let u know everything you did to me. i will tell you about how much i despise u and i will tell u about how much i have healed. i will tell u about how it feels to know that you'll burn in hell while i live my life in heaven.
also! i will say sorry to ur mom for hurting u because i understand if she would be worried about that. i will also apologize to ur brothers for making them see that. if anyone tells me to apologize to you, i will instead tell u to fuck off.
bye, monster!

on: the boy

he is soft, and i am not.
quiet, too. blond hair and green eyes and tucking his hands into his pockets, as if he is trying to take up less space than he can. as if he does not know where he is supposed to exist, in between tangible and intangible realms. i am not sure how human he is - he looks like a half-angel. i am not sure if his feet touch the ground.
he is golden and white. god, i love to scream fuck white boys with your friends - and then i see him and the knot in my throat drops. never thought i'd fall for one, i laugh. secretly i wonder if he knows that he is breaking down so much of what i thought i knew about myself. so much of what i thought i was.
he looks like a fairytale prince, my friends remark. never been the type of guy that i'd enjoyed, but now...

State of Awe

sopaipillas

    i am four years old, and my great-grandmother is eighty-four.
    i am four years old, and there is a dog at my feet. her name is luna, and she scares me sometimes because she'll bark when i don't give her my food, and she is about as tall as i am. today she is sniffing the old wooden kitchen floors of the rickety apartment, tongue lapping up the powdered sugar i drop on her head. "mira, nana - es nieve!" it never snows in santiago, so we like to pretend it does.
    i am four years old, and my nana is curling her age-beaten hands over mine, helping me grind the pumpkin, steadying my child-wavering fingers with practiced precision. i ask her why her skin feels like paper, fragile against mine. she laughs. "soy vieja, mi vida. mi piel es tambien." i nod and i wonder what it is like to live thousands of days.
   ...

In the House

la pachamama

She rests in the potted plants of the family room and in the hanging garden in my room - She is everywhere that the earth is, that love is - and my house is bursting with it. Her laughter bubbles up through the cracks in the wood and waters the plants, keeping watch over Her children. and we return Her love in gifts of meals, in more flowers, in watering and fertilizing Her endless earth. every time i hug my mother another flower blooms in the kitchen - and my mother will laugh and thank Her, Her name slipping through our lips ringing with joy.

we mention Her to my uncles and aunts and they smile, laugh, point out how pretty those shrubs are and how much She respects those who respect Her. when we slip into native tongue, into mapudungun, into the language of our foremothers, we can feel Her smiling. She leaves flowers to grow by the dog's bed...

Everyday Magic

an hour from milan by car and at the same time a lifetime away

the bed is at the corner, and where it looks out into the grove there is a peach tree growing by the window. not low enough that you can climb up into the branches from where you lay in the blankets; no, you have to reach high for your fingers to brush a fruit, soft and pink in eternal italian sunshine. sometimes when you pull it off some peach juice spills onto the earth below, and maybe it becomes sticky and languid in the heat that afternoon.

the desk is placed in such a way that in the afternoon, light spills into it in golden pools and your sketches and transcriptions turn into faded prophecies that already seem centuries old - and when you finally set them aside there is a bitterness and beauty worn into the paper. maybe the sun is different here, or maybe it is just a condition of writing as you think.

sometimes, you stay outside until it...

a prompt(ish)

describe your fav characters/book without using words, as if it was the first sentence of a fairytale. then ask your readers to guess what book/movie/show it's from!

mine:
so here is the story of the boy with peach-colored cheeks and worn down pens that fell in love with the man made of starlight - and how everything they were became undone.

anyone want prayer?

i'm not christian or muslim or hindu or jewish or any kind of large religion - i follow the religion of my native ancestors. but i pray too - and i was wondering if anyone needed any - or just needed to feel like someone cared.

you can be any religion - i'm sure in the end someone is listening, even if we have different concepts about who that is. the only things i won't pray for are things i fundamentally disagree with - and i'll let you know if so. everyone deserves some good, especially in a climate like the one right now.

if you want to know more about my religion or who i'm praying to: click here and here. these people are my ancestors and their religion was taken from them by colonizers. the least i can do is keep it alive - and maybe do some good while doing so.

#mystoryq&a

do you still live where you were born? 
no - i was born in new brunswick, new jersey, and i now live in one of the three cities of the triad in north carolina! we moved when i was four because my parents got jobs here :)

how many languages do you speak/study? 
i am fluent in two: spanish and english. i learned english naturally from growing up in the us, and my proudly latin parents taught me spanish and bit of mapudungun, the language that the native people i'm descended from spoke. right now i'm learning french and italian as i love, love europe (been twice) and hope to live in italy as an adult.

do you consider yourself a good student? 
yes-ish. i have really great grades and am currently in a school for academically advanced students but i don't have a really great work ethic unless i'm interested and absolutely suck at math.

do you sport? 
never xx

are you religious? 
yes, but my dumbass didn't realize until a month ago. see, i'm descended from the natives that lived in chile/peru/argentina before the spaniards came, and since i...

life update (?)

so my family is going on a six month sabbatical to spain from north cackalacky starting on the first of january and ending in june, and we're going to be living in this lovely apartment in valencia, spain. it's a beautiful city and i'm so fucking excited but i may be gone for a little while between now and like january the fifth. love u thots

#paperbirdq&a

what's the story behind your profile picture? 
thought it was pretty- reminded me of the louvre, of paris, of europe. the places where i've felt most at home in my entire life.

when you start a "free writing" piece, do you like the font better when it's the editing font or the published font? 
published - it looks older, more traditional.

what movie scarred you for life as a child?  does it still freak you out? 
coraline, oh my god. that shit freaks me out to this day. 

look up "horoscope personalities."  which one fits you? 
pisces or aquarius. i'm an aquarius in real life, and it would fit me perfectly if not for the "unfeeling, doesn't show emotion" part of it. i'm one of the most emotional people i've ever met - i wear my heart on my sleeve.

do you consider yourself to a good writer? (be honest) 
i do! i really do - i think my prose has a really definitive, flowing, raw style that is great for showing emotion....

Mixtape

a mixtape for the best parts of living

i. nina cried power by hozier ft. mavis staples
for the revolutionaries, a tribute to blood-colored fists and burning down tradition. i will don my black clothes and throw smoke bombs and bricks through windows if it leads to survival, and i thank the people who cleared the path for me.

ii. white tiger by izzy bizu
to the freedom of the earth-born children, to the freedom of travel and love and getting lost in the hills. when i marry you, i'll play this on the way to the honeymoon.

iii. would you be so kind by dodie
sunflowers and kisses made of sugar and daisies. laughter and laying in the sun for far too long, until our chests burst with happiness and unconditional, eternal love that always feels like the first day.

iv. espada by javiera mena
reminds me of santiago, where i'll bring you and show you the mountains where my soul was born. i'll speak my spanish, my mapudungun, my languages...

we were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but each other (part 1)

        when achilles first sees patroclus in the afterlife, he doesn't recognize him at first.
    he's younger than he was the last time he saw him - more like the man he was before the war. the scars on his knuckles are gone, and so are the shadows of lines on his face achilles remembers from the funeral.
    of course, it's in a grove of figs - the one that reminds him of the ones outside phthia, the ones they used to play in when they were young, the ones they stole kisses in and the ones were achilles learned how to get on his knees. patroclus is strumming a lute, singing softly under his breath as the sun sets over the fields of elysium. i could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; i would know him blind, by the way, his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. iwould know him in death,...

hey hey hey hey i need advice

advice for getting over a crush please :(

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

the way you push down on your chest

and maybe a gold-tinged heart is underneath;
and the reason you reach for it
is because, just like mine, it aches.
not a painful ache-
an ache that's easy to cure.
so if you would 
please fall in love with me.
maybe then sunflowers will grow
in between your ribs.

the poems + a note

hey.
so it's a day since i posted about my experience with the wtw censorship, and more importantly, my sexual assault. the comments i've received at this point (nov. 13, 5:09 pm) have been wonderful.

sending support and love from somewhere kinda close where the rain has stopped. isn't it beautiful that the rain has stopped? 
i don't know why this made me cry so much - maybe cause i was in class when i read it, and when i turned to the window i noticed for the first time that the rain had ended. (we must be close, then.) it's sort of drizzling now. but the sentiment kind of hit me really hard. (also, yes, you are a supremely weird older sister) your entire comment, in general, was genuinely one of the best i've ever received. thank you so, so much, elle.

i'm a little nervous that posting these poems might result in my account being suspended or deleted since i've had about 5 pieces...

i talk abt censorship and my experience (sfow, wtw)

hey buds. so the censorship stuff has grown a lot since sfow published that piece. i've seen countless posts about how the system is messed up and we need to change it - but i'm sure we can all get behind that. so i think i'm going to talk a little bit about my personal experience with censorship.

trigger warning: sexual assault, ptsd

so fun fact that you'll rarely see me mention: i'm thirteen years old, turning fourteen in a month. the boy involved in this story is seventeen. when this story happened, i had just turned thirteen.

this summer, my family traveled to chile. it's common: my parents immigrated here in 2002 (before i was born), and we regularly visit our family in chile. my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc. i loved them all, and before this happened i had genuinely perfect views of them all.

this summer wasn't different. i had some wonderful weeks in santiago with my close family, and...

