for a few years i've
lived in your shadow
but now i can't afford the
mortgage so i think
it's time for me to
pack my things and
(if you miss me
don't send postcards
i can't read.)
something belongs herei was living that cotton-under-fingertips dream
words rolling down my chin like juice from an overripe
fruit and you could see the fine line of exuberance leading
down my spine, snaking through my bones, tapping messages
into my pearly white teeth.
but words are like fat rolling maggots now, coming only when
the trash had been left out too long, leaving only nauseated gags
swimming in the back of the throat. like a booming thunder-rumbling
voice only used in the dead of summer, the concept rattles my jaw
and leaves my heart and lungs in rib-caged death match for air.
my stomach-ache is hiding under my bed.
my eye-lids shake when you look across the room.
and i cannotcannotcannot walk home
eight.i'm paying for life
out of pocket
hangs its head on my doorknob.
we are wearing clothing closer to the bone.
snap us into second glances.
we need to learn how to
shut the fuck up.
please don't step on my shoelaces
at sea leveltoday my spine turned to sponge.
my lungs slowly accepted the fact that
freezer burn is clinging to every
bronchiole and crawling up into my
larynx like a cockroach
yesterday i sat and watched the
rib-caged sunrise, drowning out loud,
throwing rocks, hoping to break
stained glass clouds and hoping to
hear the harmony
(i never understood what you meant
when you spoke of broken concepts)
and when i realized i couldn't read
the writing on your should blades
(i'ts not in braille), my heart no
longer perched on the rim of my
(it just so happened to fit
perfectly between my bottom teeth)
it jumped, honey, following the notion
you spoke of (i know if i was eleven
feet tall, you'd let me shoot at the stars)
four.this is the way to die.
it's new york city laughing,
belting out guffaws that send
the richter scale skyrocketing.
the monsters under my bed have stopped knocking
and the skeletons - they're long gone
last seen knitting scarves on the front porch.
(last night a lion crawled into my bedroom
and barked softly about how 'this is nothing'.)
the city peeks in on my window
tearing ligaments to get a better look
penciled in is the skyline
strangling the earth with hands like
blood pressure cuffs.
where is home?
(this is nothing.
we are nothing.
you are nothing.)
don't lookyou told me you were non-toxic and i believed you.
you told me you had no carbonation but you were lying.
from then on i believed that angels could fly on cardboard wings.
that humans could fall without dying.
that no matter how tightly you tied your shoelaces, you'd never suffocate.
and you told me that people never change, but you were dead wrong.
now my fingernails are bleeding and my hands are sososo ugly.
my pores are coughing out carbon and the things i would say to you if i could speak without my voice box opening.
(and split ends are cracked beginnings when you're standing upside down.)
but when you told me that if you divided the sight in both eyes by each other, you'd get the number of hours you had left to live, i realized-
i am the toxic one.
R.i miss the way the fingers of your left hand
smudge the lower corner of the sky.
there's an ugly complex security to these
neighborhoods that pop up beyond the
reach of the field.
i wonder which one is yours.
i want to find your backyard,
to find your pale, summer cold arms.
the wasps could sting my knees
with spring pain.
not at all.
eighteen.I AM NOT THE PRINCE YOU THINK I AM
the sky screeches through
my winter window as
i rush to slap my skin back
onto my bones and string
my teeth through my gums.
he promises i will miss the bus.
the weather has never failed
to swallow the house whole,
rattling the blinds,
biting into door frames.
my acne caked face
one.dusk took it's last bites out
of the corners of the sky
as you spun gossamer words and
wrapped them around your fingers
in silver webs, but i strung them through
one ear and out the other. we could sit
on my bedroom floor for hours, digesting
glass shards and the discord violins provided.
waking only to find the sun a liar
to find fingernails broken.
come run screaming home with me
please, come run screaming home with me.
two steps from tuesdayi want to be where the skyscrapers pushed too
hard and bruised the atmosphere black.
where water-slicked streets with stop-light shines
don't stop people from slipping.
where every light, every house i see is mine,
where i belong in every picture, in every frame,
in every fake, pearly-white smile displayed on the wall.
