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Feb 2019 · 695
Untitled
Mikaila Feb 2019
I think of you
A collapsing star
Your pain like the day the world began
So powerful
Your mind like
The day it will end
Scalding pure.

My heart is like a furnace tonight  
Blue white
And my bones are full of rainwater
Cold now
But heating up

Shame
For all my shrieking
I am whole
Like an egg
Uncracked
I do not think anything
Grows
In here
But the shell
Is smooth
And that seems to count for something.

Still
I am buried
And the soil above me
Churns—
The skitterings of beetles
Something with wings that whir.  
I grip the door frame
That dark mouth
And wonder if I am coming to life
Or leaving it

I am iron
A tea kettle starting to boil
It sings and screams
And hisses out a thread of steam.

The burns slide up my arms like little snakes.

And yet you are here
Still
Here like a sun
Calling the blood in my veins
And it answers
Pounding—

It would rather be with you than me.
Jan 2019 · 682
Untitled
Mikaila Jan 2019
I read somewhere that names
Fix things in place like pins
And that to be nameless is to be
Free.

There are some things in this world which can’t be spoken
Can’t be captured
Can’t be named.
As artists,
As human beings,
They call us
An unstoppable force
An indefinable drive
Onward-
That deep tug in the center of your chest
The gnawing need to create.
They are things we chase
Things we aspire to
Things we even worship sometimes
Writing long into the night
Carving wood and clay and bone
On our knees in the dark
Smearing paint, desperate to understand
Desperate to make something
Half as beautiful as what we
Feel.
Since we awoke as a race
We have created
In service of only that drive
Only that obsession
Half awe and half hubris
Half joy and half shame
Half triumph and half
Defeat-
The expression of something
Inexpressible
The naming of something
Too sacred for language.
We know we can never arrive
We can only
Search
And the search is the reason
For our cities and our novels and our symphonies
An aching search
A humble search
A sweet journey whose end-
No matter how much we pretend otherwise-
Is only
Death.

You are like that.

I’ve tried for hundreds of pages
To explain myself
To express my love and longing but
You
Are like a thousand of those unnameable things.
I think you might be
Made of them
Somehow.
I think they live in your skin and your bones and the timbre of your voice.
I can write all day
About the magnetic beauty I see in you
About the way you make me feel
And list the things I love about you
But it always feels
Insufficient
Always as if I am writing around something
Bigger
Something with no words to describe it-
None that even
Come close.
As if I can only write about what you do
Not what you are
Because what you are is too vast
For thought.
I write as though I have pressed my hands to glass
Trying to sing to you through it
But you are on
The other side-
Even the most beautiful art
Even the sweetest music
Even the most tender poetry
Could not pierce deeply enough
Would be a disservice and a reduction
Would fall hopelessly short
Of what you really are
And how you really move me.

I try to tell you why I love you
I try to tell you
How.
I know you wonder sometimes
I know you wonder if I only love
Things about you
Things I could find in others.
I try to explain but it’s like
My thoughts catch in my throat
And fall like shadows on the floor-
So hopelessly inadequate.

I search and search
I sit up nights
Trying to find the words
Trying to make the words
But there are none
Not because you are ordinary but because you are
Unnameable.
What I love in you is deeper than reason
Deeper than touch
Deeper than ideas or memories or the little moments when I stop and gaze at you
Transfixed.
I love you in a way that reminds me
That we are not just flesh and blood
Because if we were there would be a word for what in me
Falls to its knees at your feet
And what in you
Makes me want to build things with my hands
And never stop

And that is
Maddeningly
All I can say
Because although I think by now I may have truly tried
Them all,

There’s not.
“To love another person is to see the face of god.” -Victor Hugo
Nov 2018 · 860
Twenty Three
Mikaila Nov 2018
I know weariness.
I can see it at the edges of me, always
Waiting to seep back in like
Chloroform for the soul.
I’m young
And passionate
But I am not stupid.
I know it will return.
I know my days are numbered
And that when my time here is up
I will have to make the exhausting choice again
To go on
Purposelessly
To continue
In a gray, flat world
And blindly wait for something to spark interest in me once more.
It is not faith that keeps me alive in those times.
It is not love.
It is not a feeling, at all-
It is a dull, stolid persistence,
An instinct from an older time
That I am simply too tired to fight against.
I crawl forward,
Blank.
I am
A machine which has run this long
And continues on with no driver and no destination
And will
Until such time as the fuel runs out.
It is not a youthful thing to know
So intimately.
That gray quiet has touched me in places no lover ever will.
It has permeated my very flesh.
It lives in me like smoke,
Always,
And it will,
Always-
The knowledge that the one thing to which I will constantly return
Is that bland, cold, mechanical existence.
I tend myself
During those times
And I feel like a farmer who has planted
Stones in the ground
Foolishly watering and weeding,
But I
Do it anyway
A habit that won’t break.
I survive
And I am too weary even to search for a reason
And that, I suppose, is a blessing
Because I would not find one if I did.
I go on, always,
And in the mirror during those times
I see the blue-white blindness of the eyes of an old dog
Who has felt the steel tipped toes of too many boots
To care if one more swings at his ribs-
He is too tired to move from his spot on the porch
And would rather endure the pain than endure the
Fear.
I am like him, and I remain like him
Even when I am full of joy
(I am full of joy in that surprised, flinching way
In the way of something that has been around too long
Not to know that eventually
Something has to give.)
You call me young.
Everybody does, here.
And I suppose they should-
They have never seen that in me.
I hide it well, even when it swallows me
And anyhow they’ve only seen me in love,
The full and complete opposite.
They see my thankfulness
For a reprieve
And mistake it for energy,
Mistake it, even, for innocence
When really it is the stark, clear memory
Of months and years of colorlessness
Of waiting around for something inside to grow
When there are never any seeds nor any sunlight
Of deciding every day to go on,
Even when there is no reason.
It is far away now, that feeling
That awful cold emptiness.
It has rushed from me like the tide receding
And while it’s gone,
I’m not wasting a second
Not me.
I’ll look stupid,
I’ll look naive,
I’ll look reckless,
But I’ll swallow my pride
And open myself to every feeling that comes my way:

To be anything less than as passionate as I can would be the deepest blasphemy
When I have known hell
Not as torment but as blankness
And will
Again.
Nov 2018 · 1.4k
Sailor
Mikaila Nov 2018
I want you to crash into me
Like the ocean.
Tonight when you kissed me
I thought I’d drown in you
And I was
Happy to be lost at sea.
No wonder the ocean loves you
You are kin
You are the same:
You both need someone
Unafraid to be pulled under.
Nov 2018 · 1.1k
This Big Hush
Mikaila Nov 2018
There is no cure for my self.
I will sit up nights
And read poetry aloud
And cry harsh tears as my words fall away into the darkness.
It is my nature.
A voice of sorrow lives in me
And it speaks, always.
It murmurs beneath everything like a brook.
It sweetens my days
And swallows my nights.
It is not without its merits
But it is
Painful.
I am a sad person
Always have been.
I ache, and always will.
Love soothes and frightens me
But beneath it grief runs steady
The only thing
That is always there
Heedless of any other turmoil.
It presses into me-
A small trickle, less than rainwater-
But it has carved me deep over years
Deep, deep,
It has cut caves into me.
It is the heart of me, the softness of the stone
It is my weakness and the source of my life
And I have hated it for as long as I have known it was there
But it
Doesn’t care:
It only knows how to continue
Not how to feel.
It doesn’t stop for love
Or for anger
Or for joy.
It gouges a path through all of them,
A deep, steady drumbeat
A persistent crawl
And I am witness to its slow erosion of me.
I watch with apprehension
An unwilling subject
A reluctant vessel-
For I know that as gentle as it seems
It has stripped away all this so far
And will go on
Until nothing remains.
Title is a reference to the poem Elm by Sylvia Plath.
Nov 2018 · 667
After All
Mikaila Nov 2018
I think it’s hardwired into us
To wonder what our purpose is,
To search for meaning and for comfort,
To feel
Lost.
I’ve wandered a lot in my life.
More than my share, perhaps,
For the years I’ve spent on earth.
This feeling
Takes hold of me
And pulls me after it.
Like a string around my heart
Thin but insistent
It has led me
So many places.
I’ve boarded planes
With little plan
And crossed oceans following it.
I’ve emerged from sleep
Onto shadowy country lanes
Chasing the silver the moon left on the ground.
I’ve walked out in rain
On dull, slick cobblestones and watched
Unafraid
The underworld of London
Surge topside
In the dead of night
And swirl around me like the mist that clung to my heels.
I have walked and walked
Through fields shrouded in early morning dew
Met the eyes of animals in the dark
And held them in a moment of
Understanding:
We both of us are lost
Both hunted
Both free, but uncertain.
I have followed this feeling wherever it has led me
And it has always led me somewhere I could love
But never somewhere I could rest
Until now.
My heart pulled me to you
And I thought I would be out at night again
Scouring the streets
Searching for meaning,
Searching for
Sustenance.
I was ready to live that again,
Ready to embrace that odd agony of feeling,
The secrecy, the doubt,
Ready to leave a trail of blood behind me
As I staggered through the night and into dawn.
But you
Surprised me.
You saw me.
You
Loved me.
These nights, I find peace in my heart
And for once I do not wander.
I savor the warmth of my own skin
Content that soon your hands will bless it,
Will travel it like a map of the world,
Will bring
Light.

