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Jade Feb 6
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm ⚠

~

One afternoon
in the tenth grade,
I am sent home from school for
cutting myself.

When I walk through the front door,
I crouch down to pet my dog.
She burrows her nose
against my thighs,
sniffs at them
in gentle bursts of air.

I know she can smell the blood
that has so
stubbornly
fused my nylons
to the lacerations on my flesh.

She stares up at me
with her brown, spacious eyes.

In this moment,
she is the only one
who comprehends my sadness
without judgment--

there is only
love.
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Jade Feb 5
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm ⚠

~

Even when we have Phys Ed outside,
and it is 30 degrees,
I wear a long-sleeved shirt
to class to
bury
the truth of my flesh.

I wonder if this is
what it means to hide
something
in plain sight.
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Jade Feb 4
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm ⚠

~

I am sitting in
ninth grade English class
(or maybe it was Social Studies?)

My fingers creep
beneath the desk,
past a mausoleum
of stale chewing gum
until they grasp at
something frigid and metal.

Kilt pin unhooked,
plaid parted,
I reach for mid-thigh.

Pulse hammering in my veins,
and my countenance an
exhibition of nonchalance,
I probe-gouge-drag
it across my skin.

From my mouth,
a quiet yelp.

The girl next to me asks,
"are you okay?"
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Jade Jan 29
⚠️Trigger Warning: The following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm⚠️

~


In the beginning,

I used Bic pen caps
safety pins
jagged remnants of plastic
salvaged from a broken mechanical pencil
the serrated edge
of a paper towel dispenser--

gateways to razors
and Exacto knives.

Objects that were too dull
to split skin
but were still sharp enough
to leave their mark--
puffy, red scratches
accompanied by the
occasional pearl of blood,
dark rarities
that blossomed in rosy drops
upon the dominion of my flesh.

At the time,
I deemed my attempts
at self-harming
pathetic substitutions,
euphemisms in lieu of
the real thing:

deep lacerations from which
reservoirs of Crismon
were birthed.

Sometimes,
I still believe this,
even though it is
terribly unkind
to abbreviate my experience.

If my ninth grade
guidance counsellor
were to read this,
she would tell me that
it's not about the
depth of the wound,
or the means by which
the wound was acquired, but
rather
the existence of the wound

(the existence of the
hurting).
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Jade Aug 2019
volume i
A Portrait of My Sixth-Grade Self
___________________­

Eleven-year-old fingers
swollen with baby fat
dig into the gaudy shimmer
of turquoise eyeshadow
encased in its shattered compact.

I apply the pigment,
erratic smudges extending
from my lash line
to just below my untamed brows.

The blue powder accentuates the swirls
of my fingerprints in dizzy figure eights.

But you can't quit your own skin
like you can quit ice skating lessons.

I am in the sixth grade
when the Popular Girls
in my class tell me that,
if I want to get a boy to like me,
I have to change the way I look.

I abide by the rules of the
Unofficial Mean Girl Doctrine:

{no. 1}

I mustn't wear sweat pants,
these sloppy Old Navy rags
that I have owned for three years.

See,
denim is superior to cotton
even though it leaves
cavernous indentations
on my stomach.

Sweat pants forgive
the extra swell of your waist line.

Denim punishes you
for what you don't have,
more specifically
for what you have too much of.

I ask my mom for skinny jeans
because perhaps if I can
shrink all that I am
into this blue, unyielding fabric
I will feel thinner than I actually am.

We buy the skinny jeans from Old Navy.

{no. 2}

My signature high pony tail is
unacceptable.

I should wear my hair down,
they profess.

I am not sure if this is
because of the tufts of frizz
that loom over my scalp
like wasted dandelion seeds

(I wish... I wish... I wish...)

or if this is just a necessary ritual
in the abandonment of my girlhood.  

After I unsheathe my curls
from their rubber-band Bastille,
their trial commences.

My ringlets slither
in hostile circulations,
executing frequent detours away
from anyone who might scoff
at their animalistic bedlam.

If only I could will
my spectators to stone.

Cuz no one ever dared
**** with Medusa
and her curls.

Instead,
I settle for a flat iron.

{no. 3}

Do everything in your power to be
Beautiful
including, but not limited to,
the laws indicated above.

Yet,
despite my grandest efforts,
it is never enough.

I am never enough.

I am the Walmart Edition
of what the Popular Girls
want me to be.

With my gaudy eyeshadow and the
cheap Dollar Store bracelets
that I wear around my wrists,
plastic flowers blooming
upon threaded stems
that nip at the hair on my arms.

One day on the bus ride home,
a boy from my class tells me
I am too hairy.

"Huh?" I ask,
pretending I haven't heard him.

"Nothing," he mumbles back to me.

See,
little girls are supposed to play with
jump ropes and Barbie Dolls.

They are not supposed to
play with razors as they strip away
every misplaced hair on their body
or consult Teen Vogue
for the latest beauty hacks
like they are Gospel.

This year of 2011/2012
has been engraved  into
the historical road map
of my every insecurity.
The legend of this map,
depicted in smeared globules
of sugar cookie lipgloss,
deliver me to my destination:

self hatred.

Mascara stains the
topography of my flesh
in inky, dotted lines

I follow.

I plummet
like the eternal run
in my stockings.

One way plane ride
non-stop
never to return
from this perception of ugliness
and then--

flight


down.
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Jade Aug 2019
⚠️Trigger Warning: The following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm, suicide, and involuntary psychiatric hospitalization⚠️
______________­____

Tenth grade:

I am standing in the foyer
with my friends
before the bell rings.

From my sailor's mouth:
a bluster of salt and curse words.

My friends are so used
to hearing me swear,
that I believe they have become
desensitized to the variations of "****"
that whistle through my teeth.

Today, I use a
word
I have never said in front of them before.

Their eyes flash
with holier-than-thou
disapproval.

I understand how my language
may be construed as being offensive.

And, truly, I mean no harm.

But truly,
does that make me less than?

(Maybe it does.)

I've never been like them.

I am not pristine.

I am all edge.

Cut from sea glass,
composed of atoms having split
and drowned in their
self-perpetuated monsoons.  

My voice is not a siren song.

It is the stuff
of brine and hurricane.

I ask:
are you mad at me?

"I mean--I don't like hearing it..."

(Yes.)

"It's just sort of disrespectful."

(So you are mad at me.)

This type of shame
can only be alleviated
through means of punishment.

During English class,
I go to the bathroom.

Into my left forearm,
I carve the word
*****,
its lines written
in barbed-wire cursive.
Like a trigger-happy Etch A Sketch,
I create haphazardly.

When I get home that evening,
my parents, having received a phone call
from the school that afternoon,
tell me we are going to the hospital.

(Clarification:
I am going to the hospital,
they are only taking me there.)

Post phone call,
my father had contacted
Alberta Health Services.
The representative he had spoken to
told him that it was necessary
that I go to the hospital
and that if I didn't comply,
he should call 911,
wherein the paramedics
would take me by force.

I am in awe that
this stranger has the power
to tell me where I must go
before I am even aware
of their existence.

After screaming
and sobbing
and swearing--
one of the words being
the cuss that initiated
this series of events
in the first place--
I finally surrender.

On the ride to the hospital,
I listen to "A Car, a Torch, a Death"
by Twenty One Pilots.

"The air begins to feel a little thin
As I start the car, and then I begin
To add the miles piled up behind me
I barely feel a smile deep inside me
And I begin to envy the headlights driving south
I want to crack the door so I can just fall out"


I cinch the vinyl of the seatbelt
between my fingers the entire way there.
Because, in this instance,
the seatbelt is my enemy
so I keep her closer
to me than my own skin.

(But I am not sure
if I really did this
or if my emotion
exploits my memory.)

We arrive.

Still hysterical,
I grab a fistful of snow
before we pass through the doors.

A guffaw verging on maniacal
escapes from my chapped lips:

What if this is my
last chance
to touch snow,
to inhale the crispness of November
before I am locked up?

(What if they lock me up?)

I step out of the queue
and into the nurse's station.
My parents explain
what I've done to myself
and the nurse asks me how I feel.

"Angry,"
I say.

"Why are you angry?"

"Because I've been brought here against my will."

When the ER doctor
has finished her interrogation,
she says that a psychologist
will be with me shortly.

"I'm going to do homework while I wait,"
I tell her, defiance tugging at my vocal cords,
"Because I AM going to school tomorrow."

I ******* my way through
the rest of my assessment
with the psychologist,
try to sound the least suicidal as possible
while also making it exponentially clear
that admitting me involuntarily--
isolating me from the rest of society--
would only intensify my depression.

They let me go.

One of the doctors--
or maybe it was a nurse--
makes a comment
that I can't fully remember.

All I know is that I reply:
"No, I'm still pretty ******,"
to which the doctor (nurse?)
tells me that my parents did the right thing
and that my anger is unwarranted.

