there’s blood on the curtains / blood under my fingers / and blood on the floor / there’s a mess on the carpet / and a list of things i’ll never get done / pinned up on the door / there’s a hole in the wall / and eight / and maybe i’ll get to them someday / but it’s sure not happening soon / cause today / i’ve got a busy schedule of crumbling myself like pastry to the floor / until there’s nothing left / but blood on my shirt / blood on the sheets / blood on the floor / and i collapse, exhausted / 12am exactly / wake up at 8, push through smoke and haze / like curtains, maybe / if you think about it right / but no matter how far i run, i always come back for more / drill the familiar rhythms into bloodshot eyes and sunburnt skin / it’s been a long summer of fighting / wading through fields of thigh-high grasses / dried up and old / hopping over burnt-down tree stumps / and falling down the rabbit hole
i close my eyes on the walk home, warm may breeze brushing its fingers through my hair, and gently closing my eyes. but that’s all right. because i’ve still got half a coffee to finish, and nothing left to do this afternoon. it tastes so sweet i want to cry.
wrapping me up in its arms like forgiveness, sea-salt and caramel melting on my lips. and even though it’s over now, it’s i’ll still trace the lines of scars on my skin; spend whole afternoons learning to copy them out by memory.
and what do you do, when every drop of nostalgia is poisoned with spindle-sharp cotton candy? when every embrace takes you back to grass-stained jeans all alone? ’cause i don’t have a fucking clue. but maybe that’s okay.
i’ll sit in my ignorance, like a cheap blow-up pool. i’ll cut my hair, i’ll make a friendship bracelet. i’ll take off my shoes, and wade in the water until i get cold.
i’ll hold your hand for just a moment, before it overwhelms me. i’m not used to being loved this way, rosewater and malt. i’m still learning to be soft, to let i love yous flow freely off my tongue.
and it tastes like sunscreen and sweat, as i press my lips to the back of my palm. but that’s okay. ’cause the blood will dry, and the scars will sink in. i think i’ll mount them in the portrait hall, and tell the world that i have slayed my dragon, for once and for all. i’ll take my victory forgranted for one more afternoon, and doesn’t that sound perfect?
So, this is very self-indulgent, but it’s finally warming up here, I wore shorts for the first time this year a few days ago, and I’m allowed to be ridiculously self-indulgent from time to time. Humour me.
In all seriousness, I’m constantly trying to give myself permission to write happy poems–not just the depressing ones. I don’t know, sometimes you just need to romanticize the little things in your life, and pretend you’re the protagonist in an animated movie, and I think there are far worse coping mechanisms in the world. So, I don’t know, go out there and like whatever the hell you want to! Have a good time! Be creative! I don’t know, it’s really late at night and I’m in a weirdly good mood, if I could shower the world in flower petals I absolutely would.
Lots of love,
the quiet corridors creak and shift, with the weight of ghosts unseen. but it’s not a haunted house, not really. just awkward, tiptoeing silence, and cold leftovers for dinner. dim blue light, baptizing the room in its glow.
and yeah, i’m sure it’s a great use of my time to watch tik toks on my computer until my eyes glaze over, playing audio from three different sources, until it all just fades to static. but at least i don’t have to sit in my head any longer.
feel its murky stench, pressing close like sewage against my skin. its scar-lined passageways, and scuffed floorboards. but now all i’ve got are goosebumps and bone. ’cause my friends are gone. the party’s over.
and all i’ve got to show for it is plates in the sink, and a to-do list scribbled on my palm. but the portrait halls never did tell the truth, and when i look into their eyes, all i can see is what i could have been. a thousand shortcomings, and skills it seems i’ll never grasp.
’cause i wanna roll down the hill, snow wrapping my bones like a blanket. even if you should have been there with me. i’m obsessed with the way the sky swirls like milk in coffee. and for a moment, i’m too caught up gasping for breath to worry.
an ode to my hometown
there’s a distinct way, that this place manages to stay the same for years only to quietly reshape itself all while you’re lulled into a false sense of security, one monday morning on the way to school. and suddenly: there’s a new grocery store, or another lot that’ll sit empty.
until another liquor store moves in. maybe a yoga studio, or a gift shop, i don’t know. but as we stop at the light, i stare out the window, the insidious heat burning my cheeks, and melting my brain to putty. it’s another scorching summer day, mr. blue sky painting a mirage down the swooping highway.
and just like always, i watch tourists descend like vultures, picking clean the remains of clearance racks and grocery store displays, only to disappear along with burnt-yellow lawns and congested traffic each fall, leaving their souvenirs and marshmallows behind, or whatever it is tourists come here to buy.
but… there are also endless roads, forests stretching out for eternity. little creeks under highways, or half-empty bus rides, houses i’ve driven past my whole life, making up stories in my head for the people who must have lived inside. with their broken costco trampolines and hammock chairs.
and someday, i’ll leave this place. look back with nostalgia, and hatred, and god knows what else. wonder how i lived like this, and make myself anew. break promises, and hopefully keep some too. and oh, you beautiful disaster: i cannot wait to miss you.
if someone were to follow me home, i hope they’d like what they found, at the very least. and maybe, just maybe, i could unclench their tight fists, could soften their bitter ways, for just a moment, because isn’t that what i’m supposed to do?
talk you down with my sugar-spun adjectives and verbs, on magical occasions such as these, where the sun glows bright in our eyes, and blinds us to uncertainty, and i just start laughing when it shatters, because it’s all so fucking funny.
just these little chemical impulses in my brain. which is a chunk of matter i’ve convinced myself i control, as we spin around and around in circles on this space rock we call home, which is in a galaxy, which is in a universe, and i’m so fucking infinitesimal that none of it matters in the end, not really–
and yet i still see my life flash before my eyes, every time you forget to shower me in a constant stream of validation and courtesy. i’m like a needy little kid, because maybe i never stopped being one.
just learned to stuff my childhood in a jar, and keep it on a shelf. maybe i’ll put a little dash of it in this story, or that poem, who knows–take a pinch of powdered nostalgia with my tea. is that normal? is it really?
is it okay to compare your brain to a half-dead charging cable that still works in a pinch, you just have to move it around a bit, but i can’t fucking stand the idea of falling behind. of being second-best.
and i’m trying to look for the silver lining here. i’m getting pretty good at it–shifting the lightning, and wracking my mind for a pretty turn of phrase. but i’ve got nothing today.