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Jul 2014 · 1.6k
Jillyan Adams Jul 2014
There is an old adage - I'm sure you've heard it - that life without movement is death.

today I feel the truth of it
somewhere between my sternum and my spine
as I sit here
the parade of life rushing by
in a distinct effort
to leave me
and all I can think
all I can hear
all I can know

*"I am most certainly dying."
Jillyan Adams May 2014
Step 1) Speak any language you want.
Helpful Tip: When men die, it doesn't matter what language they speak because all screams sound the same.

Step 2) Worship any god you please.
Helpful Tip: When men die, it doesn't matter what god supported them because all men fall the same.

Step 3) Pull the trigger.

Step 4) Win the war.

Step 5) Lose your soul.

Step 6) Let time pass you by.

Step 7) Forget the lessons history taught you.

Step 8) Repeat.
May 2014 · 894
i wish i were the sun
Jillyan Adams May 2014
You've put the sun at your back
To meet it rising on the other side of the ocean

I watch it sink and I am envious
For it will see your face
When the world turns over in its sleep

And all I will see
Is a cold pillow
And empty sheets
Jillyan Adams May 2014
Loneliness is a hunger
That eats at my hands
At the vacant spaces between my fingers
Devouring the place on my chest
Reserved for your cheek

It mocks
As it consumes

And I'm left
Empty enough to echo
Apr 2014 · 558
we are the moon
Jillyan Adams Apr 2014
arms draped in crescents
eyes open to the pale nighttime sadness
we lay like a mural on the darkness of bedsheets
we shiver like silver
stars leave their trails on our cheeks

we have never been more radiant
we have never been more heartbroken
we are the moon
Dec 2013 · 1.3k
it will be a very long time
Jillyan Adams Dec 2013
it will be a very long time
before i stop thinking of your lips
every time
i hear the word
Nov 2013 · 1.1k
You Have Already Seen
Jillyan Adams Nov 2013
brave and foolish soul
found me here
followed into
my impossible labyrinth
to battle with glowing torch
the demons

the fanged savages
those howling monsters
that take me into
their chest
bind me up in their fury
til my jaws rage
and claws strike
deep into your
earnest heart

and only after the damage has
run its burning course
will they drop me
the fire flickering away from my hollowed eyes
and i will see
your tears
and i will
my scarred
to your
quivering feet
with what is left of my agony
dragging itself from the ruins of
what is left of my soul
beg for a forgiveness
that you had
even before
i ceased
to be
Oct 2013 · 929
Ten words, for Her.
Jillyan Adams Oct 2013
If I had a million hearts,
they'd all be yours.
Je t'aime, colombe
Sep 2013 · 955
Jillyan Adams Sep 2013
But who else will have peace in their palm
When they lay it across
My ribs
At night.

Who else
As they slumber beneath
A blanket of freckles and
Dreaming eyelids,
Will whisper into the dark air
With a gentle cadence of breaths
The particular softness that cradles my heart
And lets me

Close my aching eyes

And rest.
Sep 2013 · 1.0k
untitled 5
Jillyan Adams Sep 2013
"I tried. I tried. I tried."
A scream so desperate it turns into the grating whine of a whipped dog. The begging in the eyes and the white of gripping knuckles.
"I tried, I promise I tried."
The damage is massive. I cradle the shoulders of the full-grown man in my left arm, my right hand hovering helplessly across where half his body used to be. It's too much. He's shaking, trying to pull himself into my chest, based on the feel of his hands. I find his eyes. He's begging, repeating himself with agonizing desperation. I grip his face firmly in my right hand, smearing blood and sweat. The pressure on his jaw slows his words and he is staring at me with the deep-eyed trust of a loyal hound, sinking into the promise of my unwavering gaze.
"You did well," I murmur, giving his head a gentle shake to emphasize my words. I blink to clear the pooling in my eyes. His mouth is open, slack, but he tries a smile. He is choking. On bone or blood, something I cannot see. His legs **** convulsively, but he doesn't seem to notice. He keeps my eyes. I gently rock his head with my hand and his eyes grow absent. His legs grow still.
I weep into his mangled chest.
From the darker corners of my heart.
Jul 2013 · 1.2k
the other night.
Jillyan Adams Jul 2013
As we spoke and I
found myself safe in your eyes
I suddenly saw
what you have given me

His hands link with mine,
our arms create a matching line,
his patterned lightly by freckles,
and we're sitting on the
summer porch at dusk.

