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paprika Nov 2019
tomorrow it will be a year.
a year of my hands stained cherry red
cupping this grief, a year of bruised
and shallow breathing a year
spent dreaming of highways, your hands
always gripping the steering wheel
too hard my hands always
picking themselves to pieces and i
plead with you not to stop, just keep driving,
let the skeletons of december trees keep
rushing by, the signs of forgotten and
forgettable towns flickering in the periphery
and i know neither of us want to be here
we never did, just don't stop. please.
this year has shown me how little
a year means when a mind is stuttering
on repeat, the glitch fragmenting
past/present/future; you are forever
walking that beach until sunrise,
i can hear the pulse of waves and crunch
of your feet against pebbles and shells,
i feel the blinding epicenter of pain
and the weight of the gun strapped
over your shoulder and it seems
almost like we are breathing
as one, i am there with you beside
you above you below you inside you
and i whisper: please, please
just don't stop walking,
don't stop don't stop don't stop.
instead, i watch the way your eyes look
as you put the gun to your temple
and you won't listen when i tell you that
i'm embedded in you, that the bullet
is going to pierce through your skull and
lodge in mine, puncturing my
prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate,
hippocampus, amygdala.
what does a year mean?
it means i'm putting one foot
in front of the other, again, again, again
when you couldn't,
it means i dragged the dead weight
of your memory up the embankment,
down the highway, passing days weeks
months seasons, and it never seems
like progress until you look back.
paprika Sep 2018
we are fallen. we are bruised.
we are opened, bleeding,

gone. we are little lips, budding
                    breast, incipient hip, soft
home, quiet home. we are severed,
              vacant,
              stained,
              ready for you.
we are indigo nights

in prussia; we are
lavender ribbons of rain;
we are agnes
                         dragged
         through the streets.
give your daughters to us,

and take our daughters
for yourselves.


         blind hands crawling through
linen and silk,
                                                  little girls
                      in mother’s skin.
The gentlest pyre tickling
feet;                    my darling,
                           this won’t hurt a bit.
I love you more than earth or sky can know.

We ask you,

fathers:

have you not gorged
                 yourselves enough?
paprika Jan 2018
my teeth are sharp and eat from stars
but my hunger looks something like home,
i wish i could kiss you without severing tissue
so i've learned to like being alone.

     - cayenne
paprika Apr 2017
fractal dream state
forever inwards;
spiraling feedback loop.

ghosts are non-linear,
negative stimuli
refracting off
mirror-dust clouds, a

tripwire wavelength.
i am belly up
in the stratosphere,
fingers dipped in
this gooey residue:

solar echo after-image,
stem-cell star nursery.
it is the slow
formation of lost
things that gives

gravity to the
situation. and
it only becomes
god-like when you
spit it out, toothache
memory, nebular
focal point. if you

could line them up
without all that
empty space -
would you?
paprika Mar 2017
you think you're the first to travel me but you don't see the remnants of the ones who didn't make it, their sun-bleached bones, edges worn smooth. my salt flats have nourished creatures and also killed them but you always forget that. i am moss-slick cliffsides, twilight film of dense forest, disorienting undergrowth. you mistake my softness, my wetness for invitation. look how excited you get at the swells of water, the sensual rhythm of waves, look how you forget about riptides and rocks, how you spin circles in my ocean, so convinced you know the way. see, i move too slowly for you to notice, the gentle shifting of tectonic plates, and i speak too quietly for you to hear, a breath that spans millennia, but you forget that i am everywhere and everything and you are only one pitiful man, that you can only walk upon the ground i set before you.
paprika Mar 2017
you
you are
every boy who
can't take no for an answer.
you are
the lovers who
drink from me, intoxicated
and selfish.
you are
the things i can't let go of, the
obsessive rumination.
you are
the IV drip of
lies i feed myself,
occasional hallucinations,
lifelong insomnia.
you are
the ghost i was born with
(who ate who in utero?)
you are
those who flip like coins,
a caress that morphs into
talon-chest-blood.
you are
me, often.
and i have to write to you like this
because you don't listen when i speak.
paprika Mar 2017
you love to slide your
fingers into the wound,
feel the broken skin,
hold me so tender and soft
from the inside.
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