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 Nov 2012 Janet Li
Strangulate my heart,                                Tear apart my chest,
\                                            /
squeezing, splashing drops of blood
  /                                            \
until my last breath                            making me feel hope
at 6 i thought disney movies held the key to all of life’s answers.
that i could somehow talk to cats
and some day i would transform into something beautiful
as petals fell from roses.

walt disney, he promised me the sky was something constant.
he promised me it would listen, promised me it would respond,
most of all promised me it would stay forever.

its fifteen years later and i’m somewhere like Auckland
and i’m screaming your name to the billions of fireflies
stuck in the tar up above.
it’s something like 3 a.m. and i’m confused as to why you’re not answering,
why my words are being responded to by no one.

last time we spoke you said you were somewhere like Monaco,
or some other place with a **** name that evokes images
of long beaches, fast cars, and strong drinks.
and you said, “i love you,” and you said, “i’m busy”
and it’s been something like four months and i’m starting to think

that walt disney knew nothing of inter-time zone romance.
because if he did, he would know that the sky is
only a matter of perspective
and there is nothing constant in the waning of the moon,
or least of all the stars.

you are somewhere like Monaco and we are on
two different hemispheres. and i see now
that there is more than space between us
because as i look at the moon
you are staring at the sun.
Tissue Paper Snowflakes

like tissue paper snowflakes i
break easily
get caught up in notions of things like love
and days like tomorrow
and promises like tattoos dyed into the skin of lovers
stuck in memories like first dates and love notes and make up ***.

like tissue paper snowflakes you
are unique
are one of a kind.
in kindergarten they told me no two snowflakes are the same
even though probabilistically speaking
you are almost guaranteed to have a twin.

like tissue paper snowflakes you
want to be cold
want to be but don’t have the strength.
you could not support the weight
that is frozen water
that is imperviousness to nonphysical things
like longing and sorrow and elation
and things unlike make up ***.

like tissue paper snowflakes i
am deceptively fragile
i tear
from things that are crushing
like dreams
and lies
and arms wrapped tightly.
i weaken from over use,
i ignite from things that overheat
like cigarettes
and us.

like tissue paper snowflakes we
are from one sheet
once bled together
our crooked edges match to form
straight lines.
like tissue paper snowflakes we
found beauty in ordinary roots
created texture from flatness
complexity from things that were not complex
like tissue paper snowflakes
we are weakened only by our own accord.
 Aug 2012 Janet Li
v V v
If I were only me I would drive to San Francisco
and jump off the big orange bridge.

I might do it if I knew it
wouldn’t hurt them,
but I can't because it would
so I keep fighting all
this **** that haunts me.

I have eleven reasons not to do it,
eleven people I will not name,
eleven reasons

not to hit the water at 86 mph,
eleven reasons to avoid massive internal bleeding,
to avoid broken ribs and punctured lungs,
to avoid …telescoping fractures……
asphyxiation by blood and……
….telescoping fractures……..
Eleven reasons to avoid 4 seconds
of second guessing.....and telescoping fractures…..
Eleven reasons…… …....................OK twelve.
Eleven people in my life I couldn’t do it to.
Twelve including me because I know I won’t like
the sound of what it might sound like,
the difference in my mind between the sound
of fractures and the sound of telescoping fractures,
a terrifying sound, enough to keep me away from
San Francisco, not to mention the big orange bridge.

I lie awake at night with numbers racing around inside
my head, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour,
4 seconds from rail to water, 220 feet to fall,
24 hours in a day, 86 miles per hour at impact.

I keep counting and sleeping fitful frightening sleep,
endure nightmares of falling, flying off the big orange bridge,
reaching upward, the bridge getting smaller and smaller,

and every morning I wake before impact still a martyr

for all of us.
 Aug 2012 Janet Li
 Aug 2012 Janet Li
rip my heart out darling
but first, let's order takeout.
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