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May 5 · 13
Ouranophobia
A human being is a mouse-cage
Walls of the nest lined and fluffed
with candy and scraps
The whole of what a child would think of
Ice cream for dinner and
Staying up late
all compressed into one cotton-ball for sleeping on
The spirit inside racing on the wheel of the brain
climbing the rope-ladder veins and viscera
Up and down
Until one day it escapes
A thousand wings
A million eyes
A blinding light like a dentist’s
Eagle talons and lion claws
Freefall
Metamorphosis beyond the frail imaginings
of little girls and boys
And you wanted this, didn’t you?
You asked for it, so here,
Limitlessness beyond comprehension is yours
It’s that cruel thing that brings you to your knees again
Bearing up under the weight of tonnes of muscle and bone
Even in your weakness, horns tall and
Nose touched to the ground like curtsy
Human beings may have brought you low
But they said a prayer for you,
Undoubtedly,
When they did it
And then of course they dug you up again
And made you a monument to yourself,
Bowing, a courtier,
Your own funeral attendee with rips in your
Tight black plastic skin
Dancing the dance of etiquette with us
After we invented it,
After we put it aside
And murdered you.
May 1 · 21
Seasonal Beast
Something pretty about me falls away in winter,
When I lose my leaves and flowers like a sharp black tree.
Spring, summer, and fall, strange men pursue me,
Tap me on the shoulder, and tear at my clothes!
But as the sun sets earlier, my shoulders square and my eyes steel.
The soft things in me harden;
Butter frozen in the dish, that tears through whatever you spread it on.

A witch lives in a house where butter is never soft;
Where milk goes off too soon and animals never approach;
Where men awaken in the morning to a mouthful of pins and needles,
Lips sewn shut,
Pick-up lines stillborn on the tongue.
May 1 · 90
So I Might
I have taken alcestis’ place many times
Sighed for her and said I’ll go instead
Moved heaven and earth
Torn death screaming from its place
So others might walk once more in the sun
And so I might what?
Ah, so I might.
It would be good to stop living and dying for someone else
To quell this rhythm
“Do it for them, do it for them,”
That makes such an irregular heartbeat
Too strange to straighten a body
And would they understand what I had done for them before?
Ah, so they might.
Apr 29 · 20
Swing Low
You don’t know what to say.
She carried your body across three states,
Held you in the air and fed you your last meal,
And you don’t know what to say.
Because she carried you, bore you to soft ground
And cypress trees,
But threw away the flowers for your funeral.
Your Dowry Hope Chest lies open,
Alms for the poor,
In some nameless little town along the way.
Is it “Thank you?” Is that what you want to say?
Were you disregarded? She carried you…
She shrouded you and broke ground,
However rough her hands were,
However quickly she moved! Even still…
And you are thankful to lie in this good dirt,
You want to be thankful for it here.
So you try not to think of it,
How there was a hole to fill and a rotting corpse to bury,
How you were one more thing that could fall into place:
Flowers to the field,
Linens to the needy,
Corpses to the ground
Where they belong.
And what should you say?
You are dead and gone, settled at last;
She does not expect you to say anything.
And so it does not matter if
You don’t know what to say.
Apr 28 · 43
Made For This
No matter what you dedicate yourself to, it hurts.
There is always the honeymoon, the good time,
The spark inside whistling:
“I was made for this!”
And that’s a dangerous thought;
You weren’t made for anything.
It needs to stop.
It needs to stop, now.
You weren’t made for this hobby,
This job,
This lover.
They’ll leave you behind;
Neither their existence nor your own
Depends upon this union.
From dust, from cells, there is no difference,
They met without any special purpose
But subsistence,
And when they are separated and dispelled,
The tears shed for them will evaporate as quickly
As normal saltwater otherwise does.
How many grand purposes have passed you by?
It must be five or six by now.
You weren’t made for this.
It needs to stop.
Apr 26 · 17
Half Moon
The moon rose in my window tonight
A half moon
The kind of straight-edged split pea that
Reminds you of math
Real eldritch math that hides under high school Algebra II
Like a hole in the earth that could swallow you forever
Sitting prettily, disguised under a manhole cover
The force that shapes mad dust into planets, spheres,
That folds light just-so around one single, even half of the moon
It rose perfectly in the middle of my window
While I talked on the phone
And then rose up past the top of the casement
As the sky got truly and properly black
And if I were a certain kind of person
A happier person, no doubt, even for all the trouble I would cause,
Its disappearance might be proof enough
It had never been here at all
Apr 25 · 20
Spirit
1.
He said
You’re so thematically inconsistent
What are you? A ghost? A vampire?
I said I am a more old fashioned thing
Before monsters had to be **** and well contained for the screen
A specter- solid when it wants to be
And blurry when it does not
Think of me as the mistreated children
And the wreckage in your wake
Think of me, and my hands will grow substantial around your neck.

