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Mar 2019 · 405
Emily Miller Mar 2019
I’m tired again,
And I’m not looking for invigoration.
I don’t want someone to make me feel young
I don’t want a shot of energy,
Unexpected adventure,
I want a soft place to land,
A pillow for my head,
Someone to caress my shoulders while I find a dreamy burrow to lay my mind down for sleep,
I want
Mar 2019 · 362
Windows of a Burning House
Emily Miller Mar 2019
No matter which window I look out of,
the world is still on fire.
gleaming with the orange-gold of
indiscriminate destruction.
When I was young,
I thought the framed oil paintings were real,
and enjoyed the pleasant, static serenity-
but one day,
I noticed a shadow glance across the edges of the curtains,
and when I parted them,
the glass was aflame.
Every bay,
every aperture,
glowing hot and chaotic,
apathetic to my plight.
I scoured the halls,
reached high on the basement walls,
searched the attic,
but every window framed the same vision-
a fatal inferno.
It wasn't until I caught fire myself that I realized-
the world is not on fire.
My house is.
Jul 2018 · 715
Moonlight Boy
Emily Miller Jul 2018
There’s a silhouette outside my eyelids and a deep, dark color that rose up out of a dream I had as a child.
There’s a forest green and a slow, methodical movement that suddenly becomes lithe and deliberate under the influence of art.
A small part of me recognized him from the visions I created as a child, but I never thought he’d come in the form of someone I love so much.
The best kind of love-
The kind that stays even when the weather is poor
And the roads are winding,
The real kind.
There’s no romance,
No flowery words,
But just like the man from my made-up narratives as a kid,
He’s sturdy
and he feels real.
I can read him and hear him and feel him even when the lights are low and life gets loud,
And he does just fine no matter what.
He survives.
Despite my desperation to escape the company of every other person,
Frantically crawling back to the solitude of my home,
I hesitate to leave his company.
Because friendship is the finest balm
For the singe of human emotion,
Moonbeams and a night breeze after the severe, summer sun.
That’s the truest kind,
The most authentic kind
Of love.
And when I dreamt man as a young girl,
I thought I’d find him under a jasmine arch,
At the end of the isle.
Instead I found him in a classroom,
And became his best friend.
Jul 2018 · 1.4k
There is No Mayan Alphabet
Emily Miller Jul 2018
On dusty streets leading from market to to the edges of a resort,
elderly men with three teeth beckon you.
The commercialized exoticism sweeps you up
and you hand over pesos
in exchange for a piece of parchment with hand-scrawled symbols...

There is no Mayan alphabet.
They'll tell you that they're writing your name,
you'll take it home and display it on a shelf next to framed pictures
of you and the family in Chichen Itza,
but nothing about it is real.
We never grow up and learn not to believe,
we just learn piece by piece what's real and what's not.
Children learn about the tooth fairy,
and mermaids,
teenagers learn about soulmates,
young people learn about their dreams,
but even as adults,
there are things we still believe in.

There is no Mayan alphabet,
and yet grown, educated people
pull coins from their pocket in an attempt to connect with a culture that seems too fantastic to be a part of reality.

There is no Mayan alphabet,
but people still believe.
They believe in utopias
and countries without debt.
They believe in world peace and infinite resources,
they'll write checks to conmen
and work for checks from them, too.
They believe in honest politicians
and perfectly healthy food.
They put stock in organic remedies
and all their trust in online articles,
and every time they think they've learned the way of the world,
they'll turn around,
and learn something new.
Adults may not believe in fairy tales,
but they will believe in the Mayan alphabet.
Jun 2018 · 572
Clay Pot
Emily Miller Jun 2018
My chest is a clay ***,
The kind with the round body and small mouth that your abuela hangs on the porch
And some obscure thing grows from it,
Brown in the winter,
Green in the spring…
My chest is a clay ***.
It holds in everything it needs to,
And it seems perfectly sturdy,
But when the insides get to be too much,
Or the weather gets to be too bad,
It shatters.

My chest is a clay ***,
And inside it is a growing thing.
I don’t know when it’ll become too much to contain,
Or when I’ll have to reach inside and take some out
In order to survive,
But I pray each day that its chalky exterior doesn’t become brittle
And crack.

My chest is a clay ***.
Jun 2018 · 624
The San Antonio Way
Emily Miller Jun 2018
Shadows move with my feet on the cobblestone
from the sunlight dancing on the picado banners
that stretch between buildings
And offer some reprieve
From the Texas sun.

The mouth-watering scent of pan dulce
Draws children to the glass fronts of the old bakery,
And they flit between sweet breads
And figurines of brilliant colors
Crowding stands run by elderly craftsmen and women with big smiles-

San Antonio,
There’s something in your streets.
Something binds me to your old, leaning buildings,
And the murals that decorate them,
San Antonio,

My first memories of reading
Reside on 600 Soledad Street
between the shelves of the Big Enchilada,
And dapple down through the glossy, colorful limbs
of its Chihuly spine.

You exist in the border between coastal plains and the hill country,
Mesquite trees and palm trees living side by side
Just as the German and Spanish settlements do,
The missions becoming as much a part of the land
As the Guadelupe.

With tequila on my tongue,
And boots on my feet,
I’m prepared to bask in the warmth absorbed by sandy loam
And breathe in the smell of elotas on a Sunday afternoon
To the sound of San Fernando’s bells,

Oh, San Antonio…
I’ve never wished for a better dwelling,
Even one with cooler summers
And smoother streets,
Oh, San Antonio…

I’d be a fool to leave you,
To call another home,
And I’ve never found myself foolish before,
So my dearest, sweetest, most proud San Antonio,
I am here to stay.
Jun 2018 · 498
The Invisible Shoebox
Emily Miller Jun 2018
Hat pulled low over my face, I pull the lever of the pump,
getting back in my car,
hands placed on the steering wheel as if I'm going to drive away while the gas is going,
I just sit.
Trying to clear my mind before the day.
That's when I see them.
A pixie-like little girl in denim and cotton,
tennis shoes untied and scuffed,
long hair trailing unkempt,
summer hair,
barely brushed,
she skips beside a man who is undoubtedly her father,
a serious-looking man dressed for a day of adventure,
the same nose as the sprite hopping along beside him.
At once,
I spiral into an invisible shoe box of photos...
then it's me with my hair down and my shoes untied and a big smile on my face as I accompany my father in the most mundane tasks.
Everything is an adventure with daddy,
everything is a game,
a brand-new experience ******* in shiny ribbons,
even if it's just going to the gas station.
They reappear from the store,
and the little girl excitedly pulls a bottle of chocolate milk from the plastic bag.
The colorful snacks look silly in the father's large, rough hands,
but he opens each package carefully,
handing her napkins,
and in her unrelenting grin,
anyone can see that she owns him heart and soul.
I shift uncomfortably in my mental shoe box,
and I see myself again,
overalls and a small bag of donuts,
licking the glaze from my fingers,
my father reaching over with a towel to wipe my face clean of chocolate glaze.
He chastises me, but he's smiling,
and he pops a donut into his mouth, too,
two best friends on a summer adventure,
nothing can stop our fun.
The father starts their rickety old suburban, and the little girl bounces excitedly in her seat, eager for their next stop. The mode of transportation could be a rusted row boat in the middle of a swamp,
but to her,
it's all a part of a beautiful memory that she'll never let go of.
And one day,
when her daddy is gone,
she'll drive up to the gas station in her own car
and sit in the driver's seat to take a breath,
and she'll see herself, fifteen years younger, prancing happily along her father's steady gait,
and she'll fall backwards into an unexpected
Jun 2018 · 978
Melissa, Queen of Bees
Emily Miller Jun 2018
Under the unforgiving summer sun, their small, winged bodies hover from one flowering plant to another, working tirelessly in the sweltering heat as we laze in the shade...

