Paisley Blue

United States

they/them | 6.2.2020
genderfluid | christian

proud!

Message from Writer

-
take me and cut me out in little stars
-

Published Work

Science Fiction Competition 2021

Edict VI: Silence


    "The United Prevention passed another edict." I didn't have to look at my phone; the incessant rattling echoed by the phone Genesis held could mean nothing else. The stale overhead light turned his skin to wax and left the corners of the room in darkness.

    "I quote:" he raised an eyebrow, "'Throughout the world, nations are facing a shortage of sound. The United Prevention of Declining Resources has taken the necessary steps to forestall-'"

    "That's not new." I leaned over the faux-marble counter, reading from his screen. He tilted it away from me.

    "Chill! 'Under edict VI: All unnecessary noise must be prevented, including but not limited to personal music, personal communications, technology...' The list goes on." His screen faded to black, and he chewed his lip. "I should go, curfew is 9."

    "'Night," I mumbled as he left. Without Gen, the room was as silent as the bleak, light-polluted sky outside...

Science Fiction Competition 2021

Edict VI: Silence


    "The United Prevention passed another edict." I didn't have to look at my phone; the incessant rattling echoed by the phone Genesis held could mean nothing else. The stale light turned his skin to wax and left the corners of the room in darkness.

    "I quote;" he raised an eyebrow, "'Throughout the world, nations are facing a shortage of sound. The United Prevention of Declining Resources has taken the necessary steps to forestall-'"

    "That's not new." I leaned over the faux-marble counter, reading from his screen. He tilted it away from me.

    "Chill! ''Under edict VI: All unnecessary noise must be prevented, including but not limited to personal music, personal communications, technology...' The list goes on." His screen faded to black, and he chewed his lip. "I should go, curfew is 9."

    "'Night," I mumbled as he left. Without Gen, the room was as silent as the bleak, light-polluted sky outside my...

orion's belt


-- to my stars --

i hate to see you hurting;
    for you the sunset weeps in pale pink
and veils the moon with mist-streaks.
    may i take your hand? if i can
i'll walk you to a resting place
    and your world can disappear.
you don't have to force a smile to your eyes
    (the sky is dark, it hides what you want
to hide).

let me be your garden, love, i'll protect you
    within my walls, let you forget
the world until you're ready to face it.

-- from the sky --


 

want to know what i wished for? || happy pride!


can you please lace
your little finger around
mine, i want to hear you
laugh again; can you be
more than just my friend?
can you please watch me
and squint your eyes like
you're smiling just a little
on the inside? can you please
teach me how to read you
so the times when you don't
want to speak i know your
mind, can you tell me
the names of the stars you
see? the sky is ours
if you want it to be.
can you please be chilly
so i can give my sweater to you;
just wait to give it back until
the fabric smells like you?
more than that, can you
love me? i know it's not easy
but we can go slowly. 
can you please slip your hand
into mine and laugh just
one more time?
 

exit ramp


how does the landscape slip
    past the edge of the window
        sand&water&asphalt through raw
            fingers how does the sky
                let go

as i pass by?

swinging my legs and watching the shadows move so i know i still exist


my room is spinning on its axis a planet
in orbit around the sun, the sun. or maybe
it’s me who’s spinning falling, grounding into
the carpet with its frayed edges off-white matted
 - but my eyes are searching for maps in
    the patterns on my ceiling they never move
        and yet each time i see something new.

//

there’s a vase of lily-of-the-valleys at the foot of my
bed and they’re dead but i haven’t thrown them out.
the leaves are yellow and brown and the flowers
are all dried and crispy but they still look kinda pretty
and i wonder if they’d crumble if i touched them.
i wonder what’s wrong with being a little
    undone after all here i am
        laying on the floor again and i can’t find my sense of balance.

//

when i’m bored i hold my breath and count the seconds before my body
makes me breathe again. reminds me how i don’t...

