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Orion Sep 2019
you are you are you are
shaking and holding yourself as your shell-shocked body buzzes with
sleepless anxiety that sunk its fangs deep into your skull
piercing your brain

stealing last night’s dream from its marbled pink nest
venom covered bone snapping the small bird’s neck
before dragging it away
to be swallowed whole

like a snake with its unhinged jaw and
malformed neck
and grating hiss escaping
like steam from between scales that dress its body

you arm yourself with a shovel and you feel the
of a severed spine through the handle
the vibrations melding with your skin as the ***** hits the bricks below

you kick away the bleeding head before
reaching down its throat and
squeezing the other end to push
the decomposed baby bird into your


you wince as you toss the long
gnarled and
finally motionless body to the grass
and slide the dream back into its nest

coated in acid and venom and melting through your skull
one day-- like its hunter--
this bird will grow scales and slither and steal more of you
and you will continue to shake
Orion Sep 2019
When I woke up this morning
I felt my skin crawl and body ache
And my entire being was sitting at the edge of a knife
And I could feel the backs of my knees being gently sliced into as I swung my legs

When I woke up this morning
I felt my mind reeling back and forth like a wind-up car
Forehead and heart alike pounding as I sat up
My ankles clicked and my jaw popped open
To reveal damaged clockwork within
And I was stuck at exactly 6:37 am

When I woke up this morning
Something felt off
My hands felt as though they were placed three inches away from where they are on my wrists,
My ears rung with noises I barely remembered
And my eyes stung with just the light from my dim screen,
and burned when I flicked the switch

When I woke up this morning
My nerves were on fire
And I was reduced to a pile of tear-stained ashes
Because why should I cry if I knew what was wrong?
Questions racing about my mind
Dulled by choked on routines electrifying my nervous system
necessary to keep me from going down the rabbit hole

I'm tired of wearing Alice’s armor
And the caterpillar’s smoke is making my lungs seize up and throat swell
I refuse to accept the fact that I am steadily losing control
But I will scream, cry, and break that I am nothing short of terrified.

When I woke up this morning
I told myself that I will be fine
And I ignored all the warning signs
And I fell


F e l l.
Orion Sep 2019
Your lips move as though they are going hundreds of miles per second-
As though they’re on fire,
the driver is dead and the only way to stop is to crash in a ball of flames
I can’t tear my eyes away,
I watch,
morbid curiosity making me waver-
My mind is swimming,
hands shaking,
my breathing stopped-
Time has stopped.
Your words are suspended in midair
Their arcs aiming for my ears but they miss entirely
Instead, they crash against my face,
until I am buried in debris,
In your words and their meanings and I can’t dig my way out.


I'm sorry that I’m not quick to understand
Pardon my pauses,
my fidgeting,
my wide eyes
Pardon the way I twist at my bracelets when your words almost immediately blur as soon as they leave the confines of your cheeks
I scratch at my face because the record needle of my brain can’t find a pre-recorded song to match your pace
So it scratches across the wrinkled pink surfaces instead
And nothing but a stutter and incoherent sentences are played and I’m left to fend for myself
Against your nonstop talking at me because this stopped being a conversation a long time ago


Call me surprised when you say that you understand
That I must delicately balance my medications on the tip of my tongue with ideations that get out of hand
In order to get out of bed the next morning because sometimes it's hard to rise from the grave when the dirt above me is each minuscule thought
That has accumulated over the course of the nightmare that lives in the tension in my shoulders.

tick. tick. tick.

I am alive, but without sleep, I am a lie
With whispers and rumors dancing with my worries across the ballroom that is my mind
Worn shoes scraping up the floors,
rude guests pushing my own thoughts off to become wallflowers
And I dance with a single mutter in a black mask that asks how you’re doing.
It asks if you really love me
as it guides me through a waltz
It asks if you’re lying
as it lets go of my hand to lead me through a spin
I don’t answer a single question as the song’s long, drawn-out metronomic beat continues to reverberate in my head because


No matter how many times I ask


No matter how many times I crash


You’ll be there.
Orion Sep 2019
But oh,
How would my chest feel if it caved in on itself?

