wolf-skins

had a dream last night

about a little girl

with a good family, and a pretty

apartment in the city

i can’t remember what she looked like

but i know that she was kind, and sweet

and oh-so-naive

had a dream last night there were wolves at her door

and no one saw the warning signs

but i did

i was strong enough to catch them

and good enough to try

so she wouldn’t ever have to spin around in darkness

as they closed in around her

wondering if she was dreaming

or just losing her mind

so i fought all the wolves with my bare hands

threw them in a freezer, to never be thawed

and passed out on the floor, the blood freezing in my veins

i don’t want to die like i’m one of them

i want to be light, and weightless

i want to drift for just a little bit

longer

so i grit my teeth

i crawled out along the frozen ground

i wrestled my way through corpses

and i closed the door for good

told her it was safe now

she’d never know this aching worry

a bitter thing with teeth

and i don’t know what

what it would be like

to be carefree, and happy

thought i was poison, once you really get to know me

so i kissed her head

woke up to pouring rain

and swaying trees

alone in my bedroom with no one else to save

wanted to weep so hard that my pillow

grew a garden of flowers, mostly weeds

wanted to find that girl

and apologize for things i didn’t do

and when i looked out the door

all i could see was wolf-skins

and overgrown fescue


I really did have a dream like this, and I’m still not totally over it.

summer (2023)

I’ll be older, and wiser, a year from now or so 

I’ll cut my hair short

And feel the cool breeze

I’ll look out the window

And for once, I’ll be at peace

I’ll get my license

I’ll drive real carefully

When I pick you up from work and get the groceries

I’ll be your husband and your wife

Whatever you want, really

And we’ll go to the Rocky Mountains

We’ll run into the sea

We’ll hold hands underneath the stars

And it’ll feel like home to me

And maybe I’m irresponsible

But I’ll take it over misery

I’ll take every scrap of pity

I’ll do what I have to do

So we’ll swim in the frozen lakes at midnight

And we’ll climb up those frozen mountains

If we want to, or maybe we won’t

We’ll pick flowers

And get ice cream on the side of the road

I’ll try not to think about it

Like I always do

About headstones and eulogies

And rotting to the core

I’ll just cut my hair short

And I’ll take you to the shore


This is really a song, but I liked the lyrics enough to post here.

persephone

i. persephone has everything, up in her garden with the sun, where the light hits her hair just so. she’s got flowers, and friends; gets fat on pomegranate seeds. smiles with her lips, and never her teeth. she is afraid, and it saves her every time. from the snake in the garden and the deadweights on her wrists. her tears water the flowers; and her desperate laugh calls the birds to come home. and i want to live forever, i want to see it all. i want to say fuck the kingdom, fuck them all. i want to be like her. dancing in the garden; dinners with her mom. spinning and twirling and am i doing something wrong? ‘cause my skin, it looks pale and pockmarked under her light. my shaking fingertips. am i saying it wrong? am i messing up the steps as we slow-dance; pushing her away? as i whisper sweet nothings, make oaths we’ll curse someday. someday. as the dew gathers on her skin. i’ll follow her, all the way into oblivion.

ii. persephone has everything, and i am sick with jealously, laughing on my bedroom floor. she is gone, she is gone, she doesn’t need me anymore. my twisting, wretched form. my soft baby skin. she wears her beautiful dresses, and leaves behind flower petals everywhere she goes. i never look as good in them. i never hit the right notes. persephone has everything, and what’s left to give? i am a black hole, a crater, a bleeding mark against her skin. she is shining and laughing like the sun in the sky. she is chapped lips and certainty; and even in January she still smells like july. like an ache in my throat.

iii. she could destroy me, and god i’d let her try. i’d kiss her shoulder, yeah i’d bury her alive. i’d snuff out the stars so she could shine bright, i’d carry her home in my trembling arms.  i’d drive her to the city, i’d stay in these fields of knee-high grass forever just to be at her side. but persephone has everything, and i am still at home. persephone has everything; her thumb on my cheek and a tower of my bones.


Disclaimer: my knowledge of Greek mythology comes exclusively from my Percy Jackson phase in elementary school and the musical Hadestown.

lost in translation

i’ve never been good with a turn of phrase

subtle punchlines and references

to movies that i never saw

i’ve never been quick on my feet

or good when it comes to memory

i never understood those shakespeare plays

but i hear they’re something special

and i’m trying to understand the rhyming verses

to see the things you do

i’ll get there, eventually

i’ll translate the twisted words and i’ll muddle through

the things that were supposed to come easy

i’ll make sense of it, clicking puzzle-pieces together

simple rules; black and white

i’m good at that

clear lines

knotted paths of string in my palms

something i can touch

i’m good at breaking, but not so good at fixing;

my sweaty palms slipping on the wrench

the house is flooding, water’s rising

but i still don’t have the guts

to do what i need to do

and i don’t understand this language you speak

of soft touches, leaning into my shoulder

i don’t have faith, i don’t have time

but i’m still trying to get through; watching the way

you give like it doesn’t cost anything to you

it doesn’t come naturally

it doesn’t quite fit

and i’ve never been a good student

but i’m not the type to quit

up at 7

sometimes it feels like i just blinked / and woke up in someone else’s story / the middle left a blank / until the very last minute, when a burst of panic comes my way / i’m up at 7 / dragging my feet / and i’m curling up in the blankets, watching tv / clinging to the nearest body that’ll hold me / even if it’s burning up my skin / and i’m bandaging up scraped palms / swollen cheeks / on the bathroom counter / the guidance counsellor tells me not to worry / but every day flies past like a shooting star, always just out of reach / cause one minute, i was ten years old / and now i am twisting the keys and starting the ignition / again / again / i’m up at 9 / jacket over flannel over turtleneck sweater / laying my head in your lap and crying my eyes out / picking gravel out of the wound / bit. by bit. by bit