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9.7k · Nov 2014
Witch Hunt
Taylor St Onge Nov 2014
There is a body floating in the water of Lake Michigan again, but no one is willing to fish it out.  There is a body floating in the pond near my subdivision again, but everyone already knew that anyway.  
        I am sitting eighty miles away, overlooking a city that is not mine, thinking about how the moon outside my window is the same moon that you can see from down below in your partially frozen-over dirt bed.  I am thinking about the vampire that sits in his apartment, chugging two-to-three bottles of blood a week, and wondering if he is haunted by the same ghosts as I am.  
        It’s taken me eighteen years to realize that I was infected with a different variation of his curse all along—I am less human and more lycanthrope than I would like to admit.  I am not like you, I am not like him, I am my own breed and that terrifies me.  (There are black cats prowling in my heart and fragments of mirrors in my liver and salt that bleeds from my heels when I walk.)
        No matter how many rabbits’ feet I tie to my keys, how many dreamcatchers I put above my bed, how many cloves of garlic I hang over my door, I am never able to rid myself of the chill that goes hand in hand with the phantom you left here.
        Mother, I think I killed a man two full moons ago and I haven’t been the same since.  I threw his body into the lake and watched him drift out into the unknown, watched the kraken drag him down, watched the water spew him back up like a cork.  And now I need you to make your way back to the land of the living to sit by my side.  I want you to cut off my head and make me a trophy animal.  Create a rug from my fur.  Eat my organs and freeze the rest for winter.  Use me for your own survival.  I just want to be helpful.
        I want to be everything the vampire was not but my fingers are breaking from holding on too tight.

                                                               ­                                          I should let go.
the prose poem I wrote for my portfolio in my poetry class.
3.8k · Dec 2014
Hospice, Age 19
Taylor St Onge Dec 2014
If “dying is an art,” you do not do it well.  I do not
have words, do not have thoughts; there is nothing inside
of me anymore.  I am vacant, hollow, and if this is what
time travel feels like I do not want any part of it.  Racing
past the stars, past the planets, past Andromeda's spiraling, galactic force,
I am light-years ahead and then light-years behind—I am
                two years                    too late.                  

You cannot know, you will not know, how
Auriga is waiting in the sky to whisk you
                                                                 away,                away,                            away.

Th­e bubbling of your oxygen sounds like the water fountains
you used to pass as a child, but there are no pennies at the bottom
of this.  And I wonder, with your eyes closed, if you feel like you
are swimming.  Barely treading water, fighting to keep your head above,
choking on salt and brine as you try to kick your feet, try to
swim to Lake Michigan’s shoreline.  I want
Poseidon to spit you out of sea like a cork, want
Neptune to come alive through the mosaics of your bathroom and
lead you away from the great, black, wave of stars that is
breaking and crashing and barely brushing your bare feet.

Some fish were meant to drown.  You are
not one of them.  Pisces is meant to swim                   forever.

This time machine has dropped me back into my nightmare again,
but it is not only mine, it’s yours.  I am trying to read
the constellations, trying to map the planets, trying to figure out
the moon cycles, but I fear that this is a language I had learned once
and tried to forget—we are now digging each others graves.  
The nurse in blue, the doctor in white, the sun in gold, and you,
red as dead and clotted blood, have merged into a new dialect
that does not mirror what I know the way the
Gemini twins mimic one another in the cosmos. (I think
                                 I have lost my ability to speak with angels
and this terrifies me.)

Is God whispering the secrets of the world into your ear yet?  Is Jesus
showing you how to be holy?  Are you tearing the bread for communion
and feeding it to the birds?  Are you taking shots from His heavenly blood,
getting drunk off the possibility of closing your eyes, leaning back, and
watching Perseus fight your battles for you?  
                                                        Do you want to be a constellation, too?

I am eighty miles away from you, but it feels more like
eighty light-years.  I am watching you through someone else’s eyes and
choking myself with my own hands as I try to show you
what you mean to me.  My hands are cracked and bleeding from
pounding them against the wall you constructed around yourself, but you
don’t have control over that wall anymore, do you?

You are too young to ride Pegasus in the night sky, too young to
build your own wings, too young to fall and drown like Icarus.  You
know how to swim.  You are learning how to fly.  There is no
reason for you to shake God’s hand yet.  Put the halo down—
                                                           ­                                                you are not ready.
For my friend, who I fear terribly will lose his battle with brain cancer soon.  I have never had more tangled and conflicting emotions over a person before.
3.7k · Oct 2013
Exemplar
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
The inadequate bookshelf that sat near the door
that my sister used to call her own was
mostly made up of adolescent reads,
books better suited for preteen girls rather than
intellectually budding young ladies—
juvenile vocabularies and simple, non-complex
plot lines do little to craft and create
worldly, knowledgeable women.

I thought I must spring clean the
naiveté away and replace it with
the works of great authors like
Sylvia Plath
                        Simone de Beauvoir
                                                              Virginia Woolf
                        Margaret Atwood
Betty Friedan;
ingenious femme fatales that cut down
to the brittled bones of the misogynists
and burned their marrow along with the
ashes of bras and aprons and 350 degree oven heat.  

Growing up, to me, seemed like a wonderful epiphany
chock-full of ideas and opinions and
clever, ironic remarks that chased satirical witticisms
like felines to rodents and wolves to deer—
being an adult would guarantee me a say,
a vote
           prior 1920’s America
                                                  play dress up as a suffragette
           women’s rights
femininity personified by dolls in plastic houses.

To be eighteen-years-old,
the goal, the legality, the bright light at the end of the tunnel;
the official womanhood it would bestow upon me
seemed like something almost tangible
with the way that it loomed over my head.

Get good marks
graduate high school
travel back in time sixty years
meet a nice boy
become a “good wife”
have dinner ready by five
bear two beautiful heirs
clean up the messes left in the kitchen
fast-forward to the twenty-first century
go to a good college
find a stable career
settle down if the fancy strikes you
live non-docile and full of passion—
the parallelism of times are severely
di
    lap
          i
            dat
                 ­ ed.

1950’s America would never be a home for me
because I am much too wild to be contained.
wow I got really feministic there. sorry, man.
Taylor St Onge Nov 2015
1611: Emilia Lanier became the first Englishwoman to publish and collect patronage from her original poetry with the publication of fifteen poems, all about or dedicated to particular women, in her “booke,” titled in Latin, Hail, God, King of the Jews.  She was the fourth woman in England to publish her poetry, but the first to demand payment in return for it.  The first to see herself as equal to the paid male authors of the era.

This was the same year that the King James Bible was first printed.  This was eight years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  This was 180 years after nineteen-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

                                                               ­      +

The Querelle des Femmes is “the woman question.”
Frenchmen of the early fifteenth century created a literary debate: what is the role and the nature of women?  Is it stemmed within a “classical” model of  human behavior; gnarled and rooted with misogynistic platonic tradition?  Should women actually be allowed into politics, economics, and religion?  There are scholars that say this debate radiated across several European countries for three centuries before finally fizzling out.  

                                                         ­                   But it is still there; has crossed
continents, has crossed oceans, is sizzling, sparking up fires, flaring out
into the night, leeching onto the trees, onto buildings, onto people, onto
anything flammable.  It is burning down monarchs and their thrones.  It is
raking back the blazing coals.  
                                                   Exposing the charred corpses.  
                 Proving their death.  
                                                   Burning and burning and burning them
                                              twice more to prevent the collection of relics.
                 It is chucking the ashes into the Seine River.

Lilith: who was made at the same time, at the same place, from the same earth, from the same soil as Adam, got herself written out of the Bible because she thought herself to be Man’s equal. Because she got bored of the *******.  Because she wanted to be on top during ***.  Lilith was replaced in the book of Genesis with a more-or-less subservient woman that was made from the rib of man instead of the same dirt and dust.  She was replaced with a woman that Adam named “Eve.”  She was replaced with a woman who served as nothing more than the scapegoat for Man’s downfall.
                                       The original Querelle des Femmes.

                                                                     +

1558-1603: Queen Elizabeth I ruled England in what is considered to be a masculine position. Although a woman can take the throne, can wear the crown, can wield the scepter, can run the country, the actual divine task that goes along with being a part of the monarchy, being a god on Earth, is thought to be the duty of a man.

Nicknamed The ****** Queen, Elizabeth never married,
                                                     never found a proper suitor,
                                             never produced a direct Tudor heir,
                                   (but this is not to prove that she was a ******).  
Chastity, especially of women, is a virtue.  ((To assume that she never had ***
simply because she never married
                                                                ­ is another Querelle des Femmes.))

For nearly forty-five years, Queen Elizabeth I did not need a man by her side while she lead England to both relative stability and prosperity; did not need a man by her side while she became the greatest monarch in English history.  
                                                She held the rainbow, the bridge to God, in her
                                                                ­                     own small hands just fine.

                                                          ­           +

Saturday, February 24, 1431: Joan of Arc was interrogated for the third time in her fifteen-part trial in front of Bishop Cauchon and 62 Assessors.  During her six interrogation sessions, she was questioned over charges ranging from heresy to witchcraft to cross-dressing.

At age twelve Joan of Arc began seeing heavenly visions
                                                                ­               of angels and saints and martyrs;
age thirteen she began hearing the Voice of God—was told to
purify France of the English,                          to make Charles the rightful king—
age sixteen she took a vow of chastity as a part of her divine mission.  

When the court asked about the face and eyes
that belonged to the Voice, she responded:
                                                      ­                      There is a saying among children, that
                                                         “Sometimes one is hanged for speaking the truth.”


Joan of Arc was declared guilty and was killed by the orders of a Bishop during a time when men were beginning to question the role and nature of women in society.  They thought women to be deceitful and immoral.  Innately thought Joan of Arc to be deceitful and immoral.  (Perhaps she was one of the catalysts for the Querelle in the first place.)

((The church blamed Eve for the
fall of mankind.  Identified women as
                                                                     temptation:
                                                               the root of all sins.))

Twenty-five years later she was declared innocent and raised to the level of martyrdom.
The Catholic Church stood back,
saw the blood,
                          the ashes,
                                            the thick smoke and stench of burned body that
                                                                ­               covered their hands, their clothes,
                                                                ­                    their neurons, their synapses;
        a filth that couldn’t be washed off by Holy water—
can’t be washed off by Holy water.

Four hundred and seventy-eight years later Joan of Arc was blessed and gained entrance to Heaven.  Four hundred and eighty-nine years later she was canonized as a saint.