2.
I don’t self-diagnose.
Don’t trust myself to know myself,
I take personality quizzes with
A moderated panel of objective observers.
What mythological creature am I?
“A fairy.
Step light, speak quiet, hard to get in touch with.
If you weren’t right in front of me
I might think you weren’t real.”
A fairy.
A sweet thought, pleasing to the ego.
Who doesn’t want the graceful bearing?
The mischievous face peeking out from holly bushes?
Who wouldn’t want to feel ladylike and airy?
I don’t self-diagnose.
If I did, I’d never end up with something so pretty.
A ghost, I would say.
Long-dead and fading every second.
My tangled hair and pale face,
My cold bare feet padding silently over the hardwood floor,
My too-big clothes swaying in some invisible wind.
Step light, speak quiet, hard to get in touch with.
Better organize a seance before the veil draws closed.
Apr 24 · 27
Hard-to-Leave Heart
I want a clean raw heart
Like a house cat’s heart
Light and string and feathers
And sleeping in the sun
I want the pricking up of ears
And the eyes that miss nothing
A heart that knows little and tastes much
I have grown too long and traveled too far
The cat heart and the bear heart
The elephant and whale heart
They are behind me in the distance
And I am the overgrown thing sleeping
Beneath my own weight
I would slough it if I could
Oh to be unparalyzed
To pick up and move house with the wind
And stir leaves under my feet like the wind
But I could never embark
Dragging some heart
Some strange heavy heart
Not without leaving a crushed world in my wake
Jun 2020 · 73
Dvoeverie. Theodicy.
Sophia Granada Jun 2020
i never believed in a soft God.
the one that kisses birthmarks onto babies
and sends angels to watch sleeping children
He is blond and white, like honey and milk
and the baptist hospital gift shop sells statues of Him
enthroned in pastel puffy clouds with roses on His cheeks.
He calls me "lamb" with a voice like a grandmother's,
He puts casseroles on potluck tables, and
i never believed in Him.

i do not know what hard God would look like
but if i did, that knowledge would be my undoing.
in the old bible, He is called "my sword" and
"my shield"
and that is how God is used today
the shelter over the head
the weapon on the hip
to whom you raise your arms in self-defense
only if you want them marked in blood forever.

hard God knows that birthmarks are made by splitting skin cells.
hard God knows that infants die for no reason in their cribs.
He puts price stickers on pink statues of soft God,
reminds me that lambs go to the slaughter,
and doesn't let just anyone into the church function.
He killed the man who taught me
that even if i could not believe in a soft God, i could love like Him.
hard God said "no other Gods before me"
and He killed, slowly and painfully and publicly,
the kind man who had believed so earnestly in a soft God.
Jun 2020 · 69
Delayed Reaction
Sophia Granada Jun 2020
I am like all other fools;
Nothing broke my heart.
I am told I was a happy child,
And I remember it so:
Happy alone in the dark,
Happy apart from the rest.
The little princess, the secret garden,
Ariel in her grotto with the hearts of untold music boxes...
I cannot shake the feeling that nothing happened,
Nothing!
A childhood of blithe gray happiness and
Nothing!
I am so upset and why?
So I have to go back and look for the reasons,
Stir the *** for carrots to float to the top,
And trot out what I find like fluffy show dogs on Thanksgiving:
"See this one,
This one is pure.
Its grandfather is its uncle
And it is pure.
It does not heel, and its bite is fierce.
It explains everything."
I'm not sure if I believe it, or if anyone else does either;
It was wrong, and it happened,
But if it didn't bother me then, why should it now?
How did I live happily with such rotten filling?
With a missing father, or a cramped existence,
Or a present so empty of true love it engenders a future of death by seafoam?
What wakes me at night with the terror
That I am the last person left alive on Earth?
Is this the horror of not recognizing?
The audience sees the shadow of the monster creep behind the girl,
But in that moment, her mind is still peaceful.
She won't scream until it's too late, anyway.
Jun 2020 · 59
Bitter
Sophia Granada Jun 2020
I am a Passover meal without honey
A salad of parsley and salt
I am the face babies make when they taste
Lemons for the first time
And when the riptide yanked you under as a child
The brackish fetid smell of your lungs afterward
The breath of the drowned-dead corpse that lingered
Even after listerine and the end of summer vacation...
What the **** is wrong with a person who hates happiness?
Why does my skin dry and shrivel at heartwarming moments?
Why do hallmark cards make me wanna yartz?
What the **** is wrong, here?
Rupi Kaur split her poetry in sections:
Hurting, loving, breaking, healing.
I want to like her but I can only stomach the first fourth of the book,
The rest feels like a betrayal written by someone I thought I knew.
My coworkers express their sadness at current events and all I can think is
Finally!
Finally, you feel it too!
Hurt people hurt people.
I'm in the crab bucket and you're ******* coming with me, pal.
I've heard it said that I'll get better,
In body or mind or soul, the something that's got to give
Will give
And I will get better.
No one ever says exactly how, or when.
Until then I will sit among bitter herbs
Licking tears, uselessly, off my cheeks.
Jun 2020 · 61
Cognitohazard
Sophia Granada Jun 2020
There are things we do not talk about,
Nor speak their names, nor bring them in the light;
The picture that gives injury through the eyes,
The song that kills, while sleeping, through the ears.
What watercolor of yellow poison blooms
When from the void steps something new to fear?