I don’t know what my purpose is
But I can guess.
When I look at you
I suspect my purpose is to be right here,
To love and love until I run dry
And simply fall to dust.
And maybe that scares you
But it doesn’t
Scare me:
Sitting here,
Curled up with tea
Writing poetry for you
Dreaming of your smile
I think of all the other callings I could have had-
A call to arms
A call for blood
A call to action or revenge or martyrdom.
I could have been called
To serve
To teach
To sacrifice,
To survive or to
Destroy-
And I look at this love,
This love that I would gladly let
Fade me
Like a step worn down by the shoes of someone familiar and welcome
Like a favorite shirt gone pale with washes
Like an old newspaper clipping in a frame in sunlight
Cherished but worn
Crumbling with time
Known as the back of your hand
Known as your fragile heartbeat,

And I think
To love is not such a bad purpose
After all.
Nov 2018 · 1.1k
Untitled
Mikaila Nov 2018
Even though it’s cold here
It feels like summer
When you laugh.
Nov 2018 · 397
Untitled
Mikaila Nov 2018
I want you to know
That when you cry it rains somewhere.
The sky opens
And a drought is ended.
Something that had been parched
Grows again.
The ocean lives in you
Vast and brutal and
Exquisite
And I hope you are never ashamed of the storms that come,
Of your power or of your
Surrender-
Grief is just as sacred as joy
And one cannot exist without the other.
Nothing grows without both
And you are
Wrong
When you say you must be half dead.
You are
Vividly
Wonderfully
Sharply alive-
You cut the world with your pain
And it bleeds beauty:

Where your tears fall
Things
Grow.
Nov 2018 · 457
Enough
Mikaila Nov 2018
I think sunlight must be running through my veins
I feel like honey and wine
I feel the way I used to feel
In the mountains
In the bright warmth
Air so pure it made you dizzy
And the sky like a blue blanket
Soft and inviting.
Being with you
Laughing with you
Feels like sitting on the porch during a heavy rainstorm
Watching the chaos
And breathing in the scent of damp wood and stone
Safe from the cold and the wet
Clutching a cup of hot chocolate.
Being with you feels like
Lying on a foreign beach
Under a cloudless sky
And fearlessly letting the sun kiss my skin
Mind hazy with heat and contentment
Hair made wild by the water and sand.
I haven’t felt safe much
In my life
I haven’t felt whole
But I feel it with you.
I feel like I belong here when I’m with you.
So often I am an observer, a bystander, someone who records
Beautifully
The world
But cannot be in it
And cannot be touched by it.
When you touch me I remember all the times I’ve ever felt real
All the times I’ve been truly reached by anything.
If there is a home for me anywhere on earth
It is this feeling
And it lights me up from the inside,
Rolling off me in waves
My joy to live
My joy to be
It’s back, it’s here,
And while it stays, I bask in it like healing sunlight.
Nov 2018 · 263
Stillness
Mikaila Nov 2018
I wait for you
Like a tree waiting for the rain
Like a seed beneath snow
Like the birds wait for dawn
Like the wolves wait for moonrise.

I wait for you
Like a breath held
Like an unfinished thought
Like a step almost taken
Like a dissonant chord.

I wait for you
Like sustenance
Like peace
Like salvation
Like an answered prayer.

I wait for you
Like a tree waiting for the rain.
Oct 2018 · 350
Palm To Palm
Mikaila Oct 2018
Of course it’s work-
People say that word like it means
Pain
But
I am not suffering.
I’m building something-
It is holy work
It is the only sacred thing,
The only war
Worth fighting.
The only oath
Worth keeping.
The only sacrifice
Worth making.
I have been pure and whole
But I have not been meek.
Why pledge yourself to a god whose only promise
Is that he will never touch you?
If you’re going to take vows,
Give yourself to skin
Give yourself to joy
Give yourself
To love
And **** the rest.
If you’re going to belong to someone
Belong to them with your whole being
Every little corner.
I vow to chase this feeling until I can’t run anymore.
I vow never to be satisfied.
I vow dignity through pain.
I vow courage in the face of defeat.
I vow sweetness when spite would taste better.
I vow to do my own
Sacred work
And if I pray it won’t be on my knees
But with my lips pressed to the forehead of someone
Whose eyes I want to drown in.
I vow to keep reaching for this world
Until my hands are too scarred to feel
And if I choose to worship anything or anyone
I want that faith to leave a mark.
I want it to burn.
I want it to pierce me to the core
And leave me new.
Oct 2018 · 982
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
I would probably forgive you
For anything
And I know I should be afraid of that
But instead I’m just glad.
Oct 2018 · 286
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
I’m afraid that if I look too long into your eyes
The words will spill out of me before I can stop them:

There is no god
There is no heaven
There is nothing in this world that is holy to me
Except you.
Oct 2018 · 319
Styx
Mikaila Oct 2018
Maybe the sun is a coin
In the palm of some careless god.
Something he holds
Without realizing
Something he feels the texture of
For comfort
When the cosmos
Presses in.

Maybe the sun is a coin
Never spent because it
Burns holes in pockets-
Maybe we stand on a great blue marble beside it
Watching it slip away
So much loose change
Rattling around
Waiting to be bartered.

Maybe the sun is a coin
On the tongue of someone who should have been
Our father.
Maybe
Having been saved for so long
Hot and shiny as a penny
It pays his way across the River

And maybe we remain
Smooth and blue and lost
Having fallen through a tear in the lining of his coat.
This whole idea was inspired by a line from Ray Bradbury’s short story “All Summer In a Day”
Oct 2018 · 570
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
What you see in me
Is someone who is so used to isolation
And so good at disguising it
That to be present in the world is a surprise.
Everything rushes in
Everything touches me all of a sudden
And I am overwhelmed.
I don’t know if it’ll ever go away.
I don’t know if I want it to.
It brings a certain strangeness out in me
As I struggle to contain and conceal
Not my otherness
But my sudden immediacy.
I feel the floor pressing up against my feet
And the soft turnings of quiet things in the ground so far below it.
I feel the sea.
I feel the past and its whispers.
I feel the way a tree must feel
When struck by lightning.
Somewhere an artist carves the face of a statue in a quiet room
And something new is born
And I feel that.
Somewhere someone flings their arms wide
Leaning out across a railing over the water and laughing as the wind holds them up
And I feel that.
Somewhere lovers find each other for the first time
Somewhere a child learns a new word
Somewhere, someone tired and peaceful breathes for the last time
And I feel that
And that
And that.
It rushes in,
It all rushes in.
At once I am painfully in place
And scattered across the world
And it all swirls through me.
I am so used to being silent inside
And filling the space with music and words
Petty distractions and safe thoughts
But
Suddenly
If I had a thousand bodies and souls it would not be enough to hold all this
And I am disoriented
Like I’ve been thrown into deep water only to realize I can still breathe somehow.
It is that confusion you see in me.
It is the memory of before
Of having been everything and nothing all at once, forever,
And then suddenly contained-
I had forgotten,
But part of me remembers every time I see you
And it is always a surprise.
I don’t know if it will go away.
I don’t know if I want it to.
It’s why I miss things,
Why I can’t focus,
Everything in the world calls to me,
And everything in me sings back,
“Please don’t let me go again,
Please let me sink my hands into the earth and grow there
And never feel alone again.”

