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Nov 2016 · 725
The Boy
Hayley Neininger Nov 2016
Every now and then I miss you terribly
What a cruel way my heart remembers
To tell my brain I love you.
And what a crueler way my mouth
Never told you.
Nov 2016 · 859
Poet, Not A Poem.
Hayley Neininger Nov 2016
When I was a little girl I wanted to be beautiful
Like the princesses I grew up watching
I wanted to look like a sunset
Feel like velvet
Sound like the prose
Spoken by lovers in the throws
Of shedding of every stich of their clothes
And in a nose I would smell like a rose
Every sense sensed of me would
Make sense of me
Since sensing me would be like sipping sweet sensuality
But now that girls want is a woman’s burden
Because I am beautiful
And men flock to me as the ocean flocks to the shore
As Desdemona feel in love with the moor
As the lion is obligated to his roar
But I want more
Than to be beautiful
More than the summers day I can be compared to
More than the ways you can count to
I want to more than just inspire the lyre that plays a song
I want to make the notes it plays
I want to write down everything it sings for days
¬¬to Put into words truth as beauty
And beauty as not always truth
To have the eyes of angels but be ****** for their knowledge
That creating beauty holds less weight than when its clear on your face
But by grace
I will still always want to be viewed as the poet and not the poem
work in progress.
Feb 2016 · 828
Princess.
Hayley Neininger Feb 2016
I wouldn’t call myself a princess
I know that because
I cut my foot when my glass slippers shattered
I blead all over the shards then tied wire around them
So those stained glass pieces would let you see the world
Through rose colored glasses
Because I woke up one morning to you cutting off my long golden hair
You said it was because every time you tossed in your sleep
You’d get tangled and tug it and you didn’t want to ever hurt me
Never realizing that hair was the only way I could reach you
Because I lost my voice and my legs loving you
My throat raw from yelling and legs too seasick to walk away
But you said you liked it better that way
It was easier for you to kiss a mouth that didn’t move
And touch a body that always stayed
So, no, I’m not a princess
But we are kind of in a fairy tale
Our story was a lie whispered to children at night
It was a dragon guarding nothing
It was the result of spells and potions
It was a silent mirror
It was just some made up mythical fairy’s tale
work in progress
Feb 2016 · 913
Bones.
Hayley Neininger Feb 2016
Hundreds of thousands of years from now
I hope they’ll find my bones
Cradled in the womb of this earth
And the archeologists- as careful as midwives
Would scoop me up, brush me off
And deliver me from the dust
Then when they softly blow off the rest of the soil from my skeleton
Ever so softly for a better look at what I used to be
They’ll see my sandy frame and they’ll **** their heads to the side
In wonder when they notice two sets of bones
Yours gingerly entangled with mine
And as they pick up the pieces of us
That used to be we
They can’t tell them apart, which parts were mine
And which parts you lent to me.
Jan 2016 · 731
Remember.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
Until we have to leave
Let’s set fire to the royal garden
Breathe in heavy all the smoke
And then call it intense
Make our bed in grassy fields
And on sandy beaches
So we have room to roll around
Put up our middle fingers to the law
And kiss each other in the streets
Once the government outlaws touching
I’ll call you poison
And you’ll call me morphine
Like they’re our ******* names
Remind the world that when Satan made hell
He took notes from when we said our goodbyes.
Jan 2016 · 589
Ocean, Bombs.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
Come to me early in the morning
After all the world's bombs have been dropped in the ocean
When fish and whales scream silent to men
And their bodies wash ashore broken
Come to me as a jellyfish afterwards
Lying on a beach like a fractured glass heart
Solid enough to be buried in the sand
But shattered enough to never swim again.
Jan 2016 · 642
Ripples.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
You could take apart thunder with your teeth
The lighting in your mouth
Could light up any stretch of sky
The boom in your voice
Could make a thousand ripples
In any glass of water I hold in my hand
No matter where on earth I stand.
Jan 2016 · 445
Silent Violence.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
I’m violent by nature
Where even the fondest of nurture
Has only ever been enough to barely suppress
The violence that slips into my unconscious silence
But all these violent thoughts I keep safe
Sitting on a bar stool alone with them
A couple dozen other people around me
Staring at me buying me drinks
Wanting to lace their
Fingers around the base of my skull
Wanting to pull my thoughts forcefully out of me
But I never let them
I will never let them get to you- my violent thoughts
Don’t worry I’ll never let them touch you
I’ll never sell you out
Instead I’ll go home alone tonight, sed for your quiet company
And lay in my bed and let your circle up in me
Spinning around until you are comfortable enough
To spill yourself out onto my dreams
And so you do and unapologetically unleash
Every single thought of hate and of spite
That in my consciousness you are too modest to show.
Jan 2016 · 377
Sounds At Night.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
I never noticed the sound before
When I stumble into sleep at night
The sound of a thousand
Militant ants crawling through my thoughts
Eating them up
Creating mazes of my memories
Now its all I can do to muffle their mouths
Munching on my membranes
Mimicking movements of mimes sprayed with mace
Pacing through their tunnels trotting past my
Old thoughts and lingering ideas
It’s all I can hear now
When I stumble into sleep at night
The slow decay of the little things in my brain
And the hope they eat you away with everything else.
Jan 2016 · 379
The Difference.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
