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starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
cartographyyou mapped out every inch of my being & whispered:
when i leave you, i want the next set of hands
to know everywhere i've been.
i still fall asleep with my body curved into
the shapes your fingertips trailed across my skin.
there are paths of stars stained into my shoulders
and the constellations you crafted are still nameless.
i tingle at the ghost of your touch,
i am tangled in the web of worries
you wove into my lion's mane.
you are a saber-toothed regret,
a raindrop in the ocean of my imagination.
forgetting you is the hardest thing i've never done.
i will ache for you always.
forest firesmy signature scrawled across all
of your sentences like a stain of apologies:
i'm sorry for anchoring you to my hip
like a one-sided promise, like a flood of insincerity.
i'm sorry for collecting you like a well of wishes,
for whispering you into every crack in these walls.
i do not have the depth to tether our limbs
with the tautness of our smiles, but i will
balance you on the edges of my knees until
you slip away.
i have been kneeling with my arms outstretched
but the divinity of your touch
never graced my expectant stance.
our bones built forest fires together,
but it was always my tears putting them out.
02. nomad, nomadi set my good intentions down
for an impossible duration to
make myself sleep sounder.
i strip myself naked & rough;
my frail convictions flow out
like acid rain droplets
on the sill.
and i am not a breeze, but a sharp gust -
wind blown into an envelope like a
29-cent secret never meant to be kept
and you were not a mistake, but
destroyed yourself before
i was given the chance
to undoubtedly do the same.
what does it mean to lie in someone's wake?
to be in the ever-presence of another human,
to feel breath short and isolated against an empty chest?
you showed me patience,
but never how to recognize hopelessness
when you stretched it like a glove,
testing my hand at tolerance.
i march across Chicago
from bus stop to bus stop
attempting to prove resilience.
i am fooling no one.
i wish i was colorblind
so i could experience you in black & white.
admire your ink-stroke eyelashes like artwork,
read your cracked-skin palms as if they were poetry,
scars are more than upside down smilesto put the parallel lines decorating my wrists
like outdated wallpaper to use, i would peel
the scar tissue like the rind of a blood orange,
link the massacred pieces of myself into a chain,
and then throw it 300 miles right to the foot of your bed.
if there was a way to shift cities and collide hemispheres
until the stretch of miles between our aching bodies tightened,
i would do whatever it takes to bring you closer to me.
i would show up on your doorstep like an unexpected hurricane
and you would draw me in like a high tide. your porch light would
flicker like a fake smile and we would twist ourselves into foreign
tongues in each other’s mouths.
sometimes, our teeth rot in mason jars that used
to house fireflies in a time before we began this
downward spiral of inevitable events, and
you collected a basket full of skinned knees and
repeated apologies when you extinguished all of
my house fires with your bare hands.
my worn heart cannot fill the holes in yours.
what to do when he doesn't say it backa)
you will give all of yourself to a boy who won't know you at all.
he will recycle your parts, make you stationary, bind you into
paper that he will gift back so you can write poetry about him.
you, too, say i love you quickly.
when he doesn't say it back, evaporate.
he will kiss you in places you didn't know existed.
until him, you were a peasant in your body's palace.
he crowned you princess, broke the lock of your castle's gates.
when he doesn't say it back, load your cannons.
you are a fountain pen.
look him in the eye when you write him letters on your skin.
when he asks to read them, surrender.
you have always been this way: too eager
to make wildflowers bloom inside of him.
when he doesn't say it back, trim the stems.
when he tells you that your eyes remind him of tree bark,
show him that your gaze is sturdier than nature's limbs.
without breaking eye contact, slowly back him into a wall.
when he expresses discomfort,
ask if he knows what choking is like.
breaking clockswhen the desire to disembody arises,
do not wipe the sweat from your forehead.
cut your fingernails with a sharp tongue
until they bleed. do not launder your bed
sheets, do not dust off your insecurities.
& everything else.
make an excuse to visit the cemetery;
try and fail to put to rest the festering
that has become you.
hammer the nail so deep into the coffin
that you can hear your late grandfather’s
welding tools mold metal abstractly.
gargle salt water and then spit at the mirror.
tell yourself this will be the last time you caress cursed skin.
tell yourself you never saw him leaving.
call yourself a liar.
resist collapsing like a purposeless mess.
give in like everything else.
pull yourself together for the time being,
then break all the clocks.
swimming in spacelet's ask the stars to build us a castle
so we can rest our shoulders like royalty -
put the weight of all these words
for a few millennia
and just breathe.
our lungs could use a few hits of truth
to open themselves up to the calming hymns of the heavens;
breaking ourselves apart shouldn't be too difficult.