Talking to “You”

Lady in Blue


up to your knees in blue blue blue
you're a mess and you know it
there's nothing around 'cept the dock
the horizon the water and you,
and you walk right past me,
through the sky, through my tears
through the salt-ridden surf.

footsteps faded, you leave nothing behind.
you're still in my head though you're long gone;
the way you stared at the sun longing to fly
the way you left prints in the sand.
you walk right past me, through my mind,
straight through to the distant horizon.

it's enough to stretch out my hand and
watch the mist curl around it; it's enough
to watch you disappear.
 

may 16, 2021


4:46 a.m.

it is early, early, and a clear cool bird song
startles me awake. in the darkness before dawn
a single bird cries out.

it is a strong melody, and soon it is joined
by other voices. still it rises above, and
weaves within, rising and falling
to the rhythm of my own beating heart.

oh, to be a bird, to sing with the sun's brilliant orchestra!

i listen, thrilled, to the starting of a day,
deep in the dark.


5:33 a.m.

all of it is for this; the newborn sky
rising ever so slightly in pink streaks.
for the symphony of hidden birds
crying out their daily lives in tree-tops.
for the silence which only nature has
a claim to.

the dew is cold against my bare,
house-bound feet. i don't care because
look! orange is peeking through the trees;
their many splotches of green brighten with
the day.

the first car passes, unbearable, unbidden,
but nature mends...

in a field of tender flowers || thank you!


for one who shall not wilt;
it's been so long and yet no time at all; when i'm with you
it feels like i'm at home. see even though we're different i
think you get what i mean. loving you is wrapping my arms around you
and holding you tight no matter what, no matter the storm or
the tears or the dark nights. can i be yours? see sometimes
we're stronger than blood. 
gosh there's too much to say and not enough words so please
let me show up at your house someday and hold you and cry
into your shoulder and laugh along with you please tell me
i can come around anytime to make you smile. i really
want to make you smile! so let me love you, my friend.
i love you.

for one who strengthens me, calms me, keeps me;
ever since i met you i was left breathless and now's no different
because you're...

(wo)manhood


//

Garlands of ivy leaves circle me;
against the grass my skin is pale and sweet
and woman-made. For although I am
no giver of life I bear witness to
the passing of childhood. I take from the moon
the cup of womanhood, and from it flows
the red life-wine of creation.
And it is mine, yet I do not claim it.
Through the cycles, the tides, in which the moon
lavishes silken drops upon my skin, I write and
fester within my mind; I am not, I scream,
not who I look to be.

//

 

for when you take my hand


do stars have souls? because
clearly something with that beauty
must not fear Morality: must not shatter
into shards far above the atmosphere.
must not stain the sky with india ink,
must not desire to carve their names onto
God's pillars.

yet still they fall; yet still I cross out line after line of what should have been poetry.
 

People we Aren't


I long to wander down
winding alleys and streets
    blanketed in Shadow,
clutching your hand and praying
that we'll get lost among
    the crumbling ivy, amid
    the graffiti-streaked bricks,
dancing along the Brink of the city.

I long to be breathlessly yours,
for your skin, for your smile.
    I long to hold no secrets

when you press your hand into mine
as a promise,
    of backstreets and yellow headlights
and Highways that don't lead
    anywhere at all.

I don't need anything but
    you, and a city to dance in,
and a Night to dream upon

.

My gosh, can't you see how I've fallen?

The Art of Specificity

the view from the hollow


inside the tree, there is a hollow. the hollow has been there for many years, and has done many jobs. it has been a handhold, a cup-board, a fairy house, a trash bin, a squirrel nest. next to it grows a branch, and wrapped around the branch is a jump rope. the hollow is swirled with bark, stained grey with the dismal weather.

inside the tree, there is a hollow. if one peered into the hollow, having balanced precariously on tip-toe to see, they would find an old braided rope bracelet, a couple of acorn caps, and a bit of tin from an old can, painted glittery pink. a bird lands on the branch next to the hollow, and pecks at the old jump rope, making the plastic handles sway. a squirrel scampers up the side of the tree and chases the bird away from the hollow. he doesn't try to fit his plump body inside; rather, he scratches at...

an afternoon watching the sky


i. her windows are dirty

it seems like such a mundane thing to notice, but
    the sun is sinking and the grime is catching the light
in the most peculiar way.

it's the sort of thing that could never be captured
    in a photograph -- and yet she has to try
        anyways.

she snaps a picture without looking;
    maybe it will teach her the art of carelessness.

ii. there is snow melting

at the edges of the yard. it sinks into the ground
    making her boot come up muddy. it sinks into her skin,
        making her heart come up marked

with brown-mud fingerprints pressed along the seams.
    she watches the little river along the side of the curb
where the snow has turned to water and runs

through the leaves, under the cloudy sky,
    rushing out into the world, no matter what
lies on the other...

train station


      -    endless    - 

we used to joke about getting on a train,
    riding the rails until we met the sea
        and she took us in;
remember our plan, hide out under the seats
until the conductor passed us by? we
    read stories of stowaways and dreamed
of being people we knew we would never be.


