Seventeen (In Phases)1.
It was because her parents had named her for the grandmother who had broken her mother’s heart. The grandmother whose heart was supposed to have melted from her birth and hadn’t.
That was why her mother barely looked at her. That was why she called her ‘girl’.
That was why she liked to pretend she was the quiet woman in the background of an old black and white movie. Because everything here was like an old black and white movie.
[And if she really looked back, her mother had never appreciated the elegance of the 1950s enough.]
It was because she hated surprises. The surprise she got on her sixth birthday when her father left taught her just how a single person had the ability of taking your soul, splitting it in two and wearing it on their breast pocket like a white carnation waiting to die.
That was why when she lifted a book, she looked at the last page first.
That was why her namelessness had become a comfort to her.
That was why sh
You call it Judgement, We call it SinEmily needs the words to understand that she isn't being unreasonable. She just wants them to mean something and not be a string of words which flows into itself over and over again.You call it Judgement, We call it Sin2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She doesn't like her name either. Not because Emily isn't a pretty name but because she would rather be called something she feels like. (She has never quite forgiven her parents for choosing her name for her.) If she could, she would call herself Glass, because that is what she wakes up feeling like every morning. As if crystallised pieces of glass are edible and her insides tingle as she swallows them whole.
Emily lets the words call her names sometimes. She writes them on her knees so that she can remember them. Sometimes the words call her a whore, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes a loser and sometimes a tramp (She has never learnt that loving too much is a crime and boys with pretty eyes sometimes lie.). She sits in the bathroom with a pen the colour of blood and writes them carefully
Bones"There are good days and there are bad days," you would say to me as you would try and explain away why the whiskey bottle was empty again this morning, why you smelled like her and why you thought it was best to let me know what you had done. At least that way, you were absolved of the gift of lying; the one your bones were too light to lift and just couldn't take, by bestowing me with betrayal.Bones2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
My mother would bring me an encouraging cup of tea in a giant pink mug instead of a cup and explain, "There are good days and there are bad days." Her eyes were always full of positive energy and strength and good will. I look back to those days and try and gain the strength she had in her bones from her words. I always fail.
They told me I had a disease within my bones. It started from the bottom of my knee and was moving upwards. Because that is what bones did. They broke from the inside out. "There will be good days and bad days," they warned me. I knew at that very point that it was going
Crayon SoulmatesDear Stars,Crayon Soulmates2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have a bone to pick with you. You see, when I was six, I called myself the nowhere girl... and I coloured myself a soulmate. I made him on crumpled sheets, with broken pieces of crayon, on a playground that was too busy wondering whether growing up entailed stealing your mother's cigarettes and your father's dirty magazines (I suppose I was already wise enough to know that growing up meant choosing one of the many ways of breaking yourself in two.)
I hope you remember him, stars...he was important to me (My mother threw that drawing away on my seventh birthday and told me that girls are not supposed to have such dreams.).
He had hair as ebony as deep onyx and a smile that never grew up (Peter Pan would have been proud). He was magic in soul form, and smelled like cinnamon and the earth after it has rained. His eyes rivaled a lions on the best of his youth, his words were story shaped. His skin was an ink coloured canvas of wonder and even in crayon he was a sight of awe.
UndeservedI don't deserve to be an artist.Undeserved2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I don't know how to hold deep meaningful conversations with strangers.
I don't lament at night about a lover I have lost.
I don't watch the white smoke ebb into darkness.
I don't spend lonely nights admiring the true beauty of the world.
I don't sleep restlessly from the truth of suffering within this world.
I don't lie through my smiles or struggle to create them.
But I do think I am a writer.
I am completely, irreparably damaged.
I cry all night over old words and emotional baggage.
I weep over my lost innocence.
I spend nights wishing for skin against my own
I long for insomnia to inspire me.
I beg for worlds to collide so I can breathe.
So am I writer really?
Or just another misguided artist?
Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.Teaching Summer to Breathe1 year ago in Emotional More Like This
You taught me how to drink that night.
(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)
Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)
You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.
Astrologically Challenged“We need to ta- what are you looking at?”Astrologically Challenged1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
"Oh...but I thought you didn't like them."
“Actually, I hate horoscopes. They lie every single damned time.”
“Not to me they don’t.”
“Sure. You were saying something.”
“We need to break up.”
“I fell in love with you before you were the boy who sang about my problems in your songs, and before you tried to evolve me into your version of a better me and before I saw how you treated your neighbour’s dog and before I knew how much you believed in horoscopes.”
