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As Insubstantial As Cigarette Smokei.
they wrapped me through with police tape
before i was born;
yellow silk fetters entwined among
the arches of my ribs
and along the hollow bumps of my spine
like a warning
binding back what leviathan lay
in the dusk
i've searchedandsearched and never found it,
but they promise me,
(oh promise me it's there).
i've tried to call down the sun from up high
because i didn't like the way it made everything
i prefer the darkness.
(they've told me that's
where i belong,
hidden away for what
better purpose i have yet to
i'm drowning in shadows vague and empty,
and all the wrong words
i never gathered the courage to
because with each whisper
another remnant of what sky i used to know
comes crumbling down,
and i always bloody my hands
when i pick up the shards.
i tried to tell them
that everything falls to pieces.
they shook their heads
with jaded smiles
and told me not to worry.
but they are reflective, i say
Sleeping Behind the WheelI want you to sing me a song
to erase all my preconceived notions
about life, love, and (listless?) dreams.
I want your voice
to conquer all my past--
the beast that plagues me.
I want you to whisper words so sweet
the day may finally rest.
Because I've been awake for years, now--
and I need a little sleep.
take me away--
redeem me with your notes
like fables, like promises,
like wishes made a million times before
take me away--
to that place between my mind and heaven,
that doesn't exist.
because there, I can be comforted
ignore the life I've spent
trying to tally all I've done wrong
I want you to write me a lullaby.
(I want you to lie)
I want to fall asleep
with a dream in my eyes
(instead of tears.)
and I want your thoughts to be
what gives that all to me.
There's got to be more than this, I don't want to just exist
Amnesiacsmaybe you forgot how to
wake up without screaming.
she smiles like a broken dawn
and the meek will inherit the
earth, if they don't drown,
first. she's barely breathing;
trying to grow gills because
it's only in the state of dying
that we adapt.
and you won't see the colors
pouring out of her chest, you
won't hear the ebbing swansong
she hums so quietly.
you didn't come to be reminded.
you inject a little further, a little
closer to the heart. numb.
(she died the day she
was given a name)
she made you promise never
to be a number, or a majority;
she made your heart beat in a way
that made you think you were alive,
but you can't believe in anything
that lasts longer than a minute.
you shut down. fingers
close around an empty bottle,
a flaccid tongue writhes
and it tastes bitter.
she's too close, you can hear
her thoughts unwind, you can
taste her mistakes. it's too real.
you were never human, you
tell yourself so you can be
convinced it was never valid.
she's too close and
Innocent Purgefingers not full grown
still manage to pull free
and a mother's fear
says the mom who has too many
worries and wrinkles for
her daughter of nine
tears spring forth
from wells not seen
since her own pitiful choices
"you're already beautiful,
and there are so many better ways
please, please, please
don't make my same mistakes"
tiny fingers just long enough
to grasp at insecurities
and struggle with feelings
I want to be pretty
drain her empty
in the filthiest of cleansings
the mind of a child can't comprehend irony,
and that is her only solution
"but mommy" she chirps
stained with promises of perfection
from a girl too young
to know the consequences
(or the reasons)
she smiles a broken smile
because she's almost there
and she's unaware
she lost part of herself she'll never get back
"please, don't do what I did.
please, don't be like me."
"but mommy," she says
"I already am"
and the cycle repeat
Poets Always Lieambrosial fabrications are
easier to swallow down when
incandescence is a blessing bestowed
only upon those with silky tongues.
deceptions are beautiful
in the right words
because they are salvation, like a
rapture, they save the sickly,
self-indulgent souls from those
tragedies they used to write on the insides
of childhood notebooks about who
they could never be [themselves]
they rescue them from tremulous
corners and closets, hideaways
where they've grown too akin to
the demons they nurse; and drag
them into a land beautiful enough
to wear light as a second skin
(where lies are never discussed
but always shared)
are so much more comforting
than the absoluteness of reality
because self-resentment is as
natural as a heartbeat to those
who were born breathing and
abhorring and denying all from one
steady gasp of what the existent world
had to offer to them
back then their eyes opened, and
their fingers fumbled, born, they realized
the world wasn't as pretty as promi
In Piecesrum-lust lips make gentle friends,
words slurred in hands blurred,
burning in between the lines to find
drunken concoction of wilted laughs
and heavy sighs, scented sultry
you are that
rasping in my throat when my voice
deteriorates and I am left breathless
and hopeless and raw, my
muscles ache in memory of the
motions to forget-
we do not let go.
and cold beds call, stability,
metal frames and sunken heads –
rest now, rest with
a prayer on your lips you don't
care to share, a dream in
your mind you'll never get back;
rest and the earth will lend you peace
you will stop. the rivers will clean
your bones; the sand will smooth
your tongue; you will stop, brain blank,
as smooth ivory promises persist.
