kk 3h
Sunshine!
Sickly yellow
slow-light colored streaks
slithering worse than sweat
down my body.
That golden ball stares down at me
like a haughty goddess,
her duality shallow and hot.
She cares not for the freedoms of humans.
She's a two-faced coin,
purgatory masked by the promise
of freedom from pained brains
and scholarly shackles.
The sun laughs at her own trickery, gargling through melting teeth
as she collects suppressed confessions
from weakened teens.
When her crescent counterpart offers
solace from her torment,
the moonlit darkness only serves to drown us
and we splutter in our own
self-taught
year-round
lies.
And the sun rears her tattered, flaming mane at daybreak,
belly-laughing at idle minds
now unrefined,
gleefully adding her own scorch
to already inflamed brains.
summer is worse for anxiety than you'd think
kk 3h
I hurt with the pleasure of carving knives
plunged into blood-lusting hands.
Standing in the storm
of stab wounds
and searching for Gods dressed in human
to give me mental medicine for wounds
that they must trust me to see.
I am the glass-tongued mediator.
I am the vortex that turns worlds to ink-soaked scenery
and words to black noise.
They gurgle out blandishments like they're true! And to them,
I'm a glass door to better days;
they put their famished hands onto my handle
and tug for good luck.
I open and warble out what they want to hear;
a fortune teller who cries courtesies and fills her glass ball
with a concoction of tears and liquid caution.
I don't want to lose them.
I choke on their distorted, glazed looks,
I stuff my throat with gauze,
my chest still filling with blood
as they throw their clocks into the garbage
before they raise me on glass pedestals
and drool praises as I cry for me
and for them and
for us
and for-
Useless. I am useless.
Wasteful. I am wasteful.
Broken. I am and should be broken.
Did anyone ever realize? How would they
when I am so selfishly unselfish?
sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense. it was very stream of consciousness.
A palace built with brittle bones;
so easily fractured. Yet in time
souls will walk upon the ash
under Pluto's careful watch.
Death will rise from its slumber
and surrender to the will
of the living no more.

No—

A vault of riven dreams will open
and from within
the cry of corpses
will be heard.
born from a love of fantasy, i thought about what would happen if a necromancer could no longer control the dead he has summoned.
i don't expect you to come back. in fact, i wish i could find a way out of my own skin. i wish i could leave me. i wish i were a stranger, someone i've seen only in passing, feeling secondhand embarrassment watching my own reactions. stumbling, grabbing onto everyone around me out of desperation for some kind of balance. it's the same way when i'm drunk, but only then does this feeling that i'm suffering somehow lift up off of my chest for a while. but what is it that hurts me. what is it that burdens me. aren't i safe now. my mother tells me depression comes from a lack of faith, as does anxiety. i've been in churches my whole life but the hymns haven't stomped out the fire i feel under me. the sense of danger. my mind is always telling me to run like i'm gonna die if i dare try to defy it. mother Mary sits on a rosary but she doesn't say anything. i sit in sanctuaries and i always cry from an overwhelming sense of gratitude that it could get better, but it never really gets better. so i have only hope that if i just keep calling, i'll eventually hear the answer. i dug myself into a hole when i rebuked you for saying i was cold, but the truth is that i really am. i can be such a harsh woman. when i was six, i would pick at my scabs, and i still open old wounds as if the blood is more attractive than the scar. i am always reaching for something beautiful, only to get handfuls of thorns. i'm still hanging roses up on my walls, something dead yet pleasing. and my books are all filled with pressed flowers but i still have no real use for them. i'm always holding onto empty, dead things, but i inherited a stubbornness that wrings them out into nothingness, waiting for the rain to fall from a cloudless sky. there is nothing for me here.
Partition my bones,
break my soul.
Constricting every breath
as you run;
tail in mouth,
soaked in venom.

This,
our beautiful nightmare,
an infinite cycle.

Are you far enough yet to return?
Like apparitions
on a winter morning,
empty husks we have become.
Lingering—
cold and breathless things;
dead things.
I remember the day I met you.
On your thirteenth birthday, in fact.
Bright smiles and a mouth full of braces,
you were the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen.

You were so eager to learn
that you’d stay up until the late hours,
keeping me company while uncovering the wonders
of each note.

“It’s time for bed,”
your mother would scold,
and we’d reluctantly say goodnight.

You came to visit though,
again and again.
In return I’d whisper in your ear,
help you learn a new language.
You picked up quickly.

When your little sister
took a pen to my leg,
you were irate.

She etched a flock of sparrows -
nine of them, to be exact.
But I liked it.
It made me feel loved.

Until one day, you left.

Your final song is one I will never forget:
Clair de Lune.

In the aftermath,
every once in awhile someone would spot me and
tell me how beautiful I was,
but then wistfulness
turned to pity
as neglect took over.