                                                         ­            +

Lines 777-780, “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women,” Emilia Lanier, 1611:
                         But surely Adam can not be excused,
                         Her fault though great, yet he was most to blame;
                         What Weakness offered, Strength might have refused,
                         Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame…


Adam, distraught and angered that his first wife, Lilith, had flew off into the air after he had refused to lay beneath her, begged God to bring her back.  God, taking pity on his beloved, manly, creation, sent down three angels who threatened Lilith that if she did not return to Adam, one hundred of her sons would die each day.  

                              (This is where the mother of all Jewish demons
                                         merges with the first wife of Man.)  

She refused, said that this was her purpose: she was
created specifically to harm newborn children.  This legend,
dated back to 3,500 BC Babylonia, describes Lilith as a
                                                                       winged feminine demon that
                                                     kills infants and endangers women in childbirth.

In the Christian Middle Ages, Lilith changed form once more:
she became the personification of licentiousness and lust,
she became more than a demon, she became a sin in herself.  Lilith
and her offspring were seen as succubae, were to blame for the
wet dreams of men.  Taking it a step further, Christian leaders then
                                                                ­                           wed Lilith to Satan;
                                                                ­                              charged her with
                                                                ­               populating the world with evil,
                                                   claimed she gave birth to
one hundred demonic children per day.

Lilith is considered evil in the eyes of the church because she was insubordinate to Adam.  Both she and Eve are considered disobedient; are too willful, too independent in the way that Lilith wanted to be on top and Eve wanted to share a knowledge that Adam could have refused.  They are perceived as a threat to the divinely ordered happenings that men see to be true.

Men wrote the history books because only their interpretation was right.  
Emilia Lanier writes:
                                       Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he took
                                           From Eve's fair hand, as from a learned Book
(807-808).

The Querelle des Femmes is not just a literary debate in the fifteenth century.  It is a way of life.  It is the divine portion of Queen Elizabeth I’s job being fit for men, and men alone.  It is Joan of Arc being a woman and hearing the Voice of God; it is Joan of Arc being burned three times by the same Catholics that revered in Jesus, a man who, too, heard the Voice of God.  It is Lilith being deemed a demon for not wanting to have *** in the *******.  It is Eve having to apologize in the first place for sharing the apple, for sharing knowledge with her partner.  It is women holding positions of power and yet still feeling powerless to men.  

The Querelle des Femmes is wanting to use gender
to keep one group of people above another.  The Querelle des Femmes
is continually thinking that the ***** is greater than, but
never equal to, the ******. The Querelle des Femmes is
                                                       not understanding the difference between
                                                                ­       ***          and          gender
                                                                ­              in the first place.  
The Querelle des Femmes is me,
burning your dinner and telling you to eat it anyway.
This is part of a larger project that I am working on pertaining to the Querelle des Femmes.
Taylor St Onge Nov 2014
There is a man from my city that spent his nights
killing and ******* men for the hell of it.  Sometimes I worry that
his blood might be in the water like 160 year old cholera
or 30 year old cryptosporidium.  Sometimes I worry that
I breathed in the stardust from which he was made, that I
swallowed the ashes from which he burned.  I do not think that
I will ever be American ****** enough to fit the bill, and
this might be my one true happy thought:
at least I am not a serial killer.

I closed my eyes in August and saw the dried up teeth of my
estranged grandmother floating in a pool of blood and thought about
how the phone works both ways.  I opened my eyes in
October and thought about spitting up the chicken bones I had
been choking on since second grade, when my father
helped prepare dinner for the last time.   (I think I might have
                                          sacrificed a couple people to the devil
                                                        without actually meaning to.)

I find the numbers
             13,               16,               and               18
to be unlucky and I am beginning to fear that the pattern
will continue, that 19 will be the year I finally get bitten by
poisonous snakes outside of my dreams.  God whispered in my ear
and told me that a different Helter Skelter was coming.  He told me to
keep breathing easy, to trust in his light, but when I
asked my Magic 8 Ball if I should quake like the Earth in 1960, the
day after Satan released Dahmer from Hell, all I got was a
bright blue, “Better not tell you now.”

The séance I conducted last year in a blackened, decaying cemetery
did nothing but rattle ghosts, and the four-year-long pity party I held prior
did nothing but chain those ghosts to the floorboards.  I have
never been good at abandoning my thoughts and feelings.  

Some mornings I wake up face down in the Green River or
with my head severed and on display in a refrigerator of a house that
is not mine.  Other times I awake buck-naked in Death Valley—
sand coating my tongue, my tonsils, my esophagus; burning
and scratching into my flesh—and I know that I will never
be able to forgive my father for destroying everything
he ever made or his mother for turning into everything that’s
just      out of                     reach.
There has never been a time when I have been
good at letting go of grudges.  I am far too aware of my own existence.

At least I am not a serial killer.
identity poem I wrote for my poetry class portfolio.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
You were born in the cold black heart of the Cold War, under the fist of
Eisenhower, under the satellite eye of Mother Russia—1960 America.
Chinese Year of the Rat.  U-2 Pilot Gary Powers forgot to **** himself.

Space Race Baby looking up at stars she does not comprehend—the world is
big, the sky is bigger—Shhhhhhhhhhh: huddle under your desk in case a
big, black, bomb falls down and burns you so bad you feel nothing but cold  
                                                          ­                                                   cold         cold;

huddle inside yourself in case your plane is shot down over Soviet soil and
everything turns to red, turns to blood, turns to your fingers shaking and your eyes stinging,                                  and you think about that time when
your mother told you about the Year of the Rat being associated with white,

with the Chinese color of death.  You think: This is it.  There is where it ends,
but this is not it; this is not the end.  You will die in a hospital bed in 49 years,
                                                                ­      so just give it some time, alright?
Khrushchev and Eisenhower can play Tug-of-War and
                                   Vietnam can burn in the meantime.

Mother, when you were born you could not breathe.  Mother, when you died
it was because you could not breathe.  Mother, when you are not here I think
of Gary Powers not having time to press “Self-Destruct,” of the Year of the Rat
                                                                ­                                        choking to death on
                                                              ­                                          Lily  of  the  Valley,
­
of learning how to talk to the 58,286 dead Vietnam War soldiers. I want to
know what it is like to look up at the sky and fear a missile strike smack in
the middle of winter. I want to know how cold the Cold War felt to you in the
Chinese Year of the Rat, and what he felt when U-2 Pilot Gary Powers fell like
                                                                ­                                                    Lucifer
     ­                                                                 ­                                         into the arms
                                                                ­                                          of Mother Russia.
or “The Zodiac Symbol of the Dead”
written for my foundations of creative writing class. this is an experimental villanelle.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2016
If the Sacred Fire of Vesta went out, it meant one of two things:
             meant
1. Rome was in danger;
                                                  meant
2. A Vestal ******, a guardian of the flame, was having ***.  
Chastity                                      and                                       fire
are two attributes that are directly correlated.  If one is lost,
the other will follow.  Trust me.  This is fact:
                                                                ­                 only ****** women
                                                                ­                   can be celebrated.

The ****** Mary,
                                    the ****** goddesses,
                                                      ­                       the way **** was seen as a crime
                                                           ­               against the father, not the daughter:
                            women
                     ­         must
                            remain
                ­              pure.  

Do not eat the pomegranate seeds,
do not touch the fruit of knowledge.  A
                                                   ­                    statue of a young boy
                                                             ­              holding an apple
                                               does not hold
                                        the same connotation
as a woman holding an apple.  Offering it to a man who
could have refused.  Getting blamed for the fall from Eden.  

                           A woman
with a snake draped around her body is not Eve,
is Lilith, but it’s close enough.  They are both to blame for
all the evils of the world, so what does it really matter anyway?  Women
are more susceptible to wavering in their faith in God,
to worshipping the devil, to practicing witchcraft—

            The flames are out.  Rome is not safe.  A “******” is buried
            alive for her sin.  Lilith is slaughtering women in childbirth.  
            Babies  are  dying.   A  man  is  celebrated  for  his  multiple
            lovers.   ****  shaming  in  79  AD.    The  beds   in   Pompeii
            brothels are made of stone.   St.  Cecilia  is  face  down in the
            dirt.   Women on the same level as slaves,  if not lower.  The
                                     goddess Vesta as a housewife.
Written for my Rome chapbook in January.
2.4k · Oct 2013
koi fish
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
I want to put my head on your shoulder and
melt into your pores; we can be
yin and yang as we swirl and intertwine
in the most beautifully tragic way,
like water and oil in a clear ceramic bowl
miniature drabble.
2.2k · Sep 2013
An Archetypal Editorial
Taylor St Onge Sep 2013
There’s something about you that
makes me want to write
        bad poetry
and half-assed short stories.  

Something about you that
makes me want to take all my
unspoken words and turn them
into something beautiful,
something worthwhile.

You make me want to be an artist
like Van Gogh or Sylvia Plath;
you make me want to create.

Maybe it’s that blue wave
that crashes down like
an incoming tide on the beach—
        your eyes
when you look at me in
a certain way, in
a certain light.

Or maybe it’s
the way that you say
my name and then say all
those horrible things that make
me want to rip something
        open.

Those words that rip me open.

You make beautiful stanzas get stuck in my
head like lyrics to a bad pop song;
I can’t erase them and the
only way I can think of to cope with it
is to write them down like a schoolgirl
with a well worn diary.

I think I might as well have hypergraphia.

I am an unprofessional
medical doctor with
a pen, paper, and
Word Document
suffering from a form of
verbal ***** because I
can’t possibly think of a way to
        speak my mind.

I think I would make a very good mute.

I wish I lacked a voice box
because then I wouldn’t have to
be the one that has to
say all the right, comforting things
at the all the right times
and all the right places.

Sometimes it feels as if I’m
being eaten from the inside out
by some sort of paratrophic organism
that sits atop my frontal lobe and
dictates my life and fluctuates my
anxiety and I can’t even think about
some things anymore because of this
nervous clench I get in my gut when
I let my thoughts get too jumbled.

But you—you make me want to write
the most heartfelt and sappy sentences
and you make me want to
be more than just ordinary.

You make me want to be extraordinary.  

I guess that what I’m writing is
an apology in the shape of
a few stanzas and a few metaphors.

And this is an “I forgive you” for that night
that we spent outside your house
arguing over the stupidest of things,
so stupid that I can hardly
remember a single word I said to you.

Nothing gratifying is ever
painless to obtain
and I want to be a fighter like
Hercules or Alexander the Great.

