i feel it all

i light a fire out the backyard

in the freezing cold

i watch the coals sizzle and whisper quiet words of rage

i take an ice cold shower on  a frozen day

and i shiver all morning, coughing and sneezing

and making a mess

bitch and moan about how the world will never be the same again

i scroll through my phone and i feel it all

like an arrow through my chest, i bleed and i cry and i live it again

wake up early, and stay up late

i put my soul into these words and i throw them all away

‘cause i don’t know if i can keep going for one more fucking day

i talk about honesty through my pretty brave face

and i don’t tell you the truth because i’m scared you’ll walk away

i smile and nod, and i sob through all the tissues on the car ride home

i crawl inside my head, and don’t let myself out for weeks on end

i try to help and i fail, again, again, again

i pray to something that i don’t believe in

i call you on the phone

i go to the beach in the pouring rain

i scream until i haven’t got even a whisper left to go

and then i walk down the highway, all the way home

wash my jeans and go to sleep

and try to hold myself gently; hold on and don’t let go

‘cause things are changing and i’m not ready

to stay up crying on my own

starving

my heart’s been a black hole / since i was just a little kid  / i’ve been sweeping up breadcrumbs, and holding onto flowers long after they’re dead / my heart’s been hungry for even the slightest scraps of affection / so i scrubbed the floors and i brushed my teeth, and i bent over backwards / just in case you couldn’t take me standing up / just in case i went too far, just in case i said too much / just in case you see me now, and i’m not so nice to the touch / i’ve been holding people’s hands just a bit too tight / and tugging on sweaters til they started to run / i’ve chased you halfway down the highway / asphalt burning at my feet / and vacuumed-sealed my fury / to be opened up at some later date  / i’ve been sitting by the faucet with a paper tongue /  couldn’t take my eyes off you all night / cause if i lose track of you in the chaos / then i know you’ll forget about me / ‘cause my best chapter is probably just a footnote / in your history / i’ve been starving for something i can’t even name since i was just a little kid / broken fingernails cracked lips, i’m thinking this is how it ends / i’m thinking hold your breath and swallow / when she tells you it’s all just pretend, she didn’t mean it / she never did / and it’s all well and good until you’re / just a little bit too much / i filled up your cup until it overflowed / and who’s got time for that shit / i know / i know / i know

ode to sixteen

i. i am standing by the water, and i’m six years old, the wind is pounding into my back. i lean into it, and don’t move a muscle, my cinderella jacket flapping in the wind. i still can’t remember when i let go. i’m running fast and i’m gonna get away, i’m gonna run all the way across the ocean, and i’m never coming back to this place.

ii. i am swimming in the ocean, i’m the youngest on my team. i’m working on my frontstroke but i still can’t figure out what you meant, when you told me to be nicer, try to come off less blunt. my arms burn and my legs ache. i put my head underwater, and i hold my breath. i want to stay there forever, where i can’t see the fun.

iii. in my head i’m flying, and i’m doing all i should. i’m your very favourite daughter, i suffer and i bitch and moan. i swear like a sailor, and that could use some work, and besides, i’m always alone. my arms ache and my legs are sore, but there’s money in the bank. and for that, someone is proud of me. i close my eyes and dream of kissing you. dream of sleeping for eternity.

iiii. i’m walking up the hill and there’s blood in my teeth. and my vision starts spinning, blink and you’re going to be thirty years old, stubborn and prideful and aching on your feet. i am walking up the hill, one second turns to twenty-five, sweaty and tired and bruised, and at some point, all i want to do is survive. just keep on pushing through.

iiii. except i’m holding your hand and it feels like flying, like the wind in my hair, my heart pumping in my chest. i don’t know what happens next, but i don’t want to wake up just yet.

iiiii. i want to dream like i have never felt heartbreak press against my ribs. ‘cause i’m still reeling from the knowledge that all my heroes are just as lost as i am on where to go next. i’m standing by the water and i’m running for the waves, and my jeans are soaking wet. i’m screaming at the rumbling sky. i want to be that person again.

dust

i. i kept the books you gave me, every silly knicknack / and i read through the old letters you wrote back in the 90s, mailed ‘round the world and back again, as tokens / of someone i never got to know / i traced the family back and i hated every second / decided it was better just not to know

ii. and in case things don’t work out / in case fate decides to rip us away, i’ll freeze this moment in my brain / because i am not ready to be eighteen yet / i’m not ready to drown under the weight of myself / i am scared, my darling / but i’m not going to ask you for help 

iii. i sent you the messages / that you’ll read, and never reply to / searched for subtext that i don’t fucking understand / and never found it in the wastepaper bin / i didn’t rock the boat / i didn’t say a word / i bowed my head and let the storm come in 

iiii. and i lingered / i was selfish and young, and i made my mistakes / should have seen them coming, ten miles down the road / but i didn’t, and i don’t regret it / i don’t regret being softhearted and falling for lies, again and again / i don’t regret  being so dizzy from the beauty of the world / i forgot my place for a moment / even if i’ll never be that girl again

iiiii. i can’t believe where i come from / i can’t believe where i’m headed / caught in the spider’s web with butterflies and moths, yet again / writing poetry on the floor at 12am / it just all starts to pour out of me / ‘cause i’m dusting off all the old books i never read / closing my eyes, and trying to find it in myself to start over again 

iiiiii. cause no excuses was great / until it wasn’t / until my brain sounded like metal against asphalt, sharp and bracing / and i wake up feeling tired and dull every morning / gave everything to the first person who asked nicely / i can see how the years will blur by so quickly / i’ll leave pieces of myself like breadcrumbs, everywhere i go / i’ll be 25 and still looking in the mirror, trying to draw the line between perfectionism and devotion to my craft 

iiiiiii. cause when you’re staring at your tired face in the toothpaste-smudged mirror / it has a way of all looking just about the same / i’ve got self-fulfilling prophecies tucked under my sleeve / i’ve got complexes for days / i’m sharp and i’m tired / and i am trying to ask nicely / if you could stay

self care

take care of yourself, honey. scream into a mirror. kick down all the doors. throw your pillow at the wall and cry for people that have never fucking been yours.  think about death and fate, and try to find a story in it all. boil it to pulp, and pick out the seeds. take a break and go insane, your mind spinning like static electricity. work yourself to death, and imagine you’re just like sleeping beauty. start a journal, take up sewing! almost lose it on the phone, about things that happened years ago. clench your jaw and bite your lips. bottle up until your back is sore. it’s all right, you’ll figure it out eventually. read through old journals, and try to meet the pictures in the eye. snap and scream it all out, but only in your mind. with every word beg for compromise, and closure, homesickness swirling in your gut. maybe i’ll never muster up the courage to leave this town. i don’t know how much more of this i can take. i’ll start drinking decaf! write a poem about rage! you’ll be over it soon, don’t worry. this is just another phase.


I’ve been having one of those weeks where no one thing in my life has actually been going especially terrible–actually, a lot of things are going really well. But there are enough things that are about a 5 or 6 on the frustration scale, and I am terrible enough at actually expressing my anger in any productive way that might lead to solving the issue that it has just been… kind of building up until I am just ready to snap. There’s nothing I can do about any of these situations that are driving me crazy; I’m in the position of having no other real choice than to deal with some BS, and suck it up for the next little while until these mostly fleeting issues pass, because getting angry is just going to make it harder to deal with, and in the logical part of my brain, I know this. I just have to wait it out. (Also, I’m terrified of conflict, which doesn’t help–but really, all of my problems right now are very much out of my control.) So yeah. Sigh.