Sep 06
emily.hess's picture

The Planet and Her Colors

blue, and murky gray.

When I think about my planet
I think about her many colors,
I think about,
browns and yellows,
and reds and the rarity of purple.

And when I think about my planet I am afraid.

As I grow up
my colors become less vivid,
more industrial and smog
and polluted and black.

And when I think about my planet I am afraid.
I want to hold her in my hands and
show my future children the colors of the world,
I want to show them green and blue
and rainbows.

I want to show them that all their favorite colors were given to them from the Earth herself,
and I want to show them that they too can hold the planet in their hands.

When I think about my planet I am afraid,
because it is mine,
as well as yours, and hers, and unfortunately it is also his.
and we are far too often taking her
Jun 30
emily.hess's picture

2:47 AM

i cannot make my bed, 
i don't make my bed and i do not put away laundry
and i don't wash my hair and i don't check my email, 
i have a list of things i should be doing, 
i have a messy room, a disorganized closet and crowded desktop
and i am afraid. 

i am afraid to complete things i am completely capable of doing, 
like dusting and vacuuming,
or eating and drinking. 

if i finish the list i am afraid of the other one.

i cannot feel accompanied surrounded by people who care, 
i don't feel content and i do not let go of the idea of how perfect a person could be. 
i don't think rationally, or logically and i don't respond to texts, 
i have a list of things i should be doing, but am not completely capable of
like feeling full but not naseuous and being comfortable with silence. 

so i procrastinate. 

i avoid the simple in order to never acknowledge the impossible, 
Jun 23
emily.hess's picture


May 30
emily.hess's picture

When, Then

When you look at her in that hospital bed
When you listen to the heart monitor like it is your favorite song
When you quit your job to stay overnights
When the doctor tells you it may be weeks
When you discuss costs of medications and psych wards
You are going to be angry.

You are going to want to scream and yell and shout
To refuse the help and attention
To blame yourself
You will ask yourself, how could you ever have let it get this bad?

You are going to be angry with her.
You are gonna want.

To rip the I.V. out of her arms,
To arouse her out of that bed,
To erase the deep vertical lines marking both her arms,
You are going to wish you never met her.

You’re gonna think about how you never signed up to be caretaker,
A therapist, or anything else but a lover,
You’re gonna wanna run
Apr 30
emily.hess's picture

It Does Get Better

i'm glad i didn't die before i met you. 

sometimes i still think about it 

sometimes it still makes sense

but i remember that 

when it always made sense 

i then met you

and i realize how silly it is now. 

i'm glad i didn't die before i met you. 

because i think you needed to meet me 

as much as i needed to meet you

and there are more you's to meet 

more time to be had.

i'm glad i didn't die before i met you. 

i'm glad i'm gonna be here for a while. 

Apr 24
emily.hess's picture

Zoloft 100mg

i wish i could remind you that you are beautiful
because you are so beautiful 
so god damn beautiful 
but you don't hear me 
i'm not sure you can right now. 

i know you're going through a lot 
and that's okay 
i just wish you had left space for me-- 
to help. 

i try to leave reminders of me around the house 
i draw happy faces on sticky notes 
i paint wings on your eyes for you 
because you like the way it makes them look 

i make you food 
i make breakfast burritos and ramen noodles
sometimes i peel clemetimes for you
you usually leave them out

you do eat really funny
you always leave a bit of something on your plate 
as if to complete a meal
as if to feel full
would be wrong 

i wish i could force feed you. 

you're a strong person 
you're doing okay on your own and i'm admiring from a far 
Apr 24
poem 0 comments challenge: Nothing
emily.hess's picture

Visiting Hours

the cold clear window sits 
almost hanging in the air
heavy hearts
heavy heads
heavy eyes 
they try to stay awake
it's silent
it's dead silent 
there is no exchange
no exchange necessary 

a human, and the shell of one, 
stare blankly 
at a lost
for something
words? possibly
but possibly not 
it's silent 
it's deadly silence 
it will stay this way
they had nothing left to say to each other. 
Nov 15
emily.hess's picture

A Spoken History of 2000s Kids Relationship with Gun Violence

When I was eight, kids were afraid of the dark.

But when I was eleven I thought I wasn’t afraid of anything,
Then not even 1,000 miles from where I live more than 20 kids in an elementary school got shot,
So I started sleeping with the lights on.

By the time I was a freshman in highschool the word massacre was not uttered,
Without following yet another.
And when studying for freshman year finals,
A gay nightclub becomes a shooting range,
And the news scour like vultures picking at remains,
Gathering more statistics for USA Today and the Times to sink their talons into. 

So easy to type stories when all of your limbs, 
Have yet to be blown off. 

And there are so many stories to type. 

To type twisted, teeth-chattering, tremendously terrifying, tragic stories. 

But if you stand out in the cold long enough, you don't notice the goosebumps anymore.  
Sep 18
emily.hess's picture


i arranged the peas on the plate into the shape of a snowman,
but i did not eat them. 

because if i did i might feel full,
and to feel full reminds me of how you make me feel.

made me feel.

i do that a lot
it’s called avoidance,
instead of tackling the bull,
i run to the corner where it can not reach and wait for it to fall asleep.

i’m irritated that i was so naive
to what love could be.

i hate this shit.
it hurts.

no, hurts is an understatement. 
it hurts when you scrape your knee,
it hurts when your grandma dies in her sleep,
it hurts when you stop calling me,
no this felt like murder. 

and no matter how hard i scrub the blood stains won’t come out,
stains on the floor,
stains on the bed,
stains in my head.

i am so damn sick of feeling like your spoiled piece of meat.
Apr 14
emily.hess's picture

Broken Mirror

I didn’t want to look at something that determined me so completely,
I held a piece of jagged glass in my hands,
Ran my hands over the uneven sharp pieces,
As if the glass was my body,
My hands, his.

And I wished my body had made him bleed,
As the glass made my fingers drip blood,
But all the fragile piece of glass could do,
Was bend and twist,
Try to make itself appear jagged and untouchable,
Look like the things your mother would tell you not to play with,
She was always afraid you would hurt yourself.

I wonder if my eyes looked like his mother’s,
Wondered if his mother had ever felt so disembodied,
As her son dare make me.

I reached out to the mirror searching for anything that resembled me,
Resembled whole,
Resembled human,
And he was reaching out,
But he was not searching for me,
He was searching for flesh,
For warmth,
For blood.

To him,