skin peels from bones, submerged in crimson liquid:
and if you were to look inside me,
damn aesthetics, break my ribcage free and
delight my lungs with your tongue of venom,
your eyes would light with glee at the
i listen to too many 8tracksi've never told anybody this,
but i'm telling you now that someday
i'm going to swim into the ocean
and never come back.
i'm going to swim so far out
that not even the largest lighthouse
could find me. i'm going
to let the seawater soak
into my veins until i'm bursting,
salty with the bitterness
of all the times i never had,
like the nights you rubbed
circles on my back. i'm going
to fight against the current, knowing
that i'll be defeated before
i even begin. it doesn't matter
that someday my body will be found
by either man or animal, for this body
is mere transport; my soul
will be of the sea, of the tides
that wash onto the shore and cling
to the sand. and maybe,
if you look closely enough,
you'll find me riding the current
probably a few weeks agoyou’re seven cups of coffee in and it’s 1 a.m.
the waffle house countertop seems
expansive in the dim light.
for the first time this night,
you deny your waitress the right
to pour you another cup.
if coffee can’t keep you awake,
you lay a tip on the tabletop when she is
bent over her phone.
she might be your age,
rings etched under her eyes
from a procession of shifts spent
waiting for the sun to rise.
outside, you spark the lighter.
smoke slides down into your lungs
then shoots back out your nose,
curls in haloes above your head.
wade out into the adjacent field of barley
where the plants are hunched over
in their opulence; teeming with granules
that beg for the harvest.
cup the soft soil in your palms,
mix it with the scintillating light from the diner,
and realize you are only just beginning to understand
the complexity of things.
saccharineshe’s made of cotton candy:
spin, twirl, break, then dissolve.
sugar rushes through her veins,
viscous, arteries clogging
from the buildup. her eyes are filmy
and she leaves a sticky residue
wherever she touches. many
find her a delight but she rarely stays
for long, her presence disappears
as their lips forget her name,
their tongues forget her taste.
she starts everywhere and ends
nowhere. parents warn their children:
stay away, she’ll make your teeth rot.
yet they persistently return
with their nickels and dimes,
insisting on just one more taste.
seasonal reflectionsi. autumn arrived with a reckoning,
the pine cones held secrets and they’d whisper
to me in the night as their sweet wood hands fell
to the ground; i tasted maple honey
while sticky fingers scraped bark
that screamed sweetly to the sunset
ii. winter came slowly, timberland
freeze and peppermint icicle swirls
on frosted puddles as cold as Siberian igloos,
Eskimo girls in bear skin hats and leather gloves;
i was never one of them but i heard
they breathe out steam in glacial time
iii. spring bloomed and so did the bruises,
black and blue like Van Gogh’s starry
night, minus the stars; my teeth grew crooked
as wildflower veins and my hair sprouted
like meadow grass, i pretended i was a coppice
nymph and at dusk i sang with the cicadas
iv. summer sought the hidden gardens,
the scorched earth cultivated secrets in barren
soil, foolish, i dug for the answers but uprooted
only last year’s seeds, tore the foundation down
with broken nails; i danced with honey feet on
It’s been a year and I can still remember waking up, disoriented and alone. You were my compass, and you left. I don’t quite know how, but I’ve managed to make my own way without you. And it hurts. God, it hurts. Sometimes I wonder where you are and what you’re doing and who are you with? Are you with someone else? Are you with him? I know you won’t ever receive this letter, that the postal service will realize how hopeless these efforts of sending this are, but I can’t help myself. I can’t help that I still think about the way your lips fit perfectly with mine or how right it felt to be with you. I know that this message will end up as one of thousands of others in the dead letter office but maybe, just maybe, it will reach you.
