Paisley Blue

United States

she/her | minnesotan
INFP-T, lesbian, christian
--
est. June 2, 2020

absolutely in love with words
theater geek and musician
trying to spread kindness and love and all that jazz <3

tell me what's on your mind
:)

Message from Writer

Ongoing series:
~ The Mountain and Back (with Lexi Birken) ~
~ Queerly Beloved (with sunshinebaby) ~
~Listening Through The Static (poetry collection) ~

--

Currently reading: Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

"And I will show that nothing can happen more beautiful than death,
And I will thread a thread through my poems that time and event are compact,
And that all the things of the universe are perfect miracles, each as profound as any."
-Song of Myself (Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman)

--

Making my way through this world, trying to help as many people as I can.

Published Work

Listening Through The Static - Morning Sun


The birds are the first to say my name in the early hours of the morning
Before the sun has kissed the tree-tops, before I've recovered my wit
I shake the sleep from my bones and invite inside of me
The sweet chill of the morning, landing lightly on the tip of my tongue
Tasting of light and hope and the crisp scent of balsam as I step into the world
Fresh as the morning sun that greets me
Sending showers of dewdrops into the grass beneath my feet
Leaving me with a shiver in my heart
A primal happiness at the rising of a new day
Filling me with hope and life anew as the sun
Dances on my fingertips, revealing once more
The beauty that can always be seen, if you know where to look

 

The Universe and I


The wonder filling my chest lifts me, gliding on the wings of song
Brushing my fingers over the blanket of stars above me,
I am breathless at the miracle that is life
I am breathless at the wonder of this night
And maybe the universe really is mine, made just for you and I
Though our feet can't leave the ground, I feel as though I could fly

This is what it means to be alive

i wanna love you but i don't know how


spinning without movement, twisting and trailing my essence
weaving between the stars in a breathless ballet, twirling in place
swirling of the planets around me, in my mind, imprints of the gas giants behind my eyelids
blues and greens in the whites of your eyes, galaxies reflected in the space between us
leave me choking on the breath i can't seem to take, leave me
stumbling blindly in the bright light of the night, glass pounding in my head
flowing into the stars, shards of stained glass under our feet
heartbreak seeping from beneath my lips and through my clenched fist
slipping through the hourglass before it hit's the ground
i still can't hold you and me, i still can't save us from shattering
and my words still drip from my teeth, trying to find a foothold as
i begin to fall backwards
your form receding from my outstretched hands,
falling is floating when my feet are stuck on solid...

all the things i haven't said


your eyes inspire me, your eyes so full of innocence and joy
unfiltered and unmatched beauty, your lips so quick to laugh and cry
your heart is one of the things i admire most, you're so strong
stronger than i've remembered
i want to watch you grow, watch you build upon these passions
you are so beautiful, you are so perfect
my heart bursts with love for you when i see you smile
you become my sun, my dearest friend, my inspiration
your love is contagious, your tender view of this broken world
makes it seem not quite as shattered, makes me see the silver lining
in every gray cloud growing and spiraling around my head
and i'm never enough, i know i'm never enough
i tear you down when i should pull you up,
bring you to stand with me on top of the world
but you always seem to forgive, i don't deserve it but you forgive me ...

this world is so much bigger than the two of us


and maybe we don't matter

anymore

Listening Through The Static - Symphonies Of The Night


As I lay under the hush of the night, feeling the rise and fall of my own breath,
I am met with a certain, unmarked calm, a knowledgeable peace
In which I find that the present; the scratch of my pencil on a page, the rub of my hand against my pillow;
Is simply a memory, a forgotten melody, played time and time again,
Yet still as fleeting as the thoughts that flit through a dreaming mind;
All of the fanciful wonders of the one who lifts their eyes to the stars.
It is a melody I know quite well, yet each night I forget once more,
Shedding the past like a faded skin, a sweater I've outgrown but cannot bear to part with
And whispers come to me, prophecies and philosophical imaginings,
Bringing me far from the stillness of the room in which I'm laying, alone
(But not lonely; for I have these words, solace to seek whenever I...

Listening Through The Static - The Musings of Time


The steady pass of Time thrums on, to the tempo of my heartbeat
Leaving me grasping at what little I have left
But Time herself is not sinister, she does not plot my death
It is merely the body which illustrates my demise
No, Time moves gently, in the stretching of sunbeams across milky-gray skies
Through the subtle songs the morning-bird sings, weaving notes into a seamless song
The snake and the mouse, in rare harmony, twisting through the perfection of creation
In the constant fall and roar of the city, in each and every person
Within the walls they've made; Time flows and flits
No barrier may stop her, no fortress could hold her
She is as impossible to restrain as grains of sand
Through the soft mutterings of the cicadas and crickets, lingering under the protection of night
In Nature's smile, through the shifting of the moon to a perfect rhythm
Dragging the very oceans along in its...

Listening Through The Static - To the one who will want to love me


Wait, before you declare your heart to be mine
It is not a gentle soul you are seeking
Beware of my soul, my overgrown heart,
They have been enough to chase people away
This that you seek, then, is not a solid love
For I do not yet know how to love you
No, these are the tentative steps of a child
Not yet learned to walk, unsure how to go on
This is the syncopated crashing of the waves, the beat
Of a clock that has been left unwound
If you fall in love with me you must be ready
To be my path and my guide, a hand for me to hold
And you must not turn away at the first sign of a storm
You must hold fast, and I'll hold fast for you
Loving me is not an easy thing to do.

Listening Through The Static - My message to you


This is for you
You who's back breaks day after day, yet still you tread on
You who's smile falters and trembles, you who cannot seem to stay strong
You who lie, you who cheat, you who repent of all your sins
You who lay awake at night, dreaming about what would've been
You who've loved and you who've lost
You who've traveled far with burdens 'round you trussed
You who say a desperate prayer each night
You who wait to close your eyes until you see the light
You who find the grip of this world heavier with each day
You who have no place upon which your head may lay
You who wander and you who stay
This is for you

I am the poet of the broken-hearted,
The poet for the ones who've already given up
I will weep with you and sigh with you
Fill my words with your sorrow so you don't have to
Carry...

run away

what do you say we run away?

get away from this place that we've known forever, and its people who think they know us. finally leave it behind, along with all of the lies, all of the secrets. no one will miss us, and we'll have each other. let's escape from this cushioned prison, disguises and fake smiles. let's find somewhere where we can just be. let's find somewhere to make home.

what do you say we run away?

we'll get an old pickup truck and just drive, until the road stretches on in front of us and we're all that matters. we'll lay in the back and watch the stars come out. we'll finally have room to just live. the fireflies will be the only ones watching, and they'll promise not to tell. under the endless sky, there won't have to be any secrets, anymore.

what do you say we run away?

or maybe we'll go downtown, get an...

our beauty reflected

            and i want to put words/to the 
  world/around me                    emotion/inside me

        the slight ache of hearts touched/by                    
                                                            someone who still/wishes on stars
        
        the wonder echoed in and around/
                                                             every stranger/a part of who we/are

        the way my body twists and
                                                            [curves/leans/bends]

                             a miracle that i never asked for but that i will/not ignore
    
        the swoop of my/hips, the hinge of my/wrists
                                                
                                                         the/subtle curves/and/crisp angles
                                                                                                    that define me
that mark me as a/woman/.
                                            stages of/in between/.

    touches of innocence still lingering
                        behind my ears and/in the part of my lips, yet
    
            every atom believes/i'm something more than
 
 this skin i live in                                                    this vessel i try                                             
                                                                                                    try
                                                                                                          try
                                                                                                               to love
every/vein and each/fold of skin.
            every/tremble and each/stutter
                       ...