i want to be home.
twenty.it is bound to rain
again and i am scared
you'll seep into the
wooden floors i am
we were not meant
to rot the skin of
the silver man
conducting an angry
chorus of alarm clocks
harmonizing at two-in-the-
darling, i swear today
is the day i'll find out
who we are and why
once and always, your stalkeronce i fell into an ocean
it grasped me with too-strong arms
that smelled of salt and pulled
me to and fro and into an
icy cold embrace. "don't worry," it
said, bubbles of air rising to
the broken surface, "i will always
but i did not love it.
today is wednesdayhello is an ugly word.
it tugs on the cracked
corners of my mouth and
licks my teeth, coating my tongue
with a film tasting of the residue
left behind from a bowl of
i can feel it resonating in the
hollow of my throat like a
gag forcing it's way onto the
roof of my mouth and catching
between my teeth.
the double el's are the
worse. my tongue sticks,
pretending it's saying any other
letter. pretending it's any other
(hello is the start of something,
drinking the sky.she wants to be loved by someone beautiful.
she has dreamt up names and a face; a smile and laughter and sparkling green eyes. she has watched, through a haze of fairy dust, mornings at coffee bean together, sitting opposite him cupping mugs in their hands and not saying anything
because in the mornings at seven, lost in each others company with the synchrony of their movements playing a harmony and the drone of grey-suited office workers as a background accompaniment, what would you like are the only words they need to share.
because when he loves her that much, the fragile things that her English teacher calls language dont need to break and s h a t t e r on the floor or on his back when he leaves in the morning without saying goodbye. because words, she thinks, are unnecessary; when they are in love it will be replaced by touches, and smiles, and brief caresses, and perfection.
one day, she thinks as she sits by the lake
drowning mermaidsa body of water lays crumpled on the side of the road,
the ambulance lights gyrate and the shrieks of the seabirds
are drowned out by the wailing siren, saaave meee, saaave meee.
the cops mill around, doodling stick figures and question marks on their pads,
and no one really knows anything about the bodies unaccounted for.
if it looks like a fish, smells like a fish,
it's probably a dead girl wrapped in plastic bags,
that's what the police men are laughing about over coffee at denny's that night.
she looked beautiful, like a mermaid, one of the rookies muttered,
a thin boy with downcast eyes staring into the depths of his mug.
his skin was gray, his eyes were gray, his shirt was gray,
he was all gray and empty and totally alone with his collegues.
hey, boy, cheer up. you find a lot of stiffs doing this job.
one of them says, thumping him on the back. we're all gonna die, eventually.
the boy only continues to stare into his drink.
later, at night, the gray bo
i'll cry you a rivershe'd waste her days away, just closing her
lightasair lids: holding onto nothing, nothing,
nothingatall; with bedclothes cradling her passive
body, allowing delicate dream-catchers to spin
tapestries for her sleep, unpicking her deeply woven
lies, replacing frayed scars, and adorning fresh
hearts onto her sleeve.
and she'd live, gorging on her one elixir of hope,
walking with the wind, and believing that she can
take flight: like fallen petal-blossom that glistens
under the angelic sunlight, brushing gently against
her cherry cheeks.
where she lives, behind her portrait porcelain skin.
she may have a burning mind; a scalded
memory, or an open-fire heart that tears arteries,
and bores crevices within her front-line of moth-eaten
cavity, where butterflies never could grace her touch,
nor flutter her senses into life. where she chokes on
air, yet still holds on tight to scraps of hope, memories
that she can still dream; of emerald dew upon grass
at dawn, of notes etched with
for lack of a simile --every saturday,
i scribble away at words
that have prettyyellowcolours, but mean nothing.
because if i told you what was true about the both of us, it would be:
we had something special,
but now it's gone.
because i don't have any clever similes about
magic and love and how fire falls into ash.
there's just me, and the page, and the stories
i tell you about how we are fire, we are the ocean
and we are the shore.
supermodels and other liesshe
doesn't think much about anything, because it's hard to worry about how the state of your fingernails when you're six feetunder.
and he --
well, he was the boy who sat on chairs backwards and ate tictacs and told her, you know one day i think you could be a supermodel, like Heidi Klum or Elle Macpherson. only better . he was a good liar.
