weeping summer

this summer, the trees buckle 

under the weight of september

an unwelcome guest, she comes too soon

her raindrops drip down my cheeks

and the ice-cold water only ever

gets up to my  toes

so i run as fast as i can for the horizon

in search of better days

but my limbs are not my own

as jagged tree-branches rip at my clothes

and oh god, what am i getting into?

so i try to speak, but i’m all out of air

as the commercials play on loop

and butterflies dance in my hair

and i try to find you

between messages unsent

i sit at my desk, sunday afternoon

spinning out codes on the floor

of my good old living room

i think about gods i don’t believe in

and things i’ve got to do

before i’m gone

isn’t it fun? how the things you hated

soften under a rose-coloured touch

how in the hindsight of the present,

maybe my elders knew a thing or two

i run out on the driveway

a second, maybe two

and feel the water soak through my shirt

let me be the waterfall

of bitterness and hurt

let me be careful what i wish for

let me get my dream come true

let me sit at the end of the tunnel

surrounded by light, and think

oh god, what am i going to do?

vertigo swirls around my stomach

i don’t like wind in my hair

i don’t like happenstance or wilderness

i don’t like breathing in this air

but i do, i do, i do

click

8am; wake up. check your phone. scroll through the notifications, check again you’re all alone. check again, check again, find something to latch onto like a dog with a bone. file your teeth into sharpened points, do anything if it’ll just make someone look. look, look, look at me.

10am; wake up. bubble bath rush through your chest. ’cause they love you now, they love you so. and now it’s all worth it, right? all those late nights and stupid fights, and bruises on soft skin.

12am; make lunch. put on music, check your phone again. check it until your fingers ache; ride the high for all it’s worth. maybe you’re going to be forever alone; shivering and violent, surrounding me on every side. draw pictures on your skin. you want to dye your hair, but who are you kidding?

1pm; bathe in the glow of that silver right, and think about people who don’t exist. who will never love you as much as you love them; dedicate your life to a quicksand pit until there are no ugly words left lingering in your throat.

6pm; check, check, check again. skitter and look away. it’s easy to say just appreciate the moment when you’re pretty, and perfect. when you’ve got a yacht, and a million dollar car, and no demons at the baggage claim.

12am; they say you’re perfect, and you’re staring in the mirror manic glint in your eyes. they say you’re perfect, they say you’re gonna be fine. and doesn’t it all sound so much better on paper? twist the sheets beneath your fingers, and dream about strangers.


The structure of this piece is pretty weird; it was this stream-of-consciousness thing I wrote a couple weeks ago. I definitely have a less idealized view of the internet than I did a few years ago. I’m incredibly grateful for it, and I loathe it with my entire heart and soul, all at the same time.

in another life

in another life

i think i’d be a singer

and i know how cheesy that sounds

but god, i’d be perfect

i’d smile wide for the camera;

step out into a sea of writhing bodies

and not fear their sharp fingernails against my skin

tired soldier, wouldn’t you love to let down your guard for just a moment?

wouldn’t you like to trust yourself

enough to take honey

and milk with your tea

and dip your strawberries in molten lava

wouldn’t you like to be holy?

play the game

roll the dice

’cause if the world’s gonna be shitty

at least i can end up on the winning side

right?

in another life,

i’d buy headphones at the store

and i would not feel guilty

and i’d see the world

i mean, see it really

yeah, i’d ruin my teeth on saltwater taffy

and fill up my phone with pictures

i would not be afraid to let you touch me

in another life, i would be sickeningly sweet

my mind smooth and clear

no cracks

no fissures

no magic tricks, a house of cards about to disappear

smile ’til my cheeks cracked the glass

of my smudged-up mirror

because this is not a teen movie

and i am not the protagonist

i see that now

but maybe i could be somebody

who doesn’t spend all her days at home

who leaves the world better than she found it

and wouldn’t that be so pretty?

weight

i swear, these days i’m mostly all right / i just can’t breathe sometimes when i look at myself in the mirror / run my hands down my thighs / sometimes my phone makes me sick / sometimes friday is a sinkhole / and it’s all i can do not to pass out on the carpet / i swear, i’m feeling better / but that’s just a testament, really / to how bad things were before / because some days / it takes all my energy just to change into pajamas / and go to bed on time / some days i build up the smallest tasks into herculean efforts / some days i dig my nails into my skin / pick myself apart like a riddle and watch hot water burn / have you ever felt lonely, in the pit of your stomach? / watching seconds flip by on the clock / like soldiers / or bodies / one after the other / and i swear it’s not always like this / but sometimes i just lie awake at night, and see my life flash before my eyes / because i have never known how to live in the moment / but tomorrow, maybe i will try / to learn love like a second language / and smile wearily at stomach rolls / and old scars / and let just a bit of this weight go / because i could use some rest, god knows

look, mommy…

look, mommy! i’m doing it. just like you showed me. and yeah, maybe i stayed up all night. but i wrote a story, and people liked it, and that’s all that matters, right?

because i gritted my teeth. and i did it. worked all week long, without a single day off. and isn’t that what you wanted?

a knight in shining armour. a china doll. a soft peach tea…

because i hollowed out my rotting chest, and stuffed it full of feathers. lay perfectly still, and let the world rest its head on this broken body–

mommy! you’re not looking at me


I doubt this comes as a surprise, but I am a big ol’ people pleaser. I always have been.

Whenever I make something–a podcast episode, a poem, a story chapter, so much as a weird doodle in my math notes, I immediately start to wonder what other people will think of it. You know the drill, right?

I am so desperate to be seen, and loved, and validated–because god knows I couldn’t do it to myself. (And at the same time absolutely paralyzed by the thought of being known, but you know.)

When I was young, and bored on long car rides, or never-ending school days, I used to just spend hours narrating my life in third person. Whenever something bad happened, I could always just… pretend it away. Imagine that this was all just another story, and that I just had to hold on a little bit longer before the author would fix everything. Or maybe I was the author. Or maybe I was the hero, just getting started on my journey to greatness. I spent a lot of my childhood thinking about that.

Reminding myself that it didn’t matter, how fucked up my life was. Because soon, Gandalf or Dumbldore was going to swoop down from the clouds, and turn me into something better. And them my parents would love me. Then my friends would worship me. Fill up all the holes in my heart with mindless adoration.

As someone who grew up classified as some form of “gifted” I learned, however unintentionally, that my worth as a person hinged upon me being able to outshine my peers. Often, I thought of myself like an animal on display at the zoo, or a circus freak—a little strange, but still fun to watch, as long as I could keep a good performance going. And sometimes I feel like I’ve lived most of my life with that mentality.  As though my only real purpose is to be amusing, or remarkable, or something along those lines—to my family, to my friends, to my teachers, to some stranger on the street. And if I let down the act for so much as a second, no one will be interested in me.

But sometimes, that just gets… lonely.  And exhausting. You know?

Anyhow. I don’t know what the point of all that was, but I hope you liked my poem, and that is spoke to you. Somehow.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings