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daniela Apr 2015
you sent me a love letter, a message in a bottle
but when i cracked it open i cut up my hands.
i guess i’m the same way;
i wrote you a love song
but i forgot i didn’t know how to sing,
so i yelled the words at your window like
i was flinging pebbles and you told me to put down
my boombox because i was going to wake up
the whole **** neighborhood
with my teenage angst,
my painfully naive i love you-s.
i think my heart is too loud for suburb lawns
and white picket fences.
and i guess that’s the trouble with us;
we were always
controlled chaos, a dormant volcano
and all the kids counted down to the eruption
like they were waiting for the other shoe to drop  
and numbered their calendars for a date
that should’ve been on a unmarked grave.
and we’ve just got short fuses,
kisses and bruises
because when someone is the pin to your grenade
when someone is the oil spill to your wildfire
you’ve always got to be wary of explosions.
and we were always going to ***** each other over,
we were always going to
burn too bright, burn out too fast.
because i was just a pretty girl in a sundress,
and this is just a memory you’ve been trying to repress
hand clenched in the fabric of us,
so determined to not let the inevitable happen on schedule.  
and i love you so i’ll ruin you, it’s inevitable
and i love you so you’ll leave, it’s inevitable
and i love you so it’s not going to work out like i want it to.
it’s just... inevitable.
there’s no avoiding it the future unless
you take your own away.
sometimes i have to remind myself five times a day
that destruction, that implosion,
that falling apart isn’t as poetic as i think it is.
and now, i’m biting my tongue to keep from saying
baby, bring home the wreckage
maybe there’s still something there for us to salvage
and if we're a sinking ship, i'll go down with you
and if we’re doomed, i’ll be ****** with you.
because i’m still thinking there’s an off chance,
because i’m still thinking that maybe if you still...
i’m still thinking that all this time
i was just wishing on the wrong star and there’s still a chance,
there’s still wishes to waste
and coins to throw in the fountain
and eyelashes to count on.
but you know somebody once told me
that the stars aren’t really there, we’re just seeing
footprints of where they used to be.
we’re always looking a galactic graveyard, a sky littered
with the star-studded remains of supernovas.  
always thought you were more of a black hole than a star,
but maybe there’s some truth to every cliche;
i see everywhere you used to be clearly,
i can see your presence in every absence.
because i miss you terribly
and i know i’m not supposed to.
but i still wonder what you’re thinking about sometimes.
i still wonder about the stars
you’re looking at sometimes.
i still wonder if we see
the same constellations
daniela Jan 2016
expecto patronum.
the first time i got on stage
and read my words to a library full of high schoolers
with wide eyes and open ears, i thought i was going to puke.
my hands were vibrating like all the molecules in them
were trying to break free and leave,
like i was trying to break free and leave.
but *******, i’d never felt so alive.
i’m learning that if you’re afraid of things that, sometimes,
it just means that they matter.
the first time i was on stage, i practically shook out of my skin.
i thought i was going to ***** or faint or explode all over the front row.
and when i didn’t, i realized nothing else would ever feel good enough
after that in comparison.
i guess i’ve always expected to be a poem that everybody forgot about,
not one they memorized all the words to so when i stood on stage
and people told me they like the way my heart beats,
that’s… that’s everything.

expecto patronum.
the time difference between rome and kansas city is 7 hours.
we pile all the pillows and blankets into my hotel room,
and we drink limoncello from paper cups,
talking about everything and nothing.
our mouths are always running away, tangled up with our hearts.
we have been laughing too hard and running into the ocean
without looking back for the last two weeks.
it’s a funny feeling, to know that you are in the middle of a memory.
there are places to be in the morning, places to leave behind.
you sing along to weezer, half asleep under a mess of blankets,
and i like to pretend that you sing for me.
you will always remind me of the sun of my skin.
i love every single person in this room so much it’s kind of ridiculous,
a bond born of late nights and dumb jokes and stranger streets.
this is the time of my life thus far.
around 3 AM the room clears and i feel a little less lonely
than i’d ever been.

expecto patronum.*
we are singing along to saturday, front row of the lawn.
it’s been twelve years since 2003 but we still know every word,
learned them along the way,
and fall out boy still closes the show on
the same guitar chords and melody.
some things don’t need to change.
the song gets more relevant by the year,
and that’s how you know art is good --
when it still matters after you probably should’ve outgrown it.
our feet still keep time.
so we’ll always have saturday and the songs we play,
blaring loud from borrowed speakers and mouths.
i close my eyes and sing along, not caring if it’s off-key.
my ribcage feels like it is not near enough to contain my heart.
and when pete wentz says
“can i see the kids on the lawn tonight get ******* loud?” into the mic, we all scream.

expecto patronum.  
i am seventeen today
and i still fluctuate between feeling seven and seventy,
but that’s okay.
today’s not a day for counting candles anyways.
today, we drove downtown to sit outside as it gets dark
and listen to other people sing because we can’t carry a **** tune.
later, we climb and sit, watch the city lights spread out beneath us.
in that moment, there’s nothing better. there’s nothing else.
we know it’s a lie, but it still feels like this city belongs to us,
at least for tonight.

expecto patronum.
we are groggy, somewhere between sleep and consciousness
as 2016 rolls in.
the last week of 2015 has been a good one,
full of sore feet and laughing and sunsets i’d never seen yet,
but we’re tired now.
the display menu for star wars: the empire strikes back
is playing in a loop on my TV screen,
we both fell asleep before darth vader tells luke that he’s his father.
upstairs i can hear people counting, cheering.
tomorrow i will drink flutes of champagne for breakfast
and think the snow outside is beautiful
even though i hate the way it feels.
the morning light will feel new and old at the same time.
my skin fits a little better now than it did a year ago.
i’m not always good, but i am so much better.
right now, there’s nowhere i’d rather be.
happy new year. i'm remembering the best of 2015. i hope 2016 is good to us all.
daniela Oct 2017
“pero no amo tus pies
sino porque anduvieron
sobre la tierra y sobre
el viento yo sobre el agua,
hasta que me encontraron”
-- pablo neruda, your feet

baby, you have the most perfect body i have ever seen.
and when i say that you always roll your eyes at me,
embarrassed. and i get it,
women are only taught to feel beautiful in certain ways,
in ways to that fit women like you and me badly,
like hand-me-downs or things shrunken in the laundry.

the world does not teach us how to think
of ourselves as anything other than commodities,
things to be bought and eaten alive.
i spent so long reading stories riddled with
mocha, butterscotch, toffee, cinnamon, olives
that sometimes i look at myself in the mirror like i am something
to devoured and spit back out.

but, baby, i love you even when you don’t feel right in your skin,
like i know the way i don’t feel at home in my own.
and i love the way your heart keeps time to mine,
erratic and anxious,
and the way your eyelashes like to tangle in the corner of your eyes.
and i love those hands, ****, i love those hands
and the covinhas, the craters, the dimples in your cheeks.
i love you down your molecules.

see, i had a friend once tell me that she believed in reincarnation
simply because this universe isn’t as infinite as it seems
and eventually we’re bound to run out of matter
and the universe will be forced to start recycling --
a conservation of souls.
and i don’t know if i believe that, but if it’s true i have this feeling
that in the very beginning, we were two atoms
tangled up in each other, holding on too tightly to ever really let go
and ever since i just keep finding my way back to you.
and that’s *******, probably, i’m not a scientist,
but if you hate yourself right now, it’s okay.
i think we all do sometimes.
i still love every inch of you, even the centimeters
that don’t get that much attention
like the soft spot under your ear or the backs your knees  
and a body is just a body,
just remember that all we are is molecules, follicles,
and every fews weeks we’re brand new again,
we’ve got new skin and maybe it won’t fit right this time either
but, ****, i love the wrinkles and the scars and the words emblazoned
on the fragile skin stretched over your ribcage
and you can’t see it,
but there’s something misshapen etched in ink
with a stick’n’poke there, too.
i can only find it when i’m looking.
i run my hand down your side
feeling all the echoes of other people on your skin.
i worry that my hands are much louder than i want them to be.
i worry someday your feet your carry you somewhere far, far away from me
and i’ll be left memorizing nothing
but the shape of you.
i read a pablo neruda poem today and cried and then i wrote this
daniela Apr 2017
dear five year old daniela,
with matilda bangs and a crooked smile,
you are caught somewhere between precious and precocious.
you chatter endlessly or you’re silent like a closed mouth
and you always feel like too much.
and i’m sorry, baby, but you don’t quite grow out of this.
see, even now, my mother calls me intimidating,
tells me all the boys are afraid of me.
you will spend far too long thinking that people don’t love you
because you don’t make it easy enough to,
don’t sand yourself down to fit into them.
there is not always a correlation between input and output,
you can give someone everything
and they can take it all and give nothing back.
you can give something your all and still come up short, with nothing.
you are complicated, and you are difficult,
and you don’t apologize for things that aren’t your fault anymore.
someday, the things about you that never seem to fit
will be the parts of yourself that you’re proudest of.
and i know it doesn’t feel like it now,
but you will grow up to stop crying,
to live your life as a clogged faucet, and you will grow to scoff
at the things that once made you so afraid
like the monsters under your bed were always just dust bunnies.
you will learn that crying is not weakness
and i’m sorry is not it’s okay
and letting go is not always giving up.
you will learn crying only means that you’re breathing, gasping for air
but now you are still young enough to think that your father never cries,
that he is the sole proprietor of storytime
and the architect of space ships, infallible.
you’ll be forced to learn better that, live to see the people in your life
who have always seemed rock solid begin to crack and quake.
baby, you will, too.  
and when your mother tells you that sometimes,
in times like these, it’s better to pretend to not be latino if you can,
to disappear and hide like you’re ashamed of something.
do not get angry at her. you love her.
but there are some things that she will never understand about you,
like how taking who you are off is never a real option.
accept that. it is what it is.
do not pack away your heritage into your closest
at the first sign of the thunderstorm,
your father raised you proud, even when it hurts,
even when it’s pouring.
you don’t know this now,
but from stonewall to seneca falls to the streets of rio de janeiro,
you hail from warriors.
you are made of steel and cyanide, of diamonds and satin.
there is nothing in the world that’s stronger than your own two hands.
and you will learn that some people will only love you
when you are half of yourself.
don’t cut yourself into pieces for them even when it feels like
that is only way you’ll ever fit into anyone else.
so if sometimes you wanna be the princess in the tower
and sometimes you wanna be the hero saving her,
that’s okay. that doesn’t change.
when you’re my age, you’ll find people whose hearts beat like yours.
know what you believe in, but keep an open mind.
learn how to argue and learn how to listen.
remember it’s important to fight the good fight, even when you lose.
especially when you lose.
and you’re gonna lose, a lot. i should tell you that now.
you’re not always gonna right the first time. or the second time.
or the third time.
never forget that the world you live in now is better
than the one you left behind yesterday,
the moment you stop believing that
is the day you stop believing in progress.
your heart will always feel too exposed on your sleeve,
but never be ashamed of that.
empathy will always be a strength, not a weakness.
baby, you’re gonna be fine.
you’re gonna be just fine.
daniela Jan 2017
on my mother’s side of the family,
we are german immigrants spider webbing out
from jasper, indiana.
those branches of the family tree are the sort of people
who like everything about the midwest
that has always made me chafe,
made me feel like i could never belong here
on the buckle of the bible belt.
for them, i think it’s comfortable,
living in a town where everyone is basically just like them.  

so i sit down for thanksgiving dinner with people
who voted for donald trump.
because people can love me, they can be friends with my family,
eat thanksgiving dinner with us, break bread,
be my own flesh and blood,
and they can still believe deep down somewhere inside of them
that this country belongs more to them than it does to me.
i mean, if they didn’t, what’s the other explanation
to hearing a man on the campaign trail call
latinos rapists and criminals
and threaten to build a wall to keep us out,
and thinking that was something that you were okay
with overlooking in your vote?
they can clap my latino immigrant father’s shoulder in one hand
and build a wall with the other.
and that realization is painful to reconcile
with the pledge i was taught to say everyday,
it’s difficult to reconcile with the american dream as i understood it.

so dear aunt cindy,
you shared posts on facebook are beginning to reek of white supremacy
and i just have to wonder, did you forget me?
when i was sleeping your guest room,
when i was eating thanksgiving dinner at your table,
did you forget where i come from?
did you forget about the half of me in paranavaí,
shifting, drifting away from middle america,
inch by inch, year by year, the product of tectonic plates.
dear aunt cindy, your daughter-in-law is an immigrant, too,
but she’s from europe, she’s white, so maybe that’s different.
dear aunt cindy, i don’t want to believe
every well-wish, birthday card, christmas gift has been a lie
but what am i supposed to think when you like a post on facebook
about white nationalism, about keeping “illegal aliens” out?
see, i don’t want to think that you’ve been lying all these years,
that you don’t care about me because i believe you do,
but when you also believe that this country belongs to you
more than it belongs to immigrants, to latinos,
to those who don’t look like you,
how can you not taste the aftershock of my name in your mouth?
dear aunt cindy, when you hate people like me,
when you hate people who come from where i’m from,
how can i not think you hate me too?