And I am just so ******* exhausted
with these people who treat me
like I'm some backward,
music box ballerina.

I figure eight in the direction
opposite of the world
spinning on its axis.

They do not like
this backward girl--
this warped record
whose lyrics seem unfathomable.

So they close
the top of the music box
and I no longer play
the leading role of my own life--
I am just some small, porcelain thing
collecting dust in the fissures of her
silence.
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Jade Aug 2019
⚠️Trigger Warning: The following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm, suicide, and involuntary psychiatric hospitalization⚠️

I don't recall a whole lot
about my first hospital visit.

I know only the
fleeting
keynotes of the experience.

And I'm not just referring to my first...
psychiatric (?) visit.

(I'm not sure if psychiatric is
the right word,
but I find that I often struggle
to find the right words
when I attempt to describe hospitals
and the time I've spent in them.


I'll do my best.)


See,
I had never been to the
Emergency Room for anything before.

(Well,
except for that one time
I tumbled off the changing table as a baby.
But I'm not sure that really counts,
my only knowledge of the event
having come from second-hand stories.)

Surprisingly enough,
being the clumsy child I was,
I had never sustained
any significant injuries
while growing up,
especially in comparison to my sister
who had a daunting repertoire.

When she was a toddler,
she executed a daredevil jump
from the top of the staircase,
breaking her arm as she crash-landed
onto the basement carpet.

While we were waiting
for her to be fitted with a cast,
I remember her doctor told me
to stop misbehaving.

While I can't remember
exactly how I was misbehaving,
I'm sure it had something to do
with the chaos of my temperament,
a chaos that has churned inside me
for as long as I have known.

Over the course
of my high school years,
when I would make several
appearances at the hospital
due to my own brokenness--
the very brokenness that persuaded
the lacerations on my wrists
and my lust for death--
the doctors would,
in their clinical, roundabout ways,
tell me the same thing:

to stop misbehaving.

In the ninth grade--
this here. this is the first visit--
my guidance counsellor and English teacher
had driven me to the Children's Hospital,
which was only up the road from my high school.

Oddly enough,
I had been relatively compliant.

I had gone quietly,
devoid of the defiant uproar
that seethed under my skin.

Perhaps I acted as I did to prove that,
despite, my darkness,
isolating me from the world I knew
would be a grand disservice to me.

Or perhaps I feared
what would happen
if I was to purposely disobey,
that, upon arriving at the hospital,
I would be treated like the rebel I was,
promptly disrobed of my independence.

The remaining details of the visit
have been resolved to vagueness
as time has passed.

I only know my father  
came straight from work to pick me up.
Before we left,
the doctor gave us pamphlets--
crisis hotlines,
accessing resources
within my quadrant of the city,
alternatives to self-harm.

The doctor dwelled on this last subject;

if I felt like cutting myself,
I could still satisfy the urge
without actually drawing blood.

I could press ice to my skin
or write on myself with markers--
markers not pens--
or snap a rubber band against my wrist,
which was the method
he had particularly fixated on.

He explained he wasn't too keen
on me snapping myself
all the time, either,
but that it was a preferable
alternative until I improved.

"Doc,"
I wish I'd said,
"If only you knew
how lovely it is to bleed."
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Aug 2019 · 161
Untitled
Jade Aug 2019
404

ERROR

this girl no longer exists
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Jade Aug 2019
⚠️Trigger Warning: The following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm, suicide, and involuntary psychiatric hospitalization⚠️

Over the duration of high school,
there is one fear that eclipses
the daily rumination of my thoughts.

Behind sepulchred eyelids,
burn the imaginings

of wasp-needled syringes

straitjackets curling around bodies
with noose-like exactness

a padded room
absorbing brain-curdling screams
into its pink insulation.

At the time,
I was petrified that my newly-discovered
flirtation with self-harm
would land me a permanent stay in an asylum.

The rational part of me knew
that they don't call them
asylums anymore.

The rational part of me knew
there would be no syringes
or straitjackets
or pink, padded rooms.

It was the principle

If it was decided that I was
"an immediate risk to myself"--
a decision that would
incorporate the voices
of the people who barely knew me
but deny me my own voice--
I would be admitted
to a psychiatric ward,
and it would be against my will.

It wouldn't matter
if it was at the Children's Hospital or not--
It wouldn't matter if the walls
were coated with those
sickeningly bright colours
or if there was an Xbox
in the common area.

You can dress up a prison cell
as vibrant as you'd like.
But, by principle,
it's still a prison cell.

When they strip you
of your clothes,
and force you into
their bleak hospital gowns,
they also strip you
of your independence.

(You aren't even allowed
to wear your school cardigan,
the one whose soft, green fabric
you nestle against your fingertips
when you need comforting.

What makes you think
you can leave when you want to?)

See,
doc keeps ya locked up
until he's snuffed the
crazy outta you.

They don't like using
the word
crazy
anymore, either.

So,
like the prison cell,
they play dress up
with your "crazy",
draping it in euphemisms like

unstable.

erratic.

incapacitated.

suicidal--

Once this word is used to label you,
you are never quite able to
abandon its connotation of
madness--
a reputation of inferiority.

And everyone believes
that they are only doing what's best for you,
that hospitalization is the only thing
that will save you from yourself,
when, in fact, it's the ultimatums
and the countless visits to the ER
and the way you are treated--
like a poor ***** lying in wait
to be put down--
that destroys you.

The memories still
bleed fresh most nights.

I seethe at
the mistreatment and
the betrayal and
the destruction
like an army of bees
whose hive has been kicked in,
a snow-globe convulsing
between careless hands.

I was kinder
before they stole away
the last moon-slivers of hope
I held between heart and ribs,
between lips and flower petals.

The nectar has been
exorcised from my soul,
leaving only infestation behind.


(and there is no escaping this swarm)
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Jul 2019 · 181
Opa!
Jade Jul 2019
You say the rain is
beautiful,
yet you judge me for crying.

If I went to school with you,
chances are
you've probably seen me cry
(and I cry a lot).

I would like to thank those
who consoled me during
my epoch of sadness,
one that reached out before me
like bubblegum stretched
to ligaments between nervous fingers
(I don't chew gum often,
but those fingers belonged to me).

Your kindness.
is remembered warmly.

But to those of you who
criticized me incessantly.
Called me
cry baby. overdramatic. weak.  
behind my back;

to those of you
who deliberately concealed
the truth from me--
unfortunate truths, they were
but truths that concerned
my reputation, nonetheless--
because you felt the need to
spare yourselves from the
"discomfort" and "annoyance"
my tears would bring you;

to those of you who
labelled me as if I were a
cardboard delivery box
containing fine china--
FRAGILE,
HANDLE WITH CARE

(REFRAIN FROM HONESTY):

your remarkable lack of compassion
serves you no purpose.
There is nothing noble
about making a satire of
other people's sorrow.
Being a stoic does not make
you stronger than me.

You cannot possibly comprehend
the strength I carry:

Many times I have shattered
and many times--
every time--
I have put myself back together again.

I conquer the Olympus of jigsaw pieces
that my heart has crumbled to,
place each fragment of myself
between my teeth,
letting the cardboard and paint
melt against my tongue
like Listerine breath strips.

Despite the bitter aftertaste of broken,
I feast until I am whole again.

I cry.

I lick my wounds.

And then I heal--

I always heal.

And my dreaded stoics,
you could heal too
if it weren't for your
self-righteous denial of
the deluge.

Watch me drink from its waters,
toast in acknowledgement to the pain.

I let myself feel
as I am meant to feel.

I let myself break
as I am meant to break.

I hope one day you come to learn
that there is
nothing
braver than that.

~

Whenever I shatter,
the Gods scream
"Opa!"
in celebration.

Because they know very well that
broken I shall not remain.
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Jade Jun 2019
The first--
and only--
man I ever spread
my legs for is my
prehistoric-old urologist.

Before he takes his leave,
he instructs me to
take off my shorts and my *******,
lie down on the examination table,
then cover up beneath the white, papery sheet.

How every many minutes later,
he knocks on the door
to signal his re-entry.
A nurse accompanies him
back into the room.

Rubber gloves snap into place--
I flinch.

The doctor begins his examination,
presses down on my abdomen, which,
due to a late-night carb binge,
is hard, stomach flab unyielding.

Next,
I am told to place my feet
up on the stirrups.

"You can keep your shoes on,"
he reassures me.

As if a pair of flip flops are relevant
as he pulls apart the intimate folds of my flesh,
his latexed fingers sinking inside of me.

I close my eyes and
pretend I am not here at all.

And even though
I realize he is only
doing his job,
I can't help but muse--

I wish God was a woman
I wish God was a woman
I wish God was a woman.

I wish God was a woman.
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May 2019 · 626
Tales of the Ghost Writer
Jade May 2019
Ghost Writer cries.

But you can't hear her.

