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 May 2015 phi
Graced Lightning
A faint buzzing sound and our out-of-sync breathing is all that can be heard.
Every few moments the buzzing stops, only to be replaced by a quiet tap
Buzz. tap. Inhale .buzz. exhale. Tap .inhale. inhale. buzz
“he thinks it’s the moon” she says
the mysterious bug continues to fling himself at the dim lamp. Tap
“he’s going to burn his wings off and die” I murmur.
Buzz.  Inhale. Tap. Inhale. Buzz. Exhale. Exhale. Tap.
“but if bugs could think, his last thought would be
‘I reached the moon’”
she looks at me. Back at the bug.
I’ve named him Oscar,
Buzz. Inhale. Tap. Exhale. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Exhale.
Loving her is a lot like flinging myself at
a fluorescent light. Everyone around me sees my
stupidity but all I can see is the moon and the
endless ocean tide it brings
buzz tap inhale inhale exhale
all I can see are the galaxies in her eyes and thunderstorms on her tongue.
Buzz. Tap. Inhale exhale buzz exhale tap
My wings are burning off but ******* is the moon beautiful.
Inhale buzz inhale tap exhale exhale inhale silence.
“I think he’s gone” she’s staring at the lightbulb
“yeah” I whisper. I’m staring at the moon.
She looks beautiful tonight, all messy-haired and barefoot.
Inhale exhale inhale exhale inhale inhale exhale silence.
We did it, Oscar. We reached the moon.
 Apr 2015 phi
Graced Lightning
this is
this is 3:17 AM, awakened by dreams of smoking illegal things with you
this is hushed whispers, bated breath, this is
waiting this is
the moment after a slap across the cheek.
this is
this is the pacific ocean, hiding skeletons of sailors and pirates who
maybe never wanted to condemn anyone to this dark, damp death they
just wanted a little money for their baby girl at home this is
conversations with a cactus at midnight this is
trying to catch my breath after running to your open arms
this is
feeling for your hands but catching your neck instead this is
“this place is ******* haunted, Grace”
this is holding me at the waist this is
European cathedrals on rainy afternoons this is
5’1” and 5’3” this is
tea at 7:34 AM this is
out of tune pianos everywhere I look and
lying on the floor, battered and bruised as you part your lips
ever so slightly, this is
a memorized dance, a harmony
under scrutinizing stage lights.
this is rehearsed, this is
directed, this is choreographed, this is
not a performance anymore.
 Mar 2015 phi
Graced Lightning
I have always had a hunger for words
seven years old, I was reading at a college level. I was amazing. A little freak of nature. They said, "Grace, you're so smart" "Grace, you're a genius" "Grace, you're going places in life" but now i'm not so sure because
I was extraordinary then but
this is high school now and everybody reads at a college level and all of a sudden I don't feel so special anymore.
10 years old I was required to write 13 poems for the "Bluebonnet Young Poet awards"
I submitted them but
I'm still waiting for the letter that tells me I've won.
And so I wrote poetry all through the sixth grade
I was threatened and
pushed around. but no one could know because if anyone knew
they would hurt me worse and so I took the liberty of
doing that for them.
but there was a boy. isn't there ALWAYS a boy?
and I tried to write about him but (shhhhhh) he was a secret and all of the things he did to me were (shhhhhh) (shut up) (be quiet) (don't make a sound)
once I was free from him the words poured out of me like a bird released from its cage finally finally finally I could SING.
but there was a boy. isn't there always a boy?
he let the words come and come and they were about him, always about him. they were beautiful. every day there seemed to be more words about him, for him, to him. it stopped being about my words and always about his but his words were empty so he stopped saying them. I wrote for him and hoped he would see it but I guess he never did because sometimes I still write for him and wonder what he's doing.
sometimes people like to tell me that my poetry isn't "appropriate" that it's "too emotional" "too adult" and I shouldn't be writing things like that, am I depressed?  who are they, who are any of you, to tell me what I can and cannot feel?
who am I, to be standing here, telling you what I feel?
I have always had a need for words.
it's about time I started treating them right.
 Feb 2015 phi
Graced Lightning
Text her. Send her messages that she won't know how to respond to. she'll read them and put her phone down. Stare at the read receipt for hours until you realize she's not picking the phone back up, she doesn't have anything to say to you.

Eat lots of chocolate. It has serotonin in it, the happy chemical. When you cuddle with her, your brain releases oxytocin. As long as you eat enough chocolate (and throw it up) you won't miss the oxytocin one bit.

