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Hannah Marr Oct 2018
I see an angel's eyes
in a little girl's face,
peering out from under bangs
that are far too long.
She blows them away impatiently.

She asks, "Do you believe
in God? Do you know
what He thinks of you?"
Breath catches in my chest;
I  don't understand this fear.

She takes my hand gently
and leads me through snow
that obscures my blurry vision.
Her laugh travels sideways and
slips softly between my ribs.

Somehow I'm holding an apple.
"Eat it," she instructs me.
I take a small bite,
juice dripping from my chin.
"Doesn't life taste so sweet?"

"What do you wish for?"
Stars streak across the sky.
I inhale her jasmine scent,
exhale my chest of fire.
I wish to be free.

Five words to a line
Five lines to a stanza
Five stanzas to a poem
Hannah Marr May 2018

                                                               ­                                            "Terry,
                                                                ­                     what are you doing
                                                           ­                               on the counter?"

"Eating cereal.

                                            ­                     "You don't even have any milk
                                                            ­                                    in your bowl.
                                                           ­                                       And it's five
                                                            ­                                in the morning,
                                                        ­                why are you even awake?"

"I could ask you
the same question."

                                                     ­                                            "I have a job,
                                                            ­                                       remember?
                ­                                                       That's why you have a roof
                                                            ­                               over your head.
                                                           ­                   Because I pay the rent."

"Would you like
some coffee?
I brewed it
a few hours ago
so it might be
a bit cold."

                                                         ­                          "How long have you
                                                             ­                                  been awake?"

"Since midnight."

                                                     ­                                 "What woke you?"

"...the dream."

                                                        ­                                                       "Oh.
                                                            ­                                 Sorry I asked."

"It's no biggie.
It's only a dream.
It can't hurt me.
So would you like that coffee?"

                                                       ­                                         "Yes, please."

Hannah Marr May 2018
"You shouldn't smoke.
That stuff'll **** you.
You'll get cancer,
or something."

                                                    ­                                      "Shut up, Terry."

"Aaron, you're hands
are shaking.
At least
let me light it
for you."

                                                          ­                               "...thanks, Terry."


                                                 ­                                                                "..."

"Are you okay?"

                                                         ­                             "Why do you ask?"

"You haven't needed
a smoke this badly
since that happened."

                                                     ­                                                 "I'm fine."

"Do you really
believe that?"

                                                         ­                                             "If I say it
                                                              ­                                 enough times
                                                           ­                                                   I will
                                                            ­                                      eventually."

"You know
I'm here for you

                                                    ­                         "...yeah. Thanks, Terry."

"Don't mention it.
It's not a problem
when it's you."

Hannah Marr May 2018

                                                               ­                                         "Terry!
                                                                    ­                      Are you alright?
                                                        ­                      Did the truck hit you?"

"Yeah, m'fine.
Just... fell.
Got knocked on the head.
I'll be okay."

                                                         ­                                "You're bleeding.
                                                       ­                                       Here, sit still."

Do you hear it?"

                                                           ­                                     "Hear what?"

"The music..."

                                                      ­                       "Hold it together, Terry.
                                                          ­          An ambulance is on its way."


                                              ­                                                   "Yes, Terry?"

"Would you sing for me?"

                                                           ­                                                        "...
                                                                ­          You know I can't do that."

"Why ever not?
You used to...
all the time..."

                                                       ­                                      "Stay with me!
                                                             ­                           Don't fall asleep!"

"Was it the death?
In the forest?

Dear Uncle Jim, this garden ground
That now you smoke your pipe around
Has seen immortal actions done
And valiant battles lost and won.

Is that how it goes?"

                                                         ­             "It's a nursery rhyme, Terry.
                                                          ­                 I'm sure you got it right."

"What's it called?
I can't remember the rest."

                                                         ­                 "Historical Associations
                                                   ­                                                   I believe."

"Sing it for me?
I don't know the rest."

                                                         ­                                             "Oh, well,
                                                           ­                                            let's see...

                                                         ...and valiant battles lost and won.

                                                           Here we had best on tip-toe tread,
                                                                ­While I for safety march ahead,
                                                            For this is that enchanted ground
                                                   Where all who loiter slumber sound...

                                                      ­                                                       Sorry.
                                                          ­                                     I can't finish."

"Yeah, I get it.
Thanks, Aaron."

                                                        ­                                                         "..."

"You have a nice voice."

                                                        ­                     "The ambulance is here.
                                                          I­'ll come meet you in the hospital."


Historical Associations is by Robert Louis Stevenson
Hannah Marr May 2018

                                                               ­                               "It's midnight,
                                                       ­       and you're not in the apartment.
                                                      ­                 Where are you right now?"

"I'm lying on my back
in the forest
hoping to take root
so I don't have to
go to school tomorrow."

                                                    ­                           "You're the one paying
                                                          ­                   for your college tuition.
                                                        ­                                        It's your loss.
                                                           ­                                    But seriously,
                                                      ­                                          you can't just
                                                                ­                                      disappear
                 ­                                                        without warning like that.
                                                           ­   It nearly gave me a heart attack."

"You do care.
I wasn't sure."

                                                        ­                                      "How can you
                                                                ­                  even joke about that?
                                                           ­                           I was worried sick.
                                                           ­                              You're in a forest
                                                        ­                             for crying out loud.
                                                           ­  What if you get eaten by a bear?"

"Then I'll see you again
in the afterlife.
And I won't have
to finish college."

                                                     ­                   "I can't believe you, Terry.
                                                          ­                               Just come home."

if you insist."

                                                      ­                                                        "I do.
                                                             ­                                      I really do."


                                                  ­                                               "Please don't
                                                           ­                             scare me like that
                                                            ­                                               again."

"I won't.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
"Hey, Aaron,
are you okay?"

                                                         ­                                              "I'm fine.
                                                           ­                                                Why?"

"I've been thinking,
and it occurred to me
that what most
suffering people
don't understand,
is that when they are asked
'Are you okay?'
that is someone trying to help."

