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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.
Laura Ingram
Written by
Laura Ingram
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