Sounds Assail Me

i think we are in the same place right now, elle

sounds assail me

and the sky pours out 
as if it has nothing left to give -
and maybe i have something 
in common
with the sky

maybe the beat of the raindrops
on the ceiling
matches the beat of my 
breathing; soft and
then sudden
as if perhaps i am forgetting how to

and maybe the things that i will
lose so soon.
are things that i
never really had

so i am listening to
the rain pouring out
her anger
and her fear
and everything she is
and perhaps i will try to do the same
if it helps me remember how to breathe

Five Endings

there is always some happiness in endings

i. for we were given the sun and the moon - and you get that only once.
ii. maybe in a different universe, i am with her on the train, and we never arrive to our destination.
iii. and a part of our souls will find each other in this life, or the next, or on and on.
iv. there is a world where there is only that bursting italian summer, and we never stop kissing each other underneath the peach trees.
v. and maybe my name is called out, briefly, but who could tell, really?
 

i'll review your piece if you review mine

hey! so i recently submitted my first draft for the novel writing competition and was wondering if a couple people were willing to do a reviewing exchange - i'll review ur piece and u mine. i'm a really in-depth, good reviewer, and i'd hope that the person reviewing mine would be good as well. thank u guys, comment below if you're interested :)

Novel Writing Competition 2018

golden hour - part one

    there's a coffee shop just on the corner of aven and principale street. it's one of the few in the town that is perfectly safe to go in there, though time passes strangely inside. the fae that own it try their best to make it work. when i first moved in with alissa, she introduced me immediately. the faerie that works the register speaks spanish and italian and french and russian. alissa speaks to her in lilting spanish tinged with a chilean accent. i don't understand, but i like the sounds. they're softer than english or french, less blunt. they sound full of laughter.  
    i'm at the coffee shop now. a guy's tapping his hand on a bench near me, and i'm trying to focus but the sound is persistent, and it reminds me. god, it reminds me. it's too much.  
    a faerie drifts over. she's taller than me. god, it's not fun when a fucking faerie is taller than you....

what happened while i was gone

i keep seeing posts about censorship and protests and honestly i agree wholeheartedly but what happened someone explain

july third, 2017

    i. sunflowers grow in fields beyond the city center, sun-kissed and waiting for van gogh. a sea-breeze reaches them and they ripple with the clouds.
    ii. a coliseum in the city center, crumbling under the weight of a thousand years. maybe you can still hear immortal whispers beneath stone, or maybe your own ghosts have come here on their own.
    iii. a girl made of sunshine is sitting at the night cafe with you, and vincent's brushes and paints are scattered on the table beside you. you take blurry pictures of her in the streetlights.
    iv. leave half of your soul in the abandoned archway by the market. leave it with the orange cat lying in the shade of the mango tree, and the crumbling walls of roman stone behind you.

Once the World Was...

how the night become the protector

tw - mention of rape

in the beginning, when the humans began to roam the earth fully formed, there were two gods of the night sky - oxomoco, goddess of the stars and astrology, and hemecox, god of the night and the moon. they kept watch over the darkness, and they took the great crown of the sky when the gods of the day fell to rest.

until hemecox hurt her.

he raped the goddess, they say, on a night when the clouds covered the sky and hid his brutality. and the first lightning strikes hit the ground that night, and they caused fires that burned for days after.

the night after, there were no stars. the humans were lost in darkness, guided only by the weak moonlight buried in the pitch black skies. and for seven nights after, there were no stars, no planets shining, only biting cold and howling wind as the goddess lay in the dark clouds, recovering slowly.

and...

what things that matter?

if you have not watched "call me by your name", this will probably not make sense.
for 
optimal experience, listen to "mystery of love" and/or "visions of gideon" while reading, both by sufjan stevens.
tw - underage smoking, implications of consensual teen/adult relationship, implied homophobia, implied internalized homophobia
pg-13 - teen smoking, same-sex teen/adult relationship


    "so world war two, huh?"
    "oh, no, this is world war one. you have to be at least eighty years old to have known one of them." elio watches oliver out of the corner of his eyes. leaning against the fence, hair slicked back and wearing one of his button-up shirts. the top buttons are undone, he notices. the top three. elio lights a cigarette, flicks it between his lips, takes a brief drag as he observes the statue. different from the ones his dad studies - this one's harder, less curvy, less desirable. it's not supposed to be.
    "huh. never even heard of...

idk the start of something

    rafina's missed the train so much. the red paint that never chips, the sound of the wheels and the view from the windows. the station, too - nine and three-quarters is always clouded with smoke and laughter and tears. parents hugging children and older kids making out behind the trolleys. rafina waves hello at kyrie jordan - lee jordan's daughter - and the tiny monkey clutching her finger. 
    she hasn't got anyone to see her off (she's taken the bus to london alone since fourth year) so she hangs around for a bit, chatting with a couple students in her year. most of her friends seem to have boarded already, and it'll be a pain trying to find them, so she settles on getting her own compartment. besides, it'll be more comfortable to change in. raf waves a goodbye to kyrie jordan, and takes a moment to stare as the potters and granger-weasleys enter the platform. their children are a few years below...

how van gogh saw the world

twirl butterflies into her hair and kiss an aching ode into sun-baked lips. kiss every freckle on her skin, every hickie - breathe into a constellation and add stars to it. swathe yourself in rose-gold wings and swear in ancient tongues that the stars don't drift - they spin.

paint wildflowers on her skin and press love into the palm of her hand. you swear you'll die kissing her, and you're okay with it. the ocean reflects in her irises and somehow her smile is brighter than any sunflower you've ever seen.

god, sunshine. lie down, stop being a tease.

but she is not just the sun- she is the moon. pain and pleasure. kindness and cruelty. they're intrinsically linked, and maybe a girl made of sunshine also has moondust on her skin. bend the knee for her, she pulls your hair back until you see spinning, spinning stars. pain tastes like eternity's gate and a sea reflecting in ice-bold eyes.

raw...

a question

i'm really interested in writing afrofuturism, but as a latin-american person i'd totally understand if any african or african-american peeps would not be comfortable with that.

it's totally cool if not - i have tons of ideas about latinx futurism i'd love to explore as well :)

thanks, mr president

thanks for making every poc of color feel unsafe.
thanks for locking up children and killing some of them.
thanks for reminding us that republicans care only about money and white people.
thanks for making every sexual assault survivor feel like they'll never be safe.
thanks for committing actual nepotism.
thanks for your thoughts and prayers while children are killed in their schools.
thanks for letting women know they're worth as much as their ass.
thanks for letting us know that racism is perfectly fine.
thanks for committing, saying, and doing so many terrible things that it'd take me years to finish this list.
thanks for everything. i'm sure history books will treat you well.

ugh why can't we publish mature stuff

yall know i wrote the second part of "(close to) the first time" but i can't publish it because it has ~the horizontal tango~ in it lmao

dear brown girl

i. they tell you this world doesn't belong to you. they're wrong.

ii. gunshots always echo in the pit of your stomach, tongue forming words you've been scaring of uttering. latina, chilena, mapuche. the people that would hurt you for it don't know what those words mean.

iii. white skin, white voice, white family. latina family. so why do they keep calling you brown?

iv. even brown girls hate brown girls. you don't know who put that feeling there, but you hate it.

v. you were taught to hate who you are.