my mother, the furious peacemaker, says that she doesn’t think like that.
but that’s like coming out and telling me you still love me
but you… just don’t get it,
that you don’t think it’s quite normal, quite natural,
like i’m supposed to thank you for not spitting in my face.
maybe aunt cindy does not look at us and see “other”  
my father always says that my people will know me,
but i think if i ever have children they will come out of me
with our family history wiped clean from them.
their names will probably be easier, never mispronounced.
whiter than mine.  
and it’s the guilty reminder that, sometimes,
when it’s dangerous or difficult for me,
i am afforded the privilege of a choice in taking who i am off.
when it’s dangerous or difficult, i don’t have to be latino.
i can disappear.
but even when i am allowed to disappear, to pass,
i cannot scrub my heritage, who i am, off my skin
and i will not be ashamed.
so i tell people who i am,
because if you’ve got a problem with me,
well, then i’d like to know up front.
lol changed the name in case a relative ever stumbles upon this
daniela May 2016
some people only see the sun
as something that gets in their eyes when they’re driving
and i don’t wanna be one of them.
i wear sunglasses a lot so i can pretend i’m not bad at eye contact;
maybe it’s the same idea if you think about it like that.
god is still playing on the radio and all i can hear is static.
i don’t have a car, but if i did i think that it would still stall.

sometimes life tries to sucker punch me in face
and i’m really bad at ducking, i spend a few too many minutes
in front of the mirror wondering
if i’m going to grow into this version of hating myself
and ******* in.
not my stomach, but my lungs.
because whenever i panic, it feels like they’re caving in.
it feels like i'm new orleans after the levees broke.
every hurricane has a name and, sometimes, i’m trying to forget yours.
and i’m still trying to stay ahead of the curve,
i’m still obsessing over the curve in your neck.
i’m bad at details
but i could be good at the big picture.
i could be good at you.
which is a ****** way to say that
i wanna get drunk and tell you about my insides.
i want to tell you everything about me and still hear you say “i love you”
and not mean it in spite of anything
like if a tree falls in the forest,
it might not make a sound but it leaves a mark.
all these poems scrawled in my margins make their marks.
poetry doesn’t exist until someone hears it,
i do not exist until someone listens to me.
i used to think i didn’t really exist until i knew you.

and i know i try too hard sometimes,
but i figured it’s better than not trying at all.

yeah, i’m a few years behind, but i still listen to isabel and evan.
i don’t know about god and i can’t seem to believe in heaven.
i don’t know much about milk and honey,
but i know about rice and black beans.
broken hearts and bad dreams.
***** hands and rhyme schemes.
those kind of things.
because growing up is a whole lot of growing into yourself
and whenever i’ve got big shoes to fill i just stuff socks into the toes.
there’s a not a single “grown-up” that i know
that doesn’t wake up feeling 13 years old sometimes.
so i stopped waiting on a miracle.
i packed up all my ambition in my backpack;
the zipper got stuck but that’s okay.
i stuck my thumbs in my pockets, i’m walking.
there’s more time that way
and i think we all need a little  time in some kind of way.  
i’m a homebound hitchhiker who doesn’t know what direction to head in,
how do you get home when all the lights are turned off?
what does it mean when the place you call home
is somewhere you have not been in years?
i’d ask my dad, but i’m trying not be cruel on purpose these days.
my father protested in the streets,
young revolutionary trying to change the fabric of his country
into something more breathable.
do you have any idea how much of my life i have spent silent?
silence is the biggest privilege that i have ever had.
silence is the loudest thing that i have heard
silence is the sound of police sirens and fists,
of flatlining heart monitors and pretending you didn’t see that.

but if heaven exists, i still hope it’s quiet.
i want it to be quiet.
because there has to be a halfway point
between chaos and silence somewhere.
no offense but listen to "coloring book" by chance the rapper, it's got the creative vibes flowing for me. PS sorry i write about my dad so much but like if you knew him you would too
daniela Oct 2015
i am the sum of my worst parts.
i am best friends with my loathing,
i dress all my nightmares in sheep's clothing.
i tell my mother they're friends of mine,
i tell my mother i am fine.
we were terrible actors but, god, were we good at memorizing the lines.
but we both know that nothing’s worse than insincerity.
i think i was so lost i couldn’t stand being found.
it was all i knew, my old paint under the new.
you know what it’s like,
you get stuck in a sadness so sweet
you almost mistake it for something you deserve.
you become comfortable.
it’s a process, cut my losses
relapsed back into my sadness and all my bad habits,
begging you to lick the wine and water off my lips,
the way you grip my hips,
just press me down into the sheets until i don’t exist.
we wrote an album full anthems and we couldn’t carry a **** tune.
you’re just a big bleeding heart, an open wound of a person  
and everybody loves you
and everybody hates you
like the radio hit that made their favorite band big.
so this is for all the times you were told to bite your tongue
but you were so tired of bleeding.
this is for all the times you opened your mouth
but never spoke.
this is for all the times you talked to fill the air
but never really said anything.
you are what you think. you are what you say. you are what you do.
but, maybe most importantly, you are what you don’t do.
because what if icarus had been cautious?
what if icarus had never left the ground?
i guess one way to love somebody is when they're never around,
and i guess there’s people like that;
those who only want to hear songs they’ve already heard.
there’s people like that, those who don’t want to learn anything
that they don’t already know.
there’s people like that, those who don’t like to question things.
science and god sit at the dinner table as lovers.
they say their vows in verse,
in a thousand different languages.
neither of them have the whole story,
but together, i’m told sometimes they make a lot of sense.
science and god sit at the dinner table as equals.
art and wonder and the human spirit are their children.
love may be a myth, but it’s my favorite one.
we do not age at the dinner table
we do not know hate at the dinner table
we spit bullets and grow flowers into vases.
we knock elbows, and argue, and love, and reconcile, and praise.
we spill wine not blood.
we do not know hate at the dinner table.
and i find, at the dinner table, seated
between past and present
between heart-ache and hopefulness
between glory and insignificance
i am not so lonely.
inspired by the italian proverb
"we do not age at the dinner table / a tavola non s'invecchia"
daniela Mar 2015
when i met you,
my bones screamed
“do not **** this one up,”
and every molecule joined in the chorus,
and i sure as hell tried to listen.
and now we’re in a staring contest with time;  
you don’t blink and i don’t flinch, not anymore
we’ve already won that war.
and i’m just itching to get out of this skin,
i’m just trying to fill up my absences,
i’m just trying to lengthen my short-comings.
i’m just full of empty promises.  
and now we’re on the couch too busy unraveling
the universe with our tongues to try talking,
everything we have have getting lost
in between the couch cushions
like loose change and secrets.
i always want i’m afraid of
and i’m always afraid of what i want most.
and now we’re in the car going everywhere slow,
and you can’t keep your eyes on the road.
you keep glancing at me in the passenger seat,
and i’m too busy sneaking looks at you
and your wild hands gesticulating
us into near miss car crashes
and almost run red lights to care.
you said it was reckless of you,
promised me sheepishly
to keep your hands on the wheel next time.
i thought it was terribly endearing.
but maybe i’ve just confused reckless passion for love,
i guess it wouldn’t be the first time.
and still, i don’t know who’s closer to the truth.
we were just rattling past the intersection
a few missed turns ago,
and you looked away before you could see me staring
but just like tunnel vision, you are what i paid attention to.
you see, i don’t believe in much at all,
my only church is the passenger seat next to you.
maybe i’ve forsaken any altars in my haste
to be realistic, substantial.  
so i only believe in **** i can see,
and i was still looking at you like you were
the sun coming up.
and i’ve always been more like the moon
and it’s so very hard for us to exist in the sky
at the same time.
but the sun sets in one person’s eyes
and rises in another’s.
and i have told this story before, i bet you have too.
we all have those kind of ghost stories
tucked in our back pockets,
because loving the wrong person hurts
it hurts because it matters even if it’s wrong
but do you think all the lives we’ve lived
before this one matter?
maybe our pasts only dictate the future
if we let them carry weight
and you know, sometimes i think
that we are only as unloved as
we want to be.
daniela Jan 2017
january found me breaking my resolutions like breathing,
like you always do, no one ever does it like they meant to.
january found me trying to tie to heart myself to somebody else
like body to a brick, sinking, always sinking.
you only ever liked my mouth closed, you only like me smiling.
silent. teeth gritted into a grin.

february never found me.
salvation does not come from bottles or books or other people.
trust me, i’ve tried.

march found me writing, bleeding.
did you know that there is a word for “soul” in almost every language?
correlation does not equal causation, i know this,
but i like to think this means our hearts all beat in the same tempo.
i like to think that we can all build our compassion on common ground.
i have always found poetry to be a good way of slowing life down
into understandable pieces.
this is why we write about tragedy, i think, to make it easier to swallow.
so cities have become synonymous with gunshots.
we pray for paris and orlando and dallas and turkey;
we pray until our mouths go dry.

april found me burying my childhood in the backyard,
a pretending it didn’t ******* burn.
my mother plays purple rain until the vinyl warps,
until it echoes around our house like a catacomb.
her record collection is beginning to look sort of like a graveyard.
my mom says that older you get a lot of things begin to look like graveyards.
when prince died, he was younger than my father was,
but i don’t like to think about that.

may found me rewiring my nervous system
around my systemic nervousness
because i don’t call it anxiety because then if did, i might have anxiety
and *******, it’s only funny after the fact.
may found me trying, bleeding, failing at scrubbing myself
out of my own skin.

june found me sitting at the dining room table
in the pale afternoon light, trying fit my mouth around
the word “tumor” without choking.
my dad keeps saying, “it’s benign”
sipping holy water and brushing his hair down onto his forehead
like he’s hiding, all my life he’s never ever gone into hiding.
even when it was easier not to be himself,
he stood tall.
i always thought all my friend’s parents were so young,
but now i focus in on my father’s grey hair,
think about how in twenty years he might not be there.

july found me having reincarnations of this conversation
with myself on repeat.
i spent summer 2016 drowning, 900 ft above sea level,
because i couldn’t get my head on straight
and no one noticed mostly because i didn’t want them to
and when i blinked it was me and my thoughts in room
and it was suffocating.
june swallowed me up and spit me back out,
july played a symphony of my ribcage
and let the blood soak into the earth.

august found me saying goodbye
until my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth,
i’m told next year will taste the same.
we carry each other inside ourselves, like time capsules and russian dolls.
we are the reflection of the people we love most and the people we hate most.
we don’t grow up we just get lost and found.

september found me eighteen, but also somehow eighteen and eighty.
september found me hiding under my bed and dragged me out
even though i’d made friends
with all the monsters who lived there.
even though i knew all the demons by name.
september found me wanna-be fearless
and trying.

october found me eating my heart out.
truth is my heart is restless, breathless, willing to get tangled up
in anyone who seems willing.
see, i realized last april bleeding into may
that i could argue with you for the rest of my life and be so ******* happy.
see, i decided last june that that didn’t mean ****.
see, last october i didn’t even know you like i know you.
see, last october my heart was like this, too, indecisive,
see, see, see,

november found me waking up to a country
that no longer felt like it could belong to me.
november found my body an apology, my skin a statement,
and my family tree a liability.
november found me every morning waking up in a country that hates me
and sitting down across the table for thanksgiving with people
who voted for a man who makes unsafe in my own skin,
bigotry growing between the hedges and yard signs of my own neighborhood
like i’m looking at my neighbors and wondering which one of them
thinks that this country isn’t mine like it’s theirs.
breaking bread and the american promise,
breaking bones.

december found me drinking white wine out of plastic cups
in someone’s basement and trying to pretend
that you don’t make my skin spark,
make my heart feel like the fourth of july.
and sometimes i still find i am looking for you in everyone else.
looking back at 2016
daniela Nov 2017
latin poet catullus was often called too personal by contemporaries,
he didn’t write about gods and monsters or heroes or epics,
he wrote about himself and that was terrifying.

catullus wore his heart on his sleeve
and his heart was ugly sometimes, this beating, ****** thing
that would never shut up,
chattering between the line breaks and skirting around the meter.

the opening line to his poem carminae XVI was
“pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo”
which translates pretty literally to
“i will ******* you and face-*******”  
my latin teacher called him “incredibly ******”
i call him “the realest ******* to ever live”  
catullus was the first person to ever write
an open letter to his senatores,
julius caesar burned at the stake of carminae LIV and LVII.
catullus wrote about his boyfriends and his married girlfriend lesbia,
who incidentally was not his beard
or one of sappho’s lovers.
catullus buried his brother in the shrine of carminae CI,
left offerings of wine and bread and coins over his closed eyes.
catullus always made the ugly sound beautiful, eloquent.
you could taste the blood in his mouth,
the pearls and gravel between his teeth.
when i translate his work, he’s the only classic poet
who feels like he’s still alive, laughing at me from his grave
and writing invective epigrams about my grammatical errors.  

catullus was a little bit of an *******, but maybe so i am sometimes,
and catullus was a honest *******.
that’s more than i can say, some days.
he never shied away from himself, not even
from all the ****** parts that are hard to make quiet.
he always wrote about himself because
he understood what ovid and vergil and horace were still learning:
you can’t write about anything if you can’t write about yourself,
if you can’t look at yourself in the mirror
and call your demons by their names.
catullus XVI is the world's ultimate diss track, if you don't know now you know
daniela Dec 2015
1.  i left my soul on the last stage i was on. i have this problem where sometimes it feels that i am only alive when i’m bleeding. we are double edged swords of people. we always get cut up. people are only the aftermath of their actions.

2. as long as you have hands, you can build something. as long as you have hands, you can break something. as long as you have hands, you can punch through walls. as long as you have hands, you can fill in the holes. as long as you have hands, you are not helpless.

3. disco inferno can be translated from latin to mean: i learn by means of hell. trial by fire. so unlearning things is hard. i don't believe in anything yet i still catch myself praying sometimes.

4. the entire world watched kate middleton’s wedding to prince william because we wanted so badly to believe that they loved each other so they’d stay loving each other. we like fairytales even more since we started realizing how often they don’t end in happily ever after.

5. sometimes love is the lie we tell ourselves to sleep easier.

6. you never start loving someone with the intention of hurting them. but nobody mentions their best intentions and we’ve all gotta live with what we’ve ruined. you were the last thing about me that made sense. no one ever made sense to me the way you did.

