adulthoodwhen you interact with other grown-ups,
there are things you need to remember.
i am learning the fine art of Adult Small Talk-
banter for banter's sake and smiles and short, impersonal anecdotes
because you can't risk letting anyone in,
god forbid someone actually gets close.
you keep your friends in your stomach and swallow them at night to keep them close
and put your cheery face on for medical professionals even when your throat is too swollen
to drink down those friends.
those friends, you know they'll never let you down.
you see your human companions on lunch breaks and weekend days.
at night, young adults have sex and fall asleep together;
at night, older adults complain of headaches and sleep on opposite sides of the bed.
your human friends don't make you feel as good
as your other friends make you feel.
they ask about your life and how you're doing,
ask if you're still in therapy and if you're eating,
and god forbid you let them in.
they're your human friends but they don't get
lovedrunkshe looks at me, all big doe eyes and cupid-bow lips, tells me, now i'm not trying to say i'm about to kill myself, but i'm about to kill myself.lovedrunk2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
the traffic light is glass. not that it's reflective, not that it's bright, but that it's so slow, a liquid, moving like a year. it's also what my blood has become with these words.
we're in my car but i'm scared. i know i'm the one behind the wheel, but i don't know what she's got in her purse. i don't know her name but i do know she's drunk. so am i. i know we shouldn't be driving but i couldn't leave such sad eyes at a bar. i guess, if i'm being entirely honest, i also couldn't leave such a beautiful body at a bar, either. especially if some guy with worse intentions than i couldn't pass her up.
talk to me, i say. i don't glance up from the road because i'm scared of what i'll see, and what i won't.
you're not my fucking therapist, she tells me. i know she's wearing red lipstick and i imagine it turns to venom with those words.
vasha ptichkai want you to read me stories,vasha ptichka2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the very same ones
as i wrap you into,
catch you in their bindings
and smell you,
clean and summer,
inside the pages.
standing in your shower,
i wear the bodywash
that is a signature of yours,
foreign on my skin.
sometimes you are there with me,
and we are children again
as we splash water
on one another's naked bodies.
i am turning you into
a bigger reader,
a braver hero,
a stronger soul;
you tell me that
you put your phone down
and buckle your seatbelt
when you get behind the wheel
because you imagine my face
if you told me you didn't.
i want to be something new for you.
a better lover,
a happier smile,
the warmest arms you could ever need.
i never want to waver
even as tides crash my knees,
and i want you to always hear it,
close to your ear or across the state,
when i tell you
you mean the world to me.
i got flowers oncei am lonely.i got flowers once2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i received flowers once
and i placed them
in a vase til
the petals all browned
and turned to dust
on the glass of my bureau.
i have never gotten flowers since.
i spend my days
with a boy
whom i love far beyond reason
and he holds me in his arms
and holds me together.
i bite my nails
and pull my hair
over the moment when he
feels the disenchantment
fall over his body,
all clean lines
and smooth shapes,
and realises that leaving
the worst thing
the best thing.
i am lonely
and even with a hand to hold,
and even with a cloak of security
bunching around my shoulders
and hiding my thighs,
i feel my fingers grasping at empty air
because i am too ungratefully
trapped in my head
to remember that my love
is holding my hand
and reminding me more often
than anyone should need to
that i am loved.
my first drunk poemwriters write whilst drunkmy first drunk poem3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
because every word
fumbled and smisspelled
comes out beautifully
because of the truth it holds
my ear bleeds from constant burns
and my stomach burns from constant bleeds
because beauty is never enough untouched, it seems,
the way anything i put in me is always too much.
i bled and evoked sympathy tonight.
i drank until i needed a body to stand me straight.
my organs writhed like heathens in moonlight ritual
and i let it shake.
i shook to be honest
but i was never honest enough
to admit from where the vibration came.
i shook with fear
and never, ever being adequate
or even happy
but i smiled and let everyone know
that i felt like myself,
and no one ever needed to know
that the only reason i felt so honest
was because i never feel like i can
stand on my own two feet unaided
or stop from trembling
or hold in outbursts of emotion
because if i do,
i know i'll break.
across, a crossi like the things that go unspokenacross, a cross3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
between you and me,
like the night we spent on the beach
lying cramped on a shitty, five-dollar walgreens towel
with another frayed over us,
and hearing the string
of intoxicated teenagers walk by and say,
they're watching the stars at night.