leave you behind


the thunderstorm shifts to a calm, gentle rain, a lullaby to the broken-hearted
i let my hand trail the streams flowing down my window
i can't seem to smile but i'm not crying, either, listening to the rain in the gutter
washing away all the words i tried not to think, hearing the world
splash down around me, leaving a numb nothing buzzing in 
my head

wrap myself in imagery and hit replay on the poems i wrote
so long ago, wishing and waiting and refusing to believe
it seemed so perfect in the daydreams but
now that i've lived it, the memory is water-marked and
tear-stained. the cavity in me where you used to belong
is full of a quiet peace, solemnity,
sadness that doesn't quite overcome me, filling up
my chest

so when i smile out at the world, seeing you in all the beauty
i'm missing you, but from a point of view that
lets me move...

this is how it starts


and you rub the blanket
between your fingers
and it reminds you of the days
when you held her gently, watched her sleep,
murmured a lullaby while she dreamed, 
your precious miracle

and you hang a picture
upon the wall
and it brings you back to when
she would present you with her creations
innocence in her crooked smile
your adorable little girl

and you close the door
and you recall the long hours
when she'd stay shut in her room
easy smiles when you walked in
but always with that distant look in her eyes
your brilliant teenager

and you feel the wind
on the back of your neck
and it reminds you of the times
when she would drag you out for a walk
saying you need to get more exercise
your rosy young woman

and you see her book sitting on the table
and it brings you back to the evenings
when she buried herself in words ...

who she'll be

she'll have long hair that i'll run my fingers through,
she'll have the sweetest smile and eyes that shine like the sun
her hands will be soft, they'll fit perfectly in mine
she'll be the sweetest girl i've ever known
and i will love her

we'll be married in the fall, against the colored leaves,
she'll be breathtaking in a gown of pure white
i'll feed her cake and we'll dance all night
we'll know that this truly is paradise
and i will love her

we'll watch the stars come out in our backyard, 
she'll lean closer to the fire and
i'll pull her closer to me
and we will simply be
and i will love her

she'll come home every night and kiss me on the cheek
set the table with chipped plates and glasses
call our daughters down from their rooms
and her laughter will ring like a bell
and i will love her

she'll complain about her...

That Sort of Person

These Sort Of Friends

1. She's the sort of person to do anything for you--whether that be letting you cry on her shoulder or burying a body, she'll be there.

2. She's the sort of person to give you millions of book suggestions, leaving you stuttering your thanks under a pile of books.

3. She's the sort of person to make you laugh when you feel like you're going to cry--she'll make you want to get up and follow her to the ends of the earth when she has a plan.

4. She's the sort of person that you always want to hug. Always. No matter what.

5. She's the sort of person to ground you with her logic, and then fling you to the stars with her imagination. 

6. She's the sort of person who you can't help but love, between her sweetness and her sarcasm.

They're the sort of people I'm honored to call my friends.

thoughts of you


v.
i'll be okay. not yet--but i will be. someday.

Variations on a Melancholic Passerby

i.
her mousy hair is stuffed under a cap, with
a faded blue coat draped around her curved shoulders
dirty cheeks, dirty hands, face lined with sadness
she walks right past me, eyes
sliding easily over my watchful form
still, while i gaze at her receding figure,
i feel something stir inside of me,
a residue of loneliness, and
she meets my eyes; she feels it too
but the world drags her along and 
leaves me behind, so as she fades away
i manage the essence of a smile, and
see it reflected in her dusty eyes.

ii.
his whiskers are matted with
dirt and cigarette-smoke, his
limbs clad in ripped clothing, old
jackets and blankets that hardly
keep in any warmth, after all their years
next to him leans a tired cardboard sign, words
almost indecipherable, but their meaning
clear as the day they were scribbled out
as i stroll over, he opens one eye, 
too far gone to...

énouement


memories and mist swirl around my frozen form, leaving
no trace of what could have been, in the damp chill that never leaves for long.
and there's so much i never thought i'd know, so much
i never thought i'd be. but here i am, watching the world pass me by
flung into the depths of a river deep and wide
drowning in the pain, the ache in my heart, when i couldn't help you
i wished i knew what to do. i smile because if i don't laugh, i'll cry.
the train pulls into the station and i know i have no choice
still, something in me wants to run,
something in me wants to stay behind and forget the world, forget
what has forgotten me. there's no reason to stay, but that is reason enough.
still, while the silence pounds in my ears, i feel the lullaby of simple assurance that
someday is today and tomorrow never came ...

soft mutterings of acceptance


let the water cascade over you, running through
your hair, sponge the smell of fake smiles from your palms,
scour away every last memory of a life that doesn't belong to you
shoulders tense, let them drop with a sigh. rub raw fingers against your eyes, 
wash away the soap that cleanses beneath the skin
scrub away the mess hidden within, count down the seconds-
one... two... three...
begin

the softest silk scratches your skin, your smile, your soul,
weeping for what we've never known
innocence smells like a baby, denial on the tip of your tongue
endurance lasts as long as the ink scraped from your skin
blades and words cutting deep and leaving a sense of
missing out. and maybe ignorance is bliss,
so look away when the truth knocks at your door (you never learned her name, anyways)
it's not polite to stare--close blind eyes as a precaution.
they always told you "you'll be fine" and maybe...

Heart Places

The senses of the theater

    The easy happiness is what I think of first, the connection and the unity. The memories we made in the red cushioned seats, the complaints about tape and makeup and lights--I'd give anything to feel those minor discomforts again; it is nothing like this torture of going without them.
    When I walked into the building, I was always struck by how empty it was. The air was cool on my hot shoulders, as I made my way through the inside of an empty high school. There were be posters everywhere, celebrating the end of the school year, and all the people who had recently graduated. I always felt a strange sense of disconnection, walking past the smiling faces of people I'd never know. 
    As my sister and I would near the theater, we could hear quiet chatter and laughter. Swinging open the wide, heavy doors, we were greeted with bright lights and the familiar...

Queerly Beloved (Chapter 4)

    I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk to her. She was so funny, and oddly enough, I wasn't self-conscious at all. Before I knew it, I was slipping into the easy banter between us. In the back of my mind, though, I kept reminding myself, just friends. Nothing more than friends.
    After an hour or so, I closed my computer. She looked over at me.
    “Are you done?”
    I sighed. “Not really… but my brain is.”
    She laughed and closed her laptop. “Well, we should meet up again tomorrow. I’d invite you here, but I’m having some work done on my toilet… so it’s probably a good idea to steer clear.”
    “There’s a really cute coffee shop nearby—it’s called The Little Bean. We could meet there and work for a while. The owners are super nice, they’d let us just chill.” 
    She nodded. “And you have my phone number, right?” I pretended to check, knowing all too well...

thoughts of you


iv.
my heart has been tuned to yours--with each stab of sadness, i feel it more.

the whispers of a familiar heaven


this is not the heaven you imagined, no, these are no ethereal clouds draped in silk, no golden gates. but you are here, so it is heaven enough for me. wrap your fingers around the shadows, pull the lacy darkness from the corners. solidarity is freeing; it's just you and me. seal up the edges, but the sun still sneaks in through the seams. under the yellow leaves we don't have to be anyone else, it's simply me and you and a bliss neither of us can name. nothing matters but your hands and your breath (i love you more with each exhale) and your eyes, reflecting visions of a world i never dreamed of, a heaven i could hardly imagine. and your laughter, your laughter sounds like the stars.

you are a heaven i would die for.

The Mountain And Back | Part 3

CHAPTER ONE
Beaulet, Coullevoira

    Xeria left the bar shortly thereafter. Blood still ran where she had bitten her cheek. Salty but sweet, a metallic taste coating her mouth as she flew towards home. She tried to never fly a long way, as it caught a lot of attention, but night had fallen and darkness surrounded her. She was at war with herself. 
    How could this happen? her heart cried out.
     Easy, her brain sneered back coolly. The council’s corrupt. They’ll profit massively from this war. Lives lost to far away citizens, money made in under their shameless grins.
    Xeria landed on her front step, and unlocked the door. The familiar smell of wood and dust filled her nose, and as panicked as she was, she relaxed and lit a fire in the living room. The house was old, far older than her, and she had found it while hiking in these mountains. It had been abandoned when she...

