a short list of things that haunt me

  1. have you ever seen a diagram, of the brain during dissociation? how it all just flickers out to nothing, and you lie there, breathing in a house with no one home. how do you start to heal, when you’re barely there at all?
  2. and have you ever thought about the past? how it creaks and groans with the wind? have you traced the scars like photo albums, embossed into your skin, and maybe they’re all you have left, to remember the monster you’ve been.
  3. have you sat still, and imagined how you’ll fade into obsolescence like an old can of soda, collecting dust in the pantry? have you thought about the stars, and how they turn.
  4. have you thought about black holes? how they consume everything in their path without a minute of remorse.
  5. and have you curled into yourself like a daisy at night? and stared at the window, in a city you’ll never quite reach, and watched the cars like little wind-up toys, spinning circles around the highway.
  6. have you seen a dead cricket, on the side of the road, and wondered if there’s anything small enough to escape destruction? i don’t think there is. and that scares me most of all.
  7. last week, we learned about monsters in school. about people who hurt other people, who dug their claws into the dirt and left ugly, bleeding scars on the world. but at the start, they all seemed so normal. and you have to wonder, how many people could do what they did, under the right circumstances.
  8. today, i held a wounded rabbit in my hands, and let it rest in a box on the table. and i waited by the laundry machine, kept my voice down and tiptoed past. and a few hours later, i watched it go. i hope it’s all right.
  9. i hope the world is a fever dream, i hope it drifts and floats in lavender, and cinnamon, and bitter lime-skin, crawling down my throat. i hope my heart beats in my chest like an oath.
  10. i hope i survive to be haunted forever, in every blink of my eyes, each creak of toothpick-bones. i hope it echoes through me like a siren song, i hope the concrete swallows me whole. i hope i remember, and bleed. i hope i grow.


trigger warning: feelings of hopelessness

look at all these pretty things and the sudden chill through my veins. look at all these pretty things, dying. look at all these pretty things, breathing. look at all these pretty things, going into hiding curling up into turtleshells that feel more like insulation than anything. look at all these pretty sunsets like reminders to turn on our nightlights before the darkness descends like the sun knows it’s going to fall into the ocean and it just wants to tell us how much it loves us. or how much it hates us. or how much this world does not give a crap what you think of it still trying to teach us confidence. look at all these pretty things around us. most of them are built on darkness. look at the shadow behind you. look at how it shakes like a blade of grass when the wind rushes through it listen to it. look at how it’s begging you not to let go yet. look at your heart. look at how it’s always bleeding a little bit. look at all the bricks on your back you’ve been carrying this far without even using a backpack. look at all the footsteps you’ve left behind you. look at how much you’ve grown since the first moment you opened your eyes and none of the feelings like tidal waves made sense to you. the pictures they took just to make lies out of you. look at all the people who have loved you. look at all the people who have waged war against you. look at all the things you’ve managed to do. all the mountains you have conquered in your head only to stare up at the real version without a button for fastforward a button to get through the pain you’ve already lived through over and over again. remember all the things you’ve thrown out into the world, and even if it’s only valentines cards and snickerdoodle cookies i still have your valentines cards pinned to my bedroom wall in case of winter because winter can and will come. winter can and will fall. winter can and will make the light in your head flicker out. and off. winter can and will make your heart stretch outs its hands as far as time will let it go just looking for a sign that someday this will be over. looking for a way to get your heart out of this grinder. i was not made to be kept in the dark this long. listen to all the sounds around you. look at all these beautiful dying things  you can’t even begin to save with the one arm you have available between juggling school and people and people there are so many people they all want something from you. if this is stress how much worse is it going to get? listen to the frantic beat of your heart rushing around the room trying to save every pretty thing around you. right now. and look at all the stars or the clouds or the raindrops. look at this. like life is a movie we can’t get out of. like our endings are all tangled up with each other. like we’re all butterflies caught in a spiderweb totally feeling the doom. but pretending we’re not. pretending it’s fine. because if it’s fine, you don’t have to call in sick for life the next morning, and you reach a point where. you can wake up and you can stare up at the ceiling and know you’re not all right and somehow, keep walking, which is not always a good thing. you can open up your voicebox like an ancient archive everyone forgot about and get a little closer to throwing away the lock this time; fall in love without all the headlines staining your bloodstream. but they are there. whispering. they are there, and i want to be okay. they are there, and i want to run so so far away. but somehow i manage to breathe in. and out. i want to fall because it’s easier. but somehow, i don’t. even though my bones feel like stalks of wheat someone is trying to grind into flour so they can make bread out of me.  this is not easy. i feel this desperate kind of insanity where i will take your hate and hope it into love because if love can hurt if love can make me feel like collapsing on the floor my heart pounding like i’ve just run a marathon how am i supposed to tell the difference anymore? yes, the world moves fast. yes my heart can shatter like it’s been struck by lightning yes it only takes seconds to start crying. phone calls through the darkness, wanting to be both closer and further away. your body is falling asleep, and the blood wrestles through your arteries & the cold is suffocating. yes. i admit that i just want it to be easy and beautiful from now on. yes. i’m not sure how i’m still breathing.