Their work is endless, the product harvested in minutes. Smoked into a stupor while we steal their treasures, and if some of them die, so be it...

Melissa, Queen of Bees,
revered before by human royalty and great innovators,

Melissa, Queen of Bees,
who connects life and death,
whose children killed the demon Arunasura in India,
and were prophets to the gods in Greece and Rome.

Melissa, Queen of Bees,
her bees fell from the sun in Egypt,
aided the first living man in Uganda,
and created man from the back of a mantis in the Kalahari Desert.

Melissa, Queen of Bees,
her children are the origin of magic in Eastern Europe,
a source of fertility and a connection to nature in North America,
and fierce, terrifying warriors in the South.

Melissa, Queen of Bees,
the Great Mother,
the root of being,
the bridge to the afterlife,
we owe her children our lives,
the least we can do is spare them their's.
Jun 2018 · 447
A Person
Emily Miller Jun 2018
I used to be a Glock 40,
my aim impeccable.
I made the decision,
I pulled the trigger,
I hit my target.
Lately, I've been a musket shot;
and somehow even more dangerous than usual.
I miss the center and wind up somewhere in the corner of the paper.
Dust flies from the shrapnel
where I used to have a single trail of smoke indicating the bullet, crumpled but whole,
placing a hole where I wanted it to,
and one unbroken shell, slightly charred,
dropping near my feet.
But here I am watching people take cover
as my pieces go flying, destroyed by my own chaos,
tearing anything and everything apart in its path.
I used to be deadly but precise.
Now I'm not sure what I am.
I'm certainly causing damage,
but more to myself than anyone else...
I confuse and startle people more than strike fear in them,
and that's insufficient...
I want to be better,
but I keep going off without warning,
and people avoid me to avoid getting hit,
but they're not scared,
they're simply learning,
and I don't know how I feel about that,
maybe I'm not a gun anymore,
maybe I'm the target,
I certainly feel like a piece of paper,
flimsy and vulnerable against the onslaught of lead,
blown to bits and drifting off in the cloud of dust...
maybe I don't want to be a gun anymore.
I certainly don't want to be a target.
Maybe I don't want to be a pistol
or a musket
or a bow or a knife or a clenched fist,
maybe I want to be a person.
Apr 2018 · 324
Sonnet 1
Emily Miller Apr 2018
The sound of stripping boughs stirs in a dream,
Leaves plucked and prepared for tapering steam.
Thy senses awaken, ravenous beasts,
Satiated by boiling, liquid feasts.
Darling china cups, looking sugar spun,
Perched, gathering dust, till the tea is done.
And the table must be clear for the drink,
Aside from the vases with rosebuds of pink,
Awaiting the whistle, too long to bear,
Silent, aside from the creak in my chair.
The kettle calls, I move, roused by the din,
And out, the nectar comes, hotter than sin.
Slowly it steeps, so graceful and tender,
Bitter and rich, it fills me with splendor.
Apr 2018 · 430
Mémoire de déesse
Emily Miller Apr 2018
Candlelight dancing off the rippling bathwater,
The steam rising off it with an aroma
So sweet,
From the herbs steeped in it,
I’m a goddess,
An empress,
And my nectar is the red wine
Chilled to my preference,
The delicate stem dangling from my fingertips
And I watch.
As the coolness drifts off the glass in lazy tendrils,
Dancing over the surface of the heated water.
I part my lips and exhale gently onto the curve of it
Until the twirling fingers of cold opposing the heat
Swirl desperately,
My breath is the master,
The air the puppet,
And I tilt my head at the first notes of a song that draws me back,
Back to a liason in the dark
With an exotic lover,
The French words slipping over my skin
As silkily as his lips did,
Each verse reminding me of how we celebrated those verses then,
Almost as I do now,
With my ambrosia and my rose petals dancing among sprigs of herbs on the water,
With an orchestra hailing my memory,
All by the light of countless,
Apr 2018 · 439
la bonté
Emily Miller Apr 2018
Your goodness is a rain shower,
the kind that happens on a sunny day
and makes people wonder-
Where on earth did it come from?
It descends from a bright blue sky,
nourishing the ground,
and cooling my hot, dry skin,
without casting a single shadow.
Crystal drops scatter light until the ground is greener
and the beauty in everything
goes from a whisper to a birdsong.
Where does your goodness come from?
Your nimble hands
as they run through your hair
or tap them pensively on your thighs?
Your lips,
parted in thought,
always prepared to question?
Your goodness is such that I've begun searching for it
in dark alleys
and scowling faces,
because your kind of goodness
comes as mysteriously
as rain from a cloudless sky.
Mar 2018 · 484
The Kruk and the Sun
Emily Miller Mar 2018
In the middle of summer,
at the end of a long day,
the kruk chased a white mouse up a tree.
The mouse chose the tallest tree in the grove,
but the kruk had flown far greater heights.
upon reaching the highest limb,
the kruk devoured the mouse
and rested
after its large meal.
As it sat,
the kruk,
for the first time,
noticed the rays of the sun,
and followed them with its eyes
to their origin.
The sun,
nestled in its hazy, pillowy throne,
shone with less enthusiasm as the day wore on,
and now,
it only gave the earth red and orange lights,
as if the Indian paints covered every inch of the ground.
The kruk marveled at the way the sun could decide what the people did and did not see.
The sun held so much power,
and so much generosity,
for it gave life to the plants
and joy to the animals
when it did not receive any in return.
The kruk took so much pleasure in the light
that it returned to the high branch every morning and every evening to greet the sun,
and although it did not speak,
the sun seemed to shine brighter
when the kruk sang for it.
The visits became longer,
even as the seasons changed
and the days became shorter.
The kruk basked in the warmth that the sun provided,
and lamented when it sank below the horizon
to be replaced with the deep blue illumination of the moon and her many children.
Though the moon was beautiful,
she did not hold the same beauty for the kruk that the sun did.
The kruk soon realized that it was in love with the sun.
Of all the birds in the trees, the kruk was the smartest,
and knew that this love was a difficult one,
but determined that it would join its lover regardless.
After filling up its belly with seeds and cool river water,
and resting well through the night,
the kruk took flight at the break of dawn.
Its love propelled it upwards,
and even as the air thinned,
and its wings weakened,
it flew on.
The sun grew more stunning the closer the kruk flew,
And its glossy black feathers,
Shimmering blue and purple,
Began to singe with the heat.
The creatures on the ground below protested when the kruk began to caw in pain,
But nothing could be done for the bird.
Finally, in a black, frantic streak,
The kruk descended,
Falling through the leaves like a stone in a pond.
It was days before the kruk returned to the high perch on the tree to greet the sun.
The sun continued to shine,
Rising in the morning,
And returning to the earth at night.
No rays were spared in mourning for the disappearance of the dear kruk.
When the kruk once again fluttered upon the well-worn bough,
The animals whispered,
“The sun is too far,
The sun is too hot,
And the kruk is much too weak.”
On the high branch, the kruk hung its head at their words,
And sorrowfully shuffled further down the branch
Into the shade of the tree,
Away from the bright, hot reminder
Of the sun’s unattainable touch.
At dawn the next morning, the kruk raised a matte black beak to the sky and let out a miserable caw.
There would be no union between the two,
Nothing to warm the kruk through the night.
The kruk extended its wings in surrender to despair, and took flight,
Driving its body into the sky until the air became unbreathable
And the clouds offered no protection.
The kruk ignored the burn rippling beneath its feathers and cried out to the sun,
A wild, grief-stricken call to be accepted by its deadly embrace,
And below,
The animals could see for a brief moment,
A shadow falling over the sun.
The animals gasped and looked away,
But for a few moments,
The sun’s shine was replaced with a melancholic glow.
A dark hole of blackness was cast,
Only a small ring of light twinkling around the edges of the sudden shroud,
And the wildlife shuddered in the unexpected coolness.
After its last cry,
The kruk never returned.
The animals do not speak of that day,
But once every century,
The earth remembers,
Covered in a darkness so complete,
That one can only think of a lost, forlorn disciple,
Flying into an unknown fire
And imploring it to love.
Mar 2018 · 298
My Gradual Demise
Emily Miller Mar 2018
From the boughs of trees
in the Garden of Eden,
a great, heavy serpent emerges.
Its countless muscular movements
up, along my spine,
lead to my tingling skull.
And there,
it fixes its fangs at the base.
I feel the venom catch the current of my blood and rush away with it,
and I'm paralyzed,
absently noting that I may soon die.
My speech is frozen in my mouth
as its cool, slippery sheath winds tighter
about my throat.
I blink away the weariness,
attempting to focus,
but its arrow of a head has arrived at my cheek.
Ah, there you are,
I say,
just as it unhinges its jaw,
and consumes me,
face first.
Mar 2018 · 554
Emily Miller Mar 2018
The smell of salt water invokes the image of the sea shore.
The flush of red in lips makes one feel lustful.
A rocking sensation reminds one of the comfort of the womb.
But here in this bar, the sight of that Jameson bottle on the wall makes me think of nothing
But you.
Unholy you,
With one hand brushing back unruly locks,
The other fiddling with a half-empty glass,
And that look on your face
Because you know exactly what’s going through my mind,
And that green bottle perched on a shelf.
The bartender tries to hand me my gin and tonic,
But my eyes hover above her hair,
On the dim haze of a gleam on the dusty glass,
And suddenly the haze becomes hazier,
Blurry with the unexpected moisture pooling in my eyes.
Because it’s not just from you anymore,
The **** thing is a part of me,
Because I’ll never forget when you said my eyes are the color of the glass,
Your favorite bottle,
With your famous mischievous grin,
But a softer look in your eye,
So that I know what you really mean.
It’s not just that subtle bottle green color,
It’s the fact that you can’t get enough.
Drink after drink thrown back,
And just like your glass,
You throw me down,
And you say
“I’m thirsty.”
You consume me as easily as you consume whiskey,
And I’m an essence in a bottle to you.
Bought and sold,
A commodity to be replaced,
Because you’re insatiable...
But as I stand here with my eyes on that bottle,
I realize…
I don’t want to be your addiction anymore.
Mar 2018 · 415
Red Lightning
Emily Miller Mar 2018
I want something to happen,
Something large,
Something new,
I want something to happen,
Something that will jar me out of this monotony,
Eject me into space,
Bursting through the atmosphere like a bird breaking the surface of the water on its way back up.
Red lightning,
I want red lightning,
Unexpected and violent,
Something I’ve never seen before
A person,
A thing,
An opportunity,
A new start,
A something,
Anything that will throw me,
Launch me,
Startle me,
Change me,
Or at the very least,
Make me feel.
Give me red lightning,
Find me some red lightning.
Mar 2018 · 455
Birds on a Boat
Emily Miller Mar 2018
The boat bobs with the rhythm of the ocean,
And it’s serene,
The motion mimicking that of a mother’s womb,
Out of my hands…
But everything is out of my hands,
Because I’m no bird.
Though not being a bird means
That no net ensnares me,
It also means that I cannot fly away from this place,
Right here on this wave,
On this boat,
In this sea.
I’m no bird,
And no wings will carry me,
No adventure awaits me,
I simply sit.
Emily Miller Mar 2018
Le jour où mon père est mort
I suppose I did a little, too.
Le jour où mon père est parti
A part of me left as well.
Mon père, il ne vouloi pas partir,
Mais ici nous sont,
Trois plutôt que quatre.
Le jour où mon père est mort,
Une l’oiseau a volé dans une fenêtre.
Il frappé une fenêtre.
Mon père guéri l'oiseau
Before his soul left the earth.
Et il a volé.
Mar 2018 · 445
Emily Miller Mar 2018
It’s time to talk about it,
It’s time to talk about the nightmares.
I’ve lived in fear of sleep for far too long,
A lifetime,
Struggling to make a home in my head
When it feels like a foreign country
A new one
Every night.

