Saturday 7 December 2013

poetic perfection //

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never
visited. you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment
just your size. a bathtub
full of tea. a heart the size
of Arizona, but not nearly
so arid. don’t wish away
your cracked past, your
crooked toes, your problems
are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just
had to have them. you had to have him.
and you did. and now you pull down
the bridge between your houses,
you make him call before
he visits, you take a lover
for granted, you take
a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic. make
the first bottle you consume
in this place a relic. place it
on whatever altar you fashion
with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge. and you
are not stupid. you loved a man
with more hands than a parade
of beggars, and here you stand. heart
like a four-poster bed. heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.

Marty McConnell

Friday 29 November 2013

origins .

The idea of staying never occurred to me. Not in any serious sort of way.
I was raised on an island but I was not born on one. You were. 

The idea of leaving comes to you in a romantic sort of way. 
A "maybe-someday" that you poke at when things get dull. 
It never came to you as it did me: as a necessity. As a very act of survival. 
We are two different species, I'm coming to understand. 
I killed myself loving you, and it's taken me years to realize that we do not breathe the same. 
To realize that when you say "home" you think of one place and not thousands.
To realize that I can love you in spite of this, but it will kill me. 

You have built your life in small things. 
You let an ocean you can swim become a barrier. You let mountains you can climb fence you in.
And it's taken me a while but I think I understand why, when I left, you didn't do the same. 

You were born on an island, and I was not.  


Sunday 24 November 2013

Creation .

I am made of dirt-caked carrots from the backyard garden, 
            of scars that I can live with.

I am made of classic rock 
            on roadtrips with an old man. 

From the oceans push and pull, 
            missed curfews and long goodbyes. 

I am made of real maple syrup and Sunday comics, 
            of slammed doors and inaudible apologies.  
I am made from skinning-dipping in early May 
            with a boy who 'wasn’t right for me' 
                                               (he wasn’t). 

I am made of packed bags and packed houses, 
            and the restlessness that comes with staying now.  

From a phone call made across the world 
            that has bittered the taste of everything I’ve since known. 

I am made from still moments and negative space, 
            from the sound of steady breathing in a single bed for two. 

I am made of words that someone else has penned, 
            when no one knows me like a stranger. 


Wednesday 20 November 2013

Astrocytoma .

Iridescent and belonging to all the light  
            of the constellations, 
This was how she used to be –   
            a luminescent contrast to the greytones. 

But there are chemicals taking her now 
            capturing the luster of youth and  
coating her body with a blankness:
            A canvas untouched, 
                                or since faded. 

Underwater Girl
Her mother remembers her as a flame 
            There’s nothing wrong with being still 
                        she tells herself, 
But she remembers when her girl would leap 
            with all the energy of the sun. 

There is heaviness layered behind 
            pale green eyes 
That sprung up somewhere between 
            test tubes and CAT scans and negative results. 
She can’t fix this. No one is fixing this. 

There is a fault in the framework – 
            they’ve found the problem but not the answers 
So what’s the point in all the dim rooms and 
            holding tight to words like ‘hope’ 
                        if everything perfect fucking dies? 


Thursday 14 November 2013

new territory .

you are a country i want to learn. a culture i want to bathe in until my fingers prune up. i want to carve your language into my walls until they've been chiseled so deep they have nothing left to do but crumble.

you don't scare me with your history. with the wars that have already been fought and lost upon your ground, leaving you scarred beneath the wreckage. i don't mind the mess.

i want to discover the secret places. the ones the ten-day tourists never find. i want to know your safe areas and the ones i'm not supposed to go to after dark has fallen.
i don't want to just visit. i want to live in you. to walk every day with your air in my lungs. to search you over without a map because i will make my own. i will rewrite it a thousand times and i still won't get it perfect, but it will be my life work to try.

i want you to be the last country i go to, and me the last traveler you allow within.

i want to find my home in you.


Tuesday 29 October 2013

claustrophobia .

I never had a problem with tight spaces until I met you. You made my life so goddamn unbreathable. You, with your phone calls and your line of questions. You fired them at me and I didn't have a chance. You placed me in front of my grave and BAM BAM BAM, I'm down, buried under everything I never got to answer because you knew. You already knew. You thought you knew, so you buried me. But you didn't know. And now I'm underground, closed in by particles and dirt, and it's not unlike being with you, because you were like that, so close that I couldn't breathe. So maybe suffocating here is better than in your arms but I don't think so. I think you made yourself insufferable, I think you got so near because you wanted to drive me away, and I think you left me before you let me speak because you did know. You knew, but you needed to pretend that it was me not you who couldn't stand small places. And the thing is that I could, until you shot me down and I got trapped under the weight of everything but your lips. Because I could live with phone calls and lines of questions. It was when they left that I fell into this pit. 

Wednesday 23 October 2013

solidarity .

fireworks on a foggy night over lake michigan
no one expects you to survive this
we are all mortal here
[and in the moments you forget, the world
will either seem too big for you
or you will feel bigger than it
and neither one will do you good
or change the fact that]
we are all mortal here.


