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KM Hanslik Jul 2018
Keep your eyes soft and your dreams
up on the highest shelf so you won't take them down too early;
keep everything that you spill in the dark locked
behind your teeth during the day, don't bring it out before dusk;
like secrets we drip over sidewalk cracks
from cotton-candy sticky fingers and leave our names
dissolved under each other's tongues, the warmth of you is keeping me company
as I try to crawl out of my blood again, they told you to leave
a bread-crumb trail in case your heart becomes too watered down by just visiting
to even remember the vacation at all; you carry
kisses on the knuckles of amputated arms,
driving through parking lots with your seatbelts on,
collections of constellations growing
in the bruises on the insides of your thighs, reminders
of salt & the whites of your eyes;

I'll always carry you around
like scuffed knees and the last time I told you "I'm okay",
I wanna press my fingers into you until your skin is melded
with fire and scraps of things that I could never be,
I hope steel rods grow out of your bones and I hope you gather
bruises before you gather dust,
we are all a little lost and lonely but that never stopped
the accumulation of well-spent nights
coughing up new ways to spell my name
(it sounded foreign before you)
leave this on repeat,
we're going in again.
10.7k · Aug 2018
not everything is broken
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
Today not all of our mistakes are failures
Today I'm closing the door on
the things we keep behind our teeth,
the ways we never learned how to be
soft, but always tried
our best anyway
this is a tribute to the lost sleep
the nights I keep marked in tallies on
my arms, the letters I keep locked up
in a dark drawer,
where maybe something besides moths and regret
will eat away at them.

Today, not all of our thoughts are broken
today you take me out of my skin and I learn how to dance;
the rhythm is choppy but I follow
it anyway, after all we are only testing the waters here
we are only stargazers
awaiting some grand cosmic miracle, we are waiting with our
hands in our pockets for something big to happen,
we are falling in and out of obsession
chasing strangers
around and around in circles,
throwing our
fists in the air claiming "not everything is lost",
slowly coming to the realization that
it's also true not everything is found.

Today you don't know what you're looking for but you can't stop
searching the horizon, like maybe if you peer long enough,
your brain will slow down enough to process
the harsh thump-thump, thump-thump that tells you you're still alive
that tells you you're still here
that tells you you're still waiting

And my fingernails are digging into my palms now from the suspense
of writing and re-writing my name onto fresh pages,
crumpling and collecting them
in the bottom of waste baskets along with
half smoked cigarettes and
last night's rain, because
it is rare that two paths will cross in this world with anything more
than a brief flash of recognition,
it is rare that anything
better can be captured before it slips
down through the cracks;

but that thought was me eons ago
that was me in someone else's skin
today I'm putting nets out to catch the things
we throw around & never keep,
I'm writing your story into my
daily script & keeping a list
of "to-dos" before the big event;

tonight I'm alone and I'm
too busy to look out the window,
maybe the stars will flicker or maybe
they won't, but regardless
I'm still counting my heartbeats to know that I'm here
(still counting my heartbeats to know
the time I have left),
I'm still patching
this wound up with fragments of could have been,
reminding myself that not all
of our hearts are broken, and not all
of our moments are failures.
9.8k · Sep 2018
20/20
KM Hanslik Sep 2018
We've been out here swinging for a while now
tearing at your throat like there's no tomorrow
And I've never been one to stand aside or
stand in the way of change, but she's got us on one hell of a ride
hanging over the sides now
trying to get my bearings with my guard down
standing over the edge now
we've been playing both sides, don't let us hit the ground
it'd be one too many if we went down tonight
can't catch a break wondering is the timing ever right
can't catch my breath but it's over now

passing in phases like the last round
the last scene before the grand finale
dialogue caught in tatters like you've a mouth full of razor teeth
touch my cheek
kiss me only when you feel like it
(we were there just last week)
take this dose and space it out, I need
my portions small like my dreams
always on to the next faded scheme,
it's okay though because my vision's 20/20
and I don't mind chasing
the hard-to-get things.
7.2k · Jul 2018
bigger than i've ever been
KM Hanslik Jul 2018
Your fingernails give away the debris you've collected
I've known you for a while but it feels like longer
feels like sunsets under my tongue
blue bruises behind my eyes
every skip of the needle brings back our old skins &
the hush-hush type of self worth,
keeping pens full of red ink so we can
play the demon in this one instead
of closing the door, we don't wanna gossip
at the edge of the room like strangers,
we wanna be in the center
and your fingerprints look a lot like mine sometimes, especially when we laugh and cry together
especially when you fall asleep and I watch
for soft signs of openmouthed breathing that signal
we are in deeper than we thought.

I can't stand the way you look at yourself though, sometimes I wanna
run away from everyone here
sometimes I wanna just up and leave it all
in a shallow grave where it belongs,
but the moments are softer when you slip my name onto your cotton tongue,
and I don't punch out a pattern for my self loathing quite as quickly when
we tally up our thread counts and what time we have left
together.

Inevitably, I still paint my teeth black,
because words about my future never felt right coming from my pink and purple mouth
but your lips could twist anything up into a lot of sense,
I could kiss you and **** time forever
in parking lots and on the edges of stained mattresses
I didn't ever want a home until I thought of hanging up your colors to dry
keep them here in the niches or
scrawled onto notepads I keep beside my bed,
put down your demon scripts and ask me in the morning
if it takes a while for seeds to grow,
I'll tell you to keep a can of water nearby
and to make sure it's somewhere sunny
I know there's something foreign growing in me and it's
bigger than I've ever been,
but I think maybe you know and
it's bigger than both of us, maybe
you know and
you've been doing some growing, too.
5.4k · Jun 2018
why the world never ends
KM Hanslik Jun 2018
I pick up my pen again
I want these words to be everything
love letters
apologizes
confessions, daydreams
plans? Or roadmaps, new
contracts, to-do lists, like
"stop falling down," or
"try harder this time". I turn
you over but you don't give me what I'm looking for, I'm looking
for a place to dissolve this poison
I'm searching in the dark for halos that don't exist
I'm counting up nights of lost sleep,
calculating the probability of
our intertwined fingers as
remedies melt
off your tongue and run over
cracks in the pavement, oozing
sticky shower thoughts into our heads, like how
did we end up here?,& how
does the world end every night but go
on spinning the next morning?

