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Apr 2015 · 1.1k
Elementary Particles
Laura Ingram Apr 2015
The only Korean I know is
I’m sorry.
And sometimes, if I try to remember,
You had the heels of your hands anchored to my creaking shoulders indefinitely.
You told me the truth,
That I was subatomic
Something too small to see—
The skinniest girl in the world.
You carried me across cul-de-sacs on rainy Saturdays so my shoes wouldn’t get soaked.
I wish I wasn’t the color of a magazine.
I wish you hadn’t slipped and dropped me in cement.
This body is as burdensome as broken English.
I am learning my skin like a second language.
I hope you can understand.
Aug 2014 · 1.5k
Birds of Prey
Laura Ingram Aug 2014
Birds of Prey
mother birds throw up their food to feed their young,
only to grow old before they fly.
we all have someone that we want to feed.

Why is it not seen as a sickness
for women to reject themselves
in order for others to grow?

fourteen, long-***** and listless
I have not yet bled.
I mistake this for a sign that I am safe.

My ribs feel like a small host of sparrows
shielding their eyes from the cumbersome sun.
I convince myself
the cold still doesn't bother me enough
to be the first of my kind to consider migration.

I scrunch my eyes shut in the early hours of the morning,
sure that I hear the light rap of god's knuckles against my hipbones
in this hollow house.
my bed seems bigger than before.

I am an apparition of absolute zero.
tracing the tessellated tile grout
I can't remember the last time I prayed like an apostle
Head tilted toward something I don't want to see
shins sliced by the slick linoleum surrounding the toilet
although I don't look a thing.
Like a follower of Jesus.
I did not ask you
to love me and love me
until you were empty too.
behind closed doors and an open notebook again.
but when you cry in the night and call my name
Instead of shutting my eyes.
I open my mouth.
so I can find an answer.
Apr 2013 · 687
Rosh Hashanah
Laura Ingram Apr 2013
She watches the global white of her knuckles
Whispering every name she knows.
“I came for you.”
Her voice inked up and tapering off, a hasty revision between alphabetical breath.
She is in order, and smells of snowy television.
Throwing up in the front yard at three A.M.
They could never quite bring themselves to tell her she’s beautiful.
But she stands in awe of the swarming sun, allowing it to cleave her conscious.
And carries spiders outside in paper cups.
Sometimes grappling cities to feel the graffiti swerve through her fingers.
Saturdays are best spent behind the books, winter’s used light left to knock around under her eyelids.
All her windows open in honor of Anne Frank
Apr 2013 · 1.3k
Laura Ingram Apr 2013
The yellow stars trudge into my tertiary dreams,
Flay one eye open, the other stagnant
Amongst someone else’s half-sleep.

The note sung by the SS’s shoes, sharp enough to shatter
The insolent streets.

Electric litany
Conductors of the White Noise
A spectrum-skinned symphony,
I swallow my melting scream,
At the high end of eight, I am
Still afraid
Of thunderstorms, dragging a bunch of blankets to the basement

A friend of an old lover’s coworker’s cousin,
She is a supernova’s stomachache, stippled with the start of the interstellar.
Although Jews aren’t always this incandescent
She hands me stories through the keyhole,

Pirates whose sole means of sustenance is sugar cane,
Noble dragons and the crooked knights that are their neighbors,
Princesses who shave their eyebrows and keep live mice in their apron
pockets for luck

I am not allowed to cry, no matter how it ends.
Dec 2012 · 1.4k
Laura Ingram Dec 2012
I am Chicago’s ketosis
Carbon-dating myself in kilowatt hours
Aged on whatever it is that shines
But what about how she cries for me
Anchors my creaking shoulders
To a rough translation of skin,
It’s like if I eat I will feel all the calories siphoning the sockets inside my head, and I am trying my hardest to fend off the cold front in my throat, because it keeps me awake at night, knocking around beneath my bones.
72, 67, 54, well past zero
Integers of iridescence
Some off-white desiccation  
I am so sharp.