["thanks," she told him, easy, quick slapslap like it meant nothing to her. he grinned.]
was an idiot because she believed him. she thought she was in love with him, but really she was in love with [the idea of being] the glossy model on the cover of Vogue magazine.
just wanted to make out with her behind the bleachers. it was a bet and he needed that fifty bucks for a new pair of runners: trials were coming up and he wanted to get a sports scholarship.
[sticks and stones will break your bones, but words:]
and the rest
knew what would happen next.
she became sticks and bones. he was already in some I
benit's almost winter and ben has already started to grow his hair. it curls as the snow starts to fall and she finally notices that he is first in line as the last boy to care.
ben isn't crying, but that doesn't mean he's okay.
ben isn't crying
ben isn't trying
instead he sings and screams and grinds his teeth,
that's the way the medication works.
that's the way he drowns out the sound of the world.
and did you know?
he blames it all on the drugs
the way he knows he will be forgotten once he's gone.
he wants it to stop, he wants it all to stop.
he can see it happening: she never told him how much she'd miss him after he left and now it's too late. she's forgetting him.
maybe it would be for the best.
maybe it would be better if she didn't remember him,
it would only cause her to cry and he doesn't want to make her cry,
especially not for him.
he has a habit of strolling down the highway at half past midnight. she has a habit of praying he'll return home e
Paper Crane WishI didn't know what to get you,
to help you get better.
So I made you this.
It's a wishing crane.
We'll write your wish on it's wings.
And tie it to a balloon.
You and I, we'll drop it out
of your hospital window.
Up it will fly,
Into the stars.
Letting your dreams take wing.
I wish you'll be happy when I'm gone.
I'll never know what you wrote.
You never told me
How special I was.
How much it meant
That I visited.
That I cared enough
To be there for you.
To make you happy with jokes and stories.
But now you're gone.
I sit alone,
Letting the cool breeze fill my mind.
In through the window,
A paper crane lands on my lap.
Scrawled across it's wings,
In a handwriting I know better than my own,
I'll be waiting for you.
Live life for both of us.
Wiping the tears away from my eyes,
I put the crane next to my bed.
With the pictures of you and me.
I look out the window, into the sky.
waitinghe spends his days chasing seagulls and singing to the songs in his headphones. he dances when he should be working and works when he should be laughing, but his eyes are the same shade as his hair in the morning and he knows who he is. he knows that rain is cliched but he doesn't want it for love or dancing or sorrow, he wants it for the way it flattens the clothes to his skin and the way it makes the leaves vibrant against withered clouds. he thinks in poetry and dreams in black and white, but he speaks of hope even though he knows how messed up the world is. he is still waiting for his second chance; he is still waiting for a reason; he is still waiting for someone to prove him wrong.
she wears long skirts and ribbons in her hair, and smiles because she knows it makes them happy. but she feels more deeply than anyone knows and sometimes she can't understand why the world insists on turning. she soaks up rainwater through porous skin, but she loves the sun because it can be ever
chem.mystery.i'm lost on the way home from a memory,
flipping through blank pages and trying to come up with a plan
for tomorrow, when everything all falls apart and i fall with it,
down into an abyss.
for now my head is filled with tossing words.
death dying world wars pain plagues shakespeare you you you.
there's nothing a little water can't clear,
but maybe my tears will stain
the sea black with bitterness.
for now i'm flipping through valency tables,
solubility charts (how fast will the salt in my rain dissolve?)
and wondering why i didn't memorise this twofrickingyearsago,
how oxygen changes everything and
the bonds that tie a metalboy and a nonmetalgirl together are rigid
and shatter far too easily.
a word equation for us: you+me=>anger+water vapour
(as hot air and steam)
for now i'm running from history books,
telling me about world war one and women's rights
and ethnic peace and disunity. just as we learnt it, threeyearsago.