I want to be extraordinary with you.
2.1k · Oct 2015
Lunar Menstrual Hut
Taylor St Onge Oct 2015
Somewhere on the moon last night, Neil Armstrong came back to life and was standing in the middle of the Sea of Tranquility in complete darkness.  His frail, decaying hands that were no doubt filled with formaldehyde, held a rather large and sure-to-be extremely heavy boombox that loomed up and over his head, blasting “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on repeat.  He said that it crossed his mind more than once to replace the six faded white American Flags with the stereo, but ultimately decided against it.


In mythology, bleeding is considered to be a feminine attribute:  
                                                                                         * “I bleed, therefore I am.” * 
(But this is also the downfall of a version of feminism that is not intersecular.)  ((Your lunar cycle does not necessarily need to function in order to be considered a woman.))  (((I am not sure of which, if any, version of feminism Neil Armstrong subscribed to.)))

                                                ­              ­                            When a woman is bleeding, they say that she is at the height of her power; she is aligned with the tides and the cosmos.  She is celestial.  Blood is sacred,
eternal—the very essence of our beings—
                                                ­        ­      ­                      but if the Blood Moon was
                                                ­            ­  ­              really just the moon on her period,
what could she do last night she could do at no other point in her life?  
Where was her power?  She was isolated,
                                                                ­              forgotten by the sun,
                                           hidden away inside the umbra of the earth.  

(Which is the part where the masculine power of the sun rejected the most important feminine attribute of the moon.)


Michael Collins flew solo around the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin played with dust and rocks.  For 48 minutes he was completely alone, radio silenced behind the shadow, and he thought about death and being the last man standing from Apollo 11.


Inside Neil Armstrong’s speakers, Bonnie Tyler was crooning that
                      “your love is like a shadow on me all of the time,”
and I have not yet decided if this is                       good or bad.  Instead,
I am wondering if Buzz Aldrin feels sore for eternally being second best?  Or
if he still thinks that the view from the moon is still one of “magnificent desolation?”  And does he feel this way about all three of his ex-wives?  Do they know that the moon was his first love?


We name missions to the moon, to
Luna’s surface, to Diana’s territory, after a
Greek and Roman god of the sun, when
                                                            ­          wolves howl to the goddess
                                                         ­                                                               instead.
sometimes i try to be funny and yet serious idk
Taylor St Onge May 2016
After my mother died, my room was filled with roses.  When the flowers died, my room was filled with their sweet, rotten stench for weeks on end; it sunk into my pores and into my DNA and years later, I still smell like dead roses.
                                                       My sister confuses this smell with dead lilies.

A bouquet of red roses was placed atop my mother’s coffin as it lowered six
feet down into the earth.  After the roses died, I wonder if my mother could
smell them like I did?  I wonder if she still smells them, or, more likely, how long it took for the roses to disintegrate into dust like her?  

We don’t talk about the body after death because we don’t like to be reminded of how vulnerable we really are. In high school, a boy asked me to prom using roses and lilies that were all different shades of reds and oranges and yellows like fire.  Lilies like funerals and tombstones and formaldehyde.

I don’t think he meant to remind me of death.  I don’t think his intention was to place me in a casket similar to my mother’s with its pink padded walls.  I don’t think he realized that’s where I went when I saw his basement covered in bouquets of hellfire.  I think he meant the roses to be romantic,

but I looked at them and saw my mother’s putrefying face, saw her intestines eaten away by savage bacteria and bugs, saw her eyelids drying out and peeling back like black and dead and withered lily petals.  Embalming does not prevent decomposition, only prolongs it.  I have embalmed my mother's
memory in the shape of a teal notebook.  I cannot tell if it has
                                                                       begun to decay or not.
wrote this for my adv poetry.  it started out as an experimental villanelle, but hellopoetry messed with my formatting :/
Taylor St Onge Apr 2015
They don’t put dead bodies in the wall anymore.  They put them in those walk-in coolers that they use in food service and they stay in there until the funeral home or the autopsy people come in and wheel them out and do whatever it is that they do.  But what happens if the cooler fills up and another patient dies—where do they go?  Outside of the cooler?  In the hall outside the morgue?  Left in the hospital room until there is an open space for them in the walk-in?  Or are they just not allowed to die in the first place?

Place a check mark next to the option that makes you the most uncomfortable:
• when dead bodies are still warm and growing lukewarm
• when dead bodies are ice cold.

You can survive two weeks on a ventilator before there is an increased risk of illness.  

Eula Biss writes that she does not believe that absolutely no pain is possible, that the zero on the pain scale is null and void.  I would like to say that I agree with her, but I have this stupid sliver of hope where I believe that towards the end of it all, everything will be everything and everything will be nothing at all.  I guess what I’m saying is that I would like to believe that when you are dying, you are a zero on the pain scale, but by that point in time, I supposed it doesn’t really matter anyway.

There is a strange, numb void that occurs when someone you love dies, but I am not sure if this could be rated as a zero or a ten on the pain scale.  Getting ****** into a black hole could either hurt very much or not at all.

The medulla oblongata, located as a portion of the brainstem, is the part of the nervous system that controls both cardiac and respiratory mechanisms.  If severe damage occurs to this center, death is imminent.  

After one minute of not breathing brain cells begin to die.
After three minutes of not breathing, serious brain damage is likely.
Ten minutes: many brain cells will be dead, full patient recovery is unlikely.
Fifteen minutes: patient recovery is virtually impossible.

A “thunderclap headache.”  A cerebral aneurysm that has ruptured.  A subarachnoid hemorrhage pushing blood and fluid down on my mother’s brain.  Grade five: deep coma, rigid decerebration, 10% chance of survival.  

In some hospitals, if a loved one has passed, the caregivers cut off several small locks of the patient’s hair, tie them up with a ribbon, and put them in little pink mesh bags for each member of the family as some sort of morbid memento.  They take the dead person’s hand, place it on an ink pad, and then stamp it to a piece of paper that has some sort of sappy and sorry poem typed up on it.  I do not know where we put the paper, but my little mesh bag is still on my bedside table.  Somewhere.  

They put dead bodies in white body bags.
I was asked to write a poem somewhat in the style of Maggie Nelson for my poetry class.
1.8k · Oct 2014
Eclipse
Taylor St Onge Oct 2014
I could tell that you had smoked a cigarette
yesterday before I saw you because
your shirt smelled like smoke and
your lips tasted like
lung cancer.  (I like to to pretend
that it doesn’t really bother me that
this is not the only connection
you have with my father.)

My parents, my sister, and you, my darling, all
have green eyes.  Green like miniature
earths turning in space, like Lake Michigan capsizing,
like the summer leaves in the woods behind my house.  
Sometimes I think that I’m more closely related to
my grandparents because when I
turned down the emeralds, I was given
sapphires to use as kaleidoscopes instead.

And, you know, my father called me a month ago and
wished me luck “in the big city” and I still
do not know if that means he knows
where I am or not; I have
not heard from my mother in over five years.  
(I like to pretend that your relationship
with your parents is much easier than mine.)

Do you remember that time when you told me that
                       “everyone sins?”
I do not think that you took into account
the amount of which we all sin.  (All sinners are equal,
but some are more equal than others.)  Sometimes
I think that the Viking blood inside of me
makes sure that I identify with
the villains            more than            the heroes.
Sometimes I think that
                                            you are the hero.

But, darling, there so many things I
tip toe around when it comes to you, and
I am not sure why—religion, politics; the
Chernobyl boy, the inked boy, my father, my mother; the
moths that live inside my gut, the layer of dust over my limbic system.
I wish that I had the words to say that I can never
be what you want, what my
family wants, what anyone wants.

I wish that I could tell you how I
think I am drowning in the in the gene pool,
how I am convinced that I’ve broken three bones
without actually breaking them, how I lay awake
at night, scared to death that my
dreamcatcher will stop working and that the
nightmares will finally catch up with me.

There are broken wishbones in my bed that
I keep as trophies of losing to luck and
blood stains on my clothes from all
the lambs that I’ve been forced to slaughter.
All I want to do is tell you why I prefer
cigar smoke            to            cigarette smoke
and how I would rather have you
quit all together than live another day knowing that
you’re dying faster than me.

But darling, I watched the world spin last night
when I opened my eyes and looked at you
looking at me, and for now, it’ll do.  You
can be the nightlight in the corner of my room.
Wait for me in my chrysalis. Listen to my wings flutter.
familial and boy and introspective drabbles.
Taylor St Onge Jan 2016
This is ancient land, this is
       hallowed ground, this is
21 kilometers worth of tunnels.  

Blood stops flowing after death
                                                          becaus­e the heart is no longer beating;
no longer forcing blood to gush through veins and arteries and vessels.  
It gets lazy, becomes stagnant.  
Slowly slides down to the
                                               lowest point on the body; creates a
                                          reddish purple discoloration on the skin
similar to a bruise, but not quite the same thing.  

          This is what I imagine the fifth level of the catacombs to look like:
                                           a reddish purple discoloration
                                          spread across my mother’s back.  

This is what I see when I close my eyes and rub them a bit too hard for a bit too long.  This is what I see when I look into a hole in the stone walls that is big enough to fit an infant.  This is what I see in the reflection of the Trevi Fountain.  This is what I see when I try to remember the shape of my mother’s sleeping body as it curled in on itself on top of a flat hospital mattress.  

The color of death is not black, is not white.  The
color of death is the color of blood: the way it looks
through the skin after having
                                                       hours and
                                                                ­            days and
                                 weeks to
slowly slink down into the
lowest bend of the body.  

This is the reddish umbra of the earth that the
                                                                ­                     eclipsed moon hides behind.  
This is my body given for you.  
Take and eat.  
                                                  Do this is the remembrance of
                                                                ­                                                                 me.
part of my Rome chapbook.
1.6k · Aug 2015
Riptidal Waves
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
[New]
Scientists know more about the
                 moon
           than the ocean.

[Waxing Crescent]
Light can only dive 200 meters
            down into the ocean.  Below it,
the “Midnight Zone” glows in the dark.  
(By standing in your shadow,
I am hoping to become
                                     bioluminescent.)

[First Quarter]
Life has a tendency to thrive in hostile environments.  
                                                 ­                        For this reason, Jupiter’s moon,
                                                           ­              Europa, may be able to support
                                                                ­         life within the global ocean of
                                                              ­           liquid water that is hidden beneath
                                                                ­                                    the ice at its surface.
(This is why I am able to bloom in the dark.)