                                                         ­                                         "What most
                                                            ­                        un-suffering people
                                                          ­                              don't understand,
                                                     ­                                                     Terry,
                                                        ­                                           is that most
                                                            ­                 suffering people cannot
                                                          ­                    convince themselves to
                                                              ­                                    ask for help
                                                            ­                        or let anyone know.
                                                           ­                    They only know to say
                                                             ­                                          'I'm fine.'
                                                          ­                                                          ...
   ­                                                                 ­                                          It is a
                                                                ­                 terribly private thing,
                                                                ­                                     suffering."

"Un-suffering people
can't understand, really.
What it is like, I mean.
What is needed,
what should be done.
I think that is the problem.
Or one problem.
They don't know how
to help,
or ask if they even can."

                                                          ­                            "That does present
                                                         ­                                              an issue."

"And the suffering
don't talk about it,
and so most un-suffering
don't even know."

                                                         ­                                           "You're not
                                                             ­                                            wrong."

"Aaron, I'm going
out on a limb,
and I'll come out and ask it."

                                                           ­                                                      "..."

"Is there a way I can help you?"

                                                          ­                                                         "...
                                                            ­                                 ...I don't know.
                                                           ­                            I don't know if it's
                                                            ­                                   even possible
                                                        ­                                 to help me now."

"There has to be a way.
Nothing is irredeemable,
not even the most
twisted of souls."

                                                        ­                                                  "I don't
                                                           ­                                  entirely agree."

"You wouldn't.
You are one who
believes he's irredeemable.
I can't believe that, Aaron.
Or what was the point
of saving your life?"

                                                         ­                            "There wasn't one."

"Are you saying that
I risked myself
for nothing?
My efforts
were pointless?
Is that what you're saying,

                                                ­                                          "Well, no, but—"

I refuse to believe
that you are beyond healing.
If I believed that...
Let's just say
it wouldn't be pretty
and I'd be nearly as miserable
as you are during your bad days."

                                                         ­                                                        "..."

"Do you understand me?"

                                                           ­                                                "...yes."

I'm not giving up on you,
no matter how much you
try and make me.
In return,
you better not give up on me."

                                                           ­                                             "I won't.
                                                          ­                                       I'll try not to
                                                              ­                          give up on myself
                                                          ­                                                  either.
       ­                                                                 ­          There's always hope,
                                                           ­                                                right?"

"There you go.
You're starting to get it."

                                                           ­                                             "Terry..."


­                                                                 ­                                     "Thanks."

No problem."

Hannah Marr May 2018
                                                                ­                                       "Terry!"

"Whoa, Aaron.
Calm down a bit, yeah?"

                                                         ­                                   "Calm down?
                                                          ­                                           Seriously?
                                                      ­                In case you haven't noticed,
                                                        ­                    you're in a hospital bed.
                                                            ­    I think that is reason to worry."

"I'm fine."

                                                         ­                                  "No, you're not.
                                                            ­                I know why you're here.
                                                           ­                         The doctors told me
                                                                ­                       when they called."


                                                ­                          "Do you have anything to
                                                              ­                          say for yourself?"


                                              ­                                                     "Terry, you
                                                                ­                                   promised
                                                      ­              you would never do it again.
                                                          ­                     You promised, Terry.
                                                          ­                           You promised me."

"I know.
That promise
is how I got myself here.
It gave me enough will-power
to save myself."

                                                       ­                                "That wasn't what
                                                            ­             the promise was there for.
                                                            ­                            It was to stop you
                                                             ­               before this happened!"

I'm sorry, Aaron."

                                                        ­                                     "Words, Terry.
                                                          ­                          They're just words."

"I'm sorry, Aaron!
I don't know what else to say!"

                                                        "Y­ou could've been dead right now!
                                         You would have been gone for good, Terry!"

"I know!"

                                                       ­                                                  "Really?
                                                        ­                                               Do you?"

"I do.
I do know.
I also know
I'll never be able to
make it up to you."

                                                          ­                                                       "..."


                                                   ­                                                              "..."


                                                ­                                                "Sorry, Terry.
                                                          ­                    I shouldn't have yelled.
                                                         ­                     I was tired, and scared.
                                                         ­               More scared than I've been
                                                            ­                    since, well, last time.
                                                           ­   More scared, if I'm being honest,
                                                         because this time was despite me.
                                                    But you're the one in the hospital bed.
                                                            ­  You're the one who almost died.
                                                           ­                                                Sorry."

"No, don't apologize.
You have every right
to yell at me.
What I did was stupid—"

                                                       ­                                   "—not stupid!"

"Let me finish!
What I did was stupid
and ill-advised.
It was a moment of weakness—
Don't interrupt!
It was a moment of weakness
and it won't happen again
if I can help it."

                                                           ­                                            "Terry—"

"No, don't talk.
I'm the one who's sorry."

                                                        ­                                                         "..."

"I'm glad you're here, Aaron."

                                                        ­      "I came as soon as I got the call."

"It was lonely 'till you got here."

                                                         ­                 "Has no one else visited?"

"No one else knows.
There is no one else."

                                                         ­                                         "Oh, Terry."

"It's okay.
I'm fine with just you.
You're the one who's kept me alive this long,

                                                  ­                                                                 "...
                                                            ­                                      I should go.
                                                             ­                     I've been here longer
                                                          ­                           than I was allowed.
                                                        ­                  The doctor will get mad."

"You'll visit again?"

                                                        ­                                            "Of course.
                                                                ­                            Every day until
                                                           ­                          you're discharged."

"Thanks, Aaron."

                                                        ­              "There's no need for thanks.
                                                         ­                 We're friends, aren't we?"

Yes we are."

Hannah Marr May 2018
"Hey, Aaron.                                                           ­                                     
If I die, I want                                                             ­                                 
to be buried in                                                               ­                             
a fluorescent pink suit."                                                           ­                 

                                                               ­                               "If you die?"

"Yeah. And
after the funeral and all                                                              ­              
cremate me                                                               ­                                   
and beat my carbon-ash                                                       ­                     
into a sword                                                            ­                                  
so my descendants                                                      ­                              
can avenge me."                                                             ­                           

                                                               ­                             "Avenge you?
                                                                ­                What happened to the
                                                                ­              fluorescent pink suite?"