An apparition of absolute zero
But pictures of me still amount
To most of the metric system
You’re not good enough
Something’s wrong with you
Eyes like industry
Roving the asphalt flowers
She waits an hour for the ambulance to come,
Gracelessly slung through the cerulean city
The warping of our own white noise  and
Strapped to a plastic seat
Inebriated planets splayed
Through the this amber called earache
Until even her eyes are off their axis  
Although anorexia isn’t always this incandescent
Gaunt and gleaming
Her eyes always water
Electric roses
Crushed into the sidewalk cracks in case of another fall
Abrogated gracelessness
She answers most questions correctly
I am unsure
And writes me letters in black crayon
*Get Well Soon.
Nov 2012 · 1.1k
Laura Ingram Nov 2012
Arthritic as autumn, elliptical amongst my rheumatoids of rain
I have global bones, osteoporosis off its axis
Despite toppling stacks of postcards from places I will never partake in
I will always be
Virginia slim and wafting towards the indigo woods
If I were trained in cartography, I’d stitch the south out of mosquito netting and crumpled cigarette papers.
Come closer,  
This is how we say goodbye, pretending not to know.
Sep 2012 · 1.8k
Cold Coffee
Laura Ingram Sep 2012
We will measure the oil slick skyline in miles per hour, asking ourselves how often the Eiffel tower is lonely.
Crumbling bits of long-***** light between our fingers,
Together, we are the euthanasia of elegance.
Half past fifteen and I drive like an arrhythmia, the universe has been promised to my palms, it should have been you, it should have been you,  a secondhand hurricane halved, but maybe my skin is always overcast.
You are a constellation’s carcass, flaying open a second subconscious.
There is a certain rhythm to misremembering, but you always come to me clutching at the colors.
You are an estuary, stumbling, gracelessly slung into stillness, embalmed by the opacity of your own hands, yet you listen and understand and agree that grass is the incessant stole of decay, that someone has indeed replaced our vertebrae with tusks of summer, an illicit version of lunar lethargy,
and ten years from now we’ll still be cerebral as stars, drinking cold coffee and crying under the sink, keening amongst the early morning wreckage, the vernacular of Vesuvius.
Jul 2012 · 1.2k
Laura Ingram Jul 2012
Sluicing beneath summer's tepid transparency, My long ***** bothers, a resplendent redundancy.
There is a certain rhythm to misremembering.
We used to talk about minutes for hours, watching the shriveled stars in their distilled sort of dissonance, a clandestine translatoin of morning's original, if scuffed, sonata.
Jul 2012 · 563
Laura Ingram Jul 2012
I came to **** the singed marrow out of a scarlet called caution.
Jul 2012 · 1.3k
Immaculate Misery
Laura Ingram Jul 2012
I am quite certain she came to us in color, sifting through a century of sepia fever, came clutching handfuls of fear, gangling an opaque insomnia with her estranged authenticity.  
A friend of an old lover’s coworker’s cousin, sickly lunar air gasping for more,
Mother says we’ll manage. Father says finish up. Sister doesn’t say.
I followed her down that faux-satin sink-hole, every old soul’s inevitable trip, helped hang drop sheets in the basement. At the high end of eight, everyone supposed I was too young to understand the words that gracelessly slung their insides into stillness, but she told me she thinks that maybe no one is, cocoon shred thin and softly rasping , an omniscient reincarnation of our radiator.
I asked so many times why we always had to keep the curtains closed, and she would scathe her fingers through her temples, scuffed sacrilege, surely the best location to beg forgiveness for that which Elisa lacks.
“It is an always itch.”  She tells me of the ink pen she is never without, gouging adjectives out of the ground. Her hair, still summer’s best-selling brand of blond, embalmed eyes tripping across the tightropes of light.
Between the abrasion of our breathing, I think I fell in love with her belligerent lungs.   I splay a change in the weather on the wall, and sometimes we pretend that there are more than two potatoes.
I have always been afraid of thunderstorms.  The yellow stars trudge into my tertiary dreams, flay my eyes open.  I swallow my melting scream, drag a bunch of blankets downstairs.  She hands me stories through the keyhole, pirates whose sole means of sustenance is sugar cane, noble dragons and the crooked knights that are their neighbors, princesses who shave their eyebrows s and keep live mice in their apron pockets for luck. '
I am not allowed to cry, no matter how it ends.