but now it's a new test and a new thing
and we're st
little fire girl,My Little Broken Fire Girl,
whose fingers twist and tangle to keep feelings and thoughts and ungodly sounds from bubbling out. whose lips are bruised and chapped from being pursed, from cracking smiles for me, from biting and biting and biting. where's my little broken fire girl, with eyes like matches and words smooth and hot?
she keeps her hair flowing and she keeps her face bright, for even the dimmest fire's shine. on the brink of demise, all washed up and put out, my little broken fire girl lights my way and flickers up.
touch her and she'll burn, but fire's always been my friend, and i welcome her painful licks onto my skin. tame little fire's need to lash out, but this one's always been timid. you have to coax the magic out, the blue-white flame, onto the world to brighten it up.
you've gotta feed her the right wood, you've gotta sing the right spells, and my little broken fire girl will be your second sun.
i hate fellini more than youi'm
sick of being an individual. i want to be "one of the
crowd" i want to have the same haircut as your
girlfriend tonight. i want to
be confused when talking about
darling, i don't want to
be your equal anymore. you need to be
my master, because i enjoy being
you looked good today.
it made my mouth dry, and then wet
again, really quickly. i'm
according to the greatest
man in the world, who thinks
he is god
i'm wishing you were
near me sharing
because i'm drenched &
Burning SkyI long to feel the burning sky
ignite my dim and faded eyes.
I long for crimson cloud's caress
to light a spark upon my breath,
and wrap it's fire about my heels;
I long to feel.
'til ash becomes of embers bright
I long to lie within the light
and dance amidst it's dying heat,
this sky, this sun, my one retreat.
'til morning, I'll pretend it's real;
I long to feel.
DollHelp me, my doll.
I think I've begun to fade away.
I don't remember you at all.
I barely remember yesterday.
But we were walking through the grass so green.
I stopped dead when you looked through me.
I swear you can see my soul,
At least, whatever remains.
The sun began to feel so cold,
And I thought your tears were rain.
Help me, doll.
Because I cannot help myself.
You always knew that I would fall.
But I believed like no one else.
We used to walk through the grass so green.
I stopped dead when you looked through me.
You can look straight at my heart,
At least, whatever I call my core.
Your eyes still tear me apart,
But you don't love me any more.
All these years I silently hoped,
Everything would just fall back together.
But now you're out on the ropes,
And I'm swearing that I could get better.
A lost cause is always a lost cause,
No matter how hard we stall.
I'll bleed no matter how much gauze.
I thought you'd always be my doll.
Trifle heartsThank you, good sir,
for ripping my heart out.
It was a trifle little thing, wasn't it?
You know no one needs
such an unnecessary object.
To feel nothing! What a wonderful thought!
We could become emotionless
We could become cardboard
How wonderful it would be!
To be a board, stiff and rigid,
Nothing would waver us
not even the wind
Immune to everything.
Immune to it all.
The touch of someone's hand on your own
would be without emotion.
Just a sense.
Does that sound nice?
It does, doesn't it?
All of the violence would be gone.
All of the sorrow would be wiped away.
Anger, sadness, fear
Because of a trifle little
But with it...
that was gone, too.
Never again would we laugh
Nothing would be silly or stupid
No more goofiness, no more quirkiness
No more genuine smiles.
No more happy thoughts.
No more dreams or hopes.
"Doesn't that sound nice?" you say.
"It does sound nice," I say.
As I st
rabbit heart, in headlights"so, tell me something about you." he whispered into my ear
tracing my body with his lips instead of chalk, on a bed instead of pavement
my life is an experiment of bad choices and regrets."
"would you say i'm one?"
"no, you definitely are not."
and we moved against each other. believing this wasn't a
m i s t a k e
regret number one,
i breathed into telephones
and left you brokenwhispers in phrases like, i love you
i was too preoccupied with six vowels and two consonants to sputter out ten digits, redialing you to my heart - a nine zero five (i love you too) eight two seven (inhale and exhale) three nine two four (mistaking, that you knew it already) but you didn't.
you told me that my number had been unintentionally erased from your arm with soap and water
(but i had a hunch it was really a bar of dispassion and a running tap of immorality)
regret number t