Even the glint in his eyes was barely visible. Or maybe it was gone. In this light, it was hard to tell. The room seemed to shudder with every rustle of fabric that cost too much, every exhale that took more air with it than what she’d breathed in seconds before. It took her much longer to reach the floor’s center, afraid of how quietly he glided across to meet her. He watched each ginger step, every movement of that dress, the colour of which neither could remember in the moment.
Typically one to run hot, her blood ran cold as a hand found its home on her waist. Or maybe she was sweating off the heat. The high ceiling whispered, but the air was still. At this proximity she thought she saw a smile. He could only make out the angle of her jaw by a sliver of light twenty feet away. Somewhere, maybe inches from their locked knees,...
she plays with lenses
teases waxing crescent
waxes erotic, so her lover
can shine enviously as
lust, for him,
is only a sunset
glass shard shoulders,
full of warmth
a reminder —
of second chances,
does not equal
the making of
We haven’t tried yet.
first loves are not
last loves and
heartbreak is not
my blood, or my
addiction to your mouth
One hundred and forty six days
until I finally breathe out.
I did not ask you to define me,
and I wish my stars had never allowed you to.
If ever I had been a constellation,
this would have been the reason for my penance.
My next hurdle was not one
to leap over with flailing limbs
When I learned your puzzle piece
was never in the original box
I had to search for the missing ones
Under beds insisting my only purpose was between sheets
and beside them keys screamed
not quick enough, ordinary.
It will take a while to scream back
instead of resigning myself to an evening of silence.
If ever the universe sings for me,
I swear I will be the one to accompany.
Six thousand two hundred and forty two days ...
She is effervescent,
waiting between notes
Woven into vibrations
like tangled pinkie fingers.
She is not of my world,
does not belong
among hollow ribs
and haunted substances
and sour ledger lines.
Heavy steps in rich soprano;
Cheeks like F major
Yet somehow falling
for suspended chords,
for timid tremolos,
for an up-swept and flighty
She will grow up,
but you will never grow old.
She is decadence in a dress
with roses in its hair,
and how could she love the likes of me?
I remain silent.
Voice no concern.
Her lips taste of music.
I'm almost seventeen
and I swear
I have not yet slapped
the face of God
with clammy palms
and I swear
I am purer than I seem
when I stand naked
at the foot of anyone's
I'm almost seventeen
hoping to believe that
I have done all I could
or most, for the rest
may have killed me
and I have screamed
still into silent tongues
who only long for a taste
to make them see
that I come scattered
but you have to order
the whole package
I'm almost seventeen
which is nothing
but a number
like fifty three
or twenty nine
this is prime
this can only be counted
I'm almost seventeen
and I think sixteen
was supposed to be the year
of growing. I have seen
the way they clip trees
and the scraps of topiary
are never as pretty
though I still stuff mine
into the space between
my knuckles and
The idea of centre, the idea of home, suggests neither a beginning nor an end, but I'm rather attached to the notion that everyone at their core holds many of both. There are infinite finalities, and perhaps their equally infinite combinations are what makes the cut and knotted ties within each soul special. At times I find home difficult to find, even if it appears to be just down the street. It is hidden under folded layers and desperate grasps at the universe's edges, seeking to fill itself with extrinsic values and traits. Violently frantic endeavours to decorate seemingly empty rooms. Stretches of time stretch across a buried hope to return to my centre, prodding and pushing down until, finally, the bubble bursts. It takes many moons each time to realize I need not look anywhere but within. I don't need any furniture in this home of mine, only a stable floor to dance tentatively across. Outside it's terrifying. Some...
The street as far as I can see it sags under the weight of overexcited people and summer heat. This is a worn-down paradise, yet there's no end in sight to the appeal, as long as those waterfalls keep thundering the way they always have in protest to the changes felt by the rest of the earth. This is my home: dangerous, adrenaline-powered, yet more familiar than the back of anyone's hand to me, much less my own.
i never thought love would be such a complicated word.
if anything, i assumed eros could pluck out his arrows when the time was right
or tell us this was meant to last,
because i still think it should have.
in any case
every colour still reminds me of you
and every breath i take knocks me off unsteady feet
- sure, there are people to hold me up
but you're not one of them.
i never thought love would be such a complicated word;
the expectation for something so straightforward as adoration
isn't for the package to be laced with dependence and self-pity
but i think in trying to pull out the arrow, it snapped
and i still feel the slivers in my blood.
part of me is sure it'll find me again someday
or is hoping to bring back something sweet
in that little modern house
in that little decaying neighbourhood
in the city an hour away.
