soft and sweet; let her bloom in oversaturated shades of orange and purple. let her be stupid, and innocent, for as long as she can bear it. ’cause it won’t last for long. and someday, she’ll rot into the ground. she’ll scrub the dirt off her cheeks, and feel secrets twist up into a knot in her throat. it’ll be dollar bills and delicate fingertips, and familiar faces on the wall. it’ll be piano songs, and a tennis games, where no one wins. let her be silly, let her dance, and sing. let her live every awkward phase and stubborn mistake in all its glory, and listen to music with the volume too loud. let her paint her skin with pinterest poetry, ’cause it makes her feel like floating, like bleeding in the sink; and it’s never as pretty in real life as it is in your head. let her be ugly, ’cause there’s something to who we are when no one’s watching. let her punch the shower curtain, and laugh at jokes that don’t make sense, and play with the ghosts out back, where we buried the guinea pig in seventh grade. let her tears make mud out of dirt. let her live it all again.

There’s this really scene in The Office where Andy says something along the lines of “I wish we knew we were living in the good old days before they ended.” (It’s been a while since I watched that show, but as I recall, in context it’s a lot less touching, because Andy is acting like a jerk by the time he says that. Anyway, I digress.) But I think I do know–because the past few months, I’ve had this weird feeling that I’m gonna be kicking myself in a few years for not living this time of my life to the fullest; gonna look back on it and wish I could do it all again. Like these things are only going to seem remarkable in retrospect, which is like, ninety percent of my life summed up. I might write something about that.

Anyway. I’ve been thinking a lot about nostalgia–and this weird feeling of nostalgia I’ve been getting for the present of late, and this is what came out of it.


i had this dream last night

i was walking through my grandmother’s house, the one we sold

way back in the day

when the summers burned bright

and life slipped through my fingers in a drunken haze

that new taylor swift song on the radio

but the carpet had been ripped up

and the paintings were destroyed

and i couldn’t find her garden, through the noise

and there were strangers in her walls

there were new shows on the tv

she’d have hated it if she saw, i think

and all i wanted

was the smell of potpourri

the perfect white carpet

and the floral couch in the living room

wanted someone to tell me

it wasn’t all just a memory

hallowed ground no longer my own

in the dream, there were slivers in my feet

and broken ceramic on the floor

they were cutting down the hedges

and pulling out the ferns

and i was sitting in the attic

sweat dripping down my spine

i was fading by the second

flickering fingertips and melting skin

eyes glazed over, watching it crumble

down to sawdust, and cement

the barest skeleton of a home

she’s leaving, now

and i don’t have the heart to watch her go

I really did have a dream like this–it was super weird, and I was pretty messed up over it for quite a few days. I almost never have dreams–or, remember them, anyway. When I remember them, it’s always either absolutely nonsensical, or earth-shattering emotional revelations with absolutely no in-between.

to the grocery store plant lying dead in the water

i am fourteen and arrogant, but that’s okay. ’cause it’s always just to compensate for the hole in my gut. i guess i just thought that this was gonna be my thing, you know? i was gonna bring the world to life with the touch of my evergreen palm. but things don’t always work out like that. so i buy this sad plant for seven bucks, and i read all about how to care for it. i forgot to water it, or i water it too much. ’cause sometimes, i can barely take care of myself. and other days, i feel so fucking alone, and it comes to a rolling boil; yeah it spills right through the cracks of me. and i just want to hold somebody, wanna make them feel better. i’m sorry i let the reminders pile up on my phone, i’m sorry my room is dark and dingy, and the winters always get so cold. but for what it’s worth, you were really pretty. made me think i could fix somebody, clip off all their broken leaves and kiss them back to life. have you ever loved someone so bad, and just watched from a distance as they withered in the cold? and you try everything you’ve got, you turn up the heater, you mist their leaves, you beg them to be safe when you hang up the phone? ever drifted apart from a sinking ship; whispered eulogies to your pillow when nobody is home? you’re a plant, of course not. you should count yourself lucky, you know.

in another life

in another life

i think i’d be a singer

and i know how cheesy that sounds

but god, i’d be perfect

i’d smile wide for the camera;

step out into a sea of writhing bodies

and not fear their sharp fingernails against my skin

tired soldier, wouldn’t you love to let down your guard for just a moment?

wouldn’t you like to trust yourself

enough to take honey

and milk with your tea

and dip your strawberries in molten lava

wouldn’t you like to be holy?

play the game

roll the dice

’cause if the world’s gonna be shitty

at least i can end up on the winning side


in another life,

i’d buy headphones at the store

and i would not feel guilty

and i’d see the world

i mean, see it really

yeah, i’d ruin my teeth on saltwater taffy

and fill up my phone with pictures

i would not be afraid to let you touch me

in another life, i would be sickeningly sweet

my mind smooth and clear

no cracks

no fissures

no magic tricks, a house of cards about to disappear

smile ’til my cheeks cracked the glass

of my smudged-up mirror

because this is not a teen movie

and i am not the protagonist

i see that now

but maybe i could be somebody

who doesn’t spend all her days at home

who leaves the world better than she found it

and wouldn’t that be so pretty?