I want this to be everything, the cure
our futures, soft plans,
collections of stitched together questions like how long
does forever taste on your breath
in the aftermath of all the anxiety you tend
to consume?

I want to pull the drapes on this thing and leave it to breathe in the
dark, leave it under
covers so these ailments don't seep
around my doorframe and pull
what is half-born into the light, let it be
let it live
let it cave in on itself and slowly
rebuild.
Chances come in
handfuls,  
let the sun forget to practice her
old game of never
letting anyone rest; my fingers are warm & numb now and they remind me a little of
how you look when you're half asleep
they remind me
why this is fragile, why this is broken
why this can never
last and I'm sitting
in the passenger seat wondering
how the soft things stretch out their wings in
my lungs without
killing me, but they're
leaving their marks now, clawing
up my throat;
I close my eyes and give
them to the open air.
 
You don't know all of this; your eyelids
are heavy and you're keeping track
of who I am in little
notepads & reminders,
keeping track
of the way we move and how likely
we are to remember this moment in 5 years,
because right now you want
to capture it and tame it like a living thing.  

We are becoming dust
molecules, we are
burning, we are becoming
quiet we don't leave footprints
we don't leave traces
we are heading toward the end of the world with our hands
tucked into our pockets, we are headed
toward the end of the world dissolving each others names on our tongues like sugar, we are headed
toward the end of the world and when we get there,

it starts again.
KM Hanslik Jun 2018
We were laying down our lives
from the beginning, but we didn't know
how cold the nights could be
or how heavy our feet would sound
on wooden floors, we didn't know we were built
for more than coughing up new ways
to pass time, no we were only
practicing for this,
we were only fighting for our lives,
we were only cutting out new patterns & fitting ourselves with
our wrung-out hopes & dreams,
but those fell limp & we didn't realize
there was anything else
I didn't realize these shards in my lungs were leftover
from the first time learning how to crash & burn, the fall left bruises printed
up and down my arms,
under my ribs, but I thought that was
a good thing, I thought
we're supposed to fight for what we love
we're supposed to feel the pain
but,
we are only a billion lonely strangers
laying down our lives here, I'm hoping
you'll pick mine up before it gets trampled on again
although we really do make the finest doormats
for feet heavier than ours, maybe
we will remain in the dust & the sand until
we are buried, or our throats are filled so that we can't ask whose deadweight
we carry today;
so come lie to me,
tell me that this all goes away
I'm tired of playing in the shade by myself, I need fresher dreams
bigger things than childhood fantasies
they tell me I am only make believe
I am only a lonely star, I am only pretending
they don't see the corners I cut or the nightmares I chase,
the graves I dig just to survive, just to bury
the rot of older skins I shed on the daily,
we don't like the way the gas in the atmosphere
hides the stars so we seek
open spaces & we lay our hearts in felt-lined boxes thinking
they'll be safer there than in our chests, because our chests might be
caving in tomorrow
compressed under the weight of passerby, if you need me I'll be here
(we didn't know how cold the nights could be)
I'll be laying down my life over here.
2.8k · Nov 2018
back-track;
KM Hanslik Nov 2018
There are flowers springing from my bones
in places they were never planted
fracture my skull and call it apathy
I say pain is a better road than dying alone;
can't you see the way my vision is blurred,
squinted too long at the sun now I think I've done damage
burned holes in my corneas before the age of 21, but those are just
surface things, right?
the road feels a lot longer when the cold air hits all my soft spots, like my neck so I cover it up
pooling all my efforts into growing thicker blood that will keep my skin warm
;keep kissing bruises on my arms, thinking that love will heal each new halfhearted attempt at self-sabotage
or manage the leftover evidence;
did somebody forget their brakelights on?
I'm trying to figure out how to get these needles out of my head
rocket science, learning to reverse detonate what might be left
in my system
system check, leaving sticky residue
behind me in my heavy concave tracks
softly trailing back
gotta learn to do it right the first time before I backtrack
my ears ringing like a sound clap;
bringing up old war wounds like we've lost gives us some sense of entitlement
things we don't want to lack,
leave the last stack
where I can mull over the aftermath
digging graves for those who are still alive,
burn my skin tonight
burn it right off my bones so I'll know I'm alive
still kicking like the second round
the afterthought that realizes what went down the first time
don't let me out of the house tonight,
god knows what I might find.
2.5k · Aug 2018
who am i today: pt 1
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
The details of your DNA are settling into
my brain like dust mites chasing
each other around and around in
search of a field of gravity;
sometimes I'm stuck and sometimes I like to run away
but occasionally I force myself to stay in the same place for more than a few minutes
occasionally I am the right place and the right time, and occasionally
that is enough.  

It takes me a while but wouldn't you know, I have stopped
being a doormat for everyone whose baggage weighs
more than mine;
wouldn't you know, I don't think they carry
it right anyway, and their feet wouldn't feel
so heavy without the steel and armor;
I'm trying to play follow-the leader here,
taking tips from an invisible authority
I don't know any such role model to exist, but
sometimes I pretend I do just to
have a place to put my hands or my feet when it's
cold and they're tracking snow in;
my pulse is slower before midnight
once the dark falls I can't sleep
I can't sleep but I do know how to place blame
fitted heavily and perfectly to sculpted shoulders;
I can't sleep but I know exactly how much
plaster it takes to patch up a wall at roughly this height,
I know exactly the number of messages left on my machine
unanswered, ignored
molded word for word into
little stick-its in my brain.
I don't know sleep but I am very good friends with
her companions,
drowsy achy steady pull
of exhaustion dragging behind my eyelids
matched hand to hand with its
lovely counterpart,
red eye restless itchy frustration
burning hot under my skin.