Sometimes,
she can't even hear herself.
Or, at least,
she chooses not to;
she chooses to ignore
the sob caught in her throat
like a pill that's washed
down the wrong way.

Ghost Writer attempts
to swallow her sob
which then catapults
to the depths
of her stomach
where she can
never
reach it
(where she can never
fully tame it
to silence).

When Ghost Writer
studies her image
in the mirror,
she can't quite comprehend
the sight of her reflection.
The intricacies of
human life become blurred,
almost inconceivable.

Head tilts in
bemusement--
"so what ?"

Lashes flit against
shrinking pupils--
"these eyes are
vortexes of dream."

Breath respires from
mouth to mirror to fog
to--
"I am not real..."

Ghost Writer's body is
tethered to the earth,
but her soul dwells elsewhere.

Heart pleads,
tries to convince her
of her own existence,
pounding with the force
of a Goddess' blood
against skeleton-key ribs.

But heart cannot
get through to her.

Heart is padlocked,
too far removed from subject,
like the monkey's heart
that "hung" in the
rose apple tree.

Phantom heart
for Phantom Woman.

But it is unclear
if Ghost Writer is the monkey
or the crocodile's wife
in our fable.

Ghost Writer is hungry,
but for what exactly
she hungers for,
she does not know.
She only knows that
she is barren
like the eye sockets
children cut out of
white bedsheets on Halloween.

The colour has been stripped
from the canvas of her creation.

Ghost Writer is
an unfulfilled masterpiece
(something will always be
missing).

So she picks up her quill
to make sense of
this senseless emptiness.

She writes and
she writes and
she writes and--
"How prolific!" they say.

Yet,
all of these poems and
not a friend to her name.

Ghost Writer
sleepwalks through
the terror of this
loneliness.

She goes to grasp
the fingertips of those
she once knew--
those who once cared
(supposedly).  
Anchors to ground her
to the reality that
threatened to strand her.

A mass of beating vessels--
proof that, as long as they
are in her presence,
as long as they can offer her
the tentative connections
of their friendship,
she, too, is alive.

But when she reaches for them,
they pull away,
seamless as the air.

Ghost Writer breaks,
haunts the desolate
alleyways of her psyche
with the plagues of
her insecurities.
Self-esteem erodes
until she devolves
into her worst nightmare--

nothing.

Ghost Writer disappears
(this time without redemption).

She leaves no souvenirs behind
to perpetuate her memory,
no tangible mementoes.

She leaves behind
only that which
will not be destroyed,
by fickle, selfish hands:

She leaves behind the
Poetry.

For even long after the
Vanishing Act has
resolved itself to the relics of
what has  been lost,
Ghost Writer shall
always have the last word.
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May 2019 · 221
On Seeing Eye to Eye
Jade May 2019
On the mornings
I woke up angry,
I would put on
a thick layer of eyeliner
before I left for school,
eyelids streaked purple,
a violet horizon backdropping  
the contour of my lash line.

I wore my makeup
like war paint
as if to send the message:

You cannot begin
to comprehend
this darkness I carry.

It is not an energy
to be toyed with.

I am not to be toyed with.

Don't you DARE **** with me.
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Jade May 2019
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm⚠
~
Over the years,
I have cultivated
many an intriguing
hiding spot for my sorrows--
concealed inside of
my phone case;
pressed between
the mattress and the box spring;
wrapped in paper towel
and tucked trepidatiously
beneath my bra strap.

But of them all,
my favourite
was the book--
some fantasy novel
whose name I can't recall,
hollowed out with
a pair of scissors
and a ballpoint pen
to make room
for the razor blade.

It was a secret
that had authored
an entirely new meaning
of paper cuts.

In that moment,
I couldn't have felt
more like a tortured artist.

I couldn't have felt
more like a
poet.
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May 2019 · 164
Doll Face
Jade May 2019
Every step I take
is catatonic,
an acute contrast to
the way my thoughts
bolt about the
convoluted labyrinth
of my psyche.

I couldn't stop crying this morning,  
so I took an extra Cipralex*
in the hopes that
my mind would slow down,
even though it has
only been twelve hours
since I last took one,
even though it is
a once-a-day type of thing.  

When I go to brush my teeth,
I stare, bemused,
at the bristles,
how it appears as though
they have been passed under
a fisheye lens.

I feel like I am framed
in a Margaret Keane painting.
Every object or face
I happen to fixate on
seems so comically magnified
that it's actually quite sad.

For I simply haven't the room
in this heart of mine
to house something so
colossal.

I am a broken home.

I try to cover up
the blemishes
the thumbtacks have
left in the walls with
glow-in-the-dark stickers
and photographs of
Audrey Hepburn.
But the stickers have begun
to bubble and peel,
the photographs never
resting flat against the surface.

Your typical bandaid solution--
but bandaids don't heal scars,
they only cover them.

When it is dark out,
the scars look like tree branches,
the type that scritch-tap
against the window pane
only to startle you awake
as the world approaches
the pinnacle of night.

I've strung up
fairy lights round
the perimeter of each room,
in the hopes that the scars
won't appear so ghastly
amongst the shadows.

Sometimes,
I plug too many
lights in at once,
the circuits overload,
and then--
blackout.

This dollhouse has shattered;
up until now,
the other girls and boys
loved to play with me,
though they never did play nice.

They pried my doors
from their hinges,
stole away the secrets
nailed beneath the floorboards
only to shun me
when it came to
their own indiscretions.

Atop the satin bedsheets
their tear stains,
some clear dollops,
some mascara-winged streaks
across the pillowcases.

But when I would cry?

The corridors would
ring with silence--
with the echoes of
nobody.

Empty.

Forgotten.

In my mutilated aftermath,
the little boys and girls
no longer had any use for me--
rarely does anyone wish
to entertain the broken.
A cruelly ironic situation
considering they were the ones
who tore me apart in the first place
(but god forbid
they ever take responsibility
for their transgressions).

So they hid me away
in their attics.
at the back of their closets.
underneath their beds
amongst the lost socks;
the dust bunnies;
the monsters.

This is what it looks
like to be continuously
taken advantage of
without ever quite
mustering the courage
to stand up for yourself.

I am the marionette girl.

Eyes a porcelain glaze,
I watch you leave.
I try to look away,
but the strings
protruding from my scalp
pull me upright.

There is no liberation
for the betrayed.

There is only sadness
for the betrayal,
only pills to stymie
the sadness.

But like these strings,
this sadness remains
tethered-to-me

(always).

~

"Why do you want to **** yourself, Jade? So people will miss you? Is that it?"

"I want to **** myself because I know they wouldn't."
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Apr 2019 · 298
Cheers at Gunpoint
Jade Apr 2019
For the longest time,
I would wonder
why,
on the mere cusp of 17,
I began to drink.

I'd always assumed it
was because I was so
sad.

But now,
while I'm sure that
sadness was most certainly
a contributing force,
I don't think
it was the true perpetrator.

See,
all the other girls
in my grade were always off
******* or getting high
or embarking on whatever
risque adventures
they'd broadcast on Snapchat
the next morning.

I think all I ever wanted
was a scandal to call my own.

I wanted to prove
something to myself--
that,
no matter what
people said about me,
I could be bad too.

~

This one time,
I bought a squirt gun
from the dollar store.

I wanted to get drunk
the way I'd watched
Cassie from Skins
get drunk
in this one episode.

So,
I filled up my gun
with *****
before holstering it
against my tongue.

Then,
I pulled the trigger.
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Apr 2019 · 185
Equinox
Jade Apr 2019
The Spring
detests the girl
with the ivory complexion,
dollops of rosy flesh
sunk against her face
like discarded peach pits
(and discarded
is she.
forgotten
is she).

Mother Nature's
Alabaster *******,
they've dubbed her.

And tried Mother Nature
to preach tranquillity
to her daughter,
a reminder to always keep
still
amidst any tempest
****** into her path.  

But mother,
I am the tempest.

Come tomorrow morning,
the spring snow
will have melted,
but frigid I shall remain.

Dissonant and
storm-wrenched
I shall remain.

All the world begins to thaw
as I loll about in
the tundra of this loneliness.

When dawn arrives,
I will draw the curtains
before the rising sun
shoots me that beam
of apocalyptic grin.

The world is not ending,
you will tell me
(but mine is).

I have always existed
separately
from the rest,
you see.

The bright evenings and the even brighter mornings.

The unmistakably poignant scent of freshly-cut grass.

Marmalade sunsets that descend effortlessly into their celestial counterparts.

Flowers blossoming to profound vibrancy.

I wish I could tell the flowers
it is only a matter of time
before some wandering child
will rip apart their petals
in a ruthless game of
“He Loves Me
He Loves Me Not.”

(Child,
I Know this game
all too well—
the perils of picking
an even number
of petals).

And it is only a matter of time
before autumn dolls out
its wiltings.

I am also well accustomed
to the art of wilting,
you know.

The only difference
between me
and the sunflowers
is that the spring
belongs to them.

