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
read this when you're so angry you shakelittle drops of oil make rainbows on wet concrete
and i don’t know how beautiful you find that,
but sometimes you gotta learn that
the littlest things are the prettiest,
like the shape of your fingernails and the crinkles
you get at the corner of your eyes when you laugh and
when you grow old and i know i said “grow old”
like it’s a temporary thing, but that’s because it is.
you can think it’s forever but it’s really
a split second because you don’t matter, not when
the universe is still growing and speeding through a nothingness
we can’t even fathom, not when color doesn’t exist in space
but nebulas still explode in shades of gold and green,
not when there are stars who die
before their light ever touches our faces. you don’t matter,
not to anyone but the people who have fallen in love
with the way you walk and the way you breathe
and the way you keep doing both.
i don’t care that the universe is spinning and grow
He was not born a girl. (story of a trans boy)(He was not born to be a girl,
He was born to be himself)
And when he was five he
was forced into dresses,
not understanding why
he couldn't wear the
trousers to school and
not the skirt,
he learned that clothes
and toys had one gender only
and so did he.
And when he was seven he
told his Mother he was a
boy and didn't understand
her insistence that he was
a she and that he was a Prince,
not a Princess.
And when he was eleven he
wore a tie to high school instead
of the skirt and he learned
that no matter what the experts
say, children can still be cruel.
(but guess what, he still wore it
day after day 'cause he wanted to
and it was all him)
And when he was 12 his body betrayed
him and he looked in the mirror and
hated who he saw so he hid the dresses
when his Mother was out and learned
that gender is in your head and not
between your legs and that gave him
And when he was 14, he told them
his real name,
but even though they said they'd
an open letter to my twelve year old selfone day you will cut all your hair off,
and hang up a map of the world in your
room and you will look at it on days
you think your life is going nowhere.
i hate to tell you this, but this isn’t
your worst year. it also isn’t your
one day you will cut all your hair off
and realize that some poems need to be read
out loud, to an audience, so you’ll take a hammer
and some nails and build yourself one
out of a girl whose veins look fragile but
whose bones are strong, a boy who isn’t as tall as
he thinks he is, but whose lifelines are the deepest
you’ve ever seen, and a girl whose eyes remind you of the
east coast shore.
one day you will cut all your hair off,
and learn that you can like pink
just as much as you like blue
and the world will not fall apart
along its fault lines. there are other flags
you can wave with pride that
one day you will cut all your hair off
and figure out how to forgive yourself,
figure out how to sta
a list of things colleges don't want to know1. i have a cactus named atticus that i bought
on the day i thought i was going to die,
and i never forget to water it, not
even when i forget how it feels
to breathe without my lungs rebelling
against my brain.
2. sometimes talking feels like walking on gravel
in a Georgian summer heat.
i try to keep talking anyway,
and hope that eventually
my voice will lose its softness and grow calluses.
3. once, a man whistled at me
outside of a grocery store from
the safety of his car.
four years later, i still haven’t stopped looking
over my shoulder.
4. i drive too fast and i take turns too sharply
and i never put enough sugar
in my tea and i could probably survive
on watermelon alone. i’m left handed
and once taught myself to write only in capital
letters to piss off my seventh grade english teacher.
5. i have never felt closer to my father
than when we stayed
outside till two a.m. in november and watched
a meteor shower.
6. there are some things
i don’t think i’ll ever
peccavii think you are lovely.
but i am not in love with you,
and by the fifth time you catch my eye and look
away just as quickly, i realize
that i cannot will myself into being so.
if love were as simple as a field of flowers,
i swear i would pick you a bouquet
of daises, and make sure that every petal you
picked off ended with ‘she loves me’.
if love were as reliable as the sun,
i would never stand so far away from you that our
shadows did not touch.
if love were as predictable as the weather,
i swear i would spend every storm
kissing you in the rain.
if love were as fair as Lady Justice
i would tie a scarf around my eyes
and spend the rest of my life blind
just to be able to feel the way our fingerprints
line up together.
if love were—
but it’s not, and i’m not—
in love with you, that is, and
you deserve a girl whose heartbeat plays
the Hawaii 5-0 theme song whenever
you walk into the room.
i know that isn’t me.
and i don’t know how we can r
Depression is an OptionDepression is a choice, my dear,
And happiness the same
You choose this illness, don’t you?
What a tragic little game.
Depression is an option, love
Just get up out of bed
Take your tears and worries
And just smile now instead.
Depression is a choice, you see,
And so is suicide.
Just sit back, kick your feet up, dear
Enjoy this perfect ride.
Get over your own standards
Of what everyone should be.
Just smile for once, and maybe
You’ll be living perfectly.
Depression is an illness
That we feel so deep within.
Why would anybody choose
To write poetry on their skin?
Unless there lies a reason, dear,
I would not choose to die.
If depression was an option...
I’d choose to say goodbye.
Thoughts on Growing UpThoughts on Growing Up
I exist more inside of my mind
Than in reality.
I am not sure what I am trying to find.
I think I am trying to lose
I liked the sing song of nursery rhymes
Before I knew the story behind them.
I liked the way the world looked
Before I could read between its lines.
They sound nothing like my little kid lullabies.
Everything seems to remind me
Of how it will never be
What I wished it was.
I thought growing up was supposed to make me stand tall.
My veins are roots
Digging themselves into the ground.
But nobody ever warned me
Of the tree snapping
And I feel like a little kid,
I’ve got bright eyes and scraped up knees.
The scratches so alive and raw.
You use grown up band aids
To cover up your wide eyed dreams.
But I was never one for reality.
Keep your band aids.
I’ll make my own way to the Neverland
That I dreamed of.
I’ll make my own lullaby.
what willy loman saidi keep trying to tell you that
the woods are burning, the ocean is flooding,
but you think it’s the summer heat
and the summer rain and you think
this is how it has to be
but it doesn’t it doesn’t
and you don’t leave
because you think we have time, but the smoke
is a noose i could hang myself with and
we got jewels and riches and coins but
we don’t got a damn second.
to the woman who drowned herself in the bathtub.i.
to the woman who drowned herself in the bathtub:
in the magazine I own that published your story,
they blurred out the crime scene photographs,
erasing your face and
the full curves of your breasts.
some part of me wonders
if you would have wanted this,
or if you would have liked for
the public to see you in your final moments,
half-soaked in grey-looking water,
your hair in strings, glued to the porcelain,
eyes closed and mouth gaping,
no breath stirring, no bubbles rising.
sometimes when I look
into the depths of my bathroom sink,
I hear your voice
(or what I imagine it to be--
after all, we never met).
you sit on the edge of the toilet seat,
and chat to me about the weather.
I would give anything to hear your real, living voice,
to ask you what you were thinking
as you lowered yourself
into the tub, queen of the tendrils of steam,
and let your lungs deflate like old birthday balloons.
on the news they say that your autopsy
revealed three quarters
of a bottle o