But don't you know, I am only
this person once every
12 hours or so,
just wait it out, I'll
come around.
1.7k · Sep 2018
lighter fluid
KM Hanslik Sep 2018
We are one in a million
we are half a dozen bottles of lighter fluid
left in a parking garage because we are so
tired of trying to bring out the best in each other
we are so tired
of trying to look like we belong.

Sing this to me at dusk when
it's not so foreign to look at each other that way;
Sing this to me in the morning before the light ***** the color out of your eyes, before
you bring your brass knuckles out to play or before I
level the playing field and call the game
your new rules are sinking like stones and I think I can win
I think of how long it's been
since we looked at each other right
tell me one more time
before we say goodnight

Let me pretend your lips
have always been so soft.
...
1.6k · Aug 2018
the search continues
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
We've been having such a good time out here lately
chasing chasing chasing this summer to the end
of its life,
and it's about time we took half a handful of
something decent to calm our nerves, breathe slow
in and out just like we practiced when
the stars hid their faces and we decided
the nights were getting short and we'd
better hide ours, too.

and I know our brains will always be
a little bit hardwired for self destruction,
but before you go digging around again
in old scraps searching for new ways to place blame, new ways to fit
our shoulders with damage & **** counts,
take this down off the shelf
take a deep breath and hand
me the blueprints.

Sometimes I trip over my tongue when I speak, sometimes I forget and just
mumble instead,
and sometimes I tear out stiches too early
sometimes I don't get what I want and I blame myself
hate myself for thinking that we all have to come to terms with our own
versions of crash-and-burn fairytales,
but isn't that the truth of it all? If this
brutal reality doesn't shake us and stir
the dust from our bones, nothing will;
no morning or afterlife can save us until
we stop sharpening our teeth and put down our steel blades
nothing is made forever, but forever
is made up of a lot of nothings,
the way we stir the *** on our bad (or good) days is only one of them;
the way we tell ourselves we aren't important is a lie
don't whisper this into my ears at dusk,
scream it into the sky
scream it into the palms of your hands until you can't breathe anymore,
it has never been better, it has never been worse  
work your desires into your
DNA coding
detonate what's left in your system
(start over again)

I'm finding new ways to stand still on this high balancing beam
new rituals and new ways to throw my hat off to you,
give credit where credit is due
I only hope that when it's said and done
and I'm on my way out
I'll know half of what I do right now,
feel it surging in my headrush & in the burn
of my fingers
I hope I'll know on my way out the door:

Nothing has ever been better and nothing has ever been worse.
1.5k · Aug 2018
days days days
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
Days are just days
slipping heavy gentle into one another
days are just days here but they're
growing on me like how bruises grow
under my skin
we are past ready for this summer to be over,
we are ready for new things to begin
and we are wearing our
long sleeves now to keep
our hearts warm, don't put
them back inside our chests yet
we've missed so many chances that it feels
like coming home when the wind blows colder,
and we walk around with paper clips trying to signal safety with our
soft soft hearts and our
broken-link eyes,
keeping track of who wore it best
looking up the road trying to find out
where we're headed, take a backseat
put your skeletons away for me
days are just days here, but some days are soft
some days spill over into seasons and you smile and I know,
I am going to be here forever,
and some days, forever doesnt feel
like very long at all.
1.1k · Apr 2018
semi-permanent
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
You've been
sleeping with the thought of forever on your breath,
but forever was never promised to mortal men.
You've been
ripping her heart out and calling it love,
throwing your fists against every semi-permanent object
and calling it art.
Your skin doesn't like the feel of ambivalence, so you
smoke too much to have a reason for
wasting time in parking lots and for growing dark circles
under your eyes.
You can't stand the thought of
waking up in the same bed you've always been in,
you can't stand the thought of looking at her
like she might mean something to you; so you
chain smoke until the sun comes up,
destroy everything semi-permanent just to say you've left
a mark somewhere. And you sleep
with the thought of forever on your lips
to drown out the notion that something mortal like her
could not last.
1.1k · Aug 2019
bad at math
KM Hanslik Aug 2019
Last time I tried this hard
to add things up was Algebra II
I still **** at math, so I'm working through
each problem one at a time
my therapist says I shouldn't do that to people,
packed into boxes, expected to do what they say
but here I am all the same
four blue lines around your name
I guess I should just be glad you came,
**** an afterthought, I'm the ******* train
thought you could stand on the tracks, white flag in your hand
like I've already signed off on a 12-month lease
well, this year doesn't belong to you
it's doing fine just on its own;
you always saw me as a rolling stone,
a little too loose in the heart or the head
guess I was just that good in bed,
but oh, you wouldn't know, right?
It's not like you spent every other night
******* me in and out of sleep,
my name on your lips along with my skin
& all that ******* about losing to win-
no wonder I'm ******* struggling
to calculate the weight of words
only significant in certain contexts.
150 pounds feels like less on the moon,
unless you're the ******* ground carrying it
(pain is relative)
so go ahead, walk all over me
I'm like carbonation, feeling gravity-free
as pliable as your plastic Wal-Mart bags,
but even those are meant to be used again-
I'm just waiting to find out where & when.
1.1k · Sep 2018
blender
KM Hanslik Sep 2018
"Beats me"

Meanwhile I worry every time you go out
Meanwhile I'm scraping my thoughts into the blender because
none of them are ever whole enough to dish out anyway,
Might as well
slice them down into something that
tastes too much like anxiety

And a hint of regret
Am I sweeter on your tastebuds now?
1.0k · Jun 2018
decor
KM Hanslik Jun 2018
I know it's just another day for you but for me it's all coming undone,
the world ends quietly sometimes and we don't even notice it happening until we
try to breathe or focus our vision
I'm scared of this feeling & how it runs me off the tracks, I don't have the stamina to keep
trying to outrun it, so my eyes are closed now & I breathe
heavy breaths through my poisoned lungs,
we always said we liked the summer but it never devoured us
quite like this, our souls are such
lonely places to reside & I wanna stretch mine out
to make room for you, move on in &
deck me out in new decor, god it's getting
stuffy in here...
KM Hanslik Dec 2018
Almost everybody wants to be here;
I don't know if it's
the drugs or the choice in music,
but it's hard not to feel calm with your
big-voice-gotta-laugh-thing going on,
or someone else talking a mile a minute about
the best ways to **** time in the suburbs.
At least one night this week, it kind of feels like we've got it going for us.
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
If I decide to take it out on the world tonight, it’s safe to say
that it’s just what the world had coming.
I’ve never been good at holding these things inside my head
for too long;
somebody always comes along and drags it all out into the open.
If I decide to speak my mind tonight,
it’s just because my tongue is so raw from
biting down on it every other sentence, it’s just because
no one was ever very good at
saying goodbye on their way out the door.