There are maps to places I should never go
I colored them with blue and green crayons
Made indentations in my grade school desk
And a tight-lipped teacher whispered phantom breaths:


“There are sights you never will unsee;
Flowers cannot regress into seeds,
Steps can’t be folded back into the legs.”
So I closed away what I should not have known
And my face flushed as I stilled my twitching legs


“There are things you never should have known,
And never dwelled upon; can you be smoothed?”
I try to reassure, by bolting down
Pandora’s empty chest, whence specters sprung
The raging lungs billowing in the night
The murderer’s knife a curvy white rib bone
One ***** left, weak-beating heart of hope


There are things, and things, and things, and things, and things!
Oh honesty, couldn’t you have struck a balance with me?
Couldn’t you have shut my eyes and ears,
Rubbed sunblock on my skin, and drunk my tears?
And left me in the dark where I belonged?
Cool in the dark, forgotten there for years


There are things grown people know and talk about.
There are people far too weak to find them out.
Too late. I should have known. I know it now.
May 2020 · 72
The Easy Way
Sophia Granada May 2020
Some people say it is the easiest thing in the world
The first thing that spills from a baby’s eyes:
Not tears, but love, easy love like cheese oozing out of a sandwich!
I like that, I want that;
That ease of use, reaching behind me to pluck love
Out of my toolbox without even turning to look!
There it is, at hand, at hand, fistfuls of it like plenty, like bounty!
But other people say the other thing,
That feels so true because it hurts,
Because hurt is what we’re used to when truth comes into it.
They say it’s hard work every day, that it’s conscious;
It’s the tension in your muscles when you do a new dance step,
And the only ease you ever find is the autopilot, the muscle memory.
Years down the line after hard, hard work you just might feel it,
The way a gymnast’s old breaks thrum in reminder.
“Remember how it used to be so hard,”
“How it hurt you and you had to work to become this,”
That inner contradiction to her graceful posture when she lands.
I think I want it easy,
But I don’t really know how I want it.
When you’ve never had it at all, how can you
Pick and choose the way you finally get it?
I think about women in pastel dresses brushing lint off their husbands’ clothes,
And I think about how blood rises to a cheek when it’s been slapped,
And I think what if I was never meant to have it at all.
Maybe I can’t even do it the hard way, can’t fake it till I make it
‘Cause I’ll never make it anyway.
The easy way or the hard way,
The easy way or the hard.
We never talk about option number 3,
When someone looks up at you, eyebrow slightly raised,
And says with a quiet finality,
“No.”
May 2020 · 72
Barter for Eyes
Sophia Granada May 2020
I am always missing signs
and the standard question here is
Can’t you read
And the only answer here is
Yes, I can read, but I can’t see
Long ago, when I was upset I could shut off the camera feed
Do away with my eyes like removing a pair of goggles
And one day I misplaced them and have not been able
To set them back down atop my nose
And the question of course is
Why would you do a thing like that
And the answer is
It isn’t really so injurious
These days it feels like I never see the stuff
Inside of other people that other people are always talking about
The greed and selfishness and the cruelty and the lack of care
And it has been so long since I’ve glimpsed and
Properly identified these shards of glass
I’ve almost convinced myself they aren’t even there
The only problem is I know about them really
I did see them before, the persons unshelled
The coals and flames and pieces of
God and Angels and Demons
The burning cargo inside the wineskin
That when you ****** a foolish glance you can only say
Oh sorry
Before blinding yourself in humility
As if there were enough apologies for seeing
As if you could shut a door and forget what’s on the other side
Apr 2020 · 65
Mourning Glory
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
Chasing after wonder days
Of eggs and toast, no tums required
Walks to the grocery store past
Rows of cactuses and pansies
Bouquets of daffodils strung like hangmen
In the window
Singing to Tie Guan Yin at sunrise and weaving
Life of strings over and under like a basket
To sleep in.
Chasing after it all,
Struggling feebly now,
A dog under a heavy blanket, against
This thing that lives inside you
This thing that hates your happiness so much
It would bleed to see it killed
Signs of life appear at mealtimes,
When rambling,
Under laden branches,
In flower patches,
In the filtered light of the sun,
Especially at dawn.
So, you want to thirst for the past?
Ears ***** up at pieces of it
Flung like pebbles against the siding
And, chasing after wonder days,
You were always what you are.
You have always loved an equinox.
Every spring and autumn bringing
The gradient smear of change.
Chasing after wonder days
You will not get them back.
Apr 2020 · 50
Costochondritis
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
I get it
You want to leave
Fall off like split hairs and shed scabs
It’s the natural process of the body
The un-become and the dust-to-return
And I get it
The hangnails and the skin cells
Omens and auguries
Hold up a mirror to this necrosis of the brain
I want to leave
And so do you
And I’m sorry
But here we are wrapped up together
Tentpoles under flesh and the
Constant ache of splitting
Hands twined together
Ribbons round the wrists
Forehead pressed to forehead
Twins under a blanket of quicklime
In the same ditch
We want to leave
We want to leave
We want to leave
Apr 2020 · 57
Alien Abduction
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
remember your limp cat after surgery
eyes caked in mammalian sleep
woozy around the house
resentful but too sore and tired to
hiss at you under the steam of medication
her soft paws, her uncontrolled
streams drooling around useless fangs
uncomfortable, as always, meeting your eyes
and this must be, you thought,
this must be
an alien abduction
and something of infant extraction and surgery
Fishing line through your tear ducts
your ripe fruit swollen face and eyes
peaches and grapes before you were weaned
Pricked through you
you blossomed to cough up chunks of wisdom teeth
****** sleep paralysis flinging insects up your nose
to infect your skin with itch
in this bed where they laid me down and lied to me
that i was my own, leading myself to The Land of Get Better
when even a spayed cat could tell you in words
as clear as those of an assault survivor or an invalid
you are not your own
a claim is laid to the body by the first hand that peels it open
cracks the ribs and gauges the ripeness of swelled organs
feathering fingers out over the veins
a hammer and chisel to the jaw and now you’re
introducing the self you used to be
gnawing around mandarin to a room of ghosts
yes this must be
this must be
an alien abduction
Apr 2020 · 67
Hopeless Romantic
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
You love flowers in the springtime, like a classic girl in love,
Sweetness heavy in the air when sugar’s not enough.
All the lies that daddy told go down better with honey,
And gifts make you uncomfortable if they cost too much money.

