Apr 16

(untitled)

clockwork orange
and the haunted house creaks with a thought.
the stench of silence is imminent (prominent).
look at the truth—
do you like the way it twists and ripples?

you are but a labyrinth 
(i contain multitudes
and we are but dark
come/brought (hither)
to light 

where our hearts beat in a cracked unison
in the epiphany of all that we are
(that which is bold,
reckless,
beautiful)
bones and flesh come together to create

something that is not brittle—
not just the present being
but the present living
(and breaking
and dying)
because we are
     (bold, reckless, 
beautiful)
and all that we are is all that we are not.
Mar 20
poem challenge: Eventually

her

1.
it started with silence,
then a baby’s wails
and a mother’s happy tears.

2.
she was six years old
when the war started. 
her parents silently cursed 
the red 
under their breath. 
her uncle did it less quietly. 

3.
he disappeared a year later,
after he’d sent a letter to the authorities.
he’d asked if they would consider 
not sending the general’s children
to their tiny town. 
no one saw him again.

4.
she didn’t remember the first time
she saw a daisy. 
but she gathered a handful to take back to
her room, 
so she could look back on beauty
and see that it 
does
last. 

5.
she walked to school
under the light shade of trees. 
planes flew overhead, 
and she couldn’t remember what life had been 
like before. 

6.
her brother was tricked
into leaving. 

(he came back,
Jan 22

A chipping green bench

sometimes I grope for words
and laugh at myself afterwards. 
(because I’m supposed to be a writer, aren’t I?)
other times, I sit on the chipping green bench
and pretend to stare at the birds
while I tap
tap tap
inside my head and live a different life. 
I let words and colors drench me
(chrysanthemum, holly, periwinkle)
as I suffocate under the rules. 

because I am not uniform—
I am the beads that fall from a loose necklace,
a swarm of thoughts and starry nights,
the weeds that grow under your house and up 
your walls. 

how do you tell someone 
that you dream because you want to escape?
because this little, broken world is not enough,
and we’ve already begun to burn.
 
Jan 08

Kranz aus Gänseblümchen (Daisy Crown)

Note: this is a story I wrote a while ago, 5 months after my grandmother passed away. It's fictional, but some of the things mentioned (like the farm in Germany with a chicken coop and cherry trees, and the numerous things the main character says she misses) are all true. Also, I don't really know German, so I did use the internet for the title and the "Bist du bereit" in the story—I'm sorry in advance for any mistakes. 

The cherry orchard spread out before us, juniper green and crimson red. The sky was cloudless, sprawling, and a light breeze washed over the trees. There were green hills far off in the distance and they seemed to roll over in a noiseless sleep. 
  I imagined my grandmother standing next to me, clutching an empty wicker basket identical to the one I was holding. She looked down at me and smiled, her short brown hair rustling in the wind. 
  “Bist du bereit?” she asked in German. “Are you ready?” 
Jan 08

of it all

we are not beautiful for our skin and faces—
we are beautiful for our bones and minds,
brittle they can be.

soap suds run down my fingers. 
we are nothing, yet 
everything
at all. 

i hope he sees me—
the boy with corn-gold hair. 
because i am not nothing; 
i am everything at all. 

people often think that because 
i’m quiet, i see nothing. 
but that’s not true. 
i see the world
when most ignore it. 

there was a woman taking down the flag
because she couldn’t bear to look at it
after what has gone completely wrong. 
i heard a boy whispering to another
about the girl he loves. 
i heard the fear in her voice
as she struggled to think of the students in her
first period class.
the boy glued to his phone,
the girl getting her hair braided after school,
the soup he makes after a long day,
Dec 17

the girl who plays ukulele

you watched me cry,
seeds running in narrow
rivulets down my cheeks. 
we are swollen
like bright pearls scraping along the edge of a  
                  shell;
we are beautiful. 
my little wooden heart 
molds with wet, 
and when you take a step—
it creaks.
my tiny mind, you say, 
my tiny mind is filled with the world,
so be good, do good, you say,
and please, little mind, be dutiful. 
i almost forgot
                                                    (but then i didn’t)
to say goodnight to 
the wilting peonies outside my window. 
she is the girl who plays ukulele,
dancing in empty halls
and wearing dresses of yellow. 
we dance out in the rain
                           (as we laugh and cry and die)
because we are only human.
Dec 04

Typewriters, literature, and wildflowers

He makes tea when he tries to have 
conversations with himself. They never
end the way he wants them to. 
Instead he leaves the world
for crinkling leather books,
tries to draw in coffee-stained notebooks. 

I don’t think he knows that there are other 
people like him,
who love the sound of clicking typewriters,
who sit in cafés to listen to rain,
who spend hours in libraries and bookstores
just because they love the feel
of literature. 

I don’t think I know that there are other people
like me,
people who read poetry to feel something
and love and live and die,
people who press wildflowers 
into the pages of books
because then they can look back
on beauty
and see that it
does
last.
Oct 23

Autumn

I met him inside a library 
on a rainy day in May. 
He wore all black
and was reading one of the classics. 
He reminded me of autumn —
brisk, cool, 
mysterious. 
His room, I imagined,
was filled with stacks of 
leather-bound books,
and candles were scattered all around. 

(but we always imagine the impossible.)

He wrote poetry,
the kind that makes you want to
draw all the curtains
and curl up in your bed. 
He also played the guitar
(sometimes)
but never wanted to
in front of me. 
He wrote songs about his little brother,
who died a few years ago.

He was hurt and I was lost,
so we struggled through together. 
He wrote letters to himself

so I wrote letters to him.
Sep 25

Tangerines

i.
roses and roses,
that’s all you see. 
you laugh at the way
the moon rises —
so romantically. 
letters and 
sweaters,
dreams and 
cloudy streams. 
you look like the sunrise —
you look like the sea. 

ii.
i lost you 
on a sunny day. 
the clouds parted,
and you flew away. 
floors of daisies
and handfuls of almonds
are all you left 
behind. 

iii. 
leather books on shelves
keep me company. 
a caged bird is singing,
begging to be free. 
but i don’t think about 
all that i’ve missed. 
instead i stack jars
of honey against the 
walls of my room.

iv.
he gave me
a basket of tangerines. 
we laughed 
(and i cried)
until he said goodbye.  
but i wrote my
way out. 

v.
i don’t think i miss
baskets of tangerines
or old, wrinkled maps
of the world. 
Sep 09

golden (moldering)

Note: I kind of forced myself to write this poem, because I've been super busy with school starting and homework, and I haven't been able to write as much as I want to. 

i’m in love with the moon
and the stars
(holes in a 
cardboard box). 
you bleed and break in my arms,
and run away when it’s all over. 
i hope you’re happy—i hope you’re satisfied. 

because i’m
certainly
(not)
happy. i’m 
satisfied with my 
(fragmented)
heart and my 
(shaking)
golden hands. 

my golden hands,
my golden lungs,
my golden (melting)
heart. 

you’re supposed 
to tell me
that i’m not alone. 

the blue house on the hill
where you (we) used to play
is empty now. 
the floors are covered with 
(wilting)
daisies. 
it’s beautiful, but it doesn’t remind me of
(missing)
(decaying)
(moldering)

Pages