The difference between me and her is that I was built for this ****. I was forged in heartbreak and birthed into quiet suffering, but I’ve conquered my demons and I’ve slept with angels. I’ve been taken advantage of, I’ve robbed, lied and lied to, I’ve been hungry and full, I’ve been drug through the mud and then after I’ve washed myself off time and time again. I was built for this ****, to be the stronger person. To be the person who won’t fall apart, the person who- over time will mend my tiny broken and cut up heart till all that’s left is a bruise and I’ll live with it. To be the person who can take rejection off the hands of someone who wasn’t built for that kind of ****. Never think of me as shattered, but rather a mosaic off all the battles I’ve lost and won. That’s the difference. I can take this ****.
Jan 2016 · 377
Puzzles, Places.
Hayley Neininger Jan 2016
You seem tired of it all
The constant and always puzzle
Of living and doing
Of being and breathing
I am too
Come with me then
And we’ll leave it all far and further away
I’ll knock at your door
With dreams in my eyes
And blankets in my hands
And you’ll still be awake
And you’ll open the door
And if you’d like we’d just leave
I’d take you everywhere that’s different
I’d show you wonderful places
Places nobody else knows
And if you’d like the perfect places of sleep.
Dec 2015 · 426
Brother.(Edited)
Hayley Neininger Dec 2015
You pledge allegiance to a certain type of government.
A nation that is ruled by fat men
in ***** dens who fill the air so heavy with smoke
it tears up your eyes so you can water their poppy fields
and all the while with your right hand over your heart
that beats feverishly with the influx
of toxins that mix with your blood
and dilute the red poppy petal
with clear atoms that bubble on spoons
in the shape of bone crossed skulls.
They rule with iron fists clenched around
green paper that they take from you only
to sell you back  fresh needles as necessary happiness
to counteract the sadness they have created and placed you in.
They sit there with smoke rings coming from o-shaped lips
that ring around the perpetual cycle of
supply and demand-
supplying addiction and wrapping it in itches
and demanding your free left hand scratch
and you do, you scratch so hard that your skin opens up
and the pain requires more relief.
The nation you live in waves its flag with
173 stars representing the heating point at Celsius and not celestial
because space is far away from this place
and it offers too much unknown for you to think
that there is a different world besides the one they own
and maybe there is true happiness there
somewhere where hands are free from swollen veins
that act as puppet strings.
Where bail and bailiffs and bars and blame and
bang your head into brick barriers aren’t standing between you, brother.
Dec 2015 · 573
Backwards.
Hayley Neininger Dec 2015
If you were to read our story backwards
It would tell the story of how you held me as we slept
How happy we could be with nothing but empty time and a bed
How we kissed, but only a few times and only  real quick
How we ignored how we felt, how we brushed it off
Or how we would talk on the phone until one of us would nod off
How we first met, how silly you must have thought I was
Until one day once upon a time, a long time ago
You forgot about me forever, I wasn’t someone you’d ever know.
Dec 2015 · 753
Buddy.
Hayley Neininger Dec 2015
I see you now like a wishing well
A fountain of forgotten promises
A graveyard of lost pennies
A ripple like a grapevine echoing the sounds of lost times
So much so that what I wish
What I wish
That when I chucked a quarter at your heart
The one you Guarded with windchimes made of rib bones that sung sweet rhymes
That maybe I’d hit a high note
And you’d think highly of me
And  breathe in all that was good of me
That brought about that musical loud sound that even you couldn’t deny
Sang sweet
But even after all this time I still feel like
I’m playing musical chairs with your exit signs
The red neon lights that echoed a rhythm that sounded like a lullaby
That tune that I could have sworn sounded like a love song
You sang to me
And that you meant it.
Dec 2015 · 617
Abby, Always.
Hayley Neininger Dec 2015
I think if you would let me
I’d treat you like the night sky
I’d bundle up all of your wonderful traits and perfect flaws
And I’d create a constellation for them
I’d look at it with my telescope endlessly
And I know you don’t see yourself
The way I see you
And you still sometimes argue with me when I call you wonderful
But know that all of the things that you can’t stand about yourself
Are the very things I never want to go a day without
But if that didn’t work
Just know that if you let me I’d build you an observatory
Made of one hundreds mirrors
Each facing your direction
Just so you could see yourself up close in a million ways
I’d make you sit in front of them  for hours
Just so I could prove it to you-
That all of the other constellations
Every single one in the night sky
Will never have stars that shine
As bright as you do.
Oct 2015 · 315
Used To It.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2015
Sorry and love are two words you’ve worn out for me
I will never truly believe either again
And that has to be the worst thing you’ve done to me
I broke my own heart loving you
You killed what was left of the good in me
And if I had the chance to hurt you the same
I’d want to, so bad
But I wouldn’t.
It hurts but it’s okay, I’m used to it.
Oct 2015 · 428
Revolution.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2015
And so it happened the
Brisk slip into intimacy
Into the non-peaceful intrusion
Of our souls
And surely it should have  
We made each other question or choices
Skew our realities
Change our day to day lives
And mark a before and after in our timelines
You aren’t Che Guevara
You aren’t Pancho Villa  
You’re a normal person
Who managed to revolutionize my life.
Oct 2015 · 641
Coal.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2015
I am now a diamond
Who misses her mountainous mine
Back when she was coal
Back when she was coated in soot
Back when she loved a miner
Who only loved her potential
Who ushered into caves yellow birds to find her
Who used a light fashioned on a hat just to see her
Who pick axed away at her bed
Until he held her in his hands
As softly as would a flower
Who died to make her
Her ash underneath his fingertips
Her worth a blinding sparkle in his eye
She thought he would use her for heat
That she could power his body
And warm his soul
So she let him set fire to her
She let him press into her so tight
She mistook it for closeness
And the stress
The heat
The fire of it all
It make her crack her dark amber
Striped her of her soot coat
