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622 · Sep 2018
I walk the wall
Amelia Glass Sep 2018
The skin on my fingertips is cracking.
I washed all the dishes by hand.
I dried them and stacked them
and put them away.
I walk on the wall between honest and kind.
I wait for the film to unwind,
or become exposed.
The darkroom is where I first
taught my heart to close.
To add the sulfate and turn on the bulb
so the picture wouldn't change,
the way turning on the light
doesn't knock over the first domino.
How your arms rise from your sides
when you skip, a bird taking flight.
How you lie on your stomach
to photograph a seagull.
How do you love two people?
When I close one part,
the cracks form somewhere else.
I walk on the wall between honest and kind.
It is seven feet tall.
I throw an arm out to either side for balance
but it reminds me of you,
so I fall to the right.
precarious
614 · Jan 2014
Jar
Amelia Glass Jan 2014
Jar
Books recommend people to me.
I scan spines of every person and
every book I see,
just waiting to find you.

As an exercise in moving-on
I am looking for you in new
places because the old one
is hidden in a sea of faces
with smiles like they can see
I've made a wrong move and
are about to point out the error
to me to spare me the shame
even if it means they will lose
the game.

I can bear that look in any
face but yours.
So for you I tore
a length of orange ribbon
and tied it around the lid
of a jar and littered the bottom
with scraps of paper,
small scraps for small things,
pieces of poetry you didn’t
think I had that I was scared
was just the you in me, so I’m
sealing them in a jar to be
distorted by the glass
until 2015.

You are a story in thriving rising action.
This year is my character development.
Next year I will open the jar
and let the poem scraps spill
like ink into the sky,
like snowflakes flying light
and weighing down the wings
of birds in flight
and I will see if I can shake
off the snow and let the ink
flow into cohesive phrases.

The goal here is to be worthy
of you
but not for you.
While you rise I’ll rise behind you
and I’ll just follow
where you lead
until I swerve.
I cut the hair you once
ran your fingers through
today.
It looks the same.

So as an exercise in moving-on
I am looking for you in new places
because you are gone.
603 · Apr 2015
moon
Amelia Glass Apr 2015
Tell me about myself.
The way you’d explain to the moon
why bits of it sometimes go dark,
tell me what I’m waiting for when I
go still in the dog park. Tell me how
my silence sounds when everything
is muffled and magnified by air
full of snow and empty space. In a
shuddering state of icicles inquiring
ice, as the shards fall into the vacuum
below and shatter outward, as they circle
your head and orbit your mind, seeing
the whole thing from the outside,
check your privilege.
To the rest of the sky, the moon
is always whole,
so before you ask me,
you know what? You know
what? Just this once, please,
you tell me.
a space-time continuum
599 · Jan 2014
lowercase
Amelia Glass Jan 2014
i.
as we get bigger
our handwriting gets
smaller

ii.
stars are bigger than
the sky itself
but their light forces
the past into the present
and forces our wishes
into the past

iii.
there are so many
women out there with
my name but
this increases the likelihood
that you've said it
out loud
and identified me
with sound as i have
you
sound travels slower
than light but we are never
alone

iv.
she showed me your
picture with some words
square tight around it
and two dates in the caption
and said
nothing is ever worth this
until i wanted to reach
into the earth just to
cover your ears

v.
the dementors couldn't
distinguish between crouch
and his mother because
this illness doesn't discriminate
so i don't know why
people do

vi.
you and even
i
are lowercase letters
today
with no punctuation
r i p
590 · Apr 2013
within
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
sometimes, even when it is
bothering no one, I turn
my music down and put

the earphones in, because
music is so precious and
personal, and sometimes

when I am hiding myself
deep within myself
I like to keep it that way.

mine.
within.
584 · Aug 2013
She is you
Amelia Glass Aug 2013
Your soft sniffle
echoes from somewhere
behind you.

You turn around
and look into your eyes.
They aren't hollow yet,
still bright with
childish curiosity.

Naiveté is a beacon in the fog
that your small hands reach for
but instead of light they find
your thin, long, pale fingers.

You hold her hand.

Starlight has weight like water.

With frightened, eager eyes
you look at what you've become.
With hollow eyes you see what
you were.
She wants to grow
up but you want to grow
down, away from the
starry eyes watching you
from the sky.

Don't ******* up there.

The stars don't know a thing about you.
They watch, cold light.
Perhaps light is not the answer.
She flinches, almost to pull away,
but you are not light. Relax.

She is, but you squeeze her hand anyway.
The strange sensation of comforting
yourself,
of really being comforted at all.
She looks at you, questioning.
You tug her hand, pull her close,
your chin on her head.

Hug her, become her,
get her back. Protect her
from herself, protect you
from yourself.

