Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
1.4k · Dec 2015
submissions for our memoir
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
meeting you was drowning without water, i didn’t know i was already dead

my body was stronger before my tongue tasted your name
and kissing you was like cliff diving to meet cement

your fingerprints left bruises without a warranty, i can no longer find my skin
somewhere between lost and found, your hands are ghosts around my throat
i choke on my own steps

you stain the bathroom tile like i’ve had too much to drink
loving you was like eating a cereal box of sea glass, and still searching for the prize at the bottom
my fingertips bleed broken promises

sometimes i sleep on the couch to avoid the absence of your shadow in my sheets
my sheets still ask about you
so do my parents

i rehearse words you’ll never hear
my insecurities crawl out of your one-word responses and tell me i’m not worth more

for your love of multiples, i could have been anyone
your hands carry the baggage of “ew she’s my best friend
i’ve lost count of all the ‘shes

you were not searching for my heartbeat when your hands groped my chest
i’ve had trouble finding my pulse lately

i need a receipt for our memories but they’re stuck to me like a shirt i can’t get over my shoulders
i can’t get over your smile –

the way the corners curled like bare willow branches dancing in the wind to our song
it was running your parseltongue through my veins, and i’d run out the high for days
i think i’m still running, but my feet are stuck in the same **** city we met

your face is plastered post-it notes on all the places we had our firsts as if i need reminders you used to look in my eyes and mean it

i visit museums to remind myself beautiful things have history too

no one ever tells you that goodbye tastes like empty air, tastes like looking in the mirror and not being able to swallow yourself

i bear the scars of your touch, poetry scratched into my skin like tattoos

i remember the first time you hit me
your palm crashed my cheek like a chance seismic stamp and i liked it

you told me, “run while you can i’m dangerous,”
but i stuck around to be buried in the dirt of the grave you dug me with “hello

sometimes i’m convinced we only hug so you can check my hands for a shovel
Emily K Fisk Jan 2017
Read more.
Words are the map fragments of wisdom you need to navigate your way in a world constantly sending you searching for that which you don’t yet have a name.

Write more.
And don’t keep it to yourself.  Your voice deserves to be heard too so scream in cursive and whisper in all CAPS, bleed through paper and heal through the spines of notebooks
you’re spiraling onto something, breathe in commas and step over periods because you’re not over
you’re the most beautiful run-on sentence

paint more.
You’re an artist whose perspective warrants an audience,
so leave cerulean fingerprint traces in your titanium touches,
mix gesso with mars and be alizarin against charcoal

stand out. And stand up.

Find adventure in the every day.  Skydive through small talk, zip line through steps up stairs without an end,
life is the ellipses in silences your eyes seek to make stories,

This world. People. This city you’ve landed yourself and take calculated risks.

Tiptoe through moshpits and stomp through meadows.
Cartwheel into concrete conversations headfirst eyes wide open,

be vulnerable, to those who deserve to see the rawest parts of you.
And leave the ones who’d rather exploit them behind

leave others’ opinions behind.  Let them be the ones collecting dust.
You are stronger than you’ll ever know and ten-fold what they’d ever expect.

So let them guess.
Be the question mark in the corner they can’t place.

Your story is complicated.  But that makes you interesting.
What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you and you’ve been challenged each and every day

you get out of bed and speak when so easily you could’ve lost your voice the night you lost your body.
It took you some time and a few nameless faces to claim it again and you’re still working out what that means,
you’ve always had your own way
but all the ****** assault pamphlets name this normal.

[For once it’s a label you don’t detest.]

So this year be normal if you so choose, but also be weird.
Be loud, not small, be confident, and not sorry.
Take up space.
You deserve to.

You are Woman and you are Strong.

Push, but don’t ever shove.
Love unapologetically and fiercely.
But don’t force what a boy is not willing to give.

Find someone who will pay your heart the same attention he does your body.
Scratch that,
find yourself.

Read your body’s brail, your chapters of goosebumps, and play chess with checkers across your skin.
Unlearn and relearn and unlearn and learn to remember you are enough and it is your turn.

Look in the mirror and accept the pieces looking back are in progress.

Keep writing.

Watch the moon make way for the sun. Be brighter than both.
Let your irises draw constellations across galaxies unwritten.
Move so far forward, you stop having a reason to look back.

Forgive that which you cannot change.
You’ll make more mistakes, scrape more knees and trip on chainlink chokers, your jewelry limbs you haven’t yet untangled.
But forgive yourself.

Kiss the boy. Kiss the girl. Kiss no one.
Live in the present tense and with future declaratives.
Appreciate the thousands of little moments still looking to be made yours. Make them yours.

You are worth all the struggle.  Don’t forget.

Be kind but don’t rewind.  
Stay authentic even when you don’t make sense and your words aren’t oil enough to separate

paddle through the waves eyes closed if you have to,
the salt may burn your scars and you may lose your bearings, but keep going.
Maybe this is the year you’re going to learn to swim.
in progress because aren't we all unfinished
1.1k · Dec 2015
I Was Thirteen Years Old
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
When I needed a google search to tell me if I was still a ******.