It is the epoch
of renewal,
of second chances
in spite of their inevitable
witherings,
both past and future.

But the present--
the spring--
it will always belong to them.

I know not
how it feels
to heal alongside
the sunflowers.

I know not
what it means
to shed the prospect of
death
even if it is only
temporary.

My heart is caught
in an impenetrable limbo.

Tell me
Mother Nature,
how do I move on?

For letting go
seems a foreign enigma
to me.

So,
really,
what else am I to do
but draw the curtains
each sunrise?

As I am left to weather
the deluge
while all the world blooms,
as I am left to
pour,
I desperately
await the
rain.

For it is only
in the rain
that I shall return home.
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Jade Apr 2019
Dear Reader,

I give you permission.

I give you permission
to scar the spine
of this book
from the countless
times you will
crack it open.  

I give you permission
to highlight
and underline
and doodle
and annotate
these pages
until they have
no room to breathe.

I give you permission
to accidentally
drop
wet
spill on-
backpack-shove
the cover.

I give you permission
to dog-ear the corners
when you've lost
your bookmark
(and your way).

I give you permission
to break in these words
with the same
calamitous,
neurotic,
frenzied
passion with which
I wrote them.

I give you permission
to make this
Poetry your home.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Jade Apr 2019
Today,
I shared a post
on Facebook.
It explained that
manipulating someone into
having *** with you
is a form of ****.

To the ex-classmate of mine
who thought it was okay
to post a meme with the tagline,
"Regretting consensual *** isn't ****,"
in response
to my own post:

Not only are
you are a perpetrator
of **** culture,
you act as though
**** is some sort of
joke.

You think
victims "cry" ****
like the boy who cried wolf,
that their traumas are fabricated,
cheap shots
to seek revenge against
impotent lovers
and unfortunate one night stands.

Being manipulated into
engaging in any sort
of ****** activity
does not equate consent;
because
to manipulate is to
unjustly coerce someone
to submit to another.

Consent is not the enigma
society makes it out to be;
really, it's quite simple.  

Did they say yes?

I'm not asking
if they said no--
that's irrelevant.

Did they say yes?

The fact that
one individual
feels the need to
manipulate someone else
into having *** with them
implies that someone else
didn't want to have ***
in the first place.

Guess what?

If someone doesn't want
to engage sexually
with another person,
then that is not consent,
and just as ****
can be imposed physically,
it can also be imposed
mentally and emotionally.

So there you have it,
ex-classmate of mine--
you've said your piece,
and I have every right
to follow suit.

you are remarkably disgusting.

And I'll be ******* ******
if I sit around
twiddling my thumbs,
scrolling through
Facebook mindlessly,
while you belittle
victims of ****
for the purpose of
your own amusement.

Thanks for coming to
my Ted Talk,
*** hat.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

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Jade Mar 2019
I had my first kiss at the cinema, the contour of our silhouettes illuminated by the glow of the rolling credits. He tasted like Altoids and cigarettes, an ambivalent concoction of ice and fire. At one point, I'd bitten him by accident. Whether this was a manifestation of inexperience or (seductively, with heat in her eyes) hunger,  I'm not sure. But, sitting there in the thrill of My Something New, I was certain of one thing: this was a red carpet moment, the stuff of silver screens and glimmering Hollywood starlets and rows of type writer ribbon waiting to be transposed into something theatrical.

After the film, we sat outside a cafe a block over, the fever of summer adhering to the back of our necks like (giggling) misplaced hickeys. Smoke corkscrewing from the end of his parliament, he told me how John F. Kennedy was addicted to opioids. I couldn't help but think back to earlier that afternoon when he first admitted to being a smoker. How he'd asked me, "Is this going to be a problem for you?" hesitation rising up his throat like bile.

I smiled because 'Everyone's got their poison," I replied.  

And poison? Well, there's something so strikingly poetic about it, don't you agree?

(beat.)

JFK must have been Marilyn Monroe's poison, I think.

"So," I offered, "What do you really think happened to Marilyn Monroe?"

"How do you mean?" he said between drags of his cigarette.

"I mean was it really an overdose or--"

"Was it an assassination?" he interjected.

"Mhmmm."

Another drag of his cigarette.

"As they say, the simplest answer is often the correct one."

"Maybe. (beat.) But what makes for the better story?"

After two weeks of courtship, he took his leave. My mother's obvious, unwarranted disapproval was, perhaps, a source of anxiety for him. Me being freshly eighteen, he was also concerned about that (sarcastically) whoppin' three year age gap. (beat.) Not fully buying it, are ya?

Well, neither did I.

Here's my theory: his feelings (or lack thereof) were the reason he called it quits. And instead of being a man--instead of being honest, instead of owning up to the true nature of his intentions--he spun some relatively believable excuse. A coward's way of removing himself from a situation he doesn't want to be in. Surprisingly enough, I wasn't as disappointed as I would have anticipated, had I foreseen the end of our fleeting romance.

I was (beat.) fine.

It does make for a great story, after all. (wryly) But you knew that already.

Because for every Norma Jean, there's always a Marilyn Monroe.

Tell me then--who are you?

(beat.)

Girl curtsies, transitioning into a tableau of Marilyn Monroe's iconic pose wherein she attempts to hold down her dress as the air from a nearby subway grate threatens to expose her undergarments.

Lights fade out.

{Fin}
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Mar 2019 · 153
For Crying Out Loud
Jade Mar 2019
Tears percolate from
round, fishbowl eyes,
cheeks a sting
with salt
and loneliness.

I barter with the deluge,
hold my breath
for as long as my lungs
will permit
until a motley of colour
bruises over my vision.

And I can't help but think:
perhaps fainting is
the next best thing to dying,
especially when you are too afraid
to commit to the permanence
of killing yourself.

My only dilemma?

What am I to do with myself--
with the tears--
once I regain consciousness?
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Mar 2019 · 344
Apollo's a Phoney
Jade Mar 2019
I swallowed
the sound of your name
like it was a star--
five points,  
the type they
teach you to draw
in kindergarten.

It hurt
on its way down,
stalagmites of constellation
catching on my uvula,
hanging on with
astronomical strength.

But this is no cliffhanger.

Do you know what happens next?

I stopped breathing.

You've never deserved
your name,
you know.
"Light giving,"
it means.

Oh,
and how I gave into
the sublime
fallacy
of it.

Because
all you ever did was steal
the moons from my irises.

You treated me like
I was the dirt beneath
your fingernails
(you forsake
the dust on your windowsill--
but don't you know
all dust comes from
the wondrous galaxy that
dwells before us?)

I reached out to you
only to get
c u t
          o f f
at the hands

Still,
I couldn't let you
go,
didn't know how to.
Even when my flame
was reduced
to these weeping cinders,
even when the idealization
I held between my palms
found itself exiled
to this mausoleum
of severed trust,
hatred blossoming
in rosettes against
crumbling tombstones.

The epitaph reads,
"At a loss for words."

Tell me this:
what sort of
"light giver"
doesn't believe in
in the possibility of magic--
in the pinnacle of light itself?

You always thought me
a foolish girl
for dreaming--
naive girl,
silly girl,
wrists blooming
in paper cuts,
always one fairytale
away from insanity.

Until
one day,
I stopped believing
altogether.

And all it took
was a single glance
from those eyes--
glacial sapphires,
your grandest seduction.

Hell itself would have
hardened itself to tundra
at the sight of them.

You always had a way
of contaminating
the things I loved
with a frostbite so lethal,
I would have
gladly dismembered
every hypothermic part
of myself
(every fragment of soul
you ever touched).

Like a shooting star,
I fell for you--
hopelessly.

Catastrophically.

And then the heavens went
dark.
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Feb 2019 · 197
The Dead Sea (Floating)
Jade Feb 2019
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to suicide and self-harm ⚠
----------------------
May 30th, 2018

These wayward breaths
lead me to
the Dead Sea.

"This is where you belong;"
whisper the spirits
of The Deep--
"this is where all
broken things
come to die."

The Dead Sea
is my bathtub-
ramshackle tiles,
contorted shower rod
bowing under the weight
of the fraying curtain.

The water sprints
in a scalding race
from the tap,
its gurgling clamour
veiling the sound
of Billie Eilish
playing on the speaker
(isn't it lovely all alone?)

I stare at the Exacto Knife
clutched between my
water-pruned fingertips.

And
the moment you pick
up a knife instead of a
shoddy razor blade
from a dollar store
pencil sharpener,
you know you've
hit rock bottom
(did you know
the Dead Sea is
the lowest
point on earth?;
have you ever experienced
the remarkable plummet
of that kind of low?)

I trace the patterns
of invisible
constellations
on the terrain of
my flesh;
at first,
I am too afraid  
to press down
but when I do--
my god,
when I do--
I draw blood
with the same artistry
borne from a
painter's hand,
each laceration
a brush stroke closer
to someplace beyond this
sadness.
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Feb 2019 · 406
The Mad Scientist (Poetess)
Jade Feb 2019
I pin the anemic bodies
of poems
to the bed of palm
like they are cadavers
waiting to be
d  i  s  s  e  c  t  e  d.