When we were too young to know what we were doing my mind could only race in circles: she is lovely, she is mine.
When the bad man came to take away everything you were trying so hard to hold onto, I thought I loved you better a long time ago, and moreover I'm sorry.
When you screamed into my lap for an hour, all I could think was of all people, you don't deserve this.
But when you laugh so hard tears fall, I heave sighs and musings like I'll always be here, please keep being my best friend.
It is a difficult thing to lean against the bathroom door
when one's knees are ready to give way to the cosmic hole in one's chest
So patch it with a Band-Aid, it'll be okay:
the moment is just that,
but it is one of many. Do you not understand?
It is a difficult thing to lean against the bathroom door
when the weight of two vices
(one in each hand)
threatens to shatter every bone in one's fingers
And one of them lights up every few minutes
but never with your light. Never you, and it hurts and
do you not understand?
It is difficult to lean against the bathroom door
when it would be so easy
to sink like one has every day before this
to fall on the floor and let the battleships sail
But you refuse to,
because after all you know that there are people who still care
even if the one...
It feels like sunshine or it feels like rain
as you watch her giggle in exquisite pain
as you talk of cars and streets and speed
as you talk of not looking and wet shoes and greed
She tasted like sin before she looked like woe
with the smoke blowing all around her, and though
with the voices you always could hear her loud
with the ache in your heads you'd not yet felt more proud
While floating above her you lay on the floor
and you look in her eyes: do they find you a whore?
and you know she still loves you, but you are outside
and you can't break into your own everfar mind
It feels like sunshine or it feels like rain
as you laugh through the vapor and laugh through the pain
the car swerves
and maybe I fear more for my life
than for her peace of mind
and maybe that’s why I don’t object,
or maybe it’s because I need scandal to cope these days
— whatever the reason, you taste like the smoke you exhale into me
but I hold my breath and let it linger,
some sort of subconscious masochism
right now, I really need to hurt
but I shouldn’t say that
this should not damage me
because I don’t say no
because I let you hold my chin between three fingers,
before I pull away
because I don’t wipe your lips off mine and onto my sleeve
because I let it happen
I let it happen
and that’s what hurts me the most.
i write to
forgotten how to feel
Take this fleeting vessel as a lifeline
and when I've departed, keep it for show
Tell everyone the way that I loved you
With fervor and an ever-dying glow
the one I bathed you in with lustful eyes
that I left you mere centuries ago.
No eulogy needed. Just your mind, dear
An open casket,
cold and open hands:
Something must entertain me from beyond
and you were always fun to play with, so
next time 'round I'll leave a little less room
for you to run.
My love, this has been fun
(I hope your bed won't miss me terribly -
That was always your job.) And god knows
how you'll destroy yourself in my absence.
The fair-fingered architect
with my heart stone pillars erected
and I stood stiff and silent and beautiful,
cursing the auburn academic for tying me up
- I truly wanted to enjoy it.
In passing, I think I heard her say
her name was
You worship me, bright-eyed, with arachnidian fingers; but you must surely know by now that I have never felt like a god. Nothing humbled by its own thundering heartbeat deserves in turn to humble anything so leonine as yourself. This is not Olympus and I will not live forever. My soul does not belong to the body of anything ambrosial. But if you'd like to take my place, I'll gladly leap from this pedestal.
Anyway, I'm afraid of heights.
I am from the nowhere special;
I am from a homemade apple-dip
I am from a cookie-scented
and did you know
that some weeds grow
on burnt scrambled eggs
and bug-bitten legs
I am from the same places as anyone else:
from heatstroke to frostbite within two months
I am from a red brick house next to an unfinished highway
next to a forest with all its coveted secrets,
right behind another section of suburbs
and I am from the tired line of children
following two women back to dry clothes and juice boxes
and dry vanilla cake with good icing.