(interpretations mean less than nothing)
you will stop and rest,
I'll Be There When the Wind Blowsi
one day I'll be nothing but a whisper
in the swollen sky, which ebbs and flows
whenever you choose to open your eyes
this voice will be lost in the onslaught,
and I'll fade into my greatest fears
my thoughts have been known to shatter
on occasion, into fine powder
that scatters in the face of execution
I always worried roots grown in unstable ground
and remembering the way my body was built
would free the catastrophes sighing within me
it's easier to succumb to future's inevitabilities
that welcome you with undefined arms
sometimes I release pieces of myself
because I don't like the story they tell
about the history written in my palms, unrelenting
I wait these weighted hours until darkness ascends
where night sings lullabies of lands
that I never quite belonged to
one day the moon will shine a little too bright,
and I will evaporate into nothing but
a faint whisper, not worth the strain needed to hear
I will be lost in the transmissions
of those who meant more than me.
Comatosethe clock rolls backwards
say hello to cold floors and breathing
ceilings and sleepless nights,
a snowflake city down in flames
and a humming monotony --
fingernails never dug deep enough.
you're stuck on words like I love him and
I miss him and this is it and I
love him I really really love- it's
better to have bled than ghosted
out into the
those are your thoughts suiciding themselves
under the smother of night, no
veneers can hide your
lines- time carved
you a new face and metered
asphyxiated and strung out by
your own needs, at least you had
to write it all off,
but not before you tore the wings off the
weak-willed sparrows and cried
bleached eyes and too much black
liner cover the fact you can't
anymore, you can't
the world and it shouldn't see you
you're sick of butterflies melting on your
fingertips and fairydust that's only of
dreams long dead, and
you nightmared these very days long ago- of
love as a hoax and siphoning smil
Floodgate EyesPlease promise me something better,
even if it is a lie-- sometimes believing
is enough. (sometimes knowing is too
much. tomorrow I will wake up
and travel a little farther down the road
to my own self-destruction. You are
I won't look back, I'm already wrapped up
in my fears of the moment. An intricate
web of justifications and anxiety is
tethering me to these uncertain feelings.
Would you finally cut me free
if I caved into you? Because
I think I'm getting close.
And I think I read the world all wrong,
but I can still play along.
because selling yourself short never did
anyone harm, and besides, I'm already
pretty cheap. I think tears used to be
worth something-- I forget.
(Sometimes a pit forms in my stomach
just to prove I've done something wrong.
It spreads like cancer, morphing me into
These moments have never meant less.)
I promised myself I wouldn't die until
I was strong enough to leave something behind.
Until then, I'll just reinforce my
all poets are used to deceitare you still savoring
the taste of deceit
off the edge
of your limerick tongue?
you know what i mean
you "poet of unusual sorts,"
chaotic green eyes
and skin of pale misfortune
leaving scents of sweet seas when oceans
begin to spite you.
yes, your silent panthers,
loyal only to the sound of sonnets
of broken piano chords
and keys and torn six-strings.
those slithe things will
prove to you
that betrayal is just eight letters
of pleasure undercover.
it's these little beauties that
will make you see;
every liar was an artist
and every poet was a whore,
just till the point
they owned you no more.
every limerick was a trap
and every stroke a cry;
and my every little breath,
sweet deceit strolling by.
there is a nothing inside me
i am lying fallow with my
split skin and hollowness
capture me here and hold me
wrench apart my ribs and
let me feel your hands
around my heart
i will not be remade.
blue and gold are not just colorsshe had been blue-sighted
dawn cracked her forehead.
it was the dress she wore on his funeral
the color of her school flag
the shine in her father's eyes;
she waited in blue and gold.
no, she refused to set a bar
life didn't just come to her.