He loves me.

but only because
you showed me the secret
I had kept from myself:

that my eyes can see into souls
my laugh can turn hearts
my smile can make blood race.
that my words, my thoughts, my loves
and hate, my
passion and fire and tears,
my temper and my gentleness,
my utter ridiculousness and
my absolute
my total seriousness
and surprising propensity
for laughter,
my complex flaws and nuanced perfections,
that I,
everything I am and all
I will ever be
is worth something.

And could be someone's everything.

This is the secret you have pulled
from the depths of my maybe not-so-broken soul,
cupping it in the careful curve of your hands,
holding it out to me,
fragile like a newborn but growing stronger
all the time.
And I'll take it in my nervous palms
and the warmth will fill me
and I will live like new
because of this precious truth that only
could have extracted
from the labyrinth
of a deep and winding heart,
that only you could have known well enough
cared for deeply enough
to traverse the dark passages long enough
to find
my lonely light.
You know who you are. Thank you. I love you.
Jillyan Adams Jun 2013
Whoever said kisses
taste like sugar

no experience

or no imagination.
Jun 2013 · 1.6k
Jillyan Adams Jun 2013
pressing the tight muscles of my shoulders
hard against the stillness of the air

leaning into the melody and out of it again

my fingers not unlike grasping claws
trying to pull music from
a dead thing
that does not love me
the way
it used to.

you have robbed me of my music,
of the words that would
flow in elegant waves from my willing fingers,
refreshing as water but not nearly as

the melodies
that raised the veins in my neck
when i spoke them to the mirror
and the windshield,
that left me breathless
heart pounded
into the beautiful vortex of my
spired mind.

they're gone now.

and i'm left with a dead horse slung across both shoulders
and an albatross
around my neck.
Jillyan Adams Apr 2013
Are beautiful.
Are funny.
You are dynamic, and nuanced.
No one knows how to see the world
The way you do.

You don't give yourself

You don't think you're
Of good things.

You believe,
And heaven forbid these words,
But you believe
(Whether in some immense degree or a smaller, subtle way)
That you

Oh, my beauty.
Oh, my dazzling darling.
You are more than you think.
You are so much more
Than you have let yourself

It's not too late.
Drop those weights,
Those heavy, dark thoughts.
And remember who you knew you were when you were too young to lie to yourself.

You are amazing.
You have flaws and they
Are wonderful.
You are not a magazine.
You are not a Barbie doll.
You are you.
And that is what makes You
So very, very
Apr 2013 · 1.4k
Forgive and
Jillyan Adams Apr 2013
You forget
You forget that I've done this before.

I've stood in that spot sodden by tears,
Shivering in the snarling cold of loneliness
As my heart forgets how important it's supposed to be.

So you'll have to forgive me
For freezing solid
When I see that mirage of myself,
Stained in the hideous darkness of the past I've tried to forget.
You'll have to forgive me
For refusing to shed tears
Over the things that have already bled me dry.
Apr 2013 · 1.0k
Jillyan Adams Apr 2013
Say it.
Open those flattened, tear-stained lips and blame me
For all the ways I've protected you
And somehow done you wrong.

Say it.
Tell me all about the smallness of my heart
And the coldness of my eyes.
I can take it.

Say it.
Guilt me into remorse for your return
To self destruction
Like it's somehow
My fault.

Say it.
And I'll stand or sit here and I'll silently take
The full brunt of your tears
And rage.

You and I both know
There is nothing I can do
Because you are blinded by emotion
and you seem to enjoy the blackness.