I am from the piano bench ten feet from the garage
where a fat frog named Franklin obediently hops
for three days until goodbyes are said
and I remember Franklin because he understood that
though many now think I am made of tragedy and fairy dust
in reality I was sculpted out of
she’s whittling picturesque present-days
but goes too far and now the men splinter
(I tend to ignore her when she’s this way)
meanwhile we as one are rounded out
individually, though, flesh cascades over happy empty sighs
rock-pickers navigating soft and rough
and the ever-present urge to cry over it
- it is days like these when I most despise myself
and I can’t stop swaying
and I think I hate you
(I know I don’t)
and I’ll be nursing a hangover soon enough
The girl in the clouds wishes only for her brain and a hand to hold; one that actually wants to breathe in her maelströms and come up for air and tell her they are gentle. So she screams, just give me a chance! (But no one can hear her from way up here)
Besides, the boy in the sun is too far away and the girl in the weeds is stuck in her own web of strange and inescapable truths. So cloud-girl grows, solitary, and with nothing to show for it, and after these long dry years it finally begins to rain. She floods the streets and civilians complain because she can’t even romanticize tears anymore: just weeps through her prosaic sunlit window and wonders what it would take to jump. How many birds would she break on the way down? Not everyone has wings like the tree-girl does, and not every seeker of flight is as persistent in their...
when the heart of the city
POUNDS through your ears
and the walls close in
and you're stuck
in an atrium of noise
and you begin
m b l
...how your veins yearn
for the softness of leaf-strewn,
dew-dropped grass and
the warmth of green-tinted sunlight
how they long to escape the chatter
(who wouldn't rather hear the chatter of birds instead?)
Number of instruments owned: 7. Number of instruments learned: 4.
Number of years lived: 16.2. Number of favourite countries: 3. Number of favourite cities: 1. Number of ice creams eaten this week: 6. Number of dresses made: 15. Number of dresses attempted: 20. Number of pointe shoes killed: 6. Number of tap shoes broken in unconventional ways: 0.5. Number of years playing piano: 10. Number of accumulated days spent crying about music: 10. Number of senses: 5, but I like to hope there’s a sixth hiding somewhere. Number of childhood best friends: 4. Number of first real kisses: 3. Number of french braids: 2. Number of lives: 1. I’m not a cat.
Number of ideas left: 0
the time we spend is bitter now
your love for me is cold;
but both of us bleed cursive
and romanticized wounds are old
but opened on each other’s backs
and we throw around words like
let’s make plans
- but we won’t. Because I will be
gone and you’ll be asleep
in his bed drinking peppermint
and I’ll be drinking english breakfast
and tossing empty mugs in warm sinks
and sweating off the
feeling of your icy sweet;
thank you for this bittersweet,
I think I’ve finally remembered
what it was like when I was
being annoyed by notifications
that were actually looking
for my attention
a ridiculous notion,
but I stopped giving my
attention away because
I’d never break even -
And now I don’t even
You ice yours;
odd because your heart is so warm
and my cup is always changing
- just one sugar today, please -
unsurprising, since every time I look over it
I see your eyes in a different light.
Today they’re flecked with soft brown, and I might
instead sip a lemonade
since it’s already warm out
and your grin never helps.
And every single time
I find myself thinking
you’re sweeter than caffeination
and I hope you’ll someday be my daily wake-up call
in a little modern house
in a little decaying neighbourhood
in a city an hour away.
Instead of endearing you’re just a liar
And I don’t like you as much as I thought I did before
Bet you think you’re pretty on the kitchen floor staring into your hellfire
I bet you think that you can’t die
(Well, you’ve never died before)
My fingernails are overgrown , chew into me again
Spit at my feet again
Because I used to do things just to remember how to hurt
Because I couldn’t feel at all
And now I only want to know how to push it under
It’s too much, and I’m not who I was
When I was strong, when you were fine
Before the sucker punch to my mind
Before I told, before you knew
When I was alone and didn’t care for the colour blue
Or purple stars rendered in charcoal
Or blood that looks like honey
And honey, if you wanted to die you’d be gone
Here you will find small heartbreaks
Emerging livelihoods over cup rims and lied sentiments
These commonplace feeling forgeries
are home to how many moments?