Unconventional

gaia

the earth is a brown woman -
skin cracking under mountains and trees
hills borne of curves in her waist
her legs

in your dreams
her belly is swollen -
no man has touched her
but she carries her daughters
beneath her river-blood veins

they said that brown girls don't get to rule the world
she responds 
teeth bared
eyes wide
i am the world

shameless self promo

hey ya'll! i make cool af moodboards and aesthetics and started an instagram acc earlier today! i'd love it if some of you guys could check it out! @sunflower_gods

also if you guys want aesthetics or moodboards i'm a bit out of inspo so request one if you'd like!
 

gold

    i. rusted crown, rusted skin.
    ii. the gods don't love you - they love only overblown hubris borne of their legends, their mystery. their pride will be their downfall, save for a few who came down to earth and hid while they could. no one has yet found hephaestus, athena, hestia. there are whispers that they hid in poseidon's abandoned palaces, in the mountains no one can climb - but those who try to seek them never come back alive.
    iii. maybe your golden dresses will save you when the day comes - or maybe icarus believed the same before he kissed death so, so fiercely. ichor decorates your palace walls and drips into the dark corners, where perhaps whispers welcome it. no one really knows, do they?
    iv. you don't care if you die anymore - the waiting will kill you faster. all you see now is gold, gold. rusty jewelry, broken gates, torn paintings.
    v. nothing...

(close to) the first time

(rating: 15+. nothing explicit, highly suggestive content)
(tw: a bit of roughness, discussion of sexual themes)

    and suddenly she's kissing me - harder than before and faster than before and i have a very strange thought that i'm making out in the bed i've slept in since i was six. but then her tongue is between my teeth and i can feel hickies blooming on my neck and chest as her mouth carries over down to my collar, and there's a breath-stopping moment of fumbling and exhalation as she pulls my shirt up and undoes my bra. i laugh thinking of a boy trying to get the clatch open. 
    her fingers are knotted up in my hair and she pushes me onto my back. "my god, baby, what's so funny?" she tries to be cool but i can see anxiety pooling up in your eyes. we're going pretty far for girls who's kissing careers began yesterday. i think she's wondering...

#cwcbucketprompt

"you are a bucket."
"maybe, but who dresses like a firefighter who's just discovered pinterest?"
iris gasps and reaches across to swat amber playfully. "no!"

white tiger #songtitlepoem

    i. oh, darling, let's be adventurers.

    ii. she says it like she wants to touch the sky. she wants to get into the car and drive. 

    iii. clothes in the backseat, backpack strewn on the floor. sparklers in a plastic box and sunglasses with lipstick stains perched on the hood of a car we can't afford. she says we'll only be young once, and i believe her. dance in the sun, dance in the moon. tribal beating in her soul and wanderlust coloring my lips.

    iv. so drive like you'll never go back. laughter written in the stars and the ocean foam. black girls and brown girls only get to be free in the wild, so the wild is where we go. she takes out her braids and i swear i hate every person who's ever told her she isn't beautiful, because goddamn it, she is an african goddess.

    v. park...

Your Ideas for WtW

a couple of ideas

i - the community is so damn sweet and helpful. they've improved my writing so much and are so kind to and with each other. except for a few people that seem to want to share their homophobic opinions wherever it suits them. (they know who they are)
ii - please stop deleting pieces about sexual assault, suicide, or self-harm. i personally have experienced all three and though the last two are long behind me, my sexual assault trauma is prevalent in everyday life. i wrote three pieces about my assault and they helped me immensely, as did the support before they were taken down. perhaps you could create tags or sections where people could list what was in the work, what the rating was, and who was allowed to see it. i'd also love the ability to create slightly more explicit works and put them in a 16+ tag.
iii - i'd love the ability to chat privately with other...

#lifelemonsprompt

make lemonade
and share it with the girl across the street
the one who bites her tongue when she laughs
and dyed her hair pink when her parents said no

put in a bit too much sugar
so that when she kisses you there's leftover honeysuckle sweetness on your lips
and from that day 
she'll call you sugar

she'll ask why you made lemonade that day
when you're sitting in a scottish castle
or cuban beach; or french boulangerie;
on your honeymoon

contest update

so a couple of people mentioned the due date - i'm extending it to wednesday :)

This I Believe

faith in humanity

we make robots and name them
discovery and imagination
we send them into the sky
and sing happy birthday to them,
non-sentient machines
solely because we don't want them
(non-feeling creatures)
to feel alone.

my friend always buys the most
battered boxes of pasta
because she worries
that no one else will.

we see a squirrel in
the road ahead
and risk car crashes
to keep them
from getting hurt.

my cousin tucks in all of her toys
even though she knows they're not alive
simply so that they'll be comfortable.

we lie on uncomfortable ground
for hours sometimes
to see the stars that are there every night
because we spend our lives
searching for beauty.

one day we might be gone
and discovery and imagination
will be the only remnants of us left
and maybe someone will find them
and they will ask who used to be
and our creations will say
we do not know, but they named us
discovery and...

fire+water #SurlyWombatHasAContest

    i. she's always been water.

    ii. you've known since the day she told you her blood was saltwater. she saw the mountains and you felt her heart stop. she reached out and gripped your hand. so tightly. always so tightly.

    iii. dancing on the kitchen floor, blue, blue eyes.  i like my girls just like i like my honey.

    iv. you wonder why she, an ocean, loves you, a phoenix.

    v. (that's a lie. you've always known why.)

    vi. she says she wants to be a torch.

    vii. fire, water. water, fire.

    viii. set her aflame. let her extinguish you. you're bleeding magma onto her lips. she drowns you, and you let her.

    ix. fire was made to love water.

a competition: because i'm not original

hey! competitions have been picking up a ton lately and i'd love to see what you guys can do.

so the theme is that it should be set in the 1800s!
extra points if it's lowercase, lgbtqi+, romantic, or ~suggestive~ lmao
it can be prose or poetry :)

i'll be choosing two winners, maybe three if i just can't choose, and i'll follow them, give them credit on this account, and write an in-depth review of their piece.

contest goes until next friday, so september seventh! i won't include anything submitted after 11:59 PM thursday.
from 500-2000 words. have fun, and if you're planning on participating or have any questions, let me know in the comments below!

once you write your piece, put #elisahasacontest somewhere in the title!

have fun!
 

hurricane katrina? more like hurrican tortilla! (q + a)

alright thots lets answer some q's

first book you fell in love with?
harry potter. i read it for the first time when i was like seven and i just fell in love with the world and characters (and hermione tbh)

favorite genre of literature? 
oh that's hard! lgbt fiction, i guess. write me stories about monster lesbians and space lesbians and dragon lesbians. and i love some trans/nb representation as well. and ofc i love my mlm :)

what's one book that you think everyone should read? 
the hate u give. it's an incredible book about racial politics, teenage rebellion and police brutality that can change a lot of views and really help people understand why we're fighting. also angie is cute af :)

what's one small thing that gets you really angry?
"triggered" jokes lol. i know i'm setting myself up to get laughed at but trigger jokes make me so damn angry. my triggers give me panic attacks and touch aversion and even...

send me questions!!

guess who's not original! fr though i've seen a lot of q and a's and they seem quite fun so hit me w/ those q's yall.

my whole existence is flawed (you get me closer to god)

she touches you and you dream of cathedrals, of biting teeth drawing ichor from a red-hot soul.

somewhere, you are holy. somewhere is not here. here you are a sinner dressed in golden ashes and the only sound is burning, burning, because the body of this girl brings you to hell.

you are dreaming of cathedrals. you are always dreaming of cathedrals.

god abandoned you long ago. he took a look at her lips on your skin and he knew you were beyond salvation. he told the devil to wait for you.

cathedrals with silver pews. cathedrals with statues of ganymede, naked on a stone bed.

you are ganymede today. you are unholy. the sacrifices ask for purity. for virgins. you are never sacrified.

she whispers the seven sins into your ear. she is made of them. you are moaning broken psalms around her fingers and when you take the lord's name in vain she pushes you onto your knees.
...

