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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
It's Okay to be ImperfectThe moon
Stand Against SuicideI know the pain is perhaps unbearable,
But darling, please put down the blade.
Release your emotions through tears and smiles,
Rather than dreading these days.
Do it for the little girl, whose mother can’t be there,
Or for the boy whose father drank too much.
For the boy who can’t sit in elementary school,
Because the bruises from Daddy hurt to touch.
For the teenage girl lying face down in her bed,
Thinking, why can’t it all be done?
For the elderly man looking up at the stars,
Counting the days one by one.
Do it for the children who wonder, does it end?
For the ones who feel left on their own.
For the ones who think, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard
If I didn’t feel so left alone.
And finally, do it for one other person,
The person in front of these words.
Because you’ll never know how it gets better
When focusing on pain and hurt.
Live one more day, dear, for them and for you,
And I swear to you, problems will fade.
I know, for right now, it’s p
Unable to loveMy love was pure
I only wanted
But my heart
Because my love
Like a piece of garbage
And now I'm unable
Because the shreds
Of my shattered soul
I Thought I Needed FeminismI thought I needed feminism, when I was a little girl.
And I am very sad to admit, that this wasn't very long ago.
I thought when he held the door open for me, that he was making a big mistake.
That he was being a pompous ass, and he took my strength for a fake.
And when he offered to pay my tab, I still called him an ass.
Because I thought he assumed I was poor, and below middle class.
Or when his hard work earned him a promotion,
yet I did nothing, and the boss' ignorance to promote me, I believed was a sexist notion.
My friend really wanted feminism when she found her ex-dead drunk,
removed his clothes, and without his consent, had a pleasurable fuck.
When her parents bust into the room unexpected that night,
she said he raped her, and he was arrested without so much as a fight.
Perhaps feminism was there when I walked out into the street in pure nudity,
and shouted the my neighbors “You have no right to judge me!”
I didn't care about the children who were standing in th
MathematicsI am but the sum of my
F L A W S;
a network of
S C A R S
a disaster of
D R E A M S
a shield of
B O N E S
C A L C U L A T I O N
a void of
to the girl i lose my words aroundi have been meaning to tell you for years:
i think you’re beautiful. i have
seen nothing on earth that holds a candle
to the ocean you carry inside your body.
it spills over your edges sometimes, like
a rain shower around you, blurring your penciled-in
lines until there is nothing left of you but your natural
cliffs, valleys, and deserts.
i like that.
i have never met someone who is, somehow,
a sea and a storm at the same time.
maybe i never will again.
maybe you are the only one
who gathers clouds on her forehead
like a promise, or feels the push and pull of the tide
with her every step.
you are beautiful, honestly.
you are honest, beautifully.
it is in the way you talk, the way you hold ice
on your tongue but forget to use it—
you always forget to use it, i don’t think
you know how.
to be truthful, i’m afraid of your smile
and how it breaks over me, how it pulls
me like a whirlpool down, how it pushes me
like a current back to the surface. i’m afraid of
DifferentDifferent on the outside,
Different mask you see daily,
Different girl you call ‘Hailey’
To my surprise
Your ears are distracted,
So I tell lies, looking into your eyes,
“Yea I’m fine. Simply tired”
For that response my brain is wired.
Different mouth you hear speaking,
Different voice you hear screaming
Different eyes you see pleading,
Different person you’d befriended
I’m sorry this is how it’s ended.
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