This is the
only
way
I know to
make sense of things,
each enjambed line
a heartbeat closer
to understanding this
sadness
(or letting
go
         of
it).

I gawk at the contents
of the shelves
that live amongst the
curdling strips of wallpaper.
Yellowing mason jars,
each containing some
tragic specimen swimming in  
formaldehyde tears--
Plath's last breaths;
Sexton's paper cut fingertips;
Van Gogh's severed flesh.

The sight of this
ghastly collection
sends the scars on my wrists
into a spiralling ache.

I once made the mistake
of assuming poetry
would instantaneously
exorcize the aching--
it only brought me closer.

But I must remember
that bleeding is the last stop
on the route to mending;
it's gotta hurt
before it can heal.

So I write,
bear the sting
of these words
as they stitch together
the tattered patchwork
of my heart;
until the scars meet
at the pinnacle
of my anatomy,
crisscross,
bright constellations
flowering from the darkness,
starlit tulips
that shake the
sorrowed dew drops
from their rain-torn petals,
celestial hieroglyphs
waiting to be read--
This is your history;
not your future.
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Jan 2019 · 320
Backhand
Jade Jan 2019
No matter how
you sugarcoat it,
there is never
a nice way
of calling someone
fat.

I.E.

“You would have been beautiful
in the Renaissance era
[because in the Renaissance era
they painted portraits
of chubby girls like you—
back then,
fat was artistry.]


I still don’t know what
I was more upset about:
The backhanded compliment--
"would have"
being synonymous for
"no longer"--
or the fact that
I was conditioned
to believe the
Mona Lisa
was anything short of  
sublime.
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Jade Jan 2019
To any girl who should come to love him after me: this is my cautionary tale.
___________________
li­stening to the same song on repeat until you hate it / butterfly wings pinned to cork / empty bandaid boxes / hungover mornings / broken glass beneath feet / panic attacks / swallowing pool water / paper cuts / seeing your mother cry / cold bed sheets in the winter / slamming on the brakes / starless skies / scabby knuckles / lipstick on your teeth  / bruised eyelids / unanswered text messages relapsing / pills that don't wash down the right way / hospital waiting rooms / cliffhangers / wine stained linens / splinters under fingernails / second best / cracked snow globes / writer's block / bit tongues / trigger warnings / pipe dreams  / names carved into flesh / dissolved forevers / chipped sand dollars / misplaced secrets / loose compass needles / aeroplanes in want of shooting stars / hunger in want of beauty / heartbreak in want of love / staying in want of leaving / goodbye / this poem / he  / will / never /  read/  it
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Jan 2019 · 166
I Wish I Was a Poem
Jade Jan 2019
When I say
I wish I was beautiful,
I mean I wish I could
sculpt myself into the same loveliness
borne in the eyes of Marble Goddesses
In Ancient Greece,
I know I would have been pretty
you know;
curls a liberated wreath atop my head,
a nose as grand as Mount Olympus,
body as curvaceous as the summits
of Mediterranean waves.

I mean I wish I could
steal Orion's Belt  from the sky
and wear it around my waist
to cinch away all the extra room
I know I take up,
cuz there's no gravity
in outer space--
it's impossible to feel fat
in outer space.

I mean I wish I could
be as cliche as a rose,
because,
despite being starkly unoriginal,
everyone loves roses the same way
everyone loves photoshop sleekness
and Tumblr physique.

I mean I wish I was
lucid dreams / leather journals / dewdrops on leaves / fairy lights / eyelashes on pillowcases / moon-gazing /  listenin' to Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time / standing ovations / the butterflies in your fingertips / frost congealed on tree branches / lightning storms / Disneyland fireworks / soft bed sheets / champagne kisses / polaroid photographs /  whales howling at sea / midnight inspirations / double rainbows / bed time stories / the skyline at golden hour / foggy 7 AM’s / snow under streetlights / the colour purple / when I say I wish I was beautiful I mean I wish I was
a poem.
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Jan 2019 · 409
Sea Bitches--Prologue
Jade Jan 2019
If I am writing about you now,
then you have stolen from me
something as precious
as the gem I was named for--
my voice.

Though,
I'm afraid our encounters
were never quite as cinematic
as Disney's animation--
no tantalizing mist of green
shrouding our figures,
no sweet harmony
evaporating from a
frightened, rouged mouth
in wisps of golden light,
and absolutely no
happily ever afters.

See,
you've always had
a catty flair
for stepping all over me
like a Just Dance Mat--
yes, I'm quite familiar
with the way you toy
with others, myself included;
and the pawn has never
defeated the Game Master.

Call a ***** a *****;
I know very well that
I can't change you
or what you did me.

I can't undo the hurt.

But I can reclaim my voice.

Through poetry,
I will say all the things
I wish I had the courage
to say to you
way back when
in response to your
cruel fuckery.

I will expose you
for what you truly are--
a petty,
self-righteous
sea (witch) *****.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

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Jan 2019 · 866
Ephemeral
Jade Jan 2019
Most days,
she feels so lost,
that you would think
there was once a time
when she belonged to someone,
that she had accidentally
been misplaced somehow.

But you must first have something--
want something--
before you can lose it.

(And no one has ever wanted her.)

She is a translucent thing,
you see.

She must walk through walls,
for no one--
neither friend nor foe--
seems to notice her
when she enters a room.
(or when she leaves one.)

She’ll slip away
from a crowd so easily,
it was almost as if she was
never even there at all.
It only takes a second–
a breath,
a bat of an eyelash;
by the time you’ve turned around,
she’s gone.

(she's always been good at disappearing,
or maybe you're just bad at paying attention.)

But it’s no matter;
her presence does not faze you,
so what makes her
absence
any different?

No one would care
to love a girl like her,
anyway.
A girl so
o u t
                o f
p l a c e.
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Jan 2019 · 1.0k
Unison
Jade Jan 2019
Sometimes,
I imagine I'm some
mourning starlet
who sings Lana Del Rey
at the club
every Saturday night.

A honeyed halo of stage light
tangles itself about
the curled labyrinth
of my hair,
sparkles gold against
my tearing irises.

My mouth parts
and the war cries begin.

In the moments that
the melody offers
my voice repose,
I pound shots to the beat
of the drummer's ramblings.

The crowd applauds
my tipsiness,
their hoots of praise
shaking at the depths
of my eardrums
like an intoxicated tambourine.

My neuroticism
fascinates these people,
I think.

Not in an
exploitive,
let's-glamourize-depression
kind of way,
but in an
it is a truth universally acknowledged
kind of way--in a
"*******, cuz I've been there too"
kind of way.

See,
within my little,
concocted fantasy
of stage light
and music
and *****,
the people don't judge me
the way they do
on the outside.

Here,
I am not
melodramatic or
overly sensitive or
disposable.

Here,
my war cries sound
a little less
like death and
a little more
like poetry.

Here,
they love me
in spite of the sadness.

Here,
we share a song--
here,
they sing with me.
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Jade Jan 2019
There's always been something
so Hollywood about her--
and I don't mean
21st Century *******.

I'm talkin'
Judy Garland,
you're the bee's knees
type of Hollywood.

Now, listen'--
this girl--
I'm talkin'
Bombshell-Cutie
(she'll blow your
******'socks off).

I'm talkin'
Cinematic Beauty Queen;
skin freckled with film grain
the same way the night sky
is freckled with constellation,
mouth parted like velvet curtains,
only to reveal the sweetest prose.

She is Mystique-Fatale,
blazon in colour
among dull, sepia tones--
an Oz among all
the dreary Kansases.

She is allure and poeticism,
hair curled grand,
dressed to the nines
in lace and satin
(they wonder
what lies beyond the
half moons of her *******
and the slit in her gown,
if the butterflies
run rampant
between her knees
like everyone says).

Do not underestimate her--
she is both
Shirley-Temple-Sweetheart
(her kindness
does not falter)
and Pinup-Girl-Honey
(one would not think
to challenge--
to break--
a woman
so prolifically brazen,
but they try anyway).

In a world filled
with actresses--
please, darlings,
save the acting for
the stage,
******* it--
she is so ineffably herself.

She does not reserve
her emotion for
the theatre alone;
she is not afraid
to cry, and--
Jesus--
when she cries
the earth shakes
with the very profusions
of an opera singer's vibrato.

And, God,
you should hear
her poetry,
brimmed with images
picturesque and tragic,
straight outta the movies
it would seem.
Yet, her words
ring with something
so inconceivably real.

And that's what
you've always loved
best about her--
she is the truest person
you've ever met.

It's a shame, then,
that you wouldn't stay
for the grand finale.

But,
with or without you,
this show must go on.