Queerly Beloved (Chapter 2)

    I scribbled a note into my notebook with a slight sigh. Our professor stood at the front of the room, lecturing us until our hands cramped and our brains burst at the seams. Her bright blue polo shirt somehow matched perfectly with her neon green, feathery earrings, a feat that no one else would have been able to manage. Her hair, short and spiky, only emphasized her stature. Professor Duncan was short, but she didn’t not hesitate to assign a hefty stack of homework. 
    “Before you leave,” she said in that shrill and yet so commanding voice, “make sure to check the list at the door. The small groups of two to three people are assigned there.” 
    I didn’t even look up. I hadn’t imagined doing partner projects in college—but I had learned to leave expectations at the door in Professor Klara Duncan’s class. She was known for her “new methods” and “innovative classroom procedures”. 
    I let out another sigh...

thoughts of you


iv.
even as the world grows dark, even as it all comes to an end, i know that i'll always be with you

Thank you || FOOTNOTES :)

On the outside, everything is the exact same
Same bored look from behind my mask
Same classroom of equally bored teenagers
Same french teacher, asking us how to say "five"
But this moment, this day
Is not the same

Inside, I am
Running, jumping, flying with joy
And in my mind's eye, you all are with me, too,
Because this celebration isn't about me--
This is all for you

Paper Cranes


    Day after day she twisted paper into dreams. Her fingers cramped and her eyes watered, but she never stopped. Fold, crease, smooth, repeat. Around her, the floor grew littered with their paper bodies. Fold, crease, smooth, repeat. It became her lullaby, the slow rhythm of a heartbeat.
    The sun rose and sank over her fragile form, and the creations flooding the room. Her face grew pale against the dark hair cascading down her back. No one disturbed her--there was no one left to.
    Her breathing hitched, dry lips sucking in oxygen. She knew she didn't have much time. Her pulse staggered as she folded another figure. Fold... crease... smooth...
    The air didn't come, but her tired lungs were too worn to care. As her heart slowed to a stop, she gazed at the paper in her hand.
    "At last," she whispered, a rustling echoed in the forms piled around her,...

home // #nessie'shomechallenge


books lining the bookshelf, shoes tossed off at the door
dirty footprints on the rug, but i don't mind
clutter on every surface, music in the air
but what really makes this home is
the fact that you are here

cuddle under a blanket, watch the movie again
there's popcorn-butter stains on the couch,
our laughter is all i care about, keeping me in the moment
everywhere you go, i always know, 
you make me feel at home

this is for you

this is for you,
you who laughed with me under the distant stars, our
hearts alight in a world so hidden from sun
for you who walked me to the door,
took my broken world in your steady hands
you who believed in me all along
whose faith has never left my lonely side
for you, who loves me.

this is for you.

this is for you,
you who promised me that it would all be okay
comforted my bleeding hearts
for you who filled my days with hope
and my nights with peace, knowing what we are
you who never strayed from the brambles and the thorns,
followed my path and risked it all
for you, who loves me.

this is for you.

this is for you,
these joy-filled moments, these
memories that swear never to fade.
these expressions of the smile in my heart,
these pictures of us here and now, and forever to stay
this laughter, these...

thoughts of you


iii.

you bring to mind a dreamcatcher, strong yet delicate, and not a shred of hope escapes your hold.

I and You

I and this mystery. Here we stand.

lies are so much easier to swallow than pills, snapshots of a life you never wanted
days stretch by, waiting for hope. can't let yourself believe, remember,
dreams aren't always what they seem.
love is as rare as the knocking on the door, interrupted by
the blaring of the smoke alarms, everything piercing and shrill
leaving you crumpled on the floor of everything you've ever known
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.


you at least will never leave me, with each puff of halting breath
we are one and the same. so don't give up, fight until the end
there's something new in you, i haven't seen it before
so even with a sharp tongue i will say i need you still
i believe in you my soul
and somehow i want you to...

All Talk

something to tell you

"i have something to tell you..."
Speak up, Grace, you know I hate it when you mumble.
"mom, i..."
Hon, what is it, I don't have much time. I'm waiting for a call... Stop bouncing your knee, you'll spill my coffee.
"oh, sorry..."
...Grace, what did you want to say?
"i-um... well, mom... the thing is, i'm-"
Do you still talk to Beccy, you know, Beccy Lepard?
"no, she-"
Her mom said something about her brother's teacher's dog getting hurt, maybe you should talk to her.
"okay, maybe later."
Don't sass me!
"i wasn't, i'm sorry-"
I have a meeting soon, Grace, so will you-
"mom, i was trying to tell you-"
Just spit it out, Grace, I don't have all day!
"i-i don't... um-"
I told you to stop bouncing your knee!
"mom--please just listen!"
Oh, someone is calling me, it's a work call. SSH.
"..."
-yes, this is? Oh, hello Liz. Yes, I-
"mom..."
SSHH-yes, the meeting is...

the agony of a dream


thread the needle, sleepy eyes wink and blink at fabric made of butterfly wings. brittle fingers snap the fabric into shape. by the light of the restless glow-worms, weave fear into the stitching, panicked lace decorating the edges. nightmares fall from my fingers as naturally as a drop of water in a great river, fragments of anxiety and terror. there is so much to do, so much to do, but when the needle breaks, nightmares replace it with the bones of worry. fear is easy to come by in a world stuffed full of haunts, sour aftertastes that linger when you open your eyes. shaking hands and sweaty temples, wrap yourself in daydreams and blind yourself to reality. bad dreams are common as the tears falling from your eyes.

hope is not so quickly made, woven from butterfly wings and the silver lining of the subconscious. the cost is high, heartbreak sold on every corner, but happiness comes only to...

YOU in threes

Me in Threes!!

Hey guys, gals, and non-binary pals!! This is your friendly neighborhood author. Today I have some random stuff about myself. Enjoy :)

1) Three quirks or idiosyncrasies

  • I'm painfully awkward
  • I have short, purple hair
  • I'm suuuuuper good at procrastinating
2) Three communities to which you belong (these can be unusual)
  • Write the world (obviously)
  • LGBTQ+
  • Theater classes / groups
3) Three adjectives your peers would use to describe you
  • Silly
  • Kind
  • Supportive
4) Three adjectives your family would use
  • Introverted
  • Empathetic
  • Silly
5) Three adjectives you would use
  • Considerate
  • Loving
  • Passionate
6) Three things about you that very few people know
  • I have struggled with mental health
  • I'm (probably) a lesbian
  • I wish I had a nickname
7) Three beliefs you hold
  • God loves me
  • Everyone's feelings are valid
  • My job is to do what I can to make the world a better place
8) Three questions you have
  • Where does inspiration come from?
  • Is it ever okay to lie?
  • Is this all just a memory?
9) Three...

warnings of heartbreak

i can't ignore that sinking feeling,
dropping down into the abyss
without you there is nothing
no, you've been holding me out of the water
and now i feel its grasp
i'm gasping for air, for hope, for
a dream that is melting before my eyes
and i can't seem to block out the whispers
from my own mind, saying
it's really over now
i can't survive

no, you're the one who made
the stars shine and the moon rise
clouds have shrouded this night
leaving me kicking and screaming
and so, so alone
dread filling my ears and nose and mouth,
the stench of something too good to be true
my instincts told me but i
refused to believe

and what about all those times
i was over, through, done with you
all those sadly victorious wins
when i said my heart was stone
all the times i said
i wouldn't want it if i could have it
all...