Leaving her naked and clear
A diamond
Now a spectacle of her mistrust
On display for the world to see
Placed on the finger of another woman
That the miner actually loved.
Oct 2015 · 1.5k
Who Writes.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2015
I think you should love a girl that writes
Live her many different imagined lives
In her vast collections of created worlds
Find her somewhere buried beneath them all
And when you find her pressed between
Scribbled pages and coffee cups filled with pens
Kiss her ink black fingers
Let them stain your lips so when she looks at you
She won’t forget
You’re the hero her books are about.
Sep 2015 · 557
Lions.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2015
I fell for you
Unconventionally
Because you aren’t perfect
Because you smell like sweat and sawdust
Because an hour with you
Is a guaranteed five laughs
And ten thinks twice-s
Because I didn’t plan on loving you
In fact I fought it like you did
Like a wild beast
With an anger like from being taken from its home land
With its hungry empty belly growls
With demands of its obedience from whips
With the ferocity of a caged lion
But also with the innocent of a boy
Looking at that lion from behind the zoos gate
Because so much of me
Wants to be gentle with you
Just wants to hold your hand
Tell you goodnight
Pour you a cup of coffee in the morning
Tie your tie for you
Unconventionally
At best
And terrifyingly at worst
Because in the middle of the night
I feel like more of a lion than a child
And I want to tear into you
With claws and fangs
Rip you to shreds
Because that’s the only way a lion knows
How to say
You are the finest, most exceptional, rarest person
I have ever met
And really even that is a childish understatement.
Sep 2015 · 301
For You.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2015
I fell for you
I felt you without you using your hands to touch me
And in the beginning you never touched me
That’s how I knew because I didn’t touch you either
A touch would tell too much
And isn’t it strange how we used to be strangers
And suddenly we were anything but lone rangers
Wondering this plane alone
We had each other at a distance
Far enough for a passing glance
But strong enough for that glance to move glaciers
Without your hands touching me
I felt home shift its meaning from a place to a person
And without you I feel home sick
I fell for you
And you warned me about it
With every half hug or taken back stare
But even if I can’t even be a welcome mat for you
Know I will always choose to live in you
I’ll choose you.
Every time
Over and over again
Without pause
Without so much as a heartbeat in between my answer.
Sep 2015 · 356
Horrors.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2015
I think it lives in me
My horror
The eyes of a creator
exiled from human existence
And displaced into dark corners
Of my increasingly less human heart
I think you’ve seen it
After a few tequila shots
In the heat of an argument
In the mumbles of a deep sleep dream
And it frightened you
To not only suspect but to know
That something so dark could live
In someone you held in light
And if this is the reason you ran away
I understand
My horror lives in me
And as soon as I’m sure it is sealed
It won’t be and it will slither up my stomach
And spools itself around my heart
Squeezing my blood into the far tips of my fingers
And the ends of my toes
And I’ve pricked them my phalanges
On the sharpest needles
In hopes I could drain myself of it
But I never can
See- my horror lives as me
And from time to time
I hide it long enough to love
And sometimes be loved back
But my horrors don’t go for that
They are a jealous thing that can love only me
Sep 2015 · 678
The Ark.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2015
For a few years in college
I lived across from this church
And every Sunday morning
When I was alive enough to wake up
From the first of the church’s bells
I would begrudgingly wrap myself
In my comforter force my feet to
Flop on the frigid floor and walk
To my front door
I pushed through the half-on-it’s-hinges-screen
Sat on my porch lit up a smoke-and watched
The parade of cars unloading
Women in too tall heels
Pushing them higher above hell
Men in their dress shoes shined
Into mirrors for the heavens
And like a much more bitter
but surely a just as hungover Noah
I watched them as I counted off all the couples
And I wondered how they must feel
Just for that 40 to 60 second stroll
From their car doors to the bow of the chapel
And the worst part of me
The part that belongs hidden from
Social niceties and common social civilities
Thought they must be so smug
Them thinking along this walk that
They are the saved ones
That the ones like me have certainly missed the boat
But always after thinking that the part of me
Aware of my own spitefulness the peacekeeper
Of my temperamental nature
Adds how nice it must be to be a simple animal
Filing into a sanctuary of hope
Where they believe they will be kept dry
In a world where sinners like me are soaking wet
Then again the worse part of me finds humor in that
All of these thoughts usually pass through in enough time
For all the patrons to pile in and the last bell sound
And my worst part, the part that finds humor in grit
Made me laugh out a puff of fresh smoke
And think but how is my cigarette still lit
Oct 2014 · 524
New Lips. (edited)
Hayley Neininger Oct 2014
The moment I saw you
it was if
I had never seen another woman in my life
like all the other women
I had known before
melted into one person
and quietly stepped out the backdoor of my memory
I was aware both by the amount of children in the world
and the amount of drinks being bought by other men at bars
that there were in fact other women
but not for me, the moment I saw you
they all became faded images in someone else’s head
and in mine there you were, and still are, clear as day
standing with drink in hand, mouth moving
and there I was, and still am, waiting for them to stop
just so I can kiss them
like I had, and have, never seen lips before
Oct 2014 · 764
Brother.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2014
Brother, in my dreams you have always just died.
I’ve never dreamt you are still talking to me
nor are you many years gone
your absence is always known, fresh, and painful
it feels like a skinned knee
stinging red and raw and with every movement
It reopens and spills out more and more pain.

