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an anthology of childhood loves.when i was three, i dressed up as cinderella.
it was a warm october night in the hills of south carolina,
where scorpions basked in the garden and daddy once killed a rattlesnake in the kitchen.
i remember momma tying a bow on my dress and taking sixteen pictures.
i was a gap toothed little blond with a plastic tiara and dreams in my eyes.
i made my friend mark be my prince charming.
i remember looking over, suddenly shy, and wondering if we would get married one day.
when i was five, we moved away.
that was my first little taste of heartbreak.
it didn't last long, though.
my next memory is standing on my new driveway,
peering past the moving van to a girl with curly gold hair and hazel eyes.
when the moving van pulled away, she ran across the street and shook hands with me.
she told me her name was bella.
i told her i had a dog, and she told me she had an american girl doll.
we were two happy little blond girls and people thought we were sisters when we went to the pool.
i started kin
help.i am a dysphoric mess of
dry eyes and clenched fists and lots
of nights beating the hell out of walls and
the punching bag in the basement and scabby
knuckles and aching muscles and oh god i really
just really wanna get straight to sleep this time because what
the hell am i am i a girl am i a guy and now my knuckles are bleeding
and i miss you and a week isn't long to wait really but for me it is eternity because i
am a fucking mess and i wanna go home and sleep but sweetheart you're already at
home my mother says and i shake my head and say that's not what i mean, mother
so i never went back.i
lately, the curve of your shoulderblades
has been tattooed on the insides of my eyelids,
and the weight of your heart has settled alongside mine
in my chest, like it's found a home.
your eyes would fly if they could,
just grey enough to make you think pigeon
and just blue enough to make you think bluebird.
if my feet were lighter and i weren't weighed down by the chains
of sorrow and tiredness and scars,
i would follow you into the sky.
i made you a dreamcatcher with bluejay feathers on it.
a gold (not really, but it looks pretty) key charm hangs from it,
flanked by beads and feathers and fluttering ribbons.
its intricate design reminds me of you,
and now- funny thing-
i can't bear to let it go,
because i feel that to give it to you
would be to lose a piece of you.
in the four a.m. darkness,
i think i hear you whispering to me,
but that's impossible.
we are separated by miles and miles
and by people that will never understand us.
sort of like a modern-day r
hero.she never saw it coming at all.
well, maybe she did, she was the one that held the knife but
she never thought it would really happen.
she was the kind of girl that drank the stars with her eyes,
flying away on wings of paper and dreams,
and during the day held her screams in behind carmine lips,
keeping her nails wrapped in band-aids so she couldn't hurt herself.
it's all right it's all right it's all right it's all right all right all right
because nobody can have it all
and sometimes the only time she thought she could smile
was with the help of a knife.
all she wanted was to be happy but somehow
her psyche always worked against her.
open wide here comes original sin
she's the hero of the story doesn't need to be saved
theh ero of the story
her oof thes tory
it's all right its allright its al right its alright right its alright it salrigh
and the only way she felt she could save herself
was by giving up
lace.i have seventeen dreamcatchers hanging in my room.
i suppose it's overkill;
i'm never going to achieve my dreams anyway.
but i keep making them.
looping the yarn tightly around the small hoop, tying it off,
then taking the needle and thread
(black for despair, white for hope;
my room has shadows and black lace cast over it now)
stitch stitch stitch with looping swirls
like i'm sewing the pieces of my mind back together.
i tie off the last loop when the lacy stitches
have knitted closer together than often-broken bones
in a hospital bed.
i hang the latest dream above my bed.
when i wake up, bolting up from a nightmare with monsters on my tail,
i hit my head on it.
and frozen waterfalls.late last night, i tried to talk you down off of
that high built from nicotine and caffeine and hollows under your eyes,
that sense that something is wrong.
i told you about skies we can swim in
and the lakes that will let us fly.
i waxed poetic about neighborhood parks and the tigers at the zoo.
how in the spring, we can go to both
and be that couple everyone is jealous of.
it worked. i think.
