i’ve seen the secrets of the sea

swum with monsters made of daydreams

i bought your story

about the things that lurk in the deep

i’ve felt the waves lap against my feet

and the seaweed twist around my fingertips

dragging me places the sun doesn’t reach

and no one else will ever follow

and watched the bubbles drift out of my mouth

i’ve seen a land where secrets hide

in treasure chests and states of mind

i’ve looked in the mirror, and met the eyes

of someone i don’t know

i’ve fashioned myself a monster

hiding in the darkness, never to be seen

i’ve hidden pieces of myself in the deep

and bolted them down

never to wash ashore, and never to be found

I thought I was going to be a lifeguard for a while–and maybe this just goes to show what kind of little kid I was, but I always had this weird, morbid fascination with drowning, probably just because I learned about its effects super young. (Not in a suicidal way, just in a sad, weird little kid way.) I remember, always getting really freaked out by that moment when you dive to the bottom, and your lungs burn, and you push to the top, but you’re not sure you’re going to get up in time–and then you surface, and it’s fine. I do a lot of swimming, even now; I’ve always loved the water. That’s where I tried to draw this poem from.


soft and sweet; let her bloom in oversaturated shades of orange and purple. let her be stupid, and innocent, for as long as she can bear it. ’cause it won’t last for long. and someday, she’ll rot into the ground. she’ll scrub the dirt off her cheeks, and feel secrets twist up into a knot in her throat. it’ll be dollar bills and delicate fingertips, and familiar faces on the wall. it’ll be piano songs, and a tennis games, where no one wins. let her be silly, let her dance, and sing. let her live every awkward phase and stubborn mistake in all its glory, and listen to music with the volume too loud. let her paint her skin with pinterest poetry, ’cause it makes her feel like floating, like bleeding in the sink; and it’s never as pretty in real life as it is in your head. let her be ugly, ’cause there’s something to who we are when no one’s watching. let her punch the shower curtain, and laugh at jokes that don’t make sense, and play with the ghosts out back, where we buried the guinea pig in seventh grade. let her tears make mud out of dirt. let her live it all again.

There’s this really scene in The Office where Andy says something along the lines of “I wish we knew we were living in the good old days before they ended.” (It’s been a while since I watched that show, but as I recall, in context it’s a lot less touching, because Andy is acting like a jerk by the time he says that. Anyway, I digress.) But I think I do know–because the past few months, I’ve had this weird feeling that I’m gonna be kicking myself in a few years for not living this time of my life to the fullest; gonna look back on it and wish I could do it all again. Like these things are only going to seem remarkable in retrospect, which is like, ninety percent of my life summed up. I might write something about that.

Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia–and this weird feeling of nostalgia I’ve been getting for the present of late, and this is what came out of it.


the last of the storm clings to the leaves

and glistens off the grass, emerald-green

wind blows through my hair

shirt’s soaking wet, clinging to my back like static

mud under my nails; smeared on my knees

birds flying like paper-kites

fluttering with the wind, dipping and diving

and rushing toward the sea

snapping me awake

and there’s a rainbow in the sky, sinking down towards the earth

my heart gleams like crystal, sharp and great.

Another rough attempt at nature poetry. I don’t tend to be a visual person, but I’m trying to learn.


i had this dream last night

that i ran away

somewhere the ocean stretched out forever

and the world was cold beneath my fingers

and i woke up in a sweat

cause god, what if i left behind everything i know

for a chance to escape

’cause maybe this is what it’s all been coming to

maybe this is the only way i’ll be okay

the only way i won’t spend my whole life running

won’t work until i bleed

gasp feeble breaths through the lump in my throat

and watch my mother’s face take shape in the mirror

where i used to see my own

i had a dream i wore nice dresses

and bought a house near the city

where the grass is green

and i don’t drive myself half-insane with worry

i make my bed and pour some tea

i forgive myself, slowly

’cause i’m living the dream in a one-bedroom apartment

where my poems are soft, and gorgeous

and i’ll never go home

So, I woke up a few days ago at, like, 5am (without an alarm) with this inexplicable, desperate, life-or-death urge to move to Denmark. I went back to sleep, and then first thing I did, woke up and went on this weird, half-asleep research frenzy.

I have family there, and I’ve always heard stories, but I’ve never seen it before–and I think I really want to. This poem isn’t totally literal–for the sake of this poem “Fenmark” represents this ideal I know only really lives in my head, this sort of bittersweet, desperate fantasy of escape. I hope I’ve left it open enough to be interpreted by the reader.


4/4 in a suite of seasonal poems

she’s got frost on her fingertips

and a world she can’t wait to see

but it’s snowed in, and dark now

and there’s no point in trying to leave

she paints the world in bleeding colour

an apple-red flush to her cheeks

it’s all waiting out there

the big, wide world

where the doves flutter free

and no one ever stays home

but what if she doesn’t want to leave

what if the sky is dark, and cold

and here, in this small-town oblivion

is everything she knows

and she loves it, and she hates it

encases herself in ice, and snow

she’s a statue of a person

she’s a tired, broken home

she’s walking slow out the door

running her hands across textured wallpaper

woodsmoke and dust

and it’s melting fast

the kingdom she ruled, running down the river

she’s got eyes carved from glass

and tired, heaving lungs

with just enough steam left for one last dance

to old songs through a record player

and a shitty plastic christmas tree

one last night

to wash the blood out of her teeth