the other day, i found ripped-out pages from my notebook in a  box under my bed. they’ve been sitting there for ages, and when the paper crinkles beneath my fingertips and dust starts to bury me, i feel like i’m ten years old, half the world still unknown to me.

nostalgia’s gonna be the death of me. i treat old notebook pages just like they were people, left them rotting in desk drawers and tucked under pillows. sometimes i wish it wasn’t all framed on walls for show. sometimes i put on my old flannel shirts and feel like i’m fourteen years old and seeing red, cause the world wasn’t even halfway like what you promised it would be. but you didn’t care, you didn’t even try to help me. and i knew then like i know now, that i’ll never get those years back. i’ll never know what could have been, if only.

if i would have been stronger, wiser, a little more grown-up, and a little bit more ready as i stand by the shore and wait for waves to come.  i thought grief was supposed to feel like motion, like a valley i could walk through. but i’ve been sitting here all morning, my fingers all stuck together with glue. my t-shirts forever damp, and my room a mess. i should have said what i meant when i still had the chance. i should have held on tighter, i should have tried harder.

but i didn’t. i stood out in the rain and i tripped over my shoes, i fucked it all up. i didn’t listen to my heart, i pulled my hood up and blasted out my ears with my headphones and sat in the wreckage til morning. and i’m still aching down to my bones. still picking forget-me-nots and biting my lips ‘til they bleed.  cause i took your word as gospel and you were full of shit. sat on your lap, practised justifying the ends by the means, and lying through my teeth. 

but i don’t trust you anymore, and now you barely know me.

stages of grief

1. this can’t be happening, because i have dreams to chase. because i’m fourteen and the ball is rolling for me, or that’s what my english teacher said. she said i hope it doesn’t stop and i felt like i was flying, when they said they were proud of me. this doesn’t happen, not to me. ‘cause someone bigger and smarter’s gonna make it ok. it’s just another two weeks, it’s just another two days. it’s just another holding-your-breath-underwater kind of day.

2. and i didn’t ask to be thrown

into this fucked up shitstorm of anger and hope

i didn’t ask to spend all day sitting alone

and trying to get out of bed

i’ll watch shitty tv until my brain turns to mush

just write and write and write for hours on end

and the sound of the blender

or a car going past

is enough to melt me down to tears and i’m screaming

and i’m slamming the door

and you were supposed to stop this from happening

you were supposed to be good, and fair

but you weren’t, you fucking shit

you walked out and you left me 

standing all alone in the thick of it

3. but i can’t be feeling this, i can’t deal with it, or i’m going to shut down. i’m gonna stare at the pictures on my phone until my eyes glaze over, and i don’t feel quite so alone. i’m gonna crumble like the dry, hot summer soil any other way. god is dead, but mostly so are all my heroes. so is everyone i thought i could turn to in a crisis; they’re just gone gone gone like whispers in the night. and those that remain are flickers of light across the bay. (i’d rather they were dead to me; i’d rather close my eyes and watch the hurt fade away like wildfire smoke.) 

4. i could dig this grief a garden

or i could fashion it a grave

i could sit in the mud of it for hours

i could stare at this bitch in the mirror, cut off all her hair

watch the new grow back in its place

and feel the years blend together

watch myself get a little bit stronger, and taller

a little bit sharper in the face

i could watch my life roll past me 

through the rolled-up car window

just blink and you’ll be nineteen, all living on your own

still swallowing back the lump in your throat

and trying to numb the ache of your old-woman knees

but the one in your chest, it’s cold and it’s empty 

singing for something that i will never reclaim

5. and maybe someday my heart won’t feel like a singing bowl

forever ringing out one damn moment in my life

but all i see right now is water, ‘cause i’m standing by the shore

i’m not ready to be an adult

cause i didn’t have the time to be a kid

so i lie down on the rocks and i close my eyes

feel the january waves hit my shoulders, rush over my head

fill my mouth with bitter saltwater

again, again, again.