So, take weeds from the street, and steal prizes from the garden
To soften up the heart inside you that the world has hardened.
You like it that they’re for the Dead, for Maidens, and the Sick,
For of the three you often feel that you could take your pick.

They make you understand the things so emptily talked about
By Film and English majors running at the mouth for clout:
Rebirth and Renewal, and the fever of the Spring,
How Death pervades the world and cracks up every lovely thing!

You hold the promises of these that ooze from every flower,
Collected on your raw red knees, kowtowing in the bower.
You press *** flat in poetry, and Death in dictionaries.
The Garden of Eden makes good tea when dried with leaves and berries.
Apr 2020 · 58
Untitled
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
little animal walking in the dark
chased by the heartbeat, heartbeat,
the hammer that says
die alone in the dark
the downswing of it cruel on the skull
of the suffering little animal
in its misery in the road
You still take an analgesic
and feel nothing
a cure is a poison is a cure is a poison
you’re grateful to the berry
that killed you
and scared of the river water
that brought you back
scared of the stutter of that
heartbeat, heartbeat
the ache in the chest
the shortness of breath
the voice saying that was enough to die
now pay enough to live
heart-throat animal stumbling on a dark road
it can pay you as well as a rock can fly
Apr 2020 · 46
Untitled
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
Philosophy stretches back into pre-literate mist
You can watch it do this when you close your eyes and you are not yet asleep
This is just a ladder of time, a helix of faulty ancient dichotomies
G to C
Touch the step called “light and dark” and watch it resolve into weary gray
A to T
Touch this fragile rung, “man and woman,” and watch it crumble into dust
Nothing there for you to stand on, child, so don’t worry about it
Make a new ladder, a new rung, and **** them all
The grasping hands of the wordless past, the gibbering tongues
The blank faces that barely knew what living even meant
You know what it means.
Now do it.
Apr 2020 · 126
Untitled
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
The body’s unrelenting in its pain
Because God said it has to be this way
Light will shine and it will be this way
Some pain is unrelenting and must chase
Chase round a sleepless room from lay to lay
Light shines and you will know the chase of pain
You wake with it upon each newborn day
From couch to dining chair to bed you chase
And unrelenting it must be this way
Your spine all like a matchstick in its splay
A burnt out head and brittle down the length
Light color bone and splintered down the length
How can this driftwood bear the weight of pain
It has to. It just has to be that way.
Apr 2020 · 60
Untitled
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
Washing berries for a pie that I cook for someone else,
If they were for me alone I’d eat them straight and raw from the carton,
And if pesticides killed me, then I suppose I was a pest.
That’s no revelation;
I’ve tasted it on the skins of countless gala apples.
And what about other poisons, laced into blackberries and broccoli?
I can’t count them or know their names but I can hope
That one day they’ll gurgle in my gut like
The last note of a song,
And that’ll be the last I hear of it.
Apr 2020 · 46
take care
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
in times past
there was a rifle called mine
and daddy, always boasting-
she’s deadly with that 22
she’s deadly

i was deadly

four feet tall
i swung it out in front of me
cane of a blind man
as wild and changeable
as the spinning needle in my compass
watch where you point that thing
take care

take care

and all i said for want of wit
to memory now i can’t recall
only empty chairs, like gapped teeth
mark the occasions of parting glasses broken