Bleed. When she tells you that she cuts herself, cut deeper. This is guerrilla warfare now, and for every shot fired you must fire back.

Read your messages. Laugh at the nicknames she used. "Princess". "Baby". "Darlin". You were never her princess, never her baby. She was the child and you were merely her plaything.

Make art. Write dumb poetry about falling in and out of love, take photographs of your ****** thighs, paint a picture using only shades of red. Let her figure out what all these things mean.

Drink. Green tea, *****, over-priced lattes. Stay up all night crying. Wear stilettos. Sit in art museums all alone and wonder if being a starving artist is as much fun as it sounds. Take long showers and harmonize with your favorite songs through your tears. Use heavier, blacker eyeliner. Spend time on yourself. Adopt a cat. But most of all, remember this:

You can only love one person. Choose yourself
 Dec 2014 phi
Graced Lightning
My hands have always been weak.
When I was seven years old, they decided
that I needed to go to physical therapy
because I couldn’t hold a pencil.
I couldn’t hold the reins tight enough.
I kept dropping things. I couldn’t do
anything right.

I have always been inherently sad.
When I was nine years old, they decided
that I needed to go to therapy
because I couldn’t control myself.
I couldn’t appreciate what I had.
I never slept. I couldn’t do

I punched walls and kicked doors.
I ripped posters off of my
fourth-grade classroom walls.
Ten years old, I walked through the hallways,
All eyes on me because I was
Toilet Girl
I just couldn’t seem to
get it right.

When I am twelve, I’ll start
to write ****** poetry instead
of destroying things because
both are art forms but
my parents have to pay when I
destroy things.

When I am thirteen, I’ll realize
that it’s not just material objects
I have trouble holding on to.
I have trouble holding on to people, too.

I am fourteen, and I have just
been told that I’m not
doing anything right.
I haven’t hit a wall in years but
I guess old habits die hard because
I’m fifteen with
new scars on my knuckles

I am inherently sad and my hands are weak.
I write poems on my computer because
I still can’t hold a pencil.
But for someone with such
weak hands
I have a lot of scars on my knuckles.
 Dec 2014 phi
Graced Lightning
I fall in love with places
the way that some people fall in love with human beings.
 Oct 2014 phi
Theia Gwen
 Oct 2014 phi
Theia Gwen
It began when I skipped lunch
When snacks became meals
And food became calories
I stopped standing and began to kneel
It started with pictures on blogs
Collar bones, thigh gap, dead eyes
Worshiping goddesses who never eat
Whose smoke curls as easy as their lies

It was about being weightless
Being skinny, being happy
To wither and fold into myself
"Somebody please look at me!"
Now my eyes are heavy
I have to hug the wall to get anywhere
Colorful bruises bloom on my legs
The room's spinning, black spots everywhere

I'm like Atlas, holding up my world
With shaky hands, bloods spattering everywhere
Step by step I keep moving, it's never enough
I'm killing myself over what size clothes I wear
Two years ago I wanted this
Asking Google a list of excuses not to eat
Now I think I'm dying, looking up heart arrhythmias
Because I can't follow a single beat
I feel like I'm ******* dying.
 Oct 2014 phi
Graced Lightning
if i knew where to get drugs, i'd be a ******
2. sure, my ribs are visible, but what of it?
3. i lose myself in dreams at night and during algebra ii
4. i'm in lust with a girl with a boyfriend
5. or maybe i'm just paranoid
6. i'm lonely in these cinderblock walls
7. i find myself again under stage lights
8. i'm homeless (although not in the traditional sense)
9. i know i'm loved but
10. when my friends laugh with their other friends, it's about me
11. or maybe i'm just paranoid
12.if i lose it, who will visit me in the hell known as 'psychiatric ward'?
13. i can't hold my own in a fight because i cry into my wounds
14. besides, i don't write anymore
15. what is there to write about besides love and insanity anyway?
16. my demons visit this safe haven and desecrate it
17.their names are sarah kate and victoria
18. or maybe i'm just paranoid
19. but i swear i didn't name the voices inside my head
20. i make endless lists of things that don't matter
21. to do, to buy, to cry about, to write about
22. so i close my eyes when i sing
23.or maybe i'm just paranoid
24. and you hated this poem but
25. maybe i'm just paranoid
 Oct 2014 phi
Graced Lightning
anything can
look like poetry if
you hit the enter button
a lot
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