It took a game of dare or double dare to teach me I don’t know repeated sounds an awful lot like yes
and ******* can drop mountains on boundaries not yet built –
serrated edges on once innocent skin

I let you carve me.

Nine years later and I’m still trying to find air in the ocean where it all happened.
I took lessons, but I never learned how to swim.

I remember thinking you must’ve liked me, that was the reason
and returning the favor would’ve made it okay. I found you in my freshmen year yearbook.

But I was wearing a bikini shaped like ignorance and a smile lined with naïve

you weren’t reaching for my heart when you went to hold my hand,
forcibly lacing my fingers like ribs around your ****.

I still wonder if dropping the I don’t before the know would’ve made any difference.
680 · Dec 2015
lips lined in empty handles
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
i water the flowers in my chest with whiskey,

dying to drown you out of my system, but i just get drunk

your face reflects at the bottom of each shot glass i fill up just to find you again,

it’s raining on my face again

and i’m coughing up petals that scream he likes me not

just to force feed them back down my throat so maybe some will seed

maybe i’ll learn to stomach i meant nothing

or maybe i’ll drown waiting for you to
654 · Jul 2017
intimacy (10w)
Emily K Fisk Jul 2017
our ankles knock
at stranger’s doors
under once familiar sheets
512 · Dec 2015
Haiku minus 'her'
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
I miss you” lit my
phone, as your tongue left its place
to touch her tonsils.
479 · Dec 2015
“Good morning, hun”
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
The hairs on his chest form a heart
just below his throat;
my fingertips tenderly trace its edge beside my faint breath.

his back arcs as a gentle smile meets with mine.

I only let people I really like see it,” he whispers softly,
placing his ear against my chest,
tapping the beat upon my cheek.
423 · Dec 2015
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
It was over for me when we woke up –
like an archipelago separated our bodies, intertwined in sheets
of your lies, I no longer recognized you.

On our first date, you snuck me onto a roof and made me feel alive (/again/) –
as if I were breathing in your beauty with every step we took under the stars’ eyes,
you were new.

And you walked a tightrope too scared to reach for my hand – emotionally handicapped –  
nervous smiles danced in our irises as goodbye left our lips,
I was falling.

But I think you tripped.

Even as confessions slipped out of your mouth as fast as (/gin, fireball, whiskey/) alcohol went in,
I held you as you sleep talked.

I’m not supposed to know.
When I said yes to you, I said no to him, and you said yes to her.

My name is not “Elaine.”

Now the hairs on your arm touch my chest from islands away, so I don’t feel
you say, “There aren’t enough benefits” for you.

I already know.

The last three nights unintentionally together and
I’m more of a burden than a good time –

Because once the words “I’m okay with you hooking up with other guys,” entered the air
my feelings for you swam the other direction, but my body couldn’t yet commit.

My eyes stayed present last night just long enough to see you,
but failed us the moment they watched you leave the room.

Three am on a Wednesday and your genitals are searching for an apology?

I’d already met dawn enough for this week.

The words, “I went to play video games till 5 because you fell asleep,”
dropped from your lips like a 12-year-old boy learning what puberty is.

I apologize.

Immaturity emanates from your sense of entitlement
as if you have some title to my body because you’ve had it before.
I do not owe you.

And what graces your lips makes me wonder if I ever knew you.  Or him.
Or if either even existed.

It’s hard to believe such polar opposites of the same person could be anything beyond fragmented figments of a hopeless romantic’s mind.

But I’ve always thought dreams could translate to nightmares if the right words were said.
I guess you found those words.

Because I’m ready to wake up
and even sooner forget.
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
I met you, my voice not my own,
with introduction forced upon us and
you spun circles around me as I watched in awe from awkward footing.

You asked me to dance.
In a sincere, old-fashioned ‘I actually just want to dance with you’ way
that felt foreign but wanted so bad to be familiar.

Cautiously taking my hand you spun me into your circle and
I haven’t wanted to stop spinning since.
Something about your smile feels like home.

It made me forget the clock and other faces –
hands stood still as yours held mine

your eyes held me.
And Closing Time rang through the emptying bar’s air
because our conversation missed its cue by too many minutes.

The alcohol mirage faded as the lights began to show face
and it dawned on me I wasn’t dreaming.
Though it still didn’t seem so in the morning.

Lovers like you don’t just walk into my life.

I tried to piece together the puzzle fragments of your face
from dimming memories of the night past,
desperately wanting to remember the man who made me forget.  

But I couldn’t forget that initial feeling,
nor shake the connection that just kind of clicked when I looked into your eyes,
the moment I found myself in the crease of your smile.
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
A strange man in my boyfriend’s pub approached and chose to name me Satan.