I’m sick of playing
a million different games and I’m tired of learning
a new set of rules every day.
If I decide to speak my mind tonight, maybe
you all had it coming, maybe
my sentences will stop being fragile and I will learn
to crush bones with them instead.

Or maybe, I’ll wake up tomorrow, put on a new air
sew my lips shut, and the world will keep on
knocking me flat
and eventually I’ll become accustomed to wearing
stitches on my lips like the mark of subordination;
eventually, in the name of self defense
I think we all learn how to care a little less.
KM Hanslik May 2019
I am giving myself over to her now
my wings blackened from the flight here
but she takes in all sorts of strays
they roll onto her doorstep like drunkards chasing dreams down the gutter,
warm embrace me now before it's too late
warm come-hold-my-hand-I-can't-do-this-alone
and she is always waiting
she is full of light and swaying over trees
she is heavy toppled over like a picket fence yet light as helium
and I want to know her
and I want to bask in her bed
and she is endless
and I will never know how many others have come before or how many my lineage will leave,
but I float away in time down a stream (so-narrow-tuck-my-limbs-in-scream)
at the edge of the bank,
my body shrinks and expands;
I am a crumbling masterpiece I am awaiting either 1) reconstruction, or 2) damnation
(reunification)
on a while, I ride my ego home
illusions are spellbinding in the jungle
she twists at my ankles, prickles under my skin
(am I in?) Who knows what kind of state this is
but through the wall, she calls to me
alone at last
we cease to be.
785 · Jan 2019
breaking in
KM Hanslik Jan 2019
Try to eat up the sunshine
swallow it like your little white pills
if you don't mind me saying so, I think the clouds look quite lovely
with the shade of your eyes today
but you tell me otherwise
carbon footprints, we've definitely made
our mark on this world
trace our trails back until they separate,
call it fate
but I think you're right
all this commotion collides into odds
incalculable, call it the weather
but things are always changing on us
break out our sweaters and break them in
you know how much the cold used to bother me
but I barely notice it anymore.
763 · Aug 2018
new wallpaper
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
I think today has something to do with
my hands and how my fingers rake
up and down my arms when I'm feeling nervous, or
when the silences between us become longer than
the reassurances;
I think today has something to do with
my scalp and how it's always crawling
with the thought of what if this is not enough,
what if I am a wrecking ball that doesn't need a permit to destroy

today the grass smelled nice and I walked
by myself through the dew and I thought that maybe
it's okay and maybe it gets better
today I walked through the grass with my hands in my pockets and they didn't
scratch at my skin at all, today
I looked up at the sky and everything was so
still, and I think
maybe tomorrow I'll find some scissors and
old newspaper & fashion myself some
paper wings,
I think tomorrow the air will be warm and
if I try hard enough maybe I can catch one of those soft breezes going nowhere,
I think tomorrow I'll fly far away
but today

my hands are warm and still inside my pockets
my socks are wet when I get home, so I change them
today I'm going to crawl inside
my heart and I'm going to change the wallpaper
today I'm going to write a new script for my head.
627 · Nov 2018
peace
KM Hanslik Nov 2018
I think it's good this time
my elbows rest right at my hips and I am coming home
my hips are bruised and a little worn in from you
and I think that says all you will ever need to know;
There will never be a better place or a better time, but if I see one,
I'll take you and run with it
because you deserve all the golden days of our youth
until the earth spins itself into nonexistence or into some gentler peace,
you deserve all that I can give you;
you deserve everything.
621 · Sep 2018
side dish
KM Hanslik Sep 2018
Oh please don't leave me on the side
Sidekick, this side dish life is not what I'm about
I'm going down with speakers blaring loud
I'm swinging from every angle, gotta keep it proud

keep my head above the noise and
the fan blades chopping through everything
my head is too full of ghosts and scissors
I am a loser, need to find me a winner
take me out to dinner

spill your contents into me and after
I won't find me another, I'm too full of disaster
too full to ask her

what she's doing out this late
empty my plate
I am not a side dish
but I still act like one.
612 · Apr 2018
city angels
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
City angels are born
wings scrawny and underdeveloped
from alcohol poisoning.
City angels are born
skin gray and pale like the dust
in their mama's ashtray on the nightstand.
City angels are born choking
on fumes consumed in the womb,
lungs soft and weak before
they ever take their first breaths.  

City angels die
under streetlamps and chased down alleyways
by city cops.
City angels die
in a hurry, sipping beer on the freeway on the drive home
or slowly,
throwing up blood on the back porch and downing
more pills to forget their thoughts.

City angels live
somewhere between here and
the death of their dreams,
writing up new fates to include
drinking and smoking and
drowning their fears in a million little exchanges
of bodies and money
in a dark room somewhere.

City angels are just kids
living too fast
chasing too hard
dying too young.
Get the hell out before
you tally up the body count and realize
how many there are buried under all this rubble
we call "home"
We step on their graves every day on
the way to work
the intersection beside the gas station
the corners of abandoned
parking lots and
caved-in buildings.
We walk over their bodies and we never know their names or why
they never came home to
their bug-ridden beds and
the red eyes of their mamas.
KM Hanslik Jan 2019
we're hungry and we've come to collect
don't mind what's yours, mind what could be yours;
there's such a thing as "too sweet", and
i don't think i can stomach it anymore;
don't plant seeds in my lawn and call it your garden,
i make my own peace with what i grow.
You call it a catastrophe the way the world is always raining down on us,
i tell you to learn how to handle the blows.

We aren't crazy, just out of our heads a little
our bones aren't broken, just a bit brittle
I know you want to hold the world down with me,
we might even find a way to do it
but don't close doors on the things you've seen
I know you want this to be evergreen;
but nobody with clean hands has ever learned anything
about tending to their own soil.
603 · Aug 2018
nswjnmfb
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
"Do you think anything will ever
matter enough to stop throwing matches onto the fire?"
I am a good girl, I am always
the good girl & always have been,
at least when I feel like it
(which is often)
but there are portions of my bones that lay with ache
some of my teeth are rotting from the sweet taste of compliance. I wish my skin was thicker
I wish I was better at math so it wouldn't take me so long to know when
things aren't adding up. I wish my hands were warm on their own but I think it always takes something
for them to not be numb
it's always something
560 · Aug 2018
time bomb
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
I wanna over-withdraw you like
the figures in my bank account,
numbers dropping like the autumn temps
me falling twice as fast
I want to glaze you over like the perfect picture
a remedy for broken panes & broken bones;
your fingers are just warm enough to
hold me through the winter
your eyes are just enough to
keep me once the spring comes
(keep me in this summer forever)
keep my spine alive with
sticky pretty half dark things,
keep it growing out of the top
of my head like lightning
coming and going and never staying
but if what we are is half as much (half as much as this feels)
I think I'd like to keep this
I think we are a time bomb
but we've enough time left on our clocks to figure out how to
reverse detonate,
we've enough time to
fill the cavities in our chests,
rest yourself against my collarbones and
plant flowers in my hair,
we are building up for
a big one, we are around 2 feet tall when we lay down
& we are another train wreck behind
the bullets that rattle rusted siding,
shake our homes clean from this disaster
shake us clean from ourselves;
we are
a slow one, slipping our hands around
barbed wire to loosen its grip,
I am another thing busted, dusty in the dark but
together we are reverse engineering
the blueprints that set our hearts in stone
we are chiseling away at it
tomorrow it will be
two and two together writing
a different set of scripts.
558 · Feb 2018
when the sun exploded
KM Hanslik Feb 2018
7.25.17

I met you
when the sun exploded,
the summer holding its breath.
Winding dark roads paved the way for us, and

I loved you
when the sky poured down on us and
you kissed my knuckles
and held me still in the dark.

I knew you
before you ever laid eyes on me,
I knew you and I loved you,
and craved you because
of the blood boiling beneath my cheeks and
the soft night settling in and
the songs I played as we drove.

I craved your skin like
the world could crumble beneath your touch,
and I would neither notice
nor care.
549 · Jun 2019
airplane
KM Hanslik Jun 2019
Spinning, spinning, I'm an airplane
I'm a pinch of table salt
time spends money --> money burns because
it moves too fast
like your Rolex, like your hobby
grew too tall, now it is burning
twin towers, deliberate chaos
chaos (chaos), nothing
spins the wheels,
spinning spinning spinning
look out the window (it's invisible)
I can't see with my eyes or my brain
dissect me, simplest form, put me back in the ground
I am the dirt
equations illuminate questions,
answers don't exist

I'll have what they're having.
546 · Aug 2018
signpost
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
It's getting to be the end of the season,
feel this heavy blood-lust settle and the earth moves
beneath our bodies
we are fragments of a larger picture
we are counting down the days until change occurs
we are adding up the latest errors
(who else lost count?)
whose heart's been misplaced this time?
And we are driving our
sleek black cars with the windows down
rearview mirrors blinding us but our feet are heavy
as ever on the pedals

I am wishing the sky talked more
to us about fantasy and what is not possible,
wishing maybe someone knew ahead of time
the things we come to damage behind repair
and maybe also the things
we learn to be better at than anyone else.

It's all an end-thread, a signpost
saying "maybe try this instead"
warning us about dead-ends,
and some days I think it's all I have to
remain quiet in my head because

we are headed toward oblivion and maybe something else,
along the way;
we are strangers' cars left in a parking garage
abandoned bumper-to-bumper with our
unspoken alarms just keeping everything in order
but we are doing alright
we will be here a while, so don't forget to remind me
when my hands are full and spilling over
we are out here wearing our thickest jackets
because we don't know how else to dress, and we are waiting
for the end of the world like a family portrait
poised in front of the perfect backdrop
poised and waiting
for it to
end
because we don't really know what else to do
on a Saturday night.
525 · Feb 2019
knock-outs
KM Hanslik Feb 2019
Baby blue
Standing there in your worn-out shoes
your fingers are gardeners
I am planted in your soil
and if the world is maybe 4.6 billion years
of re-twisting and retrying new sequences of DNA
then I think this is the end-all
200,000 years leading up to this,
200,000 years and I am standing in your light;
because you are the gardener and I am the flower
raise me kindly and I will grow back every year
tend me daily and I will bloom only for you
knock-outs, we're made strong
defy the odds
I will repeat your song
back to you
even when you have forgotten it
even when the cold surrounds you
I belong to you.
514 · Mar 2018
immortalized
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
3.1.18

You are the furthest thing from an accident -
you are art, shapeless, nameless,
your molecules stitched together
with all the secrets of humankind,
your soul patched up among whispers of the divine.
You sculpt in your hands a world which
knows neither death nor ugliness;
You have perfected the art
of being human.
If existence burns out,
you will burn with the gods of former times -
A martyr
for every helpless longing passion
that has ever made man
a lover,
a sinner,
a poet.
If the beauty in this world ever meets its end,
it burns immortalized with you.
507 · Apr 2018
what happens after the fire
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
I'm going to grow my hair long, so I
don't have to look you in the eye when I speak;
I'm going to take a rough surface to my skin until
it's too calloused to bleed
(or maybe I'll bleed anyway).

I'm going to tell you that I can't do this anymore, I'm going
to tell you that I need to quiet down, that this
is no place to build a home, but that the timing
was perfect and I can't quite bring myself
to say no.

I'm going to lay my fears down at your feet, but don't
crush them;
bring them into your home and make it ours,
soften the lighting and ask me, what happens after
the sparks settle?

And I'll lay my skin on yours -
softly, because everything after the flames must be gentle -
and I'll quiet your heartbeats
and show you.
499 · Mar 2018
settling
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
3.3.18

You first notice yourself settling,
sinking, like an old house
when the birds begin to fly and the robins build nests in your doorways;
You first notice the pale light
with your eyes closed, afraid that if you open them,
the sun will disappear.

She first watches you
lying, limbs sprawled, in the creekbed
your clothing muddy and your frame
all sunken in, like the old house.

She first loves you in the sunlight
her skin shimmering golden above you
and you first hear her name
when she whispers to you

that she comes from the wreckage of street-lamps and ashtrays
how the only lover she’s ever taken felt like
the scrape of ****** knees against sidewalk,
apprehension laying heavy in her stomach
and the nausea that comes from starvation.

She tells you that she
could never call the city home, never love it as she wanted
because every night her mother would scream at your father
something about a bottle and "you filthy lying *******",
and every evening she went to sleep, and her ears bled
from the screech of taxi tires on the corner.

She wants a love that feels like
bonfires devouring kindling, spitting ashes up
into the sky, ablaze
with starlight and smoke –
mud oozing up between your toes as you run
and run
and run
from all the places that never felt like home.

She wants a love to consume all other loves,
a twisting, clawing, breathing thing
her heartbeats furiously pounding out a rhythm to escape
that place, and its stench, a rhythm
that implores the blurry lines of sunset to smother the land,
ethereal, burning
(burning you with it)

And so she first holds you
as the crumbling of her world brings a smile to her lips,
and you wonder as she sinks in her teeth
how many others there will be, after you,
and knowing that she
will be the first to ruin you
(And not caring if she does.)
KM Hanslik Sep 2018
Baby I have loved you too long
days have slipped into days into days
and we're still not getting paid, but we don't care
we still show up, knuckles bruised
we still carry our hearts
around on our sleeves
looking like we've got anything better to do
than to just simply bottle it up
hang me over the edge to dry, I don't mind
your fingernails are covered in concrete but I
still hold your hand anyway,
acting as if maybe the extra weight grounds me a little
and oh, it does
and we are wearing long sleeves carrying loose threads on our backs until the air
turns warm again and washes the colors out,
we are yoked to the earth like mules and trying
we don't know how old we are going to be yet, but we are going to make it a good one;
we are going to make this thing big
when the lights go off and we finally settle
you won't have any doubt, baby
I have spent too many nights chasing red flags and warnings through
the rusty gates of fenced in temples; places I never
should have been,
too many run-ons spilling from my lips to yours,
second chances pinned up on my walls like a
conspiracy to never try my hand at failure again, like a
second nature, subconscious response to danger,

but baby you won't ever have to worry about me,
I got you covered like the far end of the bed isn't close enough and the rain's left our yard just
damp enough to stay on your toes but I
got you covered, baby.
Bring me everything that's on your list and I'll be
patching your walls in the same colors as mine
as if I'd even remotely know what
disaster looks like in human form

but from the moment I gave a second thought about you, your hands and being held
more than a few
fleeting impulses have come and gone and been flushed
down the drain along with my old copies,
along with my old shaky "maybes",
but one thing that's been steady is this
one thing I have never faltered from you.
471 · Mar 2018
lost and found
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
3.18.18

That was the month
the birds returned
my poems turned to ash in my mouth
and i forgot how to sing.
That was the month
I met a stranger in a crowded room
didn't think much of it
and my shoes left ***** ice chunks all over the floor when i walked.
That was the month
I drove too far into the sunset and forgot where i was going,
that was the month
I found my voice again.

It is two months later.
This is the month
everyone's heads begin to glow with yellow halos,
The month i stop picking myself up off the floor
because I'm not falling down anymore.
This is the month
I stare out the window and feel the stir of seeds being planted;
This is the month
the stranger puts glowing words in my mouth
and i speak instead of swallowing them.

This is the month
I am found.
433 · May 2018
humans
KM Hanslik May 2018
When you keep losing people at a constant rate, it starts to feel like
you can't breathe and you start to feel the pressure
of everything mounting in your throat.
Sometimes we are best by ourselves, you said, and sometimes
I thought that was true. But lately
I wonder how every man can ever stay apart from each other
and sit in our own silence, without wondering,
is someone dropping splinters on our floors?
I think that the night is full with whatever
we make it to be; I feel stuffed with
everything and nothing at the same time. We are miniscule,
in infancy, ruled by whims
and impulses; yet, you are the routine
I can't break, and other people systematically stitch
me together in the patterns
of their lives. How can we be at peace
and alive all at once? This striving is what drives
art, how can I write
about a world that is empty, devoid
of a struggle or a war? I cannot.  I can only hope
that these whispers bring forth ripe fruit, I can only watch as
my existential dissonance is turned into
a tragedy
an inspiration
an example;
because our species has never
let anything live without first giving it
a label, and I think
that's what keeps us together.
We are a balance of chaos
and calculation. But knowing this does nothing
to lessen the caving in of my lungs, and does nothing
to bring my body to rest
when my arms long to be around
someone, and my head
is too full to manage.
426 · Jan 2019
stick figures
KM Hanslik Jan 2019
We break from these dreams without thought
"we can do anything," we cry
kicked in the back of the knees.
The bruises never show, but
we might hold out just a little bit more
might take things a little more slowly this time.

If all is well and calculated,
then aren't our errors just an altered path?
You see me as a stick figure,
another character that wanders by
familiar in my distance
safe in my unchanging rhythms.
But to each their own, I suppose;
we find meaning in whatever comfort we choose;
security blankets our minds and our homes
but I've run my fair number of red lights,
I've done things I'm not proud of.

You set straight lines around the things that I do and say;
when walls break down, you always ask why they failed,
never how to build them stronger.

And I am tired of this empty playdate
with the idea of "goodness" and "virtue"
I pick up the phone but your line is dead;
I continue to be a stick figure.
423 · Aug 2018
slow
KM Hanslik Aug 2018
How does it feel to never give
anything a chance, like maybe
your skeletons will melt down the drainpipe and gather mold at the bottom somewhere,
like maybe my molecules are collecting
dust as I speak and my old skin cells are worth more
than their weight in new growth?

How does it feel to live in
half-starts, like the smoke has already left your lungs hollow
and clear before having a chance to settle?
Maybe I keep too much under my skin nowadays, but then again you never felt
that heavy
and I made sure to never
leave you hanging.
Braid knots out of the remainders
of sinew I line my bones with,
I wish you were the self deprecation I inhale
I wish you'd line my lungs black with your
sticky bittersweet and
sweaty salty half drunk promises
I wish you'd pour yourself out into
my hollow chest and we'd dim the lights because
time is slower after dark and you
always tell me I should take my time.
402 · Feb 2018
january
KM Hanslik Feb 2018
January rattles her limbs with cold,
buffets her body with ice;
it’s been months since she left her hero.
She last saw him in the spring,
beneath the magnolias
She last saw him with his hands in his pockets,
and wanderlust in his eyes.
(She last saw him
waving goodbye.)
She last knew of him
walking some stormy shore,
a single set of footprints
where two should have been.
399 · Mar 2018
demons
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
3.17.18

We’re all burning ourselves clean;
to each his own, just trying to keep heads above water
because every day feels a little more like suffocating,
a little less like home.
We’re all gnawing at the bit, foaming at the mouth
our hearts racing against the sound of our own deaths –
you’ve got your demons, and I’ve got mine.
So when you tell me
you’re afraid of monsters and dark places and yourself,
I tell you that I am too.
When you tell me that the light fades from your eyes
a little every time the sun sets,
I hold you instead of flinching, and when you ask me why,
I remind you that we’re all trying our best not to drown down here;
I can see you holding out for a sign
that there’s a point to the sun coming up again;
Who am I to tell you that your stomach shouldn’t churn at the thought of
all the demons that crawl around in your headspace?
I don’t know your demons.
(And you don’t know mine.)
So when you whisper that
it took everything you had to go on breathing today,
I’ll remind you that life is not a sentence, that this weight
(and everything else) will pass, given time
The lead will untangle itself from your heart,
the smoke will untangle itself from your head.
Until then, I'll wrap my arms around you
waiting for the light to appear again.

And I think maybe, someday, you’ll hold me the same way
as the sun sinks low in the sky and the clouds bleed red;
starving for a sign,
hoping to forget;
One day, you’ll kiss my forehead and tell me
all the beautiful stories about how everything will be okay
in the end.
399 · Mar 2018
un-loving
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
You tell me I don't have to like the same things you like,
but when you open your mouth I hear
our ancestors sigh in their graves, I hear
the seasons stir and the sky break open like an over-ripe peach.
I hear
the stars in all their majesty and they whisper
the secrets of the universe into my tired ears,
I see gooseflesh prickling up my arms as I watch
my sentences crumble,
raining down on me pieces of
all the empty spaces between my words
that were never quite full enough
to boil over, never quite
saturated enough to dampen your skin
like my tears do when
the sun comes up and I'm lying next to you.

I trace my fingers over you in patterns and
your eyes meet mine with questions of "What if?"
emblazoned in them like a tentative promise.

I will never know how to not love what you love, how to un-see the fact that
everything you touch is framed by
the voiceless haze of summer ripening from spring, the warmth
seeping into my bones as I lay on a rooftop somewhere and wonder
about all of the unknown things, all
the mysteries of science and the hope
that someday, when we are old and tired,
we will know peace.

I don't know how to un-learn
the way my chest fills, gently, beneath the night sky
the way my hands fit into yours and my head
sits comfortably in the space between your chin and your chest.

I don't know how
to un-love you.
393 · Apr 2018
dreaming
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
I'm learning to love the world again,
it's breathing through me now instead of
all the things I used to hold in my bed at night,
dragging their fingers through my hair and leaving ***** marks in the back of my mind.
I need to get better at being alone, and I think
I'm finally getting there,
as I pour my heart into another glass and drink down all the things
I was never able to say to you, all of the things
I was never able to say to myself. I’ve come to realize
how much richer the sunsets become
when we share them; let the rays
seep into your bones, and let the ways we fall together become
a natural part of the way this goes.

The world is breathing against my skin today, and I feel its warmth
every time I move away from you
and toward you again.
Tell me that these fictions we dream up prove how we
are only human, tell me that the ways we mark our skin with
ink and scars is
fleeting, show me that the world can soften our skin
just as easily as harden it.
I'm tired of running around with thoughts of "what if", I'm tired
of me and of them and the way the two collide like
the crunch of glass and metal.
I want the sun in my eyes, I want
the life in my bones to stir with the seasons, I want
everything to breathe in its own way without
losing rhythm.
I want to remember all the beautiful things that I lost during
the time when I forgot
how to dream.

Bring me a million maybes and I'll show you
that we are more than that, I'll show you the way
we all turn to the same calls and we are all just a part of
something larger than us, something warm and soft
to take to bed at night, instead of the cold things
we're used to sleeping with.

Show me how the soft things touch your skin with
promises of antidotes and fevered possible realities -
show me the million ways we might come together, the way
we all turn within the same restless now, and show me
what the world means to you, because I'm tired of
dreaming up these things alone.
386 · Jan 2019
language barrier
KM Hanslik Jan 2019
Maybe you don't know what I'm saying
maybe only I know
maybe we're stranded on a planet of monolingual people
all speaking in their native tongue
367 · Apr 2018
how to be human
KM Hanslik Apr 2018
I don't think there are road maps
for these things;
I think the naivety of childhood has taken this long to uncover
blank stares and clenched fists, I think the nights
weren't so long when you got more than 6 hours
to rest your eyes.

I am slowly just molding
myself into different versions of who I want to be,
but my hands fumble and put the pieces in all
the wrong places before they get it right.
I softly take the thought of forever out of its box, wondering
if it will ever ring true or if it is simply another
of those lies that are spoon-fed to you until you can't
base your own experiences on fiction or reality anymore.