So say it.
Stain your cheeks with tears like acid
And grow angry when I'm not the one who burns.
Spit the words into my face
And I'll stand
And watch you throw yourself from the edge of reason
Knowing I have no power
To hold you back.

Say it
and we'll go on.

Say it
and things will change the way they were always bound to.

Say it.
*Say it.
Mar 2013 · 1.3k
Jillyan Adams Mar 2013
I thought I could hold onto you,
That the emptied hallways
Of my mind
Would be perfectly,
And eternally
With every detail of

But now you're fading
Faster than winter's sunset
From a frost-wearied body.

And all I can remember
Is the feeling of
Your heartbeat against my cheek
And your gentle lion's eyes.
Mar 2013 · 1.0k
untitled 4
Jillyan Adams Mar 2013
There is a silence.
There is a crowd of people.
There is an aching cold.
There is a massive sky.

Chapped hands on bloodied cheeks.
Blue eyes on the yawning sky.
Frozen tears on a pale face.
Fading name on shaking lips.

The bleeding sun sets.
The yawning jaws shut.
The blue eyes flicker.
The fragile heart fails.

The sky begins to fold.
Someone begins to scream.
Feb 2013 · 1.2k
"Bless me, Father"
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
***** hands, gun-powder face
Pressed against holy robes,
Begging final forgiveness.

The father holds his son,
The grown boy
Clothed in military brown.

Steady, mourning lips whisper a prayer
Into the ******, sweat-soaked hair.

His life leaking away in the darkness of the stain spreading across his chest,
The soldier sobs.
Because his eyes have been dry
As his brothers have fallen around
And before him
As cities have erupted in boiling flames
As he has been torn from the inside out by the sounds of human suffering
As children have died in his arms
As mothers have cursed his name
As the world has grown black and charred beneath his feet.

He weeps,
Shaking in the arms of God's servant,
The sins of his work
The guilt of his rifle
Burning in his chest
Hotter than the biting bullet.

The words of the priest
Are drowned
By the malicious hum of aircraft overhead.

An angel of death
Finds them kneeling on the cobblestones,
The holy man and the soldier,
Folds them into its inescapable and
Unbiased jaws
And turns them the color of
Fire and gunpowder.
Feb 2013 · 1.4k
The Horror
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
Oh, the horror.
When the teardrops falling
On your shirt
Stain you the color of dying roses
And the pale eyelids
Flutter suddenly shut,
The cheek in your chest and
Weak arms
Begging impossible safety
From your helpless hands.

And the scream ripping out of you
Is as warm
And as hollow
As the body
Resting quiet and heavy
In your shaking arms.
Feb 2013 · 1.2k
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
its cold out
the color of slush and mud
and blinding cloudy skies.
there's the dumpster
from years ago
behind the high school where
the *** heads come out to play.
but none of that matters now, i have somewhere to be.
the casting call
it's today
and i have a shot at landing a part
so people
can finally know my name.
but then you're there
and i bring you along in my search.

and then because my subconscious is big on plot twists
i take you urgently and
kiss you hard.

and i can't tell if i like it or not
and i wake up
Feb 2013 · 812
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
There have been tears.
There have been faded memories.
There have been lost causes and broken hearts.
We have felt that falling in our stomachs
that comes before the pit.
We have bitten back words
that should have been set free.
We have needed closed arms that should
have been opened.
We have found ourselves in
unfriendly territory and

We have been lost.

But we have found light.
We have felt joy.
We have laughed with meaning.
We have cried with happiness.
And we,
through the closing of coffins and building
of cradles,
the lifting sensation when a child giggles
and the wrenching sound of a breaking heart,
and these other many
and great things that are
we have danced.
Feb 2013 · 778
ten words for ten fingers.
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
nearly flawless lines,
made for
both bending
Feb 2013 · 757
And then
Jillyan Adams Feb 2013
I would kiss you
until the stars threw themselves from the heavens
and begged to be clothed in flesh and blood
that they might burn
as brightly as we.
Jan 2013 · 1.0k
Death's Lament
Jillyan Adams Jan 2013
There’s something burning on the
Blackout strip of highway.
Light and movement
Frozen in a momentary

Her eyes are wide and full
Of the emptiness that
Looms before her.