7. i don’t know if i believe in love, but i believe in the lack of it. i write a lot about love, but i fear i do not understand it. tell me, what were you looking so hard for that i didn’t even make your line of vision?

8. beauty is so often a matter of perspective. leaving is so often a matter of perspective.

9. so everyone lives and everyone leaves and everyone dies eventually, we hang up pictures over the holes we punched in our walls. we move on.
a french proverbs that translates to "everyone sees noon at their doorstep"
daniela May 2015
you know, i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
because all stars are destined to explode
and the more light you give off
the faster you burn out
i guess this is why they say only the good die young,
i guess i’ll live forever
but immortality sounds lonely and most living legends tie their own nooses,
and the rest of us live just by making excuses
i'd count out all the stars in between us like miles
but you're half way round the world and i'm more than a few days behind
i'd count out all the stars between us, make promises and wishes on them
but i know they’d both be empty
but stars are always dead on arrival
but you’re too far away even if you're right next to me
we were looking at the same stars, just not the same constellations
and i'm so ******* sorry for all the things i let burn out,
all the things i let go ruined instead of dealing with them
i’m afraid of failure so sometimes i don’t try at all
i’m sorry you got the worst parts of me
i’m sorry you got my collisions instead of constellations

you know, i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
because you were afraid of commitment mostly because
you thought you were supposed to be and i said
i love you like a bomb going off too soon
my whole body is on fire,
you ignite me like lighter-fluid and bad decisions
and the best things burn out fast
the shortest lights burn the brightest
it’s science, it’s physics, we can’t fight this
we were doomed from the start, it’s inevitable
that we have to take things apart
somebody told me love is having the perfect opportunity
to hurt somebody and letting it go,
so i guess that’s how i know we’re not in love
because we hurt each other just to prove that the other one
still cared enough for it to sting
because i learned that you’re not real unless you make marks,
so i hope it ******* scars
i hope you can always see the bruises in the shape of my lips
i hope you never forget

you know, i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
i’ve been thinking about whether comets or craters are more important
whether it’s about the way you blaze out or just your ashes
whether it’s about what you do or what you leave behind
i’ve been thinking about why we treat
black holes and supernovas as opposites
when they’re really not that different at all
both catastrophes in their own right, yet one of them seems more poetic
but you don’t get to decide the amount of pain you’ve inflicted,
we are all afflicted with this thinking that we’re the only exception
i think we are all guilty of thinking
we’re supernovas instead of blackholes

you know, i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
i’m a mess and not just metaphorically,
sometimes i kind of think i’d be a lot happier without
all the things that make me myself
i am in a glass jar watching myself implode because
i kind of wish i was born with more serotonin and a different kind of motivation,
like i’m an observer to myself
and i’ve always viewed my own heart breaks
almost as the out-of-body experience, like a third party
investigating the remains of what was or what wasn’t
i am the medical examiner of my heart
and poetry is a lot like dissection
and love is a lot like hate
and living is a lot like dying
but regret is just a waste of emotion and love is just a waste of devotion
and going out with a bang
is much more glamorous than going out with a whimper
and nobody talks about slow burn, only the explosion
if you were a star then you were a shooting one,
and you’re always most popular the day after you die
but i’m done with that ****,
this is not a dead poet’s society
this is a society of poets who wanted to die but didn’t
because i think this might be a sad poem,
but i am not a sad person or at least i've been trying not to be
because we were all born to die, but we were also all born to live
measured by the blaze of our burnout, the trail behind us
i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
i’ve been thinking a lot about comets
i think this poem is probably about like three different things / feelings
daniela Apr 2016
they say in history,
behind every great man there’s an even greater woman.
so think of it like this:
do you know who marcia lucas is?
it’s okay if you don’t.
there’s a reason for that,
until a few months ago i didn’t know her name either.
but you probably know who george lucas is.
biographer dale ******* once said that marcia,
george lucas's first wife who he was married to throughout
the production of the original trilogy,
was his “secret weapon."
and the operative word in that sentence is secret.
because i have been watching star wars
for just about as long as i can remember;
growing up, my brother and i owned not only
half a dozen plastic lightsabers and a box set of both trilogies,
but my dad even likes to mimic yoda’s voice and speech patterns
when he gives me motivational life talks.
but i never once learned marcia lucas's name.
i know star wars super fans who can spout out more trivia
about wedge antilles,
an x-wing pilot with 2.5 total minutes of screen time in the entire saga,
than marcia lucas,
the women who edited the film together
into the cultural phenomenon we know.
marcia lucas is the woman who edited starwars
from a mess into a masterpiece.
the woman who has be described
as the “warmth and heart of the films”
who carved out her husband's characters into people
and developed with much of emotional resolution of the series,
coming up with the idea of killing off ben kenobi
when george lucas couldn’t resolve the plot line himself.
her fingerprints are all over these movies,
she shaped these stories and us with them
yet we never talk about her hands cutting the film.
the woman who edited the scene
where luke skywalker destroys the death star
from a 45 minutes crawl into the fast-paced moment
when the good guys win,
the woman who sewed together
the magic we watched on our screens
is nothing more than a footnote in the credits.
she has been erased from the narrative.
and as i write this poem,
i know that only some of you will never think of this name again.
and if you do it will probably be as trivia,
a fact to spout in a conversation about george lucas
or while you pop in a new hope into the DVD.
but sometimes you have to think about how many people’s lives
end up on the cutting room floor.
they say in history,
behind every great man there’s an even greater woman.
margaret hamilton is the lead software engineer
whose work took apollo 11 to the moon.
do you know her name?
you know the man on the moon but not the woman who put him there.
sybil ludington road twice as far as paul revere
to warn the local militia of the oncoming british attack,
fending off a band of highway robbers as she did.
do you know her name?
long before little richard and chuck berry
were ever even strumming at their guitars,
sister rosetta tharpe was pioneering a genre
with the first album ever labeled as rock’n’roll.
do you know her name?  
rose mccoy wrote the words to the song “i beg of you”
that elvis presley crooned,
along with countless more that other people sang.
do you know her name?
do you know any of their names?
maybe spotlights cast more shadows than they give off light.
we are a culture of people who forget everything out of sight.
they say in history,
behind every great man there’s an even greater woman.
we just... don't know her name,
no one ever bothered to teach us her name.
no one was supposed to.
history is not always about who you remember,
sometimes it is about who you forget.
originally written as part of a longer poem called “the bottleneck effect” that i’ve used at slams like LTABKC but i cut it from the first because it didn’t really fit and then turned it into something new and way longer
daniela Mar 2015
we were in the bed
of your truck,
the two of us so close
but not close enough,
just two mismatched hearts
trying to get along.
i was trying to memorize the stars,
so i’d be able to redraw the constellations
we looked at that night  
for when i get lonely,
for when you’re not longer here.
and it was like
you could hear all my
over-thinking-this thoughts
buzzing around in my too-full head,
it was like you could see me
bleeding poetry out of
a borrowed heart;
it was like you could tell
that i was already preoccupied
with months from now,
too worried about
what comes next to even
be here right now
because you turned to me,
and you said,
“i’m right here. you’re right here.
so just… be here.”
because i’m the kind of person
who’s always waiting for the fall out,
i’m the kind of person
who’s got all
the escape routes mapped out
before we’ve even started driving.
because i’m the kind of person
who just kind of expects things to have
an expiration date,  
expects things to crash and burn
instead of fly,
expects things to fall apart.
because you of all people know how
easy it is for those of us with the
dreamer’s disease
to get caught up in all the lights.
and when you smile at me
with your not quite crooked teeth,
sometimes it can be so bright
it’s blinding.
there are a thousand unwritten poems
hiding in my shaking hands,
there are whole universes
hiding underneath my skin,
and i swear,
i would give you
the ******* grand tour
if you only asked me to.
you of all people know i don’t
believe in much.
and maybe i could believe in the way
the stars looked that night
with a little persuasion,
but i already know
i believe in the way your eyes
looked that night.
darling, no bible needs to
convince me of that.
i definitely wrote this song after listening to tim mcgraw by taylor swift and thinking too hard. no regrets though.
daniela Apr 2016
i’ve never been religious but i’ve always known how to pray,
words worn down by my tongue like a security blanket.
it’s been years since i’ve thought about what they actually mean;
it’s like my pledge of allegiance, i don’t pray,
i recite.

repetition repetition repetition
my brain’s in fission
i pledge allegiance to the flag--
we only loved behind closed doors
of the united states of america--
i’ve heard if you say something enough times it stops sounding like anything at all
and to the republic for which is stand--
i love you, i love you, i love you, i love you, i love you
one nation under god--

i usually leave that part out.
close my mouth, stand silent.

silence is for sinners and we are losing battles of people.

in my history textbook there is a picture
of a man shoving a flower in the barrel of a soldier’s rifle.
just the same,
you’re the kind of person who’d go planting flowers
on the side of the road just to make it prettier,
you’re always wasting your time caring about people
who couldn’t give a **** about you
and it’s probably tragic or something
but words like tragic and poetic are for different people than us.

i am so ******* bad at gentle and you’re deserving of delicate.
i think some people are less impressionable in the way the take up space
than they are in the holes they leave when they’re gone.

i used to imagine that there were phantom versions of myself,
standing everywhere that i have ever stood
like ghosts or maybe more like placeholders.
it’s like how when i was a little kid,
i would try to picture what the spot i was standing in
looked like a hundred, a thousand years ago.
who has treked through through the same places
that i go everyday.
i still like to think like that sometimes.
i like to think we leave behind echoes of ourselves
in the places we’ve been.
i like to think that a hundred, a thousand years from now,
there is going to be a little kid trying to do the same,
picturing me standing here.
i still like to think there is a version of me
hanging around in my childhood home, six years old with
missing front teeth.
i still like to think there is a version of me
wandering around all my favorite cities i’ve visited.

by this logic, there is still a version of you
in the room i last saw you in,
still framed by the light pouring in from the window.
by this logic, there is still version of me
in the room i last saw you in… waiting.
for something.
daniela Aug 2016
when you wanna go home, where do you wanna go?

the worst thing about growing up is learning
that you can always leave home but you can’t always go back.
the thing about roots is that unless you want to die,
you can't ever pull them out completely.
we are always going to be from somewhere.
we are always going to be from here.

when you move out of your childhood home,
will your mother clean out all your **** and make it
into the home office that she always wanted
or will she keep it like a time-capsule, so preserved that 20 years from now
you will come to the same posters staring down at you?
what dream is she still holding on to?
does she remember, did she give it up for you?

sometimes i think i am the last five things i gave up on,
a mausoleum to my mistakes.
i am bad asking forgiveness.
i don’t really believe in god, but for some reason or another
i write a lot about it him.
maybe it’s always easier to blame someone else.
because if god exists, i think he’s on autopilot.
see, god is good at letting go of things.
i know this because what else could it mean
when his disciples told me to find someone new to pray to?

all i remember of my baptism is white dresses and pinched shoes
and my cries echoed off stuccoed walls of the church.
my father has a rosary hanging on his bedside table,
he always likes to say that you’ve got to
believe in something.

and i know i don’t always make myself easy to love.
i keep saying “i’m sorry” so what does it mean anymore?
if you say something too many times, the meaning starts disappearing.
i guess that’s why i never told you that i love you,
but that feels like an excuse, too.
love called in sick again, i keep telling you that you’ve gotta get better friends.
they only love you when everything’s going wrong.
you can’t love somebody just because they love you.

love is mumbling you feel so good into the side of her neck.
love is promises. love wants to believe you.
she is beautiful like sunday, not friday. she is holy.
she is beautiful like sunday and tuesday and all the days in between,
like three weekends and six day work weeks
like ***** and soda pop
like sleeping in every sunday and staying up every saturday.
she is alternately the wild fire and the burnt shell of the forest,
the calm and the storm, the curse and the cure.
the hell and the highwater.
you want to learn to swim and learn to drown in her.
love is love is love is in love with you
but she wishes she wasn’t.
love is an unfinished symphony,
all the lullabies you’d sing for me, the clank of car keys.
there is no silence in leaving, there is no silence in believing.
there is nothing that feels better than never coming back.
there is nothing that feels worse than never coming back.

i’ve been too many people to call you home.
long time, no poem. i've been reusing a stanza of this in a lot of work so you'll probably see it again ;-)
daniela Jun 2016
summer in kansas is like being underwater,
humid and oppressive as our state’s current legislature.
our skin would get stuck together, when we pulled apart
it was like we were unzipping parts of ourselves.
there’s a metaphor in there,
somewhere, i swear.

some breakups are like surgery; removing a part of yourself,
coming out of the operating room and still leaving things on the table.

we spent a lot of time stuck together
then being pried apart by the air conditioner, among other things.
you make me feel like i have too many nerve endings
and not enough skin.
i think it must be a ******* talent to make someone feel like
too much and not enough at the same time.
we spent a lot of time driving with the windows down,
music filtering out of them
like we wanted people to know what we had stuck in our heads.  
you groan when i turn on 95.7 and whatever top 40 tune
dubbed the “song of the summer” comes on.
see, i kind of hate people who hate pop music
because honestly get the **** over yourself
and admit that taylor swift songs are catchy already
but i still like you.

so the speakers are blasting “fix you” by coldplay
and i’m wondering why songs that are written about things
i’ve never really experienced
are always the ones that make me cry.
my mom always says that i am the most empathetic person that she knows.
it always just makes me feel ashamed of all the times
i have felted shuttered,
judgmental and close-minded.

i am usually glad that people don’t know me like i know myself,
i’m afraid you wouldn’t like the inside of my head;
it’s not like i always do.
sometimes when i’m sad and my head feels foggy
and i want to unzip my veins
or something else ugly and over-romanticized like that,
i think that universe is trying to reject me
like a bad ***** transplant
like i was something never meant to be here in the first place
and it’s trying to right itself,
find equilibrium.
i know it’s not true but i still think it sometimes.

