i had this dream last night

that i ran away

somewhere the ocean stretched out forever

and the world was cold beneath my fingers

and i woke up in a sweat

cause god, what if i left behind everything i know

for a chance to escape

’cause maybe this is what it’s all been coming to

maybe this is the only way i’ll be okay

the only way i won’t spend my whole life running

won’t work until i bleed

gasp feeble breaths through the lump in my throat

and watch my mother’s face take shape in the mirror

where i used to see my own

i had a dream i wore nice dresses

and bought a house near the city

where the grass is green

and i don’t drive myself half-insane with worry

i make my bed and pour some tea

i forgive myself, slowly

’cause i’m living the dream in a one-bedroom apartment

where my poems are soft, and gorgeous

and i’ll never go home

So, I woke up a few days ago at, like, 5am (without an alarm) with this inexplicable, desperate, life-or-death urge to move to Denmark. I went back to sleep, and then first thing I did, woke up and went on this weird, half-asleep research frenzy.

I have family there, and I’ve always heard stories, but I’ve never seen it before–and I think I really want to. This poem isn’t totally literal–for the sake of this poem “Fenmark” represents this ideal I know only really lives in my head, this sort of bittersweet, desperate fantasy of escape. I hope I’ve left it open enough to be interpreted by the reader.


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


2/4 of a suite of seasonal poems

he’s wearing skirts of white lace

with blossoms tucked in his hair

he’s soft fingers and sweet

willow branches blooming from his throat

he’s soaked in rain

snapped willow branches and a sore throat

he watches as you go

and he’s still kind, you know?

still soft, and trying

still pulsing with feelings

that will never be returned

he’s a fighter

he howls with the wind

washes dead leaves down gutters

spits out hail like fury

means every word of what he said

even as the river bleeds into the city

he’s got flowers of gossamer

and branches of velvet and chiffon

he’s everything at once

he’s never enough, not really

but he’s got sticky sweet kisses

apple blossoms and rosewater

he tastes like forgiveness

he tastes like relief

The second in a series of seasonal poems! I’ll be posting autumn next week, I believe. 🙂


(1/4 of a suite of seasonal poems)

she’s tired, and she’s fighting

with everything she’s got

she’s golden fields of dried-up grass

melted glass and bone meal dust

traffic flowing like molasses down the shimmering road

she’s tired, and she’s trying

chapstick kisses against the wilting earth

she watches the clock, ticking in the corner

counting seconds off on sunburnt fingers

she walks barefoot on hot pavement

wearing a skirt of lace and a crown of stone

she’s peach tea and laughter

she’s the colour of the sky

she’s pressing kisses to clenched fingers

she’s saying goodbye

I’ve been getting into more narrative poems recently–I used to absolutely hate writing these, but honestly, of late? They’ve been growing on me. I’m gonna do a suite of seasonal poems like this–I have spring and autumn written up so far, so stay tuned for that in the next few weeks. 🙂