Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
 Nov 2018 Klaryssa
i read somewhere that every face
we see in our dreams is just the face of someone
we’ve seen before, remixed and regurgitated
to fit seamlessly into a new background.
our bodies cannot conjure anything
that doesn’t already exist somewhere.
they don’t know how to.
when i dream about you, all i see is hands.
i don’t know what that means.
when i think of love, we are both sleeping.
i don’t know that means, either.
sometimes i fall asleep in the valleys of your body,
in the juncture between your neck and your shoulder,
and you let me stay there until i wake up
and i get greedy on borrowed things.
if i hadn’t been there, i would think that some part of me
invented the sound of your heartbeat under my ears.
it’s funny what you remember, what your brain holds on to.
we forget 90% of our dreams, within five minutes
of waking they’ve already evaporated.
i remember every time you’ve held my hand
and it’s funny because i’ve spent so much
of my life afraid of forgetting things,
my grandfather’s voice and my grandmother’s eyes
and all the times i’ve felt truly happy
and last summer when we were the only car
driving down the street to my house late at night
and our voices were fighting against the radio.
i’ve spent half of my life afraid of forgetting the things i love
and now i can’t forget anything about you.
when you talk sometimes i write around
the cracks and pauses in your speech,
i build whole worlds that don’t belong to us
in the in betweens of your sentences.
i try to turn your words into confessions
and then pick them apart into promises.
when i call you baby it gets stuck
in my mouth, caught under my tongue.
when you tell me you love me, i memorize the way
the words curve in your mouth and i dream about it.
i dream about your hands in my hair.
i don’t know what you want from me
and sometimes i don’t even know what i want from you.
what do i know about love anyways?
i want to keep it in my bedside table
and only pull it out when it suits me.
i want to swallow it whole and i want it to leave me alone.
my mother thinks we’re in love. so do a lot of our friends.
i think we are in love, sometimes.
if i read us like a script, i would think we’re in love.
it makes sense from a bird eye’s view, but it’s hard to see
with your eyelashes so close to mine.
you told me that you had a dream about me once.
you told me in the dream you got in your car, the old one,
the one where the speakers didn’t work
so you stuck a portable one in the passenger seat
and we just had to scream the lyrics extra loud,
the one we parked in the mud that one june
and had to take to the carwash,
the one that we sat in when you were supposed to be
driving me home and i just kept hanging on to the door
in the driveway, telling you one more thing
and one more thing and one more thing.
you told me in the dream you got in your car
and started driving and driving until you got to me.
you told me you hugged me and you held on
and you held on and then you woke up empty-handed.
so please, don’t tell me that you didn’t love me.
i was there too. i know what i felt.
i know what the quiet of my driveway sounded like.
i know what inside of the palm of your hand felt like
in the dark of a movie theatre or in the sunlight of july,
what your arms felt like across the my shoulders,
the way your breathing evened out under my cheek.
i don’t know i could have made that up.
i don’t know how i could’ve conjured that.
i can’t imagine something that wasn’t already there.
i can’t dream about something i didn’t already have for a minute.
hi i keep writing the same poem about the same person but it never comes out right so this is all i have
 Aug 2018 Klaryssa
i have a very vivid memory of arguing
with my mother in the first grade on the eve of picture day.
i don’t remember what we were arguing about,
probably something about what i was supposed to wear,
but i remember telling her that sometimes i wished
i could just lay down in a coffin instead of doing this.
i know; brutal for a seven year old.
children are both somehow incredibly kind and incredibly callous.
i think i made my mother i cry, i don’t know i try not to remember.
if you want to get analytic, this could mean a lot of things.
i read a think piece recently about how millennials,
as a whole, have gallows humor.
most of us regularly joke about the impending collapse of society,
how to plan for retirement when your retirement
will most likely be the apocalypse,
how global warming can’t **** us if nuclear warfare does first.
we are nihilism and absurdism’s ugly red-headed step-children.
gallows humor is most common among soldiers.
the article wondered about what it says about the world we live in
that entire generation is under a comparable amount of stress.
