I have my life lined up on the inside of a shelf
at the 7-11 in the grey part of town
I left it there hoping one day
A small someone that's pretending to be complacent
Can come and pick it up
try it on to see how it fits
I leave it behind
Chancing that it will fit them better than it ever did me
- I leave in lessons on folding yourself into a five point pin
And never letting anyone in
Your star freckled hands
reach inside me-
Pleasure making me forget even momentarily
That this, is not a love story.
Your hands do nothing to soothe the empty hunger left behind.
When my bedsheets are no longer warmed with your body.
Like an echo I can feel my heart beat against my rib cage.
A violent rally of
And it screams
And my fingers trace it into your skin when you are making my body your temporary home
(Alone . Alone . Alone it sings )
And I must never forget that
your hands can make me moan your name
Shout praises to a god I don't even believe in-
But your heart could not bear
to love me for anything more than my body
-to the girls who confuse *** with love
And to the boys who think an ****** is a job well done
Every single dark ***** piece of myself
I have polished and shined
Sharpened them into wicked edges
And with blood red teeth and tongue
I dare you to do your worst
What I mean is
I’m on my knees
but this time it’s exactly where I want to be
As I plead for you to just take gently
But take it all
when you leave
I don’t want there to be any pieces left
to put myself together again
Welcome to my house of sorrow and salt
My entrance fee is every single thing
you’ve got left in your bones
I want to love every single inch of you
When that’s not enough
I will drag my teeth across the years separating us
hoping to God I find a reason for you to stay
- I have nothing other than the taste of impossible on my tongue
Willows unearth themselves
all along the coast line of this small beach town
They spend the off season gnarled-
empty & reaching
stretching towards the shipwrecked siren call of the waters below
these willows dropping in the ocean are weeping
And so am I
I thought I understood grief.
But I didn’t until-
I was standing alone in a room.
Missing so many parts of myself,
because I kept giving them away
So the people I love
could keep on living.
- they are scavengers and they will pick you clean until it is only your bones that shine in the sun.
for every woman who has been told
that you take up to much space
That you may burn
but not enough to catch fire and spread
- Start the ******* world on fire
Creep inside her body.
Start by pulling out hearts and souls.
Carve up and out room for yourself-
in what you recognize as a graveyard.
Unearth every other decaying thing buried deep within
make them sing-
bring them kicking and screaming.
Let em have enough sun they relearn how to miss it.
Never allow them close enough to keep the warmth.
You know better than anyone dead things shouldn’t have feelings.
Crawl out of my resting place.
Dead things don’t stay dead.
When finally remembered sunshine
Stretches and curls.
Stays long enough to taste-
I revive in myself.
You’ve lived inside me
As long as this body needed a grounds-keeper.
To sweep away the moss and ivy climbing up all the tombstones.
You float through the aisles night after night
picking up unearthed ghosts to follow us home.
Your finger tips scratching against the tops
of all the dead-end versions of me.
I’m tired of hearing the wailing that follows.
I want my body back now.
Won’t you please put yourself to rest for me.
- I dig this grave barehanded and open sorrow
- Planting the garden to over run the cemetery
please cadaver girl
- know you are the last version of me I ever plan to bury.
I cracked open your chest
and crawled inside
Trying to get your heart beating again
falling into a dead man's arms
helped me understand
That trying to make a home - out of empty skin
would leave me with nothing
but blood-stained hands that would never scrub clean.
These same hands that will shake
as I beg for forgiveness to all those who come after me-
a quiet confession to all the girls I couldn't save.
And the girl before me,
with the same shaking hands and dead eyes.
She wept for you
and for me
an angel crying before the devil.
And we will seek absolution before God
we will count our sins and say our 100 Hail Marys
our praise be to him.
In an attempt to atone for the sin-
and rid our souls of only the grief,
a dead man can leave.
Check your bedsheets
What nightmares did you leave?