      -    the yellow brick road    -

the air smells like the sunrise as the sky
    (in the reflection of the dirty glass)
lightens to a dusty pink;
and ribboned through the ceiling is the sound
of an old loudspeaker
    *last train to a place far enough away
        that you can pretend to forget being here at all*
and out of the window train tracks stretch towards the horizon.
maybe you’re somewhere along the way;
    maybe you’re waiting at the end.


      -    boarding pass    -

since when did...

A morning with the sun


This morning when the sun rose,
[with dappled lights on the cherry blossoms 
and a touch as smooth as honey]
she seemed to smile at the sight of me
which sent my heart into thrills.

She lowered her head as the day
melted slowly into night, and i wept
to see her fade away so soon;
so soon.

Can I be beautiful like you?

Each night i look out at the world, 
and i see something to hide from;
veiled in the night, under the shadows
is something to be afraid of;
but

when the sun shows her face i decide
to be brave, i decide
to lift my arms and pray 
to the heavens,

let me be light, let me be light,
let me be light like you.

 

25 Words

Adulthood


    I told him, the stars in his eyes were cold. He laughed; "Fairy tales? Grow up."

    So I embraced the moonlight, mourning my own death.

Prayers Forgotten


i learned humility in the basement
    of my family's church,
surrounded by bright lights and 
    stained carpets
that seemed to define us as works in progress.

i listened to them pray.

somewhere between my throat and my lips
    the words got stuck; and all i could think was
this doesn't feel any more holy than usual,
    (am i doing something wrong?)


somehow i missed the point, and now
    i'm left with the words i didn't say;
prayers unspoken.

all of a sudden i'm a child again
    hands clasped and eyes closed,
learning how to pray,
    learning how to humble myself.

 

divinity | #januarygifting

i met a lady, once, a lady in the sky,
she was draped with clouds; pearly pinks and whites
and her smile, her smile, her smile was the sun. 
she showed me the moon, how the moon loves to dance,
and she brought me to a pool and showed me the rain
before it even dreamed of falling.

she spoke in poetry, she spoke to me, and
she told me of the most magical things - 
the breeze tossing the fronds of the willow tree,
frost collecting on the lilac buds, the undersides of leaves,
dewdrops dancing along the gossamer strands of a spider's web.
she smiled, she smiled, she smiled down at me, 
and like air flowing through my lungs,
i felt sure that i was where i was meant to be.

we tiptoed, we leapt, we danced among the clouds,
she wrapped us in mist and the sunrise painted our cheeks.
her hair was dark, decorated with lilies,...

Fairytale Memories


I heard our song today,
    and it brought back feelings that
        I’ve avoided for far too long.

Don’t worry, I’ve moved on - but
    there’s something about music that
        captures a moment you’ve longed
            to forget. You know, dear, how

it brings to mind happy memories of
    you and I, under the autumn sky, where
        dreams were but a cloud out of sight,
            and the future was far too bright
                to linger on for long.

How we’d quote the lines, hearts and minds unified, 
    the exhilaration I was filled with? I think it was
        beautiful. I won’t pretend otherwise.

I don’t regret a single thing, dear, but
    sometimes I miss those wonderful hours
        we spent; I look back on them fondly.
            And i hope you do, 

                        too.

