blood in the back of my throat
side stabs, memory lapse,
sensory overload
fresh red wax, copper coated tongue
needles and pins, blueberry shins,
rice that's overdone

now she holds my hands
and kisses my scrapes,
whispers "shh, it's okay
baby, you know i love you"
i say "i know,
i'm sorry, sometimes
it's hard to remember,
but - can you say it again anyway?"
"i love you"
"i love you too"

powdered sugar dusting
cherry cheeks are rich and sweet
hersheys kisses in warm pastries
brand new bandaids, mouthwash
almond lotion for my callused hands and mind

trauma has a strange taste


flower girl wilts
her color fades
from purple to green-gray
magic fails and lies come out -
desperate to be pure, desperate to have her own way,
desperate to hold on forever and make everyone stay

gold tarnishes
sparkles smear all over a dirty face
long nails crack as they hit the floor -
off of your egotistical pedestal.
you cannot fly out of reach.
you cannot smile or cry
as an apology."

nature witch disintegrates
into the gaps between the moss clumps
home before, home now, home forever
"come home.
you've done hurtful deeds
and proven your selfish heart -
you had your chance to change and be of worth.
rotting men and selfish children go back to the dirt."


less delicate with each passing year
but ever so fragile, your petit fours
are crumbling, caviar rotting,
cavities festering, time
is your thief and benefactor

bequeathed with
dirt under your bitten fingernails,
the riches of lifetimes
in your memory are enough;
gold is high in demand
and silence abounds

your hair tangles
are caught in cobwebs
dust off your trinket shelves
and clean yourself up

you wait to be saved
you wait for anyone
to break down your door in your fortress
that you made yourself, you wait
for someone to fall in love with your shell
and you won't even open a window

ready to fall apart at any moment

put your useless hands to work
sew yourself up


it's skin-and-bones
meat deep below the surface
and you know how to find your way in
nothing here, nothing to see
a shaking body and clenched teeth
weakly roll over, weekly roll out of bed
i'm wed to six year old promises
while i can't remember you loving me
ten minutes ago, i did not exist
transience is the only option
flew right through me
my shoulder cracks and my legs wobble
scare me again like that and i'll die, i'll die,
hold me when the floor is poisoned,
hold me when i can't stand up,
hold me when i push away
eyes narrowed teeth bared red faced
lay down first, hold me when i'm tired
and i'm skin-and-bones
and there's nothing to see here,
nothing but exhaustion
and a victim complex,
black and white thinking
that all or none of you is perfect
beneath my surface there is
nothing to see here
so i look at you instead


heaven's touch is icy and soft
cold hands, cold eyes,
silk skin from the lotions your ex still mails you
papercuts from the letters your boyfriend mails you
kisses on your fingers from your girlfriend
i just want to make you happy
early sundays on hard church pews
and your perfume on my worn out jacket
hands hidden, hands barely holding us together,
glory glory, hallelujah!
don't laugh because they don't know, laugh because they can't stop us
praise god, grandmothers' church vans full of angelic children
angels in your heart, angels kiss your forehead,
angels in your ripped sheets, in your stained bed
late nights of skype calls
and secondhand lies
childish eyes can't see everything
sleep, pretty angel, sleep,
and you pray that you'll forget me
and i pray that i'll remember you


the lights are dimming and my head is swimming
fish in my eyes sand in my ears
a plunge and I cannot handle
the deep sea pressure of
my own thoughts swim swim swim
have fun! the imagined summer sun
burns me I am pale I am fragile
I am barely holding together
what kind of glue fixes porcelain
this is getting old, antique,
not even quaint or cute or vintage just
old and decaying and quickly dissipating
a fine dust spreads when a piece of me
shatters again it doesn't matter
there are so many more of me
I can't see what broke the light dims as I sink
further further further down into the sea
my hands how they tremble I am scared and alone
and it won't end with morning
and it won't end with night
and I am swimming swimming drowning
inside myself


the rings I gave you transformed into promises,
and as you fiddled with them on their chains
your small fingers wore them thin and they

deep and grounding dreams that kept me high
and kept you distant
were too big for your tiny frame
and our young eyes to see in perspective
to a grand scheme

navy blue and red
late nights and bunk beds
dark eyes and letters absorbed,
poems memorized and the words echo in my mind
because we could not stare at each other instead

soft moans, arched backs,
wet fingers and whispered secrets
and anything, anything for you
and nothing for me

