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Mar 24 · 169
Sailor's Haiku
Hope White Mar 24
How much better to
drown, surrounded by water,
than to die of thirst.
Mar 22 · 736
Nightmares
Hope White Mar 22
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 21
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.
Mar 21 · 181
Who are you?
Hope White Mar 21
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,
which 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 mother is the shells
of little, pink snails
that she collected as pets,
until a woman,
who some would call a mother,
would salt them and
cast them on her roof;
a morbid decoration
like those that lined her soul.

If you are what you touch,
my sister is the soft tufts
of translucent blonde hair,
of the babies she thought
she may never have.

If you are what you know,
I am love.
Hope White Mar 20
Why don't you ever read my poetry?
You said you wanted to,
"grasp the concepts of my dimensions"
but you don't read my poetry.
Where I lay out a map of my dimensions,
and a key to my concepts,
for you alone to grasp,
but instead you stare at my surfaces
from your screen
and decide you know better.
Like your favorite cliche,
I lead you like a horse to water,
but you don't even bother.
You listen to songs that
only one of us likes
and say you heard me there.
You look at your own reflection
in the mirror and say you saw me there,
in the pools of your own eyes,
when I stand just behind your shoulder.
Hope White Mar 20
I can't pay my rent today.
I can't write poetry, either,
because I took a pill,
that I spent my rent money on,
and I can't write on this pill.
But this pill promised me
it would make me beautiful.

Imagine making a cocktail
with crushed glass
instead of ice.
It would **** you,
but it'd be so beautiful.
Blood would drip from your lips
like lipstick, deadly and red,
but it'd be so beautiful.

Imagine paying your rent with poetry.
You'd be back on the streets,
and strangers probably would think
that maybe, pretty white girl,
you're a self-inflicted martyr,
a heroine against the culture
or maybe just that
you just do ******,

but it'd be so beautiful.
Sep 2018 · 579
How to Write a Poem
Hope White Sep 2018
How to Write a Poem:

***** your finger and bleed directly onto the page.
Buy a typewriter from a thrift store and poetically sit in a coffee
shop until your muse walks in.
Sleep with your professor and let her write your poems for you.
Hold private seances at the cemetery.
Read your high school yearbook
until your poems seethe with forgotten teenage angst.
Specifically berate your current lover
but then assure him the words aren’t about him.
Drink yourself into oblivion
but blame your inner artist for your demons.
List all the sins of your mother
and conveniently forget those of your father.
Clutch your pen until a stigmata appears in your hands.
Speak your truth,
but tell your friends
your poems aren’t from your own point-of-view.
Sep 2018 · 2.9k
Waiting
Hope White Sep 2018
I’m currently sitting in the coldest clinic,
Across from, probably,
the cheapest Mexican restaurant in Western Arizona.

The floors are sterile white,
And I giggle at the thought
of you
recognizing the irony
Of my emptiness.

The walls are also white and look slick with Lysol.
They radiate that dampness
that I swear that they smell
like loneliness,

We didn’t make love,
So much as **** in the dirt,
But the truth is
I’d rather wake up hot in the afternoon
on the dirt and the ground
(After you’ve already left)
Than wake up next to
The wrong person
in the wrong bed.

From earthy and raw
so quickly
to empty and white.
Sep 2018 · 2.2k
Honeysuckles
Hope White Sep 2018
My youth was short and blurred.
I imagine it felt like the last few moments of Kurt Cobain’s life;
All light and no color.
Though I was born a winter baby,
Summers irrevocably held my heart.
They tasted like the sunscreen that dripped
onto my chlorine-damp lips
And smelled sweet like the honeysuckles
That strangled the Forget-Me-Nots,
Whose roots twisted between the cemeteries
Of our once-pets beneath.
Sep 2018 · 276
Rock Bottom
Hope White Sep 2018
They chased dragons
instead of their dreams
and made love
at rock bottom.
Jun 2018 · 293
Emails
Hope White Jun 2018
“What is it You REALLY Want, CAPRICORN?”
my back-up Gmail account beckons me.

To not plan my own 25th birthday party
but still have it happen.
And for everyone one who’s ever met me to attend
And stay with me and promise to never leave
And then never leave, just like they promised.

Apparently I’m wrong.
The horoscope tells me to be cautious during the retrograde.

I need this email to fill me
For five minutes,
To tide me to sleep.

I need this five minutes of
Emptiness
To fill me completely.
Jun 2018 · 916
Parasite
Hope White Jun 2018
It's taking everything I’ve ever had,
not to crawl into the crevice between your arm and hip.
I want seep inside of you
and live with you,
like the parasite I am.

I’ve bribed to God to make you love me,
And bargained away my future sins.

I want to forget the golden retriever
You took on walks longer than our love-making,
And the way your body writhed beneath my touch
Like a body bracing for a car-crash,
And how with every kiss
I could feel your rigor mortis set in.

I want to read you poems about Kurt Cobain,
While we do ******* at midnight in Golden Gate Park.
And watch you have a visceral reaction
To the memories
Of the times you tasted someone else’s skin.