For her sake, your own sake,
you don't want to
scold the sky again.
580 · Feb 2014
Graphite
Amelia Glass Feb 2014
I am drawing lines
in the sky.
A carefully engineered
map of whys,
of stars connected
by thin pencil lines

stars are exploding light
but you are graphite,
(the pencil lead but
insight)
conducting the chaos,
in your element.
Stability that can hold
the heat,
and diamonds are tough
but they are just carbon
and you are so
much more.
579 · Apr 2014
in-between color
Amelia Glass Apr 2014
you held me through every phase
of favorite
with one hand on my stomach
like you were teaching your
child how to swim
through pools of myself that I
hadn't learned

purple first, I casually declared,
and you nodded and smiled, baby's
first favorite,
and when I screamed and cried that
we had to move houses you
made sure the next one
had purple walls and frilly purple
curtains to hide away the other
options and keep me floating
above regret

then green, you didn't know where
I'd picked that one up
but you'd raised me with one supportive
hand underneath and the other
holding back my wrist so I
wouldn't write words in green ink
on the walls
so I sank down a level closer
to whatever you were holding me
from but it didn't matter
because you'd lift me through it,
because the blinds behind the
curtains were green, more
and more layers between
me and other things,
and a green blanket for the bed
so I could hide in an island of
me surrounded by the raging
sea
of some girl I used to be

then yellow, orange. you nodded
and smiled,
any color was fine, you
held me right through them all,
we were so far from that first house
with the white walls
where I hadn't any favorites
but now I fall, and you'd held me and
hid me through so much
and you can practically touch
the colors in the air
when you walk into this room
now,
I wish I knew how
you managed to hold me through
all that change when I can
barely keep myself in the lane
of existence,

I'm swimming on my own now.

I don't know when you let go,
but one day I became me
with all my past phases in tow
and no matter what I picked you
treated it like something legitimate
and I took it for granted,
enchanted by colors but now
I've landed,
and the layers you built were between
me and myself
and you hid me well.
I'm sorry that existence is a phase,
sorry mine is too heavy
for you after all those temporary
colors you held me through.
how many favorites you held me
hold up but I guess I never liked
my in-between colored eyes enough
so you didn't support me through
me and it's my fault,
give me all the weight back and
I'll try to show you the difference
between a phase that ends with unwritten
words on a wall and a phase that is
an existence
so you don't have to be burdened by
me while I learn to swim with myself

this town was bare when I left it
and green when I got back
but green isn't my favorite color
anymore
578 · Jul 2014
army green
Amelia Glass Jul 2014
If I’d told you anything I would have told you
how I smiled through my tears
when the nurse thought it was the needle
I was afraid of,

how I took enough anesthetic to keep still
a two hundred pound man
but be still my heart, they don’t go by weight,
they feed it right through
to your heartbeat

and how much I wanted consciousness,
to lose the teeth but not the wisdom,
how much I wanted control over my person
that I don’t have over my people.

If I’d told you anything I’d have told you
how your people and mine are at war
like ****** ale and jello,
like the syringe in the drawer and
I bought you a small leather-bound
copy of our favorite play,
the skull will pass between our hands
without a sound,

how I woke up faster than they expected,
everything was worth awake,
they added motrin to my vicodin
and when I finally let myself be swallowed
it was by a too-large army t-shirt.

I’d have said,
my eyes have darkened to the defensive green
they’re wearing over there,
and Arabic is such a pretty language
but mine is bolded blocks,
a defense force defending a country
and a country’s defense of itself,
which is more than I give me.

And you’d have said, I’m sure,
what a waste it is that such a high drug tolerance
is wasted
on the cowardly
I lost my wisdom teeth, put on an old t-shirt, and watched the news. Would not recommend.
548 · Nov 2015
Birds of the magnetic field
Amelia Glass Nov 2015
They say opposites attract.
Negative and positive
atomic bits,
the south pole of the magnet
and the north pole of the earth.
They say the church knows best
when it swarms the local high
school,
ravens of hate,
they say the children need G-d,
blind baby chicklings that can’t see,
they say protest is free speech
and death is free will,
free as a bird,
say the ravens.

Birds are not free.

There are songs
and there are alarm calls,
they say help me,
I look like flying
but I feel like barely surviving,
they say you can only hold back
the river for so long,
crying dying pulled-dead
into the ground
of the magnetic meadow.

They say don't you know,
your creator doesn’t love you

and the students,
they say
*I create myself.
the cold magnets
of the poles of the earth
546 · Jul 2013
On intersections
Amelia Glass Jul 2013
I'd drive down that road
still laughing at a joke,
with the ghost of a smile on
my face from seeing a friend's
smile,
grumpily silent after failing
a test,
grudgingly alright after a
stressful lab.
always on the road, headed home.
I can complain about the heat
and the south and the suffocation
and the big, impersonal town
till I'm blue in the face
but it's where my house is, even
if it's not home, and it's beautiful
sometimes.