[Waxing Gibbous]
The ocean bows to no one but the moon.  Turn
off the lights.  Turn up the stars.  Low tide wants to
fold back inside itself and lap against the
                             shores of the Sea of Tranquility.  
High tide just wants to be noticed.

[Full]*
But a heated black body sunspot,
                (isolated from the rest
                of the photosphere),
still shines brighter than the moon.  Wolves should
be howling at the sun instead.
written for my poetry: intermediate course. prompt: stages
1.6k · May 2014
Haruspex
Taylor St Onge May 2014
I’ve been thinking about hands
a lot lately and how fingerprints are like
permanent, foreshadowing tree rings
etched onto our beings; I wonder if
the number of rings on my palms have any
correlation to the number of years I’ll live or
the number of years he’ll live or the number of
years that she lived. I’ve been thinking a lot about
        life lines        and        heart lines
and if there is any stock to be found in palmistry;
I wonder how my fate line got to be
so muddled with my luck line.  

I see my life the way a clairvoyant would:
in cut-up and choppy strips of film—
I should have seen the omens,
I should have read the smoke signals,
I should have recognized the cards.

Act One began on a waning crescent moon
and continued until its gluttonous belly
had swollen with light; I thought to
myself that craniums made of gallium
often melt the quickest, that blood filled
with plutonium often flows the slowest.  I would
have given my body up to the pathologist free of charge,
would have let him dig his hands into my entrails for
some sort of divination, some sort of revelation—
I was never told to beware the Ides of June
nor the Kalends of November.

Act Two began with the birth of Jack Frost
and has been continuing without intermission for
the past four celestial cycles; I thought to
myself that heart valves made of sodium polyacrylate
often love the most, that sinkholes disguised as
fingertips often feel the deepest.  He whispered
in my ear cliched words about not believing in
God, but how I made him feel blessed, and in
that moment I knew he was the oneiromantic being
that had been shadowing my dreams since 1996—
I guess you could say that, sometimes,
I believe in love.

There is an art to fortune-telling
there is an art to hands
there is an art to bones
there is an art to dreams, and over the years,
I have found them coinciding more often
than not.  In my sleep, in notebooks, in
irises, in mirrors, in poetry, in small little sighs.
I do not know if I believe in fate or destiny, in
God, in auras, or in the Blood Moon Prophecy,
but I do know that I believe in you.  I find myself writing
sappy verses and smelling your shirts and I do
not know if it is because I miss you or if it is because
I’m bored or if they’ve somehow
                       mergedintothesamething.  

I’ve been wondering a lot lately about
where you show up on my hands; about where
he showed up and where she showed up.  I want
to know which lines bisect and which lines fall
short; I want to know if the resemblance between
        mother        and         daughter
continues into that of my palm lines.  I want to know
if my life line matches hers and if my heart line
is even worth giving away—

find me in your crystal ball, make me
your sacrificed animal, look for my body
in the stars, and we will know that
        it was all made to be.
divination meets mommy drabbles meets boy drabbles meets words
1.6k · Jul 2014
Tombstones
Taylor St Onge Jul 2014
I’m choking on a fistfull of bones.                   There’s a skull
hidden deep in the back of my closet,
maybe in the abyss beneath my mattress,
maybe lodged somewhere behind my bookshelf,
that reads aloud all my past regrets
like bedtime stories.

I found the dried up teeth of my grandmother
on my vanity and used them like dice.
There’s a rib from my great aunt that I use
as a clothes hanger dangling on a hook in my bathroom.

When I was little the playset in my backyard
looked like tomorrow,
but weathered down and rusted, it looks
        like a mausoleum.  

There is a lock of hair on my bedside table that
is not mine, but hers, and I can’t help but
wonder if she wants it back.  Does she want it back?

There’s nine-year-old smoke in my lungs and
five-year-old iron around my heart.
There’s a wishbone branded to my liver
to signify the what if? and a
skull branded onto my chest to
signify the what is.

I learned not to trust so fully the first time I
nearly drown and how to be independent the
first time I learned to swim.
I used to want to be a “daddy’s girl” until I
realized what that meant.  The roses he gave me
for graduation went headfirst into the trash.

I have many things left unsaid.
daddy issues poetry.
1.6k · Jan 2014
Supercluster
Taylor St Onge Jan 2014
You planted galaxies inside me when we met
and now they're pouring out of my mouth,
stretching their curled limbs skyward from
the abyss of my stomach; they travel
up and up across the expanse between us
and down your throat like some sort of
invisible (and magnetic) parasite.

One:
Brown eyes remind me of Chernobyl,
                        but on you,
I see the Wilson Park Ice Skating Rink where
my mother first taught me to skate.  I see my
tiny hands wrapped around my first dog, Kelly, and
the Beluga Whales at the Shedd Aquarium
in 1999.  There’s a six foot deep hole between us
that makes me wonder if cataracs eclipse your
perception of me like they do for everyone else—
I wonder if you worry about
teetering over the edge
                                          like
                                                   I do.
Two:
If I’ve learned anything from math class it’s that
a negative times a negative equals a positive so
I guess it’s a good thing when it comes to you and I, because
how else would two equally bashful people ever work
together in harmony?  But then what about science—
positives and negatives attract, so I must
be the latter of the two in this electrical charge
         electrical attraction
         sparks fly
         fires rise
other cliched forms of saying that I just like
when your hands are on my hips and your
lips are on my neck and somewhere
in the back of my mind, I hope to God
that this new age romance is not all for naught.

Three:
I met the devil when I kissed your lips.
God was pushed out when the space between us
shrunk and shrunk until there was not enough
room for air nor biblical commandments nor morality nor logic.
We fell together, tumbling over the clouds like the
awkward first steps of a child, unsure and panicked;
our clipped wings, like birds in captivity, did nothing to
prevent us from ripping the pages of His thick book
and mixing and matching His words—
“burn[ing] with passion,” “two shall become one flesh—”
we folded them into fortune tellers.

Four:
When you first told me that you thought I was beautiful,
I did not believe you.  You looked so unsure of yourself—eyes
downcast, bottom lip tucked between your teeth—that I thought,
“How can this this wide-eyed boy think that he can
spot constellations that the Greeks and the Egyptians overlooked?”
Then I realized that the words that spewed from your
blood stained lips were stars of your own creation.  Somehow
you compressed and fused your perception of me with
interstellar matter and birthed a new stencil in the sky.  You
created a cynosure of me.  You look at me like you’re
gazing at Polaris, a perfect doll like Helen or Marilyn;
something I am not.
But I like it.

Five:
We make up Sirius, the Dog Star—
you, the primary, and I, the companion, we are
the brightest in the heavens.  Canis Major would
be nothing without us.  Circling one another in a far,
spread out pace, we take our time in dissecting
one another’s intentions.  You are my horoscope and
I am your zodiac sign; both born in the year of the pig
we display the raw, open wounds of altruism to one another.
I wonder when you look in the mirror,
if the reflection that you see is that of the Milky Way;
the barred spiral that contains
our solar system
our planet
my
      home.

If being with you would mean spewing galaxies
from my lips for the rest of my days, I would
gladly regurgitate a whole new universe
just to hold your hand.
about a boy
1.5k · Sep 2013
A Four Year Old Lamentation
Taylor St Onge Sep 2013
There’s a picture perfect
moon in the sky and
all I can think about is
        you

(which doesn’t make sense
because the moon in the heavens and
all the stars in the galaxy have
nothing to do with you and I).

I think it’s because it was you who I
told all my secrets to,
you who I confided in—I think it’s because
I trusted you.  

Sometimes I look up at the cosmos and
wonder what type of angel she is
and then I wonder if I ever told you
my deep, dark thoughts about
what happened.  

I can’t remember.

My mind is as thick and heavy
as my tongue feels—
        fog
everywhere and I cannot see
where I am going, much less
where I have come from.

There’s something inside of me that,
like a caged dog, is awaiting to be
unlocked from its restraining bars and
I don’t know where to start talking without
sounding like an absolute madman.

I think that this poem has transformed from
a few lines about you to
a few lines about her and to be honest,
I don’t remember the last time
        I wrote about her

(but I guess I should try).

I was a child when I first went to bed
and a teenager as I turned in my sleep—
we could be twins, she and I,
with our closed eyes, and
visions of stars at night and
        pale complexions like
the sand on the beach basking
in the glow of the hanging moon.

I wonder if she met Samael.
I wonder if he was nice.

They told me how much I looked like her;
they gushed about how we had the
same personality, same sense of humor,
but I didn’t want to hear a word they said—
I don’t think I could stand to look
myself in the mirror if that were true
because it would be a constant reminder of
        her
and I don’t want to be reminded.

I think that we all start off as angels and
that somehow we end up here,
bound down to a life full of interactions
and paths to cross and plans to make;
I think that we all finish as angels and
that somehow we end up there,
no longer a single form and single being,
we become infinite once more.  

But then I remember that even Lucifer,
himself, once wore white wings and I think
that sometimes we’re no better than him—
that I’m no better than him.

I hope Raphael can fix us and
I pray that Uriel can set us straight
because in this aphotic world, I want
to be able to see straight down into
        into the abyss.

I want to see you through unbiased eyes and
hear you through impartial ears the way
that I used to be able to until that night
outside your house.  

I want to tell you all of these things I think
about the two of us—
all these things I think about my
        mother
and that night and those days
in which it happened.

Just please don’t clip my wings.
1.5k · Apr 2014
Floristics
Taylor St Onge Apr 2014
The yucca plant from my mother’s garden sits
unattended and on the verge of death next to her
eldest rose bush, now wildly overgrown and lightly
blushing in the cosset of the midmourning sun.  Its
withered rosettes droop down to its bed of maroon-stained stones
in crisp, harum-scarum patterns as if the plant is spending its life
like currency trying to touch its toes.  I oftentimes
find myself wondering if the reason behind this
slow rotting of mother dearest’s garden is hidden within her
five-year absence.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say
her nursery missed the d
                                              i
               ­                                  g
                                                     g
                                                        i
     ­                                                       n
        ­                                                        g
of her weathered hands.

She was the biosphere of my world; I suppose that
it only makes sense for the earth to match my thirst.  We
sit side by side, that yucca plant and I, as we struggle to
nod our heads towards daylight while we rise on
the side of the house that is more or less
cloaked in shadow; the side that she would sunbathe
on during scorching late afternoons.  Perhaps without her
body giving shelter, all her garden is doomed to
atrophy like muscle in the sunlight.