Six months and four days: that’s how long it’s been since he has sent the letter. He lives in New York City, in an apartment that he still has yet to pay
Theological Semanticswe are on vacation in Florida
when she asks me, “what is God?”
and i correct her, “who is God?”
and she shakes her head, repeats
“what is God?”
the sea sounds fill the gap.
i can see a storm roll in
over the ocean expanse
and i take a breath and answer:
God is all of the things that can’t be explained
with recitations and verses.
God is the space that empties itself to tangibility
and the ghosts that scream in the wind.
God is the meaning between the breaths and last night’s
whiskey running through your veins.
God is the reflection in your eyes and the mist exhaled
into January nights that evaporates under the moon.
God is the sounds too high to hear, frequencies
not meant for humanity because we would misinterpret.
God is all of the pasts that never were and all of the
futures that will never come to be.
“does that answer your question?”
and the sea washes
away our footprints
The Eventual Give and TakeI can always tell when I’m pushing you over the edge, and I want to stop, I do. I want to close the wounds I’ve opened, to patch you up with dollar store bandages so you will no longer bleed sorrow. I want to make it okay. I want your eyes to shine like the stars you capture and your smile to reflect sincerely when you look in the mirror. I want to please you and I want to unburden the weight I put on your shoulders. I want you to be joyful, but not happy, because happiness can be washed away as quickly as sand is pulled back into the sea. I want to be your escape, not your prison. So give me the key, and I’ll lock it away with all of the other things that I want.
My dear, what you lack in understanding you make up for in insolence. You have never come close to pushing me over the edge. You have never made me bleed sorrow. I may appear to break and bend to the whims of your subconscious desires but remember: an ounce of advice makes for a wealth of p
The DregsThere are kids killing
themselves on concrete
beneath flickering street lamps
that watch over the city like
and T.J. Eckleburg would
shake his head,
lost in the urban sprawl
of the future eating the
past. They are
trying on tongues
under clouded moonlight,
for mother, madre, mére,
ahm, abatyse, äiti,
but stumbling over strange
vowels and unfamiliar
consonants because their
teeth are stained from
too-hot coffee and a
of fluoride. Caffeine
overload, synapse electric,
a metropolis made hectic
by layered skyscrapers
clawing at the sun, shadows
casted over the neighborhoods
no one speaks about
How to Ride a HorseBecause he’s kicked you
assert your dominance
Lead him to the mounting block
Climb atop his back
Let him feel
your weight before
you squeeze his belly
Take the reins
between your fingers
to the ring
Warm him up
with repetitive circles
Before you point
him towards the jump
urge him to a canter
as you fly through
the air and land
Straighten up— don’t
I'd Rather Be DeadYou're always asking me if I had anything worth dying for.
I'll pose the opposite to you and ask you this:
"Why is it that you find life to be worth living?"
Is it so interesting to go through each day feeling anxious?
To the point that you feel nauseated enough to collapse.
Is it so joyous to spend each night staring at a blank ceiling,
Hearing the clock tick on toward morning,
And yet you lie awake.
Tired, but awake, emotionless, but awake...
Do you truly get up each day, facing it with optimism.
Or do you look at the news and the state of the world,
And genuinely fear for your safety?
Now, if it were me that you had asked my dear,
I'd tell you quite honestly: That I'd rather be dead.
At least I would not have to hear the white lie inside my head.
That tomorrow will bring me a 'better' day...
But of course, you are welcome to believe that.
Bully You're ugly.
You'll never amount to anything.
No one will ever like you.
If you think he'll stay, you're mistaken.
You have no friends.
People hate you.
You are a freak.
You have no place here.
You are nothing more than a coward who
is too afraid to step outside half the time.
Your face is like something from a horror movie.
No one will ever truly fall in love with you.
Guys want girls that are beautiful and face it,
you are considered everything but that.
Hide behind your hair dye because you want to
feign like you don't care.
But inside the cruel eyes of others burn holes into
You will never amount to anything.
The only thing you will ever be good for
is cleaning up dog shit.
You will never be good enough.
Why bother even dreaming?
