persephone

i. persephone has everything, up in her garden with the sun, where the light hits her hair just so. she’s got flowers, and friends; gets fat on pomegranate seeds. smiles with her lips, and never her teeth. she is afraid, and it saves her every time. from the snake in the garden and the deadweights on her wrists. her tears water the flowers; and her desperate laugh calls the birds to come home. and i want to live forever, i want to see it all. i want to say fuck the kingdom, fuck them all. i want to be like her. dancing in the garden; dinners with her mom. spinning and twirling and am i doing something wrong? ‘cause my skin, it looks pale and pockmarked under her light. my shaking fingertips. am i saying it wrong? am i messing up the steps as we slow-dance; pushing her away? as i whisper sweet nothings, make oaths we’ll curse someday. someday. as the dew gathers on her skin. i’ll follow her, all the way into oblivion.

ii. persephone has everything, and i am sick with jealously, laughing on my bedroom floor. she is gone, she is gone, she doesn’t need me anymore. my twisting, wretched form. my soft baby skin. she wears her beautiful dresses, and leaves behind flower petals everywhere she goes. i never look as good in them. i never hit the right notes. persephone has everything, and what’s left to give? i am a black hole, a crater, a bleeding mark against her skin. she is shining and laughing like the sun in the sky. she is chapped lips and certainty; and even in January she still smells like july. like an ache in my throat.

iii. she could destroy me, and god i’d let her try. i’d kiss her shoulder, yeah i’d bury her alive. i’d snuff out the stars so she could shine bright, i’d carry her home in my trembling arms.  i’d drive her to the city, i’d stay in these fields of knee-high grass forever just to be at her side. but persephone has everything, and i am still at home. persephone has everything; her thumb on my cheek and a tower of my bones.


Disclaimer: my knowledge of Greek mythology comes exclusively from my Percy Jackson phase in elementary school and the musical Hadestown.

folklore

you’ll tell this story differently,

every time i ask

details rearranging

tangled up inside your mind

you’ll tell this story differently

every time i ask

paint the faces on my skin

and hand me the photographs in a leather bag, to carry

cause your memories never stay still for very long

bending and breaking

stiff to the touch, porcelain

on the shelf look but don’t touch

don’t touch, don’t touch, don’t touch

tiptoe over the bleeding sores

bandage wounds; never yours

it’s not asking for much

to chart a muddled-up mythology

of hospital beds and tragic loves

of people i’ve never met; they are monsters

and angels, staring right through me

you tell this story differently 

every time i ask, twisting up the wires

and forgive me, but sometimes it’s hard not to wonder

how much time we’ve got left

before the ceiling buckles beneath the weight

before the roof melts beneath acid rain

and i’m the only one left to remember what has been

and this folklore will wrap around my wrists

grow up along my throat

my bleeding trachea; my tender, desperate hope

bind me to my deathbed, oh god i’m all alone

whatever i had, all that’s left is me

and this rotting piece of rope

caterpillar

flap your little butterfly wings in my chest, and tell me how things are improving. (no really, like you mean it this time.) sing to me, caterpillar, about how people are trying their best. with love in their hearts, somewhere so deep inside. and tell me how they’re still evil, still cruel, still shatter people like bird’s eggs in their palms and watch the blood pool on the floor. flap your little butterfly wings, and fly away from all of it. paint yourself comforting shades of pink and blue and tell me things that make sense; build up stories like scaffolding. like a haunting, like a home. kiss the places i’ve been hurt, and whisper sweet nothings as my stomach churns. i think i’m gonna be sick. i think i’m gonna lie in bed all morning, and look out at the world from my bedroom window, cast in darkened light. rest your head on my shoulder, and say you’ll stay. say you’ll put all the pieces back together with duct tape and glue. i’ll braid flowers in your hair, and it’ll be just like in the movies. it won’t hurt, it won’t ache, and i won’t cry about it later, when you fly away into the summer breeze, somewhere i can’t go. i won’t feel it, galaxies crumbling in my mind. i’ll stand there on the driveway, until i’m buried in snow.


I’m not totally sure where this came from, but I think it turned out really pretty.

i hope they don’t remember us

i hope this poem fades to dust

and the history books never call my name

’cause no one with a statue

got cast in gold without some blame

yeah, no one gets that kind of glory

not without the bones they’ve crushed

someone left behind, in the fucking dust

so i hope, my love, that they don’t remember us

i hope i try my best, never land on my feet

i am angry and bitter; say all the wrong things

and the words knot up at the tip of my tongue

i hope that no one knows my name

’cause i don’t wanna hurt someone

i hope it is bloody, it is brutal in my chest

i hope i climb up a tower, and i wear pretty dress

i hope they love me

i hope you love me

i hope it all is for the best

i hope i break down the forest, and i fuck up a million times

wear yellow books and die my hair green

and everything is glitter, sprinkled on my cheeks

i hope my little pictures, yeah they never make sense

i hope the gods in my daydreams are quiet and unimpressed

i hope my shoes are quiet on the floor

i hope i cry into my pillow

and never want more

i hope we buy a cottage

out by the lake

i hope it’s fake and it’s idyllic

and when the water falls,

it carries me away