i thought it was frostbite, but it’s not, i’m just standing there, heart-racing, waist-deep in the snow. there’ snothing you can do to help me, but the wolves won’t hurt me. i’ve been here before. the frost clumps to my eyelashes, and i wince at the path less taken. i’ve done that before, too. but the blizzard is too thick, and i can’t see the forest for the trees. that’s been said before, a million times–you know what it means. i thought it was drowning, but i think it’s just osmosis. i think i’m just falling asleep. i think my fingers don’t belong to me, and my lonesome heart has really known it all along. i’ve been staring down at the water, and wondering what lurked that deep. i thought it was heatstroke, thought it was something i could treat. thought it would go away with time or place or a change of mind. but i think it might just be me. me, and my stubbornness, me and my pride. i hope i never lose it, ‘cause you need it to survive. i thought i was losing my mind, but i think i’m just seeing things clearly for the very first time.


i sharpened my tongue on flint / and i practiced on myself at least a little bit / don’t wanna say it, but it’s true / i carved my eyes out of marble and jade and i looked out on the world in a rose-tinted shade / i fashioned myself hands and fingertips out of driftwood, of mahogany / and i scribbled on my arms with free business pens / searched for something i was supposed to be feeling, a warmth or a sunrise that just doesn’t come / you can stop, you can rest now / that’s what i’m told, but if i set down roots i’m never going to leave / if i bow my head, and go to sleep, they’ll wake me up centuries later, when my friends are dead / so i practised asking for what i want with my head held high / i practiced watching like a hawk, and now it’s just what i do / the knife cuts both ways, this has always been true.

i studied the moviements of my face in the mirror, of my trembling shoulders and my tired thighs / and i watched the light shift before my eyes / have you ever noticed how the world changes upon observation? how there’s a fault in everything if you only look / it’s in my blood to be this way, which is really just to tell you that i am tired / the door is shut and i want to lie awake, staring up at the ceiling, thinking of all the things i’ll do / and i’ll dig the knife a little deeper, i’ll find some way to be bitter about something or other / marinating in fury on the bathroom floor / the knife cuts both ways / and i know how to hold it in-between my palms, sifting through words to let go, and words to leave to rot on the back of my tongue / things i’ll never tell you, ‘cause what’s done / i’ve already forgot



those muscles like a bowstring

like the greasy words slipping down your throat


around, what, 100 square feet?

the carpet and the bedframe

and the bookcases, buckling

beneath their own weight

look up

at used car prices, the night sky for all i care

and spend hours and hours and hours

scrolling through apartments on my phone

scribble down figures in notes

maybe i’ll take up running, maybe i’ll change my plans

but i don’t want to tell a soul


your jaw and try

to put a pin on why you feel sick

and why you can see it 

all rolling out before you


you’re walking on a tightrope, my music playing on loop

like the buzzing of a fly


up that story, up all those words

and grimace as they stick 

to your eyelashes, to the bottom of your throat

you’re never gonna forget those words that were said

when you were ten years old, so why don’t you

etch them into notebook pages

and tear through the paper with your pen

why don’t you feel useless, why don’t you stay up late

why don’t you sit inside these four walls

and drive yourself crazy

there’s a world out there, if only you could find it

if only you could go

if only you were braver

if only you didn’t feel so alone

as you talk and talk and talk

to tiny voices on the telephone


those fists into battering rams

into wrecking balls, ready to knock down whole rooms

in the span of one breath

i’m gonna spin around in circles until i catch my death

on a good day

i’ve been getting up early

just to waste time, and run

all the way to work, and i’ll get there

just two minutes late

i’ll feel like shit about it anyway

i miss you like a dagger, straight to the heart

i miss you sharp and strong and good

i miss you like an art, like the long

silence like the things lost in text

a picture says a thousand words, or so i’ve been told

and i don’t know if that true, but what i know 

is that i’m tired, these days and i have all the time in the world

that i still choose to waste

yeah, i’ve been curling into myself

these days

and letting it all go

but on a good day, it’s not gonna cross my mind

on a good day, i’m half-asleep and still all right

and i’m bright and early and i’m good

i bring you tea and i run the laundry

and i sit with my thoughts, dip my toes into murky saltwater

yeah, on a good day, someday

i’m gonna take it with a smile and walk along the shore

and everything that bothers me is hardly

an issue anymore

on a good day i’m gonna swallow 

every drop of cough syrup, i’m gonna be healthy

real good

you know how it goes

i’m gonna get up, and run as far as my legs can go

come home with energy to spare

just you wait and see 

how good it’ll be, just come next week

how i’ll be brave and i’ll be mature 

and i’ll do the work without a word

we’ll read side by side

i’ll talk with you for hours, i’ll feel perfectly fine

from the top of my head to the tips of my toes

and i’ll stay that way in the morning sun

for quite some time

the woods

i’m walking through these brambles, i’m tripping on the roots

of trees that have stood here since long before i came here

and when i leave, someday, they will continue to grow up to the sky

and i wonder if my mother has walked these paths before

if my grandmother collapsed in despair between tree-roots,

and if her mother sat in fields of scotch broom, despondent

trying to pull them out one-by-one to no avail

i prick myself on the briar rose and wonder how long disease

has marked these leaves, made petals shrivel and fall to the ground

and i’d pick you a bouquet, darling

but i don’t know when i’ll come back around

and at night, everything feels monstrous and scary

and the wind howls songs i’ve never heard on the radio

never blasted at work to get away from my mind

never hummed to myself, tried with all my might to stay on tune

my lungs shake like feathers

i’ve got nothing left to do

i’m walking through these briars, and i’m wading through the creek

the jagged rocks painting red along the soles of my feet

remember when we were little kids, pushing at the boundaries and wandering

through the suburban wilderness out into the unknown

walk until we were dizzy, until your parents got worried and it was far past time

to get home

i’m sitting by the river now, tracing the initials painted on stone

and i wonder how long my name will echo, when i leave this place

wonder how long it’ll take to fade from memory, before every one of my footsteps

has been erased

i’ll build a home in the trees

and i’ll trace the perimeter with each sunrise

i’ll make a home through the branches of the trees

and i’ll pretend i don’t give a fuck, even though i do

i’ll walk away, someday

and in the bottom of my chest, i’m always going to miss you