She has to stay at home when all the neighborhood kids play cards on the cul-de-sac, platonic pedestrians sparred by our bad posture and worse poker faces.  Alvin Bertram, the size and shape of smoke, teaches us to roll cigarettes out of old newspaper. I bring mine downstairs so she can fill in what is left of the crossword.
Jul 2012 · 752
For Katie
Laura Ingram Jul 2012
I thought about you as I flew over Chicago,
cleaved by swooning sunshine.
It was the color of sound.
Jul 2012 · 1.6k
Late Bloomer Blues
Laura Ingram Jul 2012
I once had a cold and my classmates insisted I was ferreting those tissues away to help fill my children’s place training bra. The only curves you have—are inward.  You should be a model—for the baby gap. You gained a pound? So that means you’re back to your birth weight now! My, how you’ve grown, you must be going to Middle School soon!
So there you have it. I am fifteen years old and I have experienced precious few of my peers’ pubertal problems, be them of the male or monthly variety.  Some of the kids I babysit assume we are having play dates, and the closest I’ve come to an intimate encounter is having my shirt ride up during a piggyback ride.  With a Mormon. Don’t get me wrong. I take full advantage of the free crayons and cheaper movie tickets, but it gets old when people always assume you’re the opposite—not to mention having to fight sparkle-nail and loose-tooth against a gang of eight year olds for the last pair of those rhinestone skinny jeans, then having the cashier gush over how grown up I am to go shopping without my “mommy,” LITERALLY getting shoved in a locker—and fitting, having your science teacher tell you you’ll be more beautiful than anybody after you “blossom” and your younger, Asian  friend give you clothes she outgrew in third grade.  Not to mention my LOVELY alias, Auschwitz Preemie, or the fact that NO ONE takes my noble aspiration to be a Norwegian **** seriously. This bothers me most. You wanna tussle? You wanna tussle with this? Yeah, you may be laughing now—hell, I would too-- I guess it’s safe to say—I’ve got the late bloomer blues.
Jun 2012 · 2.1k
Good Directions
Laura Ingram Jun 2012
He combs freeway fingers through heavy head traffic, take the first exit, my hair sopping coils of second-hand crinoline.
His sand-grain obscenities erode us as we’re skidding asleep, a salted shade of cerulean. Blind eels undulate through citrus eye sockets, acrid lemonade powder penetrating my paper-cup covering, short-circuiting their solar wires, picked clean by a half cup of high-tide.
I will carve a new clavicle with fisherman’s sinew and snippets of crawdad skull, stretch my oil-spill of skin taut over each coral reef  arrhythmia, the indigo arch of my spinal cord, you are now leaving   Atlantic City.
May 2012 · 697
Laura Ingram May 2012
Your archaic eyes crackle, off color electricity.
Not even our hearth
Has such small hands.
May 2012 · 1.4k
Laura Ingram May 2012
These are the things I don’t remember.
The reason you’re really afraid of the water.
The tea-rose ***** of a bone-china daughter.
The first-gram-stained strains of a song that was not heard.
Microscope-slide in.
Softly-unfurling,cocoon shred thin.
May 2012 · 636
For Jenny
Laura Ingram May 2012
Your soul is a neon rearranging of rubik’s cube constellation.
May 2012 · 588
Laura Ingram May 2012
Your Kyo-Bird Bones Bend Their Blackened Heads, Beg for Forgiveness.
Ten words. Thought I'd try it. asjdlkfjag. Hai.
Apr 2012 · 985
Cinema Scope
Laura Ingram Apr 2012
The undulating tape worm of an off unused paper, poking around for a plot vein to seep into, to **** out of. Humid braids of breath taking mine away, clinging to the back of my neck, the rabbit’s foot beam of your crescent-colored skin, crushing a sickly lunar sneer into my crumbling crater eyes, you are the first footprint on this foreign wasteland, blinking red and blue, the garish striping of those struck by patriotism, am embarrassed bit of pride. You are made of molten moon rock and melting milk ****, the thick plastic listlessness of an august afternoon, lid ever tightening around the arbitrary top, frizzy fire-fly wings pressing against the light-up syran-wrap of our atmosphere  I want to be the skim milk splash stirring your acoustic coffee eyes, the fissonary bursts between your bones, breaking down in order to build up.
“Kiss me.” The words shutter out of me on expired film, the click that comes with capture. A trail of minty motor oil trickles down your chin.