Shake em out
Gather them up and tie the edges around your throat
Let them pool on the ground behind you
Fasten yourself a cape-
and circle the room once, twice.
Peer out the door way
Sit at the very tip of the frame.
Throw out your voice
“Is anyone still there.”
Wait a beat maybe even two
Then check your heart, what’s left of it
And leave it behind.
Step into the hallway
You know the best thing about capes is they double as cloaks.
For little girls with bedsheets knotted around their throats.
- You make it to sunshine
I have dirt between my teeth
Between my bed sheets
It falls out of my hair every time I move
It’s beneath my fingernails
no amount of scrubbing will make them clean
& I’m always knee deep
in the graves of all the people I have loved
I keep digging them up
Every time I fall asleep
since I’m sure I've made a mistake
Only to bury them a little deeper
When I don’t like what they have to say
I am nothing more than chaos given skin
and I will always leave behind my heart
this it seems
is the only part of me
people have no trouble swallowing
When surgeons open my body
E v e r g r e e n
Snow capped mountains with endless expanses of ice
They will find a certain
s t i l l n e s s
No whispering between the trees
No flowers singing in the sun
I’ll be dreaming of the heat
I’ve been missing in my fingertips for so long
I have frost bite
on e v e r y s i n g l e o n e
When surgeons open my body
looking for my heart
they’ll find S t a t i c
A silence that e c h o s
A kind of silence you only know after tragedy
An e m p t y space
where my lungs once were
Holding N o t h i n g
but a vigil witnessed only by one small girl with t i n y t i n y hope
All fading away
in the abandoned town
I have resting
between each breath
- When the surgeons open my body
- They will find many many secrets inside
Your body is not the forgiveness lost men need to find themselves.
What a wicked way to treat the girl
who loves you
As if you could see the light
to bathe your secrets
In the space between her thighs-
that you could find forgiveness in between the notches of her spine.
She tastes of honey suckle and smells like summer rain
but she'll never be able to coat the ash clinging to your throat.
Or wash away the ache that's settled into your bones-
She's like sweet torture
something you can touch but never truly keep-
You have spent far too long in the darkness to do anything but try and steal her light.
So I beg of you
-let her go-
Because when she finally figures out you used her as convenient, as easy, as a way to dull the pain-
she'll have to find her own forgiveness and have no time for yours.
- She let you into her heart into her body and she will spend a very long time trying to forgive herself for what you broke.
You were born on a battle field.
Forged from years of hunger for more
From the dream of women who couldn't stay contained-
You have wildfire eyes.
100 years of insult and mockery as armour
Do not let them down.
Scream so loud
That it can be heard across the killing field-
Scream until you can hear it echoed back by your sisters.
Proud and ready
You could lead us into victory.
- they tell us we are weak
- We use their bones to clean out our teeth
He builds you a cage
making the walls out of honey and dew to lure you inside
Putting in windows only to then glue them shut
He shouts “you can leave whenever you **** well please.”
Relishes in punishing you with black magic-
that leaves you dizzy for days whenever you try
Wilts the flowers you grow for company
Convincing you it’s your fault they always die to begin with
“If you would just be good maybe I wouldn’t have to do this.”
laces you up with ribbons and spider silk
Reworks you until you are docile just in his image
He’s a dead ***** necromancer and you're the best of both his worlds
always on the cusp of being half alive
He takes to gathering bouquets of your dead flowers
placing them on the windowsill
His voice renaming and whispering spells to them
every time he visits you
until they are gleaming once again
eventually you see this act for the warning it is
Sitting pretty and doe eyed
You now only shimmer and shine if it means he will let you stay
- You’ll learn one day that this is not happiness
I am afraid of punctuation
I think maybe I would have liked
To have been loved gently
But I sunk
With broken knees at your alter
Pledged Allegiance to a false god
Who spoke the Old Testament like it was truth
And the hands that were wrapped around my throat
were dipped in holy water
so even in death I was blessed
He will preach
To all the women he has turned into sin
Say -with a soft caress across my check
That echos and vibrates off the walls
Like the silence after a gun shot
“If you love me you’ll do this.”
manipulation comes easy to him
Hand to God
he is your salvation
And no one will ever love you like he does.