Nothing moves
And I step with it,
Through the
Shards of suspended glass
That slice open the freezing night

Metal is bent and crushed
Against itself.
But for now, the
Ripple of the
Fatal shockwave

Her eyes are wide and full
Of the light tearing,
Through the windshield
Into what remains of her mind.

I feel the moment
Of absolute stillness
Beginning to slip and I open the
Detach her soul with a
Kiss gentler
Than Life could ever
To save her from
The crushing mayhem.

Take her into my arms. She
Sleeps, as they all do,
Her head against my chest.
I turn away.
I leave the scene of force and
Fragility and, with my
Only mercy
Cradled in my arms,
Have no power but to let the
Scene behind me
Attack itself and
Dec 2012 · 636
untitled 3.
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
He was limp
And small.
Smaller than I remember
But I remember
Clear as day
When I held him for the first time.

The coarse fur scratched my skin
And reminded me
That gentle things have
A roughness
About them.

The heart that pounded in his chest
Was one that would remind
Me what life sounded like
When my own

His eyes were endless
And a thousand souls could have found
A home within them.
But he just had one.
And the one he had,
It was plenty enough.

I sift my fingers through the
Gentle fur
Across the hollow and
Silent ribs.
Unashamed at the wetness
Of my cheeks.
With these words, over and over,
In my head.

You wonderful creature.
You beautiful, beautiful beast.
Dec 2012 · 1.2k
to sea
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
In the half light of the
Dying sun
Blood falls from her lips
Puts dark beads in
The sand
Around her fingers.

She traces the shape
Of her teeth
A tender tongue.
Taste of rust and redness.

A grimacing bloodstained
Stretches her aching cheeks
As tears slide from
A swelling eye and
The air
Echoes with the sound
Of her
Breaking laughter.

The waves moan in reply,
Licking up
The droplets of blood
And caressing
Her kneeling legs.
She breathes deeply through
A bruised nose.
It won't be long now.
Closes her eyes.

Morning finds her sleeping,
Face down
And out to sea
Her body haloed by a
A ring of dark color
By the blackest blue.

The fishes are her pallbearers,
The horizon is her headstone.
Dec 2012 · 5.7k
Santa Reindeer
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
Not only are we going to **** you
(Subsequently leaving your wife and children destitute)

and glue your head to the wall
(It's called taxidermy, alright? It's a profession. Professional.)

but we will also perch this Santa hat
On the smallest tines
Of your impressive
Set of antlers
(The kind any other buck would
bow and scrape
to behold).

Because it's that time of year again.

Here's wishing a very
Merry Christmas
To you, your wife, and children.
Dec 2012 · 771
untitled 2
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
Your thick, long hair
Your sun-streaked lion's mane
Falling on my cheeks.

Your drowning pool eyes
And their shattering shade
Of blue
Erasing my good sense.

Your Cupid's bow lips,
Soft and pliable
(I know because I've studied them every time they've formed my name),
Tasting my mouth and my yearning skin.

Your hands.
Doing what they do.

And your body
Against mine.


If only.
Dec 2012 · 838
My ten words for her.
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
you deserve a novel,
but these words suffice:
you thief.
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
I'm on my back
The darkness so heavy before my face I could be looking into the depths of a well
The eternity of a starless universe
The pupil in the eye of a monstrous monster
And never even know.

Never know,
Never care (what's the difference, really?),
because I'm thinking of you.
Of your breath on my neck
Your arms on my ribs
Your name on my lips.

