Jan 26
poetry challenge: Teenager

After "How To Be a Person"

I wrote this for an assignment in my English class. We listened to a spoken word poem, "How To Be a Person" by Shane Koyczan, and the assignment was to write a 5-stanza poem inspired by it, about how we can be better people this year.

i. love simply. 
notice the little things —
the sweep of hair after a gentle tilt of the head, 
eye meeting eye in the midst of a thunderous crowd,
a hand’s sigh as it drops to the side. 
love does not have to be grand
or extravagant. 
learn to love people as they come. 

ii. welcome passion. 
do not let sentiment become an Achilles’ heel. 
feel freely, feel dramatically, feel painfully, and feel fully. 
let the world change your mind and let people hurt you;
scream and cry and shout if you need to.
you will be all the better for it.  

iii. be a poet. 
see the beauty in life
despite all its fractured pieces 
and learn to accept them. 
Jan 14

barcelona as the muse

the city is on your lips tonight
as you die in a feverish glory. 
the world is not yours for the taking: 
you are too young to be broken. 
i laugh and watch

as you rearrange your life in circles—
what are you today?
the poet, the madman, or the king?
i hope the bloodstains on the towel
remind you that you are not endless. 
i love the curve of your shoulder
and i love

how delicate the human body is.
Jan 03

Tarragona as the muse

I'm told to write what I know 
so here is what I know:
I was scared of the man on the train, the one
snorting lines between the cars.
I was scared he would lose his mind
walk out
and make a tear through my heart 
neither stitches nor therapy could heal
and I am terrified that I think that is believable 
that something like that could happen to me 
because why not
and I am terrified that something as simple
and stupid as a man 
has the power 
to send me back home 
in a box
and I hate that the country I live in
(the one I'm no longer proud to call myself
a citizen of)
has made me think it's entirely possible 
because when the man on the train
reached deep into his jacket
instead of looking out the window
at the Mediterranean coast 
I thought of what my next actions would be
if he pulled out a gun. 
Dec 04

Your death as poetry

you are not the poetry i’m used to. you are skin and bones and all the things i cannot say because i am too afraid to admit them. i am a coward: i did not say goodbye and i knew i would regret it. 

despite my greatest efforts your death was not poetry. it was messy and i panicked and now i have nothing to show for it. no words no memories. 

my greatest regret is not knowing you. (i thought i did.) but now words that never came out of your mouth remind me of you: almonds, blue skies, daisies, the color white. 

inevitably it all comes back to you. 
Oct 18

a love poem i want to forget

he takes photos of everything 
but i know he won’t go back and look at the ones of 
i feel stupid for hoping he will
because it’s been a year
and i still can’t get him out of my head. 

i miss him and i hate him and i love him. 
he doesn’t know me (and i don’t know him)
but i want to. 

he fell in love with another girl
and here i am;
waiting for something that isn’t coming
and i need to stop. 

the ancient egyptians believed the heart was the organ of thought. 
i wish i could pull mine out and be silent for once.
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
poetry challenge: Writing 2022

a lament (of the self)

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. 

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. 

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. 

Jul 04
poetry 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)

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 /

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. 

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

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 / 

Apr 16


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,
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, 
and all that we are is all that we are not.