It’s a hell of a lot to act normal through.
Oct 2018 · 606
At Your Gate
Mikaila Oct 2018
You can lean on me
I won’t break
I will bend like a willow tree
And trail my fingers in the river
And sing how I love you into the dusk
And never
Let you fall.
Oct 2018 · 766
That’s All
Mikaila Oct 2018
To all the churches
To all the picketers
To all the bureaucrats
To all the
Sinners
Don’t you know?

God is kindness.
That’s all.
Oct 2018 · 236
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
I’m afraid to meet your gaze for too long-
I’m afraid you’ll see all this poetry
In my eyes.
Oct 2018 · 1.6k
Dopamine
Mikaila Oct 2018
If love is a drug
Of course I’m an addict.
And if I fall off the wagon
I want to hit the ground-
I want to fall all the way to hell
Shake hands with the devil
And do the thing
Properly.
What’s the point in rationing something
You know you will always crave
And never have enough of?
I could spend every day with you for the rest of time
And still want more.
So
Knowing that
Why wouldn’t I try
For a few more minutes?
Why wouldn’t I take
Every bit of happiness I can get?
I intend to **** the marrow out of life
And make sure that if I must someday
Starve
I will at least have known what it felt like
To feel whole first.
I want to ache for something I’ve had and lost,
Not worry after something I’ve never known:

If I am going down anyway,
I want to go down
In flames.
Oct 2018 · 558
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
Someday when I am old and weathered
I will look back on this day
And feel alive again.
Across the years
I’ll slip like sand
And I’ll be there in the shocking cold water
Sun slanting through a hazy sky
Watching the light touch your bare shoulders.
I discover a new kind of beauty whenever I look at you
Something harsh and soft at the same time
Like the ocean is.
I followed you in
Entranced as always
And the cold stealing the sensation from me
Did not dim the strange pull I feel from you.
It was confusing
Floating in that sea of icy water
Seeing my feelings made real
Pushing and tugging at me
Something vast and lovely and
Inescapable.
Something that could stop my heart.
Even there I felt it more than I felt the tide
More than I felt the cold,
More than everything: it swallows all light and all thought.
A modest part of me told me to look away,
Although I watched with innocence,
As the water sank from your collarbones and rose again,
But I couldn’t
So I just kept my distance.
You belonged there,
Something wild and powerful and changeable,
Something hypnotic,
A force of nature.
And it was beautiful, to me,
It was right-
I couldn’t turn from it.
It’s little things you don’t notice
Or maybe you do, and you never say.
Lying in the sand,
I watched the shadows deepen at your jaw as the sun dipped lower.
We laughed,
And sometimes you would meet my eyes and I would feel
Cold all over again
Like I was lost at sea
And happy to be there.
What a strange place we’re in.
What a strange place I’m in.
I could look and look at you all day,
I could listen to the cadence of your voice for hours.
It’s a battle
Not to get too caught in your gravity
And just freeze like a photo
Trying to remember you as if when I blink you’ll disappear.
The waves would hit me and push me back a step
And your laughter would float over them and join mine
And beneath it all I still felt that irresistible call, that unstoppable force
The thing that pulls me toward you.
I let it take hold of me,
But not move me.
I let it consume me the way it does
Went still, arms spread, and let the waves hold me up, my smiling eyes always searching for you
And always finding you in the folds of the water.
The way I move around you
The times I choose to keep my distance and the times I let myself be close
The careful way I study your face
Trying to remember it, trying to understand what I feel when I’m near you
The little things I do for you-
It’s all love.
It’s all the love I have just
Pouring out of me into the world,
And no wonder people look at us.
I’m surprised it doesn’t push them all back with its force.
I’m surprised it doesn’t push you back,
But somehow you seem to live well in it
For now.
You seem, even, to let it in.
Sometimes I’m sure you’ve realized,
I joke about it, but I think you already understand-

If you had walked off into the sea,
I’d have followed you like the path the moon leaves on clear nights
I’d have pressed the breath from my lungs
And found the bottom.
I’d have let the cold fill my veins and my bones and my mind
And given myself
Gladly
To a pull stronger than reason
And stronger than fear.

I’d have a sunk my fingers into the icy sand
And followed you all the way to silence.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

- TS Eliot
Oct 2018 · 376
A Sweet Little Poem
Mikaila Oct 2018
I can’t promise
I’ll ever get used to you.
When I first walk into a room and you’re there
It hits me hard.
I’m always worried other people will notice.
It’s like someone hit pause on my whole being for a second
And then released me and I’m scrambling to catch up.
I recover quickly, but those first few moments...
I blink in confusion, a little dazzled,
As if by sudden daylight.
And honestly I feel silly for it-
You’d think, after everything we’ve shared
I’d have been able to master that by now
But instead
Every time is like that first time.
Every time, I stumble over my words a bit
And find it hard to look you in the eyes.
Every time, I am a little unraveled by you
And I see your confusion sometimes
And your relief when that moment passes and I am your friend again.
I must seem so strange to you.
Sometimes I worry that you think I don’t trust you
Or that I don’t like you
Or that I’m afraid of you.
But really it’s just that
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to you
As a person
As a part of my life and my world.
I think maybe I’ll always walk in the room and have to catch my breath
When you’re there
Because you’re there.

I guess I just have to hope
It’s a strangeness you can live with.
Mikaila Oct 2018
I tried everything
To break my mind like a sheet of glass.
I pounded with my fists.
It held, cold and unyielding,
Mocking
And when I was spent it was exactly as it had been
In tact and undamaged.
Maybe this time will be different.
Maybe this time
When you go
I’ll put my fist through it like a mirror
And it will finally shatter and become a part of me.
I close my eyes, and dream.

I am in a ward, and it is empty and cool.
I run my hands along the hospital beds
Their coarse white linens
I push my fingers through the bars on the windows of the doors
I lay my cheek against the cold metal of a table
I am alone
And I feel nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
Echoing and calm.
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
The air is like gel
I have to push through it
And I am slow and empty and content to be so.
The world refracts
And I watch coolly, detached
Shadows move
But they don’t bother me.
They follow me on the wallpaper, waving hands
And I reach for them
Line my fingers up with theirs
Feel the darkness tingle along my skin.
They don’t speak
But someone else does.
It’s a harsh husk of a whisper, like sand
And I let it scrape across the back of my neck and raise the flesh along my arms.
It says,
“I’m sorry”
“I’m sorry”
“I’m sorry”
The sound fills me like a horrible prayer,
And suddenly I feel everything instead of nothing
And I think
This is the moment I die
This is the end of me
But instead it
Continues.
“I’m sorry”
“I’m sorry”
“I’m sorry”

It’s me.

I put a hand to my throat in surprise, feel the vibrations there.
My face is contorted, and for a long moment I feel it, trying to read it,
Trying to understand,
Then pull back sharply, having found what I was looking for
And hating it.
No, no, no-
If I can make the maze of my thoughts hard enough to navigate
Maybe I will never find my way out again
Into sense
And into
Pain.
I sink inside myself,
Sorry sorry sorry
And each word is like a wound torn open by shaking fingers
And I am sure this agony
Will last forever
Squeezing my heart and lungs
Wringing me out.

