she sleeps with the window opened
and the nighttime's sun,
that isn't quite a star,
paints her face and neck
with a strange,
and deposits a burning desire
to absorb it all.
PersephoneI fed her
and she cried
at every frozen sunrise
for 180 days.
With cracks in my heart
caught in my hair
I counted 180 more.
The Angelic AnachronismMy turn-of-the-century French Boy
An anachronism, lost on his way home.
Walks by the stone angels,
Growing out of the ground.
He spoke with the tip of his hat
And French love letters
Waiting on my doorstep
I saved them,
Unanswered, and unopened
In an old hat-box
The frivolous-French boy
Traded his pea-coat for a business suit
And his eloquence for a profit
Sometimes he still walks by the angels
And wonders if they are sprouting,
The BalloonShe hated him so much that she wanted to love him. She wanted to love him more than anything in her life. She wanted to wrap him up in her arms and promise to keep him forever.
But they tell her to leave him. "We know his type," they say. "The minute you begin to care about him, he leaves you forever and you'll be left to pick up the pieces."
She knows that they're right. She holds him by a string while he's miles above her. She loathes him, but her heart races every time she thinks of letting go of the string. She closes her eyes and the minute she opens them, she has to frantically reach for him.
Purple shadows grow beneath her eyes and blisters form where she has him tied at her wrist.
"Let him go," they whisper as they try to loosen him from her arm.
She shuffles, sleepy-eyed through the park, dragging him along behind her. A woman runs up behind her and points to the string.
"He is absolutely lovely. You're very lucky to have him miss," the woman says.
She begins to remove him fro
The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
Poems From Places IISomeone built the hallowed halls of this building,
And wrote the sacred writing that lines the walls.
But we do not see them among those who gather here.
We fly with the pigeons through the belfry,
And tumble down amongst the grass and leaves.
The others whisper and gawk in disgust
While they couple between the columns.
We climb to the highest of highs,
But fear that we will fall to the deepest despairs.
You tell me that it could be dangerous to think
But I can already see the words forming in ink.
Puzzle PiecesYour mother got annoyed with us, so she sent us to the playroom with a puzzle. I dumped all the glossy pieces out while you watched intently.
How are you going to put this together? You asked. The pieces are all circles!
I was perplexed. The pieces were clearly not circles, so I began to put the pieces together.
I don't understand! You exclaimed. How can we do this?
I figured you were just being silly like always. I ignored your moans and put together all the outside pieces.
You huffed and puffed the way disgruntled children do and crossed your arms across your chest as you plopped down on the floor.
I pushed the last piece into place and stepped back to admire my creation. You stood up to look at it and tilted your head to the left.
NO! NO! NO!
You shouted as you threw the pieces across the room.
It doesn't work! It's broken!
Your mother rushed in to quiet us and told us to go outside. You skipped merrily into the back yard and started picking flowers. I stay
A Summer NightI remember soft summer evenings; warm enough for just a sundress, no need for shoes. I remember running barefoot through the damp grass.
The stars in the perfect, cloudless, violet sky.
The old wooden swings in the park.
Fireflies dancing across the field to a silent beat.
The summers where I'm free. Free from the ties that bind me down. Free from the voices that shout no. Free from my window where I used to watch the world.
I fly. I swing as high as I can. My wings spread out behind me. I find the faith I knew I had, but had just never seen. I close my eyes. I let go into the dark. My wings flutter behind me, trying to keep me aloft. I fall, my body hits the ground. I roll over and I laugh. I think about the wind in my face and flowing through my hair.
I should be up there. Among the trees, among the birds, among the butterflies. They call to me. Tell me to join their ranks in the sky. I tell them I want to, but I am bound to the earth by an invisible chain that can't be c
An Incomplete UniverseHere lie her highest highs
And her lowest lows.
Sometimes a freight train rumbles by
And messes it all up.
She lies in the grass
Tracing her finger over her lip
With her brow wrinkled
She is holding her head in her hands
Not physically though.
She calls him a leech,
But in the end,
She knows it's her fault.
ImpressionableYou left impressions in her skin and they sank straight down to her heart. You always told her that she was impressionable, but she never took it quite so literally.