pots boiled
whistling in dry pain on the red hot stove
destroyed objects, leaped before looking
and an empty oven on 400 for two days
she’s deadly
she’s deadly
take care
Apr 2020 · 45
She's the Girl
Sophia Granada Apr 2020
Let us see a slasher
I’ll show you one I like:
A girl who faced some biomedical horror
Some Thing From Another World
That lived in her and ate her alive
Made her need showers every other day
And hairspray and soap and razors from the drugstore
There was hair on her legs and teeth in her mouth and feelings in her dreams and
Oh, she was so very upset
She cut it out
Cut it out
Cut it out out out
Whatever it was that made her stink
That stuck the flesh to her bones
And made her feel happy and sad
She slashed and burned and became
Less, or more, than human
A toothy facade on long hollow stilt legs
Never smelled of anything at all and
Never slept no more, much less
Dreamed dreams
I’m so happy for her, I
Wanna be just like her, she’s
The Girl That Makes It to the End
Feb 2020 · 88
Live Like This
Sophia Granada Feb 2020
Now close your eyes
Now close them
Now remember this:
The part of you that first rolled over
That learned to walk and refused to crawl
That grew from mewling and learned to speak
Pull that hand, that drowning hand
That drowning girl
Pull her up from the water
Now open her eyes
Now open them
Now live like this
Jan 2020 · 69
Lilith Lies
Sophia Granada Jan 2020
The screech-owl in the wasted tree,
Who blights the branch and smites the leaves,
She wails that she was once like you and me!
Hey Lamia, hey love of mine,
Whose banshee moaning boils the night,
I won’t listen, for I know that Lilith lies!

Oh, naked beasts, oh variegated lives!
Whose ribs You cracked,
Whose love You lacked,
For whom You cast two wives!
Oh, hungry man, that bites his keeper’s hand!
You mixed his tears,
Instilled his fears,
And taught him “Lilith lies.”

I fled before you were brought forth
And spread, you race of sons of ******!
Oh children, you are mine, and I am yours!
Un-furred, un-feathered, and dull-toothed,
How the Almighty forsook you!
So sick and weak, you all can barely move!

Oh, teeth and bones, Oh heaven-wide applause!
Come Oneiroi,
Support ‘tcha boi,
The ape without no claws!
Oh, sticks and stones, oh desperation’s knives!
Come Seraphim,
Sing us a hymn,
Remind us Lilith lies!

“She lies, she lies,” you cry “she lies,”
But I have wings, and claws, and eyes
That pierce the dark, and to all schemes I’m wise!
Yes, I obtained these claws of gold
That keep me safe and fed and whole!
You can’t condemn what hasn’t got a soul!

Oh, life from mud, oh mare who bucked the stud!
Who sits on beds,
Perched at the heads
To drink the dreaming’s blood!
Oh, owl’s eyes, oh man’s dread realized!
Come talk at length,
And show your strength,
And show us how you lie!
Jan 2020 · 78
The Bony Cage
Sophia Granada Jan 2020
We build the bony cage for all our lives,
The twig-by-twig of robin’s nest in ribs.
The one that I have at the base of my spine,
bird-fragile, nestles in the bowl of my hips.

Here no reverie, no peaceful inclination,
No dignified ascetic’s mindful rest.
Just rattling these bars in self-castigation
Of the prison-home I’ve set within my breast.

And in the dark around me, I hear gnawing:
The ugly wail of metal chains on teeth,
The beastly sound of walled-up creatures clawing
For heat-stroke freedom wavering out of reach.

Come dance with me awhile inside this prison,
And beat your feet down on the bony floor!
Come let them know what strength has now arisen,
And don’t do your jailer’s work for him no more!
Jan 2020 · 63
Low Rent God
Sophia Granada Jan 2020
In the thrift store, the shelves shine dully with brass,
Old candelabras and cups that could serve in ritual,
If they were not made so poorly and marketed so cheaply.
I first found these thin, yellow, sheet-metal creations
Stacking the shelves in my grandmother’s trailer.
Under the grime, the settled oily sheen of air freshener, there rested
Chalices into which even a king would sneeringly spit the epithet “rococo!”
There must have been a hundred million other such trailers,
A hundred million places of honor for stamped yellow tin.
Why gather them up? Why give them cult?
The entire dragon’s hoard seems now to have found its way to goodwill,
While the real versions of these ghostly trinkets sit heavy upon altars and windowsills.
Volunteers must weigh them, each in hand, and make some distinction:
Did this aid in worship? Was this treasure?
Or was it only treasure enough? Butter-smooth placebo
For those who found themselves in an endless dry spell of weekdays,
Unpunctuated by the sort of holiness that Normal People
Crave and crave and never attain.
Dec 2019 · 186
Curl Up
Sophia Granada Dec 2019
I do not want something sweet.
Not just any flower, not just any thorn;
I want things no one can give me,
Not out of love or admiration,
Let alone traded carelessly with cold fingertips!
I ask for easy victories and braided bread,
For cinnamon and oranges;
A piece of fruit, my purple name
Carved bruise-cruel into the flesh.
I want it written in birthday cards
that it grew on the tree that way,
That memories of my eyes and smile
Burned warm within the splitting cells!
And at this late juncture? I barely care if it’s true.