#LoveOrSomething entry cus i luv ya elle

    i don't want to sleep tonight. abi's on the line and her voice is soft from the lateness. she wants to talk a little longer. 
    "what'd she say?"
    i love the abruptness of the what'd on her tongue. she breathes an and touches the tip of a and swirls down into a before she takes a breath, a soft, halting thing because she really wants to know the answer. "it wasn't her fault, i guess."
    abi's silent for a little while. i ask her why.
    "i like your voice. i like how you sound when you talk to me. i've heard you talk to mer and you don't sound like that."
    "like what?"
    she's silent for a moment.
    "like you want to hear my voice back. like you're scared i won't answer."
    it feels like i'm drifting. she heard what i heard...

gimme ur opinion

would any of yall care for an hp fanfic about lupin/sirius raising harry?

also hermione x cho chang because o o p s

im sorry yall

for everyone who had to read that last piece im so sorry i wrote that on like six advil, period cramps, and not sleeping for two days. lemme rewrite it and post that soon. ✌

Untitled

where the frickedy heck is kaitlyn

Improbable Flavor

the taste of a bullet

    the first thing you think of is a memory. you're five years old and lying on the grass. the earth holds you and rocks you until you fall asleep and crickets pull at the corners of your dress, and you are sure, that you are safe as long as the earth holds you. you are wrong.
    next comes the ocean. she comes in waves and roars beyond imagination and all is cold and violent. the sand slips under your feet and you are somehow falling into the deep. you can't seem to remember how you survived.
    what a pity you survived that only to land here. the bullet is in your heart, not your mouth, but the taste of the metal persists and the earth is underneath you but she does not hold you. no, mother earth chooses her battles and this is not one she will fight. she wins every battle that she wants to...

Paint Swatch

astriloquus

    it's the color you feel at a concert, the moment before the lights burst and all you are is this moment. she kisses you under a heavy storm and you swear you'll die if the sky opens up any more, because you're bleeding heavy raindrops and your soul can't hold anything else. a boy grabs you on the street and you make him regret it, walking home with your blood on your knuckles and a weight left behind on the alley behind the club.
    take this feeling and use it as a sword, use it when the knot in your chest doesn't let go and all you need is burning body to know you are alive. fight with it and make your curses bleed until the only roaring is that of the sea stealing the dead you left on its shores. when you are done, bury it with your demons so that the earth may return it to...

Child Narrator

children in cages - part 1

    my name's lola, and i'm four years old. my favorite color is pink. i have ten fingers and ten toes. my favorite animal is the giraffe cause it has a long neck. my papi reads to me and so does my nana. my mami can't read. my best friend is my stuffed bear. her name is sofia. i have a blankie and i have two shirts. i have one pair of pants and a dress and sparkly light-up shoes my tio bought me when i was three.
     two days ago, we left mexico. one day ago, they found us. one hour ago, they told my mami they were going to give me a bath. it doesn't make sense. it's been a while and they haven't given me a bath. i don't have sofia or my blankie. i didn't want to go. they made me.
    they put me in a metal box with wires like on...

divinitatem

    i. wine stains your lips. or is it holy blood? you can't remember. and are the crumbs at your feet just bread or something else, something far less innocent?

    ii. divinity.

    iii. the word colors your mouth the shade of a crushed pomegranate.
 
    iv. christ's calloused soles. his broken bones, torn skin. the holes born in his hands, his feet. the puncture holes in his head. a bloody crown of thorns at his feet.

    v. the lord tells you your body isn't yours. your soul is bleeding red wine and pomegranate juice. he watches. he is silent. you begin to bleed out.

    vi. divinity. you hope the afterlife is as black as your soul. all you can do is hope. divinity.

marble castle

    when you were little, you used to say that you wanted to go home, even as your mom held you in your bedroom.

    there's only one time where you've felt truly home - and it's standing in the louvre, holding hands with a girl made of stars. your palms are clammy and you hope she can't notice you shaking. but you're looking out over paintings of the virgin mary and she makes you believe in god.

    somewhere, ganymede sings, and when you enter the room of the statues athena's marble lips lift into a smile. the girl kisses you like icarus must have kissed the ocean as he died, and all of a sudden you are heavenly. the girl smiles.

    you smile back.

ada

(ada asked for a haiku at the end of the book, so i delivered. she also requested this image)

ada, my buddy
you are v lovely
you're my best friend

to: mrs. howard

thanks.
you've always been on my side, from the very beginning. even with all the crap i was dealing with and missing classes and close to flunking out of school solely for medical issues you were always defending me
you got me extensions on work, you convinced other teachers to help me out, you suggested plans and medical assistance and let me walk out everytime something triggered old, traumatic memories. you knew i was suffering and instead of thoughts and prayers, you worked twice as hard to get me to pass and to excel at science. you stayed after school to let me hold dead, half-dissected pigs and catch me up on what i missed. you volunteered to come to my house when i was on medical leave just to help me work.
we may never have connected on the same level that i did with ms. moore or mr. eastwell, but you made up for that by being the most...

to: mr. eastwell

thanks.
i've started to write this a couple of times, and all i can keep coming back to is that one conversation we had near the beginning of the year. you probably don't remember it, but it was maybe a week or two in. i was sitting right next to your desk and somehow we started to get into politics.
i came out casually during the conversation. you didn't give me so much as a second look. but that's not what i remember best. i remember we were talking about gay, and straight, and poly people and you said about your son, "i don't care who makes him happy, whether it's a girl or a boy or someone in between or a group of people. all i want is for him to be happy."
maybe that was a cliche sentence all parents say. but with recent events, involving a certain student who shall remain unnamed, that kept coming back to me.
we...

to: ms. moore

thanks.
your classroom has been a safe space this entire year. it's allowed me to feel like i can be who i am, and for once my gender and sexuality and race doesn't matter. for once, i've felt like i have a teacher that is fully willing to embrace the sides of a person who isn't traditional in every way.
you've also been pretty brave. i don't know many teachers who would have so openly spoken their opinions and taught their students how to think and look from different perspectives. you taught so many people how to do that this year. that's incredible.
i'm really sad that on the very year i got you as a teacher, i had to spend so much time away. but i'm so glad that you'll continue teaching students to be who they are.
i'm so sure that you'll change so many lives. i know you already have changed at least one.
i'll remember you forever, and...

something a douglas survivor tweeted that i thought was important.

we miss our friends more than you will miss your guns.

khloris

    i. it's as if your organs are only roots and you can reach through your ribcage and pull out a beating, petaled heart, blood pounding in a staccato rhythm, gliding through a body that mother earth designed for one purpose:

    ii. to grow. and if the pulsing tendrils of your mind don't warn you a stumbling soul oozing arsenic blood and chloroform breath will.

    iii. can you tell the difference? if not, the bloody butterflies in your eyes should keep them shut forever, or at least until you choose to grow. but how can you, when the beat of your breath is uneven and cold and ice breaks your leafy skin and lilac hair, and the salty seawater is more poisonous than refreshing.

    iv. you know who the fault really belongs to. and it's not you, but the man who leaves you bouquets to thread through your ribcage and daisy chains that almost choke you....