I find irony in the way that my mother’s favored plant
was the “ghost in the graveyard;” a perverted parallel
to the game that she never wanted us to play.  I think it to be
sort of sardonic that her pride swallowed the possibility of
a cure being found within that ****** plant’s roots. She,
a third generation American girl,
had blood as muddled as the mud
that buried that yucca’s heart.
The boundary line between Mother and
nature coalesces into one:
                                               Gaea
                                               six feet under
                                               melting into soil
                                               I hope she becomes seawater.
mommy drabbles
1.5k · Sep 2013
Boneyard
Taylor St Onge Sep 2013
I woke one morning feeling like
I didn’t belong in my own
        body—
that the skin I saw was not my own
but the flesh of a cadaver;
I thought that the bones within me
must be made of balsa wood and
the deteriorating muscles were surely
thin strips of fabric with
no actual value.

I decided that it was not me on the inside,
but someone else.

The sky outside my window was only
a meager, pale shade of grey, like the ashes
of what her body used to be, and I
watched as the pale pink ribbon of
the horizon began to bleed with the birth
of a new day and I thought about how
all those words you said to me
were actually time bombs because when
you first said them, I brushed them off
but now all I can think about is them and
my brain has been blown
        to kingdom come.

I think I might be brain dead.

But your school picture is still on my
bedside table and when I look at it
a fist grips down on my heart and
I wonder how you are and if you’ve grown,
I wonder if you’re even still alive anymore;
my anxiety is a yew tree bending in a
new formation influenced by the passing
of time and minimal communication—
I become someone I don’t know.

I think that we’re all born with
a different destiny to follow but
when you get right down to it,
no matter how much you’ve changed, or
how much I’ve changed,
on the inside, we’re all the same—
        skeletons.

Except for the fact that I think I might be a
barely surviving Hiroshima victim;
a charred skeleton with no other
contributing human element.

Sometimes I compare you to
        Chernobyl
and I wonder if you ever
draw that connection
too.

I wonder what it’s like to be nuclear.

I wonder what it’s like to burn alive.

There are dark clouds churning in the
early morning sky and I wonder if it
might storm again like it did on that
night when I drove home alone and
that one song was playing on the radio
over and
                over and
                                over again
and I couldn’t possibly shut it off because
who was I to end the life of a beautiful,
(highly relatable),
song when it was just growing out of its
babbling infancy and into its
crescendoing teenage years?  

If I were to write you a letter now
I wonder what I would say,
what I would tell you that I haven’t already,
(accidentally), spilled to you in those
rushed visits we had every blue moon—

I think I would tell you how you
        broke my heart;
I think I would tell you how he
        shattered what was left;
I think I would tell you how
I don’t believe I have a
soul
                        anymore.
Taylor St Onge Apr 2015
Buddy belly, rabbit’s foot,
how much luck can you get
                                                    from touching the dead?

(Maybe that’s the reason behind Jeffrey Dahmer’s slaughtering of
                                                                ­                         seventeen men;
maybe that’s the reason why we break wishbones—
to remind ourselves that this bone is dead
                                            these hands are alive
                                            do something with them.)

In some cultures, it is socially acceptable to
                             eat your child’s placenta—
there is good fortune in it, power in it.

(I wonder if this is the reason why cannibals eat their victims.)

Number seven.  Cross on the wall.
         I wish you good luck.
idk. this is one of the shortest poems I've ever written.
Taylor St Onge Dec 2017
If you're a patient in a hospital, wouldn't you want to know
exactly how many people have died in the room
                                                                 you're currently sleeping in?    
                           How many hearts have stopped beating, how many
                                                               lungs have deflated, how many
pupils have stopped responding to light—
                                                          ­                 how long CPR was
                                                                ­             performed before
                                                                ­            Time     of     Death
                                                           ­                       was called?
How many DNR patients waltzed into the afterlife
without so much as a half-hearted chest compression?

Ribs can break during CPR.
How many cracked ribs have echoed
                                                                ­  across the walls of your
                                                                ­            hospital room?

                                                           x

Eve was made from Adam's rib.
God plucked the bone and
                                                                ­                  fashioned it into a
                                                                ­             subservient woman to
                                                                ­               replace the wild one,
                                                                   the first one, the no good one,
                                     the woman made from the same soil as Adam:
      Lilith.

                                                           x

We break ribs, break wishbones, break most things we don't understand. A confused patient will take out his IV, his PICC line, even pull at his chest tube or his LVAD driveline.
If it doesn't make sense, we will try to eliminate it in the sake of
                                                                ­                               normality.

                      ­                                     x

Some time in August, we had two codes within one hour.  After 30 or so minutes of chest compressions, they pronounced the second man dead.  He wasn’t my patient that night, and I didn’t know him.  I think his ribs snapped under Alyssa’s hands when she tried to revive him.
                                                            ­      And what does that feel like?   Not just the desperate rush of adrenaline,
        of trying to bring someone back to life—not just the emotional,
                                                                ­           but the physical of it all.

The cracking of the bone beneath the heels of your hands.  
Your fingers laced on top of each other
                                                                ­ pounding and
                                  pounding and
                                                                ­                                  pounding
                                                           against the sternum.  
One, two.  One, two.  One, two.  
                                                          ­            The bone cleaves in half.
And how much pressure does it take?  
I’m sure science could tell us, but
                              how does it feel in your arms, in your shoulders—
                       will your muscles remember the strength it takes and
                                                      stop you next time?

                                                           x

How hard did God have to try when he ripped out
         Adam's rib to make Eve? And
                           how long did it take Adam to recover from the loss?
(Maybe he never did.)

                                                           x

Healthcare is still so barbaric.  You must hurt to help.  
                               Saw through the sternum to get to the heart.  
                 Insert a painful tube to remove the excess fluid.  
                             Drill through the skull and remove
                        potentially useful brain matter.

I have nightmares of tripping over IV tubing and
ripping out PICC lines.   I am terrified of
dropping someone's chest tube on the floor,
                                                 of it ripping violently out of their lungs.
It's not my blood, it's some else's,
                                               and that makes it so much worse.  
                    Being responsible for another human's well-being
                                             is actually terrifying.

I just want to be helpful.  I don’t want to hurtful.  But so often,
                                         I find myself damaging the ones I love.

                                                           x

I would rather have my brain-dead sternum sawed open than
rot in some hole in the ground like my mother if it
                                                        would mean that I could be useful.
                                                   And all we really want is to be useful.
To feel something.  To be something.  
To be proud like the original sin.

Remove my ribs.  All 24 of them.  
Make them into several new women with
several new names and
                                           faces and
                                                            eye colors and
                       skin colors.
Their lives would be more beneficial than my death ever could be.

Like Eve with Lilith, replace the bad, with the seemingly good.  
                                                         Replace the soil with the body.
                                                  It all has to come from somewhere.  

                                                           x

                     How to keep the self close and yet distant from trauma.
part of a larger work based on my work as a cna in a hospital
1.4k · Aug 2015
mariner 2
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
venus
morning star
lucifer  f a
                  l
                     l
                       i
                          n
                             g    backwards and forwards in time
                                                            ­                    in rotation
                                                        ­                        in retrograde rotation

(“the fall of lucifer” painted darkly against the bright spot in the sky)
                                                                ­                                        ((i see myself in the
                                                                ­                                           shadows beneath
                                                                ­                                      his tumbling figure))

light-bringer
dawn-bringer
the rising sun in the east
a supernova exploding in the background: there are subatomic particles bigger
                                                                ­                              than what i can offer
                                                           ­                       there are greenhouse gasses that
                                                            ­                      give off more heat than my body
                                                                      will ever be able to produce for anyone

day light
night light
the setting sun in the west
a constellational birth in the foreground: there are not enough moons in the
                                                                ­                                            solar system
                                                          ­                       there is not enough space
                                                                ­      between planetary rings to explain        
                                                                ­             gravitation and the human body

(aphrodite tell me: is this sin or is this love?)  ((i will dip my toes in sea foam
                                                                ­                             until i deteriorate
                                                     ­                  i will put my ear against conch shells
                                                                ­                until i can hear your answer))

venus
evening star
lucifer pouring sulfuric acid into the car vents
                                                           the air ducts
                                                           the atmosphere
it becomes the thick dark clouds that obscure
my vision of      myself      from      reality
written for my poetry: intermediate course.
1.3k · Aug 2015
Listen Here:
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
1969 Cult Mentality: Charles Manson
is asking you to “leave a sign… something witchy” at the scene of the
crime.  You listen because you believe he is Jesus.  You smear the word
                                                                ­                           “Pig” across the door.

1978 Cult Mentality: Jim Jones
is asking you to drink grape Kool-Aid infused with cyanide.  You do this
because you have been convinced that he is “Christ the Revolution.” You
                                 inject your child with the toxin before gulping it down.

1997 Cult Mentality: Marshall Applewhite*
is asking you to tie a plastic bag around your head after you consume a mixture of phenobarbital, applesauce, and *****.  You do this because you believe dying will take you to the spacecraft flying behind
Comet Hale-Bopp.  You make sure you have a
five dollar bill and three quarters
                                                                ­in your pocket for the interplanetary toll.
written to my foundations of creative writing course.  prompt: five lines, five words, but I later edited it after I turned it in and this is the final.
1.3k · Mar 2016
Sadie
Taylor St Onge Mar 2016
After My Little Black Dog Died of Melanoma.
After the Lumps on Her Small Brittle Body Slowly
Burned to a Pile of Ash in the Vet’s Office.  After My Step-Father
Drove in His Ostentatious Truck to Pick Up Her Remains.  After I Cried
in My Dorm Room and Tried Not to Wake My Roommate.  
Realization that My Loss Does Not Make Me Different.  There Are
Graveyards That Span For Miles and They Are Filled With More
Dead Bodies Than I Have Ever Seen.  There Are Hundreds of
Thousands of Children in the Foster Care System That Have
Never Met Their Parents or Maybe They Did and it Just Didn’t Work Out.
Kids Who Might Have Lived With Their Terminally Ill Parent(s) For Years
Not Just Days.  Kids Who Never Sat in the Opened Up Trunk of Their
Mother’s Black Nissan Pathfinder at the Drive-In Movies.  Kids Who Lived Too Far From Their Too Old Grandparents or Who Lived Too Far From Their Too Dead Grandparents.  Kids Who Were Never Told Not to Throw Snowballs Because There Might be Big Chunks of Ice in Them.  Kids Who
Never Had a Childhood Dog to Cry Over.  Kids Who
Don’t Like to Read Because They Were Never Read
Bedtime Stories When They Were Younger.  Kids Whose
Mothers Never Called Them Tweetie or Pumpkin or Honey or ***.  
Kids That Were Not Told to Just Go to the Bathroom When
Their Tummies Hurt Instead of the Health Room.  Kids Who Never
Listened to the Spice Girls’ Album Spice World on Cassette on the
Way to the Store.  Kids Who Never Got a Peach Drink Out of a Vending Machine at the Pick’N’Save on 27th  Street and Still Don’t Know
Exactly What 50¢ Peach Drink Their Mother Bought For Them.  
There Are Thousands of Dogs Euthanized Each Day Because of
How Sick They Are or Because They Were at a Shelter For Far Too Long
or Because They Are a Pitbull or a Rottweiler or Some Other
Irrationally Feared and Disliked Dog Breed.  We Didn’t Euthanize My
Stage-Four-Cancer-Stricken Dog or Even Get Her Treatment Beyond
Pain Medicine Because We Were Selfish.  We Do a Lot of Things Because
We Are Selfish.  We Waited Five Days to Pull the Plug on My Vegetable
Mother Because We Were Waiting For a Miracle That We Knew Would
Never Happen Because She Stopped Breathing the Moment the
Aneurysm Burst.  My Sister is Getting Married in June and My
Grandfather is Going to Walk Her Down the Aisle in My Mother’s
Place.  My Grandparents Had to Move In With My Sister After My
Grandmother Fell Down Too Many Times and Didn’t Take Her Health
Problems Serious Enough.  There Are Repercussions For Thinking
You Are Safe When You Are Really Not.
Imitation poem of James Shea's "Haiku."  Written for my Advanced Poetry Workshop.
Taylor St Onge Dec 2014
There is no more straddling state lines for you.  