“Take Off Your Shoes, This is My House”

all of your bittersweet lies

"your body told me in a dream it's not afraid of anything"

and you haunt my waking moments, leave me with an aftertaste that i refuse to wash away
your eyes swim in the red behind my eyelids, pulsing along with my swollen heart
reduce me to a statue, keep my bones as a reminder of what we used to be
don't be afraid of death, it is everything leading up to it that scares me
press your hands to the walls. hold the paint up; if it peels back any more you'll see
the bare frame behind it. run your nail along the window, collect the raindrops in your palm
watch your reflection dance and disappear into the ripples
the effect of everything you haven't done. 

turn the lights off, shroud me in the black that lurks in the corners
fear's fingers are harder to shake at night. brittle, breaking, like my voice
crying over things that we can't...

all that is left after defeat

the last sentence that drips from my bruised and bloody lips
when did you stop loving me?

keep breathing

all we can do is keep breathing

breath comes faster and faster, broken sentences left without an end
heart beats in my throat--a reminder that yes, i'm still here
when i hold still, my foot weaves a path in the air, unconscious movement
just like the rocking i don't notice until i'm pitching back and forth
gravity drags on the bottoms of my feet, tuck them up
roll into a ball, sit in the corner and hope they don't see
eyes blister my skin upon impact

all we can do is keep breathing

don't touch me don's see me just let me be
my mantra is a funeral chant, wanting desperately to be
comforted like when i was a child, lift me into your arms and 
tell me it will be okay

but childish illusions are gone, leaving only a shaking ball of nerves
and tarnished memories in their place

all we can do is keep breathing

squeeze my eyes...

dream state

last night i met you

and you told me you loved me, i believed you. i still do.
i pulled you close despite the way the world looked over my shoulder
and neither of us cared what morning would bring. 
it felt like something out of a dream, just you and me.
i spoke your name, but something was off, you didn't look like yourself,
but i hardly noticed. you were wearing a mask, your smile was a shield
when i opened my eyes i could see through the edges
you weren't the same and i couldn't see why.

i never thought i wouldn't know you, but
when you stood there in front of me, i second-guessed myself
is this the person i love? i couldn't say yes, but i didn't dare say no
my stomach churned and you didn't say a word
no, something was off, you didn't look like yourself
your eyes were glazed over, your lips uttered...

bright lights and cityscapes

I wouldn't need a second chance

leave everything behind to follow you
watch the rising sun and forget
to care about anything else
we, we are something new

I wouldn't need a second chance

reach up to you, you are my muse
filling my head with all that you are
it's not enough just to dance in the moonlight
you must also love the small moments

I wouldn't need a second chance

you give me something i haven't seen
for a while--hope
it's as clear as the white flags waving from your banner
and I think it will stay longer this time

I wouldn't need a second chance

and i wouldn't need a second chance

start being alive

this daze isn't enough, wandering through the moments unknowingly
leaving me breathless but not in a good way, they say,
dreams don't disappear but what if they weren't here to begin with
i began with nothing but a gift for giving words to the feelings that haunt me
day and night and everything in-between, the moments i can't seem to capture
drift away in my sleep. no need to keep track of something that you don't need to keep.
i've been surviving, yes, i am alive, but my heart only beats out of habit, and each breath
grows weaker. each song is softer.

break through the skin that holds me down, drown myself in fake sympathy and choke
on the words they used to bind me, keep waiting and you'll never get there
i'm done biding my time. let me breath and if i break at least it was my own fault
i'm tired of trudging like i'm already dead,...

memories slipping through my fingers and lips, leave this ghost town behind

this ghost town is not what i remember, no, in my memory vibrant colors dance and there is life. here
here is only the remnants of those who refuse to die.
or maybe we're long since dead and buried, maybe we can't see it yet
keep your eyes open and you'll get a glimpse of the here and now
the shades of gray that this life has faded to
the way we walk, trudge, lift one foot in front of the other.
mimicking the dance we used to know, a twisted version of the happiness from so long ago.
and sure, you can't see the sadness from behind my mask
i've painted it well and you won't see it until i crack
but it lurks behind the plastic surface, pressure behind my eyes and leaking out the pads of my fingers
they've forgotten too, it seems, the way we used to sing.
your voice still knows the trills but your...

burn the memories along with me


more of something we don't know-
sticky hands and saccharine lips around the fire. breathe the smoke in and laugh it out. sting your nose and blur your vision. flash on to capture the night. jokes and confessions told for a buck, nothing is new and everything is different. we run through the moonlight and maybe the morning will never come. maybe this is neverland, peter pan, staying up 'til dawn just to say we did. regrets can wait, for now just bask in the flames and singe your innocence. the same as ever in a different way.

hold me tighter hold me tighter-
hold me tighter and don't let me leave. don't let me fall into the abyss of sleep. if this is all a dream then don't forget me when morning comes. because it always does, no matter how the stars plead. night leaves us on the shelf, old have-been's and would-be's. you fade and the fire goes...

in full [gray-scale/color]

shadows seep from my eyes, turning the world inside-out and upside-down
reflections of a gray-scale photograph, moment in the dark
sepia tones bleed into the air, smell the dust and wipe the salt from your eyes
black and blue without the color just looks, black
ink smear on the world, wandering in a daze, its impossible to pull me from the page
one-dimensional, just a blip in space. lift your face and tell me the sun still shines
reach into the alleys and draw the line. scrape pen across paper, fight for the last drops of ink
rise and fall with the monochromatic tide. white noise and black thoughts splash through my mind. 
half-lidded eyes, see the world through your lashes. line upon line on your skin, make a map
tell us where you've been. away for too long, everything looks different.
does it have to be a grave, can it just be a bed. a place to rest at...

The Mountain And Back | Part 1

CHAPTER ONE
Beaulet, Coullevoira

    The rock was red, warm from the sun, and absolutely perfect for skipping. Sure enough, it flew across the water, jumping once—twice—three times!
    Nai smiled. Brushing her chestnut-brown bangs from her eyes, she gazed up at the sinking sun. About 6:30, she mused. Perfect.
    Skipping over the ruby rocks just like the rock she had thrown, she leapt back onto the overgrown trail that she knew so well. Above her, a gray bird chirped, and she grinned up at it. It truly was a perfect day, with the golden sun illuminating the iridescent leaves. The smell of fresh dirt mixed with the mist of the river, and Nai thought it was the most wonderful smell in the world.
    By the time she reached town, however, the sky was casting a gray shadow on the land. In the horizon, she could see hints of the sunset, barely within her vision. The square was all but empty, with...

oh you

oh you
you give me butterflies
dip down to wipe away my happy tears
carrying my hopes to the sun
dandelions on the breeze
soft as your touch
and the grass tickles our skin as we lay
and watch the clouds
cotton candy as sweet as your words
this
this is happiness

oh you
you fill me up inside
my hours are spent dreaming of you
you lift my face to the sky
you hold me close and whisper goodnight
a longing in my ribs that always speaks your name
the crickets are your orchestra,
the stars are your kin
wrapping us in a gown of moonlight
this
this is hope

oh you
you captivate my thoughts
make me check my phone in the middle of the night
to see if you've messaged
you fill my sleepy eyes with dreams
of golden days and laughter
each little note you send
makes me lighter and lighter
phone calls everyday
swallow the...

the darkness marches ever on


don't look straight at the golden sun
you might get a glimpse of the darkness behind it
the screaming in my ears never quite
goes away, no, hope for the best and maybe it will falter like
my hand upon its silver crest, digging deeper with each staggering breath
the dissonant chords vibrate in my skull
a battle cry for the darkness that marches ever on
my defenses won't hold against the sickening sweet perfume of death
draw your swords and pens—it's mightier, they say—and
grind your teeth as you pound the lies, like nails,
into the woodwork of my bones
persuasion whispers in your ears, a distant melody of days not quite forgotten
memoirs, slightly soured from the years of baring your teeth
at the only ones who still care
the darkness marches ever on
stop believing—you know the demons with their perfect smiles and rotting breath are right
my hand still grips at the precipice; it's not over...

the little girl in your window--don't you recognize that stare?

let your tired hand / graze the curtains / pull them aside just / enough to see / stare out into the darkness until / you begin to see a face /

slightly blurred around the / edges / with eyes as black as the night shrouding you like / a cape / watch as it parts its lips / letting out a scream that could shatter glass /

or at least it could in your mind / because that's the only place that's making sound / other than the lights / which buzz like a / public restroom / filling you with the urge to run /

but the eyes hold you in place / they watch you until / you can't remember how long you've been here / only that your forehead is hot against the glass /

say goodbye to the ghostly echoes / as you close the curtains / and the reflection is hidden /

are...

