sick

cotton-candy nausea / and paper-shredder hands on mine / i have fought a thousand wars across the lumps and rolls of this skin, you know? / and all it’s left me with / is collateral damage / and wasted hope / because you will try, you will try, you will pour years of your life into the battle / you will kill in its name / but you will never win against yourself / only die in vain / and sometimes, i think about that, you know? / the fact that i am here today / and jesus christ, eleven is far too young to drink up your own pain / but i guess we grew up quickly, didn’t we? / fought for what we thought was ours / and left innocence at the front gate / i stare into the faces of people in clickbait articles / and wonder if that’s gonna be me someday / cause i make myself sick on the bad days / i do it on purpose / because i’m a scared little kid searching for home / because i’m screaming and i’m crying and i’m making demands / i am an absent dad / i am a tired working mom / so i say yes / i do what you say / i let you spin me ’til i’m dizzy / scribble out the scars on my ankles / and scream blue murder when you let go

settle

someday, the dust is going to settle

and the scab will form

over the hole you tore through me

the tapestry of hopes you’ve torn to shreds

with your jaded fingernails

and walk away

someday, i’ll brush the dust off my cheeks

and do my hair all pretty

for no one at all

and maybe i won’t need to tear myself to pieces

just to stay awake

amd i’ll know who i am

i’ll walk onto a stage

i’ll speak clear, and loud

and if you’re lucky

you’ll catch me on the radio

wouldn’t that be nice?

and i could put two smiley faces in my email

like a heartless killer

or tell you to shut the fuck up

when you talk about your outdated opinions

as though you expect me to agree

i could live my life like an inspirational quote

and retire to the town i grew up in

with all my best friends, and the charcoal trees to keep us company

and it’d be all right, really

and i know that hope can’t be trusted

but maybe this time, i could let it walk me home

in the dark

hold my hand

and tell shitty patchwork jokes

that make me laugh hysterically

kiss me thick-skinned and old

and leather-jacket-wearing

and blow away like smoke

missing

it’s been a year now, hasn’t it?

or maybe it’s been two

because time is weird these days, and sometimes

i think about you

your fearless desperation

and your clandestine hope

and i wouldn’t go back for all the money in the world

but sometimes, on long nights, i let myself miss you

lie to my face in the mirror

that the old days were good

say i am a washed-out version of the person i used to be

slowly melting down

which makes it better, somehow

paint the past a rose-tinted shade

and let the aching knowledge

that i have never felt this before

wash away with the waves

and now i think i understand

why people cling to tradition

stick to the same routine

wear it rusty and jagged

sleep in old t-shirts

’til there are holes in the sleeves

and paint myself innocent

pretend i don’t have a clue

when you say the past few years

have changed me

made me cynical, and guarded

but stronger, too

replaced manic desperation with sharpened teeth

bite-marks and warning signs

’cause these days, i step slowly

these days i wear winter coats

and hold my keys like a knife

but i refuse to be afraid

of the passage of time

and the lines on my palm

like old wood, telling stories

of all the places i’ve been

i refuse to cower in the corner

and sing myself to sleep

lingering in a false history

like warm sheets

so i will bury your t-shirts

and your headphones i can’t bring myself to throw away

in a box in my closet

’cause some day, i’m gonna see you in the mirror

and i’ll kneel down on the carpet

stroke your cheek, as i tape your pieces back together

parallax

my bones creak, like weary floorboards of an ancient home. and these things add up, you know–like, what do they say? straw that breaks the camel’s back? i feel kinda stupid, even saying that. ’cause there are so many things in my life i take forgranted, you know?

’cause i’m an ungrateful little kid, i’m arrogant and confused. i talk shit, and blend in, change my opinion to match a room.

and i use the wrong words all the time, when i’m trying to tell you that i’m sorry. sometimes it comes out like static, or a nightmare of wanting. sometimes it rattles my bones.

but i am trying not to let my opinions bake in an oven, and stay that way for the rest of eternity. and i just hope that i do good by the monsters under my bed, because i’ve lost too many years sitting in a graveyard, and watching myself become history from another person’s point of view.

but it’s been a while since it slammed into me, in burning yellow hue. oh you poor little bird. look at you.


In my photography course, we were learning about parallax–how everything looks different depending on what lens you look it. For example, if you close one eye and look through the other, than close that eye and look through the one you just close, you notice the world around you shift, just a little–but if you open both, it kinda meets somewhere in the middle. (I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but I just learned it and I think it’s so cool, please humour me.)

Anyway, I think it’s a really pretty word, and I thought there was a poem somewhere in that, and this is what I ended up making. I hope you like it. 🙂

sob story (1)

when i was six, i cut my hair

in the bathroom mirror, with red safety scissors

right before the school bus arrived

because i couldn’t wash the soap from my hair

no matter how hard i tried

and i remember the chill in my bones when i realized

my body’s sovereign state was mine and mine alone

so i tucked the lock of hair behind my ear

and googled how to make it grow back as soon as i got home

i tried your snake oil and your wishful thinking

with my best open mind

ignored my mom, when she rolled her eyes

and you lied to me, google! you fucking lied!

so welcome to my sob story

in which i am tired of being the protagonist

because i never wanted to be famous

i just didn’t want to die alone

and i guess that wikihow told me

if i had pretty hair, or the perfect body

then maybe i’d finally feel at home

in the skin and bone you stole from me

but it doesn’t work

it never does

because the silver bullet you promised would fix me

was a plastic necklace from the dollar store

but if you call that empowerment

i’ll buy it every fucking time

and tell myself that i’m the problem

while i chip the paint off the beads

and watch them roll onto the floor

i will bang my head against the brick wall

and dig into the floor with a plastic spoon

rather than taking the door, which is… open

because the thing about this prison

is that most days, i don’t even want to leave anymore


Ok, I have this vague idea for a poetry book called Sob Stories–tell me you can’t see that. Idk, I’ve been thinking about trying to write a poetry chapbook a lot of late.