I can't remember
why you promised anything

but it was nice while the silver polish
shined on your thin metal bands
the green stain became more a part of me than you
a cheap artificial vein

as much as I have been trying to change
you have done nothing and stayed the same
waste your life away
get wasted and stay away

the hole in your heart is a library shelf
where you took off your rings and left them there,
diamonds and the thought of me
and you traded them for seventeen joints
and a month of apathy

get high to keep yourself away from me
it would've been less painful
if you'd admitted you didn't love me


your weight on top of me,
suffocating me like the panic that
grips me, like your hands
that tighten around me,
strong steel beams and nothing
will bring them down and I
can't scream -
your voice in my ears,
just water and sand that I
can't stand and I
can't breathe because I've been
drowning in your power,
charisma and chances and here
I am at the peak of desperation
and the bottom of this year,
an ocean of memories and I
am having trouble swimming
up, I can't move I am
frozen in this moment
under your weight,
in your sight,
choking on your breath -
I can't wash it off me,
the stench of sex and misery
and desperation and I
cannot scream -

my shower took three hours
and I cannot begin
to explain why


there is a subtle lack of heroism
in the choice of words
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silence from downstairs
sleep with the crickets and snakes
and never wake
up the stairs (you stomp) and your heaving breaths scream RAGE!
my trained ears can hear it all and
every time i do i am terrified
my heart slams in my chest
a slammed door and a slamming memory of being blamed
for the hole in the wall
when it was taller than i was and would ever be
five and twenty five and you won't take responsibility
twenty five and you frame a child who is learning how to read
who heard the bad things but refused to believe

the war is over
all you can do is
talk about the war, dream about the war, write about the war -
forget about the damn war
you are not the veteran.
he is out of bed and the doctors
don't rush to his side anymore.
the faithful three hour car rides
are over
gripping the steering wheel, pretend to prepare for disaster,
the speedometer tips 90 but your heart goes faster
and nothing could ever ready you
for losing even one battle
in his unsteady chest

you think of yourself as
the new jesus, you martyr,
don't make me your white knight
i cry when he looks at me
but you mistake it for overwhelming passion
when it's
years of repression;
i am afraid
that neither of us have what it takes

all i remember is the screaming
and the yelling
we all disappeared for three weeks
and life was in limbo
my father cried on my shoulder
and it turns out that neither of you love me

i still cross my fingers
and hope you never come back
when did i stop praying before bed
on my knees whispering "please don't be mad at me"
when did i stop asking god to make me invisible
so he wouldn't see me

there is a subtle lack of heroism
in the choice of action:
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they were life altering for me
i am your breathing mistake
i am all the damage you've done
forgotten about again because i am not your son
but a novelty gun
discovered by bored children,
fired once and never touched again

eighteen years
its been raining thirteen
the spark
finally goes out


a whole world inside my head
trapped inside my body
that garden in my chest
the heaven in my heart and
the hell in my head
a whole world, oceans and canyons and mountains
and I travel it every day
and I never pay attention
to the ones in front of me
I promise I
never write poetry

you're far too close to me,
so, and I almost didn't
notice I'm not even
here and the joke
isn't me, it's you,
for once the joke is on you
I want to know how it feels to
play someone else

spiders on my shoes and
dirty backpacks stuffed with
broken pencils, dead batteries,
you think it all means something
but it's all frivolity and boredom
and idle hands and feet and the joke
isn't me, it's on you
I'm late again and
this isn't fucking poetry,
the joke's on you

more talking and talking
as if I care at all, as if it didn't go
right over my head, over the
mountains and oceans and
canyons between the door and
my seat, my house and
my feet, how many times
do I have to repeat
this isn't fucking poetry
I am crying and the joke
is on me
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