Something about my own mind makes me uneasy
Each time I lay down.
Something turns my stomach,
And I get a prickle under my skin.
I get cold and hot all at once,
And I can’t get comfortable,
And as sleep creeps over me like an island fog,
I shudder,
They’re coming.
The nightmares.

They don’t only come at night.
They come when they please,
As long as my guard is down,
And my subconscious at play.
They jimmy open the windows
And crawl in under the shadows.
And when they’ve arrived,
They seize me,
And I’m trapped in slumber,
Awake enough to be terrified of what they show me,
Just not enough to shake them out of my head.

Odd lights swing about as if fixed to the roof of a dancing house,
And bizarre scenes are partially illuminated in the infrequent light.
My memories betray me,
Morphing into something monstrous.
The worst of them-
My arms in a grip stronger than mine,
Cold eyes looking at me flatly
As words come out
Evil and wrong,
And me,
My father,
Dying in the living room,
Everyone prepared,
But no one ready,
And me,
Knowing what was to come from a dream sent to me,
Gentler than the rest…

They’re not always memories.
On occasion
My imagination runs hand in hand with my fear
And I become a victim to one crime after the next.
The villain is anonymous,
Or sometimes someone I know,
But they’re always armed,
Grinning cruelly as they berate me,
Hurt me,
**** me.
Natural disasters destroy my home,
Wars commence,
And animals speak,
Surreal chaos reigning
Until the ring of an alarm
Or a gentle shove
Awakens me.

