liminal space

i ride the bus home from school
take the same route everyday
and find my seat in the back, pushing aside
bubblegum wrappers and love letters

someday i’ll leave this place
its cotton-candy promise, just a little rotten
to the touch
someday i’ll get tired of leaving breadcrumbs behind
someday there won’t be any romance left

in making a name for myself
or whatever else they sold me
so i’ll leave, and i’ll scratch my initials into the metal railing
beside all those that came and left before

when i come back someday,
2010s nostalgia
playing like a broken record
this bench will be covered in graffiti, the old tally-marks scrawled over

other people are gonna sit there
at our spot in the corner, behind the looming bookshelves
they’re gonna hold hands and watch the crowd
beneath the tree
throw rocks over the edge, and watch them fall

other people will take my spot by the window
watch the summers go by in a dizzy blur

find the fake roses and hydrangeas
stuck to the plants in late-spring
realize the ivy is just plastic and glue
i hope the heartbreak goes
easy on their open wounds
i hope their angels try to soften the blow
as they fall off their pedestals and bleed in the snow

other people
will walk these roads, like we did
when we were fifteen
sit on the stage, eating candy in the rain
and when we got bored, we’d share an umbrella and walk back home

other people, will settle in my place

but i’m never going to be that girl again

mirror

see her in the mirror, every now and then / or when i’m on my way to school, putting in my headphones and shutting out the world / but for a moment, i can see her brunette curls and her big sweaters / her soft, round cheeks / she sings to herself as she gloats over me / about the person i could have been, if i were braver, stronger, greater / made of iron and steel, and sheer force of will / her hair is messy, her t-shirt worn, and i don’t miss her a bit, i swear / but she doesn’t care / glaring from the car behind me at the light / she’s shouting make the fucking turn ’cause i’ve got places to be tonight / i see her at the bus stop from the corner of my eye, scrolling through her phone / she’s here and then she’s gone and then i am left alone / to fester and brood and find another hole in my favourite pair of shoes / but i’ll wear them til they’re rubber and thread / i will wake up and cry and do it all again / because i see her in the graveyard, but she’s not really dead / she’s running circles ‘round my heart / she’s wailing in my closet / writing stories in the pockets of my jeans / planting daffodil bulbs in the garden / drawing hearts on my cheeks

she never left. not really.


What is growing up if not being haunted by a thousand different versions of yourself, amirite?

fossil

i pressed the flowers you gave me / can’t bare the thought of time passing, turning me wrinkled and finite / cause what is life if not grainy photos burned into the back of my skull / moments of time, forever captured in my lungs / reenacting the same successes / ‘til their triumph feels phony and cliché / til my daydreams are dead butterflies, crushed between the pages / ‘til numbers and phases are etched into my skin / i pressed the flowers you gave me, couldn’t stand to watch one more beautiful thing / waste away and die / it’s pathetic, but this still counts as an improvement from my usual / state of affairs / clinging to the hands of anyone who’ll take me / who will say they love me ‘til the words lose their meaning / slippery and ugly on their cherry-blossom tongue / and we will talk about it / until we don’t talk about it at all / i’m so close and so far away / making small talk with my childhood home / ‘cause i kept every single letter you wrote me / i stuffed old keepsakes in my desk until it overflowed /  i dated each journal entry / and i froze myself in place, a fossil of the girl i used to be

brave face

i used to run myself weary

used to dream of all-nighters and self-loathing

to some darkly academic beat

i used to fantasize about statues built in my honour

about going down in history

i used to ruin my teeth

while i chewed up rocks to dust

and sometimes i still feel the rush

slip down my spine

want to stay up ‘til 3am and wake up at 5

’cause then i bet you’d be so proud

you’d sing me a dance and you’d destroy yourselves

to my apocalyptic glow

i used to want it with all my heart

exhaustion and glory

i used to wear a brave face like a trophy

take pride in bitterness and pain

and now i am tired from years of running empty

now i can’t help but dream of stupid things like gentle kisses

on foreheads with no motive in mind

like brownies and dumplings and secrets to keep

now i lie on my bedroom floor

trying to differentiate between depression

and just wanting to sleep

’cause i miss simple things

i can taste them on my lips

i miss peppermint tea

i miss courage and panic

burning out like matches

i don’t recognize the person

i see in the photos; her manic grin

her aching back

but i want to keep trying

i want my brave face back

old soul

i’ve been told that i’ve 

got an old soul

from the day i turned six years old

just shy of twenty-five

i’ve been told that i’ve got wisdom

far beyond my years

i’ve been told i’m too young to be this bitter

so i kicked it into gear

i’ve been told that i’ve got too many bruises

and scars for teenage dreams

perfect dates and walks along the river seine

but don’t we all, really?

’cause i’ve crawled on dirt ‘til knees were sore

and typed until my wrists ached

i can feel my bones cracking

under the weight of possibility

i’ve been told i’ve got an old soul

made of velvet, plaid dresses

oxford sneakers, soaked to the core

heard it said as a compliment

felt more like a declaration of war

i’ve been told i’m an old soul

staring at my face in the mirror, and tracing out the lines

‘cause i’ve been talking with the big kids at the dinner table

since the day i turned six years old

strained at booster seats and easy reads

and anyone who offered out a hand

quick to be slapped away

i’m always straining at myself

too fucking stubborn

to stop, and wait

and breathe in the air

feel the grass stains on my knees

laugh lines and scars i have yet to receive

and now it’s almost over, i just want to stay

i want to go back and do it all again

fuck ambition, fuck chasing dollar bills

since the day i turned six years old

’cause now it’s almost over, i can’t wait 

for none of it to matter

all those sleepless nights

i spent biting my nails

and pulling out teeth 

a crumbling sandcastle

washed out to sea

not gone; never gone

not really

you tell me what that means