she earned her place
in her mother's womb
when each blood vessel questioned her
each nerve ending, if she could live
and each antibody, if she was worth it.
see, she doesn't need new dresses.
she has a memory
for each of hers in her locked closet.
she may not wear all of them
(and most she cringes at the sight of)
but her heart
every time bits of her old life
show unconnected dots
she forces back together.
yes, she waited in blue and gold.
but not for you
you threw a smile at her face
that was never hers to take
but you love your girls vulnerable
and you love your numbers copious.
there's a great chance she
hates those colors now
because everyone who waits outside her window
fails to notice there's no movement
why we cannot sleep at night.i.
we have grown so accustomed
to wearing our masks
we still wonder why
the night sky
is calling my name
and i find that
i cannot close my eyes
my corneas are stars
and i'm falling
rusted and fading,
forever switching owners
forever out of place
loneliness is a disease
the world is infected.)
monster.we watched horror movies together in the back room of the shittiest apartment on the west side. the more blood and cheap effects the better you liked them. i was always worried you might be getting ideas. that you might have been too focused on the red and the way it was forced out and how you could replicate in it in full HD.
most would worry about you replicating it on someone else, like the media is forcing down my throat. god dam this world makes me mad sometimes. too busy trying to stop people hurting other people, that they don't notice those hurting themselves.i noticed you. no-one else did though.
i never understood how your heart could be so big for everyone else, but never enough for you. i have never wished for anything as hard as i did when it came to you. i wished for you to heal, for god to swap our places and give your burden to me. i swear if it meant keeping you by my side i wouldnt care if i never saw the light again or if my knees buckled every single morning under t
misericordiathe stars are lost souls
pulsing from the hollow
wounded sky. i hang them there,
from strips of rag and fable.
when they burst it is
if i am myself then
who are you? strike out,
strike in. we are talking
through lack of sleep
and broken bottles. we
are all dying from
the music in our lungs.
and when i can no longer
see the stars, how will i
remember that death is only
an option whilst morticians
are in fashion?
BurialWhen I speak I see my psalms, bathed
in the grease of carlight and
every day I make my way home
without you, trodden down
by roads, my body flat.
These winters keep my
fingers blue, my mouth quiet -
and you're a little circle in my night
like a moon, balled up in my chest
right in the place where I howl.
Like we're sleeping side by side.
cigarette smoke.dear c,
this morning i woke up to the smell of cigarette smoke burning
the air and i thought of the nights we spent by the ocean,
sitting on the cool sand with our toes entwined. i thought of the
cigarettes dangling over our lips, the way we'd inhale as deep
as we could and every time the acrid fumes scorched our
throats and smoldered in our lungs, we'd laugh and smile
because when you're as young as we were
you can afford to die
life is cheap and love is the only thing with a price tag
i was walking through the woods and i saw a little baby bird
fall out of a nest. its scream made my ribs seize up and when
it landed, i touched its broken body, touched its little snapped
bones and ruffled feathers and cold-dead-still heart. and i
started to cry, even when the little kids pointed at me and
their parents hustled them away, because i thought maybe
if the tears landed on it right, the baby bird would get up
and fly far, far away b
the dying star of your memoryupon returning home
i unzip my weary skin
and push my hands deep
deep into the startling bloom
of my intestines
where each calamitous minute
minute gems of doubt
piercing my bowels
of course, I remove them
only to fix each damning diamond
into the ceiling above my bed
a constellation of regret
and i am an early-morning cosmonaut
the dying star of your memory
Her CatalystAs she walks through the maelstrom, the words trace upon the tips of her fingers and press into the stone. Every brick, every crack in the concrete, every crossed and angular stroke in reds and blacks and oranges. The drips of the gasoline pool around the base of her boots, slosh as she steps over the burst pipes and the rubble.
So much rubble. So little outcry. The silence of the city grates on her eardrums and the mantras she'd been forced to memorize. The Seers demanded they observe thirteen years of recitation before they attempt to weave their first World together.
But who other than the Seers can claim the incantations that knot the skeins they twist and pull on like reins hold fast? When have any of the Sisters recorded the visions they traced upon space-time and recited them, left them open for critique and discussion and debate?
Which is why she walks through the chalky soot of the smashed city around her. This all
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