But suddenly the world shifts,
The sorrow is pulled out of me like venom and I forget it as I forget myself.
Like a child, I am new and blank and whole.
Tears still cling to my eyelashes from the moment before
But now I no longer know why they are there, blurring the edges of world.
I taste one, and it is like the sea
And I realize that I am in the water.

I bathe in front of an audience of silent white faces
They do not bother me
I am splayed, naked, in a warm porcelain tub
And I let my face sink beneath the surface
Looking up into the lights shaking and swirling above me.
They’re like little fish
Out in the air
When I’m in here.
I stare and stare
Until darkness starts to fade them
And hands grab my shoulders.
When I emerge it is like being born and dying all at once
And something like coherence gnaws at the edges of me
I shrink from it, rubbing my hands together, frantic.
Sorrysorrysorry
A whisper that makes me turn my head sharply
But then it’s gone.

Someone pulls me from the water and dries me.

Like a doll I am moved away from that place
And I forget it as soon as the door closes.
A storm threatens though, on the horizon something menacing and tumultuous looms.
A thought I don’t want to have,
A feeling I can’t name and don’t ever want to.
It claws at me, it chews at my ragged fingernails until blood blossoms and drips onto the bedspread.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
It’s not my mind that’s fraying, it’s my soul,
And I know which one I’d rather lose.
I curl into a ball, huddled and waiting
To be crushed.
But at the last second, no-
A sharp slice, something shiny and bright.
I feel ice in my veins, and then numbness.
Oh,
I want to be wrapped in white sheets
And dine on bread and water
The purest nun
The **** Madonna
Shrouded for the shadows to mourn.
I stare around me with large liquid eyes, searching for someone whose name I can’t remember.
I have to say something,
I have to tell her...

But I am alone here,
Thank god.
I am alone and it is loud with stillness
And I am forgetting my name as I forgot hers.
I toss it away from me, the last of something
Sacred
That won’t be missed.
I drift, hoping for rest
And I start to find it.

Something metallic and heavy is seeping through me
And I let the last of that clawing feeling slip away.
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing
I feel it. It’s back. I hope it stays forever:
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing

I weep, and the tears are empty.
And I am empty
And I feel
Nothing
Nothing
Nothing

Thank god.
Oct 2018 · 380
Untitled
Mikaila Oct 2018
There’s no art in the world that could live up to this feeling-
I can’t make anything like this.
Not with my soul as collateral
Could I bargain my way to something beautiful enough  
To explain what I mean
Tonight.
You must be right, then.
You must be right.
There mustn’t be a god
There mustn’t be a plan:

I can’t imagine meeting the god
Who could have dreamed you up.
Mikaila Sep 2018
I would break a thousand mirrors
To draw the dark away from you
Break them with my palms
And grind them to glittering dust between my fingers.
I welcome the shadows with the sacredness of ****** hands.

Let them come.
I am not afraid.
I am ready
For war.
Title is a reference to Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4 Scene 15
Sep 2018 · 14.5k
Easy
Mikaila Sep 2018
It’s just easy for them
Isn’t it?
This couple on the train.
They walked on laughing together
Holding hands
And I felt that familiar something-
Not jealousy
Not envy
But...
Chagrin.
Astonishment.
Incredulity.
Incomprehension.
Looking at them feels like looking at one of those
Impossible pictures
Where the stairs keep going forever in a loop.
It’s just
Easy for them.

It doesn’t hurt anymore, that thought,
But thinking it feels so odd in my mind
When I can’t imagine loving someone without
Shame,
Without pain.
They fit.
These people,
They fit without having to carve anything out.
They fit without punishing each other.
They fit like puzzle pieces cut from the same board-
No worries, they just go together, and that
Is that.
They fit like
“Of course.”
Like breathing.
Neatly.
Simply.
Carelessly.

I can’t imagine what it’s like
I can’t comprehend it-
To fit
Somewhere
Much less to fit somewhere
With someone.
I am always trying to corset myself into this world,
Lungs burning,
Trying to remain small enough to squeeze by
Catching myself by the wrist to keep from reaching
For anything.
And if there seems to be a spot where I might be able to exist as I am

It is always

Occupied.

Like a shiny pinprick
That thought hurts-
Not like the others it is newly cut
And still ******.
The idea that maybe there is a home for me
And that maybe I was too late for it.

They’re laughing.
He says something clever,
Passes a hand along the small of her back
And she leans into it,
Smiling because she loves that he wants to touch her innocently.
They seem to exist behind glass.
Not for the first time I wonder
If I could just slip into that life
Like a drop into an ocean
I want it badly
I want it stupidly
And I examine all the parts of myself,
All the edges and cracks,
All the things I’ve worked so hard to protect and repair.
It is not a welcome sight-
I am not a home
I am like an old ruin
Full of murmurings and cold spots
Full of dusty sunlight.
I sigh,
Knowing the secret I keep so poorly-
That if I really had a choice to be otherwise
I would have already made it.

I couldn’t reach them if I ran for a thousand years,
They are too far away.
They walk off the train, arms linked
Talking about nothing
And I watch them go
Like a hallucination,
Like a mirage in the desert.

Her perfume smells like forgetfulness
And it lingers.
This is a poem about how it feels as a gay woman to see a straight couple on the subway.
Sep 2018 · 370
Belonging
Mikaila Sep 2018
I saw the earth in your eyes
Every forest
And every ocean
And I faltered, surprised-
As unstoppable and unfathomable
As the deepest water
Constantly changing but always
More powerful, more beautiful, more vast than it seems.
As sacred and peaceful
As the quietest mountainside
Only birdsong and the murmuring of leaves to break the stillness
Sunlight dappling the ground with soft gold
And not a footfall for miles.
As desolate and strange as any desert
Sometimes hot enough to burn
Sometimes cold enough to bite
Harsh and lovely and full of secret life,
The anchor of a sky so large it bows out like a sail
The captor and nurturer of a thousand constellations.
As gentle and close
As the air that turns grasses into waves of color
And whispers to passers-by of springtime as the snow starts to melt
And coaxes dandelions to give up all their wishes
To the sky.
I saw all this and more
And I understood why you feel so out of place.
You belong to this world
And it belongs
To you.
We don’t love this place as we should.
We don’t stand in wonder enough.
We pave over it, we shut it out, we manufacture it
And you
Are the real thing
You belong here like so few people do.
That
I think
Is why you feel so lost.
Sep 2018 · 263
Untitled
Mikaila Sep 2018
I have already written you
Over four thousand words.
Sep 2018 · 214
That’s All
Mikaila Sep 2018
Can friends
Write each other poetry?
Can they be like this?
I am so scared
That you will think I lied to you
But I never have.
I told you who I am
And how I feel-
You just think
It’s not for you.
I worry you’ll think I only like your art
Because I love you.
I worry you’ll think our friendship
Isn’t real-
It is,
It’s the realest thing I’ve ever made from love.
Loving someone like this...
It’s like a puzzle.
I walk in knowing one thing: that I adore them.
And slowly, they show me why.
You’re showing me why.
I would love all of this in you
Even if I hadn’t accidentally loved you first.
I am discovering my own reasons
Because I always have them
And they are always
Good ones.
Just... when you realize,
Know that.
Know that I’m not betraying you.
I am using my feelings
To build something new
Something better
Something that’s good for us both
Instead of painful for just one of us.
Know that it’s taking
All of my courage.
Know that I consider it worth
Everything I have.
Know that it very well might
Cost me just that
And that
I don’t care.
Know that I worry
Because loving someone means you want them to be happy
And I want you to be happy.
I want to be your friend
Who writes you poems sometimes
And hangs on your every word.
I want to live up to this feeling.
That’s all.
Sep 2018 · 3.0k
Thank You
Mikaila Sep 2018
Gazing up at the sky with that stupid grin on my face
Radiant with undisguised joy
I said
Thank you for hanging out with me.
I didn’t mean that
Not exactly
And I don’t believe you think I did-
I think you saw through me
Completely.
You looked at me sidelong
And I blushed,
Having just seen
Forests and deserts and oceans in your eyes
Having just seen the world all wrapped up in a person
Looking at me
And been
Overwhelmed.