January Grab Bag

rosalie, in bloom


you showed me what it was like, to
    let go and fall
        for someone with all your
            heart and soul; my
                first love was not an easy one.

on a clear day, you took my hand
    (you were beautiful but
        you forgot to smile). 
            your skirt blue as the sky, the clouds
                dancing high above.

you brought me high, and let me go,
    and left me broken (laying
        bleeding, on the floor).
            you were terribly wonderful, 
                my love, my love.

and you didn't shed a tear, no, not when
    when i was at my lowest; see
        how i mourned you
            even before you'd left.
                was i ever enough for your wanderlust heart?

how could I ever forget you, rosalie, my rosalie,
    you left me stranded,...

i don't need you (please stay)

                               1.

you don’t haunt me, anymore; the yellow pansies
    in my garden have forgotten your name, but
        not your touch. and somewhere in there,

i think there’s a metaphor for forgiveness. lost love
    tangles around my ankles like linen bedsheets,
        dreaming of you when i can’t help but lament
            the loss of everything i thought i cared for.

there’s more than you, i know, but
    i’m still picking my heart up off of the floor;
    let me be, let me be, let me be. don’t 
        linger out of sight any more.


                                2.

have you ever seen the moon, lingering in the morning’s blue sky?
    it holds on to its throne as long as it can, but
        finally, it fades away.

i’m in the stage of fading; letting go tastes like waking up
    after a bad dream.


                                3.

and it’s when i hear (our...

friendship application sent! pending review | inspired by Dmoral (FOOTNOTES)

Name: I guess it depends on who you want me to be
Age: Just old enough to act childish again
Birthday: Lost in the cold winter night

[ Cover Letter ]
Take a moment and look around - the beauty of life is inside of me. Isn't it wonderful? Isn't it a miracle?

[ Skills/Talents ]
I'm one of the few people who can see the world. I look at the stars and see constellations - not the ones they want me to see, but then again, I've never been one for fitting in. A love of life flourishes inside of my chest. Hang around long enough and maybe you'll feel it, too. 

[ Interests/Hobbies ]
Pouring my soul, like the rain, into words that dance lightly over emotions that hang heavy. Letting myself go and seeing where I end up. Feeling my voice and being proud of the fact that I love recklessly. I love to lose myself...

can i? | #januarygifting


hold my hand through the dark, don't
let me get too far away.
i'm a child at your mercy, and
you seem to be a guardian angel.

can i believe in you?

i feel you next to me - i hope that isn't weird -
you're with me. your words linger in me.
they resonate with something in my heart, and
something says it's meant to be. 
there's a light at the end of the tunnel, and
you're helping me see.

i want to walk along a beach with you,
let the waves crash over our feet,
and maybe then i'll find the meaning of poetry,
in friendship that runs deeper than the depths
of the sea.

can i believe in you?

understand me, please, understand who
i'm desperately longing to be. understand why
i need you so much - and understand how
i love you more than even that. 
we can be imperfect together, you and i,
maybe, just...

Writing Resolution

amen || where i want to be



look at me, look at me, look at who
i wanted to be - i'm so far away from her now.
standing in the dream-girl's place is a glass about
to break. but i mend myself, i
mend myself 
and maybe that means it'll be okay.
i lift my head to the moon and cry out
against the changing of the tides, yet
i can't seem to wait to shed my skin and
move on.
i want to free myself, i want to let go of fear
and feel your arms around me. i want to trust in
the power of the unknown.

the birds outside my window know; they know, i know
that silence is too fragile to be coveted for long
but my voice isn't the same as it once was - it's changed,
i've changed.
the sky begs to hear me again.
i'm learning, okay? and maybe that makes it okay.
my fingers dance over ivory...

Bread and Light

daydreams


somewhere in the silence, i close my eyes and release myself
into a world i long to linger within;

my feet touch down at the top of a hill, in a forest of golden leaves and
breeze tugging at my hair. i rush to the edge of the glade and meet him--
the fox who is always waiting for me. he knows me and i know him.

i talk to him, sometimes.

he doesn't talk back, but i know what he means. we wander through
the forest i have made. i've been here many times,
and he knows all my favorite haunts. he brings me on adventures, or
just lets me revel in the wonder of the woods. 

all around me is life, life that is perfect and light, light that is golden and
love, love that fills my heart and the space behind my eyelids.
i hear the birdsong and i feel the smooth rocks in my palm,
skipping...