Sometimes I am at your funeral
I’m talking through tears about the things you loved
listing off:
longboarding
reading books
long conversations
a good beer
and I stop at me.
How much you loved me, how much we were alike
and our one difference-the size of our hearts.
Mine, a tiny fragile thing with room enough
only to house you and
you, who had a heart so big
your body couldn’t let it live.

It couldn't keep breathing without making your blood thinner
so that it could more easily pass through that
giant beating ***** of yours
such thin blood that kept you alive just long enough
for you to feel every bit of pain and every moment of sadness
that having such a big heart always brings
every sad thing I feel in my dreams.

Brother, I'll say to your corpse
remember that time you were drunk
so drunk that when I told you we were out of ice
you started sobbing
you sobbed on the ground and you screamed so loud,
and you said, “but where will the penguins live?”
I laughed at you, I picked you up off the floor
and I told you, “They can live with us and I’ll pay their part of the rent.”
Then I whisper to you, softly enough
So that the congregation won’t hear
I love you more than you loved everything
Even penguins.
edited.
Oct 2014 · 1.3k
Wrinkled Grammar.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2014
Never be afraid to make me laugh
Even if over time I ask you to stop
And I tell you you’re making me look older
Just brush that off.
I really do love the wrinkles that you’ve put around my mouth
And when I look at them I see tiny quotation marks
That remind me of all the things I have to say
And that all of those things I say are important enough
For you to quote me on
And as more time passes and those tiny wrinkled quotation marks
Get bigger and bigger and start to blend together around my lips
They’ll look more like parenthesizes
And I’ll really, really love those too
Because they’ll remind me that when I used to have to say, “I love you”
I’ll know that I love you is always implied.
Oct 2014 · 1.3k
Naming Hurricanes.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2014
Try your hardest not to love people like me
I promise it will be worth the effort
To avoid a heart that beats as foul as mine does
One that will take you to the ugliest places you’ve ever seen
And have you dance in dirt and swirl in broken glass
But I’ll kiss you in those places
Every one of them- in such beautiful ways
You’ll start to think blood smells like my perfume
And that thorns are more beautiful than flowers
I’ll make you want me
In the way that a tyrant wants a kingdom
In the way that lions want antelopes
It will be maddening, it will make a savage out of you
And by the end of it when I leave
And surely I will
You’ll be a hybrid of a human
That hunts for hysteria and hungers for hostility
You’ll be so soiled by me
You’ll see the world as I do
You’ll understand a little more about things
And how awful everything is
You’ll know why we name hurricanes and not rainbows
And I’ll be one of the hearts worth the effort to not love.
Oct 2014 · 673
A Lonely God.
Hayley Neininger Oct 2014
What of the nights?
What of the time God spent in-between days of creating?
What of the eighth day?
When did God sense that the ethereal rush of completing a project
was wearing off? Does God get bored?
Does he, like everyone else, grow tired of the mundane and of the usual?
God, forever only projecting his image onto his creations was no longer exciting enough.
Too lonely was God and too curious he was to be left unattended-
with the power to elude the impossible.
Too lonely he was, too much he wanted to be around others like himself
too much time had he spent with his own thoughts
reverberating off the walls of his own making,
shouting back feelings already known to him.