See?-
I can’t just say
What I mean.

Especially not when what I mean is
Thank you
For ever being near me in this world.
Thank you for the nights I’ve given up sleep
To sit and watch the light seep through my curtains, lost in the strange beauty of your dreams and thoughts and ideas.
Thank you for your art
That digs its way into my heart and takes root there
Making me vibrant inside.
Thank you for those times I’ve spent
Happily close to you
The warmth like sunlight that spreads through me whenever I see you.
Thank you for the beauty I notice in the world
When I think about you-
The broken glass on my street
Suddenly like fallen stars.
The little weeds that push valiantly up through the cracks
Like mighty trees.
The lights spilling over the pavement
Like dawn.
Thank you for
The chance to feel
Alive.
Thank you for knowing me.
Thank you for letting me in.
Thank you for letting me in even though you know me.
Thank you for the image of an odd, smart, wonderful little kid
Asking mom what color her A was.
Thank you for the tenderness that brought to my heart.
Thank you for your stories and your courage and your wit.
Thank you for looking at me with gentleness.
Thank you for giving me some of your time.
Thank you for your passions, your dark, angry moments,
The beautiful, bitter hurt you carry inside of you and let me witness like a storm at sea
But always shelter me from being touched by.
Thank you for being the kind of person
Who struggles to understand being loved
But does not rage against it.
Thank you for being kind.
Thank you for being complicated.
Thank you for being strong, and insightful, and wicked, and bold.
Thank you for hoping I’ll be happy.
Thank you for making me happy.
Thank you for the moments when I can look at your face in full
Its captivating beauty
The little thoughts that pass across it like clouds across the sky
Mischief and vulnerability and laughter and pain all mingling in your eyes.
When I look at you like that I feel like I might belong somewhere someday.
Thank you for being sarcastic, and humble, and sweet, all at once, all the time.

The truth is that when I said thank you for hanging out with me,
I really meant
Thank you
For being.
I meant thank you, thank you, thank you
For ever being born.

But,
After all,

You can’t just say that.
Sep 2018 · 200
Untitled
Mikaila Sep 2018
No matter how gently I try to do it
Willingly walking away from you always feels like
Cutting the ropes that tie a ship to shore.
Sep 2018 · 449
Early Morning
Mikaila Sep 2018
Love love love
It’s going to spill out of my veins
Run through the streets and find you
Sep 2018 · 835
Wherever
Mikaila Sep 2018
I wish I had even the self restraint it would take
To keep from following you home like a lost puppy
But clearly not.
If I don’t pay attention when I’m with you
I swear I could end up anywhere.
You could probably walk out into traffic
And there I’d be beside you.
Whatever it is that I feel about you
Pulls on me
Like a string tied to my heart
And I just
Follow
Without knowing why.
It’s ridiculous
It’s dangerous
And I know it
And I am completely helpless against it
Anyway.
I think you saw it for a second tonight
As you were leaving.
I think you expected me to walk away first
And honestly
TRULY I was trying to-
Sadly, I was trying
My best.
My feeble efforts did absolutely nothing.
Instead I stood there,
Frozen,
Feeling that pull to go wherever you went
And watching you look at me
Quizzically,
Watching you notice how difficult it was for me
And wonder about it.
I probably should have been embarrassed,
But instead
I was just stuck,
Stuck for a moment in this weird gravity
Struggling to break free.
And then common sense returned and I think I must have blushed
And said something strange
And hurried off as you turned away.
I don’t know how long this will last-
I don’t know if I’ll just be like this forever
Always sort of tugged towards you,
Or if it will smooth itself out eventually and I’ll be looking back on this with chagrin.
I just know that
Right now
I’d cheerfully follow you into hell
And there’s not a **** thing I can do about it.
Sep 2018 · 744
Silence
Mikaila Sep 2018
I could say
That without you in the world
Silence would fall on the whole planet
All at once
Like a blanket of snow
Like a curtain on a lit stage
And everyone would become a silent film-
Playgrounds
Board meetings
Lovers
And
Crowded trains
People standing puzzled,
Voices stolen by a universe
Holding its breath.
I could say that the color would leech from everything-
Traffic lights and flowering trees and oceans
Bland and gray and flat,
Husks of beauty.
I could say that all the strings on all the violins in every orchestra
Would snap at once
And hang limp
Like bits of litter caught on tree limbs.
I could say that
Every song would be wiped from every page
And every long fingered pianist
Would freeze at his work
Hands shaking
Suddenly unable to remember
What his own mind sounds like
And unable to cry out
In dismay.
I could say that the stars would slide like tears down the face of the sky,
That the old gods would turn in their graves,
That the roar of the world would come to a halt
So suddenly and so completely
That every person in it would stop and stare upward
A billion faces all lit with fear confusion and grief
A billion voices
Bitten off like unwary confessions.

I could say all of that,

But I won’t.

Because after all,
It would only feel that way
For those who knew you,
Wouldn’t it?

For everyone else, the sun would rise like always
The wind would whisper
Time would march on
As it always has.
Colors would remain firmly in place
Just as beautiful
As any other day.
Music would swell in subway cars and concert halls and little houses.
Children would laugh and shout in schoolyards
Deals would be struck, fortunes would be made
Vows would be said
And bows would be taken to thunderous applause.
Choirs would sing
And raucous men in bars would shout at tv screens.
People would swarm blithely through airports and streets and museums
Murmuring, laughing.

And somehow...
Somehow that is so much worse

Because none of them would know

That silence should have fallen

And didn’t.
Sep 2018 · 191
Untitled
Mikaila Sep 2018
When you ever looked at me
With this sweet uncertainty in your eyes
As if I could get sick of you
And told me haltingly
That it was okay if I wanted to go,
I couldn’t even be scared anymore-
A laugh escaped me
Pure incredulity
And my heart was full for one moment
Of laughter and sunny days
Because I had never heard anything
So absurd in all my life.
Here I was
Fighting tooth and nail
Grappling with my feelings for you
Dizzy with fear tinged joy,
Hoping to steal one more minute with you
Before you found me out and leapt back in shock and fear,
And you were watching me, worried
That I would take back what little affection I’d let escape?
It still makes me smile,
The innocence I saw in you then.
It warms my soul
Not just because it means you care
But because I love that part of you.
Something survived all these years,
All this suffering and turmoil,
Just to gaze at me with that tenuous look
And assume I could do anything but love you for it.
I was speechless, I was floored,
Suddenly reassuring you in a rush-
‘No, no, it makes my whole DAY to talk to you’
Tripping over my words
For a new reason.
It was my first glimpse of why
You don’t know I love you
Even though I’ve told you.
You’re a little bit like me, aren’t you?
You’ve been the sorry one
Haven’t you?
The one who doesn’t belong anywhere.
Darling, I hope you never feel sorry again.
I hope you bloom under this love-
Mine and his,
Mine and his and everyone’s, because they feel it, they have to.
I’ll say it as many times as it takes for you to believe-
Anyone who doesn’t treasure every minute they get with you
Is a ******* idiot
And that’s all there is to it.
Sep 2018 · 1.3k
Vertigo
Mikaila Sep 2018
I try not to let anyone catch me gazing at you
But it’s like gravity has shifted.
I drink in the sight of you,
Any moment when I can look at your face.
When people are around I force myself to ignore you
But that makes you loom larger,
A force so powerful my heart aches,
And it is an agony to turn away, to pretend I don’t feel a pull strong enough to dizzy me-
Just one more second
Just one more glance
As if you’ll be gone if I wait too long.
In those rare moments when I can look at you without fear
I’m surprised you don’t see the tenderness in my face,
A gentleness I am ashamed of
Because it is both
Unmistakable
And traitorous.
The artist in me notices the curve of your jaw
The softness of your mouth
The depth behind your black rimmed eyes.