“All Alive”

when i dream


i don't see your face when i dream of you--
rather, you appear next to me and i follow the curve of your body
up to where your face should be--but i can't imagine your beauty
and so you stay unnamed. yet when i linger with you, in the depths of my mind,
i feel so at home. you know me, somehow. i know you. you point to the stars;
see, you belong there, among the galaxies, and i admire the way you shine.
you feel like heaven against the soft earth, the smell of petrichor lingering
between our clasped hands.
and you don't say much--you don't have to. but when you speak i taste
the sunrise; your laugh feels like the way light hits the horizon before it touches us.

but reality has a different plan. you're silhouetted against the night; 
and for the first time i can't tell if you've turned your back to me
blood between...

yesterday's angel


yesterday i saw an angel
they were shorter than i expected, with
half-hooded eyes, chapped lips --
i bit my own as if you say, see, i'm like you too
they smelled like cigarettes and dust, they
had mottled purple bruises dancing across their skin --
they didn't smile. they said
"money's scarce, could you spare a few dollars?" they said
"sorry, excuse me, i didn't mean to-" they said
"it's not the days that are so hard, it's when they become years."
i saw something in their eyes that told me they knew
i couldn't do anything, i wouldn't do anything
they knew how i "wished i could help"
but they knew wishing never handed them a coat. and so
they nodded and swallowed when i looked away, unable
to lend any part of myself to save them. they said
"it's okay." they said "god bless". and all i could do
was hum a little "yes" before i walked...

i stepped into my mind #Decemberprompts3


i stepped into my mind. it looked dim, dark,
and the floorboards creaked. stepping between
the rafters, i coughed on the dusty air.
sunlight streamed through the small round windows, and
sent memories swirling through the air.
shelves of thoughts, images, and feelings,
stacked three or four boxes high,
clutter the walls and reach towards the ceiling. 
old clothes hang from the rafters, and
dreams pile up onto the floor.
i make my way to the window and open it wide, letting
the wind toss the curtains, letting the breeze
rustle through the pages of unwritten stories
the air smells like pine needles, and i close my eyes.
there's no sound but the birdsong, echoing from nowhere,
and stumbling notes of the piano song i learned
the sun is warm on my face as i stand in the small attic
lost in my mind, i'm transported back in time.

regret tastes like your lips #Decemberprompts2

i'm sorry for kissing you in my dreams
our love is bitter when masked with confusion and
the chaos of contact, the way my eyes stray to you
and how you don't seem to recognize me. someone once said
dreams are the fulfillment of a wish but i wasn't wishing for you to forget
how to love me. so i pull you closer, try to make you remember,
because maybe if i say the right things, maybe if i move in the right ways,
you'll come back to me. so i kissed you.
you tasted like grapefruit on my tongue,
sweet but sour on the edges of my throat
and i poured honey over your skin, dripping sweet and 
sticky with love [lust]. and it was no mistake that the sun
broke through the clouds as our lips touched, but
even dreaming couldn't make it feel real.
i romanticized our romance, turned our words into a poem ...

i learned to love the figure in the mirror


because when they're sad, they let the tears fall. and
that's never weak -- at least, that's what they tell others
and maybe they're starting to believe it, too.

because when their lips aren't chapped, i'm
proud of them. self-care never was their strength and
they're trying. and that's enough.

because their eyes smile when they see the way
their cheeks flush and their hair doesn't lay flat
they're finally beginning to see their own beauty

because they hold their head high and
aren't afraid of the world -- dreams don't come easy but
they've learned not to be afraid of the nightmares.

because they smile. and they've never been good at that before
but now their lips remember and maybe, just maybe, they think
it feels good to be happy.

because their heart pounds and their lungs draw in air and
their soul dances with an unexplained euphoria in who they are
and they dance right along with it
...

Pinky Promise

    She looked out at the forest, kicking her legs out to swing higher. The swing set creaked ominously, but the slightly rusted bars always held. Her limp, shoulder-length hair rushed back and forth as she swung, and her chubby hands gripped the chain. 

    Next to her, a young boy swung harder, trying to get higher than she was. His light brown hair tangled in the wind, but his eyes were full of wild happiness. He let go, soaring from the swing. The girl watched as he landed, stumbled, and got right back up.

    “I bet you can't jump farther!” he said, and she laughed. 