"Burn the suite with me.      
And yeah, avenge. 
I ain't gonna die                                                              ­                            
unless I'm killed."                                                         ­                               

                                                               ­                                               "That
            ­                                                             is not how it works, Terry.
                                                          ­                      We all die eventually."

"Not me.                                                              ­                                          
I'm immortal."                                                       ­                                     

                                                               ­                            "Are you high?"

Too busy for that."        

                                                 ­                    "I can't believe you said that.
                                                           ­                             You of all people.
                                                         ­                          Too busy with what,
                                                           ­                                             exactly?"

"Vita, my friend."          

                                             ­                                                             "Li­fe?
                                                            ­                                            In Latin,
                                                                ­                         a dead language.
                                                       ­                                              The irony.
                                                          ­                        Am I supposed to be
                                                              ­                laughing or groaning?"

"Like I care.                                                            ­                                      
But seriously,                                                       ­                                       
remember the suit
and the cremation."                                                      ­                              

                                 ­                                                       "You planning on
                                                              ­                          goading someone
                                                         ­                              enough to **** you
                                                             ­                               anytime soon?"

"You never know.                                                            ­                          
Better safe than sorry."                                                          ­                    

                                           ­                                                         "If you die,
                                                            ­                                        that means
                                                           ­                                            you were
                                                            ­                                             not safe
                                                            ­                                   and definitely
                                                      ­                                                      sorry."

"W­hy do you think                        
I'll be sorry?                                                           ­                                   
It will probably be                                                               ­                     
a thousand years                                                            ­                            
from now."                                                            ­                                      

                         ­                                                                 ­   "Then why ask
                                                             ­                                       me to plan
                                                            ­                                   your funeral?
                                                        ­                                   I have a normal
                                                          ­                                             life span.
                                                           ­                                 I won't be alive
                                                           ­                                  when you die."

"Didn't you know?                                                            ­                        
You're immortal too."                                                            ­                  

Hannah Marr May 2018
"Aaron, you never told me
what happened that night
since I saved you."

                                                          ­                                                     "No.
                                                            ­                     I never have, have I?"

"You were covered
in blood, and there were
so many bodies.
Will you tell me?"

                                                           ­                                          "I'd rather
                                                          ­                                                     not."

"I can't help
if I don't know."

                                                         ­                                   "I can handle it.
                                                             ­  There is no need to burden you,
                                                            ­           you don't need to help me."

"But I want to help.
I'm your friend.
It is no burden."

                                                                             "You won't believe me."

"Try me."

                                                                                             "It was a spirit,
                                                                                  called to life through


                                                                     "I was kidnapped that night.
                                                                                               Off the street,
                                                                               on my way home from
                                                                                                      a concert.
                                                                                  I had elected to walk,
                                                                              which was my mistake.
                                                                                                  I was taken,
                                                                           along with seven others."

"There were only
two other bodies, though."

                                                                                                        "I know.
                                                                        The spirit took the others."

"What do you mean
when you say spirit?"

                                                                                           "I mean spirit.
                                                                                             Demon, ghost,
                                                                                                I don't know.
                                                                                          It wasn't human,
                                                                     and it had no physical form,
                                                                   but it was called by the blood
                                                                                     of innocent people,
                                                                                and it wreaked havoc.
                                                                   The only thing that stopped it
                                                                                    from taking me too,
                                                             was the fact that you showed up.
                                                                                                          It fled."

"How could it take the others,
if it had no physical form?
Why would it leave you,
just because I came?
I don't understand
how this could be possible."

                                                                              "You don't believe me."

"I'm not sure
what I believe.
I always thought
the police were wrong
when they said it was a mass ******
by a serial killer.
It didn't seem right."

                                                                                     "Because it wasn't."

"Did you tell the police this?"

                                                                            "They didn't believe me.
                                                     Said that the trauma caused my mind
                                                  to come up with a fantastic explanation
                                                  for the pain and fear I had experienced.
                                                                            They didn't believe me."

"I think I would believe you
if I could believe
that this 'spirit' left
because of me,
but I'm not so sure."

                                                                                                      "I'm sure.
                                                                             It had to have been you.
                                                                                 What else was there?"

Thank you for telling me."

                                                                      "I'm not sure you can help."

"We'll see about that."

Hannah Marr May 2018
"Aaron! Aaron!
Listen to this!"

                                                        ­                              "Terry, it's two am.
                                                             ­                    Why are you awake?"

"I had two energy drinks
and ice cream
after dinner!

I'm too hyper to sleep."

                                                        ­                                 "Did you have to
                                                                ­                              wake me up?"

"I wanted to show
you something."

                                                    ­                                                     "What?"

"I... don't remember."

                                                     ­                                            "Go to sleep.
                                                          ­               Show me in the morning."


                                         ­                                                  "You don't need
                                                            ­                                       to sound so
                                                              ­                                       depressed
                                                       ­                                                about it."

"I think I'm
too tired to
sleep, tonight."

                                                      ­                                      "Listen to some
                                                            ­        music with your eyes closed.
                                                         ­                                 Count the things
                                                          ­             that made you smile today.
                                                          ­                        Do what you need to
                                                                         but at least let me sleep."

I'll try."

                                                          ­                           "Goodnight, Terry."

"G'night, Aaron."

Hannah Marr May 2018
"Aaron, I think I'm in love."

                                                         ­                                        "With who?"

"I saw her in the park.
Her hair, unbound.
Unbridled laughter
spilling from her lips
like a sweet cherry wine."

                                                         ­                "You haven't even spoken.
                                                         ­ How can you be in love with her?"

"You see, I'm in love with the way
she tilts her head just so in the sunlight
so a halo appears in her copper curls.
I'm in love with the way
she flashes a pearl-white smile
at even the smallest joke.
It isn't a sort of love
that compels me to be with her
you understand."

                                                   ­                                     "I'm not sure I do.
                                                             ­                                          Explain."

"It's like loving the stars
for their beauty.
You know they are there
even when you cannot see them
and they fill you with hope
even though you never
hope to touch them.
It is like that."

