Every day I go to war, and every day
I don’t come back. If you think I am
wandering, I’m letting you know I am
only lost. Dejected. This here is the
letter I am sending home. I am in no
way asking for sympathy; this is a road
I’ve paved myself trying to find my
way to you. You think I’m insincere
but I am nothing but terrified of the
way I feel when you are not around.
Separated for you, I am frozen in a
darkened room with my worst night
mares playing on loop. I need a little
safety but I’ve given up on comfort.
I have sculpted arrows out of words
and aimed to kill. I’ve set up camp in
the middle of a land mine and dug a
hollow grave for myself behind my
tent. Here lies a lousy writer. Faithful
daughter. Sister. Friend. Emotional tease.
Still in absolute awe of everything we
couldn’t be and everything we didn’t
know we were.
Was it not you who said that everything
was an art if you paid enough attention to
it? Well, I’m still in one piece and I
dub that my finest work.
I know I told you I wanted to grow but instead
I have grown de minimis. I need you to pick me
up again. Lift me higher.
I’m in a mess again and it’s beautiful.
And then the concrete touched the sky
and God sighed. This is an invasion
of personal space. And then there were
ghosts in the spaces between us and
the ghosts spoke in languages we didn't
comprehend, so we murdered them. We
called it an act of love. Their blood
spattered on our skin and even though
it was invisible, we saw it and it
haunted our dreams for months to come.
The world carried on with nonchalance.
Our night-mares turned us into monsters.
We fought off our words like soldiers
in a battlefield. We burnt all the bridges
that could take us home. We fell in love
with pain and with each other. But you
you changed me and then you left
but we're both at the place where it
all started and I haven't moved an inch
away from you. But you said
I don't know what I want
but I wanted you and there's so much
I've given up for a future I could
never see clearly and I know, I know,
I know you need me with the same greed
that I need you with, but I'm tired of
asking and you're tired of not knowing
and I just want to feel safe again.
The truth is, you'll probably find me
at your door, bare and bearing a sword -
ready to fight off old monsters and new
ghosts - whenever you decide to call.
This is what shames me.
You’re tired of painting halos
on all the walls I stand against.
It wears you out and you vilipend
me for the stains on all your
clothes. I know this. You
whisper it into my pillow when
you’re asleep and it makes my skin
leak what my eyes refuse to.
You claim you’re a victim
and I claim to be a poet.
I do it with contrition.
I find flaws and fill my pens
with them. I write my
poetry with blood that isn’t
necessarily my own; I make it
look pretty. I make it swirl
and dance on paper so it’s
We are all lost and bewildered,
but these walls around me put me
in my place. I’ve named all these
bricks and I’ve painted them all in
the same shade of red.
And now this fort is tall
enough and the walls are sturdy so
I’m well protected, but what of
these cannons poking proudly
through – ready to fire?
And what of these mettlesome
rifles I seem to enjoy fondling?
This summer, I am ravenous with
the idea of trading in my
masochism for something a little
less self-oriented. I wouldn’t want
you to get caught up in that.
So when I ask you to give me your
heart, dig your nails deep into it
and never let it go.
Ask me to leap into gasoline and
call me a spark. Call me a flame.
I swear, I am searching for reasons
to drop to the floor and roll myself
dull but you’ve placed in me a chill
so that I am constantly yearning to
get burned to a crisp. This is me now.
I am greedy and hollow. I am restless
and unsatisfied. I am forest of
desires longing to be an eternal inferno.
I need scorching heat to beat this
melancholia. I need blackened gases
to travel thoroughly through my lungs
and choke me to highs no cool can gift.
I am a masochist at her peak. I am a
user in desperate need of a hit. I know
the crash is around the corner. I
know it’s inescapable. I am aware that
my limbs, once fallen, will not rise
like the wings of a phoenix. I am
already without glory or grace; I
am not destined to fill skies with
endless beauty. At my best, everything
I am is romanticized damage. I am the
product of flirting with fire. I
am burnt out – mere grey ash lying
lifeless here before yourself,
but listen to me please; I think I
might love you, even though I know
that this is irrelevant now. I love
you, and I know that doesn’t change
a thing. I love you, and the only
reason this I love you is special is
because it’s the first time I’ve had
the courage to put these three words
down in a poem.
I know; it’s always been the words I
don’t say that can move mountains.
I am recalling a certain January.
Your voice humming melodies in my ears
and you whispered that there was
a temple between my legs and
that you were a new-born believer,
your agnosticism currently leaving
tire tracks on all passageways that
lead to the window.
I knew then and there that
everything I am is everything that
unhinged you and unhinges you still,
and I remember it all
so clearly; you said,
I am at the mercy of your words.
Kiss me like you want my knees to hit
the ground, like the thought of me
standing still is against everything
you stand for.
It’s the end of May now.