(and it has).
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Jan 2019 · 344
My Google Search History
Jade Jan 2019
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders⚠
------------------------------------------------------­-------------
how do u know if ur having a nervous breakdown
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------------------------------------------------------------­-------
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----------------------------------------------------------------­---
how do u know if ur having a panic attack
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
are panic attacks and anxiety attacks the same thing
-----------------------------------------------------------­--------
whats the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
generalized anxiety disorder symptoms
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thirteen reasons why hannah baker suicide scene
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----------------------------------------------------------­---------
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------------------------------------------------------------­-------
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--------------------------------------------------------­-----------
seroquel side effects
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
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----------------------------------------------------------­---------
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----------------------------------------------------------­---------
how to refrain from eating
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
how to force yourself to throw up
--------------------------------------------------------------­-----
eating disorder symptoms
--------------------------------------------------------­-----------
binge eating disorder symptoms
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
bulimia symptoms
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
anorexia symptoms
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
thirteen reasons why hannah baker slitting her wrists
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
insomnia
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
can you overdose on melatonin
----------------------------------------------------------------­---
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----------------------------------------------------------­---------
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---------------------------------------------------------­----------
carbon monoxide poisoning
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----------------------------------------------------------­---------
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----------------------------------------------------------------­---
thirteen reasons why hannah baker slitting her wrists
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
major depressive disorder symptoms
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IS PATH WARM
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----------------------------------------------------------------­---
tortured artist
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
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-------------------------------------------------------------­------
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empty
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thirteen reasons why hannah baker slitting her wrists
----------------------------------------------------------­---------
i wish i was dead
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Jan 2019 · 378
Mary, Queen of Scots
Jade Jan 2019
"No more tears now; I will think about revenge."

-- Mary, Queen of Scots
------------------------------------------------

Someone once told me that
I have the eyes of a Queen,
that they have known sorrow
in this life and in the last.

I think I must have shared
a heart with
Mary, Queen of Scots,
for I too have experienced
profound betrayal,
one that has shackled itself
to my being so violently,
that my soul has turned
purple with contusion.

Tell me--have you no shame?

Will you betray your Queen?

Will you exclude her
from your most sacred gatherings
of friendship and empathy?

Will you speak of her
most intimate secrets?

Will you befriend her foes?

Will you defile her name
in your own frivolous writings?

Will you accuse her of treason
so as to distract from
your own mutinous crimes?

My beloved companions,
my brothers and sisters--
will you attempt to commit
this heinous sin of sororicide
against the woman
who loved you so generously
(so poetically)?

I entreat--
will you?

(yet, I know you already have).

But though my Queendom
may be small,
it is not insignificant,
for it is vast in ways
incomprehensible to your
selfish minds--
its kindness and poetry
are infinite,
both of which you
have taken gross advantage of.

And though my Queendom
may crumble at your hands,
it shall never fall;
with stanzas
mighty and passionate
I will rebuild without you.

You have overstayed
your welcome here.
(perhaps you never belonged
in the first place).

There was once a time
when you vowed to protect
your Queen
and, now, all I've got
to show for it
is a broken pinkie
and the scuff of footprints
across my spine.

What shall it be next?

My head upon a silver platter?

No.

I was not reborn
only so my reign should
be sullied by these
treacherous sadists
I once called "friends".

It is my head
you want,
but this time,
it is yours I shall have.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Jade Jan 2019
Inspired by Judy Blume,  inside Jokes with Liz and the poetry of Alissa Grams (https://alissagrams.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/an-open-letter-to-god-from-an-eighteen-year-old-girl/)

~

God,
it's me--
jade.

I must admit,
I've never read
Judy Blume
or the Bible,
for that matter
(I could never make it
past Genesis).

I am not well-versed
when it comes to scripture--
I am fluent in tragedy
and tragedy alone;
then again,
is there really any difference
between scripture and tragedy?

I was never one
to pay attention in church,
unless the hymns
were of a minor key,
the sermons imbued
with woe and melancholia.

Coincidentally,
as I write this,
it has only just occurred to me
that Lot's Wife
was never given a name
of her own--
it was destroyed with *****,
forgotten amongst the
flames and the ash.


God,
you were wrong
to punish her
the way you did.

Have you never felt the
sting of salt
against an open wound?

Have you never watched
as all the familiar intimacies
you once knew
dissolved to cinder?

(I know you have).

Do you not see that,
if home is where the heart is,
then the heart
must surely perish with it?

God,
has anyone ever broken your heart?

(I think you know heartbreak
as well as I do;
it is the very matter
of our existence).

So I guess my real question is
why?
(and, no, this time, it is not rhetorical).

Truly,
I'd like to know why
you would ever think
to hurt your people
the same way
the archangel hurt you.

You say I sin
against you,
but did you not
create me in your image?

(Like father,
like daughter,
I suppose).

god,
I do not think
I believe in you.

At least,
I do not believe in you
like I believe in other things.

I do not
believe in you
the way I believe in
the beauty of
Van Gogh's sunflowers
(his starry nights, too);
or in dog-earing the pages
of my favourite books.

I do not believe in you
the way I believe in magic;
or in the integrity of
polaroids photographs
and listening to vinyl.

I do not believe in you
the way I believed in my love
during the final moments
before his betrayal;
or in the lingering sensation
of my past lives--
Ophelia.
Mary Queen of Scots.
Frida Kahlo.
Sylvia Plath--
and now,
dare I feel it,
dare I say it--
Lot's Wife.

(With her,
I shall share a name).

I do not believe
you are my saviour
because I do not
believe in you
the way I believe
in Poetry.

god,
it's me--
Jade;
this poem is
my hallelujah,
but it does not
belong to you
(not anymore).
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Jan 2019 · 244
She, Wrecked
Jade Jan 2019
Among the wreckage
of her soul,
lie shards of ribcage
(splintered like
the stern of a ship
that has weathered
many a beastly storm)
and fragments of heart
(veins as thin and lifeless
as the gossamers
of waterlogged spider webs).

Sunken treasures
you could call these things,
waiting in this perpetual limbo,
this Bermuda of Lovers Lost.

"Girl, overboard!"
he'd cried
(even though he
had been the one
to push her over the edge
in the first place).

Imagine that:

wrists tied behind her--
what hurts more?
The rope burns
or the cuts?--
feet sweeping despondently
across that doomed plank;
she can feel her love's breath--
frigid as Neptune's sea-bound winds--
undulating against the back of her neck.

She turns around slowly,
and he shoots her that
pathological
barracuda grin,
promises her that he cares--
truly, he cares--
that she means something to him.

But many a thing
a pirate does thief,
the truth
being one of them.

The next thing she knows,
she is plummeting
(watch how she does fall for him)
towards the convulsing
stretch of grey beneath her,
and as she whips about
through the bluster and the rain,
she stares up at him
with wild, pleading eyes.

She wants to scream out,
"Why?"
but there is no room
for words (or poetry)
upon the lips of the drowned--
after all,
dead girls tell no tales
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Jan 2019 · 1.5k
Atlantis
Jade Jan 2019
From the moment
the tale of her ruin
made itself known,
mankind has
coveted proof
of her existence.

Many a curious hand
has stalked across
the glossy veins of maps
and the cracked vertebrae of books
enclosing information
most pivotal to
her secret whereabouts
and the tragic evanescence
that initiated her exile.

Many a
sailor
explorer
scientist
poet
have perished among
the gnashing jaws of the sea
in their pursuit of
the glory
her exploitation
would surely bring.  

In response to such
grievances--
the reality
of losing oneself
in the midst of
searching for what
has already been lost--
imagination--
the belief in magic,
in the seemingly
unbelievable--
was outlawed
within the
human psyche;

now,
they say she is merely
a madman's legend,
a myth concocted by Plato
so as to warn against
the perils of greed.

But never did they consider
that perhaps she did not
want to be found to begin with,
that her seclusion
has always been a necessity
so as not to repeat
the monstrosities of the past--
so she should not resurface
to satiate their earthly desires
only so she can be drowned anew.

{Atlantic}
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Dec 2018 · 367
Her Royal Sadness
Jade Dec 2018
I always look
my most beautiful
when I cry;

the bags under my eyes
burn as poignantly
as waning crescents,
lips plump as they quiver
with the same multitudes
of Artemis' bowstring,
chest heave-hoeing
against the tempered
vessel of my soul.

I wear sadness
remarkably well,
you know.

Like black lipstick.
or short hair.
or poetry.

(Cleopatra's got nothing on me, baby)

My reflection tessellates
against the swell of my tears,
evolves into
kaleidoscopic fractals
of smouldering thrones
and howling queens--
into images most
strange and terrible.

(But, oh, how I welcome them.)