I cross the intersection just as the light
flashes yellow
and in the rearview cars spill out
where I've been not a second before.
the action gets smaller as I get
farther away.
I am leaving, and everything is covering
the ground where I've passed
like nothing is different
because nothing is different.
we pass through intersections
every day.
we have to get where we're going.
we leave things behind.
sometimes we don't come back.
intersecting lines that never
cross again.
parallells would be different;
to not know what you're missing.

members are stronger
in tension than in compression.
once in tension, always in tension.
pulling separate ways
destined to long
from afar.

we pass through.
we cross over.

sometimes we don't come back.

I can't stand that.
539 · Apr 2015
earth
Amelia Glass Apr 2015
The first time you flew you told the birds how unfair
it is that the air is so much thinner up here, that below
they have to breathe the crushing weight of the stratosphere
just because they’re accustomed to it, and your gasping
for breath doesn’t make any sound yet every day
you choose life,

man and wife
man and wife


placed in a gunfight with a pocket knife and a guidebook
of expectations. You don’t remember filling an application
for this, for now-flightless wings or for being this daughter

I will love you
come **** or high water


but the first time you landed you didn’t write a thing,
you just drank tea out of a paper cup, no mug in the sink,
no need for anyone to look up when she came home.  
The first time you used the key in this new house’s door
it fit so perfectly that you didn’t feel at home anymore.
The *** boiled even though you watched, and you drank
out of a paper cup and no one looked up, it was
biodegradable and then it was
gone.

The first time you flew.
The first time you really saw you.
The first time you heard that song called poison oak,
the first time you said what you meant to say,
the last time you spoke.
a space-time continuum
530 · Mar 2016
March First
Amelia Glass Mar 2016
This is a lightly used copy of Nancy Drew.
This is an eraser shaped like a softball.
This is a bit of unraveled tennis racket grip.
This is an empty paper picture frame–
this is the picture that went in it.

I leave them all down south. Here,
I have only what I need:
the books, the periodic tables on the walls,
the dried leaves she collected for me
and had laminated last fall.
The star charts and on the top
shelf the glass jar of dead roses.
The little drawings she left me
on the backs of receipts, the graphs
of crystal shapes and symmetries.

I have only what I need now.
I am surrounded by me,
having survived my youth, ready
to start telling the truth.

This is a string of beads with half
a heart in the middle.
This is the remnant of a joint collection
of bobble-head turtles;
these are the heads that have fallen off.

Now look how much farther
they can see.
515 · Aug 2015
predawn perseids
Amelia Glass Aug 2015
the sky lightens gradually
as if from nowhere, as if someone
in the sky is slowly rising,
blinking sleep from his eyes
and sitting lazily up onto his elbow,
casually ******* the brightness slider
on the universe as if he's done it
every day, he must have.
before the pink can hit it the checker
pattern of clouds fades away,
promising a casually clear blue
day but this one is more
personal now, his gift to me,
because on the concrete looking up
i can see the sun before it rises,
i know what it's like to wake
with the sun there on the other
side of the bed, to see her slowly
blinking the stars from her skies.
yawning, stretching, morning breath,
to see her rolling up her sleeves
and tying back her hair
and scattering her dreams of death
with a shake of her tired head.
and yet even before she is fully awake
she is so radiant.
the moon, shooting stars, even the perseids
step back to let her shine.
i feel as though when the sun
hides behind storms some days,
each day i will know why.
i went out to see the meteor shower and it wasn't the only breathtaking thing about the predawn sky
503 · Jan 2014
cadence
Amelia Glass Jan 2014
That which we call a rose
by any other name
and so on
and so on

I don't know my name
What I know is what people
call me sometimes
A discord, the wrong
chords,
the blaring lights of a
fire alarm if the fire were
me pulling on a long-sleeved
sweater and putting
up my hair and
molding myself into
their day

What I knew was the euphony
when you said a particular
order of sounds,
vowels and notes
that you picked out special
like the warmest combination
of colors
all threaded into yarn
all woven into patches
all sewn into a quilt
that you draped over our heads
Your eyes glinting in the dim
glow of soft sound

That which we call a rose
in any other way
is something else,
but that which you say
with the same cadence
over and over again
and so on
is what will stay
496 · May 2013
Goodbye is Imminent
Amelia Glass May 2013
"And though you want this to last forever you know it never will. And the goodbye makes the journey harder still." —Cat Stevens, "Oh Very Young"*

goodbyes are before goodbye is said.
they are looming over everything, they
are ******* the joy out of the time
that is left.

it is so hard to remember to forget
the goodbye until it happens,
so hard to remember not to forget
the goodbye once it's over, when
forgetting seems so easy.