i think i love myself too much or not enough.
i am not good at equilibrium.

when you said, “i think i love you,” i thought you were joking.
i don’t know if that says more about me or you.

i’ve always been afraid
there is something terrible and fragile and hopeful
about young love that i will never get to know.

love is probably at least 70% proximity and i’m okay with that.
so you're kind of like my spleen,
i could survive without you
but it be pretty ****** to have you torn from of my ribcage.
because love is not completing a set,
it’s just finding something you really ******* wanna hold onto.

sometimes when you’re a poet you tend to idealize love into stanzas
instead of realizing that love is not poetry --
poetry makes too much sense.
love is a long-*** novel that you get bored of sometimes.
love sneaks up on you, it grows inside taking root like… honeysuckle.
an invasive species.

and honeysuckle are no roses, they’re prickly in a whole different way.
just the same,
nobody tells you that love can often be so ugly.
but a lot of kids still pick handfuls of weeds,
dandelions and clovers and grass stains,
and present them to their mothers
with a fistful of pride.

maybe love is not a victory march.
maybe love is just… the drive home.
daniela May 2015
lately, we’ve been talking about the way things change
we’ve been building cities with our mouths only to blow them out
as if the future is a candle, with trails of smoke like lace,
just the murmur of secrets across the grass getting
softer softer softer
until they disappear, until everything disappears
everything disappears

lately, i’ve been think about the way things change
like seasons and lovers
i’ve been thinking about how
the only thing more permanent than forever is never,
and everybody thinks it’s going to be forever until it’s not
i’ve been thinking about whether it’s a good thing or not
because all the rock stars whose names
we were screaming at concerts are middle-aged parents now
and it’s weird, but i think it’s kind of cool too

times change and things change and that’s okay
you can’t be sixteen forever, and why the hell would you want to be?
being sixteen was kind of a ******* nightmare
growing up isn’t inherently bad,
and if you’re gonna be peter pan
then you’re gonna be lonelier than a lost boy

and maybe i’m the kind of person who expects
everything to fall apart, but life is equally destruction and rebirth
everything disappears, everything’s gonna be different
everything’s gonna be awesome
everything’s gonna be awful

think of it this way:
everything’s gonna be wonderful
just like everything’s gonna be terrible
that’s just the way it is
luck of the draw, life is a crapshoot
and sometimes your hand is ******, but you’ve still got to play it anyways
or you’re just gonna fold over like house of cards

think of it this way:
even in the darkest of nights the moon is always
hiding out somewhere in the sky
and the sun going to come up tomorrow
i couldn’t tell you why exactly because i didn’t pay any attention
in science class, i was too busying doodling in the margins of myself
and looking for stars,
but the sun’s gonna come up tomorrow
it always has, and the sun’s reliable like that
and i know that only thing that’s certain is that nothing is,
and i know i’ve got no proof, but i’ve got a hunch
that everything’s gonna work out
and i know “you’ll be okay” always sounds kind of hollow
but it does ring true

and we’re still young enough to be dumb
and we’re still young enough that we’ve got so many possibilities
it makes me ******* dizzy
and if you’re lucky enough to have
the world in the palm of your hand, don’t clench your fist;
don’t let it slip through your fingers
don’t let go
don’t let go
been trying new things (i.e. different styles / writing poems with stanzas) and this came out
daniela Feb 2015
did you know that when icarus flew
too close to the sun
it was because he was so tired of being cold
that he’d rather die burning up?

did you know that when andromeda
was chained to her precipice
she hoped for mercy,
not salvation?  

i suppose you didn’t;
these aren’t the kind of tragedies
people like to write about
these aren’t the kind of tragedies
that are beautiful in spite of it or because of it.

we hate narcissus for loving himself more
than we could ourselves.
we **** aridane to the maze for
leading us out of it.

still, she weeps for those
who fell in love with the gods
and for those who fell in love with those
who could never love them back.

she weeps for the gods that did not weep for her
and her tears become the sea
that drowned tomorrow’s heroes
in their own stories.
daniela Mar 2015
my mother is a journalist
and my father is out of work
she’s spinning stories
and he’s just staring out the window
you are recording my mistakes
and i am selling yours onstage.
so i’ll give myself to strangers,
and flinch away when you touch me
it’s always too much and not enough.
i’ll plaster my heart all over the world,
and refuse to read you anything.
i write too much and i don’t speak enough,
my entire bibliography a tour de force of silence
and the things i wish i’d said.
you could cut out my tongue and
not notice the difference.
sewn shut lips with a poem slipping out,
i'm too scared to read it out aloud.
but i’ve been learning that being scared
just means that you give a ****.
words have always been easy,
saying them is so much harder.
and i’m not looking for anybody to color me in
but i’ll keep writing you poems until you feel something.
i love like somebody’s always
looking over my shoulder
and i know, i know
that’s no way to live.
how should i expect to bare my soul
if i’m still scared of it,
don’t i know that half-truths will
never compare to it?
cause and effect, expose and protect
i’ve got a notebooks full of ****
i wish i was brave enough to say to you.
but i'm tongued tied;
half of me is still in my head,
and the other half is stuck in my heart
and i’m trying not fall apart,
i’m trying to keep my ******* head
separated from my ******* heart.
i’m trying, i am, but i think there will always
be part of me that sees you
and memorizes everything new like a line in a poem.
it’s a song without a chorus
it’s an anthem without a single verse
we are actors with no lines to rehearse
we are missing everything we were supposed to find.
but if i tried to tell you this
i’d just stutter my way through
and all the sentiment would get lost in the  
“um, but, uh, like, i, er”
on its way to you,
my nervous system’s got anxiety
and i want to be seen but not scrutinized.
i am in the room full of my mistakes
and they are telling me ghost stories about you.
i’m stuck so deep inside my own head
i can’t find my way out,
i’m just hiding out in the ruins of my own life.
my mouth’s not good at small talk
when gravity’s holding me down,
these words are loaded but the gun is empty.
and i remember the way
you used to talk about your dreams
like you’d forgotten them, tongue heavy
with nostalgia as you told me
about all these bright-eyed ideas
that you now called delusions of grandeur
with a shake of your head and a grim set in your mouth.
and i remember how you looked at me;
i don’t want to be just another thing you regret.
and i’m tired of being less afraid
to shed my skin onstage than in front of you,
i’m tired of choking all the things i’ve never said.
a penny for your thoughts and
a dollar for your heart
ask me what i’m thinking,
i swear i won’t flinch.
to be real, this poem isn't about anyone in particular just some musings on how i find it easier to share parts of myself like my writing with strangers than the people i'm closest to. life's funny like that.
daniela Jun 2018
i’ve tried to write this poem a lot of different times.
my love poems are never my best work.
they always come sounding a little bit off,
like i don’t know what the **** i’m talking about.
maybe i don’t.
i’ve got an apology where my mouth should be.
i’m sorry i love you and i’m sorry i’m so bad at it.
affection tastes like blood in my mouth,
sometimes, and i try to talk in between it.
talking to you feels like open heart surgery,
sometimes, and i don’t have steady enough hands
to sew myself back up.
and sometimes i think of telling you,
when we sit together and you end up with my fingers
against your mouth in a parody of a kiss
and your eyes are somewhere else
and we are so good in the quiet that it almost hurts.  
i never loved someone so up close before,
so up close i can taste your name in my mouth.
i’m always too much with my heart, too greedy
and always reaching, and eventually people walk away
from that when they can’t stand the sound of
my heart beat in their ears anymore like tinnitus.
too loud. too loud. always too loud.
so maybe you don’t make everything about me
always feel quiet, but you never reach for the volume
to turn me down and that feels like the same thing.
no one loves me like you love me
and it always comes back to that, doesn’t it?
sometimes you love me too much.
sometimes i don’t know what to do with it.
sometimes i think i am an *******.
i want you, but i also resent being tied to anyone,
i resent feeling so in love and pliable,
willing to break and build the world for you
and i don’t know how to explain in a way that
doesn’t make me feel cruel.
in my english class, we read a story called
the husband stitch about a woman with a ribbon
around her neck and a man who wants
to possess every piece of her.
i think i was both of them.
in the story, they **** for the first time by a lake
and they don’t drown and all the ghost stories she tells
come half to life, like necromancy.
sometimes when i miss you, i keep you in my heart
as a zombie. reanimated. fictitious.
nothing more than disembodied hands in the dark.
it’s not pablo neruda writing free verse about your feet,
nothing so romantic, it’s just that if you were here whole,
i wouldn’t know what to reach for.  
sometimes i am a coroner.
sometimes i want you in bits and pieces,
can’t handle you all together.
sometimes i want to rearrange you, just barely,
and i know that’s not fair.
sometimes i still want you love me more,
love me differently, love me in way
i don’t think you love me
and i know that’s not fair, either.
going through bits of poems and retrying them in new ways
daniela Feb 2016
i’ve planned out my whole funeral.
which probably makes it sound like i’m a lot more interested  
in dying than i actually am
but i just--
i think my problem is that i was never the type of person to plan ahead.
i never have imagined my college life,
or my future career, or how many kids i might i have.
i’m one of the only people i know
that has never tried to picture their own wedding.
my mom says that’s a good thing,
keeps me away from unhealthy expectations
but she’s my mom
and it’s like how your mom always tells you that you’re pretty
because what the **** kind of mother
doesn’t correct their kid’s self-loathing or at least try to?
my mom, she’s pretty used to me lying on my kitchen floor
in the throes of an existential crisis
because existential crisis is sort of my nom de plume
and before anything else,
i am afraid to be someone disappointed by my own dreams.
but i think because i never tried my hand at planning
i have no idea where i’m supposed to be in my future,
i have no idea what i want.

see the thing is,
i’m afraid i’ve never really fit in comfortably anywhere in,
i’m just really good at pretending i do.
if i wanted to swan dive into my psyche a little bit more,
i’d chalk it up to all my biracial bicultural biwhatever *******:
that feeling that i’m two things at the same time
and i don’t know where i fit.
in simple terms:
i’m too white for the latino kids
and not white enough for the white kids.
in complicated terms:
i’ve got close family about 4000 miles away
and i feel really ******* guilty for not loving them
as much as my family in the next state over,
and i resent them for not getting who i am
like my family 4000 miles away does.

i don’t think i know anyone who worries quite like i do.
see i’m not unhappy, really,
but maybe i’m the saddest happy person i know.
i try not to think about it too much,
but my brother tells me it’s because i think too much;
he’s one of those people who is frustratingly self-assured
even when he’s not.
i told him to play highway to hell at my funeral half as a joke
but mostly because i can’t even stand to imagine
the thought of outliving him.
we’re the weird kind of siblings who adore each other senselessly.
identical, two halves of a whole,
we are the same person a so many ways.
he’s the reason i exist in a completely unpoetic way --
he wanted a little sibling so much
that i joke that he begged me into existence.
he is the only person who’s ever laughed at the right parts of my jokes.
he tells me to stop worrying about tomorrow like he already has.
i think this is our key difference.

i like stories because i like escapism,
i think poetry is the only time i’m really… myself.
it is what it is and it isn’t what it isn’t,
and i loved harry potter because i wanted to be magic
and i loved star wars because i wanted to be a galaxy far, far away.
and i love how i met your mother
because everyone loves lily and marshall, right?
and everyone wants that, right?
to love someone that much,
to be so ******* sure about somebody
even when everything else is ****.
i’m just afraid that i’m never going to get that.
which is cliche but all cliches had to start somewhere
and i think people actually hate cliches
more because of the fact they’re so inescapable true
rather than the fact that they’re corny.
i’m mad at the TV for selling my a dream i’m not sure i get to have
and i’m mad at life for not imitating art well enough
and i’m mad at life for imitating art too well
and i’m ******* ****** at whoever told me that
i could be whatever i wanted when i grow up
because they were ******* lying.

so i tell you that at my funeral
i want everyone to get really ******* drunk.
and you tell me that jesus christ, daniela,
most people don’t spend their free time
thinking about their own funeral.

and it’s a matter of perspective, i guess.
some people never see the meteor coming
and some people can never tear their eyes away.
death is always walking towards me, the bus is always coming,
it’s just that sometimes it sort of speeds up
and everything else slows down.
so at my funeral, i want there to be an open bar
and i want to have someone collecting
other people’s stories about me at the door as admission.
i am not obsessed with my legacy,
just my end result.
i have never known where i’m going to end up
but i’ve always been willing to find out.