Pitcher gripped, he leaned on our booth’s edge for stability sense,
radiating the kind of confidence that ignites forests with rage-inspired violence.
He practically whipped a ruler out between our plates to show us he could.

Who do you ladies know here?” he beamed.

And unbecoming words scratched at my throat,
tempted to trickle out amidst the limited air space between his face and my fist,
he made eyes at the best friend of “Satan.”

I don’t care what she thinks of me, only you,” he added as if he’d impress.

I smiled with glaring irises that left no secrets
and with his Bud Light psychology degree,
he verbally diagnosed me with multiple personalities.

You’ve got this soft cute angel-like exterior, but…

We didn’t bother listening for his name, but questioned his choice for mine.
And his response warranted the bad taste his presence gave the air.

…but behind closed doors I’m sure it’s some 50 shades of gray ****…

Our jaws forgot their places as disgusted awe entered our eyes.
He continued.

You like it rough and ***** with whips and toys and…

Satan’s best friend could only tolerate this misogynistic man for so long,
she answered his initial question with warranted glare,

Her boyfriend owns the place.”

His head cocked with such quick motion,
I feared the devilish smile that painted his face red.


Alex.”  I retorted.

Oh man!  This is going to be fun,” he cackled rusty nails up his throat,
unrequitedly cozying himself up next to me.

His arm wrapped my shoulder like a belt around my neck, as I struggled to hug the wall.

Shouting his interpretation of Alex’s name toward the kitchen,
a confused face peered from around the ovens and made its way to our booth.

Words left the uncensored man’s mouth and Alex immediately followed suit back to his work,
I couldn’t blame him.

I wanted to slip through the cracks of the body-wall-booth box I’d been trapped in.

I felt trapped in his quicksand sea of word *****

the word “******” fell from his mouth like glass shards to the womb, it’s hard to stomach him.

I wanted to hold the hand of the young boy with Down syndrome in the booth behind me
and tell him he’s worth so much more than the searing air this man fire-breathes into his ears.

I wanted to tell him I’d defend his value in a fist fight to end the word without second thought,
That he could defend himself and I didn’t doubt that.

I wanted to tell him, the man is only lucky he’s a patron who spends so much he’s nearly always cut off,
but that I find greater value in people than money, and he’s worth all the oceans over a single grain of sand,
that he shouldn’t let him make him feel like anything less,
and I wouldn’t either.
389 · May 2016
The talk.
Emily K Fisk May 2016
Palm to ribs he writes what’s not there.
His lips spill the cheap words, “it only beats to keep me alive.”

But the cavity in which it should exist echoes the emptiness of her last goodbye
and it’s not ready for anything more than short hellos and drunk quickies.

I ****** him for the first time at 5 am on New Year’s.
He’s the definition of a void, but we brought in 2016 with a bang.

It’s still unclear which it ******* more –
his body
or the hollow mirror image of my chest.
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
I close my eyes
and still feel your hands
in an empty room.
370 · Dec 2015
Senior Year
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
When we were young – and I was ignorant,
we said where we placed our fingers would be home.
One twirl of the world, and we’d be in Brazil by March.

I like to think my sporadic landings were conscious decisions.
As though needing help was the plan –
and church pews offered themselves to sleep –
because it was His plan.

As if the faded pastel colors of a curved world
couldn’t house me,
so sent me searching other homes for a fit.

I like to think it resembled that game when we were kids.

But I have visited every place offered – briefly –
like setting my finger in every state
momentarily on a map.

And still, as I lie curled up in the old elementary school slide,
I have never found home.
362 · Dec 2015
drowning without water
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
The alcohol in my system makes me its mission.
Tells me, darling, it’s okay to admit you too are tainted,
something in the silence of the moment says safety, but fear spills from my mouth as
words stain the air with glass bottle shards of no going back.

His whiskey lips bleed, “I don’t know what to say...

I don’t know which words to have him kiss feed back to me,
so we swim in rose-petaled silence
and say nothing.
342 · Dec 2015
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
Your hands are fire,
sunstars singeing my skin with their touch,
you ignite me.

And sparks fly from our crossed screams.

Our *** is electric –
and I’m just praying the power doesn’t go out.
338 · Dec 2015
Take this in Remembrance
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
You taste like Sunday morning on Friday night –
something about your body speaks to me in ways only God would understand

and I hope He does.

I wish you’d bite my lip until my mouth gave in and I no longer had words
to describe how you’re different.

Be different.

**** lingering ghosts of lovers past from existence so you’re the only name
my tongue remembers

and utters.

I want you to scratch your future down my spine so I can be –
everything you breathe for beyond these sheets.

Mark me.

I swear to die for you daily and resurrect in our screams,

just fall on your knees.
Be willing to bleed –

love –

my body
breaking for you

my blood
297 · Dec 2015
Emily K Fisk Dec 2015
Each breath was a fugitive from her lips,
a scar for which his skin screamed in agony,
tortured by another moment she didn’t know his name.

— The End —