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,
Apr 06
emily.hess's picture


You have these eyes I get lost in,
You have this smile that makes my knees shake,
And a laugh that I can only imagine sounds like angels,
You have this way of looking at me,
And making me feel like no one else exists,
You hold me and your arms feel like home,
You spin me into this intoxicating kiss,
And you leave my mouth dry for more,
You build me up so majestically high,
You make me feel like I am on cloud nine.

But the higher they are, the harder they fall,
Because lately I find no difference in your words,
And the dark whispers at midnight,
You have this way of looking at me,
Which makes me feel like a dirty puddle not even,
A stray dog would drink from,
And lately I am trapped in your eyes,
Because you are holding me captive in your gaze,
You’re smirk makes my knees shake,
And your laugh has become the hymns of fallen angels,
Your arms make me want to run away from home,
Mar 08
emily.hess's picture

Seashells *Warning: Mentions of drug abuse*

     They say if you hold a seashell up to your ear you can hear the ocean. Dad taught me that, our first family vacation, held a shell to my ear and said “listen.” I collected seashells after that, I listened to them when I needed to remember the ocean. Now, older I realised it wasn’t the ocean at all. The sound you hear is your own blood pumping through your head echoing off the shell. And that was all I heard when Dad died.
Mar 08
emily.hess's picture

I Wrote This in 2014 and It's Still Relevant

I wonder if I'll ever be noticed.                                    
    I wonder if I'll ever make a difference.                                                                                                                              
I wonder if I'm more than just one of billions and billions of people.                                                                                     
     I wonder if they would care.                                                                                                                                                                                            
  I wonder if I spoke up they would listen.                                                                                                                                    
I wonder if when I leave the Earth will people remember me.                                                                                                   
Feb 08
emily.hess's picture


My 6th grade science teacher was a quirky middle-aged man,
With a graying goatee,
And wore spectacles on the end of his nose,
Which drew attention to his worn down eyes.

And on his whiteboard,
He reserved a corner,
On which he counted down the days until he would retire,
The label above the drawn in 250 days, read Finally.

I thought maybe he just really hated his job.

Until one day he replaced the numbers with a question mark,
That same week I noticed he had lost the band on his ring finger,
But the word Finally remained.

Then no one seemed to think twice,
When he skipped school once,
And was absent the rest of the week.

And no one batted an eye when he strung himself high,
From his cheap chandelier.

And when the news had passed,
The next day in class,
He had circled the word Finally.
Jan 19
emily.hess's picture

Pessimistic Love

I don’t believe in fate that much,
Or a one true love,
And star-crossed lovers,
I don’t quite buy into happily ever after.

However I do believe in coincidence,
And circumstance,
Forced conversations,
And common interests.

Because we are all shaken up dice that fell somewhere on the globe,
And some of us happen to be lucky to find another near us,
Who also loves romantic comedies,
Or inspirational sports movies.

And at different capacities we all do enjoy people,
But all for different purposes,
Sometimes just to reproduce,
To fill a void a parent may have lacked,
Or for financial aid
Because everyone became interested in love,
Once it was about personal gain.

So when I ask you to stick around,
To listen to this record with me,
And you fall into my hands,
Consider the fact that,
They’re not usually held open.
Jan 19
emily.hess's picture

Lying Doesn't Exist, Only the Lack of Truth

“I promise I won’t hurt you.” You lied.
“I’m different than everyone else.” You mislead me.
“Baby I’m going to change.” You fibbed.
“You are the only one for me.” You dissimulated.
“It won’t happen again.” You feigned shamefulness.
“Do you ever think maybe it’s your fault?” You fabricated.
“I’m sorry.” You deceived me.

“You deserve better.” You wrote in the letter, the truth you could never bring yourself to say.

Hell yeah I do.
Jan 19
emily.hess's picture

Word Vomit

Worst mistake of my life.
As the one syllable word fell from my mouth,
Evaporated in the air between us,
I felt the sting in my chest.
Because in a world where No meant Maybe and Maybe meant Yes,
I forgot to leave room for not really.