and at my funeral i want everyone to dance.
sloppy and uncoordinated.
i don’t want my funeral to be sad.
i can’t think of anything
less fitting.
trying to get back into the groove
daniela May 2015
time’s going really ******* fast today,
always in all the wrong ways
it’s running out and it’s running away
it’s 10:52 PM and i’m trying to start over like
i’ve got a revolver to my ribcage
it’s 11:00 PM and i don’t want to see anyone i know ever again,
i want to get a car and keep driving
down I-70 until i learn how, until my hands never shake again
it’s 11:14 PM and i missed 11:11 again
it’s 12:01 AM and as i’m fine now, i just don’t want to talk about it
it’s morning now and the sun sets in your eyes
and it rises in another’s
and it’s funny how things change
and it’s funny how things stay exactly the same
this is the difference between a collision course and a test run
and a poem a day keep your demons at bay
or it draws them close, up under your skin and lets them in
a poem a day keeps insanity away
let me repeat: i am only as good as the demons i defeat
and if the monsters make me one of them,
i am only as good as what i’ve become
i am only as good as what i’ve done
i am only as good as what i haven't done
sometimes i think when you bet against the world,
the world bets against you
it’s just how it is
it’s probably karma or something like that,
but i’ve given up on reasoning for reasons and i guess
when you’re a non-believer sometimes no one wants to believe in you
i kind of think i’ll be desperately lonely no matter who i’m with
i think i’m on of those people who was born a little bit lonely
i think i’ll never be completely okay with that
but i think that’s okay
i’m just a stranger in my skin
and nobody really makes me feel at home anymore
and i think some days are longer than others
and i think it’s just never the ones you want it to be
daniela Mar 2015
my church doesn’t take attendance.
my church just wants to know what color you see the world in.
my church won’t fight your battles for you
but it’ll patch up your knuckles, it’ll cheer you on
from the empty bleachers.
my church is full of repentant pickpockets
and former ****-ups and kids with crooked teeth.
my church coughs up the word religion,
my church doesn’t believe in anything bigger
than its own two hands.
my church has never needed to.  
my church ain’t trying to fix you but
it hands out bandaids and lollipops for free.
my church doesn’t ask questions, it just holds hands.    
my church doesn’t exist until it’s 4 AM and you’re all alone,
coming out of your skin.
my church doesn’t believe in sinners or saints, just people.
my church doesn’t focus on the after-life, just the one we’re in.
my church doesn’t have pews,
my church has hiking boots and ***** feet.
my church doesn’t want your worship, just your love.
my church dances barefoot.
my church writes songs about you.
my church is open 24 hours but it ain’t a liquor store.
my church is the radio, my church is every song you’ve yet to know.
my church listens to heavy metal and bubblegum pop
and always sings the wrong words.
my church is anxious, my church is tapping toes,
my church hates public speaking but loves to be heard.
my church is the first day of spring after a winter so long that
you didn’t think you’d find your way out of it.
my church is crying on your best friend’s shoulder.
my church is reruns of the shows you grew up on.
my church is your mother kissing you on your forehead.
my church is dr. seuss is snuggling up
between shakespeare and j.k. rowling all on your bookshelf.
my church is poetry, my church is finger paints.
my church is i’m sorry and my church is i forgive you.
my church is in love with you.
it always has been.
my church can't jump high enough for a leap of faith.
my church is the last kid picked in gym class,
my church breeds underdogs like they're laboradoodle mixes.
my church has overgrown front lawn full of dandelions.
my church has neighbors who talk **** on it.
my church doesn’t always finish its homework on time
but it finishes every story they’ve start telling.
my church doesn’t give a **** about your GPA,
but my church wants you to learn everything you can.
my church wants you to always ask why.
my church is late with the rent check this month
because it bought tickets to a show,
my church regrets absolutely nothing.
my church is still figuring it out, too.
my church is falling apart,
and sometimes the congregation watches
and sometimes they pick up the pieces, keeps ‘em in their pockets.  
my church is home to anyone would believes in
friday night and sunday morning with the same intensity,
my church has its doors open to
atheists and holy men and godly women and those who just don’t know.
my church is home to the non-believers,
my church doesn’t like to tell them they’re wrong.
my church calls them baby
and says that we don’t believe in much here either.
my church doesn’t care who the *******’ve been praying to,
my church doesn’t care if you never have.
my church is honest, my church is choking.
my church is broken, but it
believes in you.
"just because i don't believe how you do/in what you do, doesn't mean i don't believe in anything"
daniela Aug 2015
i guess i’ve always
been something of a
storm chaser.
and i guess that’s why
i kept chasing
after him saying,
“this hurricane won’t hurt me,
no, i’ll be just fine…”
but i guess i’m **** at predicting
the weather
because, baby,
i was still learning
that when it rained, it *******
and i was standing there
without an umbrella
begging him to
please, please stay.
but the car’s already running
and my legs are shaking
like they should be too,
because i shouldn’t
be here,
this isn’t how it was
supposed to go, not this time
and maybe if i run away fast enough
this storm won’t get
in between us…
but my feet stick
to the pavement like it’s july
and the tar beneath my feet
is so hot i might melt
into it.
god, what i’d give
for it to be july
again because i swear,
i swear you loved me back then.
but i asked him
where he was going
and he said,
“somewhere where this hurricane
can’t touch me,”
and i’m still trying
to figure out if
i was the hurricane
or the mess in his head was.
and i never wanted
to be his demons
i just wanted to know their names.
and i never wanted
to get caught up in a storm
like him
i just wanted to believe
it could rain again.
so suddenly i didn’t believe
in rain,
i believed in
the kind trapped in that jar
on my kitchen table.
and when my mother asks
because she’s gonna ask,
a mother always asks
i’m going to say,
“i had to go,
it was like i was suffocating
when he held me
but it was like drowning
when he was gone.”
it always felt like losing
with him.
and it really was.
so when i ran into him
for the first time since i learned
the definition of a
we crashed into each other
like a collision course,
like we always did.
and the back of my mouth
doesn’t stop
tasting bitter for a few days
because i realized that’s
all we ever were
going to be.
for a moment
almost more terrifying
than the last time he saw me,
i didn’t know what else to say
but to breathe out,
“i’m sorry,” so softly
neither of us
quite know what i’m
apologizing for
and he knows better than
i never knew how
to apologize,
neither did he.
but i’m learning
and i hope he is too.
our mouths
have already made a mess
of so many good things
but i don’t know how
to bite my tongue;
i’m just too terrified of bleeding
and i could never ******* help it
so i asked him
where he was going
and he said,
“somewhere it doesn’t rain,”
and i…
i really hope
it’s dry
wherever you are.
another oldie but hi i'm daniela and i really like hurricane metaphors
daniela Feb 2015
you’ve had your whole future mapped out
since you were 16, sitting in homeroom
and hand-picking your life.
me, i’ve got no plans to speak of,
still trying to figure myself out;
everything major still undecided and undeclared
because pandora’s box is
always really pretty until you open it,
and the future’s really alluring until you’re in it
and you’re wondering if it really fits.
and i know it’s stupid trying to
plan for a car crash,
to plan on ******* up  
but i’ve been trying to take precautions
in case i don’t grow into who you were counting on.
i keep your promises tucked in my pocket,
you make vows just to talk about it.
and i don’t know much about fate
because once my horoscope actually told me
that i’ll be alone and unloved forever,
born under an unlucky star,
so i’m not placing my trust in the stars
even if sometimes i get the sneaking suspicion
they might just be right.
i’m trying to dictate my own future without having a tongue,
i’m trying to find a future i’ll be content living in.
people are always waiting for time to run out,
and i’ve always been waiting for the fall out.
because i know all good things have to end
all bands have to break up, all stars have to explode,
all slow dances have to still, and eventually
all loves have to run out in one way or another.
and i’ve got front row seats to
the inevitable explosion
because you’re a heart attack and i’m totally doomed
we’re just bombs going off too soon
we’re just strangers dancing in a crowded room
we’re just ****** up and wishing on the moon
we’re just racking up casual causalities
we’re just reading our fortunes
in the coffee grinds and tea leaves,
half-joking and half-a-little-too-honest
when you peered at yours and said,
“it says we’re gonna grow old and grey together,
and move out of the city and have a bunch
of loud mouthed kids with your eyes.”
i don’t know about the future
and i suppose you’d like to tell me about it,
after all you’ve had your whole future mapped out
since you were 16, sitting in homeroom
and hand-picking your life.
but it’s an affliction, all those ******* predictions.
don’t tell me where you want to be in five years in from now;
tell where you’re actually going to be tomorrow.
because i was dying for this week to be over
and then i was dying for this year to be over.
and i can see it clearly,
my whole life lived in transit
on the way to something else.
i was dying to finish high school
and then i was dying to finish college
and then i was just dying,
and i forgot to live in the present in my rush
to get to the future.
the future both terrifies and excites me, but mostly it confuses me and writing makes me feel a little more unscrambled
daniela Mar 2015
i have had people say to me,
i don’t want to die,
i’m just not sure how interested
i am in being alive.
i have had people say to me,
i don’t want to die,
i just want to sleep and sleep
and never wake up.
i have had people say to to me,
i don’t want to die,
i just want to press pause.
i have held a lot of shaking hands,
begging them to drop
their knives and trying to
hold their wrists.
i have said the same things.
so i’m not saying
that i’m always better
and i don’t if you’d still call me
a good person
if you could see behind my eyelids
because sometimes i am terrified of
the demons lurking
in the corners of my own mind,
but then, if you got to see people inside out
with all the ugly and unseen
and we-don’t-talk-about-it
then maybe nobody would dare to
call each other good people.
and sometimes i don’t want to keep going;
there are days when we all feel
like the universe is pressing down
on top of our shoulders,
crushing our lungs.
but gravity's just doing its best, and so am i.
and even though sometimes it feels like
i’ve running on empty for the last thousand miles,
i’m fine, really, i’m fine.
most days i wake up
and i’m happy, most days i wake up
and i am not thinking about unzipping my veins.
i am thinking about
all the songs i haven’t heard yet,
all loves i haven’t loved yet,
all the poems i haven’t written yet,
and *******, i want to be alive so much
more than i ever wanted to die.
i swear, there is universe is out there waiting for you
if you’re willing to go out and find it.
the world won't wait for you
but it's always going to be there.
and i swear the darkness isn’t
too distracting,
i swear i can still see clearly.
happiness isn’t a destination
or a journey,
it’s a fistfight with sadness
and i want to keep getting back
in that ring even if i keep getting the ****
knocked out of me every single time.
getting better is uphill battle,
but at the top there is peace.
at the top there is reason.
at the top there just might be
what you’re looking for.
and maybe it’s stupid
but i believe it’s not all hurricanes,
and i believe it does get better.
i believe that twenty years from now
i will wake up and look at my beating heart
and be thankful i didn’t **** myself.
and i believe that you will be too.
i really do.  
and i’m not saying that there won’t be days
when getting out of bed feels like
scaling the grand canyon
and even tying your shoes feels impossible.  
it isn’t going to be an epiphany,
the universe shaking your shoulders
in its steady hands and telling you to
cheer the **** up, kid.
because sometimes the universe’s hands
are shaking just as bad as yours,
sometimes there is no reason for it.
it will be more like a gradual realization
that world can be ugly and cruel and brutal,
but that doesn’t mean that
there aren’t things out there
worth living for.
it’s not always easy to find
any ******* sunshine bright enough,
and sometimes i am so scared
i might die before
i find anything worth living for,
and i don’t always have a good enough
reason to get out of bed
in the morning, but i promise
that i’m looking for a better one.
i can’t give you a reason
but i hope you can learn to look, too.
i hope you can learn to look at the sunset
and see all the colors in the horizon,
a sky painted with temptation,
and not just see another day ending.
there’s a difference between
living and being alive,
and i hope you
stick around long enough
to get to know that
sometimes i still need this one. today ain't one of those days though.
daniela May 2015
a thousand eyes searching
and i still feel pretty ******* invisible
it’s a blessing, it’s a curse
i couldn’t tell you which is worse
and i’m swallowing magnets just to attract you
talking big and fast like
maybe i can capture your attention
maybe i can handcuff it to me
and now i'm emptying out my heart in the bathroom
just to save space
and it's always a bathroom, it's always a bathroom
because girls throw up their secrets there
making confessionals out of toilet bowls
because lonely kids hide there
eating their lunches perched in bathroom stalls
i think we’re all still more like that
than we want to ever admit to ourselves  
sometimes i think we mistake brutal for beautiful a little too easily
you're a disaster, you're a ******* train wreck
yet, baby, some how you got it together better
than anybody i know
and yeah, you’re ****** record sometimes
but i never could bare to turn you off,
because i know every word too well
and we all skip sometimes
and we all have our botched notes sometimes
and we all have misses instead of hits sometimes
but even scratched up records can still make music,
and even cynical people can still write love songs
you’ve got a smile closer to
a painted-on sunset than a true blue sky,
but don’t look now; your paint’s peeling off
like cheap nail polish
and we don’t like to talk about it
because then we might have to think about it
and it was like getting exactly what you wanted
then having to return it
you are the best and worst things i’ve ever written,
poetry personified
no one ever got me like you did
because i know you best which means i also know you worst
so now i'm like new orleans after the levees broke
every hurricane has a name and i’m trying to forget yours,
there are universes inside of you
people will never know because no one will ever
think to ask about them
and there are storms brewing in you
that no one will ever see coming until they hit
and not everyone can see the brightest of galaxies
with a naked eye
but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there
and i’m searching with a magnifying glass,
a careless kind of precision
i’m just near-sighted with a vision
i looked so hard for you in the stars
that i think i created new constellations there just to fit you in
i accidentally immortalized you
and what's a girl to do when she loves somebody
too big for a twin bed, larger than life
and you know me, i always want to be the last thing i saw on tv
and i know you, you’ll only be famous in your downfall
because if this is a big fish in a small pond type of situation
then you’re a whale in somebody’s kitchen sink,
too big for this **** town
and i couldn’t ever bare to hold you back or tie you down
life’s like a fistfight, right, and you can’t stop
somebody from throwing
their own punches even if you’re just thinking
about saving their unscarred knuckles with you best intentions
and i’ll never stop you from leaving
even if i don’t want you to go
i understand losing everything that you’ve ever had
just to gain what you’re looking for
better than you’ll ever know, better than i’ll ever let show
because i want so bad i’m burning up in the atmosphere
i want so bad i’ll let it destroy me without a second thought;
i just overdosed on my dreams in my bedroom  
and we are not on our deathbed
we’re trying to claw our way out of our open casket
we’re already in our coffin, we’re already buried ten feet under
we were dead a long time before we ever even arrived
and my knuckles might be unscarred
and there's a thousand better ways to word this
but i don’t believe in anything the way
i believe in you
and i guess it makes sense:
somebody once told me that  
either you die for what you believe in
or you live for what you don’t
i call this style of poetry "lots of commas and no periods, say/read it fast like word *****" and i'm not sure this poem makes any sense, but it felt good.
daniela Aug 2015
good artists copy, great artists steal,
and the best artists reinvent what they’re stolen.
so don’t think of it as stealing,
think of it as borrowing.
everyone who has ever created anything
puts out something new for future generations
to leave their fingerprints all over.
and i’m hoping for a change in the weather,
rearrange my life into something better
frankenstein a poem in an a love letter.
all us poets, we've all been writing the same old things.
we're just regurgitated, agitated,
trying to say something that hasn't already been said.
but i've heard every story follows the same seven plot lines.
all stories are the same narrative essentially
but all stories are still worth telling.
no idea is original
but there are ideas worth being repeated, reinvented.
so i steal from the greats, piggy-backing off the shoulders of giants
and borrowing from my betters
in hopes to better myself and them.
legacies exist because of people taking great things
and continuing to strive to make them greater.
legacies exist because they are given away
to everyone who hears them,
kept alive by tongues and hands and hearts.
when you write you are contained inside yourself.
but when i am here,
when i am on this stage, i am uncontained and free;
i’ve given myself away to all of you.
the thing about art is that once you put it out there
it doesn’t belong just to you anymore.
i’ve got just as much ownership over my favorite song
as the person who wrote it does because i feel just strongly about it.
i’m writing poems for people i’ve never met
i’m writing a love letter that i’ll wake only to forget.
so i think it's funny people call writing solitary.
it's funny to me that people call
the purest form of communication in art a lonely pursuit.
because i think really most writers are just trying to use what we're best
at as an intermediary, a middle man,
trying to make a connection with someone.
every writer has written something down
and hoped desperately that someone a hundred years from now,
someone on the other side of the world
will feel something when they read what they’ve written.
it’s funny.
most people think that writing, that poems,
are something i do instead of something i am;
taking away my words would be like taking away my bones.
i have a deep, passionate need to be heard
so i will scream until someone tells me they are listening,
until someone tells me to shut the **** up
because i cannot imagine a time when the untameable need
to tell stories, to string together fragments of poetry,
will not be bursting out of my veins.
something is not real until i write it down.
so we take photos as the titanic sinks.
we pull out our phones as the twin towers fall, call everyone we know.
what else would we do? just watch it go down silently?
i think the most basic of human instincts is the urge to communicate.
to make people understand
our love, our joy, our anger, our tragedy.
we are just spectators to the tragedy, guilty bystanders to the crime;
we have front row seats to the end of the world.
and when the sky is falling
you know we’ll all be calling each other saying,
“you’ll never believe what is happening.
i don’t know how to explain it,
but i’m going to try.”
daniela Mar 2017
as the state of our union begins to crumble
like a first grade papier-mâché art project held together
with elmer’s glue and enthusiasm,
i wonder at a nation that thinks investing in guns and walls
will make the world better
than investing in art and empathy.