- He can’t be your salvation
- Because you already saved yourself
Sometimes I swear to God
I can feel who I used to be -
Slip into bed with me at night.
- I am trying to be new but I still love everyone I left behind
You're wild like a dream
Half part fantasy & half part real life
you aren’t sure which one you like better
The girl you want to be or the one you are
- Tell me, which one am I supposed to forgive myself for?
I want gold to drip from my tongue.
As if to drench my words with importance.
I want it to leak out and sit atop my head like a crown.
When I speak to you with kindness,
When I speak to you with love,
to show that I am no longer bowing down.
Because I am dipped in gold and a queen of sunshine.
And I will no longer let memories of you steal the warmness inside me-
My hands may still be cold
But I have a fire heart that you can no longer put out.
- for all the boys who try to make you fall to your knees remind them you are a force to be reckoned with.
I died for you once
And I told myself-
I would never again
Make a graveyard out of a garden
- why do I always cut away the flowers to make room for tombstones
I live among ghosts now
Because magic always has a price.
To bring you back-
I had to revive dead versions,
Of who I used to be.
- This love is haunting and raising things that were better left dead has consequences
- You are here , but you love her
I will ask you again about holy
How do you become?
I'll wait patiently for the tales of faith
You love so much
Hoping to find virtue just like you
I’ll argue with you about the devotion you have
( slow, sweet, and full like the beat of your heart)
Moon lit and radiant
How can I become haunted like you?
I’ve been on my knees before
(never for the right reasons)
I've talked at god more times then I can count
I have never felt anything other than the empty echo of silence after
I want to know what it feels like to have faith in something else
Of someone else
When those nights are dark, cold, and endless
I’ll ask you one last time
How do I become holy and haunted
- You tell me -They are the same thing.
You came in with the pain
I’d cracked open every window and wrist I had
trying to breathe the light back into my body
A naive attempt to expose my anguish to the cold
Freezing it right where I thought it belonged
as a foreclosure sign adorning my front yard
You came in with the snow
Mud creased against calloused teenaged boy hands
frostbitten nails staining clay down my stomach
Welted and rusted they end their exploration
resting on the tip tops of my thighs
you came in with the scent of spruce & foreboding
I have none of myself stitched up again
By the time you come in to break me open
Straining against these ties that bind
I’d always wanted to be loved
Showering me in pine needles
I wore the story of our little dance
like a priceless piece of art
That speaks on how
Nature meets beauty splashed
with the fragility of being a teenaged girl
- I picked the pine needles out of my hair many years later
Lining them up like my little daydreams of what could have been
I take my family photo albums
And pin those ghosts down to the walls
I keep running to my past trying my best to bring it back to life
always thinking “there’s a real life haunting.”
when I see myself any younger than 19
I take my family photo albums
And try to pin down your love
as if I’ll be able to see the warning signs
if it’s been written on the walls
I keep running back to my past like an old wives tale
half told truths slipping through hands
and passing from mouth to mouth
Landing on my dinner plate filling it all the way up
I take my family photo albums
and wonder “why is it?”
I do not recognize who is staring back
I keep running back to my past
trying to find out everything about who I am
- I've been trying to find clues about who hid me away
I saw a picture of a girl.
and I thought
And caved in.
I couldn't help but wonder,
If her lovers hands traced her carved out collar bones.
If his mouth left bruises that marked her for days,
Like a trail along her chest as if to say her skin is mine.
Did he do it with love?
Did he ever wonder when the last time she thought to take up space.
Did he stop to think, that the melody he plays out as they make love-
Is her ribs giving the appearance of a piano.
