Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 
Hannah Marr Sep 16
A battle of wits?
Fool, you are sorely lacking.
What a swift demise...

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 21
i.
behind the perpetually empty lot is the old schoolyard, abandoned to the woods in my grandparents’ day. I came across you on the rusty swing set, you voice twining with their metallic screech in a gentle cacophony. my momma whispered caution into my childhood tales, so as easy as two and two being four, you ask for my name and I tell you to call me lovely. you bare your teeth. is it a smile? is it a threat? is the difference between the two significant in the slightest?

ii.
as we walk down the moss-carpeted forest path you slip your hand into my back pocket, light as chalk dust seen only in sunlight falling through a half-open window —a specter’s shadow, a half-forgotten dream.

our feet sink into the ground, stepping out of the trees. cloud shadows cut across the dappled starlit moore, unraveling its whistling melody sung in no tongue known to mankind. you warn me not to follow it, breath ghosting along my cheek. I have staked a claim, my lovely, you tell me. and I protect what is mine.

iii.
you tell me, ask no questions, receive no hurtful truths that cut deeper than the half-sweet lies you were taught to expect. Your face as you say this is a pane of glass, flat and transparent; your tears are the rain, uncaring outside of an expected cycle, though acidic through human contact. the sunset’s echo rings between us —us, the immortal and the ever dying.

iv.
oh lovely, my lovely, you whisper under glowing moon and winking stars, with desks dragged through rotted doors and upended behind our backs. near every creature has teeth. it’s human hands that are truly weapons of destruction, but look at how your fingers fit so neatly between mine.

I whisper back, the sins of your ancestors are not your fault, but they are your responsibility. your duty, but not your legacy.

you hum, thoughtful, and grin, eyes flashing. in shared silence we lean back against the desks and smile at the moon. somewhere in the back of my mind I’d like to think he smiles back.

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 21
I am an afterimage. I am a bisected heart fluttering in half-felt contractions, pinned down to a student’s desk. Somehow there is no blood, only light. Light, softly spilling from my aorta, gentle and insubstantial. You shake your head to dispel it as you turn back to your teacher’s lesson, but I am painted in the space behind your eyelids every time you blink. Your teacher speaks but isn’t really saying anything at all.

Sentiment is one hell of a drug, cradling me docile in the back of the classroom. The box-cutter used to saw open my ribs is abandoned on the floor beside me. They’ll come for my vertebrae next, I think. They’ve already skipped over my eyes in the curriculum, but I’m okay with that. If they had stuck to the class plan, I wouldn’t have the chance to see you cradle my split, sputtering heart in your hand while you trace the inside of my left ventricle with the lightest ghost of touch.

In the back corner seat three rows behind you is an angel. I ask them why their wings hang so low, and they reply, the weight of human expectation. Their feathers twitch when the teacher walks out of the room, flinching when one of the students laughs raucously and declares in a half-heard conversation’s fragment, well, God can fight me behind the Denny’s then. The angel’s face turns pained, blurry, and they whisper for my ears alone, God has no wish to fight you, child. You, three rows ahead and still playing with my heart, are oblivious to their sorrow.

The aftershocks under my skin are a memory. Be gentle, sweet child, be gentle. Only old bones truly sleep.

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 21
MY WALLS AREN’T CORKBOARD BUT THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE WITH ALL THE STRINGS AND SCRAPS OF TATTERED NOTEBOOK PAPER PASTED ALL OVER THEM, A MAP OF FALSE CORRELATIONS COMPOUNDING UPON EACH OTHER TO MAKE SOMETHING THAT COULD BE A COUSIN OF PLOT, A PORTRAIT OF SOME KIND OF STORY THAT’S REALLY JUST SEVERAL HALF-FORMED PANIC ATTACKS IN A TRENCHCOAT.

I CAN’T MOVE MY ARM. IS THIS AN INTERVENTION? MY HANDS ARE SHAKING AROUND AN OLD DEAD PEN I’VE NEVER HAD THE COURAGE TO THROW OUT. I SUPPOSE SENTIMENTALITY WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME YET.

ALL THE PATCHWORK PEOPLE I’VE INVITED INTO MY HEAD ARE TRYING TO GET MY ATTENTION. THEY’RE SCREAMING SO LOUD AND ONE LITTLE BOY WITH MIDNIGHT HAIR FULL OF STARS IS HOLDING MY FINGERS SO TIGHTLY YOU’D THINK I’D DISAPPEAR IF HE LET GO. HIS EYES ARE WIDE AND PALE AND AFRAID BUT THE CROWD OF US ARE ALL ALONE IN MY HEAD SO I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS HE FEARS.

