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
the worst miraclereading my drunk poetry about you
makes me feel drunk again
dizzy eyed, violent desire
you’re the only calm to my storm
with respect to my past self,all of my writings have led up to
y o u and m e
and i should have known before we even started,
i warned myself before i even knew the color of your eyes
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
Empty ShellI didn’t think much of it when I was little.
I didn’t notice all of the bottles
That littered the counter tops and the coffee tables.
I didn’t notice how you were always so unstable.
I didn’t think it odd for a moment
Because the whole time I’ve been around you’ve been broken.
I haven’t seen you actually happy
And it kills me.
I haven’t smelt your breath without a hint of liquor
Hiding behind it.
You’ve always walked around with a heavier shadow
The darkness sticks to you
It slowly made its way from your shoes
To your insides and ate away at them until you were left hollow.
A hollow shell.
Somewhere on the climb up the mountain you fell.
You broke all of your bones
And couldn’t make it back home.
You never saw what it was like to see from the top of that mountain.
To see that things get better,
So you never
The things that I never paid attention to when I was small
That I can see now.
And I feel so horrible
Letters to all the people I have kissedi. Rob
I expected a knight in shining armour but you were
just a boy, just a boy.
you flirted and you teased and you kissed me
at midnight on new year’s eve and set the tone
for that whole god-forsaken year.
I could taste lies on your tongue and doubt in your fingers;
you said you were a taurus but you were gemini all over.
friends shouldn’t kiss in the kitchen and
friends shouldn’t drink gin together and
friends shouldn’t cry, drunk on misery, and
friends shouldn’t break another friend’s heart and
I’m still sorry.
I expected just a boy but you were
a knight in shining armour, silver to the pretty
ivory teeth, who was looking for a damsel and found
only don quixote, tilting at windmills and refusing
to be saved.
we were drunk and you were more beautiful
under the harsh car park lights than I had noticed before
and you were mid-sentence and I was mid-hiccup and
we still laugh about it now.
School, Tests, and All The RestI'm not smart enough for this.
I have no answer for this question.
The more I search my brain,
The more I feel inadequate.
I cannot fathom the correct answer.
Didn't I study this for hours?
Why is your intellect based
On such trivial things?
Apparently, I am not as smart as I thought.
Why don't I know what to write?
This test is a nightmare.
Why can't I get this right?
The only thing about me I was proud of
Has now vanished
Because my textbook knowledge
Wasn't up to par.
on salting the field and winning the warthe phone rings again; pick it up.
today, the boss asked her when you're
coming back to work. she says she doesn't know
when the last time you got out of your house was.
you're not sure either. not all pain is fleeting.
not all pain is bright and hot. sometimes, it's
through the phone, she talks like the sun filtering through
newborn leaves. she is miles and miles away from
the hurricane that is battering your shoreline.
she wants to know when you'll be able to look her in
the eye again. 'the boss is thinking of giving away your job,'
she says. 'when will you be over this?'
you don't know what you should tell her.
'did you know,' you start, 'that years after
the Mexico City earthquake in 1985, citizens
walked around thinking they still felt aftershocks
in the soles of their feet?' break off
halfway through another word. stop. start again,
voice shaking. 'did you know that more soldiers in the iraq war
have died by their own hand than by that of an enemy's?'
voice shaking, h
.my head has become a
teeming with ugly whispers and most days
i just want to get drunk
it's too much:
sitting in a history class where
the teacher just drones on
like a broken record about how in sixty years
we'll all be suffocating on the exhaust fumes
of our parents' sins.
driving on a clustered highway
in an empty car with half a tank of
gas getting passed by people too
occupied to live their lives.
contemplating a black hole pompous
enough to call itself the
future as an insatiable
debt worms its way into
the valleys and canyons of
my skin and bones.
give me a scalpel and
open up my skull.
exterminate these savage vermin
from my mind before
my veins turn black from their
toxic desires and my heart stops
beating the moment i close my eyes.
Just SmileJust Smile
The rush of the wind, right beneath your feet.
It's knocked you down, on the left of the street.
People will laugh, people will mock, and people will scorn
Sometimes, like me, you wish you've never been born.
But like my dearest friends taught me, just smile
Smile during the good times and try your darn hardest when dealing with the bad.
This world is bleak, it has a lot to frown over, so just look life in the face and grin.
Tell it, “no matter how bad you treat me. I'm not going to let you win!”
Keep moving my guy, gal, no matter what you look like or how you sound.
There's one thing hatred can't take away from from this earth,
and that's the fact that frowning is more strenuous on the face.
So make your life, and your body feel much better by
I was imperfect.
I was the lie.
I was not honest.
For I am sorrow.
I'm not worth it.
There's no tomorrow.
Why didn't anyone listen?
Why didn't anyone see?
I am just a mirror
of what's to be!
I am empty.
I am gone!
I am nothingness.
I'm a fraud!
So please forgive me...
because I'm needy...
and you don't need me:
you need no one.
GhostsYou have just become a shadow
It is no longer what it was
It is no longer the same
I'm just a stranger I used to know
I know that much has changed
Just a stranger
Nothing that is now really you
You shattered and gone
And now it's just one more person I used to know
I miss you
I feel that it is difficult we could still be friends
But you simply forgot to live
Dear MeDear me, I know we've had disagreements
And that we don't always see eye to eye,
But the last thing I want for you
Is to feel like you have to say goodbye.
Dear me, I know you've been hurting a while
And I know that you're sick of the misery,
But just keep holding on a day at a time
And someday you'll find yourself set free.
Dear me, I know you've been crying.
I've seen your demons give chase.
Smile instead for things will get better.
Wipe those tears off your pretty face.
Dear me, I know your heart is breaking,
Like your being is shattered in two,
But please, don't give up just yet.
The survival rate is too few.
Dear me, I see that you're struggling,
That you feel like you're on the brink.
But keep pushing forward, keep fighting.
You're much stronger than you think.
Dear me, I feel so proud of you.
You've made it out alive.
You're happy now with all you've gained.
You've reached all for which you did strive.