Instead I’ll
dye my hair black,
Cancel all my credit cards,
And run away to Chicago
to Cheapen myself
and reek of Popov
In a dive bar next to the railroad,
That no one’s heard of
so you can tell strangers
in the subway
and at the New Year’s party,
(at which you’ll meet  your wife)
how much I’ve always meant to you
and how
You will always wonder what happened to me
(Even though
 you won't.)
Jun 2018 · 283
Violent
Hope White Jun 2018
You put your hands around my neck

and I let you call it ***,

but I think, really,

you only wanted to hurt me.
Sep 2017 · 192
Fingertips
Hope White Sep 2017
Somewhere between your journey
To forgetting me
And finding you,
It became your fingers,
That, this time,
I slipped through.
Jun 2017 · 7.0k
Sunday
Hope White Jun 2017
I didn't even ask
To be your sun
Or your moon.

All I wanted
was to be
Your Sunday afternoons.

How many empty calendars spaces
I wasted,
Waiting for you.
Apr 2017 · 265
Skin
Hope White Apr 2017
I trace your tattoos,
Like rivers on skin.

I kiss your lips,
And taste ***** again.
Apr 2017 · 1.4k
Rivers
Hope White Apr 2017
When you told me you were leaving,
you said

Can't you see how different we are?

But the only difference I could ever see
is that my scars rise like flooding rivers,

And yours
sink and collapse like craters.
Mar 2017 · 254
Ashes
Hope White Mar 2017
We lie awake in the shadow
We’ve molded into the bed.
I wrap your hair around my finger,
You smell like the sleep and sweat of a summer night.
You start to talk about death, again.
You tell me that when people get cremated,
They pop.

I remember the black balloons from my grandma’s funeral.
I watched them pop when I had expected them to float
Til the black faded into the blue.
They reached the atmosphere, but not heaven.

I tell you my grandma was cremated.
You don’t hear me.
You say you want back into the ground,
To nourish the earth with your body.
I say I want to be burned back to the earth.
I say “ashes to ashes” and “dust to dust”.
You don’t get it.

You say that sounds nice, actually.
You tell me to take your ashes and spread them over
The river we
Spent our first summer days together
Drowning in the sun,
And each other’s company

I try to picture you as ashes.
I’d rather be your black balloon.
Mar 2017 · 316
A Cigarette Sestina
Hope White Mar 2017
I should have kissed you before you ****** on your smoke,
Before the fluorescent elevator lights illuminated the flaws
That danced and drifted along your skin.
The thick smoke mingled with your shadow,
A shadow of a man; no face, only a cigarette.
You breathed in smoke, but your lips were positioned for a kiss.

I don’t look like the other girls, the ones you used to kiss.
I can still picture your eyes, reddened by smoke,
And your lips as ashy as your cigarette.
And I hoped you, too, could forgive my flaws.
Like how my body casts too wide of a shadow,
And the sallowness of my ordinary skin.

Things that really shouldn’t remind me of your skin,
like old leather books with burnt paper that I bet taste like your kiss.
Such books I read in the shadow,
And hide, like the way you hid behind your smoke.
Because, like the way I love a bad book and its flaws,
I could love you and your cigarette.

I’ve held your hand, the one that holds your cigarette,
And I felt the sandpaper of your skin.
I smelt the airy cologne you use to cover the flaws.
It smelled light; you used just a kiss.
Now, I smell only smoke,
And the memory of your touch is a shadow.

In the hospital you were no longer a shadow,
But a body, surrounded by walls as white as your cigarettes.
Your voice cracked from the smoke,
While needles pulsed life into your skin.
Your lips were cracked with only blood to kiss.  
I saw you *****, and I saw your flaws.

Your favorite vice was your fatal flaw,
And the black fire of death became your shadow.
It followed you around, and it saw our first kiss,
Which was our last, because you chose your cigarette.
So a charcoaled monster brooded beneath your skin,
And your flesh succumbed to the white ghosts of smoke.

You died in smoke, from your flaws.
Your skin’s now dust, roaming with the shadows.
So I’ll smoke a cigarette, ‘cause it tastes just like your kiss.
Mar 2017 · 453
The Ghost
Hope White Mar 2017
Your name was the one I etched into the frosted glass of my dad’s F150
The day after the first Christmas you didn’t come home.

Your blood was the hot coffee I poured into my cup at 3 am
While I wrote essays about how you wrote Anna Karenina
In your previous life.

Your voice was the ghost that haunted my room as a little girl
Nine years before I met you.

You were every one of the five people I’ve slept with besides you.
You were the pink champagne I spilt on my white dress
The first time I got drunk alone.

You are my 11 p.m. dreams
And my morning showers,
And the blue-eyed strangers I make eye contact with in between.

You are the garden I’ll die in,
Or the car I’ll crash in,
Or the ghost I’ll follow into Eden.

The last time you slept in your own bed,
I was the blanket beside you
And the pillow that tasted your last breath.

When l reach for you on the left side of my bed,
you aren’t there.

You are the yellow roses I leave on your grave.
You are not dead. You live inside me.

— The End —