and even though i’m an atheist, it’s difficult for me to think
of death as sharp as it is. as finite.
i don’t believe in an afterlife, of heaven and hell,
but maybe i don’t really believe in endings, either.
i still think about death like it’s sleep, hitting snooze,
pressing pause.
when i was 16, i hated holden caulfield
because he reminded me too much of myself.
we did this in class activity where we had to diagnose him
with depression and i wanted to claw my heart out
of my throat the whole time.
my sophomore year of highschool it seemed like half of my class
gave themselves stick and pokes, homemade DIY tattoos
out of india ink and mom’s sewing needles
etched dot by dot into their skin. can you blame us?
we all wanted to be something permanent.
my sophomore year of highschool, someone tried to commit suicide
in the bathroom during class and we didn’t talk about it.
we never talked about it. whenever people die,
i don’t know how to talk about it.
my hands are too cold to touch god
and so i keep writing, trying to generate heat.
i had a professor who told me that no matter what we write about
we come back to the same things —
we write about our obsessions. we write about ourselves.
we write about what feels closest to our hearts
or, maybe, what feels farthest away.
see, there are times when my life feels like it’s
happening to someone else.
if it wasn’t for poetry i think i’d be dead.
i don’t tell my mom that, please don’t tell my mom that.
it makes it sound like i have a problem,
i don’t wanna have any problems. she’s got enough problems.
sometimes i don't wanna be here, sometimes i don’t wanna be here.
i don’t know where here is.
sometimes i’m worried that here is everywhere,
that here keeps changing and following me and wearing down
new places to their bones.
but maybe this is human nature.
we feel like we’re not supposed to be here so we try to delete
ourselves from here or we try to delete here,
keep digging into there’s nothing left.
 Dec 2017 Klaryssa
there is nothing more american than superman.
i know this, not born but raised in kansas.
at the movies, when the man of steel tells
the government agent that “ma’am he’s from kansas,”
the entire theatre starts applauding.
he is the only illegal alien people from kansas will ever clap for.
when i was little, my father used to tried convince me
that he was alien, just not an illegal one,
because, well, it was technically true.
he’s just like superman, really, a boy living in a world
that’s not quite his that he loves anyways.
white kids in my classes never laugh at that story
but i still think it’s pretty funny. white kids in my classes never
like a lot of things i keep talking about, writing about.
because they’re always talkin’ about bootstraps
like everyone is born with the same pair of shoes
and i can never stand that.
because america is not a dream, it’s a meritocracy.
i mean, superman, that’s why we love you, right?
you’re the best and we only like things that are different
when they are cutting edge, bodies sharp
but not knife blades, nothing too lethal.
the reason we should allow immigrants in the country is
because of how they stimulate the economy,
the reason we should fund public education
is to keep kids “off the streets,”
the reason we should stop burning our planet alive
is because we have nowhere else to go,
the reason we should care about another person is always
bound to how they affect us. and i’m tired of penning arguments,
aiming to teach people how grow empathy a few years too late.
stop talking about my people like they’re dollar signs,
like we’re only worth our output. you like us when we’re superman,
sob stories to success stories, model minorities.
but you hate us when we take up too much space.
you hate us when we’re too angry or too loud or too comfortable.
you like us grateful, don’t want us to ever ask for more.
can all our american dreams live at the same time?
or are they pack of cannibals, eating each other out of existence?
does a dead boy in kansas mean the same to you
as a dead boy in syria? do you cry for him in the same way,
is his body just as heavy in his mother’s arms?  
riddle me this, if a body falls hard against the concrete
and his murderers walk around as if they are not murderers
then does it make a sound?
how much is it worth?
how much is it worth?
 Jun 2017 Klaryssa
Jack Jenkins
You've moved on
You're living life
I'm still counting days
Since my heart died

the pain
the numbness
the subtle suffering

I've lost track
How many days?
I know you're gone
Never coming back

the lonesome tears
the fragrance you left on my heart
the empty beds

Just know I miss you
My wish upon stars
Sparkle of gold
Killer of my heart

*the shock of loss
the bitterness of loss
why did I lose you?
Next page