loch’ness

i’ve seen the secrets of the sea

swum with monsters made of daydreams

i bought your story

about the things that lurk in the deep

i’ve felt the waves lap against my feet

and the seaweed twist around my fingertips

dragging me places the sun doesn’t reach

and no one else will ever follow

and watched the bubbles drift out of my mouth

i’ve seen a land where secrets hide

in treasure chests and states of mind

i’ve looked in the mirror, and met the eyes

of someone i don’t know

i’ve fashioned myself a monster

hiding in the darkness, never to be seen

i’ve hidden pieces of myself in the deep

and bolted them down

never to wash ashore, and never to be found


I thought I was going to be a lifeguard for a while–and maybe this just goes to show what kind of little kid I was, but I always had this weird, morbid fascination with drowning, probably just because I learned about its effects super young. (Not in a suicidal way, just in a sad, weird little kid way.) I remember, always getting really freaked out by that moment when you dive to the bottom, and your lungs burn, and you push to the top, but you’re not sure you’re going to get up in time–and then you surface, and it’s fine. I do a lot of swimming, even now; I’ve always loved the water. That’s where I tried to draw this poem from.

denmark

i had this dream last night

that i ran away

somewhere the ocean stretched out forever

and the world was cold beneath my fingers

and i woke up in a sweat

cause god, what if i left behind everything i know

for a chance to escape

’cause maybe this is what it’s all been coming to

maybe this is the only way i’ll be okay

the only way i won’t spend my whole life running

won’t work until i bleed

gasp feeble breaths through the lump in my throat

and watch my mother’s face take shape in the mirror

where i used to see my own

i had a dream i wore nice dresses

and bought a house near the city

where the grass is green

and i don’t drive myself half-insane with worry

i make my bed and pour some tea

i forgive myself, slowly

’cause i’m living the dream in a one-bedroom apartment

where my poems are soft, and gorgeous

and i’ll never go home


So, I woke up a few days ago at, like, 5am (without an alarm) with this inexplicable, desperate, life-or-death urge to move to Denmark. I went back to sleep, and then first thing I did, woke up and went on this weird, half-asleep research frenzy.

I have family there, and I’ve always heard stories, but I’ve never seen it before–and I think I really want to. This poem isn’t totally literal–for the sake of this poem “Fenmark” represents this ideal I know only really lives in my head, this sort of bittersweet, desperate fantasy of escape. I hope I’ve left it open enough to be interpreted by the reader.

sawdust

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.

depression in e minor

have you watched yourself sink?

have you felt the fog surround you

for years and years on end

watched your art wither and crumple

and blow away in the wind?

and have you painted the past in a rose-pink hue

everything soft, and kind

and beautiful

and god, i want her courage

i want her pride

in a bottle

i want her desperate state of mind

’cause i have ground my dreams up like coal

i have given up before i’ve tried

played depression in e minor

to c major

to d

and all it’s given me is calloused fingers

and sleepless nights

i mine my cheeks

for silver and gold

but there’s nothing left to find

and begged silently

for a kiss, or a hug

or even a brush of your hand

but most of all for you to tell me,

tell me i wasn’t born this way

tell me imagination is endless

tell me there’s the slightest chance of escape

tell me these hands around my throat are gonna get bored eventually

tell me it’s not too late

even though all i did today

was sit in the corner

and drift through a haze

and if the world doesn’t make sense, what does it matter anyway?

i’ve got my back to the wall

and my hands against the glass

i play depression from e minor

to c major

to d

i don’t cry, i don’t laugh

and i don’t feel much of anything

a short reflection on how it feels to prove your humanity

scream into that empty hollow mouth of yours, and watch the sound bleed out / blink the hospital ambiance away with a flick of my tongue / and yes, i know we bleed the same / yes i know, you are a million miles away / so whisper into hollow lungs, and ignore the warning signs / the sweat crawling down your back / or that sick, cold feeling in your gut / and i’ll do the same, darling, i’ll take all my rotten parts out / and i’ll make them anew / i will do a dance and sing a song / scream and shout in my glass box, just for you / can’t you see? / but of course, to your eyes / it’s probably nothing more than coincidental symmetry / something, something / rolling the dice / when it comes down to it, when it’s “her life over mine” / you will only hesitate a moment / before you dig the scalpel in / and oh god / oh jesus fucking christ / sometimes i look in the mirror, at my plastic skull / and my sinful eyes / sometimes i can’t help but wonder if you might be right