in a situation where goodbye is
imminent, we cannot win.
we can't be wallowing in self-pity
or we will waste away the time we've
got left, and all our times will be sad
and what will we have to remember
these days by? the sadness? that
will not do, these days are
marked by something far more
bittersweet than bitter.
but if we push away the sadness,
we will be able to enjoy our time,
and the end will hit harder,
and happy memories are hardest
to remember.

i am scared of remembering.
i am scared of forgetting.

such is the nature of goodbyes.
goodbye

[i miss you]


[i love you]
473 · Apr 2013
Slow Hourglass
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
i am weak, and not brave enough
to tell you how much i love
you, to reveal my-
self, so raw, so
vulnerable,
and you
deserve
someone
who can do that,
someone who can do
anything for you, and i can't,
so i will suffer for you, because
i love you. time will pass through the glass.
i might be okay one day
472 · Nov 2017
Stuck on the puzzle
Amelia Glass Nov 2017
From the sixth floor on a Sunday
night you can see
the snake of green

lights switch to red, cars
jarred back a hundred
times stopped in tracks.

There is the jolt
when the robin's egg
cracks in my hands

that is the **** motion of waking
up from falling backwards. There
is the second hand, second

law of thermodynamic
arrow of time, the red
leaves want the earth

beneath them and sooner die
than go back up. There is sitting
cross-legged next to a jigsaw

waiting to see
why one can only wait
in one direction.

Of course, you can see
the traffic lights change
on other nights too,

but Sunday is the one I'm thinking of.
470 · Jun 2014
backdrop
Amelia Glass Jun 2014
i.
unable to see over the big box of memories in your arms,
you walk down the stairs into the dark slowly,
waiting until you feel your toes curl around the edge
of a step before moving the rest of your foot.

ii.
you hold the book carefully,
propped open against the carton of milk on the table,
trying to balance the pages in each hand
so that the two sides of the book match up
where the binding is split.
it’s been read many times.

iii.
you hold up a little doll with brown pigtails,
look under
 the yarn-knit dress

for the little felt red heart on the left of her chest,

stuck there with glue,

messy but impossible now

to remove.
its eyes are black and incidentally,
her eyes were the color that forms the
backdrop of your dreams.

iv.
when the box collects dust
and the binding breaks clean in half like earth’s crust
and your mind quakes and a wave
of new comes washing over,
your dreams will be set in the eyes
of a different ‘her,’ one who’s still kicking,
with quiet hands that know the spot on your wrist
where your pulse is its strongest,
so I hope you've been writing all this down.
467 · Jul 2013
spinning
Amelia Glass Jul 2013
so hard to enjoy
what we have
when we know
it will go

if all good things
come to an end
where is the
world headed?
467 · Jan 2016
amoeba
Amelia Glass Jan 2016
You say again that you would rather
move from the tabletop over to the couch
but I think this is right:
us sitting on the edge,
your feet planted on the chair while mine
dangle in the air like a child’s,
which is the way it is.
You think of fingers interlocked like locking
us in a cell, or an embrace,
I think of children holding hands and
running through a fairytale.
So I think this is right,
us sitting on the edge here
with comfort over there
and I won’t say it’s me not you
because I am not confused,
not an amoeba or just easily bruised,
I am not broken or scared.
I just want to sit here
instead of there.
#stop treating people on the ace spectrum like children 2k16
467 · Apr 2015
venus
Amelia Glass Apr 2015
I remember you bringing reds and oranges
back to the leaves as if you’d painted them on
grey canvas where there’d only been negative
space before, remember watching you watch
your works of life drift to the floor.
I remember you trying to look down
when a perfect snowflake landed on your chin.
Now I sit on the ground, just waiting
to hear that your flight got in.

I remember sitting in the crowded café,
remember knowing you had entered
by the way the room got softer, the way
the colors saturated and the crowds got smaller
and the windows magnificently taller.
I remember staying away.
I remember being afraid.
The sensation was not enough to drain
the warmth or color from the room
until you left it.
a space-time continuum
466 · Nov 2015
Nutmeg Hands (ii)
Amelia Glass Nov 2015
Raw
egg whites cling
to your hands,
you won’t wash them away,
the smell of dish soap
still tastes like flinching
away from your mother
the first time you cursed
and she tried
to clean you.

The back of the bottle
says Dawn is just a base,
with a mild pH,
if swallowed, simply
dilute
by downing water.

You won’t wash your
hands by drowning.

They are still soft
from rolling dough
in sugar,
the whites retaining
everything you touch,
cinnamon and nutmeg,
cardamom and clove,

everything warm
you learned from her,
the command of the kitchen,
the heat of your skin
under her quick palm,

the heat that concentrates
in the steam
of the boiling water,

black tea,

and you burn your lip
and your mother kisses it
and you gasp in the smoke
with your chai-stained lungs
and you hug her
with your nutmeg hands
to which every spice has clung.
461 · Sep 2013
Ink Shower
Amelia Glass Sep 2013
Rain magnified the words
on the page and then drifted
away, taking bits of them
with it; ink swirled and
dissolved in the drops
that soaked into the earth.