Your pruned petal lips wilt with mine, rose-colored thorns.
Mar 2012 · 802
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
You are made of streetlights and smashed china, an arbitrary twilight, with eyes the shade of so many afternoons spent reading in it, mine the color of Dee’s Diner, bright and blinking but never completely closed. The smell of coffee draws me in, and we sleep under the stars I see, my unmade bed of cicada wings and shredded gossamer.   There are smudges of December in the I’m-fine lines of your forehead. I draw my shoulder blade, the last slice-of sliver of peppermint air sharp against my tongue-in-cheek. I try to breathe through your eleventh birthday. Pink party lungs pop.
Mar 2012 · 3.2k
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
Paper cranes, only able to fly when thrown.
My body bulging yet angular, a broken bone.
The china doll your mother always told your not to touch.
No matter what I do, it’s never good enough.
The slipper belongs to the girl like glass.
I hope my breaking upon impact has left one that lasts.
Drowning in the I-tried-to-make-you-see
Can’t swim without water, but you can go too deep.
I wish I could stuff you into my shoes.
Make you trip over you-can-knots-too.
I’m-a-whale-bone-corset laced too tight to breathe.
The silent sob song I hear every time I try to eat.
After I learned to play the scales, I wrote.
Comprised largely of passed notes.
Red-solo skin sloshes his I-don’t-drink.
My-stay-in-bed is the only place I can think.
Shape shifting twig-logs legs
I remember all the things you said.
Skeleton, Toothpick, Helium, Thread.
I am much more breakable
Than the mirror that is on my wall.
Beeswax body melts over my candle-wick spine.
Please read between the I’m-fine lines.
I’m-stuck fingers down my throat.
I won’t breathe easy until I choke.
Hungry enough to swallow me whole.
Nothing I crave so much as control.
My hummingbird pulse swings on the raised bars of my bone-cage.
Those none of the bird sort can break.
Isn’t fifty-eight a failing grade?
Words ridged in all the right places to form a fist.
It’s only so long that I can resist.
Lie-colored tendons strain against the bathroom door.
The heaviest part of an apple is the core.
Called enough names to forget my own.
I don’t mine being, but feeling alone.
Mar 2012 · 624
Paper Kranes
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
In my bottom drawer, beside the blades, a technicality of sustenance( they came from the kitchen), are paper cranes a friend of mine made from math homework and left in the slits of my locker, folded over into something impossibly small.  Even at a lesser size, all the numbers, all the indiscernible value, stayed the same.  
Paper cranes, only able to fly when thrown.
I never quite learned to make one properly; I always compressed it in all the wrong places, stifling the already quiet creatures into silence.  
Paper cranes, white wings stamped with numbered conundrums I could never solve; zero was my answer for everything, and more often than not, it was right.
Even when I wasn’t.
White-wings, so like the ones sprouting from my back, a sheet-like extension of my skin, serving the same purpose.
“How many times have I told you to throw away all that away!”
I already did.
“I’m sorry?”
Are my answers always questions?
“I don’t have—“
“…Time for this, hurry up and clean your !@#$# room.”
I waited until she was left, used water that stung as much as soap would have in my eyes, turned on the ceiling fan so she wouldn’t hear me cry, despite the fact that I was freezing.  
I collapsed onto the floor, hit not-quite-rock bottom because I was too tired to climb up the sheer thing I slept on;
Hunger has no footholds.
You know how when you say a world over and over again, it looses its meaning? I tried that with fat more times than I care to (or for that matter, can) remember, but it never worked.  It wore a groove in my mind, cutting to but never quite past the quick, never far enough for me to come, to go, to bleed, to get out.   It was the only word, after a while, that I could recall, mere mimicry of all the things calling it out to me.  
It was the only word I could remember.
And it was the only one that I was willing to die for to forget.
Mar 2012 · 771
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
Crumpled, ink streaked, breathless blood, blue black and bursting out of veins of the same value, priceless one I’m not able to pay.  
I thought paper was okay.  Paper can’t break (although, much like bones, the things it comprises, the stories, the poems, the pages, or at least the good ones, are full of them. )
I was right.  Paper can’t break.
It tore.
Mar 2012 · 809
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
I was ten, an award, angular ten, my body full of edges not unlike the one I was always on.  
