Sep 26

yesterday, from the perspective of tomorrow

after today, there'll 
be no tomorrow, so try to 
count the seconds that 
drain away 
ebbing through the cracks in your 
fingers. time is not 
gained, it's only lost, 
hold what you have tight until 
it's gone 
just hold on until you can't, like a 
knife you hold by the blade 
like igniting 
melting 
nothing and everything and it all 
opens up again, unseamed, 
purpose made perfect made 
question marks wrapped in 
russian dolls holding your 
secret in the hollow under 
the open mouth, 
until you learn how to keep 
violence behind your teeth. 
wake up. 
xenoliths do not belong to 
you. wake up. the 
zeroes turn into ones turn into today. 
Sep 22

constellation

and i'm counting out fallen stars in a jar 
to store the memories of when 
constellations were still in my grasp 
silver stories told in photons 
and if there's ever been a love letter 
a ghost story 
then it's the kind of map traced 
in the shape of these galaxies 
in the shape of your grandmother's mouth 
as she tells you again 
the kind of stories 
her own grandma 
told her 
about counting stars in a jar. 
 
Aug 08
poem challenge: Writing 2022

strawberry ice-cream

her mouth is pink 
and sweet with cream 
and she offers up her secrets to me 
the promise engraved 
in the curl of her 
little finger. 

the attic is dark at the witching hour 
we are alone, and hiding laughter 
in the sticky-strawberry of our 
palms, and she waves her spoon, 
says, i want to stay here forever, 
and you say, me too. 

it is dark, and we are alone, and 
tomorrow we might hate each other 
(we turn on ourselves so quickly) 
but for now we're sharing 
the last bowl of homemade ice-cream 
she hid because strawberry's my favorite 
and it is cold 
and it is 
sweet. 

i let her feed me another bite. 
Aug 08
poem challenge: Writing 2022

crossed-out

i am trying to 
speak 
i am trying to 
find the words 
that won't come 
out 
and they fill the underside 
of my skin, the otherside 
of a blank page, ink letters 
spiders 
crawling their ways 
through a web of crimson veins 
and the watercolors 
of my life 
are dyed in red. 

breathe. breathe. 
my lungs cannot bear this. 

oh, and what i would give 
to tear open my chest 
like an altar, a lamb 
for the slaughter 
so this thing trapped 
by the cage of my bones 
can finally 
scream 
Aug 07
poem challenge: Writing 2022

a poem under your skin

there is a poem in my sternum 
that won't shake loose, and 
its claws stick tight in my throat 
and i cannot breathe, i have never 
been able to breathe, i was born 
to drown. 

this poem is stuck behind my eyes 
throbbing with the force of 
saltwater and grief and 
the spiders skitter beneath 
my ribcage, asking to be 
free, what more can they want 
but to be free. 

i feel the poem in my teeth 
tongue licking red through 
my bitten lips and i have been told 
my whole life that anger is unseemly 
but this is more than that, this is 
rage 
sharp enough for any world 
and it's been a while 
since i've gotten to 
bite. 

a poem is cut into
the creases of my 
smile, and the bend 
in my bones, and cells 
no longer belonging 
to me, and
i am asking you
to cut me 
out. 
Aug 03
poem challenge: Writing 2022

to seven-year-old me

i hope that there can come a time 
where you can forgive me 
for all i have done 
to leave you behind 
because 
you weren't stupid, you know? 
and people might have hated you 
but you were happier 
than i ever could have been 
and you were braver 
and kinder 
and better, perhaps, 
in ways i've forgotten 
i could be 
and i remember you 
as a girl who was gentle with her brother 
who named the lizards hiding in her walls 
who loved hanging upside-down from the monkey bars 
unabashedly proud of things i'd be ashamed of 
and yes, you were selfish, and yes, you could sometimes 
be cruel 
and you didn't understand why people were so 
complicated 
but neither do i. 

i'm glad i was you. 
despite everything, 
i'm glad to have been 
me. 
Aug 01
poem challenge: Writing 2022

leave me alone

i keep the door closed 
to discourage visitors, see, 
i'm not lonely 
i just like being alone 
and people aren't all 
they're said to be 
so listen, maybe; 
can you just go away? 
please. 
please, i don't want you 
to stay. 
 
Jul 30
poem challenge: Writing 2022

growing-up; or, the funeral thereof

it might be nice to turn back time 
undo what i have 
wronged 
and just the chance 
for a second chance 
is all i've ever dreamed of 
since i looked at photos 
of the girl i used to be 
the girl that's dead 
the girl i killed 
the girl who haunts me and 
i don't know what she thinks 
i've become 
i don't know 
why she's still
here. 
 
Jul 30
poem challenge: Writing 2022

our birthright

this is your birthright: 
scientists are predicting the end of glaciers; 
a flood, like the kind the church pastor says, 
only there's no noah to provide deliverance
no God to assure you of a redemption. 

this is your birthright: 
your teacher advises the class to 
"get the hell out of dodge"
'cause they don't see any future left 
for the generation they've been paid to raise. 
your friends agree. american government, 
they say, is at the pinnacle of its downfall. 

this is your birthright: 
you have grown up in wildfires and blizzards and hurricanes 
in a world where a falling tree-branch can leave you an orphan 
in a life where a virus some people still claim is a hoax 
has left you robbed of a grandfather
you thought you still had time to know. 

this is your birthright: 
a world collapsing into itself 
and you, who they say must mend it, 
Jul 27
poem challenge: Writing 2022

atlas's lament

i think i am ready to set down this 
sky, because my shoulders are 
creaking like gears splitting and 
i have grown up in a box and a
box-shaped skeleton is not the 
right shape for my heart to take. 

the sky is too heavy for me. 
i admit that. here, i finally 
admit that, so will you take it 
away? please? 

the world collapses into itself 
like a black hole, or the childhood 
crumpled into paper, or my 
mother's stained-glass smile, 
and let it, i'd let it, just for one 
fucking moment to be nothing. 

please. 

please.

i am so tired. 

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