My head throbs and my chest aches and the visions continue to play silently.
The nightmares fade excruciatingly slow,
A faint reminder that they will return again.
Emily Miller Mar 2018
In the dark of my room,
I lightly tap the pads of my fingers
against the smooth keys
of my typewriter,
Hoping that the gentle reminder
Will awaken my subconscious,
And the words will come.
The gentle trails of incense smoke
Drift drunkenly around me,
Like a haze of memories wrung out
And overused.
I sigh,
Accepting that I may require refueling,
Replenishing of the nourishment
On which my work sustains itself.
I stall,
Grasp for any last resource,
And when I find nothing,
I sigh,
Finally conceding.
I need it to write,
And I need to write to live,
And though writing makes it hard to stand the noise of human contact,
The ugly distraction of romance,
The sweaty, *****, selfish people,
That I have to smile at and touch.
I suppose I have no choice
But to face the war zone that is humanity
And collect.
I rise from my little desk,
Gather my coat,
And prepare,
To go out and experience.
In the outside,
I must laugh with others,
Hold a man or two,
Taste and feel and drop into every pool,
A pebble of disturbance,
And let the ripples unfurl new strings of words,
Lines and lines of poetry,
Bundles of stories,
Baskets of characters
Floating in on waves,
A long awaited reward
For an unpleasant,
Forging love,
Flowery romance,
For the sake of pulling and picking what I need
To color the pages of my work.
Back at my desk,
Weary from company,
My hands revive to complete my purpose,
The reason for my distress,
The thing that moves me,
But makes me want to be still,
What a suffocating paradox it is,
The unfortunate requirement of my condition.
Mar 2018 · 233
Ma Morte
Emily Miller Mar 2018
Ma faiblesse
C’est important a la structure de moi.
C’est la chair à mes os...
La faille dans ma structure
c'était ma mort.
Emily Miller Mar 2018
I used to be beautiful,
And warm with the glow of untouched purity.
Propped up on my stand, for all to see,
To admire,
To desire,
But not to play.
I can’t remember feeling before feeling the touch
Of your hands,
Rough and warm.
Beauty be ******,
I relished the newness of your grasp on my curves,
That first rush
As your fingertips glided down my polished body.
It wasn’t long before you found my strings,
And joy turned to fear-
Furiously yet gently,
You loosened my taut wires,
And a motion of sound filled my once blissfully hollow form,
And what came from me but an alien, lyrical cry,
Flying from my strings as your fingers danced across them,
And to my horror,
You smiled,
As you watched my misery unfold.
This sound,
Unheard before now,
Rang out my fears and my naked desires for all to hear,
I couldn’t stop you,
And my soul could not be stifled,
As you forced out of me a bitter song,
A tearful melody,
Of hopes unfulfilled
And a vital *****,
Stolen and unreturned.
One hand round my neck,
The other pulling most painfully at my delicate strings,
You played me.
You monster,
You kidnapper,
You mad musician-
Take me home,
Put me on a stand,
In my case,
Hide me away,
Let me go.
Release me from my tiring song,
In any way you must.
End it,
Before there’s nothing left,
Before I’m dust.
I already lament the death of my beauty,
My once unblemished wood,
Now splintered,
Warped by your unforgiving grasp.
And still my strings you play,
And with cruel dispassion.
Finish my song,
And don’t play me again.
If you must,
Destroy me,
So I can’t sing anymore,
Feel anymore,
Destroy me,
Obliterate me,
Shatter me,
Break me,
Against your counter,
Your headboard,
The wall,
Until I’m scattered across your floor,
Oh, **** me,
Anything to be silent again.
Emily Miller Mar 2018
Mon dieu, il est fait du mon amour,
Mes larmes,
Et mes mots.
Mon dieu, il est généreuse,
Mais non
Je ne suis généreuse pas tout de la temps.
En réalité,
Je suis égoïste,
Enfermé dans ma tête,
Avec ne concerne pas pour il.
J'aime le diable lui-même.
Je ne parle pas du le diable dans l’enfer,
Je parle du le diable assis au bar.
Le diable porte un manteau
Et peigne ses cheveux avec ses doigts.
Ce diable tient une tasse de liqueur en un main
Et mon coeur en l’autre main.
Le diable a des yeux de noir
Et lèvres qu'on ne peut pas résister.
Je pleure mes mots,
Larmes de whisky
Dans le votre tasse.
Il est ma destruction.
Emily Miller Mar 2018
I’m relieved that you’re not here.
Though I’ve never seen you here before,
I sort of expect you to be,
Because the memory of you follows me wherever I go.
Slipping noiselessly through the door
Into the din of the bar,
With a perpetual cloud of smoke clinging to you,
Highlighting your phantom affect.
I don’t think I could handle it,
Seeing you here.
Visions of you already plague me
Without seeing you
In person,
Sitting before me
Balancing on the back two legs of your chair,
Heavy leather boots crossed at the ankles,
Rocking on your long, lean, jean-clad legs.
I don’t think I could handle it,
Hearing you order your Jameson,
One hand in the pocket of your long black coat that grazes the floor when you sit,
The other wrapped around your glass,
And although the smell suffocates me,
Sometimes I sit out on the smoker’s deck and breathe in the smell of burning tobacco,
And if I’m particularly desperate to feel your presence without succumbing to the need to call,
I order it.
But see,
I can’t actually call you and ask you to come,
Because you will.
And if you ghost through the threshold with your paint-stained hands casually shoved in your pockets,
And give me that gut-wrenching,
Heart-stopping grin,
I’ll die.
Because death is the only way to avoid my incessant need to be near you.
Even now,
Knowing that your insides are just as coal-black as your eyes,
I yearn for the feel of your broad shoulders flexing and rolling beneath my fingertips, my hands running over the expanse of your chest,
Seeking entrance beneath your shirt
As if I can feel the tattoos that lie beneath.
The neck,
The jaw,
The parted lips,
Everything I’ve kissed and caressed a thousand times,
I know I would do the same a thousand more,
If I got the chance.
So thank God that you’re not here.
Because if I caught one glimpse of your irresistible, impossibly soft, dark locks
Falling over your severe, furrowed brow,
Mussed by the wind
And from your fingers running through it over and over,
To the envy of my own,
I would burst at the seams,
It’s a good thing you’re not here.
Mar 2018 · 517
Emily Miller Mar 2018
This is a love letter
To the African-American community.
Black, if you wish,
Or simply “neighbor”.
To the African-American community-
My people would not be here if it were not for you.
Here as in alive,
Not as in the states,
Because we came to the states to be alive,
Something that would not have been possible back home,
But you helped us stay that way,
When our trades were not accepted
By soft-palmed,
People of the US.
When we came here to escape death and oppression,
We were welcomed not by the blonde-haired, blue-eyed people we saw in the advertisements from the war,
We did not step off of the boat and into the arms of the benevolent angels we had heard of,
We came to America and found you.
African-American community,
At the time,
You hardly had a home to give,
And yet you offered it to us when we had none.
Your culture was ravaged by war and slavery,
And yet you encouraged us to preserve our’s.
African-American community,
My people came here with no English and no education,
And to the residents here,
The two are synonymous.
My family,
Though skilled in trades handed down by generations of people in our tribe,
Father to son,
And mother to daughter,
Our traditions were passed down,
But when we arrived in the new world,
We were like babes in arm,
Hardly knowing how to walk.
African-American community,
This is a thank you,
For taking my people by the hand and pressing their fingers into the soil,
Teaching us how to coax life out of it.
Teaching us how to translate our language of terracing in the mountains
To sowing in the fields,
When none would take us for work,
Season after season
Of my family hushing the mother language off the tongues of our children
So that they would sound less foreign,
More American,
Black community,
You taught my family how to prepare for a blistering Texas heat,
When they were built to withstand an Eastern chill.
Black community,
You showed my people what it was like
To build a life from the ground,
The strange,
American ground,
You took my people and led them out of the darkness of oppression and corruption
And into the light of the real American dream,
The one where people who have been beaten into the earth can rise up like a Phoenix.
Black community,
You showed us what to do with the dirt and the sandy loam
Until we built upon it churches,
Harvested from it sustenance,
And within it,
Buried our dead.
Black community,
This is a love letter,
Because love is the only reason I can think of
As to why you had mercy on my battered, broken people,
Accepting our calloused hands in thanks,
As we had nothing else to offer.
This is a thank you,
From the small, inconsequential non-natives,
Round and sturdy,
And the savage language with unfamiliar roots,
From my people,
With un-American eyes,
Coal-black and slanted,
Thank you,
On behalf of my ancestors for the actions of your’s,
Thank you.
Your people were not the ones that struck the beads and herbs from our hair,
Snatched the language from our lips,
And took the ribbons tied to our shoulders and wrapped them ‘round our throats,
Choking the accent out of our mouths,
That was not you.
Within God’s walls,
Moj Boze,
Ti Bok,
The ones built on the ground you brought us to,
We are told not to condemn the descendants of those who hurt us,
But to praise that of those who did not.
So here I am,
Writing you a love letter
Because all I have to offer
Is my thanks.
My people,
Though Americanized
And void of the language and traditions that they were told to abandon,
Stand strong today,
And I,
A woman,
Just as stout and ungraceful as the tribe that bore me,
I am educated.
I not only learn English,
But I master it.
I earn my money and I keep it,
No man takes it from me,
Or refuses to sell me land because I am unmarried,
No government can remove me
And ****** me into a camp
Or a foreign country where I will not be a bother,
And although my people have been stripped of their name and placed under the color-coded category of person
On the spectrum that everyone seems to abide by,
Stood by us.
Thank you.
Mar 2018 · 1.6k
Four Leaf Clover
Emily Miller Mar 2018
Four years old.
Four years old is the perfect age
To know enough about yourself
And not enough about the world.
To know everything you absolutely need to know
Before the world strips it away
And replaces it with a fake sort of knowing.
Four years old,
Old enough to recognize something that will drive you
For the rest of your life.
Four years old was I,
And four years old was he,
My Mattie,
When we met in the sticker-burr ridden play yard
Of a daycare,
And at four years old,
We became peaceful companions,
And just a bit more odd,
Than the rest.
At four years old,
Mattie had a silliness about him,
And a funny way of talking through his missing teeth.
At four years old,
We avoided the violent, flying swings and sprinting, shrieking children,
And we scoured the outskirts of the yard
For four leaf clovers.
Mattie was a four leaf clover.
And found by chance.
Because Mattie’s silliness and funny voice and missing teeth
Were not simply because we were four years old,
But because
Mattie came from a mom
Who couldn’t stop.
Mattie’s mom couldn’t stop doing drugs,
Not for a single day.
Not when her belly swelled with Mattie inside,
Not when he came into the world,
Breathing the air she did,
Drinking the milk she made,
Mattie’s mom couldn’t stop.
He was buried beneath clusters of clovers,
And his four, perfect leaves were nearly withered away,
When his parents found him.
His parents,
Two incredible women,
Who had so much love in their hearts,
They couldn’t help but let it overflow
Into the cup of a small child with bright eyes and dwindling breath.
My four leaf clover,
Is happy today.
No longer four years old,
But a man,
Is about to be a doctor.
My four leaf clover,
Who looked to his mothers like the most beautiful child that was ever born,
With the sharpest wit
And the most brilliant smile,
At the end of the day,
Is simply another clover.
His beauty and his value,
Are what we give him.
His rarity, his singularity,
Is something we create,
Something we fashion for him
Out of love and acceptance.
To this day,
I lean down and examine patches of clover,
The image of Mattie,
Gently counting leaves with chubby, toddler fingers,
Burnt into my memory.
And to this day,
I hold in my heart the hope,
That I will meet a child,
My own Mattie,
My own rarity,
My own treasure,
My own little four leaf clover.
Feb 2018 · 294
Emily Miller Feb 2018
Pour tout l’amour que je t'ai donné,
Pour tout moi patience,
Pour tout l’honnêteté,
T’ai m’a rien donné.
Feb 2018 · 26.2k
My Father Walked Me
Emily Miller Feb 2018
My father walked me down the aisle,
But my mother held my arm.
He went with me,
But we went not towards the altar,
But towards the door.