Staring into the deepest part of the deepest ocean
The black abyss of a cave unexplored
The yawning jaws of a mile-wide rift in the earth
And I couldn't give less of a ****

Because I'm busy thinking
About you.
This isn't great, I know. Any comments on what I could do to polish and refine would be greatly appreciated.
Dec 2012 · 745
Before I wake
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
She was small.
The top of her head only just
came to my chin -
the bow in her back had robbed her of inches.
Her eyes were deep,
entrenched in the spiderweb patterns
of soft, folded wrinkles that covered her cheeks, eyelids, forehead, lips.
But in her eyes was something that danced.
She reached out
And with gentle fingers took hold of my hand.
And I felt the silky velvet that the footsteps of her years had walked into her palms.
And she smiled like someone who has earned the right to do so, and she wished me a
Merry Christmas.
And then I woke.
Blinked at the tears running into my hair.
Closed my eyes and held onto the feeling
of her missing velvet in my hands.
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
An arm hung across the rubble,
draped like a broken swan neck,
decorated by intricate patterns of blood and dust.

I couldn't have known who the arm belonged to, but in that moment
I was sick
to my stomach
with devastating surety.

Those were the fingers that had twined through mine in gestures of
love and
painted my arms
in strokes of comfort, and of loneliness.

The palm that had confidently gripped a weapon,
and had carried groceries
into the house.
Palms that had pressed hopelessly against rain-washed glass and
against tearstained cheeks.
Those palms that willingly cradled my uneasy heart.

And the arm.
The arms that stretched into
the sparkling star-strewn sky,
the grey and
pouring rain,
the sun-baked air rippling in waves across that embrace.  
Arms that had wrapped around a struggling body
with grim purpose and
aching heart,
softly beneath a wiggling puppy and its
pink kisses,
easily against the warmth of my breakable ribs.

I saw the broken swan and I felt something heavy,
maybe my heart,
slip from limp fingers and
into glittering shards
decorated by intricate patterns of blood and dust.
Dec 2012 · 1.4k
some things can't be titled.
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
The tiny starfish hands pressed on both my cheeks. Her heart trembling in her sea-washed, sky-gray eyes. Little delicate lips pressed in an adult line of barely-controlled emotion. The *****, dully-shining tear streaks that drew paths through her freckles. Butterfly kisses, I would tease her as I swept her into the salty air.

I have to focus. I steel myself, dragging memories from the back of my clouded mind and setting them before my fogging eyes. I refuse to let them slip away again. I could never live with myself if I did.
I had said something to her. Ignore the fact that I can’t remember what it was. She smiled through the tears, her laugh a reminder that she wasn’t the adult she was trying desperately to be - that I was forcing her to be. I had wrapped her in my arms for the last time, lifted her toddler body easily from the sand. She held onto me tighter than I thought she could - another underestimation, I suppose. My neck started running with her tears. I hummed her song through a choked throat.

“Momma loves you.”

Fairly standard, as far as last words go. But sufficient. I am satisfied. Flashes of that day, the departure, boarding the ship, lacking the strength to watch my daughter fade into nothing behind me, spin past my eyes with increasing speed. Funny, everything else has slowed. The water makes my limbs sluggish, the ropes twining like lazy snakes around them. The footsteps of my heartbeat have slowed their pace, leaving longer and longer pauses of silence in their wake. Even the glittering light, what there is of it, is lethargic in its reaches to my nearly-blind eyes.
With all the salt-water clouding my vision, dimming my memories, I could swear the sea knows of my loss. It must: it is weeping with me.
It's not a poem, I know, I know. But a brief review/critique of my brief story is more than welcome. Please and thank you.
Dec 2012 · 918
this is the last time?
Jillyan Adams Dec 2012
my eyes
ask you silently.

i dont want the answer
the way i want you
but i can't
help myself.

can't help but
imagine that
this is the last time
will grace

i can't remember
a life
without you and the
heady suffocation
of your
gut-curling, heart-pounding
you've clean-slated me
the way
broken glass can
purge human vision,

your intoxicating soul wrapping me up
in its heated hollowness,

in that warmth
which keeps me up at night
and makes me
wish i could
in the heavy circle
of your body.