just in case it didnt,
i told you that i love you and i wouldn't be able to survive without you
and that you have saved my life more times than you know.
i told you the real reason i keep my nails bitten down
and have never worn shorts around you
and never take off my thick bracelets.
i talked about my anxiety and depression and the monsters that claw inside my stomach
just like the ones you have.
i told you about the razors in the bathroom
and the fifteen woodworking blades in the basement workshop.
i bared my soul to you, love,
and you told me you'll stop smoking, start eating,
and keep loving
act 1: the boulevard, or, herJessie had eyes that sometimes thought they were green and sometimes thought they were brown. That night, they were in one of their depressed moods and had decided to take on the semblance of minty chocolate to make themselves feel better. If they could eat themselves, they would have. Jessie herself, however, was just as intensely, determinedly happy as usual. She skipped on every second step and her smile crackled with energy; since i flatly refused to skip with her, she would skip ahead a few feet and then turn around, pale yellow-white hair flying in the half-light from the streetlamps and storefronts, and wait for me to catch up. Our parents thought we were at a mutual friend's house, sleeping over. We'd decided to skip it. We were eighteen, after all, and it was the summer after high school, that last possible summer where you can really be a kid before having to decide what you want to do and who you want to be. College applications had been sent out, but with one girl that want
prisoner 2873.she grabbed my hands
and wrapped them around her waist,
making me slow-dance with her
right there on the boulevard
in the pouring rain.
it's on her bucket list,
to be a scene in a movie.
this is the opening credit.
baby, she said, let me tell you something.
i've got a fist full of dreams and a guitar pick in my pocket
and a head full of you.
that don't sound much like living to me, baby.
run away with me
and let's make a life.
she blinked raindrops off her eyelashes
and looked at me with melting brown eyes.
baby, she said, come with me?
how could i say no?
she squealed and kissed me in the pool of golden light
under the lamppost on the boulevard.
we were two silly girls twined around each other and drunk on love.
we'd make a perfect movie, i think,
she told me. and i guess we would.
hollywood would love this story.
six months living on the road,
just two kids living the rebel dream.
we drove across the country,
jessie headbanging to the soundtrack of the 80's
and rocking the
It's Okay to be ImperfectThe moon
Stand Against SuicideI know the pain is perhaps unbearable,
But darling, please put down the blade.
Release your emotions through tears and smiles,
Rather than dreading these days.
Do it for the little girl, whose mother can’t be there,
Or for the boy whose father drank too much.
For the boy who can’t sit in elementary school,
Because the bruises from Daddy hurt to touch.
For the teenage girl lying face down in her bed,
Thinking, why can’t it all be done?
For the elderly man looking up at the stars,
Counting the days one by one.
Do it for the children who wonder, does it end?
For the ones who feel left on their own.
For the ones who think, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard
If I didn’t feel so left alone.
And finally, do it for one other person,
The person in front of these words.
Because you’ll never know how it gets better
When focusing on pain and hurt.
Live one more day, dear, for them and for you,
And I swear to you, problems will fade.
I know, for right now, it’s p
Unable to loveMy love was pure
I only wanted
But my heart
Because my love
Like a piece of garbage
And now I'm unable
Because the shreds
Of my shattered soul
I Thought I Needed FeminismI thought I needed feminism, when I was a little girl.
And I am very sad to admit, that this wasn't very long ago.
I thought when he held the door open for me, that he was making a big mistake.
That he was being a pompous ass, and he took my strength for a fake.
And when he offered to pay my tab, I still called him an ass.
Because I thought he assumed I was poor, and below middle class.
Or when his hard work earned him a promotion,
yet I did nothing, and the boss' ignorance to promote me, I believed was a sexist notion.
My friend really wanted feminism when she found her ex-dead drunk,
removed his clothes, and without his consent, had a pleasurable fuck.
When her parents bust into the room unexpected that night,
she said he raped her, and he was arrested without so much as a fight.
Perhaps feminism was there when I walked out into the street in pure nudity,
and shouted the my neighbors “You have no right to judge me!”