She was holding memories so tightly that her hands started to burn. Each day a layer of skin would char and crumble. She swept the ash off and carried on.
Sometimes when she felt lonely, she would take old blankets and wrap herself in them. They smelled like the people who used them before her. They have absorbed their dreams, their feelings, their hearts. She liked to hear other peoples' dreams because she never had one herself.
She never felt quite at home. She worried about getting caught in a gust of wind and tossed down in a field somewhere, but secretly, she hoped for it.
She missed you. She wouldn't admit it, but I could see it in her face and hear it in her words.
She lost her right shoe one night. She walked a half mile in the rain without it and arrived at the front door with a big smile on her face. Sometimes I
The Song of the WolfThe wolf's song drifts on the wing of the wind
It calls to the moon
Asking it why does it hide behind the cotton clouds
The wolf's song is carried by memories
It calls to the lost
Asking them why have they gone
The wolf song is held in the bones
It calls to the spirits
Thanking them for their life
The wolf's song is held by hearts
It calls to us
Asking us why we have left the wild
The wolf's song burns in my heart
It calls me home
Asking me why I do not come to them
The wolf's song drifts on the wing of the wind
It calls to the moon
Asking it why does it hide behind the cotton clouds
Stitches, Cinders, and StrifeI lost you in a field
of poison poppies,
and sleep-inducing stems.
I smoked a cigarette
I did not forget.
I never forget.
I stood at the kitchen sink
watching the mourning birds chirp,
scream for help.
My lipstick was red,
my dress black,
my feet bare.
You could not see the scars.
You did not want to see the scars.
I looked for photos in the attic,
evidence of your hate or love or selfishness,
but you had burned them all,
set a fire to my pleasant memories
with your violations.
But why, honey, would you slaughter the lamb,
shatter my ribs,
if your own wrists
were pleading to be slit?
is ladies sipping vodka out of teacups
wearing lace-trimmed gloves and smiling.
are torn paper hearts and scribbled notes,
forgotten Valentines and tattered poems.
is a child's word, in reality gambled for
sex or love and happiness or lust.
are graffiti on the insides of the walls we have
constructed to protect ourselves from the world.
is tattooed on our wrists and hips, so that we
may not forget its charity, yet no one remembers.
are always wasted on the stars that will
not grant them. even so, we try in vain.
is butterfly kisses and cigarette smoke,
so why has it become synonyms with sex?
just mei tripped on coincidence
and hit my head on reality.
it put me in a coma for a few days
because i didn't know what to do.
i'm out now, but i'm left scarred,
charred, bruised and beaten down.
the doctors told my parents
i had been diagnosed with insecurity.
they gave me medicine
that made me cough up fewer excuses
and be more self-conscious.
my remaining symptoms include indecision,
and writing a lot.
but my rhyme has begun to disintegrate,
my rhythm has become fractured.
words elude me shamelessly,
and the ones that stay have a grinding quality
that makes me want to cover my ears and scream.
it's hard to be a poet when
you're trying to get better.
poetry is easiest when there are blood drops on the paper,
ink stains in the sheets,
tears smearing the eye makeup
we use to make ourselves look scarier, more mysterious,
i am weak and you used to make me strong
but we both go through love like a pack of cigarettes.
i try to coddle boyfriends like they will break if i mi
dear stranger,i can't tell you my story
with SAT vocabulary
and gripping metaphor.
i write in the vernacular,
as if i'm mute
and just walked up to you on the street,
and began writing on your arms.
the first word i would write would be LOVE,
and then maybe FUCK.
then i would introduce my name
and begin to tell you:
sometimes in the mornings
i'll get up and stretch
and my neck will hurt,
because i spent so much time the night before
looking up at the stars.
and sometimes in the evenings
i'll lie down and begin to slumber
but i won't be able to sleep,
because my cheeks will be hot with thoughts
of the pretty boy who smokes the lies
and exhales the truths.
someday, i would like to
stand up and scrape the sky with my fingernails,
crack its glassy surface
so that all the stars come pouring down.
someday, i would like to
reach up and catch a falling dream,
no matter how it burns my hands
so that i could prove i am worth their hope.
someday, i would like to be good enough.
i am not alone;
constellations, ambitions, and things in betweeninstead of poetry,
i want to live in
draco & orion,
wrapped in nebulae.
oxygen is too
want to breathe in
neither the gods
nor my demons can
stop me —
i will make the universe
KnotsKnots, Knots, and more knots. That's what I had to use to help me focus on something other than Annie; how she was being tortured in the capital by Snow. Crying and screaming my name as she was hurt, in more ways than one, while I sat here uselessly. I sat there continually tying knots when Katniss walked in.
