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he slides you a coffee across the table and says
the ladders in your tights look like rollercoasters
and the bottom of your stomach drops and you smile
because he has nice eyes and he bought you coffee
and you want to be a girl that wants these things, you want to be
a rollercoaster, and you take a sip of your new drink
even though he ordered one with everything you hate and you say
and you hope he doesn't notice that you touch the cup again
he hands you a picked daffodil from just down the road and says
your smile isn't half as bright as this
and you take it in your hand and you snap the stem gently near the bottom
while he kisses you smooth on the mouth and steps over your
doorway like a creeping root and you think about the way daffodils
and dandelions are both yellow but one of them gets to fly away
while one of them just shrivels up on windowledges and you say
and you hope that he is a dandelion that is nearly ready t
i swallow you like gritI am sitting in the back garden like my bones are reclining chairs and my browbeaten headaches will eb out like the tide if I only stare down the blues for long enough. The grass is sweet like lipgloss on a magazine page, rests with a coolness I cannot hold to wrap my lungs around while my lips taste like cigarette burns. My feet are in the light, in the heat. My toes flex like dying worms as they stretch out over the other half of this bench, nestled tight under the windows. Maybe I'm waiting for you to press your face against the glass and shout until I can hear you over my music, instead of in it. Maybe I am waiting for you to sit down beside me and complain about the construction work.
We're building a barbeque pit; I think. The stonemarked hole in the border looks too big from here, but I sit up in the night until my bulbs blow out and I drag myself from darkhot hungry evening to exhausted sunrise on cheap noodles and boiling water. I sign your name on my wrist and stretch out my
i will rest by the river and bloomi have eaten so many cherries i have lost count,
my fingers bundled up with their stems, my teeth aching.
with the fruit flesh still threaded around them, the seeds
look like little organs, little stone hearts:
i eat them all, every one. maybe they will hatch in my stomach
like bitter eggs, and a thousand hundred giant trees will
grow slowly though my bones and my bloodstream, maybe they will
burst up and out through my mouth. i will be a bleeding flowerpot,
a forest floor with shoes, an incubator. i will be the zombie
apocalypse of cherry trees. i will grow my wooden teeth through the roof.
my bad decisions will touch the sky.
fox skinthe heat is rolling in like a bad omen
and i will be waiting on the doorstep
with my arms open wide as if for the rain
one day you will come home and i will
fit you into my palms like you were built
to cradle between my lifelines and crooked thumbs
to tuck into the folds of my too-tight skin,
like your lungs held air
even when i wasn't breathing into them.
summer means three things:
i. my fingers tangle like headphones in your pocket and i drop letters and don't care
ii. i would hook my hands into my neck with fishhook fingers if i could pull you out of me
iii. i choke on my own tongue trying to summon the words that will summon you.
you drag behind me like a shadow, nestle under my tongue like a scab,
i would pull-pop every muscle in my mouth and spit you out like blood
if i weren't so busy nursing day-old water
and waiting for your lips
remembered on my neck
to pass over me:
i am waiting for you to die in my heart, where it matters most
call me your coffin
as long as you do not ac
loving you nowloving you the way i do now is like a revolution
bodies swarming back into the streets
flags and hand signs and guns thrown into the air
loving you now is thick ropes with sharp hooks
necked around the bright marble statues of you,
pulling and pulling and shattering,
loving you now is fallen idols in the streets
and the smell of sweet breads, and the sound of
hammers and nails and wood skeletons going back up;
loving you now is like rebuilding a city i nearly bulldozed
(loving you as a friend is easier than loving you as a god)
loving you now is so much better than loving you then
romance! death! i don't even know if i like you!nothing good lasts forever - so that's okay
we'll be holding hands right into the apocalypse
you're crumblingyou are a writer and you want to tell me a story but you
are the worst kind of writer because you're too busy
scribing as you go to feel your heels catch the air.
you are a tailor walking down the street
and unpicking seams just to prove you know how.
i thought you were writing a romance,
until i noticed that you were writing a tragedy.
or maybe just a horror.
i thought i was the vampire in your
universe, i thought you'd take your inky fingers
and put me down as interesting and sharp
carve me out of cobwebs and silently
fall in love with me
i thought you were writing about me. well,
it's too late now. i'm writing about me, and i'm writing
everything i can about me and about us. this is
my horror story, this is my doomed romance, and i
don't want to be the wispy starving thing i was around you,
i don't want to flex my fingers and know that
each join could crumble any second now. no, this is my story,
and i'll be my own monster.
i'm thinking harpy.
i'm thinking gorgon.
i'm thinking that
cloudhandedthey tell you that you're strong and you
imagine them handing atlas the skies
and whispering the same thing;
you only wanted to put everything down for a few moments:
it is not weak to need to breathe in again, it is
not weak if your lungs cannot hold down saltwater
it is not weak
it is not weak
it is not weak
throati am breathing in smoke and breathing out letters,
hands claw-bent around a cigarette
i am breathing in snow and breathing out hurt
holding my hands out like a sacrifice
our bodies are brick, our bodies are mortar,
our hands are spead out and utterly hollow
human dams, pushing back the rainwater,
fighting against the first shivers of ice
everyone thinks their pain is the first,
that they alone have been hit by the swirling waters
that their fingers are the only ones crooked with cold
i do not care if i am predictable:
i miss you
a lover's observations.when you asked me to define love,
i answered with this.
i. a collection of sighs
by remembered dreams
and rapid heartbeats
ii. fingertips on knuckles
and the hugging of thumbs
iii. making silverware
on the mattress
in the company of the stars
iv. exchanging dialogue
with our mouths shut
and our eyes open
v. cheekbones and crow's feet
vi. turning every what if
into a reality
when i asked you to describe love,
you took the answer from my mouth
with your lips.
a void danceThere is a hole in my chest
and I've clawed it open,
the rest of my faulty smiles escaping.
