a short list of things that haunt me

  1. have you ever seen a diagram, of the brain during dissociation? how it all just flickers out to nothing, and you lie there, breathing in a house with no one home. how do you start to heal, when you’re barely there at all?
  2. and have you ever thought about the past? how it creaks and groans with the wind? have you traced the scars like photo albums, embossed into your skin, and maybe they’re all you have left, to remember the monster you’ve been.
  3. have you sat still, and imagined how you’ll fade into obsolescence like an old can of soda, collecting dust in the pantry? have you thought about the stars, and how they turn.
  4. have you thought about black holes? how they consume everything in their path without a minute of remorse.
  5. and have you curled into yourself like a daisy at night? and stared at the window, in a city you’ll never quite reach, and watched the cars like little wind-up toys, spinning circles around the highway.
  6. have you seen a dead cricket, on the side of the road, and wondered if there’s anything small enough to escape destruction? i don’t think there is. and that scares me most of all.
  7. last week, we learned about monsters in school. about people who hurt other people, who dug their claws into the dirt and left ugly, bleeding scars on the world. but at the start, they all seemed so normal. and you have to wonder, how many people could do what they did, under the right circumstances.
  8. today, i held a wounded rabbit in my hands, and let it rest in a box on the table. and i waited by the laundry machine, kept my voice down and tiptoed past. and a few hours later, i watched it go. i hope it’s all right.
  9. i hope the world is a fever dream, i hope it drifts and floats in lavender, and cinnamon, and bitter lime-skin, crawling down my throat. i hope my heart beats in my chest like an oath.
  10. i hope i survive to be haunted forever, in every blink of my eyes, each creak of toothpick-bones. i hope it echoes through me like a siren song, i hope the concrete swallows me whole. i hope i remember, and bleed. i hope i grow.

autumn

3/4 in a suite of seasonal poems

she’s bitter, and mean

takes away everything you’ve got

leaves you begging on your knees

you ask her for an answer, and she never comes clean

she’s cold wind and rotting leaves

she’s got plans for greatness

half-hidden up her sleeve

she’s going places, you see

so you listen, and you wait

her kisses sting like vinegar

and her breath gusts with hate

she’s worms in your apple

mold in your bread

and you hate her, and you love her

you dream her soft kisses and lullabies

you dream her gentle words and pastel eyes

paint her in oil, and watercolour

try out acrylic for a change; but you never get her right

she’s got a plan for greatness

and you’ll tag along for the ride

put your hand out the window

wrap yourself up in cardigan lies

there’s a knot in our blankets

there’s a knot in my heartstrings

she’s there and she’s gone

short days and long nights

windswept hair and cold feet

the draft, slipping under the door

the silence of midafternoon

i won’t miss her for long

in the creaking pipes and the leaking roof

leaves in the gutters and rust in the door

she’s here and she’s gone

and i don’t think i’ll see her around anymore

morning

i woke up this morning, and i didn’t feel like dying, which is kind of a novelty. the snow on the trees cast everything in a youthful glow. has it been ten days since we last spoke, or the rest of eternity? i’m in a weird headspace, and i honestly don’t know.

because these days, i spend most of my time floating facedown on melting ice, watching old ghosts sing out their sorrows deep below. tell myself i’d never sink to their level, and dance with them next week, to old songs from 2010. i create a vision in my head, of a childhood never lived, because it’s the best i’ve got, you know? and i’ll do what i have to, for late nights, listening to songs on your phone.

long walks in the snow, laughing ourselves numb as it all spins out of control. and you’ll hold my hand, even when i start to disintegrate like a layer of old paint on a shitty building. and i know it’s not much, but my standards are low, and so i guess it feels a bit like everything.

i woke up, and i didn’t know what to do. but maybe that’s not the worst thing, maybe fifteen could be the year of sloppy cardboard wings, and promises to keep. maybe i could jump without looking down, and the adrenaline would only serve to help me land on my feet.

and… today could be a good day, against my better judgement, with dresses and sunshine and lemonade. maybe i could call you up without apology, and ask how you’re doing. like a good friend would, and kinda work the rest out from there.

should you reciprocate the question, i’ll try my best to answer honestly.