"Their sending out a rescue team," she looked at me her eyes gleaming with joy but a worried look behind them. She couldn't wait to see Peeta again, I'm sure of it.
My breath caught, "She's coming back?"
Katniss nodded and it felt like my world could be whole again. I would get to see Annie again. This time though, I'd keep her safe. I would marry her.
We stationed ourselves in Command, so that we will get the first word of their return. I still tie my knots though, afraid that they won't make it out safely. I ignore everything around me, trying to focus on something that won't make me panic. But, Katniss's unexpected question pulls me concentration.
"Did you love Annie right away
butterfly song[poetry is not a science,
is not commanding letters into line to salute and stand down,
poetry is the vandalism of the lost,
graffiti on the values of society,
[poetry is not a test,
is not looking up pretty words in the dictionary
to insert into your stanzas, a doctor's shot.]
poetry is love of the hopeful,
dreams risen from the ashes of hate and disappointment,
[poetry is not a race,
is not swapping problems,
comparing whose pig is fattest at the slaughterhouse.]
poetry is the song of the fractured butterfly,
broken fingers playing a melody of ink,
do not love me?my dear good sir,
do not think of me
as your equal.
treat me like a rag doll,
paint bruises on my arms
and sew me up with stitches.
do not love me,
do not love me.
cringe at any sight
Everyone has a PainEveryone has a pain to share,
to hold and to confront.
Pain is something I must
suffer all alone.
My pain is being alone in
Who knows how I will face
the things that hide in
The pains I carry are death,
loneliness and destruction.
A lone monster like me should
not live, I hear the screams of
fright at night.
Everything I touch dies, everything
I have is dead, everything in me is
It eats my heart and devours my soul
the cuts that cover me let that pain
bleed out on their own.
My claws are tainted with my own doings
my fangs colored red smeered with my
The darkness calls with its loving voice
It says my name, it carries me away.
The trail of blood i leave behind me
is also the trail of regret and misery.
I am cursed to be alive and prevented
to never die.
My pain is what drives me insane.
My pain is what makes me feel all the same.
Lake PlacidWhere were you when my sky cracked?
When the thunder and wind tore my hair at the roots
When the trees snapped and the windows gave in
And emptiness came down to reshape my world?
It's these small moments with huge consequences
like a mouse that chewed the electric circuit
like a moth teeters near the edge of a flame.
the day we parted was like an earthquake
tearing apart tree roots and riverbeds.
My life was upturned; upstaged really,
by the placidness of your addiction.
My way to hell was through you,
and the lessons you never intended to teach.
You turned survival tactics into goddamn song:
Keep your thumb in when fighting.
Make eye contact while lying.
Smile when it hurts, baby, because life's a fucking migraine.
Like a dog learns to cower at the rolled up Sunday Times,
you left me crippled.
It wasn't until I fell into the volcano did I realize
how you held me captive.
I have more to give than angry glances and raised fists.
I have more to
innocentshe was paint mixed in with glitter, or maybe love and wanderlust--bleach and ammonia.
she was faded jeans with sharpie doodles. she was smoking cigarettes until the stars faded. she was a mistake, a bullet to the brain, but so beautiful you couldn't look anywhere else. and she was mine.
i don't think she ever told me her real name. sometimes she was brenna, sometimes cori, sometimes ami. the name she used most often was amari. but once a letter was delivered here, addressed to kathleen. i asked her about it, and she said without hesitation that she didn't know. yet late at night when she thought i was asleep, i heard her whispering the name, over and over, as if she were trying to taste it, feel its texture.
i looked up the names' meanings one day when she was at the grocery store, no doubt spending all her money on candied raspberries and orange ribbons and cigarettes.
brenna means "raven," cori