                                                         ­                  "I'm still not quite sure..."

"Aaron, I am in love
with her pure, unabashed
With how she is unspeakably,
undeniably human
in everything,
despite everything.
With the fact that
she can brighten the day
of even a stranger such as I
just with her laugh."

                                                        ­                     "What are you planning
                                                        ­                        do do about this 'love'
                                                          ­                     that you claim to feel?"

That is,
nothing to do with her.
Really, all I can do
is strive to emulate
the ease with which
she portrayed herself
so I can hope to bring
someone else the same joy."

                                                          ­                         "A noble aspiration."

"I'd like to think so.
I only wish she could know
that she has affected me this deeply.
I wish I knew even her name."

                                                         ­  "I'm sure that you are not the first,
                                                nor the last to feel this way towards her.
                                                            ­     Someone, even if it's not you,
                                                            ­                 will tell her eventually."

"I am sure of it.
I hope whoever it is makes her happy."

                                                        ­                                                   "Terry,
                                                         ­                                       do you think
                                                           ­                            there was a reason
                                                          ­                           you felt so strongly
                                                        ­                       about this, about her?"

I was...
having a bad day.
Everything was

                                                     ­                          "And she was a spark?
                                                          ­                         She gave you hope?"

I suppose."

                                                      ­                           "I'm glad of her, then.
                                                           ­ Perhaps you may meet her again,
                                                          ­                                       fate willing."

"Fate willing."

Hannah Marr May 2018
What is it?"

                                                           ­                                             "Terry.
                                                                           I need you to pick me up.
                                                             ­                        I think I'm drunk."

Where are you?"

                                                          ­                                 "I'm not sure."

"That's so helpful.
How am I supposed to find you?"

                                                          ­                                                      "I...
    ­                                                                 ­                                            ..."

"Are you...

                                             ­                                   "Just come find me."

Tell me where to look."

                                                         ­                                     "That place.
                                                         ­                            You know where."

I'll be right over.
Don't throw up on me
when I get there."

                                                        ­                                                    "Heh,
      ­                                                                 ­                      I'll try not to."

"Stay on the phone.
What are you even doing
over there, after
what happened?"

                                                     ­                                    "It's all my fault,
                                                          ­                                          you know?
                                                           ­                        If it weren't for me...
                                                           ­                                                      ..."

"Don't go
silent on me, man.
And no,
it wasn't your fault.
You had nothing to do with it."

                                                           ­        "It should've been me, Terry.
                                                          ­                  It
would have been me
                                                              ­             if you hadn't saved me."

"And I would do it again."

                                                        ­                  "You still get nightmares
                                                      ­                                     from that night,
                                                          ­                                        don't you?"


                                                  ­                                     "You still there?"

"I'm here.
And yes,
I do still get nightmares.
About what I would have seen
if I hadn't gotten there in time."

                                                         ­                  "You should have saved
                                                           ­                           one of the others."

"You're drunk, Aaron.
We'll talk about this
at the apartment."

                                                    ­                                "I'm serious, Terry.
                                                          ­                      It shouldn't have been
                                                            ­                                                   me
           ­                                                                 ­             that you saved."

"I'm not talking about this
with you right now.
I stand by my decision."

                                                     ­                                                "Terry..."

Shut up.
How many times
have you saved me, Aaron?
All those times I've
wandered off,
with no one who would
bother looking for me?
All those times I
woke up screaming,
who was there for me?
I don't regret my choice.
Neither should you."

                                                          ­                                             "Sorry."

"What are you
apologizing for?
I understand."

                                                   ­                                          "Thank you."

"What are friends for?"

Hannah Marr May 2018
"Aaron, I have met
someone at the college.
Her name
is Naomi."

                                                        ­                                                       "Oh?
                                                            ­                            What is she like?"

"Her hair is white
like ash, the same
grey as her eyes,
she is only nineteen.
She is an undergrad in

                                                 ­                               "Astronomy? Really?"

And she is a poet, too."

                                                          ­                "How did you meet her?"

"I ran into her in the library
while I was researching
for an essay.
She was surrounded by books,
stacks and stacks of them,
her hair like
a white curtain
'round her face."

                                                         ­                                         "And next?"

"I walked past,
allowing her to remain focused
but she looked up at me
and pinned me with her gaze
and asked me my name."

                                                         ­                           "And you told her?"

Then she asked me
if I would be interested
in helping her find
the history of a certain
You won't believe which one."

                                                          ­                                            "Tell me."

He's a hero, but
his name is translated as destroyer,
and he carries a sickle-shaped sword.
The legend said he was placed in the sky
as a constellation after he died."

                                                     "What does this have to do with me?"

"The legend reminded me of you.
So much hardship,
so much blood,
but alive in the end."

                                                                  "Unlike most heroes of myth."

"My point exactly."

                                                             "I might be interested in meeting
                                                                              this 'Naomi' character."

"I'll set something up."

Hannah Marr Apr 2018

1. this end is only a new beginning, the man at the podium affirms. a better place, a new adventure, is waiting for all of us when we pass on. i care not for that, watching my family's stony faces. there is a terrible wrenching where my stomach used to be. it's name is guilt.

2. i haunt my own home for the next several days, the next several weeks, the next several months, the next several years. i watch over them, trying to pay back their kindness from a past life. there is a pull where my chest used to be. it's name is obligation.

3. a man comes to be, insubstantial. rid yourself of this burden, he says. you need not be their keeper. they have forgiven you long before your passing.

4. i am free, i am free, i am free.