Now, I’m afraid of death.
Was never afraid before, but
Learned the metal taste by comparison with
Honeyed, watery accomplishments, and
Realized I couldn’t bear to die
Like stars died before we charted the sky,
Some soft-bodied nothing passed over, unfossilized…

Grasping wretch, ugly stilt-legged and waving, begging,
Signaling for statues, hallowed trees, and candied fruits…
Well, what can you ask for?
Nothing if, without spoils,
You retire quietly to premature old age,
Some undecorated Cincinnatus wrapping up, for good, in bed.
Dec 2019 · 61
Untitled
Sophia Granada Dec 2019
What ergot prophecies existed in the past
of the coming of dead black suns and starless nights?
Some love affair with tragedy, ten millennia long,
that resulted in us all writing
"kindness and love and rest and holidays" in red ink.
I am tired of saving grains of rice for the world to come,
but the bandages my grandmothers wore around their arms
keep me from putting the *** on to boil.
I have dreams about the future, and only believe the nightmares,
And so I suppose that nothing changed after all.
Nov 2019 · 49
Quieting the Warzone
Sophia Granada Nov 2019
My father cooked.
My father cooked like cavemen cooked, fire and stone,
Like men in the wild making cacciatore,
Soldiers in a trench chucking a can into the fire,
A party in winter furs eating kidneys raw,
Carved from the back of a beast.

He cooked like people dive into ill-fated romances,
No looks backward and all caution to the wind,
No time even to throw a pinch of salt over one's left shoulder.
Heart broken and fingers burned,
You would learn to love again,
And you would complete the recipe next time,
And it would someday be true love, amazing,
A bite that could sustain long after it was consumed.

My father taught me how to cook.
He taught me by taunting me when I picked too dull a knife,
Without ever showing me how to tell a sharp one.
By screaming at me in impatience when we were a second from crisis,
Without having the foresight to speak softly before danger was nigh.
He taught me the grandeur of making something delicious,
Without extolling the virtue of making it cleanly and safely.
He taught me recklessness,
To risk everything for just one iota of glory,
To act out of insecurity and even suicidality.

"My mother doesn't cook,"
I bragged as a girl.
"You will not find her barefoot and pregnant in a kitchen,
A dangerous place full of sharp knives and hot fires and screaming men;
My father protects her from all that."

But my mother does cook.
It is easy, and quiet,
And so it is difficult to notice,
But it happens.

She taught me to make spinach pies,
And when the frozen mixture itched my hands,
She took the filling from me and did it herself.

Meat, as wrested from nature by brave huntsmen,
Is tough and stringy and crusted with cartilage,
And when I clean it thoroughly,
I am doing as my mother taught me.

Decorated cakes are soft and fine and, yes, unnecessary!
But people eat with their eyes,
And balance the bitterness of life with all things sweet,
So I am doing as my mother taught me.

Setting a kitchen to rights may be as dreary
As removing the dead from the battlefield
After the spoils are won,
But both prevent rot and disease.
We do it for others as much as for ourselves.

That is what my mother taught me:
To act like someone else cares about me,
And to show I care in return.
Nov 2019 · 36
Spiteful Eye
Sophia Granada Nov 2019
Some People have never experienced true Relief.
Pain does not just stop, it leaves Pleasure
To settle like rainwater in its dent on the couch cushions.
Some People never Rise because they never Sank
One can writhe contentedly in Nothingness,
One can *** when a Headache lifts its pall.
To Some People, it is good to sing
Of "freedom," of "love," of "pain."
Some People have always Walked Without Chains,
Some People have never been Hated,
Some People have never experienced true Relief.
Oct 2019 · 47
The Skin You're In
Sophia Granada Oct 2019
When the natural color of your lips
Makes Pantone’s list
And suddenly for the first time in years
the **** lipsticks in the drugstore reflect back at you
A bouquet of roses which compliment your hair and eyes
Suddenly, when you never wore pink before
Now you revel in it

If your skin bubbles up in pimples
Your fingers float up of their own accord
Dancing with the shared delusion of
A clean excision
Yes, it works this way:
Remove the thing of evil that has poisoned the water
Pluck it neatly from the tree and watch the flowers bloom

The face answers your fingerprints in a drop of blood:
No, it does not work this way
Your skin, your life, is not a lever
No two-step process,
No fulcrum to remove and leave behind a simple rod, inert
Not even a Rube-Goldberg machine
To be followed back end over end
The handkerchief chain from the clown’s shirt cuff
spirals out impossibly with no simple beginning

Welts on your face in dappled shades
Pantone’s colors of the year
You cover these over with foundation that
does not quite match
This portion of blood you seal away
And that portion you smear on your lips
Loving as much of yourself as it is possible
To buy in a tube
Sep 2019 · 47
Hostage
Sophia Granada Sep 2019
I can channel my hate into self caring until death
Reading my own birth chart
burrowing into my own psyche like wrapping up in warm unwashed bed clothes
Worming for clues deposited there at my birth
Diving into my own grease slick pores where my secrets live
Spreading out like a spatula under my own skin and
trying to heave it off so I can feel peeled and clean
Capping the ugly raw bones at the ends of my fingers
with my own teeth pulled out of my own
sick sweet watermelon head and
filing those teeth into a long coffin
wherein I will bury the usefulness of my soft white hands