and no matter how much that girl,
clearly filled to her brim
with vodka as she tripped along the sand,
she spoke something more beautiful
than a van gogh painting.
we were romance, we were god,
and i know i must believe in god
because of the feeling building in my bones
when i see those "jesus saves" signs,
black with white lettering,
bordering the highway.
i feel a sense of peace
when you hum off-key to your songs
and your black truck blends with the sky.
you feel like a saviour when we're
caught in each others' arms,
but we'll only get to heaven
if we make it through the night.
and if only i could,
i would show you the scriptures
i've penned to express
the buoyancy you've rebirthed in me,
preemptive breakup poemif anyone ever tells you your sadness isn't physical,preemptive breakup poem2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
show them the ache in your bones,
the raw skin on your arms or wrists or hips or thighs,
the imprint of your foetal body on your mattress from the days you couldn't bear to leave.
and you see this?
this is what hurt looks like.
i want you to look closer, lean in a little until you can feel the sadness on my breath
and i want you to watch my eyes. count how often they blink and count how many of them are forcing back words i still can never say.
i don't want you to miss a second of how you make me feel.
i want to be what keeps you up at night
i want to be the reason you can't eat
or laugh at your favourite tv programs
i want to be the reason
you walk with your eyes on the pavement
because too many things
remind you of me
i want you to feel the soreness of a heart unloved
loudly enough that the beating is mute and slow
loudly enough that you keep your hands in your pockets
when you move through the city so you don't touch any
the destruction of destructioni leavethe destruction of destruction2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
&empty watter bottles
on your floor
in case you decide to forget me.
this is just our dynamic
this is just how our relationship works.
i read you chapters of the
strangest book i know
&you have me create
voices for each character.
i am most comfortable as the narrator,
but you like my crazier caricatures best.
it reminds me of how you like
the stranger ways my mind works,
&how you will pry sharp things
from my clawed fingers
&show up late for work
just to make sure i eat;
the hateful frustration i feel
when my body yearns for its
only to be thwarted by something
it can't control;
it reminds me of how you love
the parts of me i most hate,
&the way we can fight
as we go to bed
but before i fall asleep,
i nestle myself into
the curve of your back
&i am safe.
go to sleep for the love of godi kind of feel like ripping my face off.go to sleep for the love of god3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
it's not one of those sad, suicidal stories. i mean, if i believed in suicide in the way that means i could do it, then yeah, it would be. but i don't, and i guess you're kind of lucky for that because now you can go to sleep with a clear conscience.
i won't ever tell you about how many pages and books and scraps of paper and unsent text messages and notes on the backs of my hands i've written for you, or how inarticulate you were when you wanted to say how you felt. i won't ever tell you how i wished for a few words that could tell me that i was loved, even a little, and i sure as fuck won't ever say that when you managed to pull a few words together for some girl you haven't even touched, well, i won't ever say that all i feel like doing now is unravelling the skin on my arms, down to the bones, and watch as rivers of red fall out of me like stars.
maybe i'd be beautiful enough for you then. i
materialism .collabjohn's bed was crooked against the wall, with enough space between the two for his pillow to slip down every night. it is never made but usually empty, much like the rest of the room. his wallet was full of condoms, the box in the slightly opened nightstand drawer with two strays within. john's socks were paired up neatly in his dresser, and he had no closet. a baseball bat was stretched across the threadbare rug in such a way that it would trip someone unfamiliar with the layout. like a robber. things you will never find there are his iphone, ipod, and his grandfather's pocket watch from when he was in the world war.materialism .collab2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
evelyn paints a small canvas in the center of her garden. her cheeks are always stained with a coral blush, but nothing else. she hangs easter-egg coloured bird houses from the low branches of her maple trees. she only wears dresses. at six in the evening each day she rests on the stoop of her mother's house with a plaid quilt. she spins her mother's wedding ring around h
playing godi am the last paramedic you want to respond to your call.playing god2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
by no means am i inept at my job- i am, in fact, the best in my precinct. my problem is sometimes i think i'm god.
the people who are drains on society - the welfare collectors, the addicts, the elderly, the people who wronged me in high school or remind me of the people who wronged me in high school; the people who cost me taxes? oops, i made a mistake. i'm sorry, mrs. doe, but john didn't make it. our team failed to correctly assess and promptly address his condition. our condolences.