Abandoned, I fared the elements
by myself for twelve winters
without your touch.
I stretched and I waned,
growing old prematurely.
My tune turned melancholy.

But even twelve years hadn’t erased
the memory of your fingerprints
on my keys.

Your wife found me again at an estate sale.
She shipped me home for your thirtieth.

You didn’t recognize me at first,
but by habit you reached down
and felt for the sparrows.

/I found you./
This is a companion piece to the poem titled "Evelyn"
She had a tattoo on her right ankle.

One that I’d trace with my finger
every night as we lay on the couch,
her feet lazily crossed one over the other -
always right over left, never left over right.

The tattoo was of a heart.
A picture of atriums and ventricles
and all the anatomy I’d learned
in sophomore year Biology,
the diagram filled in and colored with begonias.
Her favorite flower.
I used to wonder how the artist could design
something so intricate in such a small space.

“Why a heart?” I asked one night.

Her answer:
“To remind me of the muscle that separates us from death.”

I never saw the signs.
That she laid awake at night
while I slept soundly beside her.
That her appetite had waned,
along with the motivation to
pursue the things she once loved.
Including me.

I never noticed
that her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes,
or how she preferred to dull the pain
with our favorite Scottish ale.

I turned the key
and opened the door to our apartment one evening,
finding that same heart elevated
five feet above the ground.
Dangling back and forth, slowly.
Lifelessly.
And one sentence came to my lips
like a broken record
as I cut the rope and started CPR.

“I failed you. I failed you. I failed you.”

That heart stopped beating in time with mine.
This morning I woke up to the sound of white rain
shattering on my window.
The raindrops kept falling like the sweetest music
leaving tears on the glass,
which is what music does to me, most of the time,
but silence too. and rain.

I’m living with your letter and I’m growing a ritual in reading one line every morning,
or every time I think I’m forgetting you,
and I’m still not sure why I do that because there’s nothing more I wish for than to forget you.
To erase you from my daily habits and not see you in everything I do.
To not feel your hands on my skin
in the morning
and not hear your words
at night
but still I cling to what you gave me and taught me,
made me,
and I am still sorry.
So I woke up early to the sound of rain and bought an umbrella by the man at the corner next to the coffee shop.
But there was a homeless man
on the other side of the street
and he seemed sad too,
sadder than me,
so I gave him my umbrella because he didn’t have one and he smiled at me
with realness in his eyes
like you used to do
and I’d forgotten what that felt like,
looked like,
and it was nice to feel appreciated again,
for a while.

There was a lonely bartender last night
and I told him stories about the sound of train stations
where no train arrives,
but he must have thought me lonelier than him
because he kept saying “drinks on me”
and I would never argue with someone who spends his days pouring drinks to wandering souls, eager to find someone who might listen and might not care
but that’s not the point
and at least he seemed to enjoy the company
of me
because he smiled and answered and told me things too
and it was nice to just sit there and enjoy the simple pleasure of a conversation,
with someone I didn’t know, because I like the way strangers look at me.
They make me sure, of myself and other things, and I speak freer and louder and I don’t try to hide my excitement for life
or sadness because of love
and I haven’t made any mistakes yet, for them,
to them,
or in the life I wish to live.

Anyway,
I’m living with your letter and there was a lonely bartender last night and I might or might not have shown it to him
and he might or might not have thought it was fiction
because by the end of another drink he said he’d read my book
and if I knew I wouldn’t have told him
my stories
or showed him
my letter
because I wish for strangers and clean slates
and this god damn bartender knew every single piece of identity I ever had
and so I asked for another drink and he kept saying “drinks on me” and we didn’t stop until we both had forgotten about the lack of our strangeness
and I wish to find a way to strangeness even in the morning
when the spinning has stops.

But there is no strangeness.
Only the sound of white rain
playing sweet music on my window,
leaving tears on the glass,
which is what music does to me
most of the time
but silence too. and rain.
and I guess that’s enough for now.
Until the smell of you vanishes from my skin, that will be enough for now.
from the book "Another Vagabond Lost To Love" by Charlotte Eriksson
you are a church filled with hymns
the voices of sinners
humming in unison
the tears that fall
in remembrance
of every transgression
forgive us, Father
we are so lost
we've no idea what we are doing
i am only apologies
draped over soft bone
a false pretense
that dead flowers only
need more watering
press the petals to my lips
i want to be soft like this
i want to be beautiful
like this
i lost my words
in a strangers mouth
outside of a sanctuary
and my throat still burns
from the alcohol
i bet i'd be easier to love
if i pulled out my teeth
so my bluff would always
be worse than my bite
rosy bruises unkind
to my knees
yet i preach
humble me, humble me, bring me
as low as i need to be
to feel the earth shake
when i hear your name
i am but a nervous spirit
chewing my skin back
i just wanted there to be
less of me
i just want to look
less like me
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