Want a Cover? Your Gay is Here!

i buds! it's eliza, WtW's resident hispanic lesbian.

i really love making book covers and have a pretty good amount of experience. i don't draw, but i'm really decent at graphic design, and if you guys need a cover, i'm happy to make one!

here are some examples of things i've made:
Rain Over Reign 
Where the Heart Calls 
Miasma
A Trail of Stardust

comment below if you'd like one with this format:

title:
author name:
tagline:
synopsis:
vibe:
cover ideas:

thank you <3
 

For the Future

souviens-toi de nous

remember us. 
remember our skin touching skin lips touching lips hands touching hands hearts touching hearts
in a world where that touching will be okay. 
in a world where my skin touching hers lips touching hers hands touching her heart touching hers
will be perfectly fine and the words of her father
won't be the sounds of anger and abandonment she hears every time he opens his mouth
and when i tell my friends that i told my parents
the first thing they feel is fear instead of joy
because what if i have to live with them now

you're a girl or a boy or a person who is neither or both or some or anything
and when you tell your friends you told your parents
the first thing they feel is 
"cool. wanna go get pizza?"
instead of fear and stress

because right now my skin touching hers means a yell
and my lips touching hers means a slap ...

a chapel in paris

it's almost as if you can hear the whispers
or see them out of the corner of your eye
but they don't like to be watched
and when you look they turn to dust

you sit down on a fallen pillar to rest
and wonder how old it is
- 1000 years?
the voice chuckles softly-
child, this pillar was my lifeblood

you reach to you touch the stained glass
and the voice murmurs the name of the man
who's blood was used for the red
but when you turn around
you catch only a glimpse
of rotting eyes-
and empty sockets

when you are finally stepping out into the bright sunlight
you hear faint chanting and laughter from the empty chapel behind you
and cannot move at the hot smell
of ancient breath on your neck 
we shall meet again, child
the lost souls always return 



 

mexican dyke: part i

out of all the things i've been called
mexican dyke
maybe was my favorite
maybe those two words that fit together-
or that i'm neither

no mexican blood in me
solo chilena
and when they call me those words
i can taste the fog on my lips
and i can hear the ocean rumbling

te acuerdas
cuando tu te acercaste al mar
y yo grite
porque era una nena

y el mar parecia el diablo

but the words were wrong
and i knew it the moment the tide reached my toes and the rain started to fall
and i screamed into the sea
and it rumbled an answer

o talves era cuando encontre
le sangre de santiago en 
el azucar flor de tu cocina
cuando terminaste las sopaipillas
o las montañas
esperando su corazon


i like the words mexican dyke because they let me go: no
this is what i am
sopaipillas y azucar flor
y la niña con
agua de oceano de sangre
 

appreciation post for my girlfriend!

she's absolutely lovely and i could not ask for a sweeter girl. i cannot believe she actually chose to date *me* and i'm so thankful.

jeanne, you're a lovely human. and i'll get to see you in real life in january! xo

25 Words

can you hold out for six months?

when i'm close, jeanne's there in a 50's dress, cigarette dangling. she always says those words.

"if you jump, you'll never get to kiss me."

across the sea - testing waters

elena. march 4, 2018, 6:00 am.

song: puzzle pieces by saint motel

i like getting up early. i know it's oversaid, but i like feeling a bit like the world is sleeping and it's just me and the sun edging up. i like the way early morning light makes your skin look like porcelain. i like feeling the world wake up, the neighbor's little girl babbling, the dogs barking.

there's a kind of agreement in the early morning, a little sense of peace that everyone knows to follow. sometimes i'm startled by the drip-drip of the tea bag when i throw it away, or the spoon clinking against the mug. there's that soft sweater i wear when it's cold, and it's still cold in march, here in nyc.

i have no idea why i live in nyc, of all places. theoretically, i should hate it. it's cold and messy and though i like the number of parties and people i can't stand...

PYNK

Pynk by Janelle Monae is a beautiful, unabashed celebration of female sexuality and lesbian sex that somehow finds room to include trans women (the baseball bat scene in the music video, and the back up dancers that are not wearing the pants) and gives queer, feminist black girls a monologue they've been missing out on. 

Everyone, go watch it, support her, support queer girls and poc and trans girls and girls in general!
(link to the left)

Place Poem

cucao

shouldn't the ferryman's boat be chipped paint and wood-
if it's to imitate the island
or reach out to the fisherman in the ports
waiting for the sky?

and the dollhouses should be brown, 
but the pink paint
makes the air taste like plastic

shouldn't the women in the dollhouses
have tattered clothes and raw bones
instead of the colors they wear
and grooves in their skin?

and the waves should crash
instead of reach you silently,
foamy arms extending like a silent promise

shouldn't the horses drown
flanks disappearing under dark waters
instead of kick them up
and win like they do?

and the stars should fall
instead of stay in space
where they cannot breathe

shouldn't the souls wait
and cry themselves for the end
instead of letting the seals
steal their voices?

or is the ferryman's boat too eternal,
and the women's history too short,
and the horses too strong, 
and the souls too weak?

Monostich

stars

there's a handful of stars in your hair - i pluck one out and set it into the sky.

 

Zoom In

it's a little bit messy but it's mine

go to the eastern edge of the united states, where the land turns into sea and stillness hangs in the southern places like a cloud. no, not new york, go down, past the bustle of the cities where and virginia turns to north carolina. to the right a couple miles, down a ways, and look upon a little city in the foothills. observe the artists in the cultural center, the grimness of the poorer neighborhood, and finally, the quiet upper-middle-class neighborhoods near the university. pass the best burgers in america, take a right, and walk down to a low ranch house.

there might be a wreath in the door, depending on the time of year, and a pride flag and coexist flag hanging together next to the porch. tulips are growing next to bench in the front yard, tulips from amsterdam, door numbers from mexico, flag from spain, bench from england. there's a little world in the front yard of this house. go...

Zoom In

it's a little bit messy but it's mine

go to the eastern edge of the united states, where the land turns into sea and stillness hangs in the southern places like a cloud. no, not new york, go down, past the bustle of the cities where and virginia turns to north carolina. to the right a couple miles, down a ways, and look upon a little city in the foothills. observe the artists in the cultural center, the grimness of the poorer neighborhood, and finally, the quiet upper-middle-class neighborhoods near the university. pass the best burgers in america, take a right, and walk down to a low ranch house.

there might be a wreath in the door, depending on the time of year, and a pride flag and coexist flag hanging together next to the porch. tulips are growing next to bench in the front yard, tulips from amsterdam, door numbers from mexico, flag from spain, bench from england. there's a little world in the front yard of this house. go...

The Unknown

saving it all

i don't know about falling in love

is it the way your lips brush against my hands
or our clammy palms touching
as you guide me through the park

or turning on the captions before i can ask
or knowing the right words to say
when the aching knot in my mind turns
into fire

is it the salt on my tongue 
winding its way through
 or my broken bones
and cracked rib cage
letting out butterflies

or a breeze reflecting the moon on your face
and your arm reaching up
pale in the moonlight
to touch the sky

is it the worn metal of the necklace
you gave me
deformed from months of use
and hungry lips that cannot find you
and so find the next best thing

i don't know about falling in love
and i've always been afraid of experiencing what i didn't know

so now i'm afraid

Maus II Synopsis

Much like Anne Frank, this graphic novel could be potentially be triggering to sensitive people due to the nature of the book - describing the concentration camp in great detail and what was done to those inside of them, including many deaths. However, the book maintains many important messages about family, love, and prejudice that exists in every one of us. The author skillfully navigates family politics and how much emotions can play a role in our stories. The book is quite short, only 136 pages of only illustrations, so for fast readers it'd probably take an hour or so.

Anne Frank Synopsis

This book may be difficult for some people to read, especially those who are very emotional and those who have some kind of prior experience of the holocaust, Nazi Germany, or world war II. However, this book is very important, especially in our divided and dark times, and can serve as a warning for the US of what we might become if we continue the path our commander in chief has set us on. It is also important to remember that these are the words of a young girl, not an adult, so they need to be evaluated as such.

