I am struck
By this eerie silence
As I find the eyes of the storm
+Repeat+This poem is drunk-
On the bottom of a bottle-
Of 5 o’clock somewhere
Singing in the rain-
To the dissonant tune-
Of ocean waves-
See you tomorrow-
Is another day-
+Storms 2+Square your shoulders
And set your gaze to the far off distance
Because that’s where you need to set your sights
Far beyond this nightmarish dilemma
Of whether or not loving you liking you a lot, is right
I have a pride you’re not witness to
That allows me to turn my back on the best things in my life
Face the opposite direction and pretend—
That you never hijacked this train
And never held the conductor at wistful gunpoint
It leaves me writing at 5a.m.
Wringing my hands like laundry for the line
And licking my lips just for a taste
Of your latest cigarette smoke
While my version of a relationship swirls down the drain
Keep your commitment, and your confusion too
Remember me by the scars on your shoulders
Because I’m a garish reality
And I’ve been fixing this game all along
Luck was never on my side
+Storms+These russet eyes of a war torn vixen
Are crying out in silent strife
Spilling more secrets than a tied tongue ever could—
It’s a shame you can’t make out their tune
Because I’ve got open arms and an open rib cage
Broken hopes you’re so talented at mending
Stitching me back together with wisps of chemicals—
Tendrils from your soul and the last cigarette of the night
I stood knee deep in the rain
Turning it brackish with taciturn tears
Frozen on my cheeks like the Christmas lights
That shone through the blizzard of the fade to white
All it took was a touch
And those hazel eyes entombed me
Trapped me in this incessant winter called my heart
Which still beats with the scars of failed hopes
You built these walls around me and let me call you home
Protection from the winds warring outside
Hold me close and let me stay here—
Where I can see the stars again
Where I tread in the eye of the storm
A dance turned deadly game
But keep me in her blinds spot
+Untitled+I find it ironic
That you gave me a white hare
Because I never
Feel like I have enough time (with you)
+There's Something About the Rain+There's something sensual about the rain
The way it feels like a touch from a few hundred miles away
Sent on the wings of something a bit more sinister
Coloring the sky with charcoal smears
As my hearts learns to start letting you go
Faint whispers of sweet nothings
Coalescing into recollections of relationships passed
Deep enough to get your feet wet
But too shallow to drown your wasted days
At the bottom of the next bottle
Could you see me watching from the thunderheads
As you ducked under the ring of an eclipse?
A darkened view of a lost world
With dreams that once were, sloughing from the edges
Eyes closed to the sins you've committed
I wished you were here
As I sat with my feet in the rain-washed gutter
Watching the dissolved remnants of today's news
Drift over my toes, washing me clean of the condemning thoughts
That might keep me up at night
Taking the nervous tension from my veins
That would otherwise have me clawing at my neck
And sending it off to another rainy city
+I Didn't Fall Asleep in the Arms of Another+Sometimes I wish I were Annabel Lee
Because then at least I'd have a reason to wait up at night
In our pretend kingdom with a false sea
Where tears have coalesced into something bigger than any of us
But too small to hold on to
As it runs through the cracks in our fingers
Like the cracks in the sidewalk
Yawning gap-toothed grins of metropolitan proportions
Gateways to throats like deserts
Missing voices cracked under the strain
And lack of rain
But no shortage of year old pain medications
And pearly white tally marks
That tell me how long I've been a prisoner here
I was once trapped behind my eyelids
But there was no lack of blood red light
As looked at myself from the outside in
I realized what an ugly thing I had become
And the false sea rose to high-tide
I fell into the arms of Mariana
Silky tendrils embracing this mistake
Like you had forgotten you could
And as the shafts of light turned my chocolate eyes, death-blue
I remembered that you would regret
What you thought I had forgott
I can hear the shivers rattling up your spine
Reverberating in mahogany eyes
Until they shake your tears lose
And return them to Mariana
Your bones are too loud
The birds inside are screaming
The words inside are dreaming
Your joints are clattering like silverware on porcelain
The world is driving me deaf
The thoughts of a trillion hearts
Are stuck on death
Because it's the only promise ever kept
The sound of your eyes
Watching the back of your skull
Is like the frost under your fingernails
Scratched from a bus window
The crickets in the field
Aren't really singing
They're catching up on the mourning
While the night runs away
+I Swear I Can+My eyelids are heavy, maybe I'm just tired, or maybe my body is telling me to go back to sleep.