My father walked me down the aisle,
And the ***** rang through the church,
Humming through the elaborate crown molding,
Carved by my ancestors.

He went,
Not beside me,
But before me,
And I watched,
As he was illuminated by the bright,
Texas sun.

My father walked me down the aisle,
But I did not wear white.
My father walked me in silence,
And I shed tears not for a man standing at the altar,
But for the one I would never see again.

My father walked me down the aisle,
And no veil obscured my face.
All eyes were upon me, but not for my pristine beauty,
Instead for my clenched jaw and furrowed brow,
Severe and fierce to distract from my glassy eyes.

My father did not leave me at the end of our walk to sit beside my mother.
She clung to me for support and sobbed breathlessly,
And I carried her with one hand,
My sister the other,
And walked towards my future.
A future family,
Not one person more,
But one person less.
I walked,
One final time,
With him.

My father walked me down the aisle,
And I will never forget it.
Hundreds of eyes isolating my family from the crowd,
Slow and muffled sounds drowning in the deafening beat of my heart,
Blurred faces staring,
Black heels clacking against the cobbled path from the church,
The anguished wails of my mother,
The whimpering of my sister,
And the wooden box that glided before us,
A string tied to our patriarch,
The pin key of our family,
Pulled taut and then snipped with the slam of the hearse doors.

My father walked me down the aisle,
Before I had a chance to grow up.
He walked me,
Out of the church,
Away from the altar,
Never to be walked again.
Feb 2018 · 305
Haved for Fourteen Years
Emily Miller Feb 2018
Fourteen years seems
like a long time
when you haven’t lived very long.
And it is.

But more than that,
It’s a long time,
Not to tell someone that they have you.

But no,
Not own,
Like a car or a house,
Just have,
Because have means that it’s there,
But you don’t necessarily possess it.
But even though it’s just “to have”,
Fourteen years is a bit long to be so very “haved”
Without telling someone that they have you.

