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emma jane Mar 2022
in those days we were all grit
and computer screen grime
nails too far out from the hardwood floor

the last time we kissed the car was in drive
and I wondered if we had
anything still

exhilarating until
fingers burnt on blown out tires
nose bleeds in the morning
novelty by the mouthful

you’re destruction,
that’s holy in hindsight
I re-scratch your patterns in my back
lick the old twists of your tongue
in the beginning, you said
you’d leave me whole
I itch for anything you left undone.
emma jane Jan 2022
your freckles are beautiful
but they’ll be cancer one day
i guess i’ll just let the sun pepper my face
because i heard the chemicals in sunscreen could **** me too
what the **** is moderation i want the entire world
won’t let the paint dry
my bare feet will dance
and smear that red line between too little and all too much
i swear i’m not masochistic just curious
when i chase after all the things that will **** me
because it sounds lovely to live and die a couple times,
keep giving my funeral guests and encore
i’m not scared of doing this wrong i’m scared of doing this once
i want to go everywhere and stay right here
i want a husband and a wife and a whole life of one night stands
i’m not scared of pain i’m really not
so i’ll throw myself towards the deep and the dark
because what if one day i’m at the top without ever really knowing what i’m above
pulled over and wrote this at a highway rest stop.
about - the subtle fury of being 18,  of realizing that you have both, an entire life and not enough time to live every story you have imagined for yourself.
emma jane Jan 2022
it was early, really early on that cliff.
cool air, blue light
our new friend had to go (a busy woman in no rush).
we rolled a joint for her journey home.

our minds were cheeks flushed red and rosy but that was fading now. the sun that had risen just for us
swept slowly over the rest of this place.
began to wonder if she ever cared at all for her private audience. maybe.
but, probably not?

get in the car.
watch morning commuters swarm the PCH.
it all felt a little funny;
how this was the world, and the people here are so sad.
we giggled. a satirical sort of clarity began to settle.

this isn’t really it.
is it?
well, coffee should help.

music was still so beautiful but
now i knew that we could be the only ones hearing it this way.
i hoped that was not true.
pupils shrinking,
the world still rolling slowly but, with a sudden edge.

oh no.
i hope not.
i turned towards the driver’s seat.
there, with thick-rimmed sunglasses,
those hands holding a freshly lit cigarette out the window,
you were; exactly the same.
emma jane Jan 2022
I’d give you the hour I had. Slipped down the front steps, into to my boots, “Mom, I’m going to James’ to catch up. Back in an hour,”
“Oh, is that who’s here? Awe tell me how he is,” my mom smiled with warm sandbox concern as she waved out the window. You’ve always been welcome here.
“I think he is doing better he got a new job he likes, going to go hear more,”

We started like we always have, along the awkward edge of fragility, like I might just jump out before you get going too fast. You’re the tooth I have tied against my doorknob; it’ll take escaping the threads of my body to ever find the nerve to kick you clean out. I commit when the road gets quick underneath us. I have always played reluctant and barely convinced to come see you. One layer you thumb against your index; you make me feel like a rookie when I am the older one who knows better, who’s watching her body slouch into a fiddling girl.
We split 2 “****** joints,” no filter - a term you taught me just then, tapping it against my nose before lighting it between your lips. You decided on the cell phone lot along the airstrip; continued your scant refusal to answer my questions, ones about the text from the night before. Insisted the ****** ladies had swept you straight off your feet - no need to go back when you’re feeling so much better.  
Oh good - I will tell my mom that you are well and hear from you late later this week with your prayers to the subtle god of short-term solutions.

No planes took off but we hoped with our eyes pressed against a clear sky.
“Could be Oregon.”
“Yeah, it could be.”
“I’d pack the car tomorrow, you know that.”
“I’d be nice.” I breathed to close this prayer between us. I will meet you there when all else fails. You’d take me there tonight. I hate you so ******* much but I trek out every time you call to look at Oregon through your windshield because it would be nice. We’d stand a chance in Oregon. We could love each other well.
You wrap your hand around my thigh.
“Sorry, had to,” you smirk before retracting it quickly.
“You have a crooked idea of what’s necessary,” it’s gotten us into that backseat only twice over five years but, I have always let your hands test my resolve.
“You’re right. How’s the boyfriend?” you tease as you throw your arm over my seat and the car into reverse.
“Oh, please he’s not my boyfriend,” I dismiss you quickly and watch the scar sweat down the corner of your wry smile, warmly lit by fire between your teeth.
“I think it’s funny. You’ll call me when it’s over so what’s the difference.” I hate that you’re right.

It was a smooth red Mazda roll from the cell phone lot to the roads you came here for, the hidden highway stretches behind the airport. The blood left my chest as your knuckles went white against the transmission.
down shift
down shift
down shift
the darling terror of your acceleration swelled to breath in my lungs. You smile like you remember; I smile as if I don’t. The way the floor caved to meet me the day I got the call. The way you cried into the mirror when you finally woke up to the tempered glass scar that carves across your face. I’ve been the fool in you passenger seat more than I’ll ever admit. My mom would never let me leave the door if I told her the truth, that I only trust you driving this fast with me there. Flying around these wooded bends, I know if I ever want to keep you, I have to be your something to lose.
Don’t worry mom he wouldn’t **** us both.

The first time we did this was the first time after. I thought we were going to park and talk but you wept as we climbed to 200 on the highway. I shook and begged you to slow down.
You wished it had worked. You wished it had worked. I knew the EMT, she told me you wished she had not worked.

I don’t know what is different now but as the night whipped past the empty roads, I wanted to reach out my hands and touch time through the December sunroof, to kiss the creeping truth of scarcity like she was coming home. We are moving so fast through what we have left and oh my god I feel like I can breathe again. I so am afraid for the unsuspecting, praying that any late-night jogger or crossing deer is miles safe from our never stopping in time.
You are not. You love me like a religion, with enough faith to steer straight and trust the road ahead like you know that it will clear it if it’s meant to. But I know you. I know your nightmare isn’t the oak tree you met on this road months ago.
You won’t **** your wrist this time
but if the tires slipped on the melting snow
and we both fly to Oregon through your windshield,
you pray you’re not the only one this time,
begging not to come home.
hello! back on here after a long time
emma jane May 2017
sitting at the kitchen table
and trying to
explain to my mom
why i stayed
while she told me,
with small kaleidoscopes of
warped devastation
pooling in her eyes
and rolling down her cheeks,
that this is scaring her.
because, it sounds like
i’m the type of girl
who stays,
while her husband beats her.
the girl she raised.
sitting at the kitchen table
and realizing
that when you ran your hands
through my hair as you kissed me,
you were twirling my future around
your fingers.
this is scaring me
because you’ll be the guy
who carved the hole in my chest
that stays
i know i will see your fingerprints
in all the hands that will come after you.

And I Will Run.
emma jane Mar 2017
I think I stopped writing
because I stopped finding beauty
in the places where
I find myself.
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