How can you consider the possibility of love
when everything you do, the way you look, walk,
talk, move, think, can only ever be seen as
Not only is the outside hideous;
the inside is no better.
Why do you think you've
Stripping MeYou may take what you want from me,
Be it my pride or dignity.
You may throw insults at me,
And burn the shredded pieces of my sanity.
You may belittle me, as much as you want,
If only to make your meager life worth living.
But even if you do all that...
No one will protect you when I pull you into the dark.
No one will try to search for you, as my leather ropes tie you down.
No one will hear your screams as metallic screws drive into your face,
Etching an eternal smile, since you'll never leave this place...
"Now then, my dear sweet James, shall we play our favourite game?"
We Only Live To DieThis is what we live for—these whispers on our lips
The drying bits of blood on our paper-cut fingertips
Opening the letters that we left our future selves
A bittersweet reminder of those storybooks on the shelves
This is what we live for – this emotion in our souls
The torture and the bittersweet moments of lost control
Biting cracked lips with the dirt beneath our nails
These moments of imperfection as our trains of thought derail
This is what we live for – shutting doors and opening eyes
Smiling for a moment, before the tears reveal our lies
This is what we live for, this reality, this life…
This is what we live for,
As we only live
Past Tense BluesWases
So are weres;
And it's the becauses
That make them feel
That much worse.
You're Going to be Okay.It’s not your fault.
It’s not what you deserve.
Don’t think that way,
Because one day,
This won’t matter anyways.
Keep your head held high for now,
I know it hurts,
Words can feel suffocating.
As you feel like your lungs are collapsing,
Under the weight of the pain,
In your chest.
I know it stings,
And it seems like it takes forever for the bell to ring.
As you count down the hours.
But it doesn’t matter.
When you just go home,
To sit in your room alone.
Because words unlike bruises don’t go away.
Once they are said they are here to stay.
And silence is excruciating.
But being in a crowd of violent stares,
Is no better.
So where do you go?
Is the question you’ll never know.
But don’t give up just yet!
Things will not always be like this.
Yes, today seems hopeless.
Tomorrow seems worse.
One more day of hearing another hateful word.
Might make your head explode,
And sometimes you want to drive yourself completely off the road.
You are someone's reason to liveShe had skin like a cactus-
could only hurt
anyone who got
she held what
You have to know pain to....Sometimes you have to fall apart.
You have to bleed out,
In order to have the courage to shout.
Against the darkness.
You have to know what it's like,
To feel disconnected,
To be best friends with your anxiety,
Because it's the only thing to keep you company.
Because you've never felt so lonely.
Even though you're surrounded in a sea of noise,
Which drowns out your voice.
As you choke,
On society's noose
You're afraid to cut it loose.
Because you don't know what others will think of you.
You have to know depression.
You have to know what it's like to be alone.
You have to know what it's like to be silenced.
In order to appreciate breathing,
And to fall in love with colors.
After being blind,
For all of that time.
And only being able to see memories,
In order to appreciate a person's presence.
And the feeling,
When you finally find a friend.
Who will stick with you until the end.
And not judge you for your scars.
But loves who you are.
RapeI am a seventeen year old boy
I have determination in my bright blue orbs.
My smile can calm even the strongest tempest.
My friends are nothing short of amazing,
and my family...well, they are some of the most
supportive people I have in my life.
I'm going to make it big. Have a family,
live in a big house.
I'm going to marry my princess, have money
I'll be happy.
And my children will look up to me,
so will my wife. I'll protect them,
I'll be their role model.
I'll be the grandpa my grand kids love.
I'll live a long life, until it's time for me to go.
And even then, I'll be smiling down, not ready
to really depart from happiness.
I'm a seventeen year old boy,
and my tears stain my ruffled jacket.
I can't smile like I used to, but I try.
But I'm still so lonesome.
Where were the friends that understood me?
Where was the family that supported me?
They try, but I can't let them in.
My future crumbles, my wife vanishes,
my children...their children, drown in the