There are worse ways to
have your copy grow faded,
crumpled pages;

like a child in the meadow
of a fairytale I dance in
circles as the rain comes down,
because water is constantly
cycling.

There is, within the confines
of this planet, literally no
limit to where this rain could
be from.

I could be dancing
in a shower
of words
460 · Jan 2016
flight number
Amelia Glass Jan 2016
On the back of a receipt written
in a language I don’t understand,
detailing a currency I don’t use,
I sketch hands holding each other.
I can’t get the fingers to intertwine
properly so I don’t know
what the point is.

The texture of your skin
that’s so impossible to catch
is just a mess of atoms like the rest of us
and it makes the cabin pressure hit my heart
a little too hard, besides.
Flying doesn’t feel very free.

Below me, streetlights flicker in alleys,
sketch out silhouettes of strangers
that could be a little frightening
but from here they resemble ursa major
twinkling,
and the continent is a pond
reflecting the sky.
Even the city gets prettier
the farther from it I get.

With all that air between us
I am the color of Orion,
neither white nor blue and not quite light,
the color of a dandelion that knows
it is a **** but hasn’t the heart
to turn away from the little girl collecting it
in a fistful of wildflowers.

And with all that air between us
and all that way to fall without you
I find that for someone who must try so hard
to want the rest of my life,
I am awfully scared of missing it.
OS 087 austrian air
443 · Aug 2016
sun's mirror
Amelia Glass Aug 2016
standing on the moon-
the view is breathtaking, and
so is the vacuum.
442 · Nov 2016
improvised explosive device
Amelia Glass Nov 2016
As a mother pulls
her little
girl’s arms into a dress,
the Gunnery Sergeant pulls
his dog into war.

The difference is the dog
is permitted dirt under
her nails, is allowed to
gallop ahead, to tuck tail

at an unfamiliar scent, and
feel the scales lurch with
every foot until she swings
her head around, sees the up
in flames ringing soundless

red of a step taken but
not had. The weight
of a limb lighter, fur lit
to sizzling with the pride
of protecting you,

Sergeant. The dog is given
rest with her nose on her paw
and honor in limping
forward to collect
something else that marks
her neck as someone else’s.

Whatever Maria Dickin had
in mind, her medal pulls
at the throat and
it’s not even edible.
for Lucca
441 · Sep 2015
suicide net
Amelia Glass Sep 2015
The bridge between us
stands in the wind stoic
with indifferent strength,
resigned strength.
Static trusses of steel
bear the load without a sound
as forces ***** through it
and propagate to the ground,
like how the lightning through your
mess of veins
is grounded in the rubber soles
of your sneakers.

We are stalling, looking for veins
in everything to prove our alive.
You see a dragonfly’s wing
on the floor
and I see anything I want
in the stars in a patch of sky,
and then we each take one
step forward and I wonder why
I’m the one who trips.

The bridge is strong.
Nothing can go wrong but
every bar is under stress,
yours in tension and mine all compressed
and the bars don’t move but
underneath is a storm of forces
pushing and pulling,
tugging heartstrings,
plucking them apart like you
pluck the dead wings off the dragonfly.

We each stand on our ends looking in.
Bits of dry skin drift around,
form fairy dust in the street lamps,
slowing light down until it spills along
at the quaint speed of sound.

you used to believe in fairies

I don’t see how you stopped,
not while every cell of yours that dies
is swept into a particle current
that gives buoyancy to fairy flight

If we jump off this bridge
instead of across
we will not fall
rough
439 · Jan 2018
Teething
Amelia Glass Jan 2018
the baby teeth are a map
and a compass. when they
come out the real guys file in,
erupting the gums, ending
sentences with prepositions
until they learn where to stand.
It's a wisdom trap--the third
molars are learned until
they know they don't belong.
Someday they'll stop trying
altogether. Good riddance.
And in their place, the sutures
sew the site of eruption
like tying the loose ends
of a volcano and hoping
the lava pressure doesn't brew.
I came out when I saw I
could stand next to you. I trip
over uneven stitches.
I am not held together.
435 · Sep 2015
Construction
Amelia Glass Sep 2015
Gossamers of drywall
speckle the lips
of the trout lily leaves
beneath the boarded windows
like sprinkles of dew
rainbow on a boy’s ice cream.

At the edge of the lily
patch crouches the crane,
the treads of its tires
wilting in the heat, out of air,
having awakened on the wrong
side of the flowerbed.

The planks of wood
are just planks of wood.
The boy lays them across
the ground, building a bridge
through the leaves
to get to the other side
of the leaves.