DO YOU THINK HEAVEN SMELLS LIKE INK AND OLD BOOKS AND THE DUST OF CENTURIES GATHERING IN THE CORNERS OF EMPTY ROOMS? MAYBE WHEN I GET THERE I CAN FORGET ABOUT THE STATIC ENCROACHING ON THE EDGES OF MY MIND AND FINALLY TAKE A CHANCE TO BREATHE.

I HAD A TALK WITH GOD LAST NIGHT. THEY TOLD ME I SHOULD TRY TO SLEEP AND IN THE MORNING I WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE STRAIGHT WITHOUT LIGHT FILTERING INTO A KALEIDOSCOPIC FRINGE AROUND THE EDGES OF MY VISION. I LAUGHED AND TOLD THEM SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. THEY ONLY SIGHED AND REPLIED IN KIND WITH AN ASSURANCE THAT VULNERABILITY IS NO WEAKNESS AT ALL.

MY SEVEN-YEAR-OLD DREAM BOY IS HOLDING UP MY WEIGHTED BLANKET AND PEERING OVER IT WITH WET EYES. I SUPPOSE IT WOULD BE CRIMINAL TO MAKE AN IMAGINARY CHILD CRY.

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 20
I HAVE BEEN THINKING —THOUGH SINCE I AM A SENTIENT CREATURE OF A PARTICULARLY EXISTENTIAL TEMPERAMENT, THAT IS AN UNNECESSARY STATEMENT BEYOND SIMPLE INTRODUCTION— BUT I HAVE BEEN THINKING AND MY MIND HAS DECIDED TO WANDER ONCE AGAIN DOWN A WELL-TRODDEN PATH OF DECAYED LEAVES AND LEANING TREES AND SHADOWED CREATURES GLIMPSED OUT OF THE CORNER OF AN EYE —A PATH THAT I CANNOT SEEM TO FENCE OFF. MY MIND’S A TRACEUR, AND MENTAL PARKOUR IS UNSURPRISINGLY EFFECTIVE AGAINST THE SIMPLE CHAIN-LINK FENCE ONE MAKES ON THEIR OWN WITH HOME-BAKED COPING MECHANISMS AND INSPIRATIONAL WORDS PASTED OVER OLD WALLPAPER.

I’VE TRIED MY BEST TO CONTAIN THE DAMAGE, BUT OFTEN I FIND MYSELF WRITING IT OFF AS COLLATERAL. I LOSE SEVERAL HOURS, ADRIFT IN MY HEAD DOWN TWISTING PATHS WORN INTO THE FOREST FLOOR BY ANIMALS ARMED WITH TEETH AND CLAWS AND BURNING EYES, AND ALL I CAN DO IS EXCUSE IT, BECAUSE WHO AM I WITHOUT MY OVERACTIVE THOUGHTS? WHAT AM I IF I AM NOT ALWAYS REACHING INWARDS AND OUTWARDS TO TRY AND MAKE SENSE OF THE UNKNOWABLE?

IF IT IS INSANITY, TO REACH FOR WHAT YOU CAN NEVER HAVE AND TO TRY AND KNOW WHAT YOU CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND, THEN I MIGHT VERY WELL BE INSANE. HONSELTY, THERE IS VERY LITTLE I CAN DO TO AVOID IT.

THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THAT, REALLY, IS THAT I AM LONESOME LIKE THIS.  MY TONGUE TRIPS ON THE TANTALIZING WITTICISMS THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE ENTICE COMPANIONSHIP, CAUGHT UP IN THE COBWEBS OF MY SKITTERING, BRANCHING THOUGHTS. WORDS STUMBLE OVER EACH OTHER IN A SWIFT WHITE-WATER RIVER OF SPEECH THAT HARDLY MAKE IT PAST MY LIPS BEFORE THE NEXT THOUGHT IS WORMING ITS WAY TO THE FOREFRONT.

TIME AND TIME AGAIN, I HAVE BEEN ASKED TO SLOW DOWN, TO TEMPER MYSELF, BUT HOW CAN I EVER SETTLE FOR BEING LESS THAN I AM? I AM LONELY, SURELY, BUT I THINK IT WOULD ONLY BE MORE ISOLATING TO KNOW THE PERSON NEXT TO ME AND KNOW THAT THEY WILL NEVER TRULY COMPREHEND ME IN TURN.