I could paint until my hands bled and not capture the hypnotic grace you wear like a mantle.
I truly don’t think you have any sense of it.

The other day I walked into the room, glancing into the shadows
And stopped short.
I covered for it quickly, but what halted me wasn’t surprise at seeing someone in the chair there,
It was awe.
You could have stepped out of a painting of the fallen angels and chosen that armchair as your throne.
Soft light poured over the green velvet of the cushions, stopping only to frame your face in shadow.
Your eyes glittered in the dimness
As you glanced up at me,
And I could have left the Garden
Aflame
For your gaze alone.
Just then,
I know I would have.

It is dangerous to look at someone the way
I know
I look at you.
Beauty isn’t the word
You’re something more
Something harsher
Something deeper
Something
More complete,
And when I look at you-
Sidelong
Hoping nobody will notice
Hoping that you won’t find me out
But drawn there by a force I can’t resist-
When I look at you,

I know that Heaven and Hell are only words
But I feel
Both
In my very skin.
Sep 2018 · 590
Something Sweet
Mikaila Sep 2018
“You sure do worry a lot.”
You’re not wrong there.
I worry
That you’ll see through me
And that you won’t like
What you find.
I worry
You’ll get bored with me
Or tired of my constant passions,
My midnight thoughts and my
Searching.
I worry
That you’ll be afraid of me
When you finally realize
Who I am,
That you won’t
Want to know me anymore-
That you’ll take back this fragile intimacy
This connection
And I will be
All alone again
But with a fresh memory
To hurt over.
I worry
That you’ll think
I can’t meet your eyes
Because I’m afraid of you
Or because
I am a liar
When really
I am struggling with myself
Afraid of my loneliness and my honesty
Afraid that in betraying myself I’ll betray
You.
I’m worried
I’ll wake up one morning
And you’ll have vanished like the ghost you say you feel like
Disappeared
And that I will be
The haunted one
Struggling to adjust to the bitter emptiness you would already leave behind in me.
I have been there before
I have had the dark
Pour into my chest like black water
Rushing to fill the space
Of someone suddenly gone.
It felt like
Drowning.
Please, be gentle with me.
Please, don’t forget me.
Please, forgive me.
I am trying
Not to worry.
Sep 2018 · 1.5k
Violets
Mikaila Sep 2018
I fight it
Every time I fight it
And I lose
Spectacularly.

It takes time to accept defeat.
I struggle.
It pulls me under and I claw my way out
Over and over.
I am persistent
But things are changing-
The world stops behaving the way it’s supposed to
The earth shifts beneath my feet,
Churning.
Gravity starts to pull me to new places.
I am so comfortable with
Rock bottom
It’s safe down there-
Barren and cool, restful.
Every time, I fight to remain,
Every time, I fall to my knees
Dig my fingers into the ground and hold on,
Praying
To a god I neither trust nor believe in
Because I know what is coming
What always comes
And I know what will be left behind
When it is finished.

Handfuls of soil come up in my hands and bloom with sharp life-
Violets.
Roots like daggers find the lines of my palms.
They demand
Blood.
Turmoil spreads inside of me
And I am torn away.
The world has become an ocean
With no surface and no bottom
And I am thrown through it
Stumbling
Pressing my hands against the rough walls of buildings
Here, take some of this
I can’t keep it in here with me,
I was never meant to be
So vibrant inside.
Vines creep out from between bricks
Turning their tiny faces to the sunlight.
They will not remain
Small.
I can hear the groaning of steel and mortar as I am pulled away.
Everywhere my gaze falls things are changing
The city blooms
With fearful life-
The chaos my skin cannot contain
For I am made of glass
And I hold this feeling like the storm it is,
Something that could break me
And leave me scattered and glittering on the sidewalk.

The light is getting in from everywhere
And I am not prepared for its touch.
I tremble.

Maybe there is no god
But there is this
And I understand the need for it to be known,
The need to worship something
This terrible
And this sacred.
Flashes of emotion pierce me like fangs
JoyFearRageHopeGrief
Little snakes writhing.
I try to soothe them,
And they twist about my head
Whispering your name
With voices like sand.
It falls to the ground and takes root at my feet-
Violets.
If I were to look into a mirror
Would I turn to stone
Or would I grow roots
Too
And finally be
Still?

I burn inside, struggling to keep my footing,
All this power
And none of it’s mine.
I am its vessel and its restraint
And it
Presses
Out.

Nobody sees this in me.
Outwardly I am quiet.
I let the world push me to the next place, the next hour, the next task.
I ignore this new passion that turns in me like smoke
This need to create and destroy
This agony of feeling.
But every so often
I will meet the eyes of a stranger by accident
And see shock there
And I will know they glimpsed the truth of me.
I am afraid I will see that fear in your eyes someday
The fear of burning cities
A fear I couldn’t blame you for
Because it courses through me like molten silver
Whenever I sit in a silent room with only my thoughts.

There!-
On the corner of a subway platform
Clinging to the stone
Vividly blue:
Violets.

In French there is a term
L'Appel Du Vide
The Call Of The Void
It means that it is in the nature of human beings
When they look down from a high place
To desire the fall
And that the desire is what makes them afraid,
And not the height.

I have been staring down
From high up
Like a coiled spring,
Like a struck match burning to the quick.
I have been waiting to fall into this feeling and lose myself
Toes curled along the edge
Fingertips tingling
Breathing deep
Suspended.
My soul resists, struggling like a trapped moth-
It remembers
Even if I don’t
The pale, flat shards of myself
The years it takes to mend
The jagged edges that never really fit anywhere
Ever again.
It fears you
And it fears
Me.
But I stand staring amid the chaos,
Because here finally is a direction,
A path to follow
A choice that I can own-
The only one that ever really mattered.
The pull is strong.
I spread my arms
As I always knew I would
And lean forward
Hoping that I have one more miracle left in me.

The city blooms
And, pushing up between every grate and out from behind every crumbling stoop
Are violets.
Mikaila Sep 2018
The day you got your hair cut
I went to a lesbian bar after work.
It was 3
And I was tired
But I went straight there
Because I had to do something.
I knew it was a lost cause before I even got there.
The back of my neck was prickling with tension
With fear
Because I knew I was too late.
Somewhere in the depths of my soul
My free will was on a gurney,
Cold.
But I couldn’t help it-
I needed to feel like I had control,
So I went inside.
People were dancing.
None of them held themselves the way you do
Like a marble statue that has set down axe and shield and stepped off the plinth for a brief rest
(You will be returning to battle shortly-
After you fix your eyeliner.)

I did a shot
Because that’s what you do.
They were free- *** on the Beach.
I sat there,
Wondering why the fact that you named your cat Heathcliff as a child meant that I had to love you.

I decided that I needed something stronger in the way of alcohol.

A girl with soft brown eyes and long hair came up to me.
Her name was Tiffany.
She wasn’t clever like you
And her voice
Wasn’t low and rough like yours
But she told me I was pretty.
I already knew, but I thanked her.
I felt nothing.
She wasn’t interesting
Or funny
Or smart.
She was attractive- beautiful even, I suppose,
And maybe she was kind.
She bought me a drink,
And mistook my sadness for shyness.
As I answered her questions I was afraid your name would fall from my lips like a seed
Take root and grow up through the floorboards.
Nothing she said changed me, nothing I said back changed me,
And my thoughts kept snagging on you
Tearing and unraveling.
I needed you out of my head.
She was looking at me with big eyes
And I suppose they were compelling
But they weren’t yours-
Rimmed with black, hypnotic and stormy at times, sparkling with mischief at others,
Forever changing and forever captivating,
Windows to a soul I fiercely wish I knew-
They were just eyes, and maybe they were vulnerable
Or curious
Or sweet.
I kissed her so that I could stop looking into them
And not seeing you there.
Her lips tasted like nothing.
I closed my eyes and kissed her harder,
Hoping for a reason to forget you.