Roses

You sweep me into a whirlwind of affection
Love tinting the world from behind my eyelids
I breathe you in and exhale
Roses

they stand for romance, you know

You take a snapshot of us
A perfect picture of passion
The edges are blurred, the color is faded
And when I see it I smell
Roses

their perfume is so sweet, you know

You speak your mind and know your words
The melody wraps around me, overflowing
And every time i hear it, I hear the sound of
Roses

the thorns only hurt if you let them, you know

The chills down my back know your touch
And my hair begs to be brushed aside by your fingers
Your hands must be stars; they burn me, reminding me of
Roses

they don't have to be a lie,
you know

but it was so long ago, and i've almost forgotten how it feels

and my heart still lies / pressed between pages of words / along with the flowers you gave me / was it really so long ago that love / ran easily through our veins / filling the space now cold / as ice / was it really so long ago / summer was in the air and we / we were invincible / but now a chill has descended into my bones / freezing my paper-thin heart / fragile as the flowers we pressed / so long ago / but was it really / so long?

untitled disappointment

it's lonelier than they imagine, dancing among the stars
leaping and twirling where the world starts
bowing to the clouds, shrouded in the pinks and purples that have always been too
pretty, too perfect, for me to reach. you take my hand; you have always been a pink-and-purple cloud
and i lap up the moonlight dripping from this side of the sky while you
pull me in circles and laugh and laugh and laugh
it's all i've ever wanted, it's all i should have wanted
and the wind tickles the tips of my fingers
whispering as the world spins wildly below us, are you happy yet?
i focus my eyes on you and only you, the stars on your shoulders and the moonlight on your chin
and maybe i don't hear the question or maybe i
don't want to. i shiver under the stare of the cold, black sun
or maybe it's not cold; in my fever dreams i sweat...

a little fall poem

an almost imperceptible shift in the twisting of the breeze and
the writhing of the trees, the chirping of the birds and the buzzing of the bees
a nearly indistinguishable change in the air, and the wind begins to laugh, whisking through my hair
whispering in my ear, can't you see it? can't you feel it? 

fall is here

you made me into a metaphor for something i never understood

    when í think of you i think of flowers. from the beginning, i'd protest but you'd always pick the prettiest, daintiest flower. you showed me how you laid it flat in a book, pressing it. i always thought it was beautiful, how fragile they were.
    i would sit for hours and stare at those flowers, marveling at their paper-thin petals and the slightly faded colors. you told me they were a metaphor and when i asked but of what? you just hummed and gazed into the distance. i watched you and i marveled at you, too. you were as beautiful as the flowers, i thought.
    what i failed to see was that i was the flower. you came and sat next to me and plucked me from the ground, holding me in your fingertips. you flattened me and pressed me until i was paper-thin, fragile like all the rest. you told me i was beautiful, like...

<3


and you have been set free
so fly
and remember, i'll always be
here by your side

addicted to the poison of your name

trail your finger along sharp glass and show me how it doesn't cut anymore. leave me bleeding, because you still do. follow my footprints on cobblestone corners and see how even they form something like art. leaving the stone stained with the footprints of someone more innocent that i. do you see how they lie?

lead me to a place where i dont feel the heartbreak--but is it better to have loved and lost than to never love at all? do you know? tell me, please. really, though, it doesn't matter because i have already lost too much and loved you.

you aren't easy to love.

so take my hand and make me wonder again. make me rethink the thoughts i thought so long ago. remake me into your puppet and leave me on the shelf. to be loved by you is harder than being forgotten. you forgot me anyways.

each step reminds me of the cadence of your breaths....

Mechanized

We are mechanized
Feelings travel through telephone wires
Countries connected through criss-crossing lines
Lives coded in ones and zeros
We are mechanized
Automated reactions and diffractions
Lighting the polluted sky
Nature is a novelty
As we travel at the speed of time
Logic replaces love—
Computers don't feel, and neither do we
We are mechanized 
Blinking lights and flashing screens
Accompany our every move
Robots always one step ahead 
Eyes glued to moving pictures and
Synthesized sounds 
We are mechanized 

quell the shaking; maybe you'll be fine if you pretend it isn't happening

wrap yourself in hope / try to keep yourself warm with shreds of / used dreams / that you found at a thrift store. Someone's story gone / wrong.

step into the world / try not to shake as the air bombards you / no point in shivering now / still / its hard to quell the spasms that / overcome you.

the chill bites / like the cinnamon still lingering on your tongue / but this is stale / you stare with blank eyes at the scene that has played / too many times before / you know it all / down to the puff of white that dances from your / lips.

feel your skin / begin / to freeze / [stop shaking i said] / brittle as cold / dry / bones / your fingers 

crack

crack

crack


off / one / by / one / tears freeze in your eyes / throwing the world / underwater.
...

a broken hallelujah

i.
hit play/one chord after another
you are music/twisting/surrounding me
with your/haunting melody
this/this is something different
you are no ordinary
song
you don't care/you never have
but i can't get your notes
out of my/head

hallelujah/hallelujah

ii.
your hair was wet
your skin shone in the/moonlight
or maybe/it was the moonlight
when you calmly watched me
break/down
you immobilize me/with only
words
how does your touch/leave me/trying
to pick up the pieces?
from my dying lips/you draw
breath after 
shuttering/breath

hallelujah/hallelujah

iii.
you smell of/déjà vu
i've seen this all before
i remember these/walls/you were always the one who pointed them out
and i only felt trapped when you were here
you told me/they kept me safe
but safe isn't
thirsting/for a life of
before/you
you descended and/broke my will
you flew your flag and/signed your name
and paraded my heart on your/spear
can this be/love?

hallelujah/hallelujah

iv.
and i collapse and/pray
because maybe/someone will hear
my cries of...

the difference between us; all you want to do is dance

my face flushes
my breathing quickens
i am not ready
when have i ever been ready
the golden chandeliers overhead turn to
headlights
and i am the deer
i'm held in place by the fabric that binds me
too tight, too tight to breathe
wrapping me into a bundle and
depositing me, immobile, onto the
shiny wooden floor
my hands begin to shake
i have to get out of here

and there you are
panic doesn't overcome your senses
you grin at me and
take my shaking hand
i can only hope you don't notice
the tremors
the earthquakes
that rule it
your skin is flushed, too
but not like mine
you are excited
and the difference has never been so clear
your heels click click click
with each step you take
click click click
becoming a metronome in my head
even when you stop walking
as my head begins to spin
and i start to see black

you smile ...

if my life were a movie (based on the piece by Beth R.)

If my life were a movie, it would be rated PG-13, for dark themes and intense moments.
It would be a coming of age movie, where the character starts out confused and gets progressively more confused until AHA--everything makes sense! (that part hasn't quite happened yet)
It would either be really sad or really sweet--but not in a cheesy way (i hope!!!). Probably both.
Everyone would be super attached to the characters by the end (I know I am!).
It would end on one of those cliffhangers that just hints at what is to come--that isn't necessarily happy but everything has more or less resolved. I think the word I'm looking for is bittersweet ;) It would leave everyone with a smile and maybe some tears in their eyes as the theater lights slowly fade on.

The Greed Of Death

    My footsteps hurry across the uneven ground. Before today, this was a road. Now, it has crumbled to dust and blown away in the black winds. I don't go home--there is no place for me to go home to. Instead, I run to the hospital, where Mam and Pap are working.
    The hospital is packed with people dying, of no disease and with no sign of ever recovering. The 'rooms' are crowded with at least five, if not seven or more, beds. But there is nothing we can do for the people in them.

    "Lel," Mam cries when she sees me. "Your Pap-"
    I shake my head, warding off the words, but I hear them anyways.
    "-is sick."
    I squeeze my eyes shut, take a breath, and open them again. Cool and calm is my motto in this new world where nothing makes sense. I can't be anything...

Psychic Distance

she stared down at herself, trying to forget

  1. The door of the bar swung open, and a young woman pushed through. She sunk down at the bar, and the bartender slid a mug of something towards her. She sighed and lost herself in the contents of the cup.
     