Too curious he was to not see what would happen
if he could experience the company and love of others like himself
and too insightful he was to know all of these things existed in his mind
but not as a firsthand account.
Too self-aware he was to not understand that a genuine account of such feelings
was what he wanted.
He felt all the feelings we feel
Curiosity
Loneliness
Boredom
Companionship
and love.
He understood them so completely and totally in the world he created
that he grew tired
and then the only feelings God could sense were those of loneliness and of guilt;
a strong undying feeling of regret for feeling things that only he has ever felt.
With these thoughts encircling his heavy mind he also realized
that if he were to create another like him, he could not control it.
His identity would have to be shared with another complete equal.

Could he have this?
Too wise he was to not account for the repercussions of his artistic actions;
God was still.
For God like all of us, wishes to be special,
to be unique, and to have control; control, the original ***** of God.
God realized this after the night of the billionth fifth day;
he realized that now after looking at the last of all his great creations
the problems with the ones before
because after all this was not God’s first week
and in no measurable time he had created many
planets, worlds, kingdoms, and beings
none holding his attention long enough to not create the next.
So these, he muttered in his kingdom of unshared silence
these had to be different.
Not God enough to oppose him but human enough to feel him.
Sep 2014 · 860
Eve's Lime.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2014
The apple tree is far too honest with its harvest
Whereas a lime tree relies more on faith
A droll kind of tree
One full of doubt
She examined the fruit
Some were ripe and some were rotten
She felt nervous with the truth
It was hard to tell which from which
Without plucking that lime from a switch.
Sep 2014 · 689
Post-Apogee.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2014
I know the good and the bad of it
Where the pendulum has swung
And where it intends to swing next

My body is filled with the knowledge of it

Poisoned marrow mixed in my bones
With a fresh prescription of penicillin
An invoice sitting on the coffee table waiting to be paid

My hand hovering over an overflowing astray
Holding a half smoked and forgotten about cigarette
A dust pan prompted against the stool it’s on

My growling liver eating the contents of my wallet
Leaving a receipt from the ABC store clinging to the condensation
Moistening the bottle of left out ***

This feeling of post apogee
The silent deafening moment
Of situational actualization

