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)
Aug 25
poem challenge: Red

Reddening

you got a sunburn on 
the first day of grade school. 
strawberry juice ran down 
our sticky fingers, 
our ruby eyes blindfolded. 
we were endless then. 

you traveled to scarlet, rocky mountains
the summer before middle school. 
velvet sails of ships went with you,
leaving only rugged waves
and the stems of roses behind. 

you gave me red m&ms
on the first day of high school. 
we watched vermilion sunrises
and mushrooms grow
as you braided holly
into my hair. 
we only worried about 
our bleeding pens—
our hearts were far enough away.
Aug 19

My heart

i. 
my words only come out in
sudden fits of passion,
and then they’re
gone
again. 

ii. 
gone:
maybe i know the feeling too well—
my empty chest beats silently
ever since the sun rose. 
i cry because it feels good
to wash away all the feelings. 
but crying is like rain. 
it just moves all the water to another
deeper
spot. 

iii. 
i don’t know how to put my feelings
into words. 
i’m a broken poet.
(but aren’t we all?)

iv. 
she reminds me of almonds
and yarn
and grapes
and scarves
and white houses that look like hospitals. 

v. 
i hate that i’m a girl
with only one grandmother. 
i hate that i feel like something’s missing—
like something’s always going to be missing. 

vi.
what am i without my heart?
Aug 02
poem challenge: Love Poem

Rain

Today is a day for
soup and 
put-your-hood-up-when-you-go-outside,
for English accents and cups of tea. 
It's a day for
wet roads 
and grey skies.

The little girl who lives next door 
hides under a pile of squash 
in her front yard. 
She's wearing a red rain jacket
and crying.
her dirty blonde hair drips in rags
beside her face,
cheeks red from the cold.
Next to her is a muddy teddy bear
with buttons for eyes 
and a matted brown coat.

The first memory she has of her father
is picking mulberries by a creek.
He gave her the muddy teddy bear.
Rain reminds her of him,
so she stays outside while the thunder booms
and cries because she loves

(loved)
him.
Jul 20
poem challenge: Watermelon

lavender and rosemary

long forgotten childhoods 
buried in cricket-chirping nights
come out in my dreams. 
beneath the rose and strawberry bushes
lie the rinds of half-eaten watermelon slices. 
foggy windows follow summer thunderstorms,
and i pretend that i can taste the cold drops
from within these wooden walls. 
leather-bound fairy tale books
and yellow fairy lights
flutter around my feather-drowned bedroom. 
for a moment i’m lost in the woods,
aspen trees dancing around.
taunting. 
i scream and it’s gone. 
then i fall into a gurgling river,
and while i’m under
i can see a child skipping stones
above me. 
they sink into my hands
and so i
skip them 
underwater. 
(they don’t go very far, 
although they leave a trail of bubbles behind)
after i float back to the shore,
i dry myself by walking along the river. 
i return home
with dirt and tears splattering my face. 
Jul 18
poem challenge: Freedom

a mountain town

the creaking of the car 
reminds me of snow-trodden
highways
and wind that burns your face.
log cabins 
and grey lakes
are too bittersweet 
for my taste.
towering pine trees
and crackling fires
grow from my empty thoughts

though i don't want them to.

dusty valleys 
and jagged mountains. 
there can never be enough
shallow lakes 
circled by green reeds,
which dogs can trample
in an instant. 

the sky can be clear and blue

but then the first wave 
of black clouds rolls over,
only sprinkling a few drops. 

and then they’re gone. 

did you know that towns can be filled with
stories?
there's the man who plays piano
at the old italian restaurant,
who always wears brown suits 
and a bowler hat. 
there's the war veteran 
who has a small dog
and takes it with him 
to the town square.
Jul 02

a tired man, a dreaming man, a broken man

burnt toast wakes him up in the morning,
cold cups of coffee
and a yelping dog. 
half-smoked cigarettes
litter his tables,
flannel shirts and dirty socks
covering the wood floor. 

he doesn’t mind. 

he’s a tired man,
a dreaming man,
a broken man. 

spiderwebs are his only company—
even his dog scratches the door
to get away. 

he doesn’t mind. 

he shaves his beard 
because he likes the feel of stubble
and the smell of the cream. 
his mugs are all chipped
and his shoes are rat-bitten.

he doesn’t mind. 

his eyes are always bloodshot
and swollen.

he’s a tired man;
sleepless nights crowd his thoughts,
memories crowd his mind. 
and he lets them. 

he’s a dreaming man; 
he watches the squirrels
as they race up tree trunks. 
he watches sunrises and sunsets.

he’s a broken man;
Jun 30

Yellow

I’ve never written sidewalk poetry,
but I want bouquets to arrive on my doorstep
and wonder who they're from. 

I want to meet my first love in an old bookstore
that’s being driven into the ground
by its owners. 

I want my heart to be broken,
and I want to build myself back up from it. 

I want to live in a house by a lake,
with a flower garden that is surrounded
by rickety metal fences—
because that’s just so poetic, 
isn’t it?

(and what about life isn’t poetic?)

The house will have a bright yellow door,
because yellow isn’t appreciated enough. 

I want all my journals to have tattered, water-stained
yellowing 
pages (like my papery skin),
to be filled with scrawled writing
for my grandchildren and children
to sort through 
after I’m gone.  

Sunsets remind me of death,
so I should board up all my windows
Jun 25

Another (Broken) Dreamer

He drowns his plants
when he's bored,
but regrets it
when they die.
His house is like a
museum—
statues and sewn tapestries
all over. 
He imagines he's 
in the British countryside,
with his cottage of a house
and brick fireplace. 
He misses his past, 
when he would wear
bright yellow shorts
and buy candy
for 20 cents apiece. 
And so he plants daisies 
underneath all his windows,
he borrows copies of old books
that he’ll never return. 
The lamp shades in his house
look like stained glass. 
His dreams haunt him
and he can’t find it in him
to open his boxes 
filled with dust bunnies. 
He’s afraid they’ll all hop away. 
He shoves empty photo albums
underneath his bed
because he wants to see 
all the memories
in his sleep. 
The carpets in his house
climb up the walls,
hidden behind furniture. 

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