  2. Finn Weston stepped through the swinging doors. She managed to elbow her way to the bar, where she sunk down. She stared down at the amber liquid pooling in her cup, before sighing and giving up.
     
  3. Finn swung the door open and sank into her spot at the bar. The bartender slid a mug to her, and she managed a small smile. When she looked down at her drink, a wavy reflection of herself appeared. She sighed. This was supposed to help her forget--so why was it only reminding her?
     
  4. When she stepped into the bar, she made a beeline for her usual seat. Thank goodness Clara was the bartender. She never asked questions. She stared down at...

From the shores of Lake Superior (Day 2)

iii.
A different lady greets us today
Her veil is calm and clear
Creases of sun wrinkling the surface
The water an azure mirror
And so is the sky—
Dotted with cotton puffs—
And hemmed by the horizon
Match your breathing to tbe immature waves
Let them play at your calves
As heat beats down at you from above
Wade into the serenity
And let it lap at your knees
See the rocks winking up at you
Catching sprinkles of sunlight and
Scattering it across the shore
Her intensity is gone
Replaced with a gentle goodness
Still, her hands pull at you
Willing you to come deeper, just
A few steps further
Sit in the silky sand and
Listen to her song
A lullaby calling you to the waters edge
Just linger
In her embrace
Cool and refreshing in the warmth of the sun
Breathe in the heavy air and let go
Release your soul into the depths
Of the...

From the shores of Lake Superior (Day 1)

i.
sand scrapes my feet
as the Freshwater Sea
rises and falls before us
the sky frothing around my toes
numbs ny skin and
drags me in
leading me in a steady dance
one two, one two—
with the waves
breathe it in and exhale the breeze
that whisks through our veins
look—
the sky and the water
touch—
there, beyond the horizon
and it never
stops
the endless crashing and sighing of
Mother Nature herself
not a moment passes
where I don't feel
the wind in my hair and the waves at my feet and
the life in my chest 

ii.
see the moon begin to glow
above the frothy
whitecaps
see them crest and fall, swell and sink
watch the clouds deepen until
shadows cover the sky
pick your way across the rocks
(don't bother trying to stay dry)
and watch the dying sun
glisten off of whispering grasses
filter through the pine needles
sending...

cherry blossom kisses dripping from my mistakes

the trees drip
cherry blossom kisses
on my water-starved lips
filling the lipstick-stained cracks
and relieving the agony
of life
from my skin
scented candles seep into my
bones, encompassing my senses
the sour taste
on my tongue
lick it off and
wash it down with dewdrops
held in my shaking palm
quick
don't think
step further into the wonderland
of candied spiderwebs and
cold fingers on my arms
remind me that I'm not safe
from the silent reproaching
of the ever-watching violets
even when I leap over
the ghost stream
their eyes follow me and I 
run
recoil
retreat
and the trees whisper their
goodbyes, 
as sweet as 
cherry blossom kisses

A poem because one hundred M&Ms is a lot of sugar || PLEASE READ FOOTNOTES

It's not often that I am caught
Speechless
Without the ever-present words
As my safety net
But here I am
And it is all because of

Y o u

melodies to a wordless song

melt into the crooning of / an acoustic guitar/ punctuated by the pounding / of a hammer / beating on my mind / inaudible voices layered over top / melodies scraping on my goosebumps / laugh at my words and / steal my senses and / tell me to be present for a while.

don't you see / when I write / I am more attuned to the world / than you ever will be?

she is home

soft green leave shield / dirt-sprinkled siding / mixed with chipped paint and / memories. auburn shingles shade / ivy-covered walls. dark glassy eyes / peer / winking at the world. mossy bricks / crack into a serene smile / laughing lips / she is home.

We Are Summer

    Her sand-colored hair whips in the wind, her skin rising and falling in silky waves. Salty spray mists the rocks we dance over, wet feet slipping and sliding with each step. The midday sun stretches out to us, but we are out of reach. Our youth is our shield, for one last day. Nothing can hurt us here.
    Spray-on sunscreen lingers in the air, the embodiment of childhood. We are not children, not adults. No, here in the in-between, we are free. Hot sand is sewn seamlessly into cold rocks, burning our feet, but we don't care. The ocean is our nectar, as we fly to it like hummingbirds across the sand. The water is freezing our shins, our knees, our thighs, our waists. The hem of her thin shirt is dark and wet and we don't stop running. No one can hold us back as we race into the waves, life melting away for just a moment. ...

leave it all behind

red and black raspberries
adorning the jagged edges
of my childhood
leaving sickly-sweet stains
on my memories
the smell of overripe sorrow
fermenting and filling
all the cracks
pry the remains
from the bottom of my shoe
leaving dark patches
that I try to forget
focus on the ripe berry and
not the thorns

Cracked

    The first thing I remember about her is her nail polish.
    She loved to paint her nails, even when she had chewed them so short they would bleed. She would paint them in the brightest colors, meant to draw your eyes right to them. I don't remember the colors so much as the fact that they were always imperfect.
    Even when she first painted them, they would be chipped or smudged in some way. There would be patches of nail showing, from underneath the purples and oranges. There were always cracks--but she hid them well. She hid them with bright colors and flashy stickers, and unless you were looking you couldn't see them. No one but me could see her cracks.
    The last thing I remember about her is the way she looked, so broken, having been cracked for so long that eventually, the paint was gone.

golden girl

the princess of the sun
high above the world
stands tall among the blinding lights
the golden girl

robed in golden fabric
and wearing a golden crown
trailing a veil of light
from her golden gown

bound to her post by sunbeams
lashed and tied too tight
captured by beauty
tethered by ribbons of light

the golden girl weeps
golden tears
stifling sunlight glows
through endless golden years

fighting restraints
but too weak to resist
around her swirls
tainted golden mist

and then the golden girl ceases
to exist

Braces suck

Metal seams
Weaving white pearls together
Endure the pain because you know
It is for the best
Sharp edges along
Every smooth surface
This pain doesn't belong
And yet it had become the norm
Tasting like a memory
Reminiscent of a nightmare
And the pain pulls at your jaw
Surrounded by people you neither know
Nor want to know
Tension
As purple plastic hands probe
The sharp sanitizer filling your nose and mouth
Stinging your lips as you pull them back
Cold metal scraping your teeth
Making you wince and then
You sit up
You force a smile
You relax your jaw
The demand of small-talk dissipates
And then
You wait to do it all over again.

Holding On


daisies braided into your
voice, the sound of sugar
melting me and you slip
through the dark alleys
i listen to dusty albums
to remember you
you shatter like glass
and i'm still trying to
hold on 

you shatter like glass
but i hold on

paper hearts on the breeze
floating down the
crimson street, and i
watch my whole world drift away
as you fade away
I search through forgotten pictures
trying to find you
again you leave me empty-handed 

again you leave me
but i hold on

I search, 
but you're gone
you shatter like glass
but i hold on

OMG YOU GUYS :D I DID IT

My breath catches in my throat
A sense of insane excitement filling me
But i don't let it overflow into my expression
Instead I allow myself a small smile
And my finger presses the button

"You've submitted this piece as your final draft"

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Dinnertime

   The house is silent as the father brings plates to an empty table. He arranges a vase of flowers gently, tilting their blue and white heads to the sky. He slowly scoops a portion of veggies onto the plates, making sure they don't spill onto the sauces. His face is eerily still, and he moves as if under water.
   Done arranging the food, he sits. The other three plates rest before vacant seats. He bows his head as if to pray.
   A single tear hits the table as his shoulders begin to shake.

"My Heart is Like"

My Heart

I know what my heart is like
bruised but not broken
It is like the warrior on a battlefield
facing an army that can't be defeated
but standing strong anyways
A fragile bird, 
in the hands of someone so much bigger and stronger than I

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Dinnertime

(Version 1:)
I gasp. My vision narrows until all I see is the end of the driveway and my own two feet. My heart thrums, a frenzied hummingbird fleeing the danger ahead. My legs are frozen; everything is frozen . Behind me, my house is watching, begging me to go back to its safety. I can’t go back now. I lift my foot—

    And turn around. Who am I kidding? The world is too harsh for me. My breathing slows and my vision clears as I open the door to my house. Safe once more.