There are burn marks around my
mouth from when that filter
settled in five months ago
and let me just tell you
you really can tell a lot about
a person from the way their heart
breaks and while yours shattered
into a thousand different pieces
the surface of mine
cracked and crumbled
until I felt its top layer
deteriorating and completely
falling off to welcome a clean slate.
Pieces falling to my feet
like dead leaves. New but familiar.
We’re at layer number three now.
Mother nature greets a
There's something about the way
your skin spills onto mine
that undoes the tourniquet
I've tied right under my chest -
the one that usually stops
the insects in my stomach
from flying above the waistline
(or even developing past the
caterpillar stage). You leave me
hypnagogic, so much so that I have
only just noticed that there are
flowers blooming on the walls
of my stomach and there are
grape vines lining the bones of
my ribs and there are endless
gardens inhaling and exhaling
underneath my skin and these
butterflies you've helped grow,
my beauty, are flying up my esophagus
and falling like kisses on your lips and
pouring like poetry on my notebooks and
yes, every time I taste you,
and every single time I write you out,
I lose a few hundred pairs of wings,
but I don't think
we should be alarmed.
I think you're their mating season.
I never know whether to
overdose on or starve myself of
something I know I'll be
The expiration date on the
sticker on your forehead
This taunts me like soft
music on a tense day;
the kind that would distress
you until you soak it
fully in – forced
You’re not a poet and neither
am I, but there is poetry on
the tips of your fingers and
there are guitar strings on the
fist-sized organ in my chest
and baby, you might think
you’re tainted and broken
beyond sympathy but all I
can see is you fixing me
and this is you playing with
my strings again so I can’t
take all the credit.
The warm outline of my lips
in place of that sticker
says more about you and me
The day we met, you taught
me what the word sultry
really meant and I promised
to devour you like the lines
of my favorite poem - to consume
you like the notes of a song
that moves me in a
way that makes me cry
(even though I've told you
before that my tear ducts were
taped shut by my own doing).
There were things you knew by heart,
and things I taught you; like how
I like strawberries dipped in chocolate
(even though I can't eat them in public)
and how I got that scar on my stomach
and how I pull bodies to me like
sheets that keep me warm at night
but only manage to keep myself
covered until the sun comes up
in the morning, and how I'm
still mourning the parts of me
I leave unwillingly on strangers' skin
and how I used to be optimist
before I became a depressed realist
and how the masochist in me
seems to have found a safe
haven in the way you avoid
eye contact even when your fingers
are kissing mine under the blanket
and how when you asked me to leave
my hand behind before I got on
a plane, I confused it for another
part of my anatomy.
And I would ask you not to expect much
from me but there's so much
I want to give you -
and you say,
"I want to be like you for a day,
just so I can know how it
feels like to be numb without
having to take my medication".
But I feel it all.
You say you’d like to buy
a time machine and replay
that year all over again.
You say you’d do it all
over and over, until it’s over,
until it’s really, really over;
until you no longer get the urge
to lay your head on grassy
landscapes just to look for my face
in the stars. You say it’s gone
and we’re different, you say the only
thing that’s still the same is the way
that music in our chest
still plays that old tune when
we’re not thinking; still plays that
song that ruptures us when
no one’s looking.
But you’ve got that look in your eye;
the one that says you’re not
telling the truth. You’ve got that
look that’s telling me not to trust
what you’re saying, that same
damn look that intoxicated me
that day you told me
nothing would go wrong
and I was just a little “maybe”,
rolled up in flesh and bones, so
unsure of whether you
would kill me or save me. And you
sang me serenades of “sure”
and you stood beautifully on my
world with your flag in hand,
and that was the day I became
your absolute Indian.
You stormed in on me,
and I loved the rain, loved the way
your hurricane spun me around because
I was a dancer and you knew exactly how
to hold me; arms up and feet off the
ground – you turned me over and over until I
how stability felt like.
“Fly me up into your seventh heaven
and promise me
I’ll never learn how it feels to fall”,
until I fall for you.
Until I fall for forever.
Until every step I take is another shard
stuck in the soles of my feet.
This is not about you.
This is about me
all parts of me
burnt-out and broken,
perfect and tainted as I am. This is
about the blood
on our hands and the heaviness
in our chests, about the the scars on
our eyes and the stains on
our flesh. This is about
the past that’s been on repeat,
this is about being stuck in a
fantasy. This is about that
you and I are sick of listening to,
of feeling to, this is about
the desperate need for an unattainable
fix. You say sorry,
but sorry is just another word
I can no longer hear from all the
in my ears; give me sorries in
rays of light because
my eyes have adjusted to darkness
and I’m terrified of how
they don’t miss the sunshine. But you’re
fading and we’re hopeless, and
my fingers are tired of clutching on to things
that are no longer theirs.