Blackened piano keys and shameless metaphors
spiraling down my spine,
tainting my skin with the inferiority.
There is a hole in my chest,
babe, and I'm terrified that when you hold me,
I'll only shatter your hopes
of finding something so unlike you.
There is a fucking hole in my chest
and it's been growing, like a reverse pregnancy
I think I might have planned.
And I'm so scared that if you kiss me,
all you will taste is polluted air.
There is a hole in my chest,
I put it there,
and I'm sorry you tried to fall in.
listen.the wind is grazing into the shore and
we are just children, people hating people because we
don't know what else to hate (except ourselves).
between the peaks and rock shelves we find ourselves reaching
for books of reality, books that will tell us the answer,
the elusive answer and we don't even know the question yet.
the meaning of life turns into hours on a summer porch eating
yellow peaches and skimming novels we know we'll never
really read. we'll skip rocks until our hands shake of age
and then we'll sit, mute, in a room full of people we hate,
eating shit soup and watching nurses make their rounds.
but there are still words to make up and songs to wind our
clocks back and we are still breathing. they make a cure for everything.
chapped lips- swipe vitamin e. weight loss- drink water and stop eating
so damn much. heartache- dive into chapter two and make the pages stop
running away from you.
the only cure they haven't figured out is how to save us from ourselves.
for every gun t
ConvenienceTeach me how to trap your firefly breaths
in the net of my tessellated skin,
so if I wake, short of recollections,
I still have the chance to watch my pores
lie open against yours, alive.
Walk your fingers along my clavicles
like they lead you home,
where the walls thump a rhythm you can dance
and die to.
And to be shamelessly honest,
I dare ask you to burn a little brighter for me
when you wake and find that the longer I stay,
the less I stand on my own.
v.in the dew-dark moon-glow
of the star-stained night
i will sit up
we are all waiting to be found.August 17, 2012
I met a girl five years ago on a train to Paris and she told me she was running away. I asked her why, and she said she didn't know why—just that she had lots of things in her life that would justify her escape.
She held a cup of coffee in her left hand and periodically, she'd inhale the steady steam and sigh. I think she caught me staring at her once when her nostrils were on the plastic lid, so she explained that the smell of caffeine kept her heartstrings alive.
Her eyes were forever open, as if she never stopped to blink because she was afraid she'd miss something, and the sun sat on her eyelashes like birds on a wire because she told me she didn't know how to cry.
She had a habit of dropping things, and the third time she stooped below the table to pick something up, she screamed and hit her turquoise beret against the desk and spilled the sugar out of my tea. She apologized like a little kid, with her bottom lip sticking out ever so slightly, and said
atlantis.when i was young i lived by the sea in a small creaky house that couldn't keep me warm. i wanted to see how people breathe and fight and discover and live but my momwidowed by a dreamerwanted me safe with her.
i met a boy when i was eight or nine and he said hello every morning and brought us eggs and milk and groceries and stuff. he always gave me a seashell, still dripping salt water and he told me it was from atlantis.
impossible, i'd say.
improbable, he'd say.
and i went back to bed with another seashell in my drawer.
it wasn't until months later that this boy i loved would teach me how to get to atlantis.
there was lightning crisscrossing the delicate sky and my skin was wet. i couldn't see and i was frozen numb, but this boy doggedly dragged me to the dock. jump, he said, jump like you mean it. and i thought he wanted to kill me.
but i held my breath and leapt into the icy water and he followed me in. i gasped for air and he snagged my hand and torpedoed down and i th
in the storm.you wash over me like seasons.
i never quite know which will be coming next
last night you were thunder and lightening
and you left my lips tingling
with water stuck in the spaces between thoughts.
i still can't quite shake you
and the water marks have stained up my legs
and they're getting higher each time
you come raging over.
CountermelodiesWhen it begins,
it’s like discovering
the decadence of music.
Perhaps your breath hitches
on the cello carrying the countermelody.
It reminds you of their voice,
as they warm spices in the kitchen
and you’d wrap your arms around them from behind,
like the horns come up from under
and saturate the harmony.
Their body feels familiar in all different ways,
a second listen granted to a beautiful movement.
You can’t tell them you repeat
the first song they showed you
because it smells like their skin
If you listen close enough.
And they can’t tell you that
they try to harmonize with your
speaking voice on the phone
because you sound closer that way.
They’ve turned your solos to concertos.
You feel their lips on your cheek and
your hair stands on end like you’ve
heard God on their lips;
their touch is prophetic.
You hold them close and hope they’ll linger
like a violin on a high note,
and you can’t bear to open your eyes
and dismiss the beauty
block/headI don't write,
- any more
I don't think I remember how to
or how to take my dry-throat swallows and let them be birds
how to turn words into things that matter, or how you
wrap up your heart like a four-cornered blanket
like a bundle on a stick before you leave town.
I don't remember how to start a sentence with "you are"
and end it in anything besides "drifting away from me".
I don't write, any more. Not even to you,
I just sit cross-legged in front of a thousand screens
and I touch my palms to the keyboard like you'll feel the heat of them,
I don't write.
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
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