Bioethical Opinion Essay

    Many people over the years have heard the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who, during treatment for cervical cancer in 1951, had cancer cells removed that later become known as the first immortalized cell line, called HeLa. The moral and ethical repercussions of this have continued to, for decades, become highly controversial issues about privacy, consent, and compensation.
    I consider the use of human tissue for medical research to be vital, and I would never stop it. It allows us to study different diseases and treatments in a much more focused and specific way to how our bodies work than if we used something else. The tissue can also (like HeLa) become immortalized, and so keep that knowledge of the past with us, and allows us to do so many different things.
    However, that is not what has been most controversial. That has been the right for patients to consent to have their tissue taken...

rayures de tigre

the darkness threatens to swallow me whole
and your hands press into my shoulder blades
summoning wings that don't come

and then the sunlight wakes me 
giving me tiger stripes of molten gold
and setting fire to your necklace,
tower and clover alike

i can't tell if the stinging in my shoulders
is real or just a fragment of
a dream
for some way across the ocean 
to reach you

but the mirror shows no wings 
only chapped lips
(i haven't kissed you in a year)
and cracked skin
(i don't have time to care for myself anymore)
and chewed nails
(i never was a calm person)
and the necklace
that i haven't taken off in days

but there's a text from you
waiting when i
check my phone
you are my sunshine

and when my fingers type
my only sunshine
i can hear you laugh
and i can see you smile
and my tiger stripes
feel more like wings
than...

v

dear annie,
i hope i've convinced you. i'm only trying once more - i met with a woman who's going to help me get out of here and back to you. in the meantime, i have to be extra careful. this letter may be short. they're watching me.
i'm not sure how i'll get back. there's so many different ways now. the woman's not sure if i should go by road or steam locomotive. or maybe even canal! i've never traveled by canal before. it's such a new thing.
the roads might be too traveled, and i could easily get kidnapped or lost. however, they'd get me straight there in just two days by carriage! they're perfectly paved and smooth.
the trains are loud and scary and often crash or have accidents. but they're so fast, and they're safer than taking the roads. they're all over the country now!
the canal maybe. it'd take longer to get there, but it'd be much safer...

iv

dear annie,
victoria's dead. i awoke this morning and she was barely alive, murmuring. i tried to make it easier. brushed her hair with my hands and sang to her. when her eyes shut and she was still, i took her dress and money. i sold the dress to another little girl and have enclosed the money here. it's a few shillings. she never spent it. 
you asked me what we do to take our minds off it. we don't have much leisure time, and if we do we spend it sleeping. but occasionally we play. a woman from a charity came once and brought us some toys. there's a little rocking horse, but we let the little ones use that. and there's some jacks, me and the other boys play with those out in the street, where there's space. 
the girls have a doll's house and a noah's ark set from the nuns in the monastery 'cross the street. some of the older...

iii

dear annie, 
safe still. someone awoke last night while i wrote but i gave them a shilling to keep quiet. it cost me a breakfast but it's preferable to being thrown out in the street. and most of us don't know how to read or write anything much.
though they're learning, and it's scaring the factory owners. we have to have two hours of school a day, and the owners don't like it but they have to do it. it's not much use, though, anyway. even the children who listen aren't listening to much. all they do are tell us things and have us repeat them, and some of the children are so sleep-deprived or hungry they'll fall asleep on their desks. 
they try not to though, because they hurt us if we do. the feverish little one i told you about in my last letter was forced to kneel in a closet for several hours. she's barely five, and...

ii

dear annie,
don't worry. i know you were scared by the last letter, but i promise i'm alright. the didn't find the letter before i sent it, and i'm okay. it's almost midnight now, and i'm writing by the only oil lamp in the room. there's thirty children in one room and yet they can't afford two lamps.
but i know you're still considering coming, and annie, i can't have that. you can't come here. it's horrible. there are three ill children in the room, with typhus and cholera, and the other ones are getting infected as well. a body a boy who died a day ago is still just resting in the corner with flies all over him.
there's only one toilet among us, and four to a bed. right now, there's a young girl named victoria asleep on my legs. she's feverish. I don't think she has long.
we do have a sewage system though, which is more than...

i

dear annie,
i miss you too. i'd like to have a familiar face here, but you can't come. i'll explain why to you - but in several different letters. i don't have time to write too much, and the overseers might hurt me if they see the letters, so i'll try to finish them immediately. 
i hate it here - the factory work isn't easy, and it's dangerous. a girl about your age was killed a few days ago when her hair got stuck in the looms. since then, most of the girls have shaved their heads. and they don't pay us enough, either. we used to get 3 or 4 pence a day - but they've gotten more workers and now we only get a few shillings. 
and they hurt us, too, annie. the boys get beaten and the girls get dragged away. i don't know what happens, but they won't talk when they come back and they'll cry when...

race

race
/rās/ 
noun

    i. you can remember the way they watch you. they mean you're not good enough. your skin wants to hide itself. you want to     run away from who you are.

    ii. you are seven years old. there is a man on the street, screaming. he tells you to speak english. he tells you he's going to     rape and kill you and throw your bodies over the border to mexico. "what does he mean?" you ask. you're not mexican.     you're chilean. your mother doesn't respond, only tightens her hold on the pepper spray and calls a cab. it whisks you away,     and when you turn around for a last look you still see him watching you.

    iii. you're 13. in class with your best friend. her skin is white and her privilege shows it. the teacher brings up racial     tensions, issues. you both tense. you and her do not speak for two...

WILD

chiloé

i watch the horses

and they're staying where the grass grows higher
and the weeds reach up to their flanks
but we can get close enough to reach out 
and touch where the hair bristles on the edge of their spine

the ground is patchy and dark
but who
could look at the ground
when all you can see are the dark ocean waves 
and all you can hear
are the seals crying from the rocky islands

i can smell the salt and the earth
and the wind would blow me away
if i were not so grounded
grounded in this moment

but when i climb el muelle de las almas
and i scream out for the ferryman
to carry me into the sky
i can only hear the wind answering back 
and horses run
 

Intersection

l u x e m b o u r g

when we reach the other side of street
feet on concrete
eyes drifting

the first thing i see are the trees
and where they touch the metal
on the gates where our hands rest

you reach down
and pluck a dandelion
growing from a crack in the street
where a tree once fell

Love in 13 Words

jeanne

we're just two girls on the steps of the louvre, holding each other.

et sappho nous a aimé, mon cher

you're a sinner's ganymede -
breath taut
eyes wide
we're at ghost-ridden crossroads,
racing on caffeine and love
i half-wish you'll go -
i want to know if life without you as daunting as it seems

the words are on the tip of your tongue
the way the tip of your tongue was -
no.

you said it first and when you did
the lights swallowed me whole
she loves me she loves me not she
loves me she loves me not
she loves me

i love her i love her not i
love her i love her not
i love her

you send me the music
and the passionfruit is on 
my tongue.

passionate from miles away
not miles, though, 
years. two, maybe.

if you could find a 
way to change
the world
would you change
the distance?

paris

paris (pah-ree)
noun
    
    1. 
you search forever to find the soul. it is everywhere, pieces of starlight scattered through this dream.
    2. it only appears whole at night. you pluck lights from the heavens and send them down to earth, where they beckon, aching, calling.
    3. sometimes you can feel it beating. the heart of the city lies underneath monoliths of stone, gardens, culture. it is a hundred million lights the city loves; here, icarus does not fall. here, icarus has brought the sun down with him, and this city has inhaled it and exhaled stars.

Fernweh

desiditer

desiditer: (noun) a need to wander and travel

Derived from the latin word iter, meaning 'journey' or 'travel', and desiderium, meaning 'longing' or 'need.'

pronunciation- de-see-dE-tur

example sentence- 

seeing the photos struck her with desiditer that would eat away at her for days on end.

they smiled as they began to see mountains in the distance, their fingers tightening around the steering wheel of the ancient van as their desiditer vanished.

trop vite pour nous

i. the world spins too fast for us. it always has; that's what happens, isn't it? with every generation that's come before.

ii. we all think we're different. we all think we'll outrun the passing of time. we are made of poster signs and lips colored with the blood of the people who told us no. we are made of wanting and dim lights at concerts, the moment before everything swells and we feel too much instead of too little.

iii. we know we won't make it. it's beaten into us and yet we fight, fight, because our battle cry is the sounds we are familiar with; the gasp of a raped person, the scream of a falling innocent, the voices that have accompanied us our entire lives that say no, no, you want and want and what you want is insanity. but we knew our insanity was right. we knew our insanity was something worth fighting for and...