Bones pressed against skin.
A symphony that plays out like an apology
"Never to thin" it sings.
I saw a picture of a girl and I thought,
Wasting away is an awful way to live.
- because we've always been told skinny is beautiful and we disappear and no one wonders where we go.
Forgive this Father
I hear those angels speaking of providence
A weight on my shoulders reminding me I could be holy
This is all my mothers ever wanted for me
Bear witness Father
They whisper fire is the only way to cleanse
Ashes to ashes/ dust to dust
The trail of bodies left in the flames wake
Belong to no-one other then me
Hear this now Father
These sunset red lips are paradise to anyone
Who wishes to kiss them
The angels tell me I can use that to ease a sick soul
Trust in this father
I’m told I am only doing Gods work
This constant ache of being alone
Won’t leave me alone
I’m no better now
Than I ever was
at putting my head between my knees
and just breathing
**** the heart
(or was it the hurt)
I need to borrow your spine
Mine is buried in my closet
I have fracture patterns etched into my skin
In the shape of your knuckles
the blue carpet in the living room is worn down
Two spots where my knees fit perfectly
Because praying to god felt a lot like having control back
**** the hurt
(or was it my heart)
The first time I wrote out your name
My hands shook so badly
Because I was always told
names have power
I wasn’t sure if I would survive you having anymore over me
I need to borrow your spine
mine is buried 6 feet deep
I have the taste of ash on my tongue
as you lit everything on fire
And watched it burn and burn
when I woke up in the burnt out shell of house and body
I knew I only had three things left to do
**** the heart, **** the hurt, and bury the spine
When everything is said and done
I will collect the pieces of yourself you left behind on our living room floor
I will place them in a box and I will put them on my shelf
for a time-
They will cry for you to come back and claim them again
they will tell themselves
You would never decide you could live without them
they will grow dust
and become tired of longing for someone
who will never come back
And so will I
- We are more than the love they did not give
We catch bullets with our teeth
Lies that taste like gun powder and lead
They rip down our throats and they make us bleed
But we swallow them down
and tell ourselves they taste like honey that they taste so sweet
- to all the lies we've swallowed because the truth would hurt so much more
Your white studded boots are to young to be walking this path
Street lamps highlighting
Copper glitter dusted on cheekbones
and butterflies pinned down to blonde curls
You look as if you know-
delicate like the back of your hand
As if you know how innocent can become like a practised thing
This isn’t the way-
you want your name on the lips of people you’ve never met
Caught between teeth and never said in the daylight
To be stashed below mattresses
In-between web folders saved as something else
Only to be brought out when alone
Being adored is only as gold as the girl and you lost your midis touch
Dawn breaks ago /Heartbreaks ago
Now theres nothing but an inexcusable ache
your trying to rid your self of by illuminating all those your with
White picket fence you are not
But those boots are not made to walk this walk
You’ve found yourself on
- Baby its time to run run run
Your secrets know their place
(next to mine. hers. ours)
you can hear them at night
Haunting this house
Palms pressed against wood
late in the night
With your ear against the cool floor
You listen to them speak to you
Begging to be let out
(they are always begging)
They want to breathe the same air as you again
But all you can do
is feel like you are choking
(God i'm gasping for air)
These words getting stuck in your throat
Sink to the bottom of this foundation
And regrow into a home where these secrets have no place to ruin.
-Secrets will rot this foundation and you will spend a very long time digging your way out
I am seventeen years old
And I’m sitting at the bottom of my tub.
I’ve cracked my wrists open like the windows in my room-
I’m trying to let some light in
I need to breathe fresh air into my body.
this is the only way I know how
I have closed the curtains,
boarded up the doors.
you had a key
And you trekked in mud and pine needles from the giant spruce tree outside.
I pick them out of my hair
And line them up on the side of the stained porcelain tub.
I am thinking of putting out a foreclosure sign in my front yard-
Abandoning these halls and leaving everything but this stained tub behind.