I know it’s not a word,
At least not in this context,
But most people can relate,
I think,
To the feeling of being haved.
The feeling of being tied,
As a Bronte once said,
From under one’s left rib,
To a similar place in another’s frame.
The feeling of knowing that if I’m ever to sacrifice myself to the eternal flames of matrimony,
It would only be for him.

And he’ll never know,
Of course,
Unless I tell him,
That he had me on the first day of school,
A new district, a new life,
Confused and concerned,
Scared of the newness,
And all of the sudden there he was,
Wearing lopsided glasses and a lopsided grin,
Perpetually wrinkled clothes from running wild,
And me,
Nose in a book,
Incapable of noticing him had it not been for that impossible, infectious laugh.

He had me,
When he grinned and offered friendship,
Something I was unfamiliar with,
And he’s had me every day since,
Even after the turmoil of childhood,
Deaths and epiphanies,
An engagement ring,
And numerous loveless nights,
He still has me.

I’ve been “haved” from the moment we met.
Haved by the way he says my name,
Haved by the dopamine that floods my veins every time he’s near,
Haved by the silliness that returns me to grade school,
Third grade,
Playground dust on the palms of my hands,
Tossing rocks to him under a mesquite tree,
And here I am,
Already a woman,
Yearning to be a mother,
A matriarch,
Something more,
Something solid,
And yet I’m still haved by him in every way but one-
I don’t have him back.
He’s haved by everyone but me.
Dedicated to anything and everyone that happens to have him at that time,
But no matter what I do,
No matter how hard I try,
I’ll never have him
As much as he has me.
Feb 2018 · 598
En français
Emily Miller Feb 2018
Je suis littérature,
Mais en français.
Je suis les mots écrits,
Mais en français.
Je suis art de la langue
Mais en français.
Je suis comme le français;
Fait d'esthétique,
Sans signification.
Feb 2018 · 274
The Truth Is
Emily Miller Feb 2018
We lament,
our woes,
our naked ring fingers,
and our cold mattresses,
we indulge in our vices
justifying the gluttony
with broken hearts.
My comrades and I
we bond over the futility of love,
the battle that is romance,
and in coming together,
we make one another strong,
condemning the ignorant male swill for their lust,
their objectifying ways,
their Godless, scheming hearts
that leave no room for us,
and we bemoan
the fault that keeps a man from binding himself to a woman
But the truth is...
I love it.
I smile inwardly as I spin lies that keep me in my cups without question,
and at home in peace without argument.
I nod in affirmation as my acquiantances curse the carnal seed that brought man forth,
but the truth is,
I love it.
Primal nature
is far more satisfying to me
than the boring, blustering outsides
of a man with no personality.
The tedious conversation required by polite society,
and the obligation to know him,
no matter how Nothing he may be...
The truth is,
I would rather create an adventure,
something to truly stimulate my senses,
something to rouse the animal in me,
as opposed to tranquilizing my *****.
The truth is,
when a man releases me from his embrace,
a rush of endorphins thrusts me into the streets,
and I fly through the night like Margarita on her broomstick,
wild and unfettered,
pink-cheeked and laughing,
naked and free...
the truth is,
there's a thrill,
in taking a man,
giving him what he thinks he wants,
taking what you need,
and ending with the drop of a guillotine,
and the blade never dulls,
the game never loses its charm,
and the truth is,
I never tire of it.
Feb 2018 · 324
Play Pretend
Emily Miller Feb 2018
Let's play pretend,
like two kids in grown up clothes,
saying grown up words,
in our grown up voices.
Let's play pretend,
the way we did when we were kids,
and we'd say the things
we think we're supposed to say to sound
grown up,
adult and mature,
not small enough,
vulnerable enough,
to get hurt.
Let's fake it like it won't be painful
when we go on our way
and finish our busy,
big kid schedule.
Feelings get hurt just as easily as they did
back when they accompanied skinned knees
and tree houses.
Just because we tell ourselves what to do now
doesn't mean we tell ourselves right,
just because we can say how we feel now,
doesn't mean we say it then,
and just because we don't get in trouble for the truth now,
doesn't mean we don't play pretend.
Feb 2018 · 373
Emily Miller Feb 2018
Under the cover of night,
A savagery blossoms in everyone,
Thriving in the privacy of darkened corners
And behind locked doors.
Inhibitions are lost,
And veils removed,
And the arching,
Wild things emerge.
There is one exception,
A predator that sinks into the shadows
And observes.
One who calculates every movement,
And plans,
How to create the perfect night.
As the moon inches closer to the horizon,
And the purple of the dawn
Begins to rise,
The predator manipulates her prey into the necessary positions,
Guiding them into the right movements,
To say the right things,
And rewarding,
For following her rules.
“Sometimes I wish that I were like the other
Animaux de noir
So that I could release myself,
Instead of cinch
And draw in
But meticulousness is all I know
And to design
Does not keep one warm.
I must plot every second,
Every reaction,
And list the rules for my prey.
Take away their sight
Their speech
Their movement,
And once they know the isolation of the sensation of touch
Without control,
Without authority,
They may earn them back,
One by one,
Until they can give me a definitive answer.
What is it that you want?
What do you need the most?
What do you want to do first?
And what will you do last?
They plead to give me what I already knew they would give,
To do the things that all before them have done,
Because they are puppets,
They’re easy,
They’re all ****** to be the same,
And I,
Night after night,
Will remain
Just as meticulous.”
Feb 2018 · 214
At Least
Emily Miller Feb 2018
In the folds of romance,
Lingering too long,
You made a passtime
Of treating me wrong,
Returning endearments,
With apathetic remarks,
Exchanging devotion
With inconsistent sparks,
But I clung to you fiercely,
And gave you acquittal,
I felt far too much,
But at least I said little.
Jan 2018 · 309
Hands Out of the Window
Emily Miller Jan 2018
The drive is scheduled,
how I work,
when I work,
who I work for.
The destination is scheduled,
when I get there,
how long it takes,
why I go,
what keeps me there until
what time.
It is all a matter of a predetermined schedule that
in the end
is not about me.
And yet it is my time that is being spent.
Every aspect of my
and "independent" being
is secured tightly to a slowly sinking ship by miles and miles of red tape,
layered thickly around me.
It is an artificial creation,
and yet completely outside of my control.
Removing it's meaning
does not release me from it's binding,
just as senseless ******,
is still ******.
So as I sit in the driver's seat,
a passenger in my own life,
I roll down the window,
and extend one hand,
allowing the brisk air and bracing wind to sting me
lifting me,
and I imagine the wind picking me up and taking me somewhere else,
if only to have the mask of authority removed,
and truly capitulate.
More than anything,
I reach out for something so shockingly cold
with such a great force
simply to feel something.
Jan 2018 · 508
Emily Miller Jan 2018
a haze of mist pins the cold to the ground.
Moving through it gathers the moisture on my brow
and it drips,
so slowly that it gathers the heat and salt from my skin
and it feels familiar,
as familiar as my own tears.
So familiar is it
that it's almost a comfort
and I do not wipe them from my cheeks.
The heavy air muffles sounds,
transporting me back to my childhood
when broken ears muddled every note,
and I am lulled,
my walk sways,
my coat warms,
and the slow shuffle through grass
in my worn, leather boots,
becomes as comforting as the gentle undulation
of a rocking chair
or a mother's womb.
A healthy musk wafts upwards when my boots cut through the hay on the floor of the coop,
and the content clucking of the hens encourages me,
my hands rooting through the wood shavings,
and there they are,
smooth and shaped to perfection,
the rich brown that makes my stomach grumble in anticipation.
I place my treasures in the folds of my skirts,
and turn to leave,
sighing as I acquiesce to a return to a harsher realm,
far beyond my dear, grey faery world,
with lichen-covered tree bark,
and wordless creatures for company.
Dec 2017 · 366
You Don't Look Like It
Emily Miller Dec 2017
And then they looked me
up and down
and said
you don't look
Dec 2017 · 414
Little Me
Emily Miller Dec 2017
For Little Me,
My little copy,
Who’s not so little
Any more.
To little me,
Who’s growing up,
And becoming a strong,
And beautiful woman.
I tell you now,
Little me,
Don’t look at my expression
When I scroll through pictures of myself.
Don’t watch me cringe
When I look at the scale,
Or listen to my mumbled sentiments
Of self-hatred
After I indulge in something rich
And flavorful.
Don’t take after me,
Little Me.
You’re far too precious.
More precious to me
Than I am to myself
To do what I do
When I look at myself.
Little Me,
I hear you in the store.
Where you used to twirl in colorful outfits in front of the mirror,
you now turn with a look of disdain,
And comment on the fit,
The tucks and curves,
And places that don’t look quite right to you.
Little Me,
When I look at you,
You must understand,
I see a stunning young lady,
Blossoming into grace and radiating joy.
You are a burst of sunlight in a dark room
When you giggle
And grin
And greet everyone with equal love and respect.
What others see
Is not what you see
And life is too short
To tend to imaginary flaws.
Bask in your qualities,