His arms are out at his sides
like a bird about to take flight
cone in hand but he falls.
Well at least
trout lilies are not lava.
In fact, and he remembers
this with edges that *****
the backs of his eyes
and stick to the sides of his mind,
he can tell they aren’t toxic
because she showed him how
to notice the speckled pattern
on their leaves.
Totally edible. See?
But today alone they taste dry.

The sun melts
the boy’s ice cream
into the soil
and, on fingers that boil,
offers him molten gold
as compensation
for the world.
Amelia Glass Jun 2013
I feel you slipping
and it has me on edge
what are you nervous for?
nothing
you haven't got nails left
no.
why?

to the quick.
all the time.
because I remember not
two weeks ago
I was missing you with
an unforgettable ache

unforgettable. I remember
the ache. but I don't remember
the why.

I was scared you'd forget me
but now
I'm scared I'll forget you first
433 · Apr 2015
mercury
Amelia Glass Apr 2015
Kids will be kids
and boys will be boys.
We’re not who we are
and we don’t share toys.
Most days I can think
of yet better things
to paint and to trace
than my face, but that
acrylic blue, they tell me
I’ll rue the day
I let it highlight
my fingerprints
so well.
And so by fall, I  
am scrubbing my hand
off the bedroom wall.  
There are spikes inside
my unpeeled grapes,
in my father’s wine
and mother explains
about seeds and vines
but I forget, ask,
say it again, please,
she says write it down
instead and I tried
but I can never
find a pen.
a space-time continuum
429 · Jun 2017
the toll taker
Amelia Glass Jun 2017
watching things dry
is always the same:
the paint, the tears, the
puddled up fear that sits
on the bench and
then lives to regret it,
the solder that cools, the
hair in the breeze, the
ruffled bird's feathers when
she learns she's not free,
and she. a slight
glistening gone, trick
of the eye, flight
of the bird, end of the cry.
watching tears dry is
like watching paint dry.
the toll taker sighs
on the bridge, takes
your money and holds
it while he waits to give
it to somebody else,
just counting coins and
watching the water
hit the sky.
428 · Sep 2015
real girl
Amelia Glass Sep 2015
Your picture comes up
while he and I are in the kitchen
making salad
and he takes one look at you,
all strong eyes and tattoos,
and of all things to focus on
in this world of unbreathable beauty,
of you,
he picks as his focal point
your haircut.
Which is made of hair that is all yours
but somehow is just six inches short
of girl.

Well yeah, but not a real girl.
What does that even mean

She’s not made of plastic, I scream, she’s real.
She’s real, I scream.
He does not flinch, does not here.
I throw the phone on the ground
and it shatters like one of his corral plates
but I didn’t mean to break any window
from me to your face.
And with shattered-glass hands
and shattered-glass breaths shuddering,
I keep chopping.
I whisk in some mint and some pepper and salt.
I chop up parsley as calmly
as my shaking hands can manage.
He still does not hear the shaking;
compliments my steady hand,
praises my knife skills until I have to set the knife aside
so I am not tempted to stab at the chill
running down my own back and away
from this heated kitchen.
I mix the dressing.
I chop the parsley.
And there is chlorophyll left on the cutting board
so I wash it off.
It swirls down the drain.
She’s real, she’s real,
I scream.
She’s realer than me.
422 · Jun 2016
rainbow road
Amelia Glass Jun 2016
sitting cross-legged
on the floor
bare right foot over
left knee, tilting
the controls like
that will give you
more control as a
kart hurtles down
rainbow road—
ever the hardest track,
but the one to which
every child comes back
time and again—and
to think some of us
will live there, will love
in prisms of light with
no railings, sit
among the stars and fold
paper cranes when
people ask us to explain
our pride
as if they have never
heard of love.

when you fall off the edge
everything goes dark
but in this life the ghosts
don't float you above
it all to get your
bearings back; somehow
you have to do it without
the benefit of afar; the stars
don't spin around your
head while you count
your scars; in
this life the ghosts
are dead.

I turned off the TV,
I watched a bird cross
the street, scurrying
on its little feet
and hopping onto the curb.
It did not use its wings
once. It does not need
to see things
from far away
like I do.
once we realize that we are not small, this is our world and we can act to change it.
if you live in a state whose senator voted "no" to background checks,  contact your local representatives expressing your concern about civilian ownership of military-grade weapons. make our voice loud.
417 · Mar 2014
olfaction
Amelia Glass Mar 2014
Where does pumpkin pie go
to die
in the spring, when everything
smells like pollen or else nothing,
air conditioning sterilizing the air
into bits while everyone sits stuck
to their chairs and
if there’s a scent in the room
someone asks what’s gone wrong
but scent is right sight is
blind he couldn’t
smell carbon monoxide