(Version 2:)
I gasp. Instead of the usual pressure on my lungs at the sight of the outside world, I feel free. I lift into the air, and I'm not afraid. No fear settles in my heart when I see the streets and people and buildings—for the first time, I feel safe and free at the same time.

I open my eyes to find myself...

When The World Begins To Gray

When the world begins to gray
and the headlights flicker by
and the sounds of quiet laughter echo off of balconies
I'll be waiting
At the park you like so much
on the blanket we've shared lunches on
smiling as I listen to the crickets' song
I'll be waiting
The night breeze will bring memories of the late nights
when we sat on your porch​
and time didn't exist
It will lead you to me, below the trees
and your skin will glow—it does that
you are vibrant
I'm waiting
And when you find me
you'll lose yourself in the smell of the stars
you'll drink in the crickets' song and
the coolness of the grass
you'll forget the world again

When the color is gone
and the streetlights flick on
and the traffic is a lullaby
I'll be waiting 

Flash Fiction Competition | REVIEWS PLEASE

Agoraphobia
    I gasp. My vision narrows until all I see is the end of the driveway and my own two feet. My heart thrums, a frenzied hummingbird fleeing the danger ahead. My legs are frozen; everything is frozen . Behind me, my house is watching, begging me to go back to its safety. I can’t go back now. I lift my foot—
    And turn around. Who am I kidding? The world is too harsh for me. My breathing slows and my vision clears as I open the door to my house. Safe once more.

(Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder—a fear of entering open or crowded places, or of leaving one's one home. In severe cases, it can result in never leaving their house, like I wrote about above. I don't have agoraphobia, but I've read a lot about it, and done a small amount of studying.)

Dinnertime
    The house is silent as the man—a father—brings plates to...

What Ensemble Means To Me | Reviews needed!!!

What does ensemble mean to you and why is it important to theatre making?

    To me, in theater the word “ensemble” means that not only are we individuals choosing to perform as a group, but we commit and become a family with each other. The word ensemble binds us together, so we have a deeper connection through acting together. Ensemble means we succeed as a group, but we also fail as a group. Thomas Ried said, “We are only as strong as our weakest link”. This means when we work together and become an ensemble, we have to lift each other up and help each other grow, so that we as a group can grow. 
    This is important to theater because working together is at the base of being able to perform and act as a group. With an ensemble of people, whether students or actors, we have to be able to listen to each other and rely on each...

During the storm

Phone buzzing
Storm warning 
Sirens woo-ing
Forced calm leeching into every tense word
Huddle under the stairs for safety
Crack windows to protect against air pressure
Silent prayers in every breath
Rain pounding on the roof and the walls and the glass of each blurred windows
Boredom covers for a nervous
Anxiety
As we remain optimistic and don't think about
The worst
Distractions and conversations
As my father checks the weather every few
Seconds
We wait
And wait
And wait
And I don't tell anyone because it seems like jinxing it but
I'm
scared

Inventory

Nadya Davis

Name: Nadya Clementine Davis
Pronouns: She/her (cis)
Age: 16
Sexuality: Straight

Bio: Nadya was born on August 17th, 2001. She was brought up by her aunt after her mother died while giving birth. She lives in Colorado, and recently finished her sophomore year of high school through homeschooling. Her hobbies are reading, singing, and playing piano. She has severe agoraphobia, and hasn't left her house more than twice in the past year. Her best (and only) friend is Mara Richard, her cousin, who is a year older than her. Nadya's dream is to write song lyrics for some celebrity or another. 

On Nadya's nightstand, there is...
  • A paper with a to-do list of things to do to ensure safety
  • A locket with a picture of her mother on the inside
  • A camera with only two pictures on it
  • Her computer, open to three tabs on safety precautions and warnings
  • A small notebook, bursting with lyrics, all...

Black Out

blink once
and then once more
the world swims
and your limbs
seem to defy gravity
they fly up
—or maybe you
fly down—
and there's the ground and
why is it so bright?
blurry thoughts
the sides of your eyes 
hurt and then
black


...


red
head hurts
bright lights attack
your tired and confused
mind
pick yourself up
and continue on

UGH

I hate
When I'm trying to write
But a song is stuck
In my head
And all i can think of
are the lyrics!
You know?!

She Types Her Thanks

   She looks down. It's habit to click on that tab, the one that has seen her through so many bored days. The one that has encouraged her and the one she has encouraged. The homepage looks like home, after all the months. Through the changes, it's been the same.
   She reads a piece—then another. Click like, comment, follow one and then another. It still amazes her, that there are people like her who'd rather write than... well, anything else.
   Back to the dashboard, a small red circle catches her eye. She reads—and then rereads—again and again.
  There are fifty people, fifty teenagers who read her writing and like it enough to follow her. How is that possible? How is it possible that one fourteen-year-old girl in one city can capture fifty people's interest? She imagines those people, making up faces, reading her words. Her words! It seems impossible. And yet the number doesn't change.
   A...

Dinnertime

   The house is silent as the man—a father—brings plates to an empty table. He arranges a vase of flowers carefully, tilting their blue and white heads to the sky. He slowly scoops a portion of veggies onto the plates, making sure they don't spill onto the sauces. His face is eerily still, and he moves as if under water.
   Done arranging the food, he sits. The other three plates rest before empty seats. He bows his head as if to pray.
   A single tear hits the table as his shoulders begin to shake.

And Again

Spinning
toes tense
arms lifted 
head high
gracefully gliding

pink cheeks
rushed breaths
tense muscles
imperfect isn't an option

keep everything stiff
but look soft
freeze in place
don't relax yet
it's effortless—
right?

collapse carefully
can't risk getting hurt
achy feet and tired muscles 
then pick yourself up and
do it again

cinnamon-sugar dreams and candy coated lies

she is
cinnamon-sugar dreams
and cotton candy kisses
dripping with easy grace and
super-sweet smiles
candy-coated lies are
easier to swallow
and her aftertaste is hardly sour
at all

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Dinnertime

I gasp. My vision narrows until all I see is the end of the driveway and my own two feet. My heart thrums, a frenzied hummingbird fleeing the danger ahead. My legs are frozen; everything is frozen . Behind me, my house is watching, begging me to go back to its safety. I can’t go back now. I lift my foot—

    And turn around. Who am I kidding? The world is too harsh for me. My breathing slows and my vision clears as I open the door to my house. Safe once more.

You

The smell of you is stuck in my head. Your hair, the way your skin feels so soft when you hug me. The way I long for your approval. 

    Am I in love?

We held each other and I know we weren't okay but that felt okay. I held you together when you broke. I cried when you couldn't. 

   Am I in love?

Three times, now, I've convinced myself I'm over you. Three times, now, it has taken only a glance from you to make me wonder again. Here I am, all over again.

    Am I in love?

And would it even be any use? You don't love me. I have never been more sure of that. Funny how the heart doesn't seem to like logic. Funny how my head is to weak to overpower it.

    Am I in love?

When I think of you, I blush. When I see you, all I...

Disappointment

When she sees me, her face falls, along with my hope.

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

Dinnertime

     I gasp for breath. My vision narrows until all I see is the end of the driveway and my own two feet. I can hear my heartbeat; just noticing it makes it pound harder. My legs are lead, impossible to lift. Behind me, I know my house is watching me, begging me to go back to its safety. I can’t go back now. I lift my foot—
    And turn around. Who am I kidding? The world is too harsh for me. My breathing slows and my vision clears as I open the door to my house. Safe once more.

I Want The Small Moments

I want the small things, the perfect moments. I want coffee steam on the front porch. I want white t-shirts tucked into sweatpants. I want toothbrushes lined up by the sink, an ugly couch that is somehow the most comfortable, and a matching set of dishes. I want morning smiles and late-night yawns. I want the sunrise and the sunset, your hand fitting perfectly into mine, and kitchen dance parties together. I want to argue over who's turn it was to wash dishes, and I want to laugh as we wash them together. I want flowers on the dining room table, the scent of your perfume never leaving the bathroom. I want to be happy with you.

