Sep 09

September 3rd

i got stung by a bee today & cursed in front of my grandpa. my finger swelled up to twice its normal size & i think my heart did too. i tossed the bee to the ground & stomped on it. i saw it twitching at its end. my heart broke.

/

i drank coffee from a rose-colored teacup today & wrote a letter in spanish. i tried to say everything i couldn’t but ended up throwing it away. 

my room glowed a soft purple today. my eyes shelved it into red & blue—i don’t think i’ll see it the same again. 

/

i thought about death today & i thought about her. it’s hard not to. i tried to distance myself from the memory of the oxygen mask & the empty almond eyes but somehow it always comes back. the hospital bed, the geese, the apple sauce, the white walls. the broken language & broken lungs. 
Aug 10
poem challenge: Writing 2022

a lament (of the self)

i.
you tucked your feet underneath yourself when you left. i never thought you'd be one to succumb, but faces warp over time. so instead i tried to starve your pain by avoiding it in my letters. (were they coherent? i have a habit of delving into frenzies of wild ramblings of nothingness when i'm nervous.) i knew i wouldn't be the one to pull you up but still i hacked at the weeds and thought i could be a miracle. 

ii.
i think the truth is that i don't believe in myself enough. i tie my hair up and hate myself for it, i become a different person and admire myself for it. i've learned to cave in on myself (to hide inside the weeds) and tell myself that i'll come out stronger on the other side. 

iii.
maybe i am not all that i want to be: a dreamer / a realist, a poet / an animal, a seafarer / a land-farer, a lover / the loved. 

iv. 
Jul 04
poem challenge: Writing 2022

A Greek Tragedy

There’s a subconscious genius etched in the curve of your shoulder blade. (Polyphemus spitting, weeping, cursing to the sky.) Blood is blossoming from your bones and you are opulent in the husky periwinkle night. (Watch as Achilles drags a body through the mud.) Would you do the same? I watch the way you grasp flowers, I watch the way you bend over your heart and twist yourself back into shape. (Aphrodite was wrong this time.)
May 23

olive trees (with hands)

i.
the government has no right to shove their hands down my throat / & pull out my bloody beating heart / as they dress themselves in white / & pretend they're planting olive trees in our soil /

ii.
would you deny someone the right / to talk / to drink / to eat / to walk / to run / ? / then do not tell me what i can & can not do with my body. 

iii.
you cannot force someone / to donate blood or a kidney / so how / how / can you force someone to give birth

iv.
i found a typewriter on the street today / & then a fountain pen / & then a pencil, a little farther away / & i eventually found / stone. / is this the way we're going? / backwards until / we're reduced to / 

v.
nothing.
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.

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