Do you want to know what we do in the dark?

This is different; the way secrets spill
from open mouths and the way our eyes are hazy from
drugs or tiredness /lowered inhibitions/,
in these moments we tell each other everything and forget about
spiked armor and the sound of death chasing
at our heels. We scrape our fingernails against
half-truths and discover the way honesty melts on our tongues,
warm, like we've forgotten what it feels like and are only just
welcoming it back into our bodies.

I want our dreams to realize the timing that clouds
our psyches with shared bliss, can you take a moment
and spell that out for me? What do your eyes see when we strip
the dusty fabric away,
are you closer to knowing
who I am? Are you closer to knowing
why we could never bee what we thought we should, because
reality is not born out of story-books, and picket fences don't
distill the truth enough to make it palatable?

We've had to learn ourselves to covet
all the places we've found to pour our hearts into, we've had to shield
any possible innocence and sharpen our teeth to guard it.
But now that these things are done and
there's dirt under our nails from burying those dreams,
take a shovel and tear them out of the ground, because it is never going to get easier, and you have to learn
this before it gets much worse.
Tear those half-hopes from the womb and force
them to breathe, they must choke on this polluted air before they are able
to claw their way into the light.

Stop burying what is meant to fly and don't turn your demons too soft, they have to go
through hell before this passes. But it will.
And when the sun comes up again and the ache sinks so deep through your bones
that your body collapses,
you will learn that these pains are a part of teaching you
how to exist, and your words
won't sink like stones anymore, you will learn
to deepen roots within yourself and to take these realities
with you, twisted through with your own hopeful fictions -

each in turn, will come to fruition and each in turn will both ruin
and create you - at once the struggle
and the passion
of becoming
human.
348 · Feb 2018
i am
KM Hanslik Feb 2018
2.19.18

The clock tells me it's past midnight
when I first realize the feeling
of unspoken sentences itching beneath my skin,
prickling up my arms like gooseflesh;
it's just past midnight when
the dams burst behind my eyes, unexpectedly;
it's just past midnight when I begin to think of
all the sunrises I've slept through
all the highways my tires may never travel,
just past midnight when I realize
our concept of "love" is caused by chemicals
in our brains,
that my existence might never have happened,
except it did.

I begin to smile
at half past midnight -
I have come into this world
riding the high of my forefathers' hopes and dreams,
I have bled for this life;
I am the thunder that splits your eardrums
right before the rain -
I am the flash right before you realize
We are all birthed in the light of impermanence,
and my life is just a flicker in the dark
next to yours,
And we are beautiful.
348 · Mar 2018
but you never had this
KM Hanslik Mar 2018
Something soft flutters in the corners your mind -
stamp out the handicaps he gave to you once,
they don't apply here.
Brush off the little fragments of voices
that torment your sleep
He won't hurt you this time.
This time it is soft, gentle
a burden drowns itself on your fear
and dissolves into mist.
Have you missed this?
But you never had this, you had
pity *** and shame and washing your skin raw but never feeling clean;
you had
fights and giving in and losing a bit of yourself every time you said okay,
you had him
slamming fists into walls and
slamming fingers into you, but darling
you never had love
until the next one placed his hands on your tired shoulders
and gave you the warmth of
every fragile unveiled promise that the universe can hold -
you never had love until
he took you into his arms and showed you to embrace the world with a bleeding heart, full to the brim with
fresh starlight and an endless string of "maybes",
because maybe
you love him.
348 · May 2018
come home to me
KM Hanslik May 2018
you are the aftermath of what happens when
we stop holding our breath, stop
boxing things up and start to let them breathe.
I am the aftermath of everything
I keep in my bed at night, but I'm learning that I can crush bones
as easily as being crushed.
I am the shards of sharp things we all
tiptoe around to avoid, I am
the softness that settles in your bones when you decide
to stop running away. Add up the cost of
sleepless nights and kissing pavements, toss the body counts
aside.
I think you've seen enough cold fingers
for this life.

Make your home in me, let the dust settle gently
over the contours of these walls;
it may be a little
bleak at times, but when you come home here you won't
have to leave any piece of you at the door, you won't have
to tread lightly or keep
your voice soft.  

I'm taking it all in with fresh bursts
of inspiration, drawing you like the only
way out, and I hope
as you're waking up and fitting
your hands around new promises,
you'll leave a blank space for me to write
my name into, I'll be marking
my skin with things we say
and do, I'll be cleaning
out my closet to put your skeletons into.
339 · Jun 2018
innocence and cynicism
KM Hanslik Jun 2018
You keep your fists weighing
down your pockets like stones, keep needles pinched
up under your skin thinking the pinpricks might sharpen
your sense of self-worth or maybe soften
the accumulation of shadows under
your eyes and the bruises gathering over your body.  
Everything is as it should be - she tells you
that timing will brush its gentle wings against these worries and paint
you over in a shining new coat, and so you learn to wait
to feel soft whispers against your skin, but you've spent
too long already in silence and in dark corners, and the timing
was never right then, so why
should having faith work out any better?
This pill slides down a lot easier when taken drunk or
half-asleep, your eyelids heavy and movements slowed;
you want to tell her that her dreams are going to be torn open and shredded
by the world, you want to protect her
before this happens, but everything happens for a reason, she tells you and you can't
bring yourself to dilute what's left of her light, you can't
look her in the eye anymore and maybe
she's too full of innocence for someone like you to handle, or maybe
you lost yours and that's what's been keeping
you up all night, maybe she's exactly
what you've been needing, but how can you tell her that she
keeps everything dark away without draining her, how
can you wrap her words around you like spiked armor that keeps
you soft underneath, because lately you've been feeling like
you need her , like she's the barrier between
the world and the hole in your chest that grows a little emptier
every day, but god, look at her,
shining with all the light in her soul and look at you
broken up and ready to cave in, and tell me how can you honestly
expect to keep her, to preserve that soft beauty,
when your hands are always rough and bleeding
from one thing or another, how
can you carry her without turning
her into a cynic
like you?
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