Hannah Marr Nov 2018
Armed with vocal thoughts,
"I" speaks to "You;"
"I" being myself, a rebel-revolutionary,
and "You" being a like-minded individual.
This is a call to arms, my brethren of the pen,
a call to non-violent, passive-aggressive action.
As poets, as shapers of culture,
as heathen warriors of ink and paper,
we are, by unwritten definition, radicals.
We are master isolationists, visionaries,
unwitting weavers of the immense tapestry of time.
Each word, each thought, each image that is
translated from mind to word and deed,
is an instance of your exemplary credentials
in the world of genuine thoughtfulness
and uncomfortably candid philosophy.
"I," as a symbol of myself,
encourages "You," a like-minded individual,
to pick up your threads of thought and
tie comforting commonality into knots
of free thought and controversial honesty
that takes effort to unravel and understand.
"I," a wildfire, challenges "You," standing trees,
to wield your casually intense influence
towards the betterment of our scattered communities.
Draw on historical records,
on embarrassingly personal experience,
on relatable and unrelatable tails
of second-hand hearsay.
Draw on the words of our predecessors,
the ones who waxed lyrical
and the ones who rambled on a tangent.
Draw on the empathetic, mental-link
between "I" and "You" and "Everybody Else."
Take the whole of creation in your hands,
twist and mold it into a new shape,
then plant it in the ground to grow anew.
The words of "I" and the words of "You"
are a seismic catalyst.
All we have to do is trust,
trust in the thought of "You" and
trust in the thought of "I,"
and the poetry in the pages of your notebooks
will take their first, living breath.

Hannah Marr Aug 2020
the sparrow fits neatly in the palm of your hand, its tiny heartbeat pulse fluttering against your fingers. its life can be as short as closing your fist, as long as your mercy.

there are many small things like the sparrow, you know, many small things in the palm of your hand. do you choose mercy? do you choose a swift end?

the sun is dying.

you know, the one hiding in your concave chest? the one crying over the waxy feathers scattered across your bathroom floor?

the sun sinks into the horizon-sea and you wish you could follow, but your feet catch on brambles and the waves pull away away away...

you are cold. you do not know how one can feel such cold and survive. yet, here you are, alive.

sometimes when you look at me i wonder why you can smile with eyes so sad. sometimes i wonder why your lips can stretch over your teeth in a ****** snarl when all your eyes seem to scream is your desire to run.

sometimes i wonder if you know i love you. sometimes i wonder if you think it matters.

god brushes away your tears with just the tips of their fingers, holding you gently as if you are something precious. but then, maybe you are. what do you know?

but your dog doesn’t know why you are sad, only that your wet face tastes of salt and the sounds wrenching themselves from between your teeth are wounds. his tongue is like sandpaper on your cheek, smoothing out your harsh edges and softening you into something worn and warm.

your mother stands in your doorway, an old pain wearing cracks into her indifferent mask of freckled skin like yours, an ancestral grief painting fine red lines on the whites of her gunmetal eyes like yours. children of your line have always been tender warriors, but bullet casings are tangy on your tongue and angels’ song hums just within the shell of your ears.

your mother watches you, with god's hand in your hair and their gentle whispers in your ear and your dog’s nose pressed into the crook of your neck. her smile is tentative, tremulous, but then again, she always has been, even with knives in her hands and razors between her teeth.

it is okay to cry when celestials make their nests behind your eyes. at least now your mind is one with the stars you have always strived to reach. at least now even with your thoughts you are never alone.

even if you are an old soul, the universe has existed for so long, your hundredth reincarnation is still a child against it.

when you dream, do you dream of the many-eyed creature twisted between the tree roots in your front yard, the being of bright eyes and ****** teeth and ocean-deep sorrow? do you lay in the grass and wonder what a tragedy that beast is, to be monstrous in form but as soft and small as the sparrow at heart?

it is one thing to polish your misfortune until it is a gleaming weapon. it is another thing entirely to let your cracked-stone heart crumble into the dust and dirt you’d use to sustain the flowers you’d weave into crowns when you were younger.

the butterfly knife in your pocket is cold. you haven’t touched it in a while.

it is raining. each drop falls, soaks your clothes, clings to your skin. it anchors you to the ground, and you breathe. the air is damp and electric and you are alive.

you will die someday, of course, but for now you sit as high in your tree as you can climb, face tilted up to the cloud-obscured stars. maybe one day you’ll join them. maybe one day your heart will burn in your chest again, a reignited fire.

you trip up the staircase after being away for so long, high on the realization that living is as simple as breathing and as difficult as touching the core of another human being, of what they are.

you don’t know who you are anymore, but that’s okay. there’s no such thing as a permanent state of self anyway.

‘the end’ doesn’t always mean ‘game over.’ sometimes it means ‘it’s time to write yourself a new story, to begin anew.’

—just remember: i’m glad you exist

Hannah Marr May 2018
you are older than the stones beneath your calloused feet, but somehow you feel young, still childlike in your naivety despite the fact that the world has conspired to throw you to the rocks below. the waves crash over your broken form, but you are still gazing up at the diving birds.

give this beach a washed up body, these waves a soul to caress. give these fish some bones to nibble, these seagulls some remains to harass. broken and battered, bloated and blue, they'd find you on the stones with the surf soaking your skin. a gift to the sea and whatever deity of death that would come to claim the spirit left behind.

alas, if only oblivion were such an easy acquisition. you crawl from the seafoam, reborn anew in your silver-skinned glory. they are distraught by your survival, but they should've known that you will not die until your time. you cannot. there are still things you must do before you are granted your end.

Hannah Marr Oct 2018
you are older than the stones beneath
your calloused feet,
but somehow you feel young,
still childlike in your naivety
despite the fact that the world
has conspired
to throw you to the rocks below.
the waves crash over your broken form,
but you are still gazing up
at the diving birds.

give this beach a washed up body,
these waves a soul to caress.
give these fish some bones to nibble,
these seagulls some remains to harass.
broken and battered,
bloated and blue,
they'd find you
on the stones with the surf
soaking your skin.
a gift to the sea
and whatever deity of death
that would come to claim
the spirit left behind.

if only oblivion were such
an easy acquisition.
you crawl from the sea-foam,
reborn anew in your silver-skinned glory.
they are distraught
by your survival,
but they should've known
that you will not die
until your time.
you cannot.
there are still things you must do
before you are granted your end.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
ah, i see i am spiteful
so frightful
and your pain is delightful
flinching at my every word
it sure is insightful

ah, i see my words are distressing
keep guessing
view them as a blessing!
if you treasure my every word
you'll find this less depressing

ah, i see you think me a *******
some dastard
but if you search my every word
you'll see you have been mastered

ah, i see it in your eyes
you wise?
and how are these lies?
hanging off my every word
now you are my prize