I am doing this because I Command that you look at me Exactly Right
Without pitying me or ******* me I want you to look and NEVER touch me
You must Never read my birth chart or sleep in my bed or extract my pores or else
I will fall apart in a way that will definitely **** you
Then you must also understand that your memories of looking
belong to me
I have given you license to use my face just once in just one way
I have signed myself away to you as a sweet madonna dressed in rhinestones
Like how parents sign waivers allowing their children to appear in commercials
Now you are under a contractual obligation to Never Ever Ever
******* talk about me unless I am present to modulate
your present perception of your past experiences and
nudge you
into the correct opinion so that you may Love Me and
Make other people Love Me
And if you don't love me immediately after meeting me then
I am probably going to climb into your window tonight, ******
May 2019 · 52
Obtain the Rewards
Sophia Granada May 2019
I turn my face away from her in disgust for months at a time
And lock her away from the world and the things that please her
And starve in congress with her and deny our
dual
parallel
identical
Suffering
I forget she exists while I live out uncounted days that
Blend one into the other and when she screams
I wake in a panicked sweat already mouthing her curses and
Swallowing her yellow teeth and red tongue

I know her like the parent knows the feral nonverbal child
And the torturer knows the captive in his walk-in closet
And the scientist knows the rats that starve under his intern's care
She has never quite escaped my notice for even a day but
I spend all my time pretending she could

What hope does an animal without speech have among the living
What war criminal could ever face society's open arms and hearts
The mortifying ordeal has mortified far beyond the flesh and
Reached the mind and spirit too until the whole carcass
Turned gray like a steak under supermarket lights
Mar 2019 · 46
To a Haint
Sophia Granada Mar 2019
Oh little pair of legs splayed out from beneath the house
I could pick up your sad white bones and hug them as they flopped
Brokenly
In my embrace like a wooden puppet

I know you would turn around and bite me
“But I helped you” the Anasazi warrior protested
“Ah, yes, but it is my nature” replied the snake
And I would die at peace with that knowledge
And forgive you over and over

What will I become in some time
Beyond your little pair of legs under the house
your little hand in the attic holding a powdered donut
The rope that dangles over the washed-out creek

Poor little broken snake that bites me
Poor little ghost that possessed my old porcelain doll
You ain't vicious in any way that don't come natural
You know the terror I became mourning those legs
You know who left your sticky little hands behind in the attic
You're a child forever and you know very well that
It's a warrior that the snake bites
Mar 2019 · 90
Untitled
Sophia Granada Mar 2019
Bury me under the chokecherry tree
Then they won't forget how and who I was
When life is done retching and spitting me out
Plant me with the kindred roots like a little cyanide seed
A hard and bitter pill in the wet black maw of the earth
Remind the little children
Of the red ridged fingertips that pressed my taut skin
They gauged that I was valuable and ripe
And bruised me
Mar 2019 · 74
Hands
Sophia Granada Mar 2019
I lost my mind at Lascaux
Where I spied the red ochre handprints and understood
Why trace the arc of an arrow through the sky in red
Unless you understand that when the shaking hand misses the mark
Dry mouths at home will cry out in hunger
A hart makes no expression when its life is spared

When his wife came home sick, he said
"This isn't her."
And together with kin and neighbors,
He sought to beat the fairy out of his home.
He burnt her in the fire.
He wrapped the black fairy in a sheet and threw it in the river.
They found him in the church, whispering,
"It won't be long now.
It won't be long."
Before the altar, he had knelt
And pressed his soot-caked hands to the floor.
Mar 2019 · 69
When Josie Comes Home
Sophia Granada Mar 2019
Strong dose, that girl
Taken on a spoon and you'll fall
Writhing to be the first to apologize at her skirts
Confessing sins known and unknown
Screaming them half-mad in the night
As the sweat drenches your sheets

Did the spoon clear those sins from your lungs
Did she build them up there
Brick by brick in the bronchi

You dream of her standing impassive
In the midst of the bacchanal
Object to be worshipped
Effigy to be burned
Single sane survivor in the whirlwind of tarantism
She engineers such hurricanes

Hair shines down from the cloud-pale face
Solid bars of sunlight through a hole in the sky
The palpable yellow beams of God's arms
As her fingers pluck the wind to send it roiling
Feb 2019 · 69
Legion
Sophia Granada Feb 2019
I think that now I may contain multitudes
Single white faces looking out from a million crowds
Laughing too loud with their red lips in the supermarket
And crying ostentatiously with their red eyes at funerals
You can find them wherever they don't belong
Touching what isn't theirs with the stubby-fingered little hands of a million women
Shamanesses and coed girls and trailer trash making scenes in public
Bratty shoplifting teenagers
And actresses fainting over velvet couches
And mothers to children who never asked to be adopted
Sometimes just a pair of ******* leaning over a table
Sometimes just an *** crack and a crotch
Being touched and prodded by a million stupid blind hands
I am so full I can feel white arms and tanned arms
Pulling and pushing me from the inside
Reaching out to the eyes that called them forth
I asked for some of them to live and take on some responsibility for me and
A smart pretty robot with good posture and a big smile did what I asked but
Others were pasted over my face while I screamed that I could not breathe and
A vapid ugly fat hag held me down and smiled at my pain with her heavy features
I think that I remember once being only one girl
She was simple and she lived alone in the dark mostly playing with dolls
I think that now, though, I may contain multitudes
Sophia Granada Jan 2019
Here is one easy trick to get back something you've lost:
Put the broken pieces in a *** of milk and boil it
And then let it sit in the milk as long as you can stand it
And once your entire house smells like putrefaction
Pull out that Ming vase or whatever the ****
Good as new
Stinking of cheese
Definitely 100% the same as it always was and
Nothing
Lost in the process
And I know you'll do it too
You'll roll your eyes at me while I give you my good advice
But later when no one's watching
Well, the only one to see how embarrassed you'll be is you
Broken china and filthy hands and house to match
It was so easy and you missed it so much you'd ignore the milk
You'd ignore the smell and you'd even dip your hands in it
And you'd smash the seam together like a stupid child
And you'd sit on the floor covered in the slime and trying and failing to hold back tears because it was supposed to be easy and you've lost more than loss, you've destroyed more than broken, now you've desecrated something precious and debased yourself to boot, how
STUPID