(our wrists mean war - forests of insecurities & impatience)
wait a few more months
for distance to build itself a bridge between our arms,
saturn is stretching its rings across your chest,
deeming you responsible for all the black holes
and stray planets enveloped in the universe.
i went swimming in your blood stream,
no diver came in after me.
i dreamt that i was drowning in your veins,
the chill of september's rains still haunts my bones
from time to time.
colors without names flash before my eyes
making themselves a mantra of sins under my skin.
we lifted our heads in unison and crafted a tragedy
from all these mistakes.
the riverbed & jesu
water stainsmy father's silhouette painted on
the canvas of waves
assures me that
water stains are not permanent.
darkened fabric means nothing more than
the fruit of possibility spoiling on countertops.
i ask grown men for more answers
than there are chandeliers
in my parents' abandoned mansion.
the creases of my grandmother's forehead
skitter over concern and
land on laugh lines.
i've always been a clever joker,
spreading lips like a contagion.
they could never catch me;
my intoxicating serpent
slithering through sidewalk cracks
breaking backs as children do.
my limbs may have expanded,
but i am just a hot air balloon.
if there is anything
pavements & dark rooms have taught me,
it is that
broken means i'll be okay again.
a lover's observations.when you asked me to define love,
i answered with this.
i. a collection of sighs
by remembered dreams
and rapid heartbeats
ii. fingertips on knuckles
and the hugging of thumbs
iii. making silverware
on the mattress
in the company of the stars
iv. exchanging dialogue
with our mouths shut
and our eyes open
v. cheekbones and crow's feet
vi. turning every what if
into a reality
when i asked you to describe love,
you took the answer from my mouth
with your lips.
you need to have a plan...so here's to
to some forgotten shore.
2. fall desperately in love with
i. the ocean
ii. the sky
iii. the honey sunrise and
iv. the steelgray winter dawn.
soul-deep into the water and
4a. search out the requisite words
i. from behind white and blue curtains
ii. and underneath clam shells
iii. and in the wakes of fishing boats, and
4b. pluck them from the ceaseless
scrawls of sunlight
against the slopes of waves.
5. make time for
ii. and other
In Between the Living and the UndeadElijah set the camera between the branches with trembling hands. His fever had spiked so much he could feel the sweat pouring off his body, drenching him from head to toe. He welcomed the cool mountain breeze as it blew over his ashen face. Once the camera became situated he hit the record button and began.
“Hello,” he spoke wearily. Elijah barely got the first word out before he began coughing violently. When the choking fit ended he could see his own hand was stained with blood. Elijah wiped it on his already stained jeans and continued.
“My name is Elijah. I am a member of a small band of survivors who are attempting to reach the military base in Vancouver. We have little food or shelter and our morale is low. Yet, by some miracle or just blind luck we’ve managed to encounter no hoards since reaching the Appalachia.”
He paused for a moment, biting his dry lip and contemplated. Then he added, “Before the epidemic, I was a scientist working for the
emptier than my lungsall of my sadness
is in the cool ceramic curve
of this jade-colored bowl,
where a terrified question lies still.
pretty little poet fingersfabricated gods rest between the
languid crevices of
her fingertips, scribbling profanities
all over her skin.
she's just mismatched bones
& blue bruises, telling of forbidden
love through archaic letters.
a tongue made for
wanderlust, & eyes made
for the stars,
even the devil fears her.
field notesi read some poetry
just for the sound--for the words lilting up and down
and the thick, honeysepia
polaroids unmisting in my head.
those are the poems i never understand
and the only conclusion i can draw is:
there is apparently
some supernova poetic awakening that comes
with the loss of virginity
and basically i need to get laid.
Depression.To be depressed is
to carry every unwashed thing
in your life in your
The dishes you
couldn't clean pile
up with your innards,
jostling for space
amongst the lungs you've
smoked black and the
heart you've loved
Your unwashed sheets
hang around your shoulders,
gathering dead skin cells and
catching hair you habitually
tear from your skull, a
nervous twitch you never
You wake up one morning
and find that your hands are
still stained with dirt
from that time you buried
your lover in the backyard,
wanting to let go
but discovering that letting
go feels a lot like
giving up and
you're not ready for
but you will be.
coffee talkthey speak in the
rattle of coffee cups—
sea bent lungs await the press
of the espresso crave lips
as taste fills curling limbs
MEi. I fell in love with a girl who catalogued darkness,
sat in her room with the blinds closed and wrote down
187 ways it felt
in all of the different times she couldn't see.
My name was one of them,
#143, ash velvet, and I didn't know what she meant at the time
but the only description she wrote beneath it
was good night for stuffed animals
bad night for worn pillows.
And I'm sorry I made you dream of the rivers.
ii. I fell in love with a girl who never looked in the mirror
but dressed to perfection, somehow
in her blue skirt and black socks
white tennis shoes
and a smile crooked as the bottom side of Indiana
yeah, I fell in love with a girl
who could never quite get it straight but hey,
I've never been 100% straight either,
and the one corkscrew curl you have
opens me up like fine wine
each time I see you smile in that cracked bathroom mirror.
Makes me half-drunk,
iii. I fell in love with a girl who was depressed by Paris,
but loved Italy beca
ashthe first time i looked into your eyes
was one year after meeting you.
my toes barely dipped into the pond
of blue before i realized there wasn't
much to swim to.
i fooled myself long ago into thinking that
if i was ever brave enough, i could plunge
into your endless depths and bathe in purity.
soak up your little-boy grins and weave laughter
with you, creating the most infinite soundtrack.
but when our irises finally connected,
i felt the make-believe ropes i had looped
through your fingers snap like convictions
too heavy to maintain.
it was the first time in a while
that i had a name for the reason
i was broken.
i shook in a rhythm so violent
our bones couldn't dance to it.
instead, they cracked in half
and crumbled to ash; remains
of what we never were.
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