You are no longer teetering on the edge of
               life          and           death
because you are now deader than my father’s
dead bell heart.  You are laying in a morgue and
I am sitting on a train, miles and miles from you.  An
early bloomer, a preemie baby boy, you are
                                                                ­              one day too soon.  

I am watching the trees of Arkansas of Missouri of Illinois
pass me by, but you are being
                                                      whisked
                                                                ­      and
                                                                ­               twirled
                                                                ­      and
                                                      whirled
                    through the stars.
(I am trying to imagine what it must feel like to
explode into a supernova, to
implode into a constellation.
I am trying to contemplate what it means to
reach                    
                            i n f i n i t y        
                                  and
                 ­           n i h i l i t y
                                                             at the same time.)

Careening headfirst towards the midwest, I
am heading towards a home I no longer wish to go.  I have
spent my night in a daze between
                                                              asleep        and        awake,
listening to a man snore and a baby cry, and nothing is stopping
me from thinking about the steps in post-mortem care.  I have
seen dead bodies before.  I have touched dead bodies before.  
I do not want to come in contact with yours.  

My problem is not that you finally finished your
transition from                  boy        to        skeleton,
my problem is that you did so without
asking your mother’s permission.  I read the
Book of James the night before your surgery two years ago
and forgot it the very next day.  There is nothing I want more
than to swim laps and crochet scarves and write bad poems and
become void of all the information that I currently hold.

I want to forget that I knew you.
I want to forget that I thought I loved you.
I want to forget my attachment to you so it won’t
hurt as bad now that you’re
                                                   ( d e a d ) .
Written on a train, while I was leaving Little Rock and heading towards Milwaukee, for my friend, James, who lost his life to brain cancer a few hours before on December 18th, 2014.
Taylor St Onge Feb 2015
sunspot
sunrise
sunshine
moonshine
i lick you off my lips like strawberry
                                             pineapple
                                             grape         juice
                                             a fine wine that i’ve never drunk.

asteroid belt
orion’s belt
daddy’s belt
i am opening the door a crack for you only to slam it in your face—i am
waiting for you to knock
             to pound your fist against the gate
             to break your hand on the wood
                                        i am waiting for you to say that you love me
                                        and i am waiting for myself to believe it completely
                                        (i think you do but i am still afraid you might leave me)

((jupiter has 67 moons and i think that i might be
                        each and every single one of them)).

oort cloud
smoke cloud
the burning ash of my father’s lit cigar flicking onto my hands
i am awake at night and thinking about how you no longer taste like lung
                                                                ­                                                    mouth
                                                                ­                                         kidney        cancer.
my grandfather almost died of prostate cancer
my friend is dying of brain cancer
my father will probably die of liver cancer
                                                          ­           there is not enough space in the cosmos
                                                          ­           for all of us, is there?                   … God?

meteorite
meteoright
i am trying to sleep without your face in the back of my neck
                                                      hand on the back of my hand
                                                      leg tangled around the back of mine
i am trying to telepathically whisper my secrets into your ears
                                                            ­   but the only problem is that i have not yet
                                                             ­  mastered  this  form  of  communication—
                      i think that everything would be so much easier if i just didn’t feel.
language poem I wrote for my poetry portfolio last semester.
1.2k · Oct 2013
-2009
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
It was on a crisp autumn night that I
sat alone beside you
for the first time in nearly four years.

The shadows of the looming pines surrounding me
seemed to press and pressure my eyes to slip
down six feet under along with

the bleeding sun as it continued to
decamp from the sky.  It slid so smoothly
past the towering pines while the
silvery fist of the moon
shoved it roughly back to the west;
I thought about how you mustn’t like the night
because of the chill that often comes
hand in hand with the darkness.  

For a moment, I considered
the slight possibility of my body heat
leaching down through the earth
and into your bones.

I wondered how cold it is to
sleep underground and then I
wondered if angels felt the
creeping chill of the
foreshadowing frost in the first place.

I thought that everything significant
must happen on Thursdays because
your book began and ended on
                  the fifth day—
born on the same day of the week
you and I compare and contrast
like long
                  lost
                             twins.

Sometimes I half-expect to see
your ghost staring back at me
when I look in the mirror and to be
completely honest, I’m not sure
what I’m more afraid of—
the possibility that you might not be the same
or the chance that you might be so
disappointed in what you see in me
now that we are separated.

The divide between us runs deep
into the earth and creates a whole
new fault line, rent and ruptured
beyond all forms of repair.

The breath I breathe is the
bridge between us;
the bed you sleep in is the
total distance.
Mommy poetry.  Please give me constructive criticism.
1.1k · Oct 2013
Cremate
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
I could never date a smoker.

Flowers in the house don’t bring beauty,
      only death.
Aesthetically pleasing,
a platonic seduction that is
tempting yet entirely depressing—

I will not watch you die.
Consistant drabbles.
1.1k · Apr 2014
Paradigm
Taylor St Onge Apr 2014
The monster in my closet is not the
Lord of the Flies or the way I hiccup at
the mention of tombstones like picket fences
or the Bible I have sitting on back burner, waiting and
turning to ash as I switch my focus elsewhere;
it is my freedom, it is my voice, it is my vulnerability.

I have found that the true steps to being a woman are
        
        One:
To never say “no” to a man: he is right, he is infinite;
Man, with a capital “M,” is Right with a capital “R.”
I must find my place beneath his boot and be
grateful for the attention.  I must offer myself to him
on a silver platter and ****** my wrists back when
he latches on like leeches in ponds—
innocence is necessary but experience is a must.
I need only to serve him and serve him well.
Dinner will be ready by five.

        Two:
After snapping my fingers and throwing on an apron
I need only to make shopping lists and fold laundry
and wash dishes and dust coffee tables and
***** train toddlers and begin the ironing—I must
become a less troublesome Lucy, and as Sylvia said,
become the place from where the arrow
shoots off from; my husband will be the
        arrow into the future
        the bright light at the end of the tunnel
        the brains, if you will,
ask him all your silly intellectual questions,
goodness me, how would I know anything
outside of homemaking?

        Three:
While living in the Valley of the Dolls,
it is important to play the part precisely because
anything less than the best is a catastrophe—
this isn’t suburbia this is su-Barbie-a  where
women are beautiful and poised, plastic in shells
with skin as cold as the freezers they keeps their words
in.  Your businessman of a husband will come home from
work at quarter to five and say,
        “silence is golden,”
as he pats your daughter on the head,
and you will not know to which one of you
he is communicating with because,
yes, of course, he is in charge of the vocal cords, being
stronger and smarter than the two of you; it is only
logical to accept his words as law.  Besides,
neither you nor your daughter really deserves the
right to not only speak when spoken to; girls have
silly and inconsequential ideas anyway.

        Four:
I must give myself up for love.  A woman without
a single altruistic bone in her body is
not a woman at all, but rather a shadow.  In order to
prove myself, prove my loyalty, prove anything, I must
first prove my heart.  At age eighteen, I will go backstage
for a costume change: graduation gown to wedding gown.
Don’t worry, Mother, he told me that college is overrated;
he told me that the only other education I will need
lies within homemaking skills—the easy life, don’t you see?
Love is my biggest flaw and greatest weapon, and
I must learn to wield it.

        Five:
But without a man, nothing is possible.  Catching
one like fish in nets is the goal, but in order to do so,
it is imperative that I realize that
beauty is not deeper than skin; beauty is pliable like bamboo
and is only prevalent when it is in paint.  I must become
Wendy, I must stay in Neverland, I
must
          not
                  age.
It is important to look young but not to act young.
It is even more important for my ribs to break
through my flesh—my beginning will be my end
but at least I’ll look good.

I am not afraid of the dark or of heights or
of storms or of doctors or dogs; I am
afraid of time reversing, I am afraid of
returning normalities.  That  fifteen-year-old girl
I saw post online about how she was
“born in the wrong decade” and how she would be
a “much better fit for the ‘50s” scares me to death.  
If I was expected to choose between
career             and             family,
I would sit at the bottom of the
fig tree like Sylvia;
              I would stick my head
                                               right in the oven.
I originally wrote this for a satire project in AP Language and Composition.
1.1k · Oct 2013
Adolescent Adorations
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
Lips like shards of broken glass
like bittersweet Narcissus and
the remains of a once-proud Egypt.
A faulty cupid’s bow
a sinister smirk of Himeros—

I mistook you for Anteros.  A
simple mistake;
three letters off
three words lost in translation
a declaration with no apparent meaning.

New age romance, my dear,
is all for naught.
wounded puppy love at its finest.
1.0k · Dec 2013
Cold Mourning
Taylor St Onge Dec 2013
I can feel you
in the cold winter air,
nipping at my cheeks
and freezing over my toes.  You
are the bloodied and broken
skin on my hands that
just
         won’t
                      heal.

