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.

funeral

it doesn’t feel like it used to anymore. and they say it’s gonna be okay, but this isn’t how it was supposed to happen, when i played out my cards, and planned each move carefully, in the hopes of steering myself towards a future where i froze still at thirteen, and everyone always stayed.

and i know growth is good, and change comes naturally. but i can feel the daisies wilting in my palms already, poison sumac scratches and storm clouds, filling up my lungs.

i know, i know, i know. i’ve seen it all play out in my mind, i’ve lain awake until 3am, gotten lost in cups of tea and wished for normalcy, but now matter how much i beg and coax it won’t come to me. so fine, let’s run with faux-adulthood, and live in one room; brace for the future and pray to god it comes true.

because it’ll be better, then. and i’ll finally make sense of the half-dead corpses writhing in my palm; as i walk through a half-life, never speaking too loud, and constantly tallying up the score. i’ll fold the laundry up nice and neat, with scraps of self-loathing hidden in the pockets, until i can’t do it anymore.

which i’ll laugh about it later, i’m sure of it. but right now, there’s nothing funny about this. i’m just… sitting near the back row at a funeral, as someone clicks through a slideshow, my mind far away as i wish for amnesia. a fresh start, a clean slate. some rules to follow, and a brand-new god resting on a gleaming dinner plate.

good days

i’ve been doing good, i say through the static on the phone; listen to my voice play back a thousand times, and wish it were on the radio. i worked myself sick the other day, so i got some sleep, and in the morning, the nausea had mostly gone away, but i was still exhausted. i guess i’m used to that these days.

i’ve been keeping busy. working all the time, and waiting, begging, for someone to tell me to stop–and i won’t, obviously. but i guess sympathy is always nice, or at least it is in my mind. so i spend too much time, alone in my room, shuffling words on a screen, and thinking about my life. go to sleep late, and wake up early.

you’re doing good, they assure me, and i feel the praise seep right down into my bones. you’ll go far, they promise, and i hope it’s true.

and i don’t know what i’m talking about, don’t have a clue where to start. can’t even figure out what’s happening outside my bedroom door, let alone inside my stupid fucking heart.

so burn my past like looseleaf paper, and watch it go up in smoke.

i’m doing good. just… a bit tired. because it’s like that sometimes, you know? and tomorrow, i’ll wake up to the rising sun, and watch the world make itself anew, and think that maybe, just maybe someday, i’d be brave enough to do that too.

teacup

sometimes, i can’t help but hate you, a little bit. because i’ve had enough of diplomatic wording, and glossing over this shit; and now there’s lightning in my chest; rose-red vision and heaving breath. because it’s not fair. i never wanted any of this; not your burning towers, not your fossilized skies.

so i write furious letters to no one. rip them up, and wait for the end to come. and you tell me it’s gonna be all right, but… what if it isn’t? what if this is all we get? what if i’m the one in a million, what if tomorrow i break like a teacup, in a hospital bed?

***

i sort the pieces of ceramic into some kind of strange mosaic on the floor. it’s fascinating, isn’t it? how they dig into my callused fingers, ring out like guitar strings, how the floor tilts sideways, and nothing fucking makes sense anymore.

so screw it all. give me pink princess dresses, give me lilac skies. give me cotton candy, and rollercoaster rides. and let me cry myself a river, let me spend hours painting out delicate pastel flowers on the walls. and you’d laugh, of course you would.

and if i’m pissing you off, good.

bathroom haircut

just get it off me. i don’t care how. cut it away, and leave it all on the clammy bathroom floor. my wrists ache, and the frostbitten sky starts to pour.

i sweep up chunks of velvet, and take a long, cold shower. i scream into the welling storm. i pull out my phone while i do dishes, and watch sitcoms for hours.

i claw at my skin, like it’s some kind of prison. wear flannels and jeans for weeks on end because i’m tired. and old. and spent. and when you tell me that we won i don’t believe you for a second.

because beneath cheap fluorescent lighting, it all just seems kinda pointless. and sad. i wrapped my heart up in concrete and barbed wire years ago; it’s not personal. i’m just not great at letting people in.

so i fight the ghosts. and the demons all on my own; whatever else you throw my way. i win, i survive, i succeed, no matter what it takes. i press on, and on, until until the bags under my eyes look more like bruises. but in the end… everyone fucking loses. and i am so exhausted. i don’t think you understand that feeling.

like the whole world on your shoulders, and you just walk forward, bleeding, bleeding, bleeding…

***

but in the morning, i will climb out of bed. press my hands to the foggy glass, and look out at the crisp, white snow. and know that it’s over now. not forever, but for today. that the storm has passed. and for a little while, i think the hydra will probably stay away.


I am the queen of sudden, dramatic haircut. I tend to be really sensitive to certain textures, often very suddenly feeling nauseated by certain sounds, textures or tastes, even ones that used to never bother me. And one of those is the feeling of hair touching my neck. I don’t know why it bugs me so much, it never used to, but it’s just how my brain is right now.

When I was in eighth grade, I had this really not flattering chin-length bob situation that I’d had my whole life up until then–but my hair is really wavy, and frizzy, so it would flare out at the bottom and made my face look like a triangle. And it always kinda bugged me, but not enough to change it–and then one day, I just couldn’t stand the feeling of my hair touching my neck. It made me feel really anxious, and gross, and yeah–just not a good time overall. And so I came home, read a wikiHow article, and chopped it off. Which is the story behind why my hair is short now.

I’m too cheap to go to a hairdresser, so I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was eleven or so, and I’ve come to expect that after milestones like my birthday, or just when I’m bored, and fed up of myself, I’ll change my hair a little bit. (But not too much, because honestly, I don’t know shit about cutting hair.) Anyway, recently I gave myself a mental breakdown haircut, and wrote this poem, and I think it turned out pretty cool.

Lots of love,

Lorna