He was ten, too, a canny, cow licked ten, a spine deemed not straight enough to stand up, which he would have preferred to having to stand around, to not being able to stand it. Bound up in library paste, gagging, suffocating under the scent of glue that was said to have none.
I was ten, the number my mother counts to when trying to calm herself.  I was ten, deemed the statistically safest age by some book Smoke read.  I was ten, but of course a girl at odds with the world would beat them.
Even so, I still lost.
I was ten, a too sweet song composed of passed notes that the other girls sang on the swings, and even though the words were always something about love and marriage and babies, all of the supposed components in the infallible equation of happiness, they made me sad.
I was ten, a candle wick, on-the-cusp-of ten, being consumed by flames because I refused to feed myself with fire. Because I refused to feed the fire with myself, a twig surely the same as the smoldering ember, which I liked the idea of living beside.
I was ten, soaring past the play ground on the new found wings I had shouldered, on the new found wing I had created, constructed from mine.
I was ten, he was ten, we were ten, dry humor, ironic punch lines that we didn’t understand, but laughed at all the same.
We were ten, dry humor, ironic punch lines that they didn’t understand, but laughed at all the same.  That laughed at us because we, no matter how hard we tried, couldn’t be.
Mar 2012 · 648
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
A girl named Maria who refused to answer to anything but beautiful because she doesn’t feel she is, who wears little-girl shoes and already has one, who always leaves a red lispstick, leaves it-was-just-a- kiss on our cups when we give her a glass of water, enough of the I’m-blue bruises under my anemic skin to drown in. To drown out.
Mar 2012 · 3.2k
I Miss My Sister
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
I miss my sister.  I miss her smoke-colored singing voice, even though she never had in her life, miss the sun-dress rays, her arms and legs on grass, sharp enough to slice me open, miss the way she always managed to stitch my side.
Miss the way she was always on mine.
I miss my sister.  I miss the way she walked, the way she stood in that which rain falls, slanted not in, but against the wind.
I miss my sister.  I miss the tents we used to build with two tacky lawn chairs, sleeping not under the stars but under Star Wars.  I miss putting her clothes in Landon’s closet, although we’re all pretty sure the Jonas brothers are content in their own.
I miss my sister.  I miss staying with her in the hospital, which I did not do because she was afraid to be alone in a strange place, but because I was in a familiar one.
I miss my sister. I miss the broken butterfly wings she wore all week at Disneyland, miss the pre-poem paper, the face of potential, in all its pallor, hers.
I miss my sister.  I miss elbows and earnestness, a muted mirror picture left as the wall paper on my phone, her hugs colored the same silent shade shortly before she was reduced to one.  To just one.
I miss my sister.  I miss being weighed down by her weightlessness; piggy-back rides, shopping cart races, that last Great Strides walk when she couldn’t anymore.  I miss going to sleep with my glasses on, a story already indented in perfect paragraph form, miss My Little Ponies carrying my Storm Troopers to safety.  
I miss my sister, miss her laughing in spite of, laughing until she couldn’t breathe, red and white and wide open, picnics in both the park and the parking lot.  
I miss my sister.
I miss what felt like my whole family and I miss ours being described as such.
I miss crying when she got her first kiss and when I gave her the last.
I miss secrets she gave me, even though I promised myself I would never take anything from her.  
I kept them anyway.
I miss my sister.
I miss everything about her, even, no, especially the things I thought I wouldn’t.
I miss my sister.
I miss being her super-hero, even though I didn’t save the day, I tried to make it.  Tried to make more.
I miss my sister.
Still, I hope she doesn’t miss me back.
Still, I hope she will come that way.
Lee Albright, a rather old character of mine, reflects on the death of his sister, Emma.
Mar 2012 · 2.3k
Four Skinny Trees
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
The colors they use to cover their arms
Hide the scratches, hide the scars
Eyes fall in dusk, the darkest shade of sun.
Silver a value worth more than one.
Sometimes they stop being ashamed
Free themselves from the manipulative, malevolent, mindless mind-games.
People see the stuff of stories in us.
Torn open by the time we trust.
Paper-thin, paper-frail
Not every fire-side story is a fairy-tale.
Elbows are our only weapon
And although they scare, they do not threaten.