We were beautiful, I knew that.
I could feel eyes on us-
Two small, lovely women
Tangled on the dance floor under the lights
Fingers in each other’s hair-
We must have looked
Just like lovers.

I searched for a way out of my feelings for you.
I kissed her for a long time, until we were both gasping.
I found nothing.
In my frustration I pulled her head back,
Bit her lip
Pressed my fingers hard into the back of her neck
And I felt her lust
But not mine.
It was nice to be wanted
But not nice enough.
I wanted to hurt her for touching me
For not being you
So I pulled away
And kissed her cheek gently
My hands beneath her jaw.
“Wow,” she said.
I couldn’t look at her.
That tenderness wasn’t hers
But it didn’t matter.
I kissed her hands
In penance disguised as sweetness.
Suddenly all the anger was gone from me
And I felt desolate.

That night I walked home with my head buzzing.
I wasn’t drunk,
I was sober as hell
Head pounding with thoughts of you.
I hated it.
I hate it.
Somehow I fell into this feeling
And I’ve been fighting not to drown ever since.
When I look at you
I feel everything I wish I’d felt while I was kissing her
And more
That I sometimes wish I’d never feel again.
Sometimes I think you see it.
Sometimes I know I cover for it badly.
Sometimes, when you’re suddenly present
Like the sun has turned on just for me
And then distant later
Like the sea at night
I think you know I already love you.
Maybe you hate it like I hate it.
Maybe you worship it like I worship it.
Maybe you fear it
And I don’t blame you.
A storm presses out against my skin when I look at you
And I’m surprised no chaos seeps through.
My bones hum with it
My heartbeat reaching like thunder into my fingers.

I’ll probably never kiss you
And maybe that’s for the best
Because even being near you makes me feel like I’m falling from somewhere high up.
If I kissed you, I’d feel everything, I’m sure of it-
Everything there is to feel
And it would end me
And I would be grateful.

I wonder if you ever see that in my eyes.
That fear, that longing, that shame and joy.
A love and loathing so intense it scalds.
‘I can’t believe I’m here again,’
It pounds through my veins.
‘I can’t believe I love another person
Who is always looking elsewhere.’

Just know, if you ever discover how I feel
That I tried to **** it.
I looked at this beautiful feeling
A feeling you could pray before like an altar
A feeling you could whisper into like a temple- barefoot and cold with wonder- and hear your soul echo back,
I looked at the sacred piece of humanity that had suddenly risen in my heart like a hymn
And I tried to silence it-
I tried hard-
So that you would never have to fear it.

I failed. It lives.
It took root in me, and whenever I speak your name little harsh flowers push their way up through the concrete under my feet, sending cracks out like jagged spiderwebs.
They bloom like wounds.
They kiss the sky.
And, slowly,
They are crumbling this city to dust.
Title is a quote from Milton’s Paradise Lost, spoken by Lucifer.
Aug 2018 · 378
2/5/2018
Mikaila Aug 2018
I think all those wishes I made
When I was a teenager
To feel nothing at all
Finally came true.
Aug 2018 · 221
2/4/2018
Mikaila Aug 2018
Sadness is holy
Rage is holy
Joy
Is holy
And I wish they were allowed to exist fully
Day to day
In the people who feel them.
Aug 2018 · 2.1k
Magic
Mikaila Aug 2018
Blue stage lights on skin
The curve of a jaw
Eyes glittering in the dark,
Raw and human.
Something swells with the silence
A truth never spoken
Like a ****** of music only half heard,
Barely remembered but achingly lovely.
Some marriage of sweetness and savagery
Courses beneath the shadows of this place,
An intimate wound
It scrapes at the hollow parts of hearts and lungs
Demanding
Purchase,
Demanding breath-
Famished in its brevity.
It is made here and it dies here,
Witnessed, at least, if not inhabited.
Every other face- white as bone and as hard-
Stares, blank,
And they do not understand
But sometimes,
They feel.

Fairy lights
The trees glow and fade
Shadows stretch long, reaching for feet that scuttle back
Afraid to let light soak them
Because here it has substance.
Others bathe in it
Nourished
Faces bared to the blue and the red
Upturned as to rain after a long and bitter drought.
They know it as water
Hold it as water- it slides away from them,
A thought half formed, a memory half loved
A step toward
God
That falls into a stumble.

I am always afraid that nobody treasures this place.
Always sad, somehow, to suspect that many don’t.
They say the magic will fade with time.
They do not know magic.

Hands, gentle,
The hands of a stranger
But known, known as water
As light.
Contained within one fragile touch, the idea that hands are not weapons
The cautious testing of fingers against flesh
Innocent, a connection between beings
Who were born of blood and will turn to dust within seconds
And who only just now have become aware
That their palms are miracles.

Safety- a contract,
A careful consent  
To reveal,
To be vulnerable for a moment-
If the moment is scripted and choreographed,
The bow and curtsy of a dance both partners know,
The permission a mask gives
To tell the truth.

It is eyes which cut deep, not hands
Wounds that last for years
Resurfacing as prayer.
Silent in the mirror of another's eyes,
A vision of what we could be
If we shed our disguises as Ordinary People and rose to our forgotten grace,
If we let others in not as lovers or as owners but as fragments of the soul we all share.

That loneliness- the grief of contact- crescendos in the corners of this place.
It is loud
Louder than music,
Louder than shouts and screams.
It grows by the moment, reaching its fingers along the walls behind footsteps, digging its heels into the fragile fabric of whispers, wrapping its ghostly arms around shoulders and tracing collarbones with cold tenderness.
It is the grief of closeness, and the grief of isolation.
It breathes here, unsmothered by the roar of subway cars, the murmur of smalltalk, or the burn of a liquor that tastes like forgetting.
This is the feeling of remembering, of being, of a truth long lost but not quite gone-
Something far away enough to be painful
But close enough to be
Unsettling.

That is why people laugh here
Why they grab what is not theirs
Why they run.
That is why they shut the door and don’t return, content to float above the surface,
Desperate to,
Terrified that if they sink even an inch
They will fall forever into themselves
And, groping for an edge
Find none.
(Terrified to realize
In becoming endless
That they always have been.)
They turn away, and call it nonsense,
Begging to remain small inside.

Not me.
I could sew my heart into the shadows of this place and not be close enough to the world it holds.
Instead I press my palms against the walls, hoping to take some of it with me each day when I leave.

They say the magic will fade with time.

They do not know magic.
Apr 2018 · 312
Untitled
Mikaila Apr 2018
You are beautiful, brilliant, talented,
But when I look at you
I wonder if you are happy.
You used to bring light to the whole room
With your joy
And now when I look at you I think of rain.
I love rain,
But you don’t.
Shadows pass across your face so often now
Like rolling clouds
And it scares me
Because I know that the storm which stirs my blood
Poisons yours
And I don’t wish it for you
But I see it in you.
Like recognizes like
And I see your darkness
The opposite of mine
Cold and weathered
A world you get lost in and swallowed by,
A burden you endure but cannot flourish beneath.
You were always sunlight, warmth, like springtime made flesh.
You were always alive in a different way from me,
A way that I loved you for
A way that I thought must be so vital to you
If it could be so nourishing for everyone who met you.
And now I hardly see you happy anymore-
When you smile it looks brittle, and vanishes quickly.
That mesmerizing light
So unquenchable years ago
Gutters like a candle in high wind
And its frailty is a wound in your eyes.
I see the weariness in your face
And your beauty has grown so sad-
No less captivating, but sobering, forlorn,
Somehow heavy.

