the trees surround and scratch you
poke into the whites of your eyes
suspicious and accusing
will you be the next to
use our flesh as kindling?
are you the girl who peeled the
thin skin from the white birch?
day 17she dreams of the pink swing set under a canopy
of leaves, shoes brushing colours of autumn
of mud slicked steps, rusted spoons and clear
plastic forks turned opaque from grimy hands
of lard-filled jars and broken glass,
glittering teeth hidden beneath tree shadows
of scratchy hay poking ankles and, below, sharp
metal just peeking through faded itchy yellow:
day 3you said: there is just
something about myths.
i thought there's just
something about your lips.
tell me the myths of
your sleepy hometown
and the truths of hands
held proud in public.
i'd like to learn the
stories of your skin,
the loud silence of
heartbeats and bed sheets.
you don't sit beside me in class anymoreyou look like oversized sweaters waiting for
mr darcy vapid vanilla shows up late to
class with coffee cheeks flushed from cold
(but there's more than meets the eye. i like
the flush of your cheeks and last week i
wondered if you bite lips or lick them; if
you'd change my mind on holding hands)
gone is your floral perfume soft breathing
arm brushing mine proximity pulsing legs
crossing blurry profile in peripheral
(but now i almost like it better this way. it's
easier to follow concentration as it moves
along your features and i have always been
more comfortable with distance anyway)
lost in space1
there were words once, listen:
quiet, soft, like fingers brushing over the fabric of a sweater, tickling your ear, warming, small gusts of heat that spread to your toes, a glinting eye, a curved mouth, a promise.
there were words once, listen:
hard, rough, like metal scraping over concrete, bruising, marking your arms, legs, ribs, even your spine, purple and black blossoming on dark skin, yellowing until silence, an apology.
there were words once, listen:
now there are no words, only the deafening roar of silence.
there are words now, listen:
the old stars whisper to each other. they have discovered the secret of patience, a conversation lasting the ages. a single word may take years upon years to travel and you have to know which way to send it. careful, precise, or you may tell a stranger you miss them.
you can hear the sound of these words, like fast cars on a track, restless and enduring. the faster they travel, the slower time moves, slowing rapidly until it sto
sharp nailsthere is a pattern of
veins on my right thigh
that looks like the long,
blue bones of a hand
sometimes these thin,
spindly fingers crawl
up my veins and
arteries to clasp around
my heart, tug on the
back of my eyes,
dotting and blacking
they scrape the nervous
system and i think i
used to pray to settle
from 3429 ft.two years ago from paris, saskatoon looked like a small solar system, hazy with rain and cold. three days ago from toronto, it is midday and foggy, a thick blanket of grey masking tiny grey buildings cut by a tiny grey river. but the feeling is the same and i want to reach across the aisle to hold my sister's hand much the same as two years ago, russell reaching for my hand, any hand, two changed souls unprepared to face the sameness of home.
but the feeling is not the same. we are not two changed souls: we are just happy ones, 'satisfied with the trip' ones, and i do not hold hands when i am happy.
may 3i press tissue paper to the skin
above my ankle, apply pressure,
try not to think about the red and
searing and the itch in my hand.
i decide i want to cover my body in
ink, beautiful and expensive.
my grandmother asks me why i
want a tattoo.
i tell her, "i think they're
five years of thinking pass.
birds fly across my wrist and i trap
beautiful and expensive.
reverberationshey skinny boy, you walk like you know where you're going
and when you kiss me, i don't know what to say
( and it sort of
reverberates between us, doesn't it? )
parenting 101when our children wake up screaming in the middle of the night
or crawl into our beds, we have a list of reassurances:
"it was just a nightmare" and
"it was just the shadows" and
"it was just your imagination"
until they, too, are desensitized and locked in a cage,
condition themselves to be blind and sane like the rest of us
UntitledGlide through the heavens
in hopes to evade
the crimson wings
that holds you down.
When will you shut the pearly gates
and walk away?
When will you cut the crying chains
that paint you grey?
είναι μια σιωπηλή διαδικασία αλλαγής
που αντιλαμβανόμαστε εκ του αποτελέσματος.