This one took me ages to write- I’ve been reflecting a lot on how my feelings have changed over the past few years.


these days, it all seems to blend together like different colours of paint on a pallette, congealing into brown and grey. and the sun streams through my bedroom window, but i don’t have time to go out today. i come home tired, and i wake up worse. i scroll through my phone, and i waste my time away, then stay up ‘til midnight in a panicked daze. yeah, these days i don’t know what i’m going to do next. what my life is going to look like in a year. these days my feet ache, and my back is sore, and every success makes me wonder when i won’t be able to do this anymore. and i walk slow around the halls of my childhood home, trying to memorize every creak in the floor. ‘cause you hate it ‘til you’re already standing halfway out the door. i lie awake ‘til two and i can’t get to sleep. i hope it mattered to somebody, i hope there’s at least one person’s life i’ve improved. these days i spin around my mind,  ‘cause i’m just terrified i’ll lose you too. i go to school. i go to work. i close my eyes and let it fade. i watch each second pass in the clock on my computer, and i wonder if i’m wasting away. i get my bed all nice and made. try to smile at the little things, and look on the bright side. it’s just another one of those days.

i hope it matters

when i’m done with this bullshit, when i walk out of the room

when the weeds take over the garden

all the flowers i planted just yesterday

when they lay me down, eighty, ninety years from now

in a world i don’t recognize, in a world that’s never really changed

i hope that it mattered.

when the words i’ve written seem rotten, and old

when i get lost between the lines

when i scream into pillows, when i turn the headlights on, and cry while driving home

when i walk away for good

i hope it mattered, to someone

i hope it did some good among the bad 

i hope it made someone laugh

i hope it made them feel okay

i hope it helped, in the tiniest little way

when i’m done, when it’s over,

when there’s nothing left to say

when my shoulders ache, and my arms hang

like aching tree boughs

when i sink to my knees in despair

i hope it feels like a weight off my back

like the first breath of fall

when it’s okay, when it’s over

i hope i walk into the forest

i hope i drop my compass and i lose my string

i hope the crows eat up the breadcrumbs

that lead you back to me

i hope it wasn’t just for nothing

hope the good memories linger stronger than the bad ones

but if they don’t, then i guess that’s just

how it’s gonna be

and when i’m older, when i’m wiser

when my feet are firmly planted in the dirt,

and when my sails stretch out across the sea

i hope that for all

of my failures and inadequacies

i hope that they’ll forgive me

i hope that the memories stick around, at least a couple weeks

like a stain you can’t remove, like

like the smell of christmas morning

the first time that someone called you love

and you were smiling, the whole car ride home

i hope i tried, however poorly

i hope i fucked up, a million times

i hope i did you justice, darling

i hope that for years, you look at those flowers

and you think of me in the pouring rain

planting seeds in the dirt, and cursing it all

i hope that strangers don’t need to know my name

i hope they don’t tell me that i’m perfect, that i can never

do wrong

i hope i get lost a million times

but whatever i do, however small

i hope it matters

another drop the bucket, another cloudy day

i hope it lingers in the rain, and when it’s ready

it’ll all just wash away with the tide, and i’ll be okay

when it does

and if i did a good job

then it’s never really gone

I think I’ll submit this somewhere, it’s too important to me to just sit here, maybe get seen by a couple of people. This is more of an externalized (is that a word???) monologue. Something I have been saying to myself for the past couple of years, whenever everything feels hopeless, or hard, and whenever it doesn’t turn out how I planned. I hope it matters, to someone, to anyone, even if it’s only myself. I have been sick and really tired all week, but I’m starting to feel better and now suddenly have all this crazy creative energy in my head that just wants to escape, so who knows where that’s going. Maybe somewhere, maybe nowhere. I’ve been stuck at home with mostly just my thoughts, so I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting.


i’ve got dreams that ache like honeycomb

i’ve got a heart that’s in too deep

standing in the ocean, water up to my knees

trying to find my direction

trying to get out of this, god, please

i’ve got dreams like pressed flowers

staining book pages, crumbling in my palms

i’ve got dreams that feel more like curses

like i’m tantalus, sitting in my fucking pond

i’ll stare up at the fruit trees, i’ll lust after the water

and the second i reach, it’s gone

i’ll self-sabotage, bury my head in the sand

just trying to do what’s right

i guess i’ll just make a future out of sailcloth, and forget

to sew over my pins

i guess i’ll smile, and nod, forever be in flux

i’ll change faces like the moon, and i’ll hide behind the sun

‘cause i’ve got dreams like birthday balloons

sagging plastic on the floor

i’ve got dreams that ache like open sores

stubborn scars across my palm

a memory of idealism, long since fucking gone

i’ve got dreams that taste like lavender

and go down like wildfire smoke

dreams like steamed milk lullabies

curdled to the touch

i’ve got dreams so bright they’re blinding

i’m standing barefoot in the rain

and looking up at the sky, hanging to raindrops by fraying lines of thread

it’s not much

but i don’t let go just yet