    Letting go of the chains, she pushed herself from her perch on the swing. For a moment, she was weightless, suspended in midair. Then she hit the ground. She fell, rolling onto her knees, but then bounced up.

    “I won!” she shouted to the sky. He wrinkled his nose and pushed her playfully. She returned...

The In-Between

    Her hair was fuchsia, and her eyes were a strange mix between yellow and green. She was tall—incredibly tall, and she carried herself with the confidence and elegance of a queen, stately and proud. She was Kattie's age—somewhere around 17—but she seemed so much older and mature. There was something majestic about her. Kattie had never seen anything like it.

    The girl sunk into the chair next to Kattie. She pulled out a flip phone, checked it, and sighed, putting it away again. There was no signal. Kattie knew there never would be, not here.

    Sitting next to her, the girl was the only color in the room. Her hair shone against the drab grey walls of the waiting room. She was wearing a leather jacket over a bright yellow shirt, ripped jeans, and checkered vans. It was a stark contrast to the rest of the room, and even Kattie, who was wearing what...

bury our secrets


and I shot the moon, that night,
as all the stars held each other, shattering the sky
as the silver sun shuddered against the whites of my eyes
and all I could see was how death was so quiet
softer than the beating of life in my chest
and the darkness rained down, bleeding
poetry upon the poet.

and I stole the stars, that night,
when the sunset faded from view and left me silhouetted
against the midnight sky, winter shivering under my skin
and no one was there to see me as the tears fell and struck
the fabric of the night—diamonds i refused
and my pulse still reminds me of the way we breathed
when we still had a reason to live.
handing off the edge of the galaxy I can see
the world fall down at my feet.

the only thing that remains is my heart and my soul and
the cherry blossom moonlit sky

she is strong


and her heart breaks when she hears sirens
because someone, somewhere, is hurting. and she feels their pain.
and the night knows her best, because it is into the night
that she pours her worries, her dreams and her secrets,
the desires of her heart that will not be spoken to the light.
when her eyes burn she runs from the tears, but
they always find her, staining her fingers and the mirror
she searches for herself within. and maybe she doesn't know, yet, 
just who she is -- but she holds her head high and
puts one foot in front of the other; this tightrope is her dance floor.
and when the world gets too loud, she gets quiet
finding peace in piano played from dusty CDs and
words escaping through the tip of her mechanical pencil.
and the world is fragile, she thinks, but also beautiful,
like a butterfly.

and she's not afraid to cry anymore.
she knows...

i'll forget you when the sun rises | footnotes


the tug and flow of breath in our lungs
balance of life and death, the universe swirling around us
and we are beautiful, we are beautiful
as the pulsating of our minds as one reaching
into the abyss of the space between the galaxies
ethereal fingers pulling at the edge of heaven
with eyes half-closed. and i don't want to lie
but the words on your lips threatens to erase all my truths
sleepwalking over stained glass, shards of what we've seen.
and i don't want to be alive, no, not if i can't find what it means
to live.

and in all the world your words are the first to reach me here
whispering against the frigid space under my ear
cold enough to burn against the surface of the sun
you trail your fingers along the bruises on my skin
and as i watch the moon grow dim, you look away and
take hold of my conscious and...

heartbeat


broken glass reminds me to breathe, how i only ever helped the ones who helped me
and i threw back my head and screamed.      i reach for the skies only to tear them apart at the seams,
letting the world fall flat at my feet, ethereal melodies falling offbeat.       and
it's my fault.      i break through the background, spread my ashes over the wounds that
pulled us apart so long ago.      and in the middle of it all, the afterglow of us
reminds me that it ended before it began, the crooked path that was our only plan
never quite got us out of the mess we're in.      you calmly remind me of all of my sins, skin-
deep, married to a fake grin, you were everything and then      i was in over my head.
tremble, waiting for the signal, voice cracks and you scream a little   ...

the lavender girl


she looks up at the pink clouds, dreaming about what heaven looks like--
golden gates and pearly steps leading to paradise. it breaks her heart to look around
at the world she's been given, all the violence and hate staining the hems red
seeping the seams of the earth in a deep magenta. it's much nicer in her head, where
the world is bathed in a light orange hue, full of flowers and life, dreams that refused to
come true anywhere else. she breathes it in and laughs, but still
reality tugs on her conscience, and she forgets to forget, tears splashing at her feet
staining the lemon-yellow happiness with a melancholic aftertaste
and the vibrant world dims. the grass fades to a sickly green, the sky turned the color of bleach
seeping life and light from her imagination as she looks around and sees
everything that can't be fixed. she hangs out of her window late at night, trying...