the united states of america already has a bigger military spending budget
than that of all the other first world nations combined.

you know, the best way to hit rock bottom is to keep building up
until the ceiling collapses in on you.

i do not worry for art
like i worry for a city gasping for breath through the smog
or a woman with smeared make up walking home alone at night;
see, art is hydra -- you cut its head off,
it grows back three more in its place that are singing.

but i worry for a world that thinks that it’s better to destroy than create

so here i sit and write this poem
before there are no more paint brushes, just rifles
no more ink stains, just bombs
and the earth is a canvas, soaked in blood.

after the world crashes and burns
there will still be someone who needs to write about the scars

and so i think
better to write than to erase,
better to sing than to scream.
inspired by other work i saw supporting the national endowment for the arts
daniela Mar 2015
if i stopped eating
people would compliment me
on how thin i am
and when they saw the bruises
they pressed their mouths
shut tight
and just joked about
how clumsy i could be
with their easily uneasy smiles.
i don’t know if they
just didn’t see
or if they just weren’t
introducing him
to my friends was like
living in a ****** part of town,
having someone over
and hearing the racket of gunfire
outside of your window
and then having them say to you,
“oh, listen,
you can hear the fireworks
from here!”
and being too embarrassed
to correct them.
so maybe i’m not sure
if i believe in fireworks;
bombs are too often
mistaken for them.
but i can distinguish the difference
now, i can, and i will not
teach my daughters that when
he pushes you down in the dirt
and pulls on your pigtails
it’s because he likes you.
because when i covered up
those bruises on my body
in too-light concealer
like i’d never learned how to cover up
love-bites and tired eyes,
there was a voice in the back of
my mind that was telling me
that he only pushed me
down because he loved me.
i do not want a voice
inside my daughter’s heads
that sounds like me,
telling them that they deserve
their split lips.
i will tell my daughters to wear
boxing gloves over their manicures,
i will tell my daughters that
“love” is not an excuse,
i will tell my daughters that no one
is allowed to give you
a black eye and expect you
not to punch back harder,
i will tell my daughters
that you are not weak for getting hurt
because the weak ones
are those who let their anger
and insecurities
manifest themselves
in fists and words.
i will tell my daughters
the difference between bombs and fireworks,
i will tell them that they may sound
the same sometimes,
but fireworks don't ****
daniela Jun 2015





i haven't been writing as much as i'd like lately (i.e. all the time) so what better than trying a weird angry new style am i right? so, sorry if this is really visually obnoxious it just fit the vibe.
daniela Mar 2016
i knew a girl once,
she got a tattoo stenciled “tabula rasa”
and could never see the irony.
irony is cruel, after all, and there’s a lot of things
we chose not to see, obliviously.
irony is a musician with a deaf daughter, a painter with a blind son.
but this was just a metaphor, what we’re headed for
always heading home in the wrong direction,
but i’m not a suicidal head case,
just a dreamer who got high on outer space
and this was what i wrote for icarus
before he gunned me down out of the sky
i don’t why, but my wings tend to get tangled whenever i try to fly.
typos slip past my copy edit and sometimes i still feel pathetic;
i am a gallery of scars.
if life is performance art then i’m a ******* masterpiece.
it’s all growing pains,
knowing better doesn’t always mean you do better.
so pain is necessary. so pain is unavoidable.
but i don’t wanna to live a life where every single week is
“i just gotta get through this week”
but good things don’t only come from pain
and poetry is not sad by definition.
i know we tend to romanticize the tears in our eyes
but i wanna grit my teeth into a grin,
i wanna know about sinking because i'm learning how to swim.
and gravity was never the enemy,
at least not how i thought it would be.
gravity was just doing its job,
it didn’t know the way it was weighing me down like quicksand
and making it so hard to get up out of bed.
i will never understand
why happiness is so attainable for some
and so unattainable for others.
but maybe that’s just the hairline difference
between happiness and joy --
one is more circumstantial that the other.
lately, my brain’s been stalling like an engine on overdrive,
it wants to die out but somehow the heart’s keeping it alive.
so this is the sound two hearts make when they collide,
we write poems and never talk about it.
i write mile long poems and i’ve got a tongue like a riddle
and love’s just a word, but don’t you dare tell me
that words aren’t important.
you know better.
smashing hearts like hundred dollar guitars,
we all wanna pretend we’re rockstars.
you know, some people get drunk just
so they can see something in the sky.
and i need these lines,
they build up the structure in my spine
i don’t know always who i am
but i know who i haven’t been.
i know who i want to be.
i didn't actually know a girl once but we can pretend
daniela Apr 2015
question is and always will be:
am i dead when my heart stops beating
or am i dead when everybody forgets about me?
do i matter because people tell me i do,
or do i matter because i say i do?
i think therefore i am, i over-think therefore i wish i wasn’t.
because existence is a tricky thing;
you don’t want to die but you’re too scared live.
and maybe it’s futile, and maybe it’s pointless
maybe i am struggling with
my gifts and curses, poems and verses,
looking for a meaning that just isn’t there.
and maybe it’s ironic,
how we waste our lives wanting to die
but just because you have
doesn’t mean you don’t ache for what you haven’t
and sometimes being grateful is hard
when you’re supposed to
and you know, this world, it’s rough all over
and everybody gets cut up at little.
nobody wants to grow old but nobody wants to die young.
i want to make a mark, but i know it’ll be forgotten.
and i don’t want my marks to be blemishes
and i don’t want my marks to be scars
and i don’t want my marks to be footprints on the beach
and maybe there’s no meaning,
and maybe there doesn’t need to be.
all i know is that most people don’t think that
the vastness of the universe is something
to tell bedtime stories to,
but i’d tuck myself in with the stars even after
they reminded me again how small i am in comparison.
so either i’m too stubborn or too smart to talk to god,
paint me anyway it fits
paint me any way the lighting hits
i am open for interpretation.
because you’re semi sweet and i’m completely bitter
you’ve got an altar i don’t know how to worship,
you’ve got faith in all kinds of things.
and i’m cynical, i’m altered,  
i’m ****** up in the best and worst ways.
i write poems just to keep my hands busy,
i write poems just to keep myself from writing eulogies.
and i know, what a ******’ contradiction
the dreamer who doesn’t believe in anything.
i am the only one inside my head,
so would it be classified as a tragedy
if my dreams bled out with me?
nobody knows me like i know myself
and if i die then a library full of words crammed
inside dies with me, and dying young
is only a shame if you had something to live for.
maybe i am the end and beginning of my own legacy.
i don’t know about our ghosts and past lives
lurking behind our eyes, i don’t know
if you’ve got somebody else’s smirk on your lips
or if i’m loving you out of a second-hand heart.
but i think, but i like to think
that while my bones may be borrowed,
matter not destroyed or created
just redecorated, that my soul’s not recycled.
but i’m not looking for a dictionary definition
sometimes we’ve got to stop and cut the ignition
before we crash like waves,
i’d rather going somewhere slow than going nowhere fast.
and it’s not like i’m a visionary,
it’s not like i’m even really much of a poet;
i’m just a ******* kid with a thesaurus
and too **** much to say.
and i’m trying to tell you a lot of things,
but i don’t know how to phrase anything.
so maybe we’re old souls
and maybe we’re brand new,
maybe i’m borrowed and maybe you’re blue.
and maybe it’s all random and maybe it’s all planned out,
and maybe fate is for suckers
and dreamers drowning naïvety
and maybe fate is all we have.
maybe we’re looking at the world through
totally different lenses
but maybe somehow we’re seeing
the same things.
hey i was in a poetry slam today and i was a finalist which was like what?? but either way i'm uploading the poems i read, life is cool and scary and worth it. (although this is the version of this poem WITH profanity in it)
daniela Dec 2016
10.  it’s like when you get to the airport
just in time to watch your flight take off without you.
it’s like when you get up dance but the music’s already over.
i think sometimes we’re all scanning the crowd
for someone who is never going show.

4. baby, you make nervous
like i’m not talking butterflies, i’m talking a mass exodus of monarchs
shuttering from the trees in mexico
like the sky’s rippling around their wings.
i’m not talking fireworks, i’m talking atomic bombs.
i’m talking terrible internal bruising
and the first time i saw you was like the first time
i saw the sun rise.

6. please, please, please love me
even when everything about me feels like ****.

8. love will never ever feel like it did when i was 16, 17, 18.
love will never feel like it did the first time again.
and first love only seems perfect
because it had nothing to measure up to.
so i stopped trying to catch it, stopped waiting for miracles or for magic.
because i’m not sure it’s out there.
i’m not sure there’s The One in capital letters
but maybe more like a lot of ones. plural.
maybe everyone you’ve ever loved was The One right then.
see, love is not a choice but the way we do it is.
and sometimes forever is just deciding to stick out
for as long as you can make it.
because, sometimes, things start fading
and we either choose to throw them out or color them back in.

2. my heart is unfocused;
love is not obedience and obedience is not deference
and i love you is not i always will.

7. i wish i could send sixteen year old me
a letter about love like “baby,
you want to rip yourself apart to find space inside of you to fit them in,
this is not love. i know it feels like it sometimes, but this is not love.”
i wish sixteen year old me knew how the **** to listen.  

3. see, i am 90% bravado and bad timing.
a lack of serotonin and a closed mouth.
more fistfight than handshake, more gritted teeth than grin.
and i love myself like you’ve got to love yourself
when you don’t always really like yourself.
i am in the room full of my mistakes
and they are telling me ghost stories about you.
see, i didn’t love you, it was… just the music.
my heart got confused, caught up in the baseline.

9. and i’m always reaching for something that burns
the palms of my hands, leaves me blistered.
i am always trying to hold onto borrowed time.