Seventeen is hard and rough,
It had calloused hands and it took things from me I wasn’t ready to give.
- I am twenty now
- And I’ve redone my home and tore out the stained tub
I have miles and miles of skin.
I have miles and miles of skin.
Begging to be loved,
Some of it
has been marred
With hungry hands and bruising grips.
Some has been stitched together
With a cool demeanour and practised fingers.
Parts bare scars of a desperate girl-
Looking for a way to feel something
All of it is wholly mine
- this body is my home and I have let many people decorate it because I thought they would stay.
What would you do to get back their love?
I would destroy cities
I would collapse mountains
Let rivers run dry
Give them everything that they didn’t already have of me
(which is nothing)
( I gave it all)
It still wasn’t enough
They wanted to take my hurt
( It’s the only thing I have left)
( It’s a broken bone I won’t ever let heal)
Tell me it wasn’t that bad
To think about the people who have hurt me
(Won’t this hurt them?)
Would they say that
if they knew about everything
(About all the things to ***** to see sunlight)
(I love them .I must love them . I love them )
It doesn’t erase the things
that need to be said so I can be better
What would you do to get back their love?
Everything but give up the love I have for myself.
- Sometimes there is no easy words for the hurt
I loved him
and was thorough washing out every dark hurt of his
Twisting him into stained glass
so he would burn colours when the sun hit him
I needed people to see his beauty just as I did
turning him into a place of worship I allowed him power-
with my utter reverence
Leaving when I was done
He burdened me by saying
"he yearned for someone who shinned just as bright"
My broken heart was beating with disbelief
after spending all my love trying to fix him
full of broken down doors and water logged ceilings
I think I took it too far and I have nothing-
left to gain from holding onto you
Now creating my very own stained glass body
I'll paint in the lessons of this love
for the next person who comes in
I will not make you into something larger than legend
I will not lose myself to love you
was I reckless to love you so much you became art
I strip myself of everything that makes me
And then ask
Who am I?
You will say thank you,
for loving me like a prayer.
Because you think the only way-
someone could love you was through divine intervention.
You, a girl who is not quite yet a women.
You still think you can make men out of monsters-
That you only must show love to get it in return.
You have not yet learned
That some monsters
Have given their souls a long time ago.
That the blood that they taste on their tongue
no longer tastes like rust,
It’s what keeps them alive.
And he keeps you because
You liken him to godly-
And he hasn’t felt that kind of reverence in a long time.
- he will will take the innocent you wear like a shield and break it down until there is nothing left, not even him.
I want to be
I want to feel my heartbeat thrumming
all the way down to my very finger tips
I want the golden sunshine to warm
I want it to reach inside me
and make the wild flowers grow
in the darkest parts of me
So I can be vibrant
So I can now have a reason to tend to me
I have spent to long not loving those dark parts of me
but now I can become a garden full of honey
And safe place for bees
A safe place for me
My body will be my own again
I will have no place for what you did to me.
- I have spent to long not loving myself
My mother always told me,
"A good lie is the best kind of truth that you could ever have.”
And I never understood-
Until I told myself
You were coming back to me.
- I do not think this is how she meant the lesson to be learned
I can no longer let your sins
Drag me down
I am so tired of trying to learn
how to breathe at the bottom of your secretes
Truth has never been our family currency
But I can no longer pay in blood
I will try truth and see how it feels on my tongue
(your actions have consequences and you never cared who paid them)
It took me my entire childhood to understand this lesson
(I convinced myself I could love you enough that you would start to love yourself)
I was wrong
(every time that you had to choose between yourself and me
I always lost)
Trying to understand that you would always choose yourself over me was a very hard thing to swallow.
(you will tell yourself in the darkness of the night that you both did the best you could)
I am a church of scars and I have one for every time you let me drown alone.