The view from the tipping point that lingers just long enough
To still see every vantage point, the good and the bad of it all.
Sep 2014 · 539
Glass And A Mouse King.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2014
As of late I have felt less like a person
And more like the aftermath of a shattered glass
My body’s innards that were once safely trapped underneath skin
are now sprawled out across the kitchen floor
And the smaller pieces slipped into tiny dust ridden cracks that a broom can’t reach
The parts of myself that used to be neighbors
Have been forcefully relocated to different continents
And no longer recognize one another
It’s exactly like dropping a glass
When the circular base of it
Bounces and shatters it looks like a small jagged crystal crown
Perfectly shaped for house mice
Some mouse king might wear it like I use to wear
My heart.
A symbol of power- of knowing that
If all else fails I have this heart, this crown
So when people look at it they will know without a doubt
That I am good and I am deserving
But now with that piece of my body separate
From my other organs I am not so sure
Being so broken the only hope of reconstruction
Is in that dust pan in the closet
And as it collects my dangerous little shards of organs
I’ll pick up the bigger pieces with my hands
And hope that my blood is thick enough to act as glue.
work in progress
Sep 2014 · 420
Dinner With A Stranger.
Hayley Neininger Sep 2014
The time will surely come any day now
When I walk up to the front door
When I arrive I’ll knock feverishly, almost impatient
And from the inside I’ll hear it; I’ll turn the **** and open the door
I’ll greet myself and we’ll smile at the recollection of ourselves
We’ll sit down at the dinner table
And talk candidly of memories we share
We’ll eat and drink, I’ll pour another glass of wine
After I’ve politely asked for more, and added “this is delicious”
I’ll excuse myself early and I’ll understand as I give a kiss goodbye
Then I’ll shut the door slowly with a wave between the crack
I’ll wave back and backs against each other we’ll
Walk back to our separate lives lived in separate times
Knowing that surely the time will come again when our stranger past
Will knock at our door to recollect our shared collections of time.
work in progress
Jul 2014 · 416
Happy And Whole.
Hayley Neininger Jul 2014
There aren’t a lot of things in this world that make me truly happy; in fact upon further reflection, there's nothing at all that completely does other than you, things merely distract me from the inescapable fact that I've been perpetually lonely my entire life up to this point. Only the thought of you distracts me long enough to make time without you bearable, to make me hold on just a little longer to see you again so you can fill the void in my soul that has been eating at my stomach since you left. I love you like this. And when you aren’t around me images of you age backwards in my memory and comfort me to the point of almost wholeness and at the same time a vast emptiness. Knowing that thoughts of you aren’t the same as your lips on my forehead and that they don’t fix the loneness I tend to align myself with without you here. When you’re gone I stick my hands in my pockets more. I thumb the hole in the bottom of that fabric feeling for the last penny to my name and realizing that it slipped down through that whole, through my pant leg, onto strange and unknown ground. That is something like how I feel without you. Like how I can remember touching you at some point and wanting to hold onto you for dear life but the second I let go, you fell through a hole that I couldn’t follow you through. So now I am penniless. That is the most heart sinking feeling. Being so lonely that my heart swells with heavy emptiness; it falls through my body down to my feet and I am forced to stomp on it with every step I take. Each stride squeezing out more and more blood so that by the time I have walked miles to see you again I pass out in your arms.  I tell you, “Lovely to see you again, I missed you so much.” Then I am happy and whole again.
Work in process.
Jul 2014 · 665
Heretics Of Hallelujahs.
Hayley Neininger Jul 2014
We were told we were born sick
Though we never felt ill
We met in Sunday school
And over the coughs of other children
That hacked out either verses or mucus
It was never clear which
I asked you for a paint brush
And you stepped over the damp tissues
Thrown defeated on the ground
Like offerings at a precession
And you’d painted next to me.

We were told we’d always be sick
But we never looked ill
When I accidently bumped your elbow reaching for
More paper
Our blushing cheeks the color of alter wine
Bore healthy smiles and warm glows
And after countless more Sundays
When the men in funny neck ties
Came around to give us crackers
In the shapes of pills we couldn’t swallow
We decided to hide them in the sleeves of our robes
And we watched as all the other children
Grew sicker while we grew stronger
Even though they drank blood
And we’d sneak off to drink wine.

We became the heretics of hallelujahs
AWOL archangels
And we were never bed ridden from illness
In fact we yearned for the outside
Disregarding the warnings of germs
That ran rampant there
Figuring that was why they made the
Church’s steeple look like a needle
We wanted freedom nonetheless.

They told us that we would catch the flu
By holding hands
And when we were caught contaminated
They told us to wash our bodies off in the water
And you looked at me and I looked at you
And we agreed that we should-
But not this water, not here
So we grabbed hands again
And you with your free left and I with my free right
Pushed through the double doors
And as the light poured in the chapel
It scorched the priests but for us it baptized us whole
And now we tell ourselves swimming in the sea
That became our holy healing water
We’d only ever be as sick as others let us be.
Work in progress.
Jun 2014 · 985
Deep South Imagination.
Hayley Neininger Jun 2014
In the Deep South
There is always a woman
In an apron calling out to her kids
Warning them to hurry in
Or the corn bread might get cold
The kids couldn’t care either way
And at their age
Food doesn’t taste as good as
The marshes feel around their ankles

They’re just young enough to be nourished
Off of adventure alone
With sticks in hand
Grazing the tops of half-way grown
Up to their heads wheat

In the Deep South the outside
Is still the Wild West
Where you can walk a few blocks
From your front yard
To deserted boulevards
You can’t but a greeting card
From.
And among all the untamed
Nature and desolate fields and lakes
There is so much space
For kids to create

In the Deep South
Kids see broken down Chevys
As breeched kingdoms
Open fields as battle grounds
Littered with rocks that look like grenades
Every vacant marsh a ****** planet
Where you use overall clasps
As radios to your fellow astronauts.