The sheer overwhelming feeling of falling,
stomach lifting into my ribcage, lungs into my mouth

How would it feel if it all came out at once,
If I enveloped myself, starting at the throat
I’d get such a sick pleasure
knowing that the blood in my veins rushed to my ears as I ran my hands through my scalp and have them land on my throat
I don’t want to breathe,
I want to be light headed and miles away from a betraying body

A pipe to run through the top of my hip bone,
run a fishing wire through it to catch the cares I once gave
I want a pile of bricks to smother the bones below my breast

Cut my spine clean in half and
I’ll marvel at the sky above me and
I’d never move from that spot

Leave me to stare and stare at a sky that’s as unforgiving as the passage of time
Letting my skin turn to leather and my blood to rust

I’d smile as grass grew through the holes in my ribcage
I’m part of something larger than I am,
a body that experiences death in its own time–
What an adventure it is to rot as I live!
Orion Sep 2019
There is a self-assurance when driving alone in a car,
A broken leather bag tossed in the passenger seat, sunset at his back,
Sweat pooling under his shirt at the valley below his chest;
Earbuds pressed as far as they’ll go in
Blocking out violent winds as he goes over a perfectly photographed bridge
Fog rolling in over waves and through the painted orange beams of streetlights

He is living in someone else’s fantasy:
dressed to the nines,
the eights,
the sevens
Counting down shirt buttons to the way his belt sits a little too loose around his hips,
Black undershirt and unauthorized jeans smelling like stale convenience-store coffee
And strange sanitized emotions that unkempt grocery stores bring to mind--
He is beaming and
Expressing the love he has for this moment in the purest way he knows how.

He doesn’t believe that it is a singularity, an expression of a single thing
A tangle of words that knot into something unnervingly detached from
What he knows how to wrap someone else in with trained fingers
Under the guise of practice
Love is something he has found is undefined

He is not sure he believes in a staying love.
It comes and goes as it pleases in the moment,
It is the word he leaves reserved for the way yellow makes him feel;
How he felt when he saw green as green as green could be through rose-tinted glasses;
The steam rising from named coffee mugs, light streaming through windows;
It is the word he felt when he fell asleep entangled in someone else’s arms and legs
Socks kicked off at the ankles,
And in the sudden realization that he wanted soup;
In seeing painted purple pauses in thought scattered across his chest and shoulders;
In moth wings and bee stings, in smiles and kissing curiosity

It is an emotion he can’t take ownership of
Rather, it is something that dunks him into a washing machine and
Cleans him of the exhaustion that sinks into the minds of men who don’t cry
Honey-colored bubbles rising from bent fingers and wide eyes
Like jellyfish that don’t know any better than to pop when they reach the surface
Of water below a perfectly photographed bridge.
Orion Sep 2019
Biting bitten lips

Your body is inescapable and a temple all in one

Can you believe the smiles that crack the dried skin held together by saliva, courage, and mediocrity,

You lay in bed with a lead pipe feeding through your lungs

You breathe as mucus drips, a soft echo inside the metal,

Stale granola crumbs still sit upon your nose and you don’t have the energy to swat them away like flies upon rotting fruit

You’ve become too sweet, too weak

Your skin bruising without warning

You love the strange lingering pain but you wish you could tap at it with the exhausted arms at your sides

I’m sorry but you’re left to feel as big as you are, taking the space you have claimed

I know you want to feel small, but if you do that, you may not wake up

Let yourself heal in the space you are given so you can shrink when the time calls for it
Orion Sep 2019
in holding silence,
a ripple of something smaller under the surface
i have never flown over bodies of water so large i could not see land over the horizon
holding my breath as i momentarily watched waves lap at sands i will never see in person
lips parted in a strange smile, still unaccepting of the reality encased in framed glass
assurance living under skin i still have yet to inspect in the mirror with its sharp corners
pinching past until blood vessels break and nails bite through further
flickering flashes ingrained behind closed eyelids
programmed performances repeated recorded in the chandeliers
twinkling lights reflecting refracting a dance of hands, memorized scripts

air becomes thinner as altitudes rise,
meaningless numbers to someone still choking on the sighs trapped in their own lungs
breathlessness tasting like ***** on tongues that drip in honey
beauty pressed between perfectly manicured fangs

in holding silence, in holding breath

air expands as altitudes rise
soon this fantasy will break like accidentally shattered ceramic plates
unreality sinking further into sore muscles and rattling ribcages
rinsed out with surface seawater,
clearing out the seared wounds that unbridled practiced passion
singe into hands not belonging to the celestial
sweat pooled like wax at collar bones
placing wicks atop ballooning lungs
waiting for the flame to reach the bottom
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