Hannah Marr May 2018
it's not
that i can't breath
just that the air
is too heavy
too humid
too thick with lies and
sickly sweet half-truths
that choke me up
and fill my lungs with smog
drowning me with the intention
towards strife and barbarity to consume
the life-giving
and raise
the executioners
on their thrones
of thorns

it's not
that i can't breath
just that the air
isn't right
does not satisfy
this burning in my lungs and
the dizzy fog in my head
that trips me up
and fills my mouth with gasps
my lungs heaving against iron bands
of cultural and social restrictions
on the righteous
and leniency
for the cruel
on their stages
in masks

it's not
that i can't breath
just that the air
is alive
smothering me
intoxicating and illusory and
insubstantial as a midnight dream
that jolts me awake
and fills me with unreasoning panic
banishing from my mind all reason
in the laws of nature to protect
the awake
and disturb
the sleepers
in their hollows
of selfishness.

Hannah Marr May 2018
I must begin with an apology, my friends
That I shed no tears for you when you passed
When I heard the news that you lived no more
That I did not ponder on your existence and ceasing thereof
When I continued with the ritual day to day
For this, I am truly sorry

I must continue with an apology, my friends
That I did not acknowledge the cancer in your bones
When you were still fighting, still breathing
That I put out of my mind even the thought of autocide
When your wife was left widowed, your children fatherless
For this, I am sincerely sorry

I must persist with an apology, my friends
That I did not wish to attend your funerals or memorials
When I was given an invitation and a chance
That I did not comfort the loved ones you left behind
When I dined in your homes with your memories
For this, I am truthfully sorry.

I must push on with an apology, my friends
That even now I cannot grieve for the loss of you
When I sit and write this poem with all left unsaid
That I still cannot bring myself to shed a tear, to weep
When I force myself to dwell on this tragedy
For this, I am earnestly sorry.

I must conclude with an apology, my friends
That I am still inhaling stale air, exhaling my ghost
When you have been torn from your families
That I can still ungratefully demand more than my lot
When your potential was cut down without my caring
For this, I am fervently sorry.

So, so sorry.

And yet I still do not cry.

an ode to my friends, notably one who died from cancer and left behind her husband and two daughters, and one who committed autocide and left his wife, son, and daughter
Hannah Marr Apr 2018
Once, in a dream, I walked the night sky
Draped in nothing but constellations
I plucked a dying star from the velvet dark
Held it between my teeth as I plummeted
And kissed dirt
All at once buried and carressed
With a smoking crater for a bed
I slept
Feverish with sparks
Flying off me to ignite the world

Now, when I am awake, I walk barefoot across concrete
Dressed in baggy, shapeless clothes
I put a cigarette to my lips
Hold the smoke in my lungs as I stop
Under a street lamp
All at once illuminated and invisible
With a jackhammer for a heart I grin
Into the shadows
Feral with a darkness
Of my own that can rival even the night

Someday, in a story, I will walk on embers
Clothed in flame and majesty
I will taste prophecy on my tongue
Archaic syllables filled with bitter triumph
As I burn
All at once incandescent and lethal
With a last cruel smile for a dark world
I will denounce it
Free with a light
Searing spirit encompassing all of time

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
ambassador to the land of my soul, please let me know.
how is my fair land progressing?
this exile's heart aches for news
and longs to see those familiar fields once again.

ambassador of my spirit, oh, let me hear it!
what is happening in the country named youth?
these weary pariah's hands clasped before you
wish to tend to their old gardens once more.

ambassador of the nation of my mind, why keep me blind?
why keep your silence sternly as i weep?
every scintilla of my being screams with desire
to even set foot in my own form one last time.

ambassador, please.
this yearning tears me in two.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
You thought that the kitchen lights were almost high-beams on a freeway. Colors were crisp (too crisp), vivid as if the world were a high definition television, one with everyone scurrying around on fast forward with the volume turned up, blaring louder than your ability to comprehend. Everything was too much, too fast, too loud.

Everything was, simply put, overwhelming.

There was a word for that, you thought. A word for that feeling of detached, surreal immediacy.

Dissociation? No.
Derealization? Maybe.

Whatever it was, it couldn't possibly hold this, the whole of what this was, how it felt, in this moment, in this moment, in this—

You realized you were spiraling.

You pulled out, sharply, sharp enough to cut yourself. You looked at the blood beading on your wrist like ruby spheres of light. It was beautiful, entrancing. You could watch it forever...

There is a knife in your hand.

There is always a knife in your hand, you think, even when there isn't, when your hands are empty.

It means you're always ready to hurt someone, even when you're not, when you are empty.

The world is normal again, after that.
Slowed down, quieter.

Kitchen lights are just kitchen lights, after all. How could they possibly make you think of driving? Driving fast, and furiously, reaching the speed limit and still flooring the pedal, seeing how far you could go before you ran out of gas or crashed gloriously in a blaze of light and sound and sparks and sirens—

You've forgotten where you're going with this.

You've been gone a while, you think, in that state.
You're pretty sure you're back again.

You just want to sleep.

