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Hope White Feb 2020
I was raised on The Beatles and
The Rolling Stones and all the Oldies
serenading me through the speakers
on long trips to Gram’s house,
And on dixie cups half-full of beer t
hat I sneaked downstairs
During the late-night news
during your nightly rituals.
I was raised on stockpiling
the pillow mints you saved me
From your many hotel nights
when you’ve been gone on fires
For what felt to me to be
several years at a time.
I lived for your homecomings,
with the smell of deep smoke
Still clinging to your work clothes
when you finally came home to us.
I lived for even your shortcomings,
which always feel to me to be
imperceptibly small.
I was raised on fishing trips
by the lakeshore
where you would
Let me reel in your fish so
that I could always get all the credit.
I was raised on Star Wars
and Star Trek and all the
Friday night Sci-fi movies that we could finally
watch weekly after you retired.
I was raised on our solitary Quincy trips
Where I saw you take better care of your mother
Than anyone else could.
I was raised on the trips you took
That you probably would have never taken
To Arizona and SoCal and Philly
and to a cafe on the side of the road outside of Redding,
after my car crashed into twisted mounds of
metal after I was ran off the road,
the day you thought I might have died.
Because you always knew when I need you.
You still always know when I need you,
Because I always do.
Hope White Aug 2019
The compromised daylight still pours into the white Chevy where a rifle sits passenger- there will still be whisky on his lips when he walks into work.

Her body braces like she has rigor mortis to the sound of her morning alarm after a night of writhing to the bittersweet taste of ******* drips.

He seeks solace between arms and hips and lips and skin, which never satiates his ache for only her.

Time is a parasitic hangover, leaching from our highs and the small passing moment of brightness we seek all our lives.

Even if you cancel all your credit cards, make love to beautiful strangers, sleep in the streets, find yourself in Europe, lose yourself in your career, curse your parents for your own faults, write poetry to lovers you never had, seize every day every second every moment, join a cult in the backwoods of Northern California, donate your retirement to your church, torment your veins until they collapse into craters, visit your grandma religiously every Sunday, smoke ****** off of tinfoil, sleep eight hours a day and always take the stairs, drink Black Velvet you've hidden in the basement, bribe God to love you on Sundays and threaten him on Mondays. Even when we wait, even when we consent to waste away Time's a slow-creeping hangover already crawling up your spine and seeping into your brain. You won't have time to ask her why all she does is take. It's already too late.
Hope White Aug 2019
They chased their dragons
instead of their dreams, and made
love at Rock Bottom.
Hope White Aug 2019
Radio silence,
In an Indian Summer,
You found your new lover.
Hope White Mar 2019
How much better to
drown, surrounded by water,
than to die of thirst.
Hope White Mar 2019
You were just a boy,
Only a few years
younger than me.
I, too, was only a girl,
but one who wanted to be
a woman much too quickly.

Except we didn’t meet,
Because you found me
surrounded by sleep.
You had no need to shake my hand
Or learn my name. Just a body,
in the shape of your needs.

When I was a child,
younger of a child
Than when you came
Across me, I thought
Satan haunted me
and kept me from sleep.

That night, where you had
told others we'd met,
I thought Satan himself
had found me again.
Drunk on youth and whisky,
asleep in a stranger's bed,  

I realized that Satan's
only a child's fever dreams,
or, sometimes instead,

a teenage boy,

clinking his belt,

invading my sleep.
Trigger warning: ****** assault
Hope White Mar 2019
If you are what you eat,
my best friend is tortilla soup.
Warm and comforting;
a perfect companion for cold, bleak nights.

If you are what you smell,
my father is a California wildfire;
pungent and strong,
but a sweet warm oak like a
winter stove. A smell
strong enough to remain with you
even after many days since his absence.

If you are what you hear,
my grandma is the coos
of too many grandchildren,
who eventually grow to songs
of her praises,
louder than a preacher
who lives his weekdays only
for his Sunday sermons.

If you are what you see,
My sister is the wide eyes
That forget to meet your gaze
And misaligned smiles,
Of the children
That society too often
Forgets to love.

if you are what you touch,
my mother is the soft tufts
of translucent blonde hair,
And the heat of fevered-foreheads
of the babies she thought
she may never have.

If you are what you know,
I am love.
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