“What’s wrong with horoscopes?”
“Nothing, except for the fact that you never really thought of it as a novel idea that you share the same day as one twelfth of the world.”
“Well you aren’t-”
“I’m not so perfect myself, I know. You loved me better before you read my poetry and understood how damage
A Snowfall CandlelitMy version of winter has always been flawed. It is controlled by the fall of snow and the exact amount of the ground it covers. It never ever covers the tiny little patch in the garden, right near the broken tin roofed shed. I suppose that is why I just like the idea of snow. But I do not love it.A Snowfall Candlelit2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
(Realisation: I suppose that little corner represents the only part of me that even I cannot love.)
I met a man with candle lit wolf eyes and a strong, warm lion heart, who tells me Sea God stories before disappearing into a cold, cold winter's morning, fog cloaking his very essence.
(Addendum: Sometimes I think of five a.m. coffee, and wonder if your smile didn't hold all of winter's warmth in it, whether I would still be liking the idea of it.)
He lights candles and turns my room into a place of sanctity and prayer often. It makes the love making ironic in a way, I suppose. But nothing he ever does fails to intrigue the very fabric that my cotton soul is made of.
My Name is Hollow.Hello.My Name is Hollow.1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
My name is Hollow.
I live inside your soul.
Under the layers and layers of skin,
and tissue and muscle...
all the way down where nothing
and everything survives.
(I wish I knew before I trusted you
That lying is second nature to one
with as many regrets as you.)
My name is Hollow.
I live inside you now,
because you gave me the power
in all your virtuous belief
that the world was good
to survive your strength...
(I hoped to God you wouldn't
lie or steal or break what is already
a thousand pieces of a broken soul.)
My name is Hollow.
You let me in when sex
began to feel like an ache.
But the pain felt better than
dealing with the hurt
inside your head, your heart...
(This was always a world for those
that were harder than me
Strength is sometimes a very relative thing.)
My name is Hollow.
I am the jagged lines you draw
all along your skin,
your muscles, your bones...
The sharp edge of a knife,
the scarlet drops of remorse.
(Here's a question now for your
Another Language called EnglishI took your adjectives for granted. There was something about the way you skipped over your 's'es and gleaned over your 'i's and 'e's, that never really made me want to kiss you. You'd sit there with your languid fingers clutching a book that was half finished, and read me words that were completely mispronounced. It would prickle me under my skin and I would grit my teeth, wondering when you would stop. I would never understand the english language you thought you spoke, and your confidence in your own words annoyed me.Another Language called English1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It was comical when you spoke in front of our friends. Your mistaken pronunciation of the word 'pronunciation' in particular made them giggle. I would stand in a corner, clutching a glass of rum and coke and cringe, flushing in second hand embarrassment. You would smile at me from across the room, and continue with your tangled tongue as though nothing was wrong.
I felt sorry for you. But not sorry enough when you took your favourite writing pen from my d
Skinny Wordslook:Skinny Words2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
he was winterish blue eyes and an autumn scarf dressed in an stupid pink summer sweater that made no sense on a spring day. His shoes were converse, the kind of the skinny intellectual who had just enough money to buy one pair of decent shoes. she never really liked skinny intellectuals, yet did find herself considering them sometimes, in the way she considered coffee that was tongue scalding (horribly and without excuse).
it is odd then, that she still doesn't regret his monsoon flavoured kiss, the kind that made your tongue bleed with its passion, its heat.
he drew in uneasy catches of breath as he snored in the heat of the summer night, nights when she would stay up and listen to cars that passed by, pretending they were a waterfall instead of the cold harsh truth of metal against concrete, just so she could sleep as soundly as him.
she took his breathing for granted.
he spent hours lost in the dry unending silence of his typewriter, of h
This is Not a Story about SuicideI am not here. These are not hospital walls. This is not a nurse who is speaking to me. That is not John unconscious, lying in a bed that faces due North, and that is not his mother trying to explain why his bed should always face North because he hates sleeping facing South.This is Not a Story about Suicide1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
This is not happening.
I am not taking a deep breath. I am not walking down the sickly white corridors with their bleach scent. I am not buying this cup of coffee from a cafeteria lady who is working at an hour that is reserved only for intensive care patients. This is not the way back to what is not John’s room.