Nothing comes to life in the spring,
it springs back to life
it wasn’t dead, it’s
back, from dormancy, it wakes
up,
and everyone knows the dream
is better than the reality

But in the season of warm pies
when air smells of cold,
I can taste the snow and I can
taste the sky,
and everything is bright
and snow appears to swirl not down
but up all around and your eyes are
just the shade of brown
that can
probably smell cardamom, or
cinnamon spiraling in chai and
he smelled warm fire and cool
sky and it kept him alive
and olfaction, olfaction
the only sense we can’t remember
technically
with neurons but we hold it anyway
because sight is blind
and come May—
birds are chirping and we're getting dangerously near
400 · Apr 2013
Today is silent
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
19 April 2013.
Today is silent.

Today I write day of silence on the back
of my hand, letting the words sink into my
skin the way they try, heavy as they are, to sink
into the minds of the ignorant chatters who ask
why I haven't spoken. If, indeed, they've even
noticed. Nodding and smiling will get you pretty
far, and people hear their own voices so loudly
as to assume yours has just been drowned out
by their own superiority.

Today I get home before everyone else and
I scrub the words away, because while it means
the world to me and I stand for what it implies
I cannot show it to them; they don't know who I
am, but they think they do. I do not have the heart
to crush their reality. They're wrong. There is only the faintest
off-colored tinge to my hand now. It could be a scar.
But they won't notice it. People cannot hear something
as loud as silence— certainly, then, they cannot see
something as loud as scars.

Now not even the message remains.
Ink down the drain.
International Day of Silence. Come on, people. It's a thing.
399 · Jun 2013
1996 — 2013
Amelia Glass Jun 2013
the dash between years.
its only function is to separate
the beginning from the end.
the middle is just the
waiting room of meaningless
magazines and children's tables.

there is no name, is there, for
waiting-room toys:
wooden beads on a twisting
and never-over path.
it's a short span of wire;
how does it never end.

while the child is waiting
he learns that the game is to
get all the beads from point a
to point b. they follow the wire
path and inevitably one or
two get left behind.
where gravity stops them,
that is their new end.

the first few times, he'll go back
for them.
     smooth wood gliding.
then the doctor will call him back;
his own story, getting in the way
of things again.

his first check-up, her first
loose tooth.
his last loose tooth.
                                                    wisdom­ teeth, snatched from him.
firsts and lasts,
those are the only things
he'll remember of the middle.
and in the end,
only the first first
and the last last

the rest


first breath, last breath.

RIP
397 · Apr 2013
the aims game
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
why?

because.

but *why?
[I don't know.]
385 · Nov 2016
Iftar of the Ninth Night
Amelia Glass Nov 2016
In a row, three
generations of prayer. Your
forehead greets the floor

the way chipmunks touch
noses, but Nanu gets a chair.

Imagine how scared the stars
must have been the first
night they couldn’t see her.

Silk whispers messages
from the rug to your hands,
from Nanu’s feet and mother’s head

to your hands, and the crickets call
to you to say—

we know Nanu has made her
vows and we sing
and we sing with you.

They understand about the chair,
do not want to see
her flicker and fall

is coming with its fallen leaves
so you and two mothers
sway. There is mango
and honeydew on three plates and

dates to break the fast
shadow crossing the moon,
the tides forecast.
384 · May 2016
morning walking
Amelia Glass May 2016
Away from the city I see Alcyone
and all the bright things I didn't know
existed,
and girl have I missed it.
At the pediatrician's office my mother
told me there was nothing
the doctor could do about my
anxious palms, no salve to cover
it, just keep rubbing them on my jeans
and raise my hand in class
with blue dye on the sides where
other kids have graphite but
you say you like the way my hands shine.
Our fingers, intertwined.

This place, its color saturates
when you return to it.
A cosmic ghost playing
a cosmic joke, waking up,
propping himself lazily on an elbow
in bed, casually sliding up
the brightness of the universe
like he does it every day, like he
was born to it, when really
we were.
377 · Nov 2014
man and wife (ii)
Amelia Glass Nov 2014
The first time you flew
you told the birds how unfair
it is that the air is so much
thinner up here,
that below they have to breathe
the crushing weight of the
stratosphere
just because they’re accustomed
to it, and your gasping
for breath doesn’t make
any noise yet
every day you choose life,

man and wife
man and wife


placed in a gunfight with a pocket knife
and a guidebook of expectation.
You don’t remember filling out an
application for this life, for
now-flightless wings and for being
their daughter,

I will love you
come **** or high water


and the first time you flew
you heard birds laugh at you
and the air was so thin
you fell right through,
and the silence so thick
you landed hard,
lungs aching,
but you were never afraid of the dark,

in the high water
watch out for sharks


because you aren’t one for stark
contrasts and it’s nice to feel
like nothing at all,
keep falling.