A delicate curtsy of words
respires from my mouth,
forms upon my tongue
its homage--
hail thy shattered kingdom
hail thy shattered kingdom
hail thy shattered kingdom.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Dec 2018 · 910
Beast of Burden
Jade Dec 2018
No boy will ever
want to **** me

if I forget
to put on makeup
in the mornings
lips red as Eve's forbidden fruit
succulent enough to
bite
tongue
devour
go down
cuz my nose don't
look so My-Big-Fat-Greek-Wedding
mountainous-side-profile
when it's caked in highlighter

if I have short hair
because short hair means
I'll look too masculine
in the ninth grade I
had a pixie cut
faith
trust
pixie dust
I could feel
my light burning out

(I never did believe in myself)

if I'm not thin
starve
binge
purge
two finger diet
VSCO diet
have you seen
the lovely girls
on the internet
in their
tight bodysuits
Coke Zero
figures
MVP
VIP
they'll get first access
to his ****


if I'm a *****
cuz how will anyone know
what you've really
got to flaunt
when you have to wear
a uniform to school
frumpy plaid kilt
white polo shirt
every button a barrier
like the notches
on his belt
tie coiled
a noose
around your neck
every casual day
I wear fishnet stockings
***** necklines
with push up bras
even though
I'm already a D
cuz I gotta get that D
gotta compensate
for being a ****** somehow




if I don't shave my
legs
stomach
*****
three days before high school graduation
I bought a thong
and got my first Brazilian wax
even though I didn't have
still don't have
a boyfriend
but I wanted him
to be my boyfriend
thought I should be prepared
thought maybe when he saw me
clad in
cleavage
periwinkle
floor-length gown
blue Converse peeking out
from underneath the tulle
I'd be his
Belle of the Ball
that he'd
take me
**** me

love me

but how could any boy
ever love me
in all of my
warped-perspective
grief-possessive
passive-aggressive
self-ob­sessive
manic-depressive
glory


how could any boy
ever love me
after reading
this poem?
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Nov 2018 · 251
A Shot in the Dark
Jade Nov 2018
The green light has frozen over.

See that haunted house,
how its windows
flicker desperately
in their attempt at survival,
how every lampshade droops
under the sublime gravity
of its glassy tears,
how each blackened bulb
crystallizes then shatters
like the constellation-mottled
pupils of the starry-eyed--
of any
optimist
dreamer
lover
bright-young-thing.

Nomadic phantoms float along
the pin-***** stalagmites
of the ceiling in ringlets of
emerald shadow.

Surely,
dawn will break,
(unconventionally.
tragically.)
The sun itself shall bow to ruin;
and, in a remarkably quiet gesture,
it will fizzle out
like a can of cherry cola
that's gone stale,
like humanity's own taste
for the light
(and its growing appetite
for the darkness).

Still,
we drink on--
in wait of the rush,
indulging in the hope
that somewhere
in this dying
expanse of universe,
there is someone
who will love us
for the tipsy,
poetic souls we are.
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.come/tickledpurple

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Oct 2018 · 5.5k
Swan Song (Warped)
Jade Oct 2018
Heart skips
like a warped record,
trembles over scarred vinyl
until "I love you"
tastes incomplete:

(I)                love                 you

I                  (love)               you

I                   love                (you).

My Swan Song mewls off key,
cascades across the
marred terrain of my soul
in a thick lacquer of tears.
Notes flatline
in unison with my
waning pulse
(waning, like the face
of the moon on the night
of my eighteenth birthday).

My breath
resigns to static,
dances in slow decrescendos--
sputters its way
towards nothingness,
slipping rapidly from
my consciousness until
I no longer hold
any recollection of the music
(or the poetry).
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Oct 2018 · 3.7k
Eden
Jade Oct 2018
I imagine you throbbing
inside of me like
a heaving serpent,
your venom
seductively lethal.

{detach}


I say your name;
scream your name;
howl your name;
let it linger on my tongue
in stale dewdrops of desire,
in bitter muscle memory
I've never managed
to drink away.
{wash my mouth out with soap}

I write about you.
haphazard,
illegible lacerations
on unsuspecting parchment.

{They ask if I am afraid
he will read this poem

"No,"
I profess--
he's never cared
for any words
but his own}
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Oct 2018 · 1.3k
Ten
Jade Oct 2018
Ten
By my standards,
he is a ten.

I'm sure you're
laughing right now--
"ooohhhh, she think's
he's a TEN"--
but that's not
what I mean.

What I am trying to say is that,
on a scale from one to ten,
one being indicative of
experiencing little to no pain
and ten being indicative of
experiencing a pain whose presence
is capable of knocking the wind
straight out of me--
a pain that I do not
dare to fathom
for fear of prolonging it--
he was a hurricane.

My hurricane.

The eye of the storm,
his aloof ignorance
paralleled against the
violently cyclonic nature
of this heartache--
cacophonic in its impact
and blasphemous in
every context of the word
Love.

I don't think
getting caught in the rain
has ever hurt quite this much.

Yet,
I surrender to this hurt
the way the sea surrenders
to the Almighty Poseidon;
the way my feet surrender
to the rocks
tied round my ankles;
the way my soul surrenders
to its contusions
(so is a casualty
of a broken heart).

Still,
I imagine what it would be
like to kiss him
when I wake up in
the middle of the night,
lucid dreaming and
shivering against the bed sheets
(must be hypothermia,
I think;
the coldness of his
absence settling among the
loneliest parts of me).

I try to remind myself
that he was never
any happy ending of mine--
just an ending.
And something tells me
kissing him would feel
a little less
like thimbles
and a little more
like sewing needles.

After all,
he always did have
a way of silencing me,
my lips stitched together
into the most morbid
of embroideries.

Because god forbid
you dare question
a tempest--
even when he has
left you
to stew in your
own ruin--
for fear of provoking
his stormy wrath.

Part of me has
always been
afraid of him,
you know.  
Looking back now,
that should have been
my first indication
that I had been entertaining
an abusive relationship.

No,
he never laid a hand
on me.

But
I was terrified that
there would come a day
when he would eventually snap.

I can envision it--
ribs crack like lightning;
bruises congealing beneath
my eyes like grape jelly;
fingerprints seared
across my cheek;
my head held underwater
until I've stopped
breathing altogether.

Of course, there exists
more than one way
to destroy a person,
though he will claim
that he has done nothing
to wrong me.

Surely,
he would tell me that
I am just reading
too much into things.

S'pose it's your turn then,
darling.

Trace the brailed veins
of my shattered heart,
and feel all the ways
you have broken me so.

Let your eyes flit
across the expanse
of these water-logged stanzas--
and tell me,
does the poetry not speak
for itself?

Or does my drowning not suffice?
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

jadefbartlett.wixsite.com/tickledpurple

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Jade Oct 2018
I take a pill each morning--
"to keep the madness away,"
declared the doctor,
her tone clinically nonchalant
as she handed to me
a prescription for
small, white tablets
that leave a bitter chalkiness
in your mouth
when you've left them
on your tongue
for too long
before swallowing.

But
there is only so much
modern-day pharmaceuticals
can remedy.

Sometimes,
I can still hear her,
you know--
sweet.
lost.
mad
Alice
scratching at the
tessellated patch-work
of my psyche.

I can still feel her
as my fingertips flit
across the liquor bottle--
"Drink Me,"
it murmurs.

Curiouser
&
curiouser
I become with
every shot.

When the room
starts lurching,
when I am too
dizzy to stand,
I close my eyes only
to find that the world
is still spinning.

Or perhaps
I am just falling.

Yes,

D
   O
       W
            N

the rabbit hole I go.

And, as I plummet,
the phosphenes of colour
behind my eyes
transmute into the most
peculiar images:
a mercury-tainted top hat
encompassing the harlequin
countenance of a man
as crazed as I;
the trundling wings
of a Jabberwock
and the heaving snout
of a Bandersnatch;
a pocket watch,
its face lustrous and
encrusted with Jadestone--
"Time. It's time!"
it chimes.

"Time for what?"
exclaims the girl
in the periwinkle petticoat
(she appears simultaneously
excited and terrified
by the impending chaos).

"Bloodshed,"
reckons the squire
of the pocket watch--
the March Hare,
a grisly little thing
in a tattered waist jacket.

"Bloodshed, bloodshed,
off with her head!"

And that girl in periwinkle?

Why that girl is me,
and the Queen of Wonderland
has dealt her cards--
she'd like my head
(and my heart).

But
sweet.
lost.
mad
Alice
has a trick of  
her own to deal--
a Wild Card
tucked beneath her sleeve.

She is capable of imagining
at least six impossible things
before the high is over,
you know.
All it takes is a
simple flutter
of an eyelash
and then,
gripped between
her fingers,
appears a substance
foreign to Wonderland--
***.

"Bottoms up--
for with this,
I shan't feel a thing,"
she surrenders.

"What?"
roars the queen
upon her arrival.
"You will not fight?
Why, you must be mad!"

"Haven't you heard?"
replied Alice.
"All the best people are--
Cheers."
Don't be a stranger--check out my blog!