THAT IS OKAY, THOUGH. I WOULD NOT WANT THEM TO TRIP ON THE VINES OF PAST AND PAIN AND COMPOUNDING DEPRECATION THAT WEAVE THEMSELVES THROUGH THE SLIGHTEST GAPS IN MY PSYCHE WHENEVER THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF. NO ONE DESERVES THAT. IT IS BETTER THAT I AM ALONE.

ALONE WITH MY THOUGHTS.

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 20
i.
i carry my battles on my sleeve like the heart everyone tells me i hold too bare to keep in one piece as if it is my choice to let everyone see my thoughts and gut-wrenching knowing as if i am some book for them to skim and speak of as if they understand even if they did not read the beginning. do i look like the kind of person who can be anything less than bursting at the seams with knowing and asking and hurting and feeling and wanting and wonder?

ii.
i have a paper due in four hours but instead i’m writing poetry as if that can stem my thoughts and pin my writhing mind down long enough to form something similar to coherence because i can hardly use i was having a bad day as an excuse to hand in fifteen percent of my grade late now can i?

iii.
there are people perched on the rail of my balcony who are snorting stardust as they try to convince me that their backs are ****** because they used to hold wings. they tell me that god loves me and i accept it, but when they tell me i can help save the world i can’t help but look for the lie.

iv.
i would like to believe that someday i could be brave that someday i could be more than scattered thoughts that don’t come out right unless they’re written down and shaking hands that sometimes can hardly hold a pen to paper.

h.f.m.
Hannah Marr Aug 20
i.
i look at you and how you look away out the window as if hoping for some change in the scenery outside of this land-bound valley town. the heat of the sun pounds us into the ground like nails, where our limbs refashion themselves into tree roots searching towards deep desert springs. wine runs like blood from the hilltop vineyards, seeping into the ground with the expectation that bacchus’s approval flows behind in the form of celebratory madness. outsiders travel minutes, hours, days to claim these dark rivers running towards the gemstone lake that is the central attraction (though the haunted legends of beasts and spirits and gods are twisted into cheap gimmicks to attract the gullible and the unrepentant as well).

ii.
your distaste is a palpable thing, tucked behind your pleasant smile like a second-rate bicycle behind a sign warning against trespassers. you say, the sun may be burning, like these old forests we swore up and down to protect, but we’re all cold and distant as those stars above that are smothered by smog in the night sky. i watch you and how you watch the city around you sew their suits out of dollar bills and paint their skin red with the vineyards’ glory that spills from their lips. i see you and how you see the world, and we both watch this city drown itself in desert sands.

iii.
the wine creeps up the grass stalks and laps at our ankles, singing in silent temptation of a more classy form of intoxication and pleasant (if temporary) forgetting. i tell you as much and you tell me that you would rather swim out to meet the serpent of the lake before you submit to this city’s games, would rather start walking and keep walking, barefoot across the tarmac until it turns to gravel and then to dirt at the city limits, and out into the forests and fields of the land that has nourished and raised us (with only our spite and fire in return). you call people a disease, concentrated like ****-filled sores of plague in cities and towns, and bitterly acknowledge your part in the problem. i ask what you think the solution is and in return you  ask if i think the revolution will be silent or if it will take the whole of humanity down with it into the burning pitfalls of history and time.

iv.
you couldn’t care less if the world burns around you. your eyes, still staring out the window, tell a tale of a soul already so far from this world as to be beyond human comprehension. turning to me for the first time today, immediate in a way you haven’t been since i first met you in that empty grade-school classroom during those years of our innocence, you ask me what i would do if you woke me in the night to say goodbye. i told you that there was only ever one option, when it comes to leaving this dead-end town of lowercase gods and nomadic wanderers. when you leave (and i know it’s a ‘when,’ not an ‘if’) i will not hesitate to pack my own bags. the streets of this city pulse with power and legends and riches like the blood of some great creature sleeping under the mountain, but i will willingly leave that mystery buried when you reach the end of your rope and decide impermanence it better than staying.

v.
when you leave, i will follow you, watching as you blaze a trail ahead of me, to the end of the world (the end of our respective lives), and ever onward, beyond even the end of time. i will always choose you.

sometimes the end of suffering is just choosing not to live in the place of the pain

h.f.m.
Next page