- you will not love me when I tell you the truth
You’re haunting me
Rattling my bones with such a sweet song
The melody is setting my spine in a way
that causes my teeth to ache
It’s the first taste of devastating paired with final notes of irreparable
I have your memory
Buried underneath my bed
slipped between folded up t-***** and double knotted
into the laces of my doc martins
hidden yet taken with me everywhere I go
It’s gonna end up driving me mad if I let it
You’re haunting me
Yet here I am trying to exorcize my past
sinking my memories of you
right back into your dusted bones
I have you rolling over in your grave
Assured in your afterlife
this secret and I would go quietly into the night
Only I came back screaming
(my knuckles are skinned to the bone)
(but I will keep fighting. I will keep fighting)
I hear you singing in victory
Can you hear me
- A secret for the night
Your dreams are all made of war-
forged straight from your heart
You claim iron does not bend-
I see you choking on the sulphur
Why do you give yourself to something so hateful?
My shining light
My dreams are all made of war-
forged straight from my soul
And it’s far easier to swing swords
never second guessing-
whose on the other end of the blade
If everyone is the enemy
then who do you have to mourn-
When you're standing alone on a killing field of your own making
How could I not give it everything I have?
Confess to me
All those little truths
you haven’t let leave your mouth since they were first branded in
I want to witness all the pieces of you-
Gone and shredded at your very own hands
What sweet hell
do you have flicker behind your eyelids
when you’ve turned your voice into a siren going off
in middle of our bedroom
Will you relay them to me in the morning
while we bask in the roughed around life
we’ve scraped up for ourselves
Will you let me love you
even when you think it’s the last thing
I would ever really want to do
- I know I can’t make you better but I can stay anyway
when you weren’t given enough sunshine
s t r e t c h e d
as far as you could to reach it
when you woke up
licking at your lungs &
half remembered people
screaming your name
you kept behind your teeth
for the person in the mirror
(I am sorry I can’t be enough)
I am sorry this apology
feels so brittle you hope
it doesn’t shatter and make you choke
when you got up
the next day and the next night
and every single time after that
- Do you remember when you kept going
You leave me
and it feels like coming home
since nothing important ever stays
You leave me and its because I never did learn how to share
you wanted every single piece of me
Except I have nothing left
I want to give you
-I am sorry for lying about loving you
- I don’t remember loving anyone
I let different boys touch me
Because I wanted to know
Even for a second
What it felt like to be loved
Even if the love was cheap
And it tasted like ***
Like the punchline to a joke
I never got because it was me
I let different boys have different parts of me
Parts they didn't deserve
But I offered up willingly because I couldn't give anything else
after you broke me
I was looking for different fingers
to place different pieces and hoping the outcome
would be a masterpiece
Maybe one of them would find a way
to cover up the handprints you left all over me
I let different boys touch me because I had to prove to myself
you wouldn't be the only one
that these scars marking my body wouldn't define
my worth to be loved
I am not entirely sure
you aren't the only one who could ever touch me without slightly flinching
I let different boys touch me because that is all I have been taught
To be a joke
To be silent
To be ready to give until you have nothing left
- they keep leaving me and I am to scared to offer up anything more than my body to get them to stay
I take my skin
unstitching it from my body
ringing it out to dry in my bathroom tub
It’s weary and needs a moment to be laid to rest
All of it is covered in dirt-
After taking responsibility for its mother
apologizing for its brother and for its own feelings
Shame coats it-
only I couldn’t tell you who the shame belongs to
I’m only exposed heart and bone right now
please do not mind the blood I leave at your feet
This is all I have left over as an apology
- when do we stop letting other peoples mistakes become our own
- I am still trying to figure it out
With skinned knees and cracked palms
I crawled toward you.
With my broken smile in my outstretched hand-
blood mixed with forgiveness.
I begged you to hurt me again.
Because the only way I knew how to feel,
was through the echo of my desperate pleas of "don't ever leave me“