Your bountiful,
I want you to see the same rosy cheeks,
Spun-copper hair,
And elegant, powerful height
That I do.
I want you to see yourself
With all of the love that I have for you,
Little Me.
My perfect,
Little Me.
Dec 2017 · 302
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Love me!
The mirror cried,
And I looked away in shame.
Dec 2017 · 428
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Ashes to Ashes
And Dust to Dust,
Passion and passion
From dusk to dusk,
I wake up gasping,
your name on my lips,
Between hazy dreams,
Settling between my hips.
Where some nights I writhe
Because I’m Wound far too tight,
In your arms, I move
Because it feels far too right.
If I had any sense
Of self-preservation,
I would release myself
From this sinful gratification,
But even in the safety of solitude,
All my morals neatly strung,
The first thing I crave
Is your taste on my tongue.
It matters not what I know in my brain,
In my head,
Dreams bring your most depraved needs
To your bed.
Night is a strange time,
The space between day,
But not even sunrise,
Keeps the darkness at bay.
The longer I wait,
Delaying my fall,
The faster I’ll expect you
To pick up my call.
Dec 2017 · 353
The Ugly Glass
Emily Miller Dec 2017
The texture of the glass is rough with blemishes,
convex with swells of adipose tissue
and spotted with stray hairs.
The occasional splotchy flush
on the sallow complexion
is just enough to suggest life
but not in the right locations
to suggest beauty.
The glass sneers.
The glass snarls.
It takes handfuls of its dull, lanky hair
and yanks,
as if with one tug, the entire image could come to a screeching halt
like the break line on a train.
It's a hideous image,
but it doesn't frighten like a vision of a monster.
it insights a painful tug in the chest cavity,
an ache,
a slow, throbbing pang
that lengthens with every glance.
Nothing feels quite as horrible
as the realization
that even if the glass breaks,
comes to the floor
and splinters,
Its duplicate will still exist.
In me.
Dec 2017 · 756
I'm a Damn Queen
Emily Miller Dec 2017
I will not be afraid,
in dark alleys
or empty parking lots.
I will not be afraid,
when the predatory glances
grow furtive
and purposeful.
I'm not a girl,
I'm a woman,
and I don't smile,
I glow.
Everything about me,
from the shine of my hair,
to the dirt on the bottom of my heels
is regal from the moment it touches me.
Because I'm a queen,
and I was born to reign.
The alleys are my red carpet,
theatre seats are my throne.
Nothing that I set eyes on is allowed to alarm me.
Inside of me,
I carry a miracle,
an ability beyond the comprehension
of the opposite ***,
and outside of me,
I am disguised as a mere mortal.
I'm capable of going to battle
with the wildness and ferocity of a pride of lions,
and returning home to grace my loved ones with a softness that is so tender
so unconditional,
that it could **** with it's heart-aching gentleness.
I'm capable of whatever I wish,
creating life,
or taking it.
I'm capable of building civilizations
and destroying them.
I am a queen.
Whether I am a queen in a smart suit and stilettos,
or a queen in sneakers and sweats,
I'm a queen.
So fear me,
love me,
and be warned-
I refuse to bow to the evil that has been committed against my kind before.
I refuse to bow to the terror.
I refuse to bow at all.
I'm a queen.
I'm a **** queen.
Dec 2017 · 376
Desert Boy
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Cracked lips,
starving for just a drop,
running my tongue over them,
hoping that you'll grace me with a few dark clouds,
a rain shower,
no matter how brief.
The crackling lightning and thunder
would be a welcome consequence
to the desperate vying for your attention.
I drag my anguished limbs across the expanse of your sand and clay floor,
wavering between a hope for an end,
and a hope that if I keep going
and prove myself,
that you'll put me out of my misery yourself.
Your sun beats down on me with a hot weight
that I've grown used to.
In the distance,
visions of lush, green-dusted mountains dance,
but I learned long ago that they remain at the same distance,
no matter how far I walk.
I've had fantasies of shimmering lakes
and Edens full of colorful blossoms and succulent fruits,
but despite my hunger,
despite my thirst,
and despite the aches that burden my body,
the most beautiful delusion I've succumbed to,
is one of you,
appearing before me,
and holding out your arms in that perfect, sweet embrace,
knowing that it would relieve my every ailment.
Dec 2017 · 712
Bowl of Rotting Fruit
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Sometimes a single apple
Can ruin the whole lot.
and shiny
and ruby-red,
crumbling into bruised wrinkles
and spotty, brown lumps.
Before long,
the bowl is brimming with the sundown of a harvest's life,
and flies begin to swarm.
And even when some are left,
bright and fresh,
newly ripe,
I won't go near them,
for fear of turning them over and finding the ugly,
evidence of their flaws.
Just like the others,
almost worse,
because they allow for an optimism,
in your hunger,
you allow the glimmer of hope
and reach for one
But no,
it's just like the others,
only deceptive,
pretending to be something that can satiate your needs,
when in truth,
it's just another piece of rotting fruit.
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Walking outside, I feel the cold before it really hits me.
The loneliness of the campus after night class amplifies the bone-deep chill sweeping between cement buildings.
It’s nights like these that are the worst for my memories of you.
This liminal season, the bridge between fall and winter, is ruled by you.
The rough texture of your wool coat
brushing against my soft cardigans and billowing scarves,
the opaque black of your irises apathetically gazing down
into my upturned, wide-open ones,
liquid chocolate and trusting.
These are the things that plague the colder nights,
particularly when I’m on my own.
The evening drizzle descends and ****** my skin, as if trying to drive the memories deeper.
**** you.
I try to shake off the droplets, but they cling to my clothing, unwilling to let go.
Part of me pretends that when I arrive at my car
and turn on the heat
and the steady thrum of the engine drowns out the silence of solitude,
that the memories this weather brings will fade away.
But I know that's not true.
I want you.
Even now.
With the knowledge that behind your charming, lopsided smile,
you're a disorganized monster,
I should be able to tamp down the recollections,
like weak, sizzling embers.
Instead, they flood into me as the rain grows colder,
and I grow more numb.
Images of you,
unruly, wind-blown locks,
just begging for my caress.
You scent clings to you, a heady mixture of old books,
and tobacco.
From your lips, your cigarette dangles as if it belongs there,
taking a drag with all the nonchalance of a person slowly killing themselves,
and enjoying it.
In this particular memory,
I stand beside you,
as opposite from you as one can be.
The scent of the jasmine oil I bathe in floats on the wind, wafting off of my soft, pink scarf,
and my white coat conceals every inch of my body, from neck to knee.
But you,
your coat wide open,
gaping in the wind,
reveals the taught, black t-shirt  underneath,
narrowing into long, lean legs,
that I can't forget,
can't forget what they look like crossed,
stretched out in front of you as you lean back in your chair.
I'll never forget that image.
And, unfortunately,
I'll also never forget the sound of you
saying that I'm not enough.
Your tone suggests that I'll never be enough.
And it's not a rejection of my affection.
Just a fact.
I'm not enough.
When you're near,
I can have what I want from you.
But it's a passive action,
and no matter what I take from you,
it always feels as though I'm the only one giving.
And of course
that I'm not enough.
Reaching my car, I fish for my keys,
the familiar fluttering of my chest reminding me that I'm not safe,
a woman lingering alone in a parking lot,
but soon, I'm in the comfort and safety of my car.
The intimate and achy feeling of being somewhere I know,
but still feeling unwelcome,
I sigh,
my breath coming out in a cloud of vapor in the cold, stale air of the car.
Even here, visions of you appear out of the corner of my eye,
vibrating with the hum of the radio,
and yet another memory crawls up my throat.
reaching for me,
because you've succumbed to the ferocity pumping in your veins
and clawing your fingers,
digging into my hips and my hair,
with complete disregard for the ornate pins holding it up.
The windows are frosted with our breath,
and from the speakers croons an indie singer,
singing something about her self-worth,
because "what good is she
if she can't speak her mind?"
At the time,
my only concern was how to steal your words and your breath,
straight from your lips,
but now,
I think back,
as I peer through the downfall on my muddled windshield,
and wonder...
what good am I?
If I'm not enough for him,
what good am I?
If I'm not enough for anyone,
what good am I?
Dec 2017 · 437
Emily Miller Dec 2017
Little white lights and little white pills,
Hoping they both do something for the memories sloshing around in my head,
**** them like bacteria?
Little bit of alcohol,
Shrivel them up with that bitter bitter,
***** ‘em out with my head under water,
Voice out far,
I’ll put on a show,
Strutting around on that hardwood floor,
Emerge stage right, through a prop door,
Blow a kiss to the crowd
At the end of the show,
If I pretend hard enough,
They’ll never know.
But won’t they,
If they find the empty, orange vials,
While I’m caking on stage makeup,
All the colors of denial,
And they know those aren’t tic tacs in my bathroom sink,
And it’s not apple juice
In my iced down drink,