The Peace of Wild Things

snowstorm

just a bit away-
sun collapsing

two streets with her
laughter takes us both

fall-
    stumble-
            close-
                take-

no

she picks me up
and that breaks me down
glad you exist-
says she

tears form

river's underneath
ice cracks, c r u m b l e s
cold
so cold

shriek
giggle
snort

icy arms touch icy body
she holds me

hair is white with snow
snow on nose
snow on forehead
snow on hand -
hand on snow

no

safe here
the world is quiet
she dances slow

never felt so cold
never felt so good



 

Birdsong

ow-ow

flit
    flirt
        zap

ow-ow
ow-ow

ding

ow-ow

ding
 

Ten Words to You

greensboro, north carolina

tea, popcorn
sky grows white

close and soft;
i melt

cruel gods - aphrodite

she's unopened bottles of rosé, lipstick and corsets. she's taken you, breathed you in and out faster than you could count the ways you were deceived. you were told love was the way, but how could it be, when the incarnation of love is a rose with more thorns than petals?

it looked appealing. standing in the oracle's temple, licking your wounds, tasting flesh left behind and broken. it was all soft colors, lip bites, satin sheets made more for love than sleep. it took you far too long to find the blood in them, to wash out the anger trapped in your chest. and it was worse than the fires, worse than the pain; but did you ever think it wasn't going to be? after all, you came as a masochist. you bared yourself for her, for kisses without love, listening without believing, leaving before being left.

she comes and leaves with the ichor of the those before you...

cruel gods - calypso

hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they have said. and the words have never more meant more to you than now, heart pumping in your ears, the metal taste of blood swirling in your mouth.

cruel lips twist into cruel smiles and cruel words come, and you can hear the false gods fall. because here is a god, and the blood in your mouth means only that you are alive.

cruel knives carve cruel hearts open with cruel curiosity, and so those who warned crumble under the weight of the sky. golden wings pull you up, beckon you. you did not believe. you did not understand.

you pray for salvation, and there is laughter only, the laughter of someone once trodden who has risen. you should have prayed sooner.

Novel Writing Competition 2017

daydream chapter one - can't pretend

    I used to be afraid of the dark.  
    I'm not anymore. I love it now. Nighttime is much more beautiful than daytime. Especially here, in Elm Valley Park, when the most significant amount of people you see is perhaps one, like tonight. I observe her. It's a girl out for a jog, hair tied back, sweat beading on her eyelashes and skin. She seems calm, or maybe just appears that way. I don't know. 
    I'm supposed to read. I've got an essay due soon, and most people won't even read the book until the day before. I'm too anxious about schoolwork. 
    I'm anxious about everything. That's why I like the night so much. It's so calming to be in a place empty of judgment, people, stress. The nighttime world is different. It's dark and beautiful, and the sky and the stars have this fragile balance with the earth. I feel still. I feel grounded. 
   ...

daydream - part 1

    I used to be afraid of the dark. 
    I'm not anymore. I love it now. Nighttime is much more beautiful than daytime. Especially here, in Elm Valley Park, when the most significant amount of people you see is perhaps one, like tonight. I observe her. It's a girl out for a jog, hair tied back, sweat beading on her eyelashes and skin. She seems calm, or maybe just appears that way. I don't know.
    I'm supposed to read. I've got an essay due soon, and most people won't even read the book until the day before. I'm too anxious about schoolwork.
    I'm anxious about everything. That's why I like the night so much. It's so calming to be in a place empty of judgment, people, stress. The nighttime world is different. It's dark and beautiful, and the sky and the stars have this fragile balance with the earth. I feel still. I feel grounded.
   ...

pompeii

we have seen
    e t e r n a l
cities fall, my dear

we have seen
    e t e r n a l
walls crumble, my love

we have seen
    e t e r n a l
gods bring down the sky, my treasure

and, no
    n e v e r
did any of them realize that our blood was golden

and no, 
    n e v e r
did any of them realize our veins flowed with ichor

and no, 
    n e v e r 
did any of them realize we are the most dangerous gods of all

for no, 
    w e
are devotions with holy bones
 
for no, 
    w e
could never die

for no, 
    w e 
have phoenix eyes that glow with fire

my dear
 


 

daydream chapter two - glad you came

    "And you're saying the kid-"
    I bite my tongue. "His name is Evan."
    "-Evan didn't want you to call nine-one-one?"
    I nod.
    My mom takes my hand. "It sounds like a textbook abuse case. He didn't want you to alert authorities even though he was badly hurt, which he wouldn't have done had it just been a street assault. And he's got old scars, injuries someone's given to him before. I've seen this a million times." She takes a deep breath. "The worst is, with this kind of cases, because the system is so messed up, I'm not sure if contacting the authorities would be very safe for him. I mean, I should know."
    "Where is he, anyway?"
    My mom gestures to our guest room. "James' examining him now. I thought it best to leave the medical stuff to him and the legal things to me.
    It makes sense. Dad's a doctor and Mom's...

Novel Writing Competition 2017

daydream chapter one - can't pretend

  I used to be afraid of the dark. 
    I'm not anymore. I love it now. Nighttime, I think, is much more beautiful than daytime. Especially here, in Elm Valley Park, when the most significant amount of people you see is perhaps one, like tonight. I observe her. It's a girl out for a jog, hair tied back, sweat beading on her eyelashes and skin. She seems calm, or maybe just appears that way. I don't know.
    I'm supposed to be reading. I've got an essay due in a few weeks, and most people won't even read the book until the day before. I don't understand that. Such a big part of me needs me to do things quickly. I'm not competitive, necessarily. Just very anxious about schoolwork.
    I'm anxious about everything, mostly. I think that's why I like the night so much. It's so calming to be in a place empty of judgment, of people,...

safe part 8: bread

i wake before her. it's rare; we're both early birds but she'll normally be up around five or six. today, however, i open my eyes to find her asleep, legs intertwined with mine, fingers curled around the pillow and her breathing soft and even. the light softens her creamy skin and turns her hair into spun gold. my dark skin contrasts with the sheets.

i know i should get up. we've got limited time here today; we plan to leave in the afternoon. after all, we want at least a night at the beach. still, lying here, with the sunlight spilling into the room like molten gold and the eiffel tower in the distance, it doesn't feel like i should ever get up. it's too calm and quiet to disturb it, this perfect peace hanging by a thread. 

a moment later, however, it is disturbed. "he-lloo, thumbelina," murmurs amber groggily, pushing back her wavy, shoulder-length hair. 

"he-lloo, sentient tree. has gollum...

On the Last Day of the World

spin

the world would spin
yet i would fly

The Art of Specificity

stars

the night sky is dotted with stars.

the sky looks like someone tossed salt onto a black mantel; the world is dark and the stars twinkle overhead.

i lean back, eyes fixed on the sky above me. memories flood my mind of previous nights. she's beside me; she knows. we can feel the stars burning up above us. the world is at peace.

Flash Autobiography

jeanne

her eyes are as blue as the sky.

she smiles, takes my hand. her mouth moves but i can't hear over the ringing in my ears. i feel like i'm floating. all of a sudden, we're running, laughing, breathing hard; i ask her why. she points out her language arts teacher behind us, on a bench, smoking a cigarette. she tells me about the work she forgot to turn in. 

i ask where we're going. her eyes widen and she shakes her head. no, she says. it's a secret.

so we run, and i don't ordinarily like to run, but right now, it seems like the best thing i could do. every bone in my body wants to be close to her, and it doesn't matter that i'm wearing a short sleeve shirt and the wind is turning my cheeks red, because god, this is paris, and i'm holding hands and running through the streets with the prettiest girl i've ever seen...

safe part 7: stumble

i'm driving now; amber's tired. she's still awake, though, head resting on the window, fingers playing with the frayed ends of her sweater. she's watching the road. we're nearing paris. the lights of the city reflect in her dark blue eyes. we've been silent for a while now.

"are you ever going to sleep?"

"dunno." she reaches out, as if she's going to touch the distant sunset, hold the falling sky. "do you think we could stop in paris? haven't been in months."

i bite my lip. "maybe. hella expensive, though."

she squints at me and laughs. "does anyone still say hella?"

"me, you noodle-like baguette."

she smiles and kisses my cheek. "that's good enough."

"you sappy little shit."

amber shakes her head, smiling. the city's close now. traffic is piling up behind us. the sun is bringing down the sky and the moon is just visible behind the cars. she closes her eyes, rests her head on my crunched...