Only in my dreams are you close enough to touch. But with each arm thrust into icy water, I realize your reality is rippling. I realize you're just a reflection with no origin.
You're so very far away tonight, and you couldn't possibly be here in my ice water arms.
The reality is.
You're too far away to touch, but I can feel you.
+I Didn't Need to Know+I never knew
Butterflies could feel like flacons
I can feel their 3ft wingspans
Pressing against my ribs
In a desperate bid
Leaving plumes in the spaces
Between my vertebrae,
And the gaps in my pulse
When my heart holds its breath
And you hold my heart
And we hold each other
Because the world is too damn cold
I never knew
Calling at taxi at 3a.m.
And telling it to drive south
Until the fields became never-ending
And the horizon became convex
Would be in my repertoire
Of vanishing acts
That my knuckles would ache
From the constant need
To assure you hadn't vanished
Into the smoke of a cigarette
Carried away from here
Like so many past ghosts
I never knew
Pain could be so fleeting
An apology so sweet
A comfort so complete
In the end I'm left
Interrogating my magic 8 ball
Demanding to be told
Where you hide the patience
To watch all the angels fall from the sky
With your coffee stain eyes,
With careful indifference
With arms wide open
You caught every piece of me
LessonsIn forty-seven minutes I will be twenty-one years old and my throat is tight with this notion
that every passing moment is a boat taking me further from the boy on the side of the road.
I am terrified of the swelling tide of time, the ripples I will create,
the creases that will be etched into my face
without the laughter lines I know he would have left and
one day someone will ask me how many siblings I have and I will hesitate
because he will be so distant and I can feel it coming.
I never intended to swim without him, but
I am drowning under the weight of pocket-stone-people,
the ones I love who he has never met and won't ever meet
and its forty-four minutes until I turn twenty-one when I realize the relentlessness of this;
how I will age away from him and I am disgusted with myself, with his ashes on the bookshelf,
with this world that keeps making mistakes that can't be fixed.
Twenty one years old and I am a semi-colon, a shuddering pause on the floor,
remembering the time I broke
beautiful.i hate my stretchmarks
the vertical the horizontal the ones running miles down my arms
stripes on a circus tent
my body is a freak show
75 cents a ticket
they are the bars on a cage
trapping me inside this prison cell of flesh
(not letting me run away
from all i once was)
reminding me that i am
still that little girl who
was told that she had too
much weight in her stomach
and in her thighs
to be called beautiful
my stretchmarks are the debris from when i tried to collapse upon myself
tried taking up less space
because beautiful is small beautiful is skinny
diets upon diets
because i've been told that
i am only worth the sharpness of my collarbone
why i never wrote you a poem.last summer i tried
to use the words that you fell asleep to
to write you a love song but
every time i tried
my fingers froze up.
i failed the test of describing you
in a paragraph
in a sentence
in a word
there is nothing in my head adequate enough
to describe how you look
on the train station platform
when you smile at me.
i can tell you that
my heart climbs into my throat and
my body prickles with heat and
everything disappears, for just a moment, but
the thing i cannot describe
your mouth caresses my name
like it’s the most beautiful sound
it’ll ever know,
like it understands me perfectly,
you are not made of verses.
you have no meter.
you are not written in stanzas
that i understand
and i find myself captivated
at how beautifully complex
your language is.
you say i’m the mesmerizing one, but, baby,
you've stumped me.
you have left a girl,
a person who wants to build their life
girls that photosynthesizeI.
i asked my mother to buy me sweetener,
and she said "no," and she said "no,
sugar is better for you it's more natural"
so i shrug and i clamp my teeth over
my tongue and sew my mouth closed
and i steal sweet n' low
from the pizza place
my friends watch me pick at my lettuce,
a rabbit-food-lunch that makes me sick
to my stomach, and when i run to the
bathroom during science class they
follow me and ask what i ate for breakfast.