I look at you and I no longer see your joy to be alive
And I wish
Quietly
Passionately
That I could somehow bring it back for you.
Mar 2018 · 361
Untitled
Mikaila Mar 2018
In the last week you’ve informed me of how I’m supposed to act at my job
And in my personal life.
Tell me
Would you like to weigh in on which dreams I’m allowed to have tonight?
Jan 2018 · 4.4k
Eve
Mikaila Jan 2018
Eve
This is what animates me
The force to set the motion of my soul
Gears that grind, thoughts that whir, the sustenance of something holy.
I do not think I sprang from Adam’s Rib
I think I must have been struck into the ground like a stone
A thread of lightning from the leaden sky,
And the mechanics that rose after
Demanded fuel, demanded heat
And thus was born in the cooling core of me
This mad desire, this stumbling, ceaseless search
For words to light a fire in my head
For eyes to light a fire in my bones
For some weapon of beauty
Some flaming sword
A tool- nothing more-
To sift among the dust and grit of time
To stoke the embers and evoke a spark
Prodding, prospecting
As for gold
Searching for a remnant which still burns
Softly, feeble, buried but unquenched

I chase the fire
For it must always be:
It cannot die
But cannot be held
It is escaped and never captured,
Only felt and lost, an infinite second-
A running step to overtake itself.
Mikaila Jan 2018
I wish your parents would come to watch your shows.
I know it hurts you.
Seeing you sad
Is like every orchestra on earth playing out of key all at once
Pianissimo
So softly that the sound only buzzes against the skin
But casts a dulling shadow on the whole world.
And you wouldn’t be you
If you understood,
But I wish
They did.
I know it hurt you when we were kids-
They didn’t show up then either.
I always noticed,
And I think that it wasn’t enough
To know that we all watched you with awe
Your group
Your people
Your little army of girls
We would probably have followed you into hell
But
I think you felt the empty seats where They should have been
Even as you succeeded over and over,
Even as you wondered why everyone thought you were so great.
I used to try and explain,
And
You wouldn’t be you if you
Understood
But I wish
They did.
And I’m sorry
And I hope you know
It’s their **** loss
Because whenever I saw you perform when we were younger
And whenever I see you sing now
I feel like someone has turned the sun on
Indoors.
Everybody does.
That’s how you make people feel
Without trying,
That’s why they get so stuck on you.
And you wouldn’t be you
If you understood,
But I wish
They did.
I wish your mom and dad
Could see the way you light up the room when you make music
And I wish that they wanted to
Because they have such a gift in you
As a performer, as an artist, as a human being
And you wouldn’t be you
If you understood,
But I wish
They did.
They should understand
They could have watched you change us and inspire us
They could have watched you create
They could have admired your kindness and your talent
And they still could now,
And I think
It’s so sad-
That they waste their chance to enjoy the person you became
While they
Were too busy to look.
Aug 2017 · 556
Wellwishers
Mikaila Aug 2017
"Please listen to me, don't go to art school. You'll be depressed when you can't get a job.

Please listen to me, don't live in a city. You'll be depressed when it's expensive.

Please listen to me, don't get tattoos. It'll ruin your job prospects, and they never come off, you know.

Please listen to me, don't date that girl. She'll break your heart and then you'll be more depressed than you are now, and I'd rather not deal with you being even more depressed, it's so unsettling.

Please listen to me, why don't you live at home for a while? You could save up and then start your life in a few years.

Please listen to me, I don't want you to have a Hard Life(™).

Please listen to me... you have to get out of bed...

Please listen to me, you look like a plant that's been kept in the dark. I'm scared.

Please listen to me,
I know what's best for you.

...Please say something.
Hello?"
Aug 2017 · 511
To Be A Woman And A Citizen
Mikaila Aug 2017
I feel as though I'm always under someone's thumb
These days.
I suppose it's not that I ever didn't,
Just that I always thought it would go away
Someday.
You know?
But everywhere I go
There always seems to be a man waiting
To tell me how best to exist
To explain to me
Something I already know
To give me- in the well meaning sort of way that makes my teeth itch-
Advice
On how best to conduct my life.

I'm sure you know the feeling.
I'm sure you've felt it too
And done what I always find myself doing--

Taking criticism you wonder if you'd get
If you weren't a woman.

Nodding through patronizing explanations
Of things you learned years ago.

Smiling meekly at detailed (and unsolicited) evaluations of your character,
Of all the minute things you do and don't do
And how you should do them or not do them
Differently.

"Oh really? Thank you, I'll be sure to do better next time."
I'll be sure to
Be
Better next time.

You say it out of instinct. Out of weariness.
Because you don't really fancy a fight, do you?
Not with someone so much
Bigger and stronger than you
In every classroom
In every workplace
In every system
In life.

If a man were to take a swing at me
Literally
I'm sure I'd be more apt to swing back
And better prepared
Than if he swung with the weight of his privilege
A mean
Right hook.
It's why they so seldom (relative to the alternative, at least)
Swing in the physical world:
Usually the blow lands just fine
As a criticism
Or a joke
Or even a look-
An assertion of
Dominance.
A reminder
Of who is really
In charge here.

And you find yourself
-I find myself-
Acquiescing
Oh I'm so sorry I'm not what you wished I was,
I'll
Change
So that you can be more comfortable.
Oh yes
Right away

Sir.

Everything you don't know
Is a weapon they've got to use against you.

Everything you say and do,
Ammunition.

Places you linger too long
And places you vacate too quickly,

They are marks against your name

Proof that you could always be more
Like them

Be better
Like them

(But not too much "better", or you're
Bossy
Rude
Abrasive.
Just "better" enough to assure them that
They're still the standard.)

But the thing is,
All this surrender,
It builds up.
You don't dissolve when you swallow yourself like a pill for them
Paint a sugary smile on your face
For them
And make sure they know you just aren't smart enough
Just aren't tough enough
To live without their guidance.
When you lie to survive
Those moments STAY.
They stick in your throat as you walk away.
They come back to you
Acidic and harsh
As you try to fall asleep.

That feeling
The feeling of acquiescence
It festers inside you
And it
NEVER really stops
Does it?

I don't know...
I just thought it would stop.
I thought
It would stop
After middle school.
And I thought
It would stop
After high school.
And I thought
It would stop
After college.

And it hasn't.
Apr 2017 · 657
S P I N E L E S S
Mikaila Apr 2017
It's a lovely drawing,
But
It
looks
like
y o u
f  o  r  g  o  t
y   o   u   r
s     p     i     n     e.

There's a way to fix that.

I    feel    like

it's       either

More shading or

m   o   r   e

I
N
T
E
G
R
I
T
Y

I     f   o   r   g   e   t      w   h   i   c   h  ...
Apr 2017 · 792
To The Empty Asylums
Mikaila Apr 2017
Light spills from doorways and streetlamps
Reaching for you but always falling short.
You are alone in a pool of darkness
Windows yawning and empty.
Shards of glass glitter faintly,
Strewn in the dirt around you like stars orbiting a black hole.
Vines twist among the bricks
Digging into the intimate parts of you,
The cracks and weaknesses,
Prying back doors and invading your drainpipes and fire escapes.
Long since collapsed,
The roof hangs in shreds
Letting the night pour into you
Cool and unsettling
Like black water.
You are not empty
You are filled.
You hold what I hold.
Something different.
Something ancient.
Something cold.
Life creeps into you
Around you
Crawling, unseen, through the basements and shuttered rooms
Crumbling ancient paint so that it falls from the walls and ceilings
In sheets like heavy rain.
You are filled with deathly life
You are filled with
What cannot die,
What endures.
You are not a ruin, not to me.
You are a shrine to things lost
To moments of silence and suffering
You are an echo of the dark power that seeps up from the dirt and coils in my stomach
Whenever I step outside at night.
I press my palms to you:
Nourish me.
Feed me darkness
And I will feed you
Secrets.
Give me silence.
Give me peace.
Give me
Solidity.
Make me stone.
Apr 2017 · 933
Love Me, Not The Idea Of Me
Mikaila Apr 2017
If my introspection and my poetic thoughts are tiring to you,
Imagine what it would be like if your mind required them of you every waking moment in order to be sane and orderly.

Beauty is not goodness, and it doesn't have an off switch.
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