bad dreams

i. i had a dream last week, that i was flying, but i wasn’t / not really / i was lying through my teeth and hoping no one would notice me / when i fell down on the ground with my heart between my teeth / i had a dream last week that time went back, all the way to 2019, and the history books all orbited / from my self-righteous pride / oh god, i miss those days / but only in the moonlight

ii. i had a dream i was thirty and you were gone / you were dead in some war / you were kind and you were good / you ran off to save the world and i didn’t say a word / i’m getting worked up about scenarios that don’t even exist / i’m getting pissed off with my anger and i’m unclenching my fists

iiii. ‘cause in my head, i’m reeling for things / that haven’t even happened yet / and something’s gotta go / counting out mistakes on my fingers and my thumbs / i had a dream i walked on a tightrope, shouting out words from the corner of my mouth without the slightest mind to what they mean / i dug myself a grave, six feet in the ground, and i started to weep

iiiii. but when it gets bad / when the sky lights up with hatred / when i’m stumbling ‘round the house in the middle of the night, trying to find something to cling to / someone to help me tell my left from right / i’ll listen to the old playlists, and wipe the tears off my cheeks / and remember how it felt again

iiiii. ‘cause the monsters creeping ‘round my head / always seem scarier in darknes / it’s just another rainy, starless night / it’s just another day i’ve got to grit my teeth and try to muscle through / or lie in bed for hours the next morning, staring up at the ceiling marking out the seconds on my palm / either one will do

princess of the funeral march

i cleaned out my desk today, and i almost cried

over hand-knit slippers and crumpled bits of paper

clenched fists around travel journals

relics of 2012 wound around my throat

‘cause there are things i’ll never tell you

‘til i turn seventeen, and feel the sky crumple to the touch

til i drive off, pass the test

feel the lightning crack of desperation

i just didn’t want to hurt anyone

but i’ll never shut up and stop whining

about my life and its problems

wallow in the negative, til my presence clings like mud to your skin

and you can’t stand to be around my mildew drip

so i cleaned out my desk and felt a bit

of my heart just rip out of my chest

but i don’t need a pencil from fourth grade

the grocery store receipt from the day that everything was okay

and i was good, i was doing what i was supposed to

it’s just stuff

relics and fossils for them to remember me by

i can’t take it with me but i can sure as hell leave it behind

or stay up all night

pack the weight of my memories all the way across the sea

cause what is grief if not a walk down the railroad track, whistling

as you brace for impact

and what am i

if not the princess of the funeral march

there are things i’ll never say aloud

poems crushed in my chest, too dangerous to speak

there are crutches i’ll never stop using, little stupid fucking tricks

breathe in and breathe out

sift and filter out the parts of yourself

rebuild again, and again, and again

shooting stars and bad dreams

when the fridge stops working, and the dishwasher floods the kitchen

when the drywall cracks beneath the weight

of childhood portraits anchored into its abyss

yeah, when the city crumbles, when the lights turn off

when the big one comes

and the asteroid wipes out half the human race

when we stumble through the blacked-out city, 12am, dizzy and numb

looking up at the stars

asking which one we’ll become

say that you’ll find me

in the fault lines, and used glass bottles

in stifled screams

bite your hand until it bleeds

spin around in circles, and wash the fuse go

in flashlight tag

in melting icicles and broken teeth

i’m gonna fix it

i’m gonna hold your hand, and take a deep breath

and make a to-do list

rip out the floors, scavenge for scraps among the wreckage

of things that used to be

hang the paintings on a stud line

frame the pictures new again

fix the wires

and make a cup of tea

when the walls start to shake

and the sky wraps it’s spindly fingers right around my throat

when my fingers are numb to the touch

and the world fades out to grey

and we’ll make the best of a bad deal

we’ll laugh and sit in awkward silence

we’ll hold hands, and i’ll think

that you’re worth a couple stars

and that’s nothing new

myopia

there’s a buzzing in my ear, so distant i can barely feel it at all, and that sinking in my gut: it’s not going away any time soon, is it? there’s nothing i can do to stop it, as the quicksand envelops me.

i eat it for breakfast. run into it at work, watch it slither through the empty spaces on the midterm exam, study it and worship at its paper mache hands, because this is all i know how to be.

but it’s fun! and it’s great! and normal people get obsessed too, it’s just a passing phase! i think my mindset’s just all wrong, but i’m sure that’ll change.

it brushes my hair, and follows me home, burns out my headphones with a dull, myopic drone. pins me up against the wall in a desperate chokehold, and it won’t stop until my eyes are tired, and cold.

but if i run fast enough, the pounding in my chest will not be from fear. i’ll get my shit together, and i’ll stop doing this, iron out all my mind’s ugly little creases out into a flat, freshly laundered sheet.

and there’s something i should be doing. someone i was supposed to meet. but it doesn’t matter. this is all there ever was to me, and maybe if i just watch another episode, the universe will quietly burn, burn, burn out to nothing around me.

and by tomorrow, i’ll have forgotten this ever happened. i’ll be alice down the rabbit hole, or maybe sleeping beauty. yeah. i want a castle, and a prince, and some bird friends to wake up to. i want a calendar and a laptop with a fully charged battery, so i can make some fucking sense of this, and teach myself to always be wary.

of pretty things that make my heart swell with pride. of new people, and new things, and that look i get in my eyes. because this thing is perfect. i want to drown in its holy-water hues. i want to fight wars at its side. i want to not be myself for just one. more. night.


So, my whole life I’ve had this really bad tendency to get super fixated and obsessed with things, for potentially years at a time, and then suddenly get bored of them out of nowhere. And in part, that fixation has been what’s allowed me to work really hard, or learn about things in a really in-depth way, and pursue things without any doubts. But also… yeah, not always the best habit, because oftentimes I can’t tell if a new interest is something I really want to pursue long-term, like writing, or if it’s just a passing phase, because I never can tell the difference until the feeling fades away altogether. Sometimes I do that with people, too–and it feels really awful and sad, because these people who I thought I loved with my entire heart and soul and wanted to be a major part of my life turn out to just have been another obsession. And once the feeling fades, there’s not much I can do, you know? Like it or not, I have no choice but to accept how I feel.

It’s exhausting and frustrating and makes me feel like I’m not in control of my own mind at all, or anything, like I’m just totally at its whims, which hasn’t been the best thing either. I’m not sure if there’s a medical diagnosis for that, I’m still really figuring out how to manage this whole thing, but I honestly just thought it was this sign I was nothing more than a lazy, terrible person who could never be trusted with anything for so long, and it’s taken a lot of thinking to realize that it’s just that my brain works a bit different from other people’s, and takes more effort to manage.

Lots of love,

Lorna

seashell

i’ve always loved the beach, and how gorgeous it looks when wind whips through the trees, as the ice-cold waves crash, and roar, and soak through my jeans.

or how sometimes, if i close my eyes, i can pretend i’m the only person left in the universe. just for a little bit. scream at the sky until i’ve got nothing left to give.

which is just… a really melodramatic way of saying that i don’t think i can do this. and i’m curling into myself, i’m rotting into the ground, and holding onto history by a thread.

so i’ll hold it like a sad, half-rotten seashell, in my frozen palms. and please, just give me something to write. anything. a wilting sonnet, or a sleepy haiku.

and pull me back to shore. because the water is rough, and cold, and i just want to go home. where everything was safe, and warm, and everything makes sense.

but i don’t even know where that place is anymore.