That is not his heart rate dropping, and I am not running out of the room, screaming for help. We are not being pushed out, that door does not have a red light that claims intensive care, it has not been all night.
That is not John’s doctor explaining how they were not able to pump his stomach completely and it is not John who flat lined. That is not an empty hospital bed. That is not his moth
City of LightYou are my city.City of Light2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Your eyes are the gates,
Your soul is my transport
Your veins the roads I must travel.
You should never ever be afraid
of my knowing you too well.
Or of my being too close to you.
Can you ever,
Even after living your whole life in it,
Know a city too well?
FragmentsI call them fragments, the parts of me that were too exhausted to stay. He calls them flecks because I am a flake. I wish I was a flake. It sounds prettier than being a fragment. Flakes are like snow. Soothing, falling from the sky on the tip of his tongue that melt and disappear. Fragments are archeological findings of a scarred past we really should not remember.Fragments1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
I want to remember my scars. So I am a fragment.
I draw on my legs. When my skin dries out, I use my index finger as a pencil and draw what the clouds are trying to tell me. Sometimes it’s a dog, and sometimes it’s a bear and sometimes it is his face looking at me disapprovingly.
That is when I stop drawing.
At night, when the rain falls, I sit at the bay window and pretend to write stories whilst he pretends to sleep. “What are you writing?” he will ask in his asleep voice. “A funny story.” It is not. It is a pale, scary story, and it looks like my skin. “Were you dreamin
About Honour"Ever worried about what the world thought of you?"About Honour2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Nope. I only worry about what I think of me."
"What do you think about you?"
"That I am a broken-eyed, converse-reject-wearing wise ass."
"Really? And what do you call yourself?"
"I call me proud."
"What do you call yourself?"
"I am the grade school version of the heartbroken girl, who can't play the guitar so she strums a ukulele instead, who can't paint so she draws terrible pictures in graphite that keeps giving way."
"I see you doing it again. Put the fucking pen down right now and stop it."
"What? I was just writin-"
"You're cutting yourself to pieces with shark-toothed words again. Just because a sword is a beautiful, glittering object of honour doesn't mean it always has an honorable purpose."
"Do you really think I am a sword?"
"Nope. I think you're beautiful, glittering object of honour. And the thing with honour is, it makes the world turn to stare in awe."
Love as an AsthmaticI snatch my breath after we kissLove as an Asthmatic1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
because I want to feel you
in my wheezing, useless lungs
not just a craving
a desperate need
in the physical urge
to breathe you in,
make your mystical secrets
a part of my body.
Hemingway Would Hate ThisThe trouble with the Boy was that he didn't have the heart of Shakespeare, the voice of Poe, nor the soul of Wordsworth, nor the knowledge of Rembrandt in his darkest days. He didn't have a trace of Michaelangelo's spirit nor the angst of Carvaggio and this on its own was enough to dissuade him from understanding that technique was far better than solidarity and possession far more ageless than youth.Hemingway Would Hate This2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He didn't have any of this knowledge because his father hadn't had the courage to tell him that he needed all the qualities of these great men, to win over the heart of a woman who had the dreams of Austen, the ideas of Da Vinci and the scent of a high priestess of Venetian origin.
The Girl was all those things and more, and her value, her estimate in the market of souls was higher than most. She was an angel amongst Gods, and He should never have let her go into the world thinking that it was Keats hearted. Because like all women who live their lives story shaped, she was soon broken by
Sea of Liesi.Sea of Lies1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
My father never read me the story of Icarus. I found it for myself. I suppose he did not want me to know what it was like to almost touch the stars. But it was only after I had read the story did I even try to reach so far. It is a little like falling in love...and then drowning in the sea.
(I would be lying if I said the fall didn't break everything I had once believed was solid.)
My science teacher knew well that I was a dreamer. When I told her I believed fairytales were as real as love is, I could see the disapproval and disappointment in her eyes. I suppose thats why in her classroom, when I was asked what the greatest force in the universe was, I answered love. I suppose thats why she laughed and reminded me that love was as much a fairytale as the fairytales I believed in.
(She was wrong. Love exists...its just been broken into a million little pieces, set afloat in a sea of heartbreak.)