Why I Write

Untitled

I write because I need to. I write to meet my demons and chase them away. I write to feel like I'm not worthless, like I mean something. 

I write because my mind is filled with dreams and ideas. I write because if I don't get them out, I'll be lost. I wrote because I need things I can't have and the only way to get them is to feel them on paper.

I write because it's the only thing that makes sense. I write because my life depends on it. I live on arms covered in hastily scribbled words and half-formed sentences on the tip of my tongue and stories that'll never be told and one day finding a fallen star on paper.

I write because it is safe and dangerous and easy and hard. I write because it's a contradiction, a reflection of a life that takes away part of mine. I write because there are so many...

safe part 5: monotony

amber arrives only minutes after i've settled in. i can hear the creak of the door and her soft footsteps. the quiet is punctuated by her voice, calling a hello to the kittens, a voice i can hear a smile in. she steps into the doorway of our room, setting the bags down for a moment to kiss me hello.

"so, thumbelina. any atomic wars begun while i was gone? alien kidnappings?"

i check my watch. "you've been gone literally half an hour, sentient tree."

she yawns. "ugh. boring," amber flops onto the bed. "like everything is now."

i flop down next to her. "no. what do you mean?

"i feel like everything's the same now. like we're not doing anything with our lives." i open my mouth to protest but she keeps talking. "we just work, go to school, watch movies on the weekend, eat pizza ... it feels like we're stuck in this boring routine. i want to ...

Ask Michael

Questions

Hey, Michael! I have a few questions, and it'd be really cool if you could answer.

How do you start a novel or short story? I've had a lot of trouble with this and I want to start it in a way that isn't cliche without being overly dramatic.

How do you know when your story is ready (for publication, etc.)?

What are some ways to get ideas?

Thank you!
 

Slow Seeing

Lindley

i'm calm.

it's rare, nowadays, for me to be, what with school and work and anxiety. but here, perched on the side of the bridge, watching the stream twist and turn and bubble over rocks and dirt and sand, i feel okay. i watch maya quietly, her paws barely grazing the ground as she jumps from bank to bank. i can hear the sound of a dove high above me, crooning and rustling her wings.

a leaf tears off the maple tree to my side, resting lightly on the wings of the breeze before drifting down into the stream. i smile. the sunlight is filtering through the tress, dancing on the earth, bathing the whole scene in a sleepy, soft light. it's reaching late afternoon and a feeling of calm settles over me as i effortlessly leap down into a patch of daisies just to my left, where I stretch out and close my eyes, taking deep breaths. I can...

Two Hundred Years Ago

Mr. Wilson's Garden

Right here there was a couch. It was big and red and Renaissance-style, and Mr. Wilson had never used it. 

His wife had. This was her room, after all, her parlor devoted to her and her friends. Paintings hung high on the walls. A cherub gazed out from the molding of the high ceiling. He could see Patty, their youngest slave, dusting the centerpiece on the mantel. It was the height of style, this; not one of Mistress Wilson's friends had a women's parlor this nice. But after all, none of them could afford it, and Mr. Wilson certainly could.

He stepped outside quickly before Patty could see him; regardless of her status (or his), he wasn't allowed to be in there. It would be embarrassing, and even he had enough of a moral compass to know that he shouldn't punish her for what she didn't do. 

Mr. Wilson ducked through the kitchen briefly to enter the gardens. The gardens...

Truths and Untruths

Ten Things I Wish Were True About Me

  1. I was straight.
  2. I had no anxiety.
  3. I had no depression.
  4. I was an amazing artist.
  5. My future was guaranteed.
  6. My writing was good.
  7. Someone liked me back for once.
  8. I was cis.
  9. I was totally happy.
  10. I was incredible at school.

Returning

Santiago

it's familiar.

more familiar than it should be, no doubt; it's just an airport. yet there's something about it, something about the transparent skybridge and the overly expensive restaurant on the second floor and the big glass wall opposite the desks that gives me a feeling of comfort. i've been here. 

i step out into the air, caught off guard for a moment (as i always am) by the cold. my breath appears in the air in front of me, white wisps of air caught in the frigid morning. i contemplate the peanut stand just a few feet away. Nuts for Nuts! the banner reads, and I smile despite my best efforts. 

my name draws my attention. i scan the eternal parking lot for a familiar face before my eyes rest on a woman with short brown hair and a yellow coat. "eliza!" she calls. i run forward and throw my arms around my grandmother, a sixty-something woman...

Talking to “You”

Early

You like to watch the sunrise with her. 

She started it, actually. You remember. That morning, (though it was hardly morning) when you awoke to find her next to your bed, smiling her familiar, mischievous smile, the smile that invited you on so many adventures when you saw it. "C'mon. Know you're tired, but the sun'll be up soon. Need to see."

But you're used to it now. After all, it's a special time. A breath of air. Most everyone's asleep and you can have these precious minutes to yourself, to each other. You count the seconds together, from the first sliver of light beyond the mountains to the moment the big ball of fire has risen in all it's glory.

She'll take your hand.

You'll match up your breaths.

The world will still for a precious time.

There's nothing you look forward to more, is there? Nothing else in your life that gives you those emotions.

No, it's beyond...

Writing Small

Up In Flames

I take a breath of air.

No hesitation.

I throw.

The matchstick sails through the air, landing squarely where I wanted it to. It's only a moment. Just a quick, fluttering second before it ignites and my past goes up in flames, sending sparks soaring into the air above me.

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

first kiss

the moonlight filtering through the blinds illuminates his face. his eyes are sparkling. they're daring me to do this and god, how i want to. his eyelashes flutter closed.

he smiles.

i lean forward and do it. all of a sudden, much sooner than i know what to do his lips are on mine and the world is upside down. i understand now. all these fusses about first kisses. i feel like magic is coursing through my veins.

i open my mouth and let him in. i imagine how we must look, two boys in a trance. 

in love.

Third Person Limited

rebellion

    He can taste blood in his mouth, and so he grips her tighter. She turns. "Evan."
    Evan doesn't think he's being irrational. Who wouldn't be, after all? The whole thing is just so horribly terrifying, and he wishes he were back home more than anything else. The edge of the seat presses into his back and makes him uncomfortable, but he's so nervous he feels like he can't move.
    She glares. "Calm down, Evan."
    He can barely croak out a reply. "I can't."
    "You goddam well can. Stop being such a baby."
    The last line gets under his skin. He's had years of practice on filtering out her words, but occasionally something will slip through. Baby. He was always that, though, wasn't he? To his parents, to her, to everyone. He wishes for the billionth time he wasn't like this, that he was normal. That he was okay. Not a freak.
    An...

Year by Year

My Life (so far)

Year 1: Birth. I crawled around and flipped through picture books I could barely hold in my family's cozy apartment in New Jersey.
Year 2: First steps. I started learning how to speak and hold a pencil. I memorized some favorite books.
Year 3: Full sentences. I learned how to write my name and became best friends with a girl named Emilie.
Year 4: Abonded girliness. Started reading and learned how to build snowballs in the winter and pour milk into a cup. (with help)
Year 5: Moved to North Carolina. Got a bigger room and a bigger house and a whole backyard(!) and a swing. Started kindergarten and made friends with two pairs of twins.
Year 6: Became the top class reader. Pretended to have a crush on and date a boy because I thought that was the only option while secretly pretending he was a girl.
Year 7: Made best friends with a girl called Sam. Was banned from...

Names for Nature

Golden Creek

It's there, in the mountains; running through the tiny village, leaping, bounding over rocks as it makes its way downstream. The water is beautiful, with the sunlight flickering and reflecting like fire over the creek. It's cold as hell, and it freezes my toes the moment I touch them, but I don't care because a feeling of adrenaline is rushing through my bones, my blood, and I suspend this moment in time. She's there, next to me, honey curls tumbling down her shoulders as she leaps into the water, screams turning into bursts of her beautiful, wild laughter. Her hair looks like the river.  A minnow swims by and leaps, silhouetted against the setting sun for a frozen moment. The island, just a few feet ahead, ripples with the wind as it tears through the grass and the trees. Everything is golden, her hair and the sky and the waves of the stream as the wind blows and sun falls into...