We’re fucking beautiful,
but we’re doomed,
and you say
we were meant
to be, but I think
You and I were meant to break
one another, meant
to shatter each other’s souls
until there was nothing left
of us that was fragile,
until we were both loose powder roaming
high above the seven seas and the
“It’ll be because
it’s meant to be”,
and I would have agreed
with you before. But you were my sun
it’s night-time, and it’s no longer
I long for; it’s the tips of
I left buried in your skin.
You say we can get past it,
it’s water under the bridge,
but I can see you sinking
from miles away;
can see your arms
to fight the current, can see
your lungs filling up
with water, can still see
that flicker of hope
in your drowning eyes.
Take a second to listen to the words I’m saying,
that’s all I ask.
If you’d just hear me out,
if you’d just please concentrate for once,
you’d hear that ticking begin to slow, and
you’d see that last speck of sand
rushing into the other half of the hourglass
to find its final resting place.
This, dropping unguarded
falling with only maybe-nots in mind
this is the hope I had for us.
This, my love,
my lost love,
this is the end of our time.
Because there’s yes,
and there’s no, and
then there’s that
hollow place between them where
the lack of an
keeps leaving me distraught,
keeps pointing out
things to me
I’d rather not remember
like how your hair smelled
that day I broke your heart.
I wasn’t always this
confused, you know.
There was a point where
I found comfort
solace in wrong
and right. But it doesn’t
always work that way,
does it darling?
I’m in the grey.
Different shade each
and my actions?
All I know is that
I keep swaying back
and forth between
what the devil whispers
into my ears
and what lies inside
my skull, but I’m reaching a point
where both entities are starting
to agree with one another.
And I will beg of you to go
the more I need you to stay,
because I’m trying not
to need so much.
The rules are clear and they
state that you're not allowed to
tell me that you want me in a way
that scares you witless
and leaves you paralyzed
in a pool of
maybe I shouldn't
and I'm not allowed to tell you that
I want you like 12 am
wants the moonlight
even though you know that my
want is really just an embarrassed need
and that I am too proud to admit
that darkness fills my chest
when you fail to come around.
So we don't, at least not out loud.
I will pretend I don't notice the
wetness on your cheeks after you brush
me off your teeth and you will realize
that I now realize that
even though you are not mine
your lips had told me otherwise
when they kissed the arch of my back
the night before
(and please just tell me you noticed that
our bodies fit together like
the ocean to the shore
and that your sand
has made itself a home at my very core).
I'm sorry I don't know how to want you gracefully, and I'm sorry that my desperation for you stinks up every room I enter, and I'm sorry I was the hurricane that shattered the calm after your storm, and I'm
sorry that I poured a bucket of ice on your already cold feet.
But the forces that bind me to you are the very same forces that bind the Earth to the Sun and my only excuse is that I was trying to cool the fire in your chest, and my chest, but the closer I got the more the two of us burned.
Love is sin enough, but loving you
will leave me eternally unredeemable.
I want you fire-eyed, helpless,
I want you irrational and guilt-stricken.
I want you spiteful,
I want you going, coming, and running.
I want you heaving, shoving, screaming, sighing,
pulling, pushing, laughing, lying.
I want you holding my face in the palms of
your hands and crying
I don’t want to want you,
but I really do.
I want that fire in your eyes to
turn a dull shade of blue
every time you get your saddened hands to
I want you finding that weak spot
on my shoulder without having to try
and giggling like a child
on a sugar high,
I want to kiss away your shy side
is no longer necessary
for you and I
to lock eyes.
My blinding light,
I want you toes curling
I want you realizing
I’ve set your vocal chords
as you bite into the sheets
to muffle your screams,
I want you doing those things
you said you wished you could do to me,
I want you shaky-kneed
right into my mouth,
where only I can taste you
and hear you.
I want to guide you, and steer you
into the gates of hell where the
flames themselves will blister
from the burning fire that is
the two of us,
I want you to call us “us”
and savor the sweetness of the word
before you smack your own lips
at your carelessness.
I want to tell you how I think
your hypnotizing hips
are actually made of God’s
favorite symphony, and when it’s played,
how I’m certain that the whole universe
fucking bows and breaks at your
I want you to break me
the way you do every time you feel like
the way you piece back a goddamn puzzle.
I don’t know how you put me back together.
I’m the girl who confessed her cynicism
I’m the girl who promised never to pen any love-letters,
and this again is not a letter,
this is a confession of sleep-deprived hands that
didn’t know any better,
these are the silent whisperings of fingers whose tips
have grown addicted to the feel of the insides of your lips.
I tasted melancholy on your shoulder
that night I held you against my chest
and begged the sky
to either grant me another kiss
before I lose myself to this restlessness
or just shake the heaviness in my breath
that comes with the very mention of your glorious name.
My never again,
you asked me not to leave any traces
of this sweet sin on your honey-dipped skin,
so instead I bit my tongue and poured my blues
into your morning coffee
and never told you why that last breakfast
had your chest so heavy and full of aching.
I hope that secret hickey I left on the walls
of your heart