My mother didn't want to speak about t
In ThreesI was armed with half a deck of emotions, two thirds of a heart and eyes of a broken mirror that offered no protection to my soul. I wanted to talk about it often and whenever I needed to, the words would tangle in my mouth, come out as a compliment of a shirt, an idea that had no relevance, a conversation about the weather. I was eighteen. I wanted to be stronger, brilliant, bright like a comet in the sky. Instead, I learnt about how beds could be the most loathed places in the world, bathrooms were meant to be soaked in blood...and men with eyes like knives sometimes used them against people they loved.In Threes2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I was armed with shards of strength, a misplaced sense of determination and the kind of bravery that only the damned can have. Words haunt, especially when all you have to your name is a broken little mind, a need for validation and an honest fear of losing someone you love. I was twenty. I wanted to make sure that the world around me realised I existed, I wanted to shine for my sake,
The JokeThe first joke is when they tell you to be strong for everybody else after your father leaves for the fourth time.The Joke1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
The next joke is when they tell you to stop being sensitive when the children at school choose to hurt you for being differentstrangeodd.
The wrong joke is when they tell you to be quiet after the beating your mother has given you has bloodied your face and you can't see through swelled shut eyes.
The funny joke is when they tell you to shut up when you stand up against the man with lifeless eyes who tried to make you as lifeless as himself.
The unaware joke is when they tell you that you should have defended yourself when three men come at you in a dark alley.
The painful joke is when they tell you you should be grateful that the man who raped you didn't kill you as well.
The angry joke is when they tell you that you are wrong for existing because being gaybilesbiantransexual is a sin.
The ignorant joke is when they tell you to be less provocative with your man when he pu
When Your Best is Not Good EnoughDon't speak.When Your Best is Not Good Enough1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Don't hold yourself together.
Don't fall apart.
Don't pretend it is all going to be okay.
Don't act like it won't be all right.
Don't touch me.
Don't look away from me.
Don't be so needy.
Don't be so grateful.
Don't act silly.
Don't be so serious.
Don't have so much fun.
Don't be so sullen.
Don't love anyone too much.
Don't be so selfish.
Don't ignore me.
Don't love me too much.
And hope? Hope is just a lie you tell yourself so that tomorrow, you can do it all over again.
Turn Loose the Mermaids1.Turn Loose the Mermaids2 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Turn loose the mermaids," you demand this angrily, clenching your fists you do when you really mean it, "Turn them loose now!" You're yelling at Ursula and her trident as she grows into a shocking sea monster.
(Outside the waves agree with you. Turn them loose, they crash against the metal in the righteous indignation of the sea. Turn them loose!)
At some point your mother will watch this with you. She will wonder why you revolt for the mermaids when there are none on the screen.
(I cannot get them to turn loose the mermaids if I cannot get them to turn me loose first.)
You have always known what you wanted to do with your life. A truck driver, no, a zoo keeper, no, an animal doctor..
(An engineer, a doctor, a surgeon is something you never dreamed of. Probably because it is complicated. You don't like complicated. Complicated means work, and work is something you have never actually liked to do.)
You have to remember the corridors of the ship you were in
ApplesSweet and sensual,Apples2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
The feel of your fingers on my skin.
Slow and longing,
The trail of your hands on my curves.
Languid and helpless,
The pulsing of my veins under your masterful strokes.
My love for you is like my love for apples.
Juicy, crunchy, delicious...
And as dark as a sinner's heart.
MouthfulsYou take mouthfuls of meMouthfuls1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Huge, selfish as they are
Leaving morsels of me behind
Teeth my words and chew up my heart
Bite through my spine with shark like jaws
I am used, you explain, damaged,
Dirty for existing.
Dirty for loving you.
I ask you why you like to hurt me.
"I love you most when you ache on the inside."
I have never hated myself more.
Constructive Criticism"Tell me what you think."Constructive Criticism2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Of the poem?"
"No, of my face. Yes, the poem."
"I was going to say, because your face is just stupid."
"Very funny. Read."
"What did you think?"
"Why did you write this?"
"I wrote it for you."
"You make me self conscious when you say things like that."
"I'm not worth this you know."
"What does that mean?"
"I am half a girl, and I deserve half a poem."
"That is not true, and you still haven't told me what you really thought about it."
"It's as broken and complex and half hearted as a sad song about the way you feel ink trail between your fingers like it's blood. There is no reason for it, it's the kind of beautiful that is there just for being there. It happened, it's a moment in time forever frozen and to be remembered in a way that candles that burn in holy places should be. It's a forever, all by itself- Why are you looking at me like that?"
"Because you believe you deserve half a poem."
"I do. I am too damaged and broken an