Hannah Marr Aug 2020
heavy-layered blankets when i wake up as something sharp trying to remember how to breathe, and the darkness of the night to hide how i’m not a safe thing anymore, and how the stars watching me through the window anchors me more to my humanity than anything else i can remember in this lifetime

burnt-gold rust-stained leaves crackling beneath my boots like a campfire, like warmth in darkness among blurred faces and laughter settling around my shoulders like an embrace even in the crisp cold miles and years away from memories that still serve to comfort in the absence of company

stories of wild animals searching out humans for help as if we are some sort of fae willing to assist only as it amuses us or as whim guides us (but in the end only serving to remind us that we are no better than beasts looking up to the universe in hope that there is an equal equivalent somewhere, the timid-quivering desperate belief that we aren’t alone)

milkshakes at five am held high to toast the rising sun as we sit on your iced-over roof in our t-shirts with barbed-wire words misting in the air before us as a cacophony of dissent rising with the morning fog from between our teeth

this burning terror in my chest akin to the winter sunset consuming the western sky because it tells me i’m afraid but that means i’m alive

Hannah Marr Apr 2018
Something cold has entered me
Icy fire between by shoulder blades
Misting breath and stealing color
My chest contains a barren winter
My gut, a desolate tundra
My soul has iced over
There is no warmth left in me

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
this is
a poem
right? just
put words
on a
page in
an aesthetically
pleasing manner,
two words
to a
line to
simulate deliberate
communication to
a designated
audience who
may or
may not
even bother
reading through
to the
end. this
is poetry,
right? some
vague form
of connection
to strangers
i will
never meet
face to
face, an
illusory contact
simulating comfort
through a
blank screen,
apathetic in
and of
itself. this
makes me
a poet,
right? you
want to
bet on
how many
people will
actually read
this long,
rambling rant
in its
entirety? it
is so
easy to
mask emotion,
this rising
swell in
a hollow
chest, when
the chosen
medium is
mere words.

Hannah Marr May 2018
I wish to travel to Avalon
that island wreathed in legend.
I wish to travel to Avalon
this yearning a stone in my chest.
I wish to travel to Avalon
with Arthur himself as my guide.
I wish to travel to Avalon
to have my wounds healed liked that great King's.
I wish to travel to Avalon
that birthplace of Excalibur.
I wish to travel to Avalon
so my soul might similarly be forged.
I wish to travel to Avalon
and task that place with my eternal rest.

Hannah Marr Apr 2018

1. a rapid tempo beats behind my ribs, beats inside my skull. a marching drum within my skin, setting the pace. we run, we fly, twirling and leaping in the clearing around the blaze. the stars flash between the leaves above in time with your pulse. you laugh, wild and loud and full. you are a dancing creature of the wood, and i never tire of watching you.

2. we would win no prizes with our art but our movements are synced with our breathing, and is there a better definition of grace? stumbling over each other and using each other's arms to keep upright, our laughter is a tangible thing twisting along beside us in the dark on the slick, dewy grass.

3. this moment is forever, a background soundtrack of reckless, boundless joy tinged with fire and moonlight. this is the epitome of the immortal, boundless youth.

4. this moment, this dance, this one eternal night... think of this when you think of me.

Hannah Marr May 2018
He used to call home once a week
But now because of that phone call
He's just staring at the phone, hoping it'll ring

He used to work on on oil rig in Canada
But now because of that phone call
He's on a southbound train to his hometown

He used to smile at the children who played next door
But now because of that phone call
He's wishing he could go back to when he was like them

He used to think his father never cried
But now because of that phone call
He's watching him shake with sobs, his face streaked with tears

He used to think of his mother as such a living thing
But now because of that phone call
He's standing at her grave and longing to hug her one more

Part of my Story Time collection
Hannah Marr Apr 2018
when your two options are
the impossible
the unthinkable
what can you choose,
without scarring all who have become ensnared?
a catch-22
it would almost be funny
if it weren't

Hannah Marr Aug 2020
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.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
i want to tear the breath from lords
to feel their pulse flutter and fade beneath my fingers

i want to rip kings from their thrones
to feel their bodies shatter beneath my hands

i want to parade on the bones of sultans
to feel a country's strength crumble beneath my feet

i want to pluck the wings off angels
to feel their burning, holy tears on my skin

i want to drink the blood of gods
to feel that bittersweet nectar dripping from my lips

i want to devour the universe whole
to feel that pulsing, raw power in my veins

Hannah Marr May 2018
Bless all those who
never had the bare minimum
since the day they were born,
fighting for every scrap of life
and still sharing the small surplus.

Bless all those who
were born into a minority
to be scorned and ridiculed,
only told it was because of color, gender, whatever
and that those were reasons to be spited.

Bless all those who
society had ******
just for existing,
those who's lives are a battleground
and who can still lend a helping hand.

Hannah Marr May 2018
it's funny, the fact that your knife
is buried solidly between my shoulder blades
only makes me doubt myself,
not you

how could i trust so easily?

you double-crossed me
and left me to deal with the consequences
of your actions
without so much as a backward glance

do you have no remorse?

even a kiss on the cheek before you sold me out
like Judas himself
some kind of warning
would have been nice
so i could know, so i could expect
to be choking and coughing up blood
your blade in my lungs
my face in the dirt
as coins change hands
and you leave a rich man
as the world fades around me

you couldn't have followed Judas's example more closely,
except for that one treacherous kiss
though that could have been our first one, after all
how long had you known you were going to betray me, really?

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
It is possible to be loved while in a thousand pieces.

Shattered glass pieced together in a mosaic
brought forth as a newer image, different from before.

You can't stand up or move away from the sink,
they rub the small of your back, bring you a glass of water.

Grey days stretched to grey nights to grey weeks,
only this faint grey light holding back the dark.

My dandelion-yellow heart, you are not so far gone
that your spectral graces remain unseen.

If you truly love a flower, you don't pluck it from the dirt
that it may wish to leave.

It is possible to be loved in a thousand pieces.

Hannah Marr May 2018
The broken dreamer hides the pain.
Everyone knows his name.
But who knows who he is inside?
A ghost adrift, oh poor soul.
He just needs someone to make him whole.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
I'm not broken,
I was built
this way. You
see these shattered
looking pieces? They
were never one
whole. They don't
fit together, they
contradict one another.
Call me a
fallen angel, but
I never fell.
I was this
twisted thing from
the start. Lonely
and draining and
intense and demanding
and there is
no fixing me
because I did
not break in
the first place.
My choices brought
me here, I
became this of
my own free
will. If there's
anything wrong with
me I only
have myself to
blame. I stacked
these faults like
the bricks they
are, building this
trash personality, stitched
together from fictional
scraps left over
from fantasy worlds
that I withdraw
into to escape
these inconsequential issues
that occupy my
weak-willed mind.
Don't pity me
or offer me
compassion because­ that
will only feed
this complex I've
been cultivating in
the da­rk hours
of the night.
I'm not broken,
I was built
this way. You