Bent over double, folded in half.
The things you want to know, but are too afraid to ask.
Read between the russet lines
Another word for thin describes them; (I’m) fine.
I told you it would be okay
But that just means it’s not yet, not today.
Shape-shifting twig-logs that attract too much attention.
Hallway whispers aren’t hung up, aren’t honorable mentions.
Teacher, I don’t understand.
All I can do is raise my hands.
Puncture the clouds people say are fat
Even though I am the same exact
I want to reach up, out, over, to get that way, but I’m afraid.
But I am too sad and too skinny
Standing against before I’ve learned to stand alone
Alongside the things that comprise my home.
Four skinny trees
They enclose me
Nobody, not even the rain
Stands up after, stand up during the fall, stands up for all who do the same.
Mar 2012 · 1.2k
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
He sweeps me off my feet with his determination to get back onto them, and I get carried away atop I've-got-your-back, tripped over the welcome mat on the way to the exit. My dress is the color of his face, of everything I can't; it has none. He crawls into my stay-in-bed, on his knees surely the best place to beg pardon for not knowing his. I want to end my get-a-life, but not saying so saves my brother's. we build a tent out of our roomate's towels, drown in the they-don't-want-to-see, poemless sheets of computer paper tucked into the raised bars of a wrought-iron gate, so like Lissa Who is Crazy's down the hall, the syncopated steps of someone who refused to be limited to twelve.
Don't judge me. It was a long night.
Mar 2012 · 588
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
My hands are trembling stalks, don't-be-so negative calories, nails in the  bitten-to-the quick way of acquring a coffin. My lips crawl and my skin trembles in anticipation, the page before the poem, gooseflesh common in those of us who don't have an ounce left.
asfsdfdsfdf ew.
Feb 2012 · 2.7k
A Microscopic Summary
Laura Ingram Feb 2012
My candle-wick spine ignited a beeswax incased body, somehow still managing to get stung.  I wore a white dress, hand shakes too hard to give you one, lily-colored legal pads, the only way for me to cross the pond writing about a nineteenth century girl who already had. The best means of escaping this world is finding those to create your own.  You were tall as August, blue like Bone-China, a place for girls who don’t know theirs, I spent my whole I-never-had-a-childhood digging for it.  You kissed my bleeding barbed wire fingers, cutting open the underbelly of don’t-call-yourself-a-cow, whispered into my split hair, your words the consistently of one, my life sentence, I always write too many, punctuated by question-mark curls. The sun-burnt beads of my back, my mother’s whispered she-doesn’t-have-a prayer as she brushes my hair that smells like sobbing, the you-can’t-be-counted on rosary slung around I-saved-your-neck.
You pocketed crumpled-paper fists, firsts drafts, said you got my letter, eyes like Egypt, starveling sand.  Lissa Who is crazy and taught me to paint them like Cleopatra, pen and ink my favorite art form. You can never have too much sky, and I watched it turn to tea, cloudy, steam-colored storm soaking through your shirt. Who doesn’t love colored Kleenex? I stand in the same way rain falls, your fragment smirk, small and slanted, a poem piece, you helped to pick up all mine.  I carved off my cold-colored skin, knowing good and well how much you wanted to get under it, with a bone handled blade, picking the locked you-could-fit-in-keyhole of my rib-cage, only weeks ago stopped up with sugar-free gum. I wait, sick of being obsessed with mine, and I kiss shut-your-mouth, coffee and cigarettes, the first thing I had in days, in what felt like 365. Exclamation points have finally made mine, a steel-toed sister, her scar-colored strength a secret, the ability to keep them. The way you held me like I was crying made me want to. My body bulging yet angular, a broken bone. An-apple-a-day the thickest part of please-smush-the-spider legs, spinning silk story threads of the last I’d read, of the first I was afraid to; ours. A thousand cracks in your sunbleached skin, four write angles all I had left, always appreciative for the sidewalk even though I can’t anymore, writing fairy-tales I know by heart because you’d stomped on mine, a lemonade puddle you were supposed to step over, the metallic aftertaste of a girl who is said to have none. The music too loud, my top too low, a hummingbird in my throat, Ariadne’s string arms lead you through a labyrinth of raised bone bars, those none of the bird sort can break. My skin trembles and my lips crawl, plunging into the it’s-too-late November I’ve-reached-my-second Wind, sleeping under the stars I saw, we walked inside each other’s footprints, because I didn’t want to sink in the snow, even though you left me in a people-drift after the first fall.  