Monday 21 October 2013

not yet .

Perhaps some day I'll crawl back home,
But not as long as I can make stories
out of my heartbreak,
beauty out of my sorrow.

Sylvia Plath

Wednesday 16 October 2013

my ghost .

I was there when you taught yourself guitar - I listened through basic chords and tireless picking until you got it right. I would climb up after you in the giant tree behind your house - we'd kick at the moss and track the sun through the sky. I answered every time you called in the middle of the night - turning up the radio so my parents couldn't hear. We'd talk for hours, but I can't remember what about. 

I was there when you told me what you did to make it all go away. I cried into my bed that night because you failed, and I couldn't imagine if you hadn't. 
I was the one you called after you broke down. Psychosis. I brought you in a coffee you weren't supposed to have (largewithcreamandsugarplease). I sat with you in white rooms and listened to you explain yourself, but you didn't. 

I came back again, anyways. I brought you coffee again, anyways. 

I came back until one day they told me to stop coming back. You couldn't see me anymore, and I haven't seen you since.

And yet, I still hear your last words, haunting:

"Maybe you have already died. I know I have." 


Thursday 26 September 2013

day fifty-three.

i've been a little lost. 

the loneliness is palpable in this city. i've brushed past him on subway 5, holding a briefcase but no expression. i've heard them on the street: whistling as the girls pass by. i've seen it in searching eyes, in forced smiles, in the cellphone that never gets put away. 
it's swallowing me. and it is dark and it is terrifying. and i can't quite stand to look it in the face because it is more than i am ready to feel. these are the things they should have prepared us for.

i am trying to find my way. 


Wednesday 28 August 2013


There was no poetry in our bodies on those nights and early mornings. Only lapses in human judgement and motions that didn't mean all they were supposed to. (I was always loneliest sleeping next to you). 

There was no poetry in anything you said. Just lines recycled from Hollywood scripts. (4/10 on delivery). 

We tried to make poetry out of what was left behind of our souls (after the ones that came before were done with us), but not enough remained.
A dream within a dream
I have a poem for you now. About freckled skin and hands that quiver in the dark, about you and us and a place I'd never been before. But it is nothing to remember us by. 

(It is a poem and we were not).


Sunday 18 August 2013


The night we drank too much cheap beer and keyed our initials onto a cheap bar room table, 
it turns out it was magic. 

It's just taken me all this time to understand.
Too late, of course. 

I missed my cue and then delivered the wrong lines. 
And you took me for what I said, not meant. 
[I'm sorry, as always].


Wednesday 14 August 2013


you are the wound that never healed

the itch i scratched 
until I bled dark onto eggshell carpets

the scab that formed 
that i tore at 

until you became part of my skin tissue
a distorted stain on creamy white

i cannot feel you any longer
but your damage is carved deep
and it shows on the surface
Violet Berry
[i wanted you gone so bad
i let you stay forever]


Saturday 27 July 2013


there are nights we cannot touch again; held sacred by the innocence that once surrounded them. 
a naivety that we've since broken - in violent and gentle ways.

adam and eve traded paradise for a taste of fruit,
so we traded trust with the knowledge of what a grown heart looks like when it's wrung dry.
we traded wonder with books on the human condition. 
and I traded you for a sense of freedom and a list of things I never even wanted to do. 
[you traded me before I had a chance to change my mind].

so here's to us, 
and to everything we lost when all the deals went through.


Monday 22 July 2013

dead summer .

lips red as sin, 
and the smell of something deep and lustful
dabbed to the wrists, the neck, 
the small of the back.
the room is full of people
or it is empty,
[i don't know the difference]. 

it seems we are all here for one hundred years
just trying to memorize dates, and times, and schedules,
and the recipe to a good chicken casserole. 
trying to memorize how our bodies work 
before they change again. 

and you are sitting across from me
in a room that's full or empty
[me, lips red as murder
you, a dirt smudged tan].

i've memorized the shades of brown and green 
and grey that make up your iris,
and i could recite your name in my sleep like a song
[i do].

but sitting here, my red sea lips 
refuse to part
the way i want them to. 

{Photo via: We Heart It}

Thursday 4 July 2013

Tainted //

And all my woe is that now people are accustomed to say "Yes, jealousy is love,"  
and would excuse a bushel of venom because one grain of love is dropped into it. 
Troilus & Criseyde
edited by Gerard NeCastro 

Friday 14 June 2013

Poisoned ink.

as much as i can claim that it happened years ago (or yesterday), it hasn't. 
i guess, when i've truly purged you from my system, i'll know. 
it will be when i go to write and you are not the one that leaks out. 


{Photo via: We Heart It}

Wednesday 12 June 2013

[the hard way]

what do you say to the one who still has your heart 
after too many unclaimed years?

we would have fizzled like water on embers. 
we would have burned, long and deep. 
we would have hit the wall in a trillion sorry pieces. 
but i would have loved the chance to try.

{Photo: Pilar Zeta's Blog

Friday 7 June 2013

Thursday 23 May 2013

I Don't Believe You.