The first time you didn’t
write a poem you drank tea
out of a paper cup, no mug
in the sink, no need for anyone
to look up when she came home.
The first time you used the key
in your new house’s door
it fit so perfectly that you didn’t feel
at home anymore,
and the first time you were afraid of the dark
you weren’t,
because it can’t get you
if it can’t see you’ve left any mark.

The first time you didn’t
write a poem the *** boiled
even though you watched,
and you drank tea out of a paper cup
and no one looked up, it was
biodegradable and then it was
gone.

The first time you flew.
The first time you really saw you.
The first time you heard that
song called poison oak,
the first time you said what you
meant to say,
the last time you spoke.
365 · Oct 2013
Fade, our screams
Amelia Glass Oct 2013
I wrote about her
in an essay
and never once
used her name
and she was she
and I was me
and no one knew
including us two

And then I asked
the world to
read it and the
page came back to me
sanitary
full of cross-outs
well-read and heavy
and looking tired.

And not a
single person
asked who
she was
364 · Apr 2013
Say it, then
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
silence.
what? don't you have something to say?

darling, i always have something to say.
my mind is a construction site
alive and busy
people everywhere, moving
every which way
but it is so far away that
to me they are but ants
small and busy, so many of them
who knows what they are doing
what they are thinking.

i try to build words, but i am
too weak to lift them,
they are heavy as bricks
to my crew of small ants.
sentences thicken
into mortar that your
strength can master,
but when my ants
band together, bricks on
their backs, to spread it,
the weight crushes them
to the ground.

i fall before the words.

but
i always have something to say.

say it, then

.
359 · Apr 2013
Words for You
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
I wonder if you pay as close attention
as I do to the little things,
the ones I go over in my mind
hours after you've walked away—
you turn and wave over your shoulder
and I walk the other way smiling at
myself like a fool.  I love it.

I am thinking about the slight tilt of
your head when you want me to
hurry up and follow you; about the soft
way you tap my arm with the back of
your hand, that I might turn round in time
to see what you're pointing at, something
you've decided I will enjoy, before it's
gone; the way, when I am sitting with my
gaze cast downward, that you reach out
and brush my hair away just to check that
my eyes are sparkling but not wet.

resting your knees against the tips of my
feet when they are in the way as we settle
into our little corner of the world, trying
to get comfortable. small things. I wonder if
they are but instinct to you. To me, they are
you claiming me as a friend.

I am weak. I let you, but I never claim you
back. I am no good at subtlety— everything
I do is too little, too late, or else it is too much
and far too soon. But words are forever, and
since I can barely speak at times, I have written
mine down.

Words are forever, and these are for you
my friend.
358 · Apr 2013
Revel in Darkness
Amelia Glass Apr 2013
the sun is brighter than the moon
but its light washes over everything
till the world pales
into insignificance and routine
and night is more colorful than noon.
351 · May 2017
cold, dead eyes
Amelia Glass May 2017
you're taking your
glasses off and living
in the blur.
you're punching the ice
of them, breaking
the rearview
while you miss your connecting
flight. why was seven afraid
of nine?
346 · May 2013
Cadence
Amelia Glass May 2013
Every song I sing
I'll sing for you
but really I'll be
imagining the way
you sang it first,
the soft and subtle
cadence
of your voice that
always gave you
away.
345 · Dec 2016
Sialia sialis
Amelia Glass Dec 2016
Did you know that an eastern
bluebird is a type of thrush?
It reminds me of her eyes, but
I've tried not to tell you.
And did you know a bluebird
has a red chest, like a robin?
Bright red, like the shoes
she wears even when it rains
and the water soaks through.
Did you know that a robin
is also in the thrush
family?

I can hear her steely-eyed
hope--in the bluebird's trill.
Did you know that chemotherapy
can be administered by pill?
345 · Mar 2016
a catered event
Amelia Glass Mar 2016
the sun is setting in slant
through the window, outlining
everyone in gold thread

there’s loud music and
laughter and RESERVED
tables full of people eating and
laughing like they’re at any tables
at all

at the end the music is still
playing
and the sun is still slanting its way
down but the rainbow flag is draped
over the dusty piano to free up her hands
so she can clean other things. everything
is tidied up, things gathered, minimizing
space taken

the stickers, the flags
of all combinations of colored stripes,
pink and blue and purple sunsets,
prism rainbows, the black table cloth
stretched out below the window
as two people fold the sunlight into it,
packing it away. name tags
are peeled off shirts. In the end,

they leave with a whole
foods canvas bag full of things
that could be anything,
ready to blend back
into everything else.

the sun ducks behind a mountain
on the horizon and the sky purples,
bruised by indifference. the sun ducks
behind a mountain on the horizon and
no one is outlined anymore.
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