Forgettable but never forgotten, we discreetly fold hearts into napkins
Snuff out the butts of our emotional cigarettes in the dregs of a peppermint drink, and then
we leave, promising eventual retracing of minutes, minute steps
Here you will find victories whipped into mug cakes and here
Unraveled communities unconsciously knit
this is what
it means to
be so afraid
to exist that
not to until
one day you
realize that we are all
human, and I promise,
is centuries of
epic battles lost and
won, the stories of
; whose only crime
was their falling for
another one of these odd
little creatures they
I want to write in the evening
On a night I do not feel
(But also am not numb)
Is whimsy too much to ask?
I want to ponder chickens and eggs
To puzzle over enigmatic scales
I want to examine a hole in my head Without feeling all or nothing.
Let me doodle a flower
Without obsessing over symbolism
I want to care about the chicken
Or the egg -
Whichever was first.
I don’t want to be a lyrical genius
(Okay, yes I do).
I’d rather be content -
Bright eyes, you do not carry clouds like me
You are genuinely concerned for the chicken
(Or the egg)
And that is your only care in the world.
I perched alone today on tires
full of water and webs
sat in moon shoes, fried brain-wires
(my right mind sometimes ebbs)
today it doesn’t shout for attention
today, neither do I
today I don’t want to water the garden;
today I’d rather cry.
losing an arm,
losing you is
like trying to
swim through the
flora when you’re
will i do when
he leaves me too.
because you are
supposed to be
the shoulder i
will stain with my
you really lost
your mind to the
point where you are
no longer in
need of me?
will i shed my
now that you’ve
Playwrights tire of me
Poets sigh and close their notebooks
You see, this is the stuff
Of top-grossing stories, dear;
I’m just too vapid a character
Besides, my head hurts too much for me
To continue to care.
With eyes glowing sleepily in hand-me-down sunlight
You can offer a smile and a kiss but
I see right through you, darling.
You long for mundane,
Pine after sweet but
You’ve no idea I’d welcome rough:
Pierce my belly
Pin me to a wall
- Call me “doll” of course -
If that’s what turns you on
Because for someone so strong,
So full of falsely claimed independence
How readily I’d let you control me for better
(Or better, for worse)
Ever faced with choices
That I’ve already made
Pretending to mull it over
(Ho and hum for good measure)
Knowing though ever changing
I will forever be the same,
Staring at pointless problems,
Such as how
Mercury is no lover of mine so
I don’t need to justify him on my body -
But you, Saturn, you
Are on thin ice;
And the only one who can still hold...
the sign’s on fire and
no one else is watching
I can’t see from inside my nebula
and soon I’ll be gone -
will you miss me, darling?
Papa always tells me not to worry. He calls me a worry wart, and laughed his deep crinkly-eyed laugh when I frown at his nickname. I always worry about me and him, worrying whether he will be okay at work and if he really had enough money for the ice cream girls. Sometimes I worry about school, because if my friends ever move away I won't have anyone to play Red Rover with. Papa did help me get over worrying about the weather, though. He taught me to dance in the rain.
I'm getting better with my worrying, Papa says. So I wait in our little house on the fourth floor for him to come home from work, and I do not worry about the bad men I'm afraid of. I don't think of the way they talk to Papa and when he is late I imagine he is finishing up a job, or maybe even visiting the ice cream...
I hope to leave raspberry afterthoughts upon your corrupted breath
and if I must die young, please remain unto death
Dancers will weave through my deadened thoughts
but you stand out among them and tie me in knots
(Look, you’ve made me resort to rhyme)
I’d rather pretend we’re impervious to time
Coffee is not quite a defibrillator
Thrifting is for the carefree
But peppermint tea and poetry are perfect for the half-alive
Am I healing or perpetuating?
Am I just a jerk, or a hypocrite, too?
I’ll spill my soul onto scrap paper and earl grey onto new skirts
(Clearly nothing feels better without first getting worse)
My consciousness does not stream
Ebbs, but does not wish to flow
My pretension exceeds my intelligence
And it’s a dangerous facade –
Particularly when the mask becomes your skin
And you no longer know who you were,
Let alone who you are.
I’ve searched for a way to feel complete
But must give up, lest I risk feeling bored
… You don’t seem bored.
But you’re not fooling me
We both know it hurts you to think
Can we set aside a day or two?