i say "waffles" because they can't know
i won't let them stop me
my therapist asks me if i think i'm sick
and i'm not, i'm strong, but i can't be
not here not here, and the $$$$$$$$
are ticking away as i consider my answer
so i say "yes" and she asks me what
i will become and i say "better"
because that's all they want to hear
my dietitian sets up a rough meal plan
and she says i won't gain weight on it
somehow i trust this woman with art
on the walls of her office and i pick
through the day in corn-kernel bites,
Dear Homophobic ParentsDear homophobic parents,
How the fuck do you think it makes me feel
When you walk out of the room crying
Because you can’t stand the thought of something I can’t control.
I’ll tell you that it makes my insides burn.
The living room feels like a closet.
Suffocating, and yet I can breathe fine.
I am choking on the air,
Polluted by your homophobic slurs.
Making uneducated guesses about things you know nothing about.
Someone ought to teach you to look shit up
Before you go about, shouting your false claims to the world.
My very existence is an error.
Some messed up chemical defect that went wrong,
I don’t belong
I am the Titanic,
To you I am supposed to be perfect
I am supposed to be straight, and happy, and fine.
But I am so very far from fine,
When my lungs are filling up with water,
Your words are an ice berg,
And I am sinking fast.
Why I DanceI dance as if I am sick,
And the movement is medication.
As if getting up in the morning just to practice is the only motivation
To stay awake.
Because well- worn soft shoes
Feel like home.
The world is cold, and lonely.
But when I dance, there is a fire inside my heart, warm and lively.
I feel like a bird,
Like I am able to fly as high as I want.
Gravity, I taunt
As I laugh in its face.
Because the Earth was never a place
Because leaping across dance floors,
Allows me to soar
Higher than I could in my dreams.
Hard shoe dances make me feel powerful.
Like a raging storm at sea.
My stamps, and clicks are crashing waves.
But I am also the sea breeze.
Strong and graceful.
When I dance I feel like I am trading
Secrets with the universe.
My head is clear,
And my will power is strong.
I am a force to be feared.
On bad days,
The rhythms of hard shoes sound like a heart- beat.
A life line.
And I’ll dance until my feet bleed
Just to feel something.
Because dancing is the only thing
A Letter to the Girl who Hates her BodyA letter to the girl who hates her body.
A letter to that girl
Who scrolls through tumblr.
Admiring all of those models.
With thigh gaps that look cute with skirts.
And a waist that you can barely see.
A letter to the girl
Who looks at models,
For their curves.
The way their hips go outwards
And their size D cup breasts.
Please don't look in the mirror,
And hate the girl you see.
That girl is you
And she should be loved unconditionally.
Because you deserve love.
And how much love is not determined on your waist size,
Whether you're chubby or skinny
You're still so very pretty.
You're so perfect.
So for every time you look in that mirror.
And tell yourself you aren't worth it.
That you're arms are too big,
Your hips aren't big enough.
I am a woman.
I am strong.
I have a body like a castle.
A kingdom made just for me.
And I will not destroy that castle,
By trying to starve myself.
By taking brick by brick and dismantling it
There is a weight
You asked me to hold.
(Just for a while,
Just for a while.)
My tendons strain and snap,
I lack your Atlas strength.
The crushing force of gravity
Makes me weak, makes me sore.
Take it back, take it back,
But you’ve gone away.
I’m sinking down, I’m sinking down.
The water rises to my throat.
Pushing down, rising up
Drowning and drowning and drowning.
Take it back, please take it back,
Where have you gone?
I’m pinned beneath this weight,
With water to my nose.
My lungs fill up with salt,
Choking and screaming and breathing
Only freezing thickness of water.
Where is that mild friend oxygen?
Where has he gone?
My stinging eyes are blind here.
I cannot to escape, unwilling
To shed this leaden snare
Wherein I dwell confined.
I grip it tightly.
Surely I will die,
Sweet air has left my blood
I lay back and let black water take me,
Frozen fingers loosen on Your weight.
And all at once
it falls away
I watch i