Late Night Thoughts

We should stop saying "it's okay" instead of "I forgive you". Because dismissal isn't forgiveness. 

with the tip of his paintbrush, he catches a single tear

    my heart beats faster. pressure in my chest, then my throat. he glances up and then back down, not seeing the way my knuckles go white as i grip the chair. i focus on his paintbrush, desperate, delicate and dangerous. he never looks away from the canvas stretched across that thin wooden frame. how can that frame stay strong? how do i stay strong?
    the tears push against my eyes and my breath whooshes out of my lungs. i blink twice trying to keep the tears off of my face. i can’t move and i can’t cry and i can’t. my heart pounds, the beat for a song that has no melody. how do i stay strong?
    i falter and lose my smile. i can feel my face flush and he looks up and everything is lost as he does a double take.
    he wasn’t supposed to see.
    the tears...

Winter Brings Her To Me

    Winter was the only season we could be together. When the snow brushed the ground, light as a feather, and the wind directed it in its intimate dance, we could meet.
    White spots against light brown, like the snow dusting the ground, stood out from the trees and allowed me to find her. Her ears flicked back and forth as she listened to the world in a way I would never understand. Cold fingers and hot cheeks accompanied our meetings. My breath clouded in the air, mixing with hers until you couldn’t separate the steam. Her brown eyes were full of longing and waiting, my heart pounding and the silence deafening. Our meetings were frequent but short, until my brittle skin couldn’t bear the cold any longer. In these times, we were real.
    It was over all too soon, when the drip drip dripof the melting snow broke our sacred silence and the warm breeze hinted of spring. As...

thoughts on you and i


sunflower dust dancing
through the air and in your eyes
reflecting
swirling
glittering brighter
than the millions of stars high above
and yes
the days are melting faster
than the dripping popsicles we grip in
sweaty hands
but tonight is captured
a Polaroid picture of you and i and
the memories we haven't made
water condenses on the pitcher of lemonade
as we sip from our glasses
of liquid happiness and pure joy
lightning bugs are stars swirling 
around us
as the grass tickles our ankles
and then 
you smile

Reminders

Don't complain.
Drink water.
Be nice.
Keep smiling.
Don't get offended.
Be happy, always.
Keep walking.
They're people too.
They have feelings, too.
Keep smiling.
Say yes.
Make other's lives better, easier, nicer.
Prioritize others.
Be quiet.
Laugh at the jokes.
Just go with it.
Keep smiling.
Dont worry so much.
Keep them safe.
Stay steady.
Dont complain.
Drink water.
Keep smiling.
Keep smiling.
Keep
Smiling

Do You Remember?

Do you remember
The shared glances over melting popsicles?
The room we laughed, and talked, and lived in?
The tear-filled nights and the nights when
tears wouldn't come?
The promises we kept, the lies we told?
The meals and memories we made?
Do you remember us?
Do you remember who we used to be,
before "us" became too much
and I was simply a 
"me"?
Do you remember the words I gave you
and the worlds that you gave me in return?
Do you?

When I Cry

Stay strong.
Don't let the tears fall.

Not here, where others can see.
No, save them for later. 
Save them for never.


When I cry,
the world is dark
When I cry,
I am alone
Because I cry
when no one can see me
When no one can see the pain
I suffer alone
When the tears fall,
I sob silently
When the tears fall,
There is no noise
Because when tears fall
I don't let them see it
When no one can hear me
It never happened
And when it's over
when I've dried my eyes
When it's over
and my tears are gone
I fall asleep
And it's like it never happened
Because if no one is around to hear the tree
It still stands.

Nightfall

There's a certain glow
To a tired sun
As if it is giving its all, one last time.

Feet brushing the grass,
stirring up tiny bugs—
they fly up and then settle, out of sight.

The dirt underfoot warns of night
Laughter echoes through the thick air—
Another party I declined—
Instead I sit in my garden
Among the beetles and moths
And watch the sky turn from golden to gray to a 
deep, deep blue

The clouds pretend to be the sunset
While the sun sets behind the trees
Even though the sounds never cease,
There is a certain silence
In the waiting
In how you don't realize it is dark
Until you can't see the light
In how the world grasps those
Last glimmers of day

In how we hold on
Before the night falls

The Last Piece of You

    Plip. Plip. Plip.
    The stones sound like they always do, making small splashes in the mirrored water. 
    Plip. Plip. Plip. 
    They land, and sink to the bottom of the lake, too deep and dark for my eyes to follow for long. I try to watch them until I don't know if I am seeing the stone, or imagining. The light of the dying sun dances on the lake, too bright for me to look straight at.
    Plip. Plip. Plip. 
    My fingers dig into the pile of rocks next to me, grabbing handful after handful and tossing them into the water. They make the only ripples in the smooth surface. They are the only sound other than my ragged breathing.
    My hand reaches for another rock, but it comes up empty. I tear my eyes from the water to look down at my scratched and dirty palm.
    On my wrist is a ribbon. Hanging from the ribbon is a small piece of metal,...

See-through

Just a foggy windowpane with
Rain running down the glass
Making the outside world
Fade away
Nose pressed against the glass,
Cool and smooth against hot skin
Tears falling in rythme with the rain
The world is small
Alone in the quiet room
Rain and heart pounding together
Dry your eyes as the sun comes out and
Go back to being see-through

Human Too

See him? See that old man, asleep on the subway, with a tattered suitcase and a coat riddled with holes? See how his beard is tangled and matted? See how no one sits next to him?
He is human, too.
He lives on this broken world, just like you.
He hopes, he dreams, he has memories of better days. 
He is human, too.
See her? See that little girl, sitting on the swing, with a snotty nose and red eyes? See her little hands, how she doesn't have any mittens to protect against the cold? See how the other kids laugh?
She is human, too. 
She laughs and cries, just like you. 
She sees the laughter, she sees the fancy coats and mittens. 
She is human, too.
See them? See how their eyes dart one way, then another? See how they slip a hand inside a coat pocket that isn't theirs? See how their cheeks cave in and their wrists...

Five Line Fiction

Time And Its Consequences

    A happy couple, proud as they hold their baby girl.

    A happy child, dancing and singing through the yard.
  
    A misunderstanding, a fight, a war.
    
    What once was one now becomes two.
    
    A broken teen, a mess of emotion, split between one life and another.

Courage

    She shuffled across the ground, keeping her eyes trained on the floor. She could feel people staring. She blushed, cowering into her hair a little more.
    Around her, the library was silent. Her only companions were books.
    In her mind, however, crowds were watching her every move. She stopped, leaning against a bookshelf to try to get a hold of her thoughts.
    “Stop,” she whispered, loud in the quiet room. From across the room, the librarian looked up. 

    The librarian’s brow wrinkled. She saw the young woman, covered in hair, pull a book from the shelf at random. Reading the back, the woman forgot to be ashamed of herself. She stood a little taller, engrossed in the description.
    The librarian smiled. She loved to see young women like the one in front of her, who loved books.
    The librarian looked back at her computer, but she couldn’t help but glance up again at the young woman. Something about her dark...

Wild


    He growled. A few pieces of slimy food dripped from his collar. Nothing more to be eaten.
    The can clattered to the ground. No one was around to notice as he sulked away, bent nearly double. The trash from the can rolled across the ground, the stench of rotting food following the retreating form around the back of the house.
    The neighborhood was silent. A newspaper sat on the step of a house, dated from over a month ago. Nothing on the block moved, other than the garbage still sliding out of the can. 
    Inside of the house, a breeze blew through the broken window. A bowl of spoiled milk sat on the table, filling the room with a sour smell. It drifted up the dusty stairs, and through the partially ajar door. 
    The room had one window, covered with heavy curtains. The only light came through the cracked door. On the other side of the room was a...