Why would anyone be in a rush
To come home
To something so real
As Mama’s cornbread.
Jun 2014 · 426
The Coast.
Hayley Neininger Jun 2014
The water is always calmest at night, sometime around one or two on the Carolina coast. It’s right around the time the moon has grown tired of pulling the earth towards it; when its hands are shaking from holding in something so big, when the water takes a little bit longer each time to kiss the shore. I’ve learned to love how the water looks at night, it seems more selfless to me than it does during the day when the sunshine reflects the peaks and breaks of each wave, when the water is clear and you can see into every part of it. It’s different at night, it becomes a blackened mirror reflecting only the images of those awake long enough to see it, and it’s much more humble- to show off other people.
Jun 2014 · 664
Dangerous.
Hayley Neininger Jun 2014
I think the thing is we inspire danger
Within one another
We’ve realized the falsity of fear
And found instead it was always a choice
And now we’ve chosen to forgo it
To embrace danger as easily
As we embrace one another
This is a beautiful thing to find in another person
So that when the skies fall
And the armies invade our city
When the streets run so rampant with violence
That the government outlaws touching
We won’t be afraid to stand in the streets
To hold each other in chaos
To kiss each other where we need it.
Jun 2014 · 476
Where Heartache Ends.
Hayley Neininger Jun 2014
Find me a place where heartache ends
And when you find it, mark it with an “X”
But instead of burring gold there
Bury you’re betrayal, bury it deep
In a wooden box with a padlock
So that even over the years
When the salty air and crashing waves
Erode that sandy grave
And that pain surfaces again
I’ll have had enough time
To wash in the tide
The smell of you from my clothes
To baptize myself in the sea
From your sinful touches
To let the waves beat down
On my ears so loud
They’ll forget how your name sounds
When that wooden box floats
Back to me on the opposite side of the shore
Then I’ll know when it’s safe to come back to that place
And I’ll brush off the “X” you put there
Because that’s where the heartache ends.
Abby's poem.
May 2014 · 632
Missing Person.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
You look your best mid-swig
The way your neck bends
And water or beer or sweet tea
Flows down your throat
And I know your thirsts are quenched-
When you look surprised your eyes
Open real wide and your eye brows
Tip-toe to barely kiss the bottom of your hair line-
Unless you're wearing a hat
That you like best backwards
And these are the little things that I hope only I notice
So that if you were ever to go missing only I-
Could describe you accurately
I'll describe all of these little things
To the lead detective
And I'd tell him about
How the bridge of your nose crinkles
When you **** in your cheeks
And blow out air.
May 2014 · 495
Luckier.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
I’m the luckier of the two of us
I get to see you
In a way you could never see yourself
The better way to look at you
A way that’s not in a reflection
Or in a photograph
In a way that allows me to see how your eyes light up
When you talk about your passions
How your smile crinkles more to the left
When your eyes are closed
How every part of you glows when you feel love
And believe me I crave every part of that glow-
Especially your eyes, the kind you could get lost in
And I guess I did
And since I am the luckier of us two
I promise to always look closely
And to always tell you intimately
Of all the things about you, you aren’t lucky enough to see.
May 2014 · 325
Again Mother.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
I wish to be my mother
But I am proud to be her daughter
To be a person
Who has had the privilege
Of hearing her heart beat
From both the out and inside.
Who I am missing.
May 2014 · 351
Glass And Plastic.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
Walk with me
From the sun into the ocean
From the water into the sand
Let’s make our steps as powerful as lightening
And just as bright and when our toes
Touch the shore
Let’s make glass
A purer and more beautiful element
And when the trash collectors pick up
Our footprints and throw them hastily
Into bags
Even the way we shatter will be beautiful
We’ll be glass in a world of plastic.
May 2014 · 416
Confetti.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
I want to be your keeper
Offer you a safer place than this planet to live
Come stay with me, make me your home
So that if some days this planet
Rips you into shreds so tiny
That the pieces get caught in the wind
And turns you into confetti
Forever searching for its celebration
Know that I will always be home
Sitting, waiting, looking foolish in a birthday hat
So you know where to go.
May 2014 · 466
The Ocean And The Shore.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
You seem like something incarnate
Something like the ocean
It loves, weeps, kisses the shore
It defies all attempts
At being captured with words
And rejects all lyrical shackles
A poet’s only shortcoming
No matter what I can say about you
There is always that which I can’t
You are the ocean and I am your shore.
May 2014 · 414
Final Moments.
Hayley Neininger May 2014
