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.

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.

034

I counted the days since you left
until I could not count anymore

You`re the one who told me
I was going to be great
a fondness for the candour,
my scathing sort of wit

I counted the days since I last saw you
until the numbers stopped coming

credit where credit is due,
I gave my life all to you
the power of dreaming
with this empty feeling
I am because of you

I buried your last words
so deep I couldn`t hear them
my heart sinks to your faith
god, I wish you could stay

you were the place
where being believed wasn`t
so unbelievable at all

I counted the days since I last saw you
until it was just our moments
coming

until it was our moments leaving.

Stories From Growing Up: If I Could Go Back

“We were just having a conversation about what she would change if she could do this all over again.”

he looked at me in that calculating way, savouring the moment. Like there was a pleasure in delivering something that only served to cause pain. As if he felt there was righteousness in chipping at my self-worth, never letting me build it back up.

I was prepared. He got nothing from me because I knew the answer years before it came out of his mouth. I felt it before he ever put it into words.

“If she could change it…She wouldn’t have had you.”

I am a product of regret. I will never have to explain that feeling again.

030

Here comes that dropoff again,
an underwater ledge
I’m always prepared to swim
so I can get around to sinking

it’s just the way you scratch my back
and tangle my spine
and I’ll sit upright unable to speak
a holdout I will always lose

I catch my breath too slow, I know
can’t take your weaponized observations
choking on sips that feel like spite
throat closing on some cherried lies,
another monkey in the cage

I’m radical and unruly
the crazy and wild,
twisted to your spinning lies
the burden is not my mistake
but you’re here to load the weight

but I am fickle, a pending explosion
a timebomb, search and destroy
tear me so you can watch
disarm me so you can revel
in what you make of me

my stomach sinking into the sea,
I can see this is why you had me
bless, a human into a novelty,
innocence is paved in myth
when you could have asked
and you never did.

028

We’re tangled by our ribs, marrow weeping
if you could just put me down, I could cut the feeling
but when the air comes in and my lungs expand
there’s a little bit here that isn’t you

there are moments where the muscles don’t rip away
and I walk to figure out my pace
but ribs rubbing on ribs and
micro-tears, it’s enough
it’s enough and I want to give up

Could I have seen you coming,
the impact of our first collision?
the consequences of being naive,
when all I needed was to breathe

I’m just a vessel for dying cells
my inner arcade, collide and reload
you count down every coin
and I pray as my hands shake
for just a little more time

I was born with your voice in my head
you had me before I could be me,
before I had a light in me.

Stories from Growing Up: Not a Wardrobe to Narnia

Running for safety is not graceful. It is tucking yourself away in the back of a closet, smothered in the smell of stale shoes and feeling the grit of dirt pressing into your feet. You sit back as far as you can, hoping the coats will cover you and no one will know where you’ve gone.

Safety, at times, is knowing where other people are, just as much as knowing where you are.

I did not know that he was coming down the stairs. In the briefest moment, I mistook his scream for saying “goodbye,” to us as we were leaving. The chase scene plays over in my head on a reel: she is trying to get out and he is exploding.

He is the collision of a glass ashtray on her head, a storm punctuated by thunder, and I am terrified to be caught in it, so I run to find safety. They go at each other relentlessly, until somebody wins. He leaves, she cleans up the mess.

I just wanted to learn how to dance. We were going to dance. when my mom found me and said he just made a mistake, I decided I could never go back.

She tried not to cry.

 

 

Stories from Growing Up: Never Weightless

I always said you did not transfer any of your fixation on weight on to me. It was so normal in our household that I disregarded it as much as I could, but these things have a way of coming up when you least expect them.

You look better with more weight on, you look sickly.
Comparing sizes; I’m bigger/smaller, I’m so fat.
I hate how I looked at your weight.
You’ve been gaining a lot of weight.
Angry because the clothes were too small or too big.
Don’t eat so much.

I would cover myself up in 90° F weather because I thought I was too big. Jeans, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. I would grow my hair long and keep it down as if it would hide me. I had “fat jeans.” I was hardly even a teenager.

And today I look in the mirror and I repeat the things you said to yourself. 

Too fat.
No ass.
I would feel better if I could finally be skinny.
Two down on the scale, and I’m getting closer.
Don’t. eat. so. much.
The best praise is when other people notice I’m smaller.

Stories from Growing Up: Dreaming of Trauma

I have nightmares when I sleep, more than ever before. I dream about being in physical danger, rage, violation, and about trying to pack my things and leave but never getting out the door.

fragments of phrases; “this doesn’t feel like home,” or inarticulate screaming that never says enough.

When I wake up, I wonder how I could leave them behind but they could still have such a hold on me. Physical departure is not mental departure, but one day I will wake up, having made it out that door.

 

 

023

It’s been years since we gave you a name
sat on my chest and placed blame,
my god if you tried a little harder
my god if you’d been a little smarter
you could lift the sun off the ground

All the time, claiming mine
a world that wasn’t for me to define
felt like a scribble ripping into this
a wholly uninvited kiss, I
wish I were a little stronger

my god if you tried a little harder
my god if you’d been a little smarter
you