Here is one easy trick to save time and money:
Throw the **** thing away.
Oct 2018 · 97
Untitled
Sophia Granada Oct 2018
Of course I’m selfish
What else would I be
Kneeling on bones and shielding them
With my body
With bared teeth
Well where else would I be
Does anybody not build this sort of monument
I want to know whose fridge isn’t covered
With crayoned blueprints
And then I want it to be me
Who told me to think this stuff
And when did I start listening
When did I stop fighting the hands
Pulling at my shoulders and waist
And turn inward instead
But also
Where the **** else would I be
Mar 2018 · 179
Old Tongue
Sophia Granada Mar 2018
When I speak do I sound like decay?
I spit the shredded,
The crushed,
The drenched and tattered
Pieces of high-cost academic language,
The old fashioned phrases with which I
Dressed my words in dignity,
The symbols of all that I attained before I stagnated and regressed...
Did I pluck truffles from the mountainside?
Did I shovel them in me,
Greedy like a coal furnace,
Only to heave them up later as wretched slime?
Now, for the stench, no one can understand me,
No one can even try
Feb 2018 · 174
Meddler Angel
Sophia Granada Feb 2018
Walking along the side of the mighty sea,
In the shady overhang of the cliffs that ever hem it in,
I came upon a pool of black blood,
Which spread infinitely far out into the water,
And touched the sun low at the horizon there.
Looking up, my eyes found a crucified man,
Upon whose shoulder perched a fearsome eagle,
Its beak stained with brown and black crusted blood.
His torso was cratered, nearly hollowed out,
Bleeding as hard as a fresh wound.
His head lolled, and sweat beaded on his pale brow,
But when I went to loosen the chains that held him there,
His eyes snapped open, and he said to me,
"You will find if you go out of your way to help
In matters like these
That you will be worse off for it."
He closed his eyes again, and waved his chained hand at me to go.
Feb 2018 · 150
Egg, hopefully
Sophia Granada Feb 2018
Leather shell, harder, harder, brittle!
Take care to sit lightly where lies the treasure.
And I, red haired and sharp nosed,
My soft paws hiding hard nails,
I have come to sop up the yellow yolk.
Warm and steaming I have Disappeared it!
And somewhere she sighs for the wasted labor,
The calloused farmer's hands that will steal the rest.
Feb 2018 · 236
Magnolia
Sophia Granada Feb 2018
Thick-lidded, thick-lipped, rough-skinned,
Lush clusters of shining leaves like black wavy hair...
She was born before love was gentle,
And took heavy beetles and scurrying lizards to her bed.
They pulled her hair and chewed her skin;
Tough and thick, the waxy skin,
But paper-pulp-tearable, all the same!
Now when she lies back and gives herself
To the gentle ministrations of bees,
They whisper to each other about their work,
"Does this thick-ankled gray statue
Feel anything at all?"
She sighs, and they, thin-fingered handmaidens,
Scatter from the heaving trunk.
Feb 2018 · 161
Eos
Sophia Granada Feb 2018
Eos
In ashes, in ashes,
My family in ashes.
I took for myself and built my world,
I refused only to light the scene of others' stories,
And He, who behaved the same and worse!
He spited me for it!
Wrecked me for it!
Why must I suffer marriage to a wasted insect,
And give birth to the unspeakable blot of blood?
Where once I was great and winged,
Now I am a wet bird too bedraggled and matted to fly,
Dripping my tears over the grass
Where my lover's thin-legged voice echoes,
Singing "Locusts! Ashes!"
And where my baby's silent bones lie.
Jan 2018 · 443
sweet
Sophia Granada Jan 2018
sugar, sugar
crunching subjugated under these bootheels
the Diamond Dust on whom I Cut my Teeth
sugar, sugar
sand between the raw fingertips
i am a ***** now
salt swatched on the flesh
that tenderizes the meat
that dissolves the snail-heart
the dull slug-eyes
Pink Salt
Pink Sands
sugar, sugar
Oh you said it would be sweet, but son,
It was rough
Rough
Rough
Dec 2017 · 179
Hungry
Sophia Granada Dec 2017
I don’t get hungry in my stomach anymore.
I think it’s in my legs,
Or in my armpits.
It’s like an itch I can’t track:
Now on the back of my neck,
Now on the knuckles of my left hand.
A poison ivy spreading over to parts of me I didn’t know could feel want.
“What did you do?”
I have to ask.
I have concerns.
But bottomless pits and voids do not give answers,
Only echoes:
“What did you do?”
What did I do,
What did I do,
I actually wrote this months ago but apparently forgot to post it here.
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