Breathe in,
breathe out—
you are visible in my
sub-zero breath.

I can’t stand Christmas
lights because they
reflect your eyes and I
can’t take holiday
songs because they
parallel your voice.

Mother, neither of us
ever really liked the winter.
mommy feels in the wintertime.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
I was driving to work tonight and I almost swerved off the road because I was staring at Orion's Belt as it hung near the horizon of the sky.

Please study the following photo and connect the dots on Orion, his belt, and his arrow:
(A detailed answer will be on the back for comparison)

I do not pretend to understand astrology nor astronomy.  

Orion’s arrow always points north.  You can use it as a compass if you are traveling somewhere where there are not many signs of light.  In October, if you crane your neck and squint your eyes and maybe pray to God, Orion will shoot arrow after arrow off into the sky and you will be able to make your first wish upon a shooting star.  (If you are in a desert, and that is why you are navigating by constellations, pray for help.)

His belt is made up of three sisters and I wonder if they talk to him in the night and keep him company?

(Is it possible to be up in the Heavens, overlooking the world, while still feeling lonely and insignificant?)

Constellations move minutely every year.  In this way, they are similar to humans.  Always roaming.  Always looking for change.

When Orion boasted that he could **** any living animal on the planet, Gaia, the Earth Goddess, objected and sent a scorpion after him.  After his death, Zeus flung his body into the stars; fractured to pieces, glowing softly in the night sky, Orion continues to hunt his prey into the dark, cold depths of the Milky Way.

Maybe, if you prayed to the Greek Gods, you could find yourself breathing in the stars, too.
wrote this for my poetry: intermediate course.  prompt: factual poem.
908 · Sep 2013
Apotheosis
Taylor St Onge Sep 2013
And in the grasp of
the moon’s tight fist
I thought you looked like an angel,
like Gabriel—
        an Archangel.

I thought that should the
sun come up in a few hours
that you would perhaps fade away
into nihility—
        into stardust.

I thought you were the
most beautiful thing I’d ever seen
and I thought that you weren’t even real;
completely artificial—
        a mannequin.
        
You looked so childish in your
sleep and oh how I longed to
push aside those stray
golden locks—
        your halo.

But like a Seraph—
        you burn.
903 · Oct 2013
October 15th, 11:25pm
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
He never wrote me
love letters like
Heathcliff and Catherine and
all the other grandiose characters
in those old, Victorian Romance
novels.  In fact,
he never wrote to me
         at all.

Not a single word,
a single letter;
not even his name
on an otherwise
blank sheet of paper
roughly shoved into an
already used envelope.

Maybe he took my words and
burned them like my dog’s
ashes like Auschwitz and
Californian forest fires.

An abrupt end to
an abrupt start
created and destroyed
by the sure hands of God.  Mother,
you were never one for words.

I thought perhaps I’d
have a dream.  See
your face in the mirror;
feel your presence walk
through a door.  But
what childish hopes to hold
in the frigid face of reality.

Cold like the snow (you loathed to shovel)
like a can of Diet Pepsi on a hot summer day
(your favorite)
like global warming seasons
and the chocolate bunnies you
used to put in the fridge
(for Easter).

Cold like corpses
your corpse
six feet under—
tombstone in the sun,
no light will ever warm you.

Dearest mother,
I have not heard
a single word
from you in
over four years.

Dearest mother,
dearest mother,
dearest mother

what do your wings look like?
I write a lot of mommy poetry.
862 · Dec 2013
Halloween
Taylor St Onge Dec 2013
Like a wet séance,
tea lights lined the
porcelain frame of the old
bucket tub, as if the
closed-eyed occupant
within its liquid depths
was trying to form
a connection between
what is and
        what could have been.

One year since Chernobyl
erupted in your brain,
spotted like a favorite
sweatshirt in the lost and
found, it was snatched
up,
        up,
                and away
along with you and
who you used to be.

Brushed affectionately by
Death’s boney hand,
I wonder if anything
scares you
        anymore.

I wonder if I could be fearless like you.
ex-boyfriend drabbles
792 · Dec 2013
Tuesday Afternoon
Taylor St Onge Dec 2013
I sat side by side
next to my dog upon
the burgundy leather sofa and
followed his line of sight
out the great glass window
into the desolate,
snow covered forest.

“What can you possibly
                see?”
I ask.

After a few moments of
silence, he looks to me and
says, “Sometimes it’s not
as much as what I see
as it is what I
                        find.
This woods speaks the truth;
you just have to look for it
in yourself first.”
possibly one of my happiest poems
789 · Jul 2014
Phantasmagoria
Taylor St Onge Jul 2014
I’m counting the freckles on my skin.
I’m tracing the coffee-splotch birthmark on my stomach.
I’m biting my nails and cracking my knuckles and
thinking about the Old House.

I think it’s sort of funny how in an entire life,
with all its seconds and all its moments, and
all its memories, only some things really stick.

There used to be a time where I prided myself
on my apparently “flawless” memory; I forget
things all the time.  Like
        my mother’s voice
        my father’s face
        my grandmother’s eye color.

I fear that I’ve forgotten the most
important parts of my childhood.

I remember daddy’s race cars,
mommy’s wine, the time my sister
slammed the van door on my head, and the
time I kicked the bathroom entrance.

Last week I opened the photo albums from
under my mother’s bed and I’ve
already forgotten all the things that I
finally figured out that I forgot.  
Sitting on the floor, surrounded by one-hour
Walgreens prints, I started to pick open a
wound that I did not even know was there.

My dog’s ashes are still hidden, a copy
of my mother’s Will is still missing, and last
year my step father found prepackaged
“emergency escape bags” in our basement
along with $250 cash inside the
cogs of our whirlpool.

I’ve heard stories of how my mother
kept documented journals of my father, but I’ve
never had the guts to ask for them.

I’m beginning to wonder what kind of people
my parents really were.  I’m beginning to wonder
just how much of my childhood
I’ve forgotten
                           and how much of it
         I’ve lost.
memories are tricky things sometimes, I guess.
730 · Dec 2014
Larvae
Taylor St Onge Dec 2014
I could tell that you had smoked a cigarette before I saw you because your
shirt smelled like smoke and your lips tasted like lung cancer.       (I like to
                            pretend that it doesn’t really bother me I am a moth flying
                                                                ­                                     into your flame.)

Your eyes are green like everything that burns, but your hands are strong
like those who fight fires without more fire.  Sometimes I trick myself into
thinking that I can smell the backyard smoke of my father’s cigarettes,
                                              cigars,­ marijuana, radiating off of you.

Do you remember that time when you told me that “everyone sins?”  I do
not think that you took into account the amount of which we all sin.  (All
sinners are equal, but some are more equal than others.)  ((fire will always
    destroy moths. You are burning my wings with your magnifying glass))

I think I am drowning in the gene pool.  I think I’ve broken the bones of
three different people.  I am terrified my dream catcher will stop working    
                 and years worth of nightmares will catch up with me.  Light my
          nightmares on fire with your lighter.  Turn my everything to smoke.

I spent my entire last year breaking wishbones and hiding them underneath my mattress for luck.  I spent my entire last week getting
splattered with the blood of lambs that I’ve slaughtered in your name, in
                                                   the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  
                      We are lighting moths on fire and watching their wings burn.

There is a chrysalis I am building.  I am not looking for change, I am looking
for the darkness and safety it will provide.  When I hatch, listen to my wings
flutter.  Wait for me to land and then squash me with your cigarette ****.  
Smoke me out of your house.  If you love me,           you will set all the bad
                                                             ­                              parts of me        on fire.
Poor little villanelle I wrote for my poetry portfolio whose spacing got all messed up :c
I basically rewrote "Eclipse" because there were some parts of that poem that bothered me and I also wanted to focus more on the moth aspect of it so yeah.
719 · Mar 2014
Augury
Taylor St Onge Mar 2014
GEMINI:
The creases on your palms are
valleys full of quicksand; your hands
have sunken through my skin and
into my bones.  You opened your fists in
mid-autumn and by mid-winter, our heart lines,
our lifelines, had fused.  Dear Pollux, sometimes
I wonder how you could not know that

on those cold February nights, it is not
puffs of air that escape your Cupid’s bow, but rather
wisps of fetal star, swirling and curling up and up
into new constellations—ones depicting
Cleopatra and Antony
                                           Paris and Helen
                                                                              you and I.

The looking glass in my mother’s washroom no longer
displays emerald orbs; they have been melted down
from a solid to a liquid to a stacking, twirling vapor
that I can no longer see, nor feel.  But the thing about you,
Dear Pollux, is that somehow, though it is beyond me how,
you have captured her scalloping memory and turned
everything to smoky quartz—
you reflect the placidity I hope she found.

The sinkhole in my abdomen that mother dearest created has
been gorged with your quicksand, and I am gluttonous for you.  There’s
a part of me that thinks you to be the eighth wonder of the world
with your wide eyes and your slight dimples and your
ability to generate earthquakes in my bones with a
snap of your fingers.  But Pollux, sweetheart, there’s a nagging
suspicion I have that deems you to be the eighth deadly sin—
         your lips branding my neck;
         your hands burrowing through the flesh of my hips;
         the pearls you create from the grains of sand I carry.
I oftentimes wonder how you figured out the secret of
melting my amethyst crested core.

Your horoscope will tell you that you are wishy washy, but
I will tell you that you are dynamic and paramount.  You
will be told that today “you must wrestle your past before
communicating with your future,” and I shall roll my eyes and
tell you that the only thing you must wrestle is my affection.
Your fate is not in the stars, Pollux, darling;
your fate has nothing to do with the Year of the Pig or
the Gemini constellation that is so ruled by Mercury—
the fortune tellers we made in elementary school were
accurate representations of coincidence.

You will find your destiny in
the palms of your hands and I will
find my destiny within you.
a surplus of boy drabbles.
673 · Jun 2014
Bar Fly
Taylor St Onge Jun 2014
The memory of your battered work boots,
tipped on their sides and haphazardly strewn about
the back hallway, my mother
asking you to put them away.

To the love song playing on the radio,
you recalled that the first time you
heard it, you were standing in Times Square
and you immediately thought of my mother.  (I
wonder if you still think of her.)  You
picked up a can of Miller.  You took a swig.

My sister, just a few months old and laying in
her bassinet, plucked from the comfort and placed
into her carrier.  You toted her around with you,
took her to meet the crowd in the beer garden.
You took two sips.