Δεν Μπορεί Να Είναι Ο Στόχος.
Like a vagabond.
At a four-way
street, past any signs
that I comprehend.
If I had I had it my way,
I would cruise on the highway
and never stop.
pillow talkthere are thousands
of tongues i could
memorize; new words
for love tucked between
teeth often biting
my chapsticked lips
could learn to bow to
grammar laws in
i could master writing
symphonies in syntax,
spend hours penning
volumes in languages
of longing and love,
but i'll never find a
phrase that fits you
the way your body fit
to mine, back bent.
i'll never find a name
for how our lips tucked
together, for my hands
in your hair, for the
rapture in your eyes.
adolescenceWe look up into the sky
and see the stars as millions
of possibilities for us to wrap our hands
around and try, picking and choosing
our favorite constellations like apples
in the fruit aisle of a grocery store.
We talk about our dreams
of leaving this town
far behind and far away,
but we don’t talk about how
leaving home means leaving each other
and each constellation we wrap our hands
around propels us into completely different
directions. We want to hold on to each other
as much as we want to let go of this dustbowl,
but we can’t have both,
and that scares us.
We look up into the sky
and see how big the galaxy is
even when we can’t see 90% of it
and we are suddenly aware of how
small we actually are, barely grains of sand,
barely specks of dust, barely here at all.
We stop looking up and look
down at our feet shuffling,
worried and afraid for each other
because we barely sleep and failing
a class means failing high school,
failing to get into the dream college,
Five Reasons to Not Write PoetryI.
Sooner or later,
It'll mess with your head;
You'll be taking a shower, or
Lying in bed
When the "inspiration"
Hits you hard
And when you miss the bus and first hour
You have to use the
"I over-slept" card.
It'll have you thinking
At every point of the day;
Twisting words and making rhymes
Prodding until the language sways
To your fingertips
Lower case letters nip
In hopes that you'll use them
Abuse them until you are at
They will mock you until
You simply can't think;
The words swirling around,
They will push you to the brink
Of complete denial,
Of absolute insanity;
"Yes, I ate enough" and "Yes, I
Feel fine" are the words you
Have to beat.
You will not care how people
React to what you say;
What do they know of
What we do everyday?
You think that to yourself,
As a way to not seek help
In the comfort of real
Love and not the fake kind
You write of.
You will lie and you will
Cheat and scoff and say
For all your most
Important words are
What Rape Can't Tell YouHe parrots the word, over and over until it sticks
Like the bruises on schoolchildren's hands, when they realize purple hurts more than red
While others mourn the translation lost in between
The definition he wrote
And what they want to scream to the world.
All you know is a word,
The hell hidden beneath it is nothing
But the trace of a memory that doesn't belong
To you, and you're so glad it isn't yours
Because then that pain can just be a word,
A beautiful illusion of pretend-this-doesn't-happen and
You deserve prettier words, better words, you think
Ones that stay silent, can be hidden across a page
Victimless and longer than the four letters they warn you about
You don't know how that word is strung
Or why they tie chords around their wrists
In protest, why the memories they drag are drugged and
Filthy with the crimes that can't be forgiven
You don't know how that syllable can hurt,
What it can do
You don't see the gashes in their organs
Or the fissures tha
EmbersHer hair was orange
and glowed in the fire
turning black and ash
not a single moment later
the scissors were cold
The embers were
glowing just the same
hungry for her tresses
the royal red burned
yet no burn was left
Her hair was short
uneven with amber roots
outgrowing the dye
showing her natural shade
mom and dad took the scissors away
Orange locks tickle her neck
fire cannot fight fire
mom and dad breathe easier
she does not touch the scissors
though she always looks
She is eighteen
leaving home is a blessing
her hair bundled in a hat
she does not like to see it
the brightness keeps her up at night
The hairdresser mourns her hair
more than she ever does
as it falls limply to the ground
the locks have lost their hue
she smiles as they fall
It is easier to tell people she is happy
now her hair is gone
orange roots don't show on a shaved head
she stands proudly now
she doesn't keep scis