He said I love you and it was soft and drawn out and utterly believable in every way it could be but I still didn't trust the earnest eyes and parched lips.

He moved his fingers on my hips like he was tracing the outlines of his heart or marking paths between my freckles. 
An organ in my chest moved in ways I thought could equal love, but it didn't quite make sense because of logic and basic biology. Because I know sensations aren't always real: you can feel heat when you're ice to the touch, movement in complete stillness, consciousness while dreaming. 

And you can feel something for earnest eyes and parched lips when the chemicals triggered by fingertips on skin don't balance out in the end. When all he ever was, was a handful of sensations that don't equate to much; don't equate to enough

And who cares now. He was lying, wasn't he.

{Photo via: We Heart It}

Sunday 28 April 2013


we are here
to laugh
at the odds
and  live our lives 
so well that
will tremble
to take us
Charles Bukowski
{Photo via: We Heart It}

Friday 19 April 2013

Ocean Dreams

"I need to breathe the sea." I said.
He said "That sounds a lot like drowning"

And I laughed because, it is.
It's like drowning backwards. 

When miles of land become a prison. Enclosing. Suffocating. Torture. 

When you can't breathe without the taste of salt and water in your lungs; the wild ocean winds controlling your hair. When it's gotten into your bloodstream - the rise and fall of the tides an addiction you cannot shake
"Almost," I said . 

{Photo via: We Heart It}

Monday 8 April 2013

Monday 25 March 2013

cardiac arrest.

the heart is a many-ridged thing
not two curved pieces folding into each other
it has nooks that no one’s ever told you about
            it shrinks and then explodes
                        with something thick and awful and necessary.

it has valves and doors and windows
and you crawled in from underneath the floorboards
            you poisoned the water
                        you hid yourself in a crevice.

you hid where my fumbling fingers could not pry you loose
            where I could not rip your leeching flesh from me
                        without first tearing away fingernails full of my own vein and tissue.
my heart pumped you through me
until you became part of the system; thick and awful and necessary
            until even my toes needed you to survive.

and that’s how it went for minutes or years
            I don’t know
but one day you slipped out
            you creeped out from the chimney or the front door
                        you left and you never asked, never told me where you’d go.

not here though. 
            not in that unreachable place in that corner of my heart.
                        not in the place you ruined inside me.

you tore those veins and tissue fibers when you left
and all your poison turned sour
            seeping down until even my toes
                        ached with a rigid bitterness
                                I can't get free from. 


Tuesday 12 March 2013


"I think we're just gonna have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that."
Margot Tenenbaum

Thursday 28 February 2013

say sorry.

you spilled into my life and made a messy thing of my heart. 
and i don't quite know how to forgive you, 
because you ruined me
in an irrecoverable way. 
i have another boy i'm supposed to be writing about now, 
but he's not the one i keep finding fragments of, under my skin. 
and, still, he's never held me like you did. 
i don't think he can. 

i don't know how to forgive. 

{Photo via: Tumblr

Thursday 14 February 2013

deep underneath //

toe to tile
backbone to barren floor, frigid -
chills to clammy skin

a gravity that sinks deep into the gut

you are drawn to low things
fallen fruit and dirt between the cracks
down and damned,

and you are made from darkness
low voices clinging to cigarette stained walls,
you found comfort in your riven body being
far beneath brainwaves and scorching eyes

a safe haven in the fault lines that run
from the refrigerator to the stove
and in the smell of alcohol and Clorox mixed
all pulling you further in

the ones on foot can trample you, still
but you are a million cutting shards (broken)
this is why you chose the ground
flat-spined, invisible

down and damned,


Monday 4 February 2013

Feelings Won.

He was drunk and clinging to me in the way I hate but am flattered by,
whispering nothing consequential. Nothing he'd remember in the morning.
Being pulled away by jealous arms
that were never quick enough to stop a small-kiss or soft touch. 
I couldn't stop the corners of my mouth from moving when he told me
in all his drunken glory that he likes me. He really likes me. 
I hate - as I've always hated - when someone can make me 
do something I don't mean to. Even smile.

It isn't fair because he's drunk and I'm sober enough 
to know better than messy words and ear kisses.
Sober enough to not let it get to me,
but it does. He does. 

(I hate this).


Wednesday 30 January 2013


"And how, when walking down the street he placed his palm against my neck in a way that I've spent every day since hoping some other man will do without me having to ask."
Meg Fee

Friday 18 January 2013

Prison --

I could be happy in his arms but God knows I'm not strong enough to leap to them.
Not with a heart weighed heavy as mine.

It shouldn't be this difficult, I know that. But there are a few things wrong with me.
I am made up of a thousand walls, and only a few doorways - barricaded now. And guarded.

He doesn't ask for much, just for something real.
But I am the lie behind false fronts; offering nothing for his troubles.

I hope only that my heart can soften before he gives me up.
Or, stays ice right through the walk away.

How did I get so broken?


Wednesday 9 January 2013

Will you still have me?

I have loved before, but it didn't feel like this.
I have kissed before, but it didn't burn me alive.
Jodi Picoult
{Photo via: We Heart It}