I didn't care about the children who were standing in th
MathematicsI am but the sum of my
F L A W S;
a network of
S C A R S
a disaster of
D R E A M S
a shield of
B O N E S
C A L C U L A T I O N
a void of
to the girl i lose my words aroundi have been meaning to tell you for years:
i think you’re beautiful. i have
seen nothing on earth that holds a candle
to the ocean you carry inside your body.
it spills over your edges sometimes, like
a rain shower around you, blurring your penciled-in
lines until there is nothing left of you but your natural
cliffs, valleys, and deserts.
i like that.
i have never met someone who is, somehow,
a sea and a storm at the same time.
maybe i never will again.
maybe you are the only one
who gathers clouds on her forehead
like a promise, or feels the push and pull of the tide
with her every step.
you are beautiful, honestly.
you are honest, beautifully.
it is in the way you talk, the way you hold ice
on your tongue but forget to use it—
you always forget to use it, i don’t think
you know how.
to be truthful, i’m afraid of your smile
and how it breaks over me, how it pulls
me like a whirlpool down, how it pushes me
like a current back to the surface. i’m afraid of
the certainty of imminencei.
tomorrow spills over
inevitability-rapt and enveloping,
as wakefulness startles,
i'm caught up in past-time
i forge(t) myself in oblivion
midnight so hollow,
we all stop
with the clocks.
nothing looks the way it did
and i guess it seems
i'm blinkered, brevity-bound
in century footsteps forever stumbling,
always being blindsided
by the passing
Abuse Is Sometimes NecessaryPush and pull at her long hair, topple her to the solid ground,
elbow her sharply in the raw gut, shove her harshly around.
Scratch him in the pale face, punch him in the broken jaw,
do anything necessary to him that's considered breaking the law.
And when she cries because you've punched her, let her be,
and observe her when she returns to her habitual smoking.
When she passes out next day, because she's drunken too much booze,
slap her in the face once more, though many would consider it abuse.
When he can hardly walk because he thinks he's high in the clouds,
rip the needle out of his arm, and with your nails, slash him across the sweaty brow.
Grab them and shake them till their battered and bruised,
tear at their heart, scream in their ears until you've reached the point of verbal abuse.
And when she falls into your chest, and he collapses to the ground,
pull them closely, and whisper, “We can turn this all around.”
And rehab is a necessity for all of you, because you'v
Good (Great, Greater, Greatest, You)Good (Great, Greater, Greatest, You)
I hope the title caught your eye,
because this is about you.
Many of us speak in superlatives
and ambiguous language.
In imagery-laden text masquerading
underneath double entendres
keeping us from a part of the truth.
But purple streaks and red bands,
harp strings and soft hands
don't begin to explain
the love I have for you.
So I lay these words down
simple in its vulnerability,
blemished and raw in its purity.
The term lissome fits you in many ways,
but not necessarily it its textbook form.
I speak on the part that is not readily seen
but what is easily most cogent.
Your consciousness' cognizance
is graceful in the way
you fold one syllable over
another, supple in its meaning
that can take many forms
going from idle lies
to how we idolize hollow eyes
and uncovered hip bones.
Elegance is an understatement,
but I refuse to speak in cliche superlatives.
I speak honestly
but not with exaggerated grandeur.
Because your immediate app
flittermice on a racetrack.have i ever told you that you make me smile?
high praise, i know, coming from me,
it's high praise indeed because i have a jumbled
up head and you make me smile and i
maybe even found someone who will stay this
time and maybe i even found someone who
will love me as much as i love them (it
slipped out that night you almost gave
up, almost threw in the towel, almost took the
pills you've been saving) and i know
i wouldn't be able to live without you and
i know i may have to and darling, it
scares me it fucking scares me.
just listen to that... my heart is racing like millions of
butterflies are trapped and running around a ferris wheel
screaming let me out let me
out because my head is jumbled up and i need
you near me and your arms around me and my hands in
your hair and darling your new haircut looks
fine and do you really think i would
leave you over something so silly as
botched bangs and shorter hair?
because no matter how much you fluster
me oh god i dont know how
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