Let’s be mindless together,
an abundance of blankets -
and in our homemade hideaway
a bible atop a ouija board
full palette of acrylic paints
you, in startlingly scant clothing
the kind of beauty that personifies sleep;
her, who pretends not to care
who will paint her troubles away onto someone else
an arsenal of candy bars -
blackened sky, firefly
dreams of glowing golden fields;
a playlist we outgrew last year
just a brief paradise
painted, blooming, full of giggles and soda
and an iPhone clock that refuses to stop time.
i want my baby teeth back
so i can keep them in a jar
and they will serve as undying proof that i walked this earth
even after my fingernails have decomposed
actually, i'd like to write a letter to the tooth fairy -
probably best if I don't, though
because I am not the child i was;
my smile is no longer crooked
though my mind is more corrupt
(i prefer to plead not responsible for its destruction)
and the letter would contain less
polite requests and more
"damn you for stealing my artifacts"
how was i to know their worth?
how was i to know the unkindness
and the finality of life
even at its beginning?
every first kiss could be my last
every tooth lost could have been one i'd never get back
i'm just lucky they all grew in
dear tooth fairy,
please be real again
and next time you leave cash
It would be so easy to let go and let you have me entirely.
I do not know much about anything; I am undecided on whether I will attend band practice this week and I don't know what I'll be having for dinner. I do not know whether my bucket list will ever be fully checked off, and furthermore I am never entirely sure whether anything on it is something I truly want to do. Which is all very well, but there are things that make me wish I was smarter.
Perhaps the most irksome subject to feel like an idiot around is philosophy. Soren Kierkegaard is not unfalteringly affable, but a certain charm accompanies the humility with which he carried his intelligence. Me, personally, I'm still trying to figure out how to be either charming or intelligent, let alone both simultaneously. Hence my conclusion that I do not know the mind of Kierkegaard, nor whether I'm okay with being a nihilist at heart (but that's more of a Nietzsche-ism, isn't it). ...
History will never remember us
and that's difficult to come to terms with but
i hope you know that you saved my
lonely mind from destruction - and that
everything you do is astounding - and that you must never doubt that i love you
I know it’s cliché, but I’ve found that in a way people really are like dolls. So as someone who is known for making dresses to kill time, I don’t know why it surprises me each time I feel like a seamstress tasked with repairing every broken raggedy Ann under the sun.
This isn’t a complaint letter. I’m good at my job; my ability to be a shoulder to cry on has always been one thing I like about myself. I have thus far been successful in fixing torn seams and sewing broken hearts back together, and my stitches, though crooked, are snug and double-threaded. Naturally, then, my heart broke a little when I was forced to ask myself: what happens when the seamstress begins to fray?
I spent my most recent summer volunteering, listening to top-volume indie rock whilst touring New York City, and philosophizing knee-deep in a quiet lake with my best friend. The warm weather,...
People keep asking me what I want to be.
And I find I can’t answer for fear that they’ll laugh
Yet here I am telling you anyway
That I want to be the northern lights
So alive that you remember for a moment why you were born
I want to be the summer downpour
That washes tears and mud and sunscreen away
To leave everyone I meet feeling warm and new.
But since I can’t be the world
Nor cradle it to my chest,
I’ll reach for distant stars instead of soil
And have you know
That I really just want to be someone.
Are you familiar with the feeling when
the world is no longer turning
and everything on it falls silent
to pay its respects to the beauty of one
small thing it has created
and you join it in its admiration
of something perfect
and all time stops
to savour the moment
and you realize why you haven’t eaten today
when the butterflies take up every square inch of your stomach
and as hard as you try
you can’t suppress a smile
- are you familiar with that feeling
i think you must be because
you wrap your heart around it and hand it to me every morning i see you
her posture is better than mine, yet i am the dancer. her hips sway, not in a cocky manner, but in one that suggests she is cautiously aware of her worth. her hair falls less ethereal than cherry coke tresses, but shorter - nearly the way he wishes i'd crop my own - and it bounces around her collarbones, and sometimes i hear her singing. and she is beautiful.
(if she didn't wear heels, i sometimes wonder if he'd go running back.)
instead he stays. and i study her as a means of knowing what sends him reeling, and of knowing what will make him leave.
i envy you, persistent chaser of light. i hope my favourite sweater tasted nice.