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thank you so much for believing in me. please don’t stop. never, never, never.


but / i’m not / perfect / but i’m not / perfect / but i’m not / perfect / i’m not / even close / to perfect / i’m a spill on the counter / i forgot to shape into something / prettier / into something / easier /  but i’m too / quiet / too / quiet / but my opinion is so easily / molded / my thoughts redrafted like messy essays scribbled on napkins you plagiarized / i’m crying tears that melt me like an iceberg / but i’ll have refrozen / by sunset / the split second you just don’t get it even though i love you like i love the ground below me / how can i be a lightbulb / how can i be a lightbulb like you say when i don’t even realize it / i’m scared i’m more hate than love / full of so much rain / but not enough sun / & rain / will not help / melt things / but it only makes the ocean rise higher / i’m scared without the pain / there’s nothing i’ve got left / scared i can’t keep going further / but i’m tired of the colours / only i can see / like a private light spectrum / i tailored for myself not realizing the dress would become a prison / i’m tired of being bright bright blue / except you can’t see blue / except every time you look at me / you roll your eyes / you laugh / you act like poetry is a word i scribbled on the chalkboard of myself / no / poetry / is like the item my third-grade teacher etched onto the whiteboard / in sharpie / hot lunch orders / still waiting there / poetry  / will not be erased with rubbing alcohol / should not be erased with rubbing alcohol / trying to erase poetry from me is like / trying to erase my heartbeat / trying to wipe the air air away where i touched it / because you said / it got too messy / sometimes it feels like you would rather be invisible / my soul is like a rainforest / no one else bothers to walk in because they’re scared of the tigers / i always get the same compliments / wise / insightful / self-aware / bright / etc / strangers / repeating like this / broken record / am i the broken record or is it you / are you the broken record or am i / you don’t understand / whatever beauty you see in my eyes / i can only kind of find / & if i did / i think it might ruin me / & maybe it exists / or maybe / you’re just lying / i’m tired of you / not / understanding the colour / bright bright blue / but i’m not perfect / but i’m not perfect / but i mess up all the time / but all / those / teachers / told me / that someday / they would be reading my novel / & yeah for a second / it made me look people / square in the eye / but how do you know my novel would be so great / if i asked would you stop / believing in me / would you tell me i was being crazy / if i was the kid panicking in the hallway / would you call me crazy / you wanted me to be a rocket / you could pour the fuel / into / i don’t know / maybe / you fell for a reflection / & not a reality / maybe i fell for a reflection / & not a reality / sometimes / this version of me / who stands up on stages / is the only thing that makes me pause in the mirror / before i call myself / stupid / evil / liar / sometimes it’s the only time i feel / at peace / ok / at peace / ok / you were kind / in front of me / but / what did you say / in the lunch room / what did you say / to someone else / what did you say about me / when you realized / my mind was an attic i am crawling through hoping / i don’t put a hole / in the roof / sometimes the sound of my / voice feels like / a sticky snakeskin / i want to cast / away i didn’t / tell you / this /  & i close my eyes / my hands are shaking / it’s like you’re talking in a foreign language / i shove the praise at my reflection & watch myself hug me back / trying to melt together my / hundred thousand tissue paper faces / you whisper encouragements / sometimes / when i read over my own work / it’s like reading something in a different language / sometimes / when i look in the mirror / it takes me a moment / like / oh my god / that’s / me / sometimes / my mind just / sort of / goes / blank / like / an empty / document / error / error / error / sometimes / even telling the truth / feels like getting into a locker / i’ve forgotten the combination of / having to use / bolt / cutters / we’re not even talking about massive / secrets / but / when / will i be / good / enough / for you / but when / will i / feel / ok / this is the only time i could call myself / 99% ok / but / why / can’t / i even / talk / to you / why does my brain / see little butterfly wings / to be tornadoes before they even / rise in the morning / why don’t i know / or want to stop / holding onto pain / like it’s a pacifier / somehow / if i see it / does that make it true / & / the thing is / it’s not / enough / to be different / when there are a million other stars / in the sky / & maybe i’m just / pleiades / maybe i’m only / a small cluster of stars shaped like a house in the night sky / maybe / i’m not bright enough / to be / noticed / because / i can’t / see / half of this / my lungs aren’t / even empty highways / they’re just / dead / inside / my mind feels / carnivorous / which is ironic / since i’m vegan / which is ironic /  because i tried so hard i disappeared to not hurt anything / because sometimes hope is the only lifeboat / that won’t collapse on me / it’s just you can’t buy it easily / i tried so hard to not hurt anything & it worked well until i realized i was lying


note: whenever i find the time/ quiet rooms, more spoken word recordings will be coming. might even work on a voice recording for this poem later.