The hospital has two skinny-kids-can’t-climb trees planted in an ounce of suitcase smelling earth, hard-packed, branch upon branch of bleached you’ll-break your bones. The needle-knife allows me not bleed, blue-willow plot veins, painful in their prominence, story-book boats, driven by sticks. The china doll your mother always told you not to touch, I hope my breaking upon impact has left one that lasts. They shoved a tube up my nobody-knows, I’m-stuck  fingers down my throat, acidically eating myself alive, hungry enough to swallow me whole, one don’t-stall to another, Do You Have a Scrunchy, where you can go to cry and no one will hear you. Where you can go to cry because you wish someone could.  I pulled pre-prose sheets over my head, determined to suffocate I-hate-myself, waking up without air in an attempt to be lighter than it. You said I love you, I love you little girl, even though I’m not anyone’s, not anymore. I didn’t let you carry my books but maybe you can read a few I’ve written.  Lissa Who is Crazy left me by the red clowns, the laughing face of all the things I can’t. The slipping-pencil school bus, a sweat coat under the three I wore, hiding as much you’re-not-fat as I could, shape-shifting twig-log legs exposed.  The slipper belongs to the girl like glass, more breakable than any could be.  The smeared graphite sighs of the moon, labored breaths that took mine away, a crushed and cratered venire, silver-screened don’t-slam-the-door, locked knee knobs won’t let me open up, no matter how many times you knock. Linking leaden arms, so like their patten-leather ones, too scuffed to wear to school. Sorrysorrydon’tknownotgoodenough, a need to feel at home the only reason I ran away from it in the first place.  FeatherHeliumFlossThread, Opening you-can-knots of worms, fighting brittle nail and broken tooth against a boy who reads between I’m fine lines, Braille deciphered by the only one who wasn’t blind.  I broke into please-take-a-bite size pieces, are-you-alright-angles and elbows, both of his jabbing me in the I-can-see-your ribs.  A charcoal coating for the girl who can’t keep herself warm, who continually gets grilled. I-take-French-braids by Lissa Who is Crazy, summer’s best-selling brand of blonde. Hallway-waves wiping me out on each I’m -not-sure.   All I want is to overcome mine, more afraid of losing control than of losing myself to control, to the siren singing, swimming, strumming I’m-not-a-puppet strings, guitar he-picks-on-me. Whispersecret space for girls like me who think they take up too much, screaming through our fingers, banging our heads into my-back’s-against-the-wall-flowers, wilted, wearing crowns of he-gave-me-a-rose thorns, an arm cross yet another I expected myself to bear, nails digging into my palms, refusing to reach for your outstretched two.  Corpse-colored filters placed on photographs of fly wings, rotting flesh is beautiful to those who don’t have an ounce left. I acquired a toothbrush, the tool of the meticulous, determined to be completely clean, turning on all the water so no one would hear the sloshing of that which I was trying to drown in, to drown out, silent sob-songs I composed of passed notes after I learned to play the scales. Walls like crust, crumbling, wedding cake corners topped off with linoleum roses, shoulder-blades slicing off a sliver. She’s-like-my-little sister to bounce atop I’m-always-on my knees, surely the best location to beg pardon for my lack of one. Her plastic spoon snaps under the weight of wanting to lose some.  Show Me How says more than either of us are willing to, makes me worry that I already have.  She threads her broken-crayon fingers through the gaps in mine, colors, those that I use to cover my arms, deflecting the light with the products of its tearing, the light that makes my eyes burn, blur, water, cry.  Disorder found in its antithesis; I stack you’ll-write-books according to size, and the smallest one is always at the top. My chattering teeth crammed in, the choir concert crowd. They put Lissa Who is Crazy in the black box, a place for poems, maybe because I never let her read the twenty-seven in my notebook. She doesn’t come to stroke my straw-hair, a scared-crow girl complete with stuffing.   the ambulance coming to carry my hand-bags of bones; everything is too heavy once you start thinking you are.
Expressive er..THING. themes of unrequited love and anorexia nervosa. FUN.

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