i have let hundreds die on my watch. just seen the spasms stop, the light leave their eyes. i have saved hundreds as well. i am god and i choose who is repentant and righteous and allowed to carry one; i choose who is to be condemned to an eternity of hellfire and brimstone.
tell me- does this make me a bad person?
breathe deepbreathe deep.breathe deep2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
breathe it shallowly if you need to,
if filling your lungs to bursting
is too much,
but breathe the depth-
of tree roots
and ethnic roots
and the roots planted by love.
and the orgiastic fullness
it gives the empty shell
you try so hard to stuff
but nothing sticks;
because deep is star-soaked
desperate with creeping beauty
like attar and trellis
and the june moon.
this is how you keep her.
this is how you say,
this is our permanent address.
this is how you say i love you
with something more than words.
i wish i could just be a monsteri am somei wish i could just be a monster2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
thing less human than
romanticism is such bullshiti don't understand a bitromanticism is such bullshit2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what's so romantic
about missing-you and distance,
love stressed and strained like string
across miles of roping rivers;
it's ugly and sad
and there is no cure
because i will not wait by the letterbox
praying daily on my knees to a god i know i believe in but i'm not sure you do
to hear word from you-
that you're well;
that you're happy;
that you're eating and sleeping and feeling alive;
that's what i want, you know-
i want your vitality to blaze like the great chicago fire,
i want to see your scrawl emboldened with each word
i want to see you concretely on your feet
and certain of where you are going
without a sergeant telling you how to walk.
i want you to walk across half of the states
and back into my arms.
i want you to look me in the eye
and i want to see no hesitation back
when you tell me you love me.
i never want to cry because you're leaving
because you will never leave again-
i want you to love me like flames love oxygen:
the sickness of breathing emptinesstoday:the sickness of breathing emptiness4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and my god, there's no way to pretty that up. pain is not beautiful, it is painful. use your common sense. there is no glory in suffering, there is no sparkle to sacrifice. hurt is hurt is hurt. and you can't take it for someone else, no matter how hard you try.
what i hate is that you're leaving. like, a thousand miles away worth of leaving. and don't tell me that distance means nothing to the heart, because it does: enough to make you break me before you kill me. honestly, i wonder which is worse. honestly, i'd probably rather you kill me because i've broken enough times that i don't have much left to break.
what i hate more is that i love you. i have fought harder against it than i've fought against anything else in my life, i fucking swear to god. i didn't even consider that i could love you for months. an
things i don't know about you that bother me thati wonder what it's likethings i don't know about you that bother me that3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to fall asleep beside you
in a post coital haze,
and to wake in the morning
to run to class.
do you wake me,
do you kiss my forehead,
do we make love again-
i don't know,
and do you wet your toothbrush
before applying toothpaste,
tell me you don't leave the sink running,
it must get awfully tired.
and what do you dream of
when i lie next to you,
blissfully more than just a body;
what will you dream of
a year from now?
please tell me i can fit into
your big picture
as easily as i can fit into
the first poem i wrote since i told you i love youthe star-soaked stainsthe first poem i wrote since i told you i love you2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that covered our nudity
gives way at last
to a tequila sunrise,
so low in the sky;
it's still bright enough
to sting my eyes,
and yet i can't bring myself
to hate it.
your body next to mine,
every effort is made
to move a heavy limb
because any space
is space i don't want.
i am sometimes humbled
by my feelings,
the way they swell
in my throat
just how the ocean
tastes the shore.
there is always something new
to find hidden in my heart,
summoned by my words,
or the salt of your skin
wearing like wind on shale
i don't think i can ever tell you
i love you enough.
if i could, i would never get dressed
so that you could never be sad-
a rewind every time
my clothes touch the floor,
never anything but nude, not naked
because with you i can be bare
i can let you see my entirety
and leave my arms uncrossed,
i can let you in
and not fear that you will break me,
or force my inner things out.
i can love you with open arms
and my lip
how to stagnatethe best way to stayhow to stagnate2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
miserable is to hate
christmas is not only in decemberyou sleep through so much sunchristmas is not only in december2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
that it is the moon
who rises for you.
born in the russian springtime
with cyrillic letters on your tongue,
you are endless.
you are a ring,
curved to infinity
your hands belong in mine,
or else on my hips.
curve me into the shape
of an s,
narrow me in the centre
to give room to your arms-
they belong around me.
you are a gift;
when i fall asleep
on the opposite edge of the bed from you
and wake curled to your chest,
it is christmas every time.