and i can't imagine why
i fear
your vanishing
when more often than not

your soul,
and your broken glass

the stuff of my
haunting dreams.
Nov 2012 · 638
Jillyan Adams Nov 2012
Standing in the dark and wishing,
If I could vault across the treetops
The glittering diamond sky.
Use the constellations
As my monkey bars
And sit among the galaxies
In that distant,
Untouchable place
Where I've always felt
Most at home.
Nov 2012 · 716
Jillyan Adams Nov 2012
my life isn't the one i've had for
some odd

i am
out of control.

and when the sound of the laughter
of the people i've never known
or loved
or grown up with,
who are not
a part of my memory's photo album
but who are now
my family

is just too much

all i can seem to do is
turn my back
and talk to the lioness in the chain link fence.
Nov 2012 · 493
Old enough.
Jillyan Adams Nov 2012
The pristine
stretches unblemished and pure
over the unbroken ribs that protect
the unbroken heart
that shines like the sun
through the eyes that can still see what life is about.

And that life
with its few weeks and days and
even fewer years
has found a better way to live
than these aging hands,
this heart with the stitching scars
and limping pulse on veins and
arteries that
have long accepted the abuse that
the reality of
Nov 2012 · 761
Begging silence.
Jillyan Adams Nov 2012
So tell me why I dream
of dying
as long as it's in your arms
and living
as long as it's by your side
when all you do is laugh
and look
and my heart swears it's seen you before
in a place much brighter
much higher
than this.
Jun 2012 · 574
Jillyan Adams Jun 2012
I want to kiss you until your lungs turn white
and you need my body's heat to seep and
fill your empty crevasses
Take your face in my hands
like they do in the movies
and with silent lips
tell you who you are
to me
Because I've never kissed anyone before
and with you
I want to do it right

Before he marries you.
Before it happens all over again
and I'm left sopping up the blood
with my sleeve.
Sitting on the sidewalk
and wondering
why I'd never been more close
to my
five year old self
before that fragile fluttering heart
set itself in your flower petal hands.
Jillyan Adams Apr 2012
my head is heavy
my heart is tired
it's time to close these running eyes
and let all the difficult things
come easy
Jun 2011 · 451
The Road
Jillyan Adams Jun 2011
A ribbon
         of film
       imprinted with
not that far
      distant, slipping
    tires that spin
   so desperately
                      that they,
                 with blinded
        are moving
         whirring past
                faces and forever
open arms
                     that  used
                                 to matter.
Jun 2011 · 594
The Skeleton
Jillyan Adams Jun 2011
The skeleton sat in his chair,
legs crossed nicely at the knees,
head tilted back
and eyes
somehow closed.

He pressed a cold cloth to the
of his forehead and sighed
the sound of

He was quite lovely,
the white of his limbs unencumbered
by dusty flesh,

and seemed to know it,
his form reposed in the
chair like a

He acknowledged me without
And spoke.

He didn’t tell me what it
was like
to die.

He didn’t explain
the sensation of
skin and strong muscle and
***** tissue
rotting, falling away,
by the vermin
of the

His words were brief, for his
jaw was unused
to such
movements. But he said to me
a few precious simplicities.
And then left me to
wither away.

“A truth: To be human is to be
To be dead is to be
But when goes the weight of
Beating hearts,
So leaves the substance
Gives death itself
Jun 2011 · 661
A Bedside Story
Jillyan Adams Jun 2011
When I turned ten, I knew
The world was mine
With the
Sparkling, dew-kissed branches
And hazy,
Laughter-warmed nights.

When I turned fourteen, I thought
The world would be handed
To me.
The high confidence eyes and
Brand name cell phones
Me what was what and
I was.

When I turned twenty, I knew
The world never could be
Mine. I
Lost myself
In the cubicles and textbooks
That were written
And built with
The names
Of the mighty
Under whom I’d
Always live.

When I turned twenty-six,
I was married.
And the world became mine again.

When I turned twenty-seven,
The world turned too.
And closed the palms
That held my childhood.
Sealed the lids that had watched
Over my adolescence.
Re-opened the mouth that echoed
My nothingness.
And left me to sit here and
Despair at the odds
Of your eyes opening

— The End —