But I can stand up, dress up, and play with the rest of them,
Run with the best of them,
Binding my panic in,
Tangled up in mic wires
And hair pins
As long as I medicate
Don’t communicate
And wrap it all up
Wind it all in
Nice and tight,
Not a hair out of place,
Big smile on my face,
That’s it,
Maybe that’ll do it,
Maybe I’ll get better this time.
Nov 2017 · 196
Black and White Rosaries
Emily Miller Nov 2017
Fighting every step my feet take past the heavy, wooden doors,
my own sharp, shallow breaths the only sound,
interrupted by the scrawl of my name on the gilded book.
Tunnel vision,
it's a real thing after all.
I can't even tell if there's anyone else here,
I can only see the blurry faces of the dejected couple
who grow closer
as I will my legs to keep moving,
moving closer.
I'm not sure if I want to see.
I heard it was horrific,
how are they going to cover that up?
I pause by the couple.
I'm morbidly curious about the way they look,
faces blotched with the discoloration of relentless sadness.
I peel my gaze away at the sound of a familiar tune.
From the soft, dusty speakers in the corner plays a song
one I'd tried to forget for the past few days.
As the strumming of a ukulele layers over the breathy voice,
I close my eyes and allow,
the image to appear fully.
There he was,
seeming to bring a light to the dimly lit wings of the stage,
plucking at the little instrument,
and crooning away.
Around him, gathered, would be his delighted peers,
their usual, foul teenage spirits lifted by his magnetic presence.
Opening my eyes, the colors fade away to the dull browns of the pews and the oak box before me.
With a shuddering breath,
I advance.
Despite the numerous times I've done this in the past,
it never disturbs me any less.
And this time,
I'm extremely aware that just moments ago,
we were children together.
It's wrong, the image of him emerging over the edge of the box
as I come nearer.
It's wrong,
seeing the most active boy I've ever met,
lying so still.
It's wrong,
seeing a somber expression on his face,
already crinkled with laugh lines.
It's wrong,
whispering my goodbyes,
when I've always shouted to him,
from the stage,
from the audience,
across the courtyard,
singing with him.
It's wrong,
to see him in his stone grey suit,
his ashen knuckles clasped around
black and white rosaries.
death black white rosary religion funeral suicide sadness loss
Nov 2017 · 272
Naissancé Porcelaine
Emily Miller Nov 2017
Se casse
se brisé
comme des os
ou on verre
je ne guéris pas
parce que je ne suis pas
de chair,
je suis fragile
je suis fait de porcelaine.
Je suis une mosaïque de fissures
et défauts.
On peut dire
je suis né brisé.
Nov 2017 · 221
Emily Miller Nov 2017
Finis, *****.
Nous sommes le finis.
We're done like a bad movie
that's not bad enough to gain a cult following.
Finis, *****.
When you die,
I'll cheat on my diet,
because it'll be worth the calories
to celebrate.
I hate you that much.
Nov 2017 · 366
Apple Seeds
Emily Miller Nov 2017
Apple seeds,
Apple seeds,
I want to put them in your mouth.
Pop them past those parted lips,
instead of put them in the ground.
Pretty, dark red beads,
nestled in their hollows,
I'll feed them to you everyday,
through all your highs and lows.
Despite the fate I've wished on you,
you're still feeling fine,
so stick out your little tongue, my dear,
because it's time to dine.
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