i imagine breaking each other's noses. i imagine the bone-crunch, cartilage on cartilage like a car crash, the feeling of the skin giving way. i imagine a nosebleed so thick, so clotted and deep-red, oxidizing in real time, warm milk on my face. i imagine a day without nausea. marked by stomach acid, snot pooling above my lip, the face in the mirror gagging into the sink. i draw anything and hate it. i go for rides and just get tired. i try to write and i feel nothing.
bits and pieces of the last few years manifest themselves in dreams: the feeling of handcuffs and hard car seats like playground swings; a six-by-six room with words etched into the wall; being sandwiched between linoleum and fluorescent beams. i revisit myself; she never cried, just dug her nails into the palms of her hands and bore the weight, i admire her stoicism. i admire the way she held her shoulders.
it's 2017 again. i clean blood off the walls in suburbia while a kitchen knife exposes a trachea somewhere in west virginia; i should've known back then that i was cursed. she skyped me with blood dripping down from her chin to her chest. i wonder if the scar's still there.
I hung myself today. Hanged? Whatever, point is I hanged myself today and I'm still hanging.
I feel fine. Just bored. I keep hoping that someone will come home and cut me down but then I keep remembering that if i knew someone like that I wouldn't be up here. Bit ironic, right? Or is that not ironic? I read somewhere that, like, anything funny is, in some way, ironic. But I don't know if it's funny or not. I don't think my brain owns "funny," you know?
I feel taller. I like that.
I've never been away from my shadow for this long. It had always clung to my feet, parting momentarily for a quick dive into the swimming pool. But never for five hours. I like it. There's three feet of space between my two and the floor.
I wanted something this morning. I may be stuck. But at least I'm three feet closer to it.
I wanted the book to engage a wide variety of tones and feelings – from seriousness to silliness and from elation to melancholy. This particular poem is from the perspective of a man who has just hanged himself. I thought it was interesting to write a poem from the perspective of someone who has just hanged himself and is pretty nonchalant about it. That someone is /not me/, and that’s half the fun of writing – being able to put yourself in foreign situations and see things from others’ perspectives (and to empathize with them). The poem is definitely dark and a little unsettling but the page before this was a poem about flies buzzing around dog poo. The world is full of dark and light and I just wanted the book to reflect that :)
I remember reading somewhere that memory has a link to doorways. That whenever you pass by a door, you tend to refresh your mind and forget something. And to retrieve the lost memory, you just walk back through the same door and you'll remember the information when you stand in the first room.
Our old house used to be a small, simple space; on just one floor and not many rooms. We've filled the house with so many memories, we didn't have space to make compartmental rooms. Every gap had our scent and laughter; we've touched every single square of our walls and floor, all the way up to our ceilings.
But then the laughter started to stop and the space felt too small. It was hard for us to breathe and secretly we started to scratch on the walls, hoping we could find a way out. You did it first. You left and took off in the night while I was alone, thinking what should I keep and which should I bail.
Determined not to remember what we had because you went oh so easily, I built myself a new house. Instead of a simple one-floor plan, I built a house that stretched long and far, with many doors in between. Maybe if I go through countless of doorways, I'll be able to really forget about what we had, about you, about us. And maybe by the time I reach the final door, it's like the first house, and you and I never existed.
If you were to undress me
you would watch
as I peeled off and discarded my wings.
You trusted the mirage
that covered up the void
behind my eyes.
My existence is nothing but illusion.
My halo is nothing but mirrors.
If you're an angel, why do you have fangs?
the snow leaves us speechless and comatose. you shudder.
i have always been obsessed with the movements of you, i sigh when you twist and you
****. the smell is ******. i
can’t feel my legs? i can’t feel my
can’t feel my
jaw or the
top of my nose or my
spine, i bleed inward, and i i i
i am TERRIFIED OF MY OWN BODY.
you swear that this silence is toxic.you
can’t get a word out of me i’ve been choking.im never fine but i believe it
poised to take this punch in the gut, i stand like a statue,
weathered and wasting before you.
what is left will remain hard until i am nothing.
i am ashamed at the
stability of your flesh,
your unsure steps mean nothing when
your tongue is all steel and
my core is all worthless and i
feel nothing from you and
this infuriates me.
the blood rushes to your head and yet your
eyes stay cold?
2. his lips are all softened strips of flesh like mine,
lacerations in the callus.
the contrast is hard to ignore.
i stand before him like i'm made of sand:
he has your smile.
his eyes wash over me;
everything looks prettier fragmented. i have pieces of you lodged in my ribcage, my lower back, the bottoms of my feet. all catching the light as i move. (i imagine myself in the back seat of someone’s car. i cant hear the music over the static.
it marvels at my lucidity. maybe i am more blind than i thought, i think too late.) i know exactly how your heart beats. i know exactly how you breathe and all your dips and hills and plains, and i think maybe i know you too well. (it watches me destroy my body.
it nods in silence. i imagine myself in the passengers seat of someones car.) i puke and pretend that you’re holding my hair back.
you’re ******* with me. mom always said your eyes go black when you’re angry and i see it now, too clear, i’m Crying. i’m Terrible, right? like a boil i fester underneath the kitchen table. you can not touch me, you can not touch me, donttrytotouchme cause i haunt this place. i haunt this home and all the other ones i died in; i pull your teeth and make things go bump in the night
so here i am because ghosts cant leave the place they died. my blood is in the other bed ******* in snot. my hands smell like ****. i know your skeletons very well. we dance and bleed together when you walk down the stairs, when you give us that look, we cry when your voice hits the window, my little finger pushes all the bite behind me. we wail in unison.