On the weekends, you would lounge on the couch with
race cars in your eyes.  Your thoughts were far
away from little girls playing dress up and
little girls toying with dolls.  Your thoughts were on
the equipment from work that you had
begun hoarding.  You took three gulps.

My weekends, spent with my grandparents, felt
like mini vacations.  Your cool distance and rotten
behavior towards my mother felt like arms outstretched,
keeping me away, forcing me away.  Childhood like a peach
out in the sun for too long, overripe and decaying,
you threw it in the trash and I helped.  

The sour taste in my mouth is leftover childhood
ignorance, the kick in my gut when I think about you
is leftover betrayal—I will not mourn a traditional
childhood, I will mourn your lack of apathy.  You will
never know remorse.  

The phone will ring, and I will not answer.  You will
leave messages, and I will delete them.  We are
on two different planes now,
                                                      Daddy.
daddy issues drabbles
647 · Jul 2014
Revelations 7:06-14
Taylor St Onge Jul 2014
There’s a crystal ball that sits on my dresser
that I never fully learned how to use.  There’s
a pack of Tarot cards that reside beneath my
pillow that I use to play solitaire with.  I
have never known what it means to
“Be like Jesus.”

I find the numbers
              13        and        18
to be rather unlucky, which is probably why
I branded one onto me externally and the
other internally.  I wonder if my grandmother
now knows the secrets of the world, if my
battle-eyed grandfather knows the
key to redemption.  I wonder if
my sister ever learned how to control
the talking skulls in her closet.

I wonder what my Pastor would say about
my fear of Purgatory.

Three days
three weeks
three years
five years later and I am still waiting for
                                                                ­              Absolution.
angsty family drabbles
629 · Oct 2014
Crucifix
Taylor St Onge Oct 2014
You broke a wishbone with my father nine months before
my birth and I am the outcome of the small trophy you
held onto when you lost to his larger luck line.  Sometimes
I wish that you didn’t make such a
sacrificial lamb of yourself.  Sometimes
I wish that I could dig my fingers into my skin
and rip out every single vein that looks
too much like pisces fish, like amethyst bracelets,
                      like rotting cadavers.

Mother, I don’t think that either of us have ever been
too good at doing what is expected of us.

You wild horse, you wild heart, you wild storm—
there is a lighthouse somewhere north
from here that overlooks the lake, and I can’t help
but marvel at the fact that you get to be the
light that calls us home when I can still see you
sitting in your locked car until the garage door closed.  

(A hummingbird’s heart can pulsate
up to 1,260 beats per minute and now, I think,
so can yours.)  Your ribs
were not enough to hold your
tick,
           tick,
                      ticking clock
in one place.  Mother, your teeth were not
strong enough to hold your words inside—from you,
I have learned resistance in the witching hour;
from you, I was taught how to build a
backbone in the hour of the wolf.

You cut off a rabbit’s foot the day I was born,
but that foot was yours all along.  I am
walking around, trying to find the rabbit, trying to
give it back, but I fear that I am
falling down a hole my father dug with his bare,
          blood            stained            hands
years and years before my sister was born.  
Sometimes I wish that you didn’t
turn my childhood into an enigma.  Sometimes
I wish that I could dig my nails into
every slipping memory, every unfinished story,
                      every last word,
and rid myself of the doppelgänger I found
in the looking glass of your bedroom.

There is a secret to being holy, I hear, but
I don’t think Jesus will share it with me.  I stepped
on your grave five years ago now and
I don’t think you have forgiven me since.

Mother, I have never been too skilled at
                saying, “goodbye.”
I wrote this for my poetry class.
592 · Feb 2014
Casuist
Taylor St Onge Feb 2014
I am a kaleidoscope—shapelessly shifting, and
dominated by colors that I cannot change
without some sort of grandiose outside force
granting me a helping hand.  I might as well be water.

But my reflection insists on creating dissonance.  She
and I, although we look the same, do not coincide
as neatly as
           yin and yang
           Adam and Eve
           my hand in his.                       Perhaps because
thoughts and feelings generally
do not mix like paint.

Human beings are full of hypocrisies; I am merely
one of seven billion.  My doppelganger knows that

I will never be harmonious, and I am but an echo
of Sisyphus, yet still I wonder if she also knows how
sanctimonious I can be at even the best of times; how
wolfish my attitude can turn; how
downright wicked I can become.
                                                        (Perhaps she is overlooking it.)

Oftentimes, I find myself wondering if those ugly,
impulse actions I grudgingly stomach are really my
own choices, or if they are hers.  I am the analytical
one of us, and she, the fervent, the hot-blooded prima donna;
I think of how easily I lay down my neck to her will, how often I
throw my frontal lobe at her, belly up,
as if to say,             “this is my
                                              white flag.”
I allow my duplicate’s hands to twist and turn my paths.

She makes me self-conscious of the
           coffee splotch birthmark on my shin,
           my flummoxed feet that flounder about;
           the mausoleum I keep buried
six-feet-under in my backyard.  Her sentiment
bleeds into me and permanently dyes my bones red
like the red meat I am; she tries to coalesce us.  
                                                        Perhaps it’s idiosyncratic of me to
rip myself in two, but being made of water
makes it hard for oil to blend into place; it makes it
hard for logic to have any room for a
seemingly clairvoyant heart, though

sometimes I wonder if my sophist thoughts could
possibly have any consideration for my twin’s
sibylline yet affectionate disposition.  I
wonder what the
           secret is to being whole, what the
           secret is to ending civil wars, and what the
           secret is to placidity—
I wonder why all my answers are kept under lock and key.

The internal bloodshed within myself might not
be as abnormal as I think it to be, but if it’s not me who
I see when I look into the mirror,
what is it that others see?
a sort of self-reflection.
581 · Oct 2013
eros
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
the edges of his cupid’s bow lips quirked
up with the rising sun and I thought that perhaps
I had been shot by one of his arrows—
young love, young cherub,
how reckless we are.
drabbles everywhere
404 · Oct 2013
custos
Taylor St Onge Oct 2013
slip me on like a sweater
I am your second skin
            let me protect you
another innocent miniature drabble.
Taylor St Onge Nov 2018
I am not very good at saying no to people,
                              or at being firm and direct with my patients at work.  
           I am soft and mandible.  
           I tend to let people take advantage of me.  

My physical therapist says the people with the most problems
with their hips and backs are
                                                        the ones that can          
                                                        hardly bend at all or
                                                                                                 that can
                                       bend              too             much.

I am too flexible.  
                              So much so that it is hurting me.  
                                    I fold and I fold and I fold
                                               in on myself like origami and
                                      I let people do whatever they want.  
I can't remember if I've always been this way or not.  

Maybe it depends on how you look at it:  
The woman in the casket could either be sleeping or dead.  She could either be a stranger or my mother.  This could either be the bright, multi-color, kaleidoscopic shapes I see when I rub my eyes a bit too hard for a bit too long, or it could be the dull, grey morgue her body was wheeled down to after they tied the tag around her toe and zipped her into a white bag.  This could either hurt a lot or a little.  It depends on how much you let in.  How willing you are to bend to the emotional blow.  I could either stop writing about this or keep going, but it's been, what, nine years now, and I haven't been able to stop yet—
only able to bend and
                                          bend
                 ­                                      and
                                                                    bend
                                                                                    and
this took way too long to finish
Taylor St Onge Nov 2018
I watched a man die from a distance the other night at work.  
He was a patient on my unit,
                                                    a BOP, a bedded outpatient.  
Came in for a routine procedure, it ran long, so they
stuck him in a bed overnight for observation and
discharged him the next afternoon.  

Came back three days later.  
Valve exploded in his chest.  
Transferred to CVICU.  
Coded twice.  

The first code was cancelled almost immediately.  
False alarm.  Critical condition, but not a code.  
The second code they called dragged on and on and on.  

I know this because someone pulled him up on the telemetry monitor by our nurse’s station, and we watched him flatline, watched him asystole, watched his heart at zero and zero and zero.  Watched them bag him, give manual respirations.  Watched the forced waves on his flat rhythm from each compression.  Every palm to sternum.  Every electric shock caused a wave and then fell flat.  Zero.  Zero.  Zero.  Absolute zero.  Like in space or whatever.  So cold.  No life, no movement.  Zero, just zero.  Flatline.  Asystole.  No life possible, no life attainable.  
I watched him die from a distance.  From two floors above on a computer monitor.  Secondhand death.

They stopped compressing,
                                                    stopped bagging,
                                                                                   and he stopped existing.  
Became stagnant, static.  No longer
held in the balance, in the limbo,
in the purgatory between life and death.  
                                                        ­                    He crossed over and
                                                             ­             stayed at absolute zero.  

I never met him, just knew of him, so
                                                              wh­at does that mean for me?  
                                                           ­   What am I supposed to do with
           the knowledge that many of the patients I come in contact with
                          die sometimes very soon after I meet them?  

Most things I touch die.  Plants, fish, hamsters, my mother.  
We can’t spare everyone, that’s stupid.  There is
a natural order to things.  Darwinism.  Survival of the fittest.  
                                        All that *******.  

When my mother landed herself in the ICU, we knew
                                                   where she wanted her money to go, but
                not what we were supposed to do with all this ******* grief.  
                Not what to do with her body.  
                Not if we should keep her on life support to
                                                                ­                  drag out the suffering.  
She gave no directions on how to live without a mother.  

(But how do you direct something like that?
An idea so big, so lofty that directions will always fall short.)

The grief cycle will
                                     always fall short.  
Most days I don’t think acceptance is truly possible.  

Some days I’m there, and others I’m not.  
                                                          ­          It’s not linear, it’s not stagnant.  
                                                     ­                       It’s not absolute zero.  
It moves back and forth and
                                               becomes the snake eating its own tail.  
                                                         ­           Ouroboros.  

Where do you go from here?  How do you truly move on?  

I’m falling through a gas giant.  Nothing keeps hold here,
                                                         nothing keeps score (but the body).  

It’s 5:27 in the morning and I’m thinking
                                                 about that man that flatlined again.
Zero on the telemetry monitors, no heart rhythm, asystole. Spike for compression.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  The body gets cold when there is no more blood pumping, no more heartbeat, no more brain waves; nothing to keep it warm.  Blood slowly slinks down to the lowest bend.  Becomes a bruise on the skin.  Absolute zero is the coldest theoretical temperature. No movement possible.  So cold, atoms cannot move.  Electrons cannot hum.  
                                                        The body becomes this. No life possible.
don't ya'll love this heavy **** I force onto you

— The End —