059

Am I just the bear,
drinking in the irony,
precariously free,
I don’t know

do you see both eyes open
in the dark
chasing down pictures
I paint from my madness
stop, stop,
I can’t hear over your
eyes, can’t hear over your
I don’t–

Am I just the bear
screaming out in agony
crawling for respite,
am I the hunter that seeks,
am I the gun?

Am I my own fall,
chin up for the shot
playing for a bullet to dodge
play it safe, I still want it all

back to back,
polar, bi–
so much bitterness?
never see behind me
just shame at the sight of me

taking turns basking in glows but
I never know who’s inside of me
can’t tell who is beside me.

057

I can’t think anymore
you’ve finally taken me down
a cup tipped over,
stalled out on all roads,
full in all this space,
I cant,
there’s no room

I don’t bet on it, but
I bet you know this
I’m embroidered by this scar tissue,
the maps you left on me
leading me to empty streets

I know you left me first
I hear your plans from other people
bury you in my anger
I guess we ruined everything

I had my feet on the ground
so sure, had my arms to the wind
thought I was so free
but running brought no sheath
to the dagger that you leave

you’ve finally found your out
leave me responsible for myself
leave me cluttered and spent

I chase you in my dreams
a fractured sort of sleep
maybe we miss each other
even if we had to go,
maybe it’s never leaving
if I can’t let you go.

055

I am on many lows
while you’re trying to go slow
now I’m kissed by sand and cold
bare skin flecked silver and gold

I keep my thumb against my throat
a blooming gun for my last note
flay to find the heart, so remote
miss it and I’d never really know

can’t find peace in my own head
tired enough to defer to you in bed
stay put so I’ll never make you cry.

049

you taught me to swim
so I wouldn’t drown
just enough,
enough to keep my head up

I felt your hand on my stomach
holding me up
but you were king of letting go
so I hated you the most

I guess you were trying me out
just seeing if I could ride it out
and I did, but
you said I’d never be enough

I’ll always be skirting the edge
afraid you’ll stay away
afraid you wont come and stay

I’ll always be skirting the edge
just enough to keep my head up
skirting the edge,
trying to give you up.

Stories From Growing Up: Patchy Relationship

When I was young, I would pull my hair out until I had bald spots. It helped me feel in control when I was anxious during the day, but most aggressively it happened when I couldn’t sleep. I knew it wasn’t good, but I couldn’t stop.

She was willing to come with me to see the hairdresser in order to lie about what was going on. Usually, something to do with trying to get sand out of my hair from the beach and pulling too hard.

She spoke to me about it once, to capitalize on my shame and feign ignorance as to why it was happening. The rest of her words were for everyone else, to pacify their concern.

I wasn’t able to stop until I was an adult and moved away.

044

I suspend and dream
hold my head to the deep
I think, I think,
just to breathe in
and out

tell me how
you want me to sleep
with one eye open
while you’re here

trick me, twist me
sedate me in your sea
until my skin becomes
the illusion of warmth

I could just leave
trailing my grief,
you could have minutes
and I could have miles.

042

You’re coated solid gold, the messiah,
and I’m inhaling the fumes from below,
you capture me in corners and open space
capture me, get bored and walk away

quizzical, to see if I know what you know,
the difference between trees, I don’t,
what you’re trying to get me to say, I don’t know,
your interest in me is just passing through
your interest in me is if you’re in the mood

It’s only fair to give credit where credit is due
you had me trying until it was what I couldn’t do
you had me dejected over everybody else
when they managed to win you,
the desired result, I bet I checked the right box

I have your particles in my heart,
gold flakes from resting in your mistakes
no more skirting by and holding my breath
yet, I find you on me all the time
sitting in the corner of my eye.

040

I know this story
you’ve told it before
you’re chasing, I’m running,
I can’t stick the landing, no
I can’t keep my feelings to myself

you crawl in while I sleep
entangled in my sheets
waking as a casualty, I
cant wash myself clean
can’t stop thinking now

Always seconds from the door,
just cradling the ignition,
just a few more boxes to move,
and there you are again
cracking your knuckles,
ready to break me in

This carousel sort of routine,
I can hear you telling me
you’ll never let me go,
never let me go,
and I sit on my horse
pray the path is straight
that I’ll escape

but you’re in my dreams every night
some phantom sort of sinner
and I, I just can’t keep you out
I can’t get off this horse.

Stories From Growing Up: Involuntary Holdings

Reason one we keep you inside:

You are an illegal immigrant. If the police come snooping around, they will take you away forever. You will be treated badly. You will be put in a prison where you eat out of a communal bin like a pig and get raped by the other inmates.

No, you cannot volunteer anymore.
No, you cannot go to school.
You need to stop going for walks.
Don’t answer the door.

You tell me you’re just doing the best you can.

You always had papers. I didn’t.

037

Remember all those plans I made,
those things that seemed like me
remember me kicking up smoke and losing my senses
while you stayed awake to pray 

Remember all those dreams I had
technicolour tuned to something better, I
had them for a breath and lost
left an empty shell of me

Remember the times you believed in me
when you believed it came naturally
you trusted a phasing moon, but
I was making impact craters,
ubiquitous and reckless

Was it flattery when you told me that
I finally seemed like me? 
Or did you mean to say that 
you resent what you hadn’t seen?

Was it true when you told me
it would take a force of nature,
a humbling sort of circus act
to be loved when I’m this way?