spoiled little girli have turned my bodyspoiled little girl3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into a void
so that i can love
instead of my heart.
i feel nothing
so i feel nothing
but your skin has not
in a week
and it has me
loves completely vanilla,
though there once were poems
of red clay and sun;
kisses with no ridges
and i cannot seem to
find a way to stay captivated;
touches when i cannot remember,
so i run
when i see the silhouette of his face,
like nightlights or fireflies
of a dark room
i seem to have almost
i think you have spoiled me terribly
because i feel nothing
and kiss no one
and no one
has touched me
barcelona is burningi owe you an apology-barcelona is burning3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
you, in the crowd,
the one panicking about reading
or the mess at home
or the sheer volume of people
pressing into you like corners;
the woman who birthed me into this world
through hours of agony
as though that wasn't enough
because doctor appointment after therapy appointment after residential stay after thirtieth pound lost,
i've put you through countless
warped into months of agony
you never asked for;
and you, oh, mostly you.
you, because as hard as i've beaten my own heart into the wall,
and as deep as i let you bury mine,
i know, somehow, i managed to do the same to you.
you left, and i left two weeks after.
every night was a terror;
every morning was a letdown.
i ached constantly
and threw myself into books
like they would become oxygen masks until i could breathe on my own again.
and here's the thing, you know,
because you would knock my legs out from under me again and again.
"let's fall back in love," you'd say,
and i would fall to
renewalyou are small,renewal4 years ago in Scraps More Like This
if you can,
i am white washed on the shores,
the grains of sand clinging
to your skin until it glitters.
i will start fires,
if it means something to you;
i will scrub my hands
if my blood is your currency.
i have folded under the bends
of your effort,
your being pressing into me
just by the weight i feel
in my heart.
to hear your voice
is to hear a melody
i knew i could never know again,
that i had sworn to forget;
yet upon hearing it,
felt my body swell with its notes
and burst with memory.
you are still one thousand miles
away from me, and i will pretend
with every fibre of my being
that this is a soft feeling,
because i can hardly
admit to myself that i
would give my lifeblood
and bodily dust to
the gods of the sea
if it meant
closer to me.
learning to forget how to readi hate it a littlelearning to forget how to read3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with my bottom lip
pulled between your teeth
it's like moonlight,
the only light by which
i really see you
i don't know how to think
(about you, anything, this)
and everything you do
is balanced on a scale,
waiting for so much as a breath
to knock it from its centre
(if you don't ask me
to come over, if you
greet me with a television
or hands in my jeans, if
you wait for me before i
leave you in the morning, if
you kiss me upon awakening
or sleeping or as i drift
between the boundaries of
here and with you,)
i am just caught in the tides
the ebb and the flow
as i fail continually
that i am more to you
than just a body
to hold onto at night
and without knowing you
too much past your body
and copy shops,
i am afraid to so much as
think of this
(the fear is sharp,
yet i know better
than to lie)
the scars on your shouldersthe scars on your shouldersthe scars on your shoulders2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are braille to me, so that i
can read your skin, so that i
can know you better.
i like to listen to your heartbeat
and how it resounds differently
from mine, just so beautifully
like two songs played in tandem
to harmonise in rounds;
i like to hold your hands
and rub your back
so that maybe my love
can find its way through your pores
and seep into your blood
(never can i find the right words
to tell you just the way you feel to me)
and to think that and how i nearly missed you
makes me miss you more
every minute and mile we spend
i can't sleep with another body
in my bed,
but sleeping without you
leaves the space next to me
much emptier than i'd like.
my only company is
the sadness that comes from
being alone, and having no strong arms
to reassure me that i am beautiful
and no dream can hurt me-
i can only hope that
you are not the exception.
this is the pen finally knowing
this is how we hold onto the bones
we support in our bodies.
the passage of 'you'when i step alonethe passage of 'you'2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into my shower,
it's you when
i hear the folsom prison blues
and when i drink bitter coffee-
it isn't you
when i sleep in white sheets
and patterned pillows,
a hand in mine
and soft cyrillic letters
to wake me.
it's you in my closet
hidden somewhere in the depths,
it's you in my short hair,
it's you in the photos of ireland
taken by my friends-
but it's not you
when these lips grace my ears
with words softer than you
when these lips grace my face
in softer ways than you
when these lips grace my heart
in softer ways than you
had hardened it.
i am trying to be
a better person
and he is helping me