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you are a ****, she said
she said, *you are a ****
i have scraped knees and
a quickly bruising elbow,
a finger to my lips and a
dinosaur washrag dripping
onto my thigh.
but, grandma, she said-
there is a calming, silencing
tone to the thumb wiping
my face clean, a soft smile.
even gardeners mistake the
new, stray trees on their
fence lines sometimes, meg.
11/10/17 -- from my journal

my grandma told me this story the other day, when i came to her with some self doubt. she told me to "always be a tree even if you aren't supposed to be one."
 Oct 2017 Paula Sullaj
people only knock

for the warmth, outstay

their welcome,

i've never wanted to

love quickly

i want to lay each

brick, caulk every corner

and be

(c) Brooke Otto 2017
orange soda, fizzy tongue,
creamsicle smiles.
we lived in sync, there,
with an ocean breathing
between us.
i would have swallowed
the sun if it could have
helped cool you down

but i wanted to burn
god, how i wanted to burn.
from my journal
i think i am spread across
c o n s t e l l a t i o n s
my heart on too many suns
to keep track now.
if home is where
your heart is then my home
is in missouri

so we keep begging the sky
to give us one day together,
tie bedsheets in a line headed
west and east like we're
going to stretch across the
atlantic one of these days.
i swear some mornings
when it's quiet i can hear
a buzzing inside my chest
and i've known for a while
it was you. but how do
i whisper that across a
static line, to your face as
small as the screen on my
phone? we deserve much
better moments than
we've been allowed.
this has been in my drafts since march and i still don't think it'll ever be finished.

if you're reading this, i miss you.
i sit on the
cold floor
of the shower,
just me and
myself, and
i tell her there
are good things
in the world.
aren't there? i
know there is
a reason she
and i have made
it this far.
there are
beautiful things,
beautiful things.
i am trying to remind myself that
i am the one who has always held
my skin together on the worst days,
the one who has sewed myself back
up time and time again. i have picked
my own body off the bathroom floor
more 4am's than there are numbers,
taken myself to bed. no one has cared
for me like i have cared for me and
yet i don't know when i stopped
thinking i was my own home.
i'm trying, i swear.
i do not know how to love
i walk across this ocean like
i am from heaven
but my feet keep slipping through
the surface,
i try to hold my bones inside my body
but i have gotten used to the way
they look on the outside,
i hold my own heart with my hands
because i cannot trust anyone else but,
too too tight.
but do not tell anyone, megan
do not tell anyone.
i wish i could have loved you,
 Apr 2017 Paula Sullaj
Ryan Kane
You and I were miles apart,
but connected through the stars.
I guess their lights must've burnt out
because now you're nothing but a memory
I sing to a empathetic tune on my guitars.
(c) Ryan J. Kane 2017
 Apr 2017 Paula Sullaj
Ten thousand leaves fell
with a single wisp of air
that escaped from your lips
as you smile;

that is how rapturously I fell in love
with you.
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