Under Grey Skies | Part 2


Paris, France - 1903

    Against the backdrop of the cloudy night, the warm glow of lights from the house almost made Darcy Voland forget his troubles. Dead grass crunched under his feet. The skeletons of tree branches reached to the black sky.
    Darcy locked the short, metal gate behind him, struggling with the latch for a moment as his trembling fingers slipped over the bolt. It wouldn't stop them, but maybe it would give him time.
    Before opening the door of the small house, he stopped. In his mind, he knew he was wasting precious time, but he just leaned up against the door, closed his eyes, and listened.

    The kitchen smelled of onion and spices, and the sound of playful laughter rang through the warm room. On the floor, two young boys were playing with small glass marbles, shooting them at each other, the table, and occasionally their mother's feet.
    “Boys, wash your hands and sit down to eat!”...

Under Grey Skies | Part 1


Paris, France - 1903

    The faint sound of music danced along the air, bringing to mind warmer days, but Jacqueline Cadieux shivered as the wind cut through her. She pulled her coat tighter, watching the sky. It was grey—it was always grey now.
    Across the street, a raggedy young boy was playing a small mouth organ, a black hat set on the street in front of him. Jacqueline fingered the five cent coin in her pocket and looked away, making sure not to cross the street until she was a safe distance away from the boy.
    Her chapped lips stung against the changing weather, November making way for the dismal chill of the winter. She lowered her head, trying to cover her neck with as much of her overcoat as possible. Her overcoat, which hung down to her knees, flapped back and forth with each gust of wind.
    She kept her head down, but her eyes flicked back and forth,...

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 ...

and again


against the black of night, the world looks so dirty and grey
a sickly off-white, speckled with dust and broken hearts,
there's no one left to save us. there's nothing left but the
nostalgia that lingers in the corners of dark rooms, among
the broken eggshells and cloths stained with the dusk.
yet somehow you still make me
raise my head to the sky. in the looming silence, your voice
echoes, the sun still rises.

so i wait for the mornings, breathlessly watching for
the first sign of a light that will lift me
from my fallen stance. i drape expectancy over
every discarded dream and fallen star, anticipation writhing
in my very veins. and as the sun brightens the very tops of the trees,
you take my hand and show me how hope never really dies
how only our bodies manage to stay hidden from the light
and even as the night falls, i hear you in my mind, ...

i've lost her but i still refuse to let her go


from a distance, i still recognize her, but when i move closer,
i don't recognize those lines around her eyes. her hair is streaked with so much grey
that i don't see the life it used to hold
and when i see her i'm only reminded of how she left,
how she shut us out, how she shut the doors behind her
and i still feel the deep grief of how it used to be
the life when we were kids and we didn't have to worry
and losing someone was saying goodbye for now
permanence was a dream, like the unicorns and fairies
we all pretended to be. but we grew up, and life has made its mark
and pulled her from my arms, ripping away the ideals
of the days when her house was mine, and her voice was
as familiar as the droning of the radio late at night,
trying not to fall asleep on the car...

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...

Why I Write

For when you ask me why I continue, how I can hold myself up after all this time.


I write to find myself and I write to lose myself.
I write to capture the pure beauty in life, the pure beauty in the simplicity of being alive.
I write because words are powerful, and I want to use that power to create something bigger than myself, bigger than any one of us.
I write because there is magic inside of me that is longing to come out.
I write to wander silently through shaded gardens, I write to touch the very stars above me.
I write to take the world in my hands, I write to feel the ache of love and loss and hope and everything in between.
I write because my heart is too big for just me to hold.
I write when I can't contain the happiness inside of me any longer, I write when the sadness fills my veins.
I write to bash the walls in, I write to explore and I write to...

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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

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

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...

“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...

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

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...

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...

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. ...