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Oct 2018 · 714
In Memoriam
Jade Oct 2018
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm ⚠
___________________
­
In memory of
him?
her?

I do not know.

___________________
­In the hushed moments
before sleep,
you summon the
loveliest memories of him--
memories now
resigned to heartache and destitution,
to some far off, phantasmic realm
(wherever that may be);

you come to school ill
one winter's morning,
flesh cadaverous,
pale cheeks embellished
by bloodshot eyes
wreathed in dark circles.

He rests his hand atop
your forehead affectionately,
his eyes shaded with concern
as he comes to the realization that
"You're burning up."

(But, eventually, his affections
begin to ebb away,
and with them, so does your fire--
the stuff of magic);

Mouth frothing with rage,
you haul off and
punch the living ****
out of a bathroom stall.
This escapade of fury
leaves your left hand
inflamed
bruised
splintered.

When you tell him
what you've done,
he meets you outside
of the girl's washroom
and takes your hand in his,
runs his fingers over the
inflammation
bruises
splinters
softly and asks you,
"Does it hurt?"

(These days, it hurts everywhere--
and all for him, darling);

He pulls you--
fretful and teary-eyed--
to his chest,
his palm cradling
the back of your neck.

For a moment
you forget about
the cuts on your thighs;
the blood seeping
from your nylons;
the sorrow gnawing
at your bones.
For a moment,
you can't help but wonder
if this boy
is to be your
Gideon--
your Holy Grail.

(And, to think,
one abrupt gesticulation
of his wrist
and your neck snaps--
and you're a goner).
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Oct 2018 · 970
Momento Mori
Jade Oct 2018
⚠Trigger Warning; the following poem contains subject matter pertaining to self-harm and suicide ⚠
____________________
­The envelope
(delivered just this morning)
splits in his attempt
to tear away its wax seal
where her very breath still wanders.

Inside,
he finds a razor blade--
upon being removed
from its paper hostel,
it glints prismatically
in the Autumn sun--
and a neatly-pressed letter
accompanied by an overwhelming
medley of scents--
parchment;
mint lip balm;
*****;
it still smelled like her.

With butterflies rising like bile
up his throat,
he unfolds the letter,
reading over her
spidery handwriting
several times before
her words fully percolate:

"Do not return to sender--
she's already dead."
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Jade Sep 2018
But, oh, how I will revel
in their piteous expressions
of shocked envy
when they see my name--
the name of the

attention-seeking
******-****-tease-*****
sloppy-drunk
future-homeless-druggie
strung-out-overdramtic
emotionally-unstable
possessive-sad girl

in lights.
___________________
S­ound familiar?

Palms sweating, baby doll?

Feelin' guilty, sweet cheeks?

Well.

If you suspect this poem
is about you,
then it probably is.
___________________­
Moral of the story:

Never ******* a poet,
for she will surely destroy
you with her poetry.

And remember, darling--
poetry is immortal.
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Jade Sep 2018
VI. I, Ophelia
___________________

­{The Drowning}

It was her--
Flower Child.
Weeping Woman.
Crazed Ophelia--
who taught me that the
drowning is in the letting go
and not in the doing.

Ophelia did not flee to the riverside
with the intention of
drowning herself, no--
it was merely a promise of bouquets--
daisies, violet, rosemary,  rue--
of wild, velveteen petals nestled softly
against tear-stained cheekbones;
pine needles--
ticklish--
beneath raw feet
(do you recall how The Little Mermaid
danced upon knives
in the name of true love?);
and the train of her nightgown
a focal point for dewy leaves
and frayed bird feathers.

For it was flying she thought of
as she climbed the scarred willow
and cradled herself atop its highest bough,
severed blossoms in hand,
legs dangling precariously over
blustering currents.

But
when the bough
b r o k e ,
the cradle did   f
                              a
                               ­   l
                                      l,
and down came
mad girl
cradle and all.

But you must understand--
the dismemberment of the
willow's flailing limbs
was not her doing;
when the rapids dragged her down
to the belly of the murky river bed,
she merely gave no struggle
as death lapped at her ribs--
she merely submitted,
allowed the snivelling maw of the river
to swallow her whole.

Now,
I think it suiting
that I ponder the demise of the
Flower Child
(wilted in her ruin);
Weeping Woman
(tears reunited
with the eye of
the water lily);
Crazed Ophelia
(forgotten)
and all she has taught me
of drowning
as I let myself
fall asleep in the bathtub
at three o clock in the morning,
all the while a little drunk
and so very sad.
(You'd might have even thought
I wanted to drown myself. )
__________________
{Th­e Resurrection}

Doused in the pallid wash
of blue stage light,
and the clamour
of imaginary tides
growling in my ears,
I metamorphosize into
Hamlet's Ophelia
and all the other Ophelias
who came before me--
mad.
broken.
lost.
women.

Women who were never
capable of quieting
the sea trembling
in their veins;
the barbaric deluge festering
within their souls;
the siren songs
musing to the cavernous twists
of their hearts,
piercing through artery
with stalagmite precision.

These women succumbed,  
not to the water,
but to the burden of their own
desire.
love.
heartbreak.

None of them survived.

Except for me,
of course.

And, I must admit,
it took my
writing this poem
to finally understand
why that is--
why--
how--
I have managed
to stay alive,
despite dreaming of that
same siren song
that lured my foremothers
to their destructions.

See,
alone,
Ophelia could not weather  
the tempest seething over her.

But I different--
I am not alone.

Because I carry with me the spirits
of all the Ophelias
who came before me,
the fragments of their beings
melding together to create
a brilliant gossamer of hope.

And that is why,
together,
we can breathe underwater.
____________________
{­Blackout}

Ophelia Bows,
her performance immortalized
through the remembrance
of a standing ovation.
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Jade Sep 2018
V. Ethereal

Maybe being drunk
is the closest I will
ever get to zero gravity--
to walking on the moon.

My fingers curled
around the neck of a liquor bottle,  
I wander to my bedroom window,
as a tipsy weightlessness settles
amongst my limbs
(and my thoughts).

Swaying slightly,
I part the curtains and,
in my intoxicated stupor,
search for Polaris in the night sky,
point to it,
press a clumsy hand to the glass,
convince myself that
I have captured the star,
and all the omniscient power
it possesses,
beneath my finger tips.

Star light,

{lips pant--
inebriated,
heavy}

star bright,

{my breath appears a catalyst
as the window pane glazes over
in an impenetrable paroxysm of fog}

first star I see tonight,

{I take a swig,
raise the bottle--
a toast
to the cosmos}

I wish I may,

{Lashes meet in
silent matrimony}

I wish I might,

{Behind closed, desperate eyes,
ribbons of colour dance
towards me in a disoriented jig}

have this wish I wish tonight--

to be
obliterated by the very galaxy
that birthed
these grieving bones
and this tumultuous heart.

Because only then--
as the Gods paint the Night
with the innards of my soul,
acrylic purples
churning against the blackness--
will I become what I
have always dreamed
of becoming:

Lovely.

Ethereal.
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Jade Sep 2018
IV. Crimson

It's not about the way it hurts--
it's about the way I bleed,
the way my skin
splits and geysers.

A deluge of red
leaches from pale, marred arms,
adheres to cotton sleeves
like a seething tentacle
affixed to the stern of a ship
(when I get home from school and undress,
my skin will peel away
with the rest of my clothes.)

But at the first sign of healing,
I will take my razor blade from
wherever I've hidden it
(Under my bra strap,
pressed between the
mattress and the box spring,
tucked inside the alcove
of a hollowed-out book)
and tear myself anew,
watch with morbid tranquillity
as tidal waves of crimson
surge from my veins
as they threaten to destroy
the very body from
which they were birthed.

(And this is how the drowning begins.)
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Jade Sep 2018
At thirteen years old,
I learn that
not all mermaids are like Ariel--
some mermaids are sirens,
femme fatales of the seven sea
who lure sailors to their drownings
with sweet, nectared voices.

Still, I wish to don the life of a siren,  
whose danger appears
dizzyingly seductive to me.
I have become fascinated
with the dark and the peculiar,
you know,
and, as a result, I too
have undergone a dark, peculiar
evolution--
and, as literature has dictated,
such a character as myself
is to be scrutinized
under an omniscient perspective:

She wears thick, purple eyeliner
and dresses only in
heavy blacks and deep blues,
an abrupt transition
from her previous adoration for
pastels and ruffled sleeves.
But it is not only her countenance
that is indicative of this disturbed youth--
there are the books she reads,
tales of death, gore, and
other macabre eccentricities.
Her favourite titles
are those by Edgar Allan Poe.

How suiting then,
that she should be an
Anabel Lee in the making--
"her highborn kinsmen came
  And bore her away...
To shut her up in a sepulchre
  In this kingdom by the sea.-- "
she just doesn't realize it  yet--
that she is a drowning girl impending,
that she was never to be the siren, after all,
but the poor fool
who succumbed to the siren's
dreadful tides.
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