Hannah Marr Apr 2018
they run their fingers
over the ridges
that twine themselves
across your skin
(like vines, like thorns, like flowers)

knotted flesh-white
a map of hurt and near-misses
(if skin was canvas you could call it art, but it's not, it's not, it's not)
the pain is only a memory now
the driving pain, the unbearable pain, the relieving pain
(it was all just damage, wasn't it?)

they trace
the lines
of white
over and
over and
then they
press their
lips to
rough skin,
soft skin,
a smile
playing at
the corners
of their

they tell you that they are proud
not of the scars criss-crossing your wrists
(and thighs, and shoulders, and hips, and)
they are proud that you have survived
that you are still alive
after life did its damndest to

(after all that you've been through you can now be called a power)

they say, your past is not what you have become
they say, you have nothing to be ashamed of
they say, you are not your scars

an ode to my friend
Hannah Marr Jun 2018
why is caring

especially when i am so

i feel others' emotions
their hurt and fear and love
as if they were my own

so why can i not
bring myself to
any sort of

it is easier by far
to let everything
sort itself out
it doesn't need
any help from me

why don't i

how can such empathy
coexist with this utter

and i know
this should bother me
but hey
guess what?
i kinda don't care

Hannah Marr May 2018

1. we were all creatures of the sky, once. so do you remember how it feels to fly? tumbling and swooping through the air, the wind in your face and a laugh on your lips. in your arms it did not seem possible that i would fall. you saved me and i am unable to return the favor.

2. your eyes shine like merry stars and i am lost gazing into their depths. i can trace constellations across the bridge of your nose and when your mouth meets mine i suddenly feel weightless in the absence of gravity. the voices tell me i'm home.

3. the universe is an omniscient creature, and it knows your name.

Hannah Marr Jun 2018
my fair infant-highness,
thine ebony skin of dusky twilight,
thy gold-flecked smoke-shrouded eyes,
bring me such joy as cannot be described

my sweet young prince,
dost thou comprehend the lengths of my care?
is thy failing health truly the last of thee i will see?
wouldst thou allow thy alluring laugh to fade as thy breath?

my serene little princeling,
what shall i do to return thee to my arms?
three days and an hour thou hast survived this cursed health,
what is even another minute that i might see thee again?

my beloved royal
the mere thought of thine own existence brings me peace
but following on its heels is the fear of thy passing
how hast thine eyes already gripped my soul so?

my tranquil blood-kin,
thou didst not cry once, not even at thy birth
thine eyes rested on mine sedately
thy smile, charmingly dimpled, was tender

light of my heart
why must my spirit cry out to thee
even as thy pulse stills
and thy tiny chest cease rising?

Hannah Marr Aug 2018
inner compass, guide me home
i'm lost in the dark, all alone
moral compass, calm my fears
make good choices, dry my tears
compass, compass, lead me forth
marching towards my heart's true north

Hannah Marr Apr 2018
Lungs full of stardust
The cosmos in your eyes
Ethereal galaxies under your collar bones
Corporeal nebulae in your sighs

Breathing iron and dust
With bones of unearthly light
Golden, eternal pulse
Guardian of the night

Hannah Marr Apr 2018

1. you call me pessimist— doubter, defeatist, doomwatcher. you might as well add dangerous, defiant, disruptive to your list. you dare label me? you who believe the common people —the world— can do no wrong? you prove my point, hypocrite. am i not a person with second chances? or am i entirely deserving of your up-to-now withheld scorn, merely for the fact that i now see the truth clearly and you remain pitifully blind?

2. how can i trust when all trust, again and again, is proven unfounded? people just want something from you. they always want something. you are dangerously naive to believe otherwise.

3. do not pity me. i care not for your sympathy. i prefer your revulsion, your loathing. at least then you know like i do. you know the truth —inherently we are selfish inherently we are self-centered inherently we are self-serving inherently we only care about self self self— i only care about myself. you only care about yourself.

4. bitter, sardonic laughter follows my every word. i know the truth because if all only care or self, they can only see if they don't even care that much. i am apathy incarnate, no emotion clouds my vision. i see all, and know that honor does not exist outside fantasy and fable.

Hannah Marr May 2018
**** all those who
got everything they needed in life
right from the womb,
born with a silver spoon in their mouth
and promised more in the future.

**** all those who
inherited that top one percent
as their coming-of-age,
the keys to the world dropped into an uncaring hand
and used as a simple plaything

**** all those who
have been blessed with enough
and more than enough,
but still insist on accumulating more and more and more
and ignoring those they believe are beneath them.

Hannah Marr May 2018
Fluid grace
Light steps
Whirling and twirling
Around the floor
Those watching are entranced
By the beauty in your limbs
In your movement
I can see waves crashing on a beach
I can see a doe in a forest
I can see the wonders hidden in the imagination
All an ocean of peace
And I am drowning

Hannah Marr Apr 2018
To be born powerful...
It is a terrible thing
An awful gift, to destroy with mere words
A tragic skill, to subtly undermine
(and smile)
To wear away at a foundation
With the structure still intact
And then remove the cornerstone
(Watch it crumble before your eyes, all at once)
You have done none of this
But to know that you can...
You are terrified of yourself
And there is no controlling you

Hannah Marr Aug 2018
Throw your gold-plaited, gold-painted
copper saints into the sea—
more salt than water, the Dead Sea.
What is it, this Dead Sea? Why,
it's that place that unfaithful lovers go
in body bags.
Full of concrete blocks, that Dead Sea.
Who am I, to talk so free? Well,
I'm dead, you see.
My bones are in a bag at the bottom,
at the bed of the Dead Sea.

Hannah Marr Jul 2018
They douse themselves in gasoline
Light a match and watch you scream
Fatal protest of worldly injustice
Is life really all that precious?

Picket signs and flooded streets
Hide your head under the sheets
Block out the passionate shouts
No way in hell you're going out!

Hiding away from all this strife
Happiness is not worth your life
At least, that is your thought
But wait until the cruel get caught

Red-handed in word and deed
Ignoring your country's need
It is increasingly self-evident
You really need a new president

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