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
content warning: plant based body horror
there’s dirt on my skin, there always is. the flowers on my desk have died and gone to heaven. and i don’t think i’m going with them, no matter how much i yearn for escape. cause and there’s a spiderweb inside me, and it’s growing by the day, it’s got me all tangled up now, like a butterfly daydream. or a codling moth. i’ve got chips in both my shoulders, dirt under my nails, aorta dying back. but i can’t fix it up, can’t make myself give a shit. i’ve got mud on my knees, and my veins show a bit. sometimes touching my body is enough to make me feel sick. i can’t feel my ribs, ’cause i think i cut those back. and the ivy’s taken over for good this time. so i’ve got willow branches for hair, i’ve got daisies in my eyes. dandelions on my belly. gotta pull them out before they go to seed. gotta wipe this out, gotta get it all clean, drown it out in salt and vinegar. something strong enough to knock the gods off their feet.
So, I have absolutely no idea what this piece means–but I came up with it a few days ago, and I really love plant-based body horror. It might just be because I spend a lot of time thinking about plants, so it comes naturally to me, I’m not sure–and I love writing more metaphorical, slightly creepy pieces like this.
cotton-candy nausea / and paper-shredder hands on mine / i have fought a thousand wars across the lumps and rolls of this skin, you know? / and all it’s left me with / is collateral damage / and wasted hope / because you will try, you will try, you will pour years of your life into the battle / you will kill in its name / but you will never win against yourself / only die in vain / and sometimes, i think about that, you know? / the fact that i am here today / and jesus christ, eleven is far too young to drink up your own pain / but i guess we grew up quickly, didn’t we? / fought for what we thought was ours / and left innocence at the front gate / i stare into the faces of people in clickbait articles / and wonder if that’s gonna be me someday / cause i make myself sick on the bad days / i do it on purpose / because i’m a scared little kid searching for home / because i’m screaming and i’m crying and i’m making demands / i am an absent dad / i am a tired working mom / so i say yes / i do what you say / i let you spin me ’til i’m dizzy / scribble out the scars on my ankles / and scream blue murder when you let go
you trace your fingers down the lines of old scars and long-held grudges, because i guess paranoia always did die hard. count them out quietly in your fingers, but i guess i can’t judge you too harshly, because i know i’ll be doing the same with yours. it’s so fucking awful. i know, i know, i know.
and some days, i’m a hopeless romantic, but most of the time i’m the most cynical person you’ve ever met. and i can’t be your princess, with her smiles and sunbeams and starlight filtering through her hair. a whole universe inside just one person. and i guess that’s all well and good in theory, but in practice, i don’t have a clue.
’cause i’m young, and naive, and inexperienced at most things. and it’s equal parts joy and torture, remaking myself each september. trying on different costumes in the hopes that maybe someday, i’ll find one that fits.
and i’m still learning silence from the burnt-out trees, raised up to worship the pain coursing through my bloodstream, to search day after day for its mythic beauty, only to realize, eleven years old, that maybe that wasn’t the best thing to do. but i still find myself following its footprints, on the bad days.
staying up too late on purpose, and letting my chapped lips start to burn. because if i’m just miserable for long enough, won’t you love me all the more? won’t you raise me up, and salute me, mount me like a trophy on your wall? would you tell me you’re proud of me, when i’ve done nothing at all?
would you plug the holes in my heart with drywall, paint me magenta and sky blue? would you run away with me one afternoon, even if it’s only in our dreams, and build me a cityscape of promises we’ll try our best to keep, but who knows?
because people change. and people mess up. but right now, i mean it, and maybe that’s enough.
i woke up this morning, and i didn’t feel like dying, which is kind of a novelty. the snow on the trees cast everything in a youthful glow. has it been ten days since we last spoke, or the rest of eternity? i’m in a weird headspace, and i honestly don’t know.
because these days, i spend most of my time floating facedown on melting ice, watching old ghosts sing out their sorrows deep below. tell myself i’d never sink to their level, and dance with them next week, to old songs from 2010. i create a vision in my head, of a childhood never lived, because it’s the best i’ve got, you know? and i’ll do what i have to, for late nights, listening to songs on your phone.
long walks in the snow, laughing ourselves numb as it all spins out of control. and you’ll hold my hand, even when i start to disintegrate like a layer of old paint on a shitty building. and i know it’s not much, but my standards are low, and so i guess it feels a bit like everything.
i woke up, and i didn’t know what to do. but maybe that’s not the worst thing, maybe fifteen could be the year of sloppy cardboard wings, and promises to keep. maybe i could jump without looking down, and the adrenaline would only serve to help me land on my feet.
and… today could be a good day, against my better judgement, with dresses and sunshine and lemonade. maybe i could call you up without apology, and ask how you’re doing. like a good friend would, and kinda work the rest out from there.
should you reciprocate the question, i’ll try my best to answer honestly.