I know how the final moments of my life are going to be spent. I will be sitting on a second hand couch, one I got from some yard sale after talking the woman down from thirty bucks to twenty. The couch is itchy and fills up half the three hundred a month attic I’m renting out. I’ll have some music playing in the background something slow and hazy, maybe a mix CD I got from a friend whose name has escaped me. I’ll get up only once or twice that whole night just to rub out the scratches on that CD, I’ll spit on it wipe it on my pants put it on repeat and sit back down. Its three in the morning, and much like tonight, I am just sitting trying to think of something, anything else.  The only light that falls on my clasped hands comes from the open refrigerator door; I’ve been too busy to shut it, anyway there isn’t anything in there to be spoiled. The rent is due, bills need to be paid and I’m trying not to think of all that. What I’ve chosen to fixate on is that light and how it changes with my swaying head; a spot light for my angst. As I’m swaying and thinking and not I’ll drift off. I’ve had too much to drink and am so very tired and I’ll wonder who this couch is going to make itch next.
Apr 2014 · 328
Where Is The Other One?
Hayley Neininger Apr 2014
Sometimes I sit down and I try
To find new things to cry about
Because crying has never come naturally to me
And once I’ve cried about something
I can rarely cry for it a second time
And anyway someone once told me
That crying is healthy- is human
And that’s all anybody wants- just to be human
To be a small part of the bigger humanity
And I try every now and then
To feel the humanity in myself
Even if just for a second- even if it’s just me crying over
One shoe in the middle of the highway.
stolen line
Apr 2014 · 736
Rubies, Diamonds Edited.
Hayley Neininger Apr 2014
She shot me dead on
With a pistol that
Would have looked better on a cowboy
It was too heavy for her holster
Her body weight shifted from side to side
As she walked towards me
And when she stopped just short of my body
She had to prop her hand up on her hip
It was a hot desert day and
She let her sweat drip down from
The corners of her eyes to the dip of her collar bone
And she let her mouth smile
Bigger than had seen it smile in years
She didn’t bother to wipe off
Her black gun-powered fingers
Before she touched the spot just below my neck
Where I could feel her push the bullet further in
She was a good shot
And looking up at the beads of sweat around her neck
I remembered telling her once
How she wore her tears better than Elizabeth Taylor
Wore diamond necklaces
She shot me dead on just below my neck
And I remembered telling her once
How I didn’t care for diamonds
I much preferred rubies.
Mar 2014 · 1.1k
Rubies, Diamonds.
Hayley Neininger Mar 2014
She shot me dead on
With a pistol that
Would have looked better on a cowboy
It was too heavy for her holster
Her body shifted from side to side
As she walked towards me
And she had to eventually prop her hand
Up on her unarmed hip
As she stopped to stop over me
She let her sweat drip down from
Her forehead to dip of her collar bone
And she let her mouth smile
Bigger than had seen it grow in years
She didn’t bother to wipe off
Her black powered fingers
She touched the spot just below my neck
Where I could feel the bullet sink further in
She shot me dead on
And I remembered telling her once
How she wore tears like a diamond necklace
She shot me dead on
And I remembered telling her once
How I much preferred rubies.
eh.
Mar 2014 · 393
Bars.
Hayley Neininger Mar 2014
There is a sort of romance one can find at a bar
A mysterious sense of love
Removed from everyday life
From work or phone calls home
If you close your eyes you can hear it
The clacking of ice-cube
The clacking of glass
The slow pour of a beer
The faster swish of it being
Slid down to your hand
Bumping once or twice on the uneven wooden surface
The slightly cold drip running down the side of your glass
These sounds are romantic
Hemmingway wrote at a bar
Odds are your parents feel in love in one
First kisses and embraces with friends you’ve missed
They happen at a bar
If you close your ears you can see it
A dingy light from over head
A spotlight for a pretty girl’s smile
The colors that the last sip of whisky
After they’re watered down with ice
The swooshing hues of red and white
Inside wine glasses from a couple a few seats down
The hand of the bartender covering yours
As you hand them their tip
And in that same second lock eyes
Before quickly looking down
A love in a life before this one maybe.
One can find romance in a bar
In the littlest of things
When paid attention to
They hold a sense of mystery.
eh.
Mar 2014 · 1.6k
Ophelia.
Hayley Neininger Mar 2014
I’m awake again now
And I have to get out of bed
Maybe its 2 maybe its 3 am
But just the same
I step out
Walk around
This apartment with the fevered steps of a mad man
In these moments, oh I know you Ophelia.
The walls of solace, silent, and stagnant
Around our troubled heads
Our love is indeed as brief
As we have been told
By men who madness seems to not touch
Because their desires have the longevity of steel
And you and I, Ophelia are made of clay
The water, I understand how it felt to you now
Inviting and cold
Able to sooth our aching feet
From the constant pacing
How nice it must have been to dissolve into its currents
To rid yourself of the heavy footsteps
Stooping on your heart the friction
Must have made your smooth skin melt
And oh, Ophelia I understand
How enticing that cold water must have been.
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