1. and i know this isn’t the love letter you asked for,
but it’s the one i’ve got.
"love is poetry for the senses" the title is in french b/c i'm pretentious.
messin' around with new styles and such, trying to make scraps into poetry.
daniela Aug 2015
charlie chaplin
once told his daughter
that her naked body should only
belong to those
who fall in love with
her naked soul.
my soul’s hardly naked.
it wears layers and layers
to keep hurt out,
sometimes to keep love out.
but if you can manage
to strip me down,
my soul bare,
and the rest of me clothed
but ******* shivering
like a little kid who got
caught in a blizzard,
trying to catch snowflakes
to keep under my tongue;
if you manage to pull that
all away
and strip me down
to a mess of
private parts –
the parts i don’t tell people
the parts i sectioned off
and hastily labeled
because i wasn’t ready to
share myself,
and the parts of myself
i deemed too fragile
to withstand
your gaze.
you see,
i don’t dismantle
my walls
for just anybody.
but if you strip me down,
past the things we all use
to hide out,
maybe you could love
my naked soul.
i’ve never been the kind of girl
who liked the idea of
to someone but
there are much worse fates
i could think of
than belonging to
this is 2+ years old and somehow i still like it
daniela Apr 2019
it’s always national something day. national pancake day.
national sourdough bread day. national tweed day.
national jelly bean day. national talk like shakespeare day.
there are bakers with flour hands and runny batter
and elbow patches and rambling professors and assignments due
and the bertie botts every flavor beans that make you think of
hogwarts and sonnets. there’s always a tomorrow dragging
itself up over the eyes of last night.

today is national reconciliation day.
the planet has eleven years before it starts biting back
and your heart feels like a timer. you should see
hawaii before it sinks into the ocean. you should see the polar
icecaps before they melt. you should climb to the bottom of
the grand canyon and look up at the sky if you still see it
and celebrate national canyon day if we have one on the calendar.
you should accept that life is beautiful because it’s ugly.
you should call your mother more. you should tell her that
there is a word for “soul” in every language. tell her alma.
tell her you were buried under snow for so long that you forget
that your father, born of rainforest, still takes it for magic.
tell her that life’s not fair and you still want one anyways.
tell her that people always ask you how could you write
about love at time like this and you always
answer how can you not?
in my poetry class today we wrote poems in 30 minutes using adages or idioms as the titles
daniela Sep 2017
my poetry professor always preaches that brevity,
that specificity, is the hallmark of good writing.
this always feels like a slight to the inside of my head,
chaotic and chattering.
i wonder if he’s ever been to a poetry slam
and seen a sixteen year old try to fit their whole heart into three minutes.
i wonder if he’s ever written five straight pages free verse
and wondered at which branch of trauma to cut out
to fit the word count.
i wonder if he’s even been a thousand people at once,
crawling into stanzas from russian nesting dolls.

see, at concerts, i always have trouble deciding if i want take a video
or just let the night crystalize in my memory;
see, the problem is i'm liable to forget my heartbeat
if i don’t write it down in detail.
that’s my nature,
i am too much or too little
i am bad at letting things go.
i am bad at leaving things behind.
this is my biggest failing as a storyteller.
in revision, you always have to leave something out.
but when you cut the story in half, you muddle the meaning.
so i don’t tell stories,
i read eulogies. histories. anthologies.
i am not a storyteller, i’m a record keeper
and this is not dead poets society,
this a society of poets who wanted to die but didn’t.
i am always trying to explain
the inside of my head to other people who don’t think
in colors and disjointed poetry
and i am always falling short.
hey kids, long time, no poetry! i've been writing a fair bit but here's just a little something for now
daniela Apr 2015
if you listen to album enough on repeat,
you can almost hear in the intro to the next song
in the last notes of the one still playing.
if you talk long enough, i can almost hear how the disjointed points
you’re making flow together in the same way
with their stitches still showing,
you were never much good at sewing.
you’ve got a mouth like a rock ballad, sweet in your bitterness.
crooked chords that still sound good with the way you smile.
you’re a record-breaker and i’d never skip a single song.
i’ve a got a list tucked in your pocket of songs that make me cry,
you are at the bottom of my list and the top of my lungs
you were like good music;
your notes didn’t always sound right
but you always made me feel something.
a number two pencil drumming,
tapping out at the opening to some love song on your desk
like the steady beep of a heart monitor,
proving that you’re alive with every hit you make.
you never stop moving.
once you told me that you kind of think
if you sit still too long you’ll never manage to get up again
like an old, out-of-date computer
that might never turn back on if you switch it off.
an object in motion tends to stay in motion
and an object at rest tends to stay in rest,
and sometimes if you get into to bed you never get back out.
procrastinate your way out of your problems
and into to bigger ones.
sometimes to get your life together, you’ve got to take it apart.
a butcher with a butter knife, a knight with a wooden sword.
i’m scared of taking apart things i don’t know how to put back together,
and i’m **** at reading instructions.
because i guess sometimes when i write you poems
they're more about me than they're about you.
i don’t have cold feet, just cold toes, and sometimes i think
if i paint my toenails ruby red then my feet might magically take me home
to the house i never wanted to be in when actually i lived there.
life’s funny like that.
you never want what you have until it’s framed in your rearview mirror.
so i snuck out my bedroom window and i fell through the roof,
and when peter pan told me to fly, i just fell.
the sky was too polluted to find the second star to the right.
i guess i just didn’t believe hard enough.
and if believers never die then maybe cynics never live.
it makes sense i guess,
you were born out of a coffin, you were born in an abortion clinic.
even you can see the irony,
but i think you just were too stubborn not to exist.
you were a mess way before you ever learned how to clean yourself up.
birthmarks on your ribcage, consolidated rage
i memorized every piece of that you let me.
you told me that you’re not a shield, you’re just a bullet.
you’ve been a long-standing fistfight with meaning
ever since you were old enough to throw a right hook
and get your tongue tangled up in the chorus.
past your prime and still throwing punches,
i guess i respect the tenacity and pity the lack of self-awareness
at the same time.
you never knew when to bow out of the ring.
you never knew when to give up.
you never knew which fights were losing ones.
and you say “i’m no good” and it just makes me wanna get to closer
to find out for myself
and you say “leave while you still can” and it just makes me wanna stay
to prove you wrong.
guess i’m a glutton for punishment, i’m misery’s permanent tenant.
the only one dumb enough to leave behind roots in the riverbed
and expect them not to get washed away.
now you’re always on my mind,
i keep seeing cars like yours drive past my window.
you were lanky and you hated ******* that word when i said it,
laughing into your mouth
but you were all limbs, and now i’m missing you like one.
i go searching for addresses to buildings
i know that are probably still abandoned just see
if any part of you still lives there.
the neighbors tell me it’s haunted,
little kids cross on the other side of the street to avoid the chill.
but i’m stubborn, and i’m not afraid of the ghosts.
a foreclosure sign is still in an overgrown front yard.
a mailbox with the flag still up.
furniture all covered up in blank sheets like the paper.
it was all over before it started, you moved out before
you even unpacked all of your boxes.
i think you left some behind.
title from "get busy living or get busy dying (do your part to save the scene and stop going to shows)" by fall out boy because if you couldn't tell i've basically sold pete wentz my writer's soul.
daniela Sep 2015
sometimes falling for someone is like sky-diving,
and sometimes it’s like jumping off golden gate bridge.
sometimes falling for someone is like sky-diving without a parachute
and still expecting to land on your feet,
sometimes falling for someone is like jumping off the golden gate bridge
and wishing you could climb back up in the split second
before you hit the ground.
see, you and me, we’re a little like my teeth;
all the things i let get just a bit crooked
because i didn't try hard enough to keep them in place.
i think there's a metaphor somewhere in there.
i think there's a metaphor in everything if i look hard enough.
but the thing is, life isn't poetry.
it doesn't always have an overarching meaning and message.
and not everything makes sense in stanzas if you unscramble it.
so i think the biggest lie i’ve ever heard about love
is that it sets you free.
but in the same breath our heartbeats sync up
like all those people who made love look so easy, so simple.
you are a home i don't know how to find my way back to,
and i know you can’t make rest-stops into safe havens
and i know if you’re going to try to make homes out of people
then you can’t be surprised when your house falls apart
and you have to move away.
but you, you were good at making hotels feel like homes.
you were good at making things
like open roads and bedsheets and stolen moments
feel like they belonged to us.
like that twin bed and the two of us
with our feet are tangled and our wires are crossed.
we were always spilling over the edges.
you never fit into any part of my life, but you still squeezed.
and not in a bad way, maybe more of a i'm mad at you
for finding all this extra space in me
i never knew was there until you
and then having the nerve to leave it empty.
so i guess i don't really miss people, i just miss the spaces
they leave behind.
the cracks in my pavement.
and god, what a dangerous thing to think
that someone else can make you whole.
and god, what a dangerous thing to think
that someone else can save you from yourself.
daniela Sep 2015
they say don’t become a teacher
if you want to make money,
become a teacher
if you want to make a difference.
true enough, when you’ve got hundreds of
young impressionable minds staring up
at you from 7:40 until 2:40 everyday
still unmolded like hunks of clay,
you’ve got a weird kind of power in your hands.    
so maybe it makes sense that
my art teacher starts class some days
with a ten minute sermon on the hazards of fracking
that blurs into his feelings on education in america,
all before we even make a mark on our canvases.  
my art teacher is a bit of a conspiracy theorist,
but i think all myths are rooted in some fact
and all conspiracy theories started with a little bit of truth
so i like to listen instead of rolling my eyes.
some days instead of painting and teaching us
about shapes of value
he takes up his worn down soapbox,
preaching to a choir that doesn’t care much for singing.
today, he starts talking about color
and way we perceive it
and as i watch, it spirals into a lecture
on the universe
and the way we believe in it.  
color is just reflecting light,
the world is just a reflection of how we perceive it.
matrix of the mind, we see through projector eyes.
the world is a CD, our brains are a scanner
the biggest video game there ever was.  
we’re all holographic minds, he says,
what will you find if you pick yourself a part?
nothing but 1’s and 0’s,
reading like a laser and telling you stories.
he paints a picture with more than brushes,
with his hands waving,
talking about the emptiness of the world
in comparison fullness we believe it to have.
the world isn’t there, the world isn’t real, he says.
these bodies of ours are just space suits,
how silly of us to care about their imperfections
and insignificant differences when really
they’re just just vessels.
we’re just tripping on an acidic universe,
the world is just a bandwidth
and how we read it is based on what we believe in.  
and isn’t that comforting? he asks,
isn’t that freeing?
to know that nothing is real,
so nothing can hurt you?
isn’t it incredible? he says, when you think of it
that way you have nothing to fear.
but you see, knowing is pretty **** different
than believing.
knowing that theoretically, technically,
nothing can hurt you
doesn’t mean you won’t still hurt.
human feelings cannot be quantified
and analyzed so neatly and completely despite our very best efforts.
we are all too messy, we are all outliers in our own rights.
knowing or believing that reality isn’t real
doesn’t change the way hunger feels or the way a heart breaks.
intelligence does not alleviate fear,
really i think it’s more likely to intensify it
because then it’s harder to ignore anything.  
you know what they say: ignorance is bliss.
and maybe reality is perception
and nothing can hurt us if nothing's real
but i'm pretty sure if somebody shot me in the head
i'd still be pretty ****** no what reality
i’ve been perceiving.  
perception does not protect you from reality
like a bullet proof vest does.
and he talks about how belief systems
dictate everything you do,
how they close you off from anything new.  
this enlightened guy who preaches about the universe
in one breath and says,
"you know, most girls don’t like sci-fi," in another,
doesn’t even realize what kind of beliefs
he has internalized himself.
but then i suppose we only see what we want to see,
only notice what we want to take in.  
and don't get me wrong i like him i do,
this art teacher with all his big ideas
about the universe we reside in.
i like him in that way we’re all familiar with
where you sometimes have to ignore
an off-handed comment to still like people
but that's another story, that's another poem.
so if a tree falls in an empty forest with no one around
to hear it then does it even make a sound?
if i am speaking to any empty room
then do my words even matter?
if i am alone then do i still exist without anyone
there to take witness?
what i’m trying to say is:
i don’t think the world stops existing
if there’s no one there to see it.
crimes still happen with no witnesses,
miracles still happen with no witnesses.
maybe the world is just a bandwidth
and how we read it is based on what we believe in,
and maybe your belief system colors your view
like kids with crayons and coloring books,
and in a lot of cases they can close your mind
like a trap door,
but there is nothing wrong with belief and believing.
for some people it is all they have.
and even if i don’t believe in god,
who i am to play the part
and try to shatter other people’s realities?
what good will come the broken glass?
maybe we are mice in our mazes;
but if we are happy here,
blissfully ignorant as we may be,
is that a bad thing?
and even in the labyrinth there is still sometimes light,
even deep in the maze some people
find a place to rest.
daniela Aug 2018
i read somewhere that every face
we see in our dreams is just the face of someone
we’ve seen before, remixed and regurgitated
to fit seamlessly into a new background.
our bodies cannot conjure anything
that doesn’t already exist somewhere.
they don’t know how to.
when i dream about you, all i see is hands.
i don’t know what that means.
when i think of love, we are both sleeping.
i don’t know that means, either.
sometimes i fall asleep in the valleys of your body,
in the juncture between your neck and your shoulder,
and you let me stay there until i wake up
and i get greedy on borrowed things.
if i hadn’t been there, i would think that some part of me
invented the sound of your heartbeat under my ears.
it’s funny what you remember, what your brain holds on to.
we forget 90% of our dreams, within five minutes
of waking they’ve already evaporated.
i remember every time you’ve held my hand
and it’s funny because i’ve spent so much
of my life afraid of forgetting things,
my grandfather’s voice and my grandmother’s eyes
and all the times i’ve felt truly happy
and last summer when we were the only car
driving down the street to my house late at night
and our voices were fighting against the radio.
i’ve spent half of my life afraid of forgetting the things i love
and now i can’t forget anything about you.
when you talk sometimes i write around
the cracks and pauses in your speech,
i build whole worlds that don’t belong to us
in the in betweens of your sentences.
i try to turn your words into confessions
and then pick them apart into promises.
when i call you baby it gets stuck
in my mouth, caught under my tongue.
when you tell me you love me, i memorize the way
the words curve in your mouth and i dream about it.
i dream about your hands in my hair.
i don’t know what you want from me
and sometimes i don’t even know what i want from you.
what do i know about love anyways?
i want to keep it in my bedside table
and only pull it out when it suits me.
i want to swallow it whole and i want it to leave me alone.
my mother thinks we’re in love. so do a lot of our friends.
i think we are in love, sometimes.
if i read us like a script, i would think we’re in love.
it makes sense from a bird eye’s view, but it’s hard to see
with your eyelashes so close to mine.
you told me that you had a dream about me once.
you told me in the dream you got in your car, the old one,
the one where the speakers didn’t work
so you stuck a portable one in the passenger seat
and we just had to scream the lyrics extra loud,
the one we parked in the mud that one june
and had to take to the carwash,
the one that we sat in when you were supposed to be
driving me home and i just kept hanging on to the door
in the driveway, telling you one more thing
and one more thing and one more thing.
you told me in the dream you got in your car
and started driving and driving until you got to me.
you told me you hugged me and you held on
and you held on and then you woke up empty-handed.
so please, don’t tell me that you didn’t love me.
i was there too. i know what i felt.
i know what the quiet of my driveway sounded like.
i know what inside of the palm of your hand felt like
in the dark of a movie theatre or in the sunlight of july,
what your arms felt like across the my shoulders,
the way your breathing evened out under my cheek.
i don’t know i could have made that up.
i don’t know how i could’ve conjured that.
i can’t imagine something that wasn’t already there.
i can’t dream about something i didn’t already have for a minute.
hi i keep writing the same poem about the same person but it never comes out right so this is all i have
daniela Apr 2016
on sunday, i sat in our kitchen with my dad as the pale april sunlight streamed in and we watched as the brasilian government held the vote over whether or not to impeach the president dilma rousseff.

my brother’s at college, my mom was at work; it was just me and my dad.
a family friend told me once that my dad loves his country more than anybody they'd ever met.

i remember, we ate apple slices as we watched the government vote on the fate of the country. i am 17 and my dad still slices my apples, cuts my grilled cheese sandwiches into triangles, calls me querida.

my dad gestures at the TV, we both talk with our hands a little too much, and tells me that you can tell which way the politicians are voting based of the color they’re wearing.

the worker’s party, partido dos trabalhadores, called the PT is wearing red. they're the ones that vote against impeachment, eu voto não.
my father marched for that party in the 70s, 80s. they were born of the opposition to the military dictatorship of his childhood. he glares at the TV screen, now, like he’s angry for the promises they broke.

the TV in the kitchen is practically a relic, a boxy fourteen inches, older than me. we have a satellite dish in the backyard so we can get globo, the biggest television network in brasil. neighbor kids accidentally chuck their ***** into it, hitting the dish and scrambling over the fence to collect their toys.

on the TV, ricardo barros walks up the microphone. he’s a congressman from my family’s home state of paraná. my dad says, “hey, i went to college with him!”

they both majored in civil engineering, went to university in maringá.  
i remember i laughed. my dad knows so many people that he can find acquaintances on the TV. i asked my dad if they were friends. he laughs a little, too, says it depends on how ricardo voted.

ricardo voted yes.

my father was 7 years old in 1964 when the military took over brasil’s government in a coup. sometimes i wonder if for him this whole thing feels sort of like de ja vu, history repeating with a new face.

i don’t ask.
daniela Feb 2018
i have a very vivid memory of arguing
with my mother in the first grade on the eve of picture day.
i don’t remember what we were arguing about,
probably something about what i was supposed to wear,
but i remember telling her that sometimes i wished
i could just lay down in a coffin instead of doing this.
i know; brutal for a seven year old.
children are both somehow incredibly kind and incredibly callous.
i think i made my mother i cry, i don’t know i try not to remember.
if you want to get analytic, this could mean a lot of things.
i read a think piece recently about how millennials,
as a whole, have gallows humor.
most of us regularly joke about the impending collapse of society,
how to plan for retirement when your retirement
will most likely be the apocalypse,
how global warming can’t **** us if nuclear warfare does first.
we are nihilism and absurdism’s ugly red-headed step-children.
gallows humor is most common among soldiers.
the article wondered about what it says about the world we live in
that entire generation is under a comparable amount of stress.
and even though i’m an atheist, it’s difficult for me to think
of death as sharp as it is. as finite.
i don’t believe in an afterlife, of heaven and hell,
but maybe i don’t really believe in endings, either.
i still think about death like it’s sleep, hitting snooze,
pressing pause.
when i was 16, i hated holden caulfield
because he reminded me too much of myself.
we did this in class activity where we had to diagnose him
with depression and i wanted to claw my heart out
of my throat the whole time.
my sophomore year of highschool it seemed like half of my class
gave themselves stick and pokes, homemade DIY tattoos
out of india ink and mom’s sewing needles
etched dot by dot into their skin. can you blame us?
we all wanted to be something permanent.
my sophomore year of highschool, someone tried to commit suicide
in the bathroom during class and we didn’t talk about it.
we never talked about it. whenever people die,
i don’t know how to talk about it.
my hands are too cold to touch god
and so i keep writing, trying to generate heat.
i had a professor who told me that no matter what we write about
we come back to the same things —
we write about our obsessions. we write about ourselves.
we write about what feels closest to our hearts
or, maybe, what feels farthest away.
see, there are times when my life feels like it’s
happening to someone else.
if it wasn’t for poetry i think i’d be dead.
i don’t tell my mom that, please don’t tell my mom that.
it makes it sound like i have a problem,
i don’t wanna have any problems. she’s got enough problems.
sometimes i don't wanna be here, sometimes i don’t wanna be here.
i don’t know where here is.
sometimes i’m worried that here is everywhere,
that here keeps changing and following me and wearing down
new places to their bones.
but maybe this is human nature.
we feel like we’re not supposed to be here so we try to delete
ourselves from here or we try to delete here,
keep digging into there’s nothing left.
daniela Mar 2016
one of my best friends told me that
the first time she got high that she focused in on little details,
almost compulsively.
that she was scared of accidentally stepping on
the all snails on the sidewalk so she stayed frozen in place
for what seemed like hours.
i was scared of loving you and accidentally ******* it up
so i stayed frozen in place and just… watched it slip past me.
my finger still stretching, like they were planning
on catching… something.
now, i’ll never know what.
so i guess what i’m trying to say is
you can’t focus on the details so much that you forget
about the big picture
and you can’t love, you can’t live,
being afraid.
because sometimes being in love is kind of like
drowning while you're on fire and getting punched in the face.
and yet you want it all the time.
handing half of your heart over to another person
and expecting them not **** up is insane.
and you’ve told me before to stop making
metaphors out of moments.
not everything is poetry somethings just... are.
but i love you as i imagine icarus must have loved the sun
before it swallowed him whole.
we are beautiful because we are so doomed.
life would not be nearly as incredible as it is if we got to live it twice.
living is sort of like dying with a seatbelt on.
we are a moment like a movie
where they kept the camera running for too long,
where they didn’t leave all the awkward false starts of conversation
on the cutting room floor.
daniela Dec 2015
when my words don't start as twelve point font
they tend to come out all wrong.
you said you're no good at words but you’re a liar
you said you’re no good at words, i'm no good at saying them.
the air was always heavy between my heart and my mouth.
and sick to say, i’m coughing up a confession
i pretend every poem you’ve ever written is about me
and i know it’s not.
but you make every line i write make sense, every clumsy lyric
in my head into a symphony
while i still feel like cacophony of contradictions:  
i like liquor that doesn’t taste like liquor
and love that doesn’t love like love,
i am scared of love and i am obsessed with it.
i think i could have everything i ever wanted
and it still wouldn't mean **** without you.
now my head is so cluttered, gutted out from missing you
and when i said give me something to remember i didn't mean a scar.
but i could never hate you
how could you hate somebody who bared their soul to you,
told your 2 AM confessions to?
i ran out of way to write you down poetically,
and now when i talk about you it’s just pathetically.
always kissed me hello like you were saying goodbye
and this poem is not about love, this poem about leaving.
go on, jaywalk your way right out of my heart.
because poets don’t know how
say i love you and writing is remembering
but living is forgetting.
so brand it in my memory, poetry is always cheaper than therapy.
all my friends took psychology, rooted around in their heads,
but i took anatomy; cut myself up and open.
some people pick scabs and some people buy band-aids.
guess which one i am?
i am terrible, i do not want a love that’s good for me.
i want a love that takes me over
and turns me inside out.
i want you even when you want nothing to do with me.
you know me, just tryna kick that writer's block with some cliche angst
daniela Sep 2015
i am the kind of kid
who when i think of birthdays i think
eighteen instead of twenty one.

i have been wanting to vote since before
it ever even occurred to me to look forward to ***** shots.

so fast forward to 2015, gearing up to the 2016 presidential race
and guess who of all people is in first place?
donald trump.

and it’s funny
because i had an argument with a friend the other day
over the importance of voting.
politics? he says he just doesn’t care.
he doesn’t understand.
ignorance is not a luxury we can all afford.

donald trump is not funny.
he is far too scary and far too real to simply be a caricature.
make no mistake, donald trump doesn’t care for people like my father,
whether they’re here legally or not.
donald trump doesn’t care for people like me,
whether we were born here or not.
his compassion ends within a five mile
range of the the rio grande
and donald trump wants to “make america great again”
by building walls around us to keep anyone south of the border out.
donald trump wants to run this country like a corporation
with the HR department cut.

make no mistake, donald trump is not funny.
donald trump is not funny,
he is terrifying.
he is reminiscent of a past we cannot afford to repeat.

apathy is not a luxury we can all afford.  
remember: we are responsible for our own ignorance
we are just much of what we put into this world
as we are what we take
out of it.

if we don't like who is playing god
and we don’t like the way he pulls the strings,
we have to remember who handed him the bible
so he could swear himself in.
daniela May 2016
i. i don’t think i ever expected to live quite this long.
the bus has always been coming
and i have always been braced for impact.
i have never thought that another 80+ years were
automatically allotted to me,
life is too much loss and uncertainty.
i am 17 and i feel tired and oddly lucky.

ii. i’ve heard life is inherently more exciting
when you think of things in terms of “i get to…” rather than “i have to…”
i’m trying to apply it to my life.
i get to wake up tomorrow. i get to go to school, to have a routine.
i get to keep going. i get to live.

iii. some people are born content and some people are born itching --
you were born with ******* poison ivy.
dying to jet set the midwest, always swore
you were gonna leave this town before it burnt you to the ground.
a born nomad who’d never even seen the ocean.
i watched you disappear out the rear view window,
you’ve never left this town and i’d hate for the world
to let you down.

iv. i think that part of me is scared to leave home
because i know that you can always leave but you can’t always go back.
these are the things they don’t tell us growing up;
the way that places are just places
and the air around them can shift into something
that you no longer recognize.
it’s the feeling when you’ve been away for too long
and you come home to find it changed.
it’s the feeling when you want to go home
even when you’re there.

v. i heard you either write to remember or to be remembered.
i dream of crashes and my legacy of stained ink
confined to 15 gigabytes and 12 point font.
there’s thousands of other poets
with shaking hands, bright eyes, loud mouths.
it would be so easy to forget me when i’m gone.
i don’t know how much i mind it.
we are fleeting like fireflies and smoke signals and first kisses.
i still think you burn the brightest.

vi. it’s 10:32 somewhere over the ocean
and i miss you i miss you i miss you.
i’ve heard that victorians believed that if you wrote a poem in a airplane
that it stayed there, suspended in the sky.
your eulogy is hanging somewhere over the atlantic,
pinned up in the stars. waiting.

vii. i held your hand on the take off
until all that was underneath our feet were clouds.
daniela Apr 2019
my roommate tells me
that actually it can get you
on the *** offender registry
for ******* in a hammock.
she and her boyfriend were apparently
goin’ at it like chinchillas, like two teenagers
made out of nothing limbs and first times
and urgency, when the parker ranger shined
a flashlight on them. she tells me
how officer told them to be more
careful next time, as she nervous
sweat through her deodorant,
clammy palms and stutter heartbeat
as she had to fish her bra from
the bottom of the tree trunk.
and how ****** is it that two kids
trying to stumble through love with
no training wheels can become *** offenders
for wanting to feel july on their skin, but rapists
can sit in class next to me? move in next me to?
hold positions of power over me?
how ****** is that that can happen
and this country can elect a man who wants
to grab half of us by the *****? see, america
has always been a hypocrite with her ankles
crossed like a martyr. she will punish you
not for injustice, but for indecency.
hello anyways CUPSI really is that ***** and my creativity feels renewed af, here's something i wrote in a workshop where we were given eight minutes and 6 words we had to use in the poem
daniela Mar 2015
time is going kind of slow today
like it’s waiting for us to catch up to it
and i guess that’s better than how it used to be,
when time was running out and away from us
you checked the time every five seconds,
you're afraid of showing up late to your own life,
and i tipped over hourglasses just to watch them run out,
just to feel like i was in control of something
and i'm always told
that time won’t wait for me
but if time is just something we created,
if it’s just a concept, then i’ve been thinking
that maybe it doesn’t have to scare the **** out of me
maybe i don't have be counting my hours
like they're finite
because i’ve spent a lot of my life afraid of time,
afraid of it running out, afraid of there not being enough of it
i'm stuck in my head like a shut-in,
never got out because i forgot to let anybody in
and i don’t write poems for people, just figments
and it’s not lonely inside my head, it’s just crowded
you just told me to stop thinking so hard,
it’s only monday and it’s too early in the week for me
to be so far down the rabbit hole like that
and i guess i stopped counting hours for a while there,
just let them roll by and drag me under like the tide
and when i looked back i’d lost a year of my life
or something poetic like that, something pathetic like that
and i guess i stopped writing for a while there,
pretty words with no substance
didn’t do me **** when i was ten feet under
and still searching for your heartbeat
when notebooks that were full of you were empty
and you and me, we’re just the ones who didn’t make it
and you and me, we’re just the kids who couldn’t fake it
yeah, we could’ve been a song but then you left
without a note
and i don’t know what went wrong
and i don’t know what went wrong
and i don’t know what-
and i don't know-
and i don't-
but i guess i do
obsessive, i go searching for people in snippets
to make them whole
so maybe i should have expected
that when i held too tightly,
clutched my curses close like they were gifts,
it was all going to shatter
in my hands
i missed you when i didn’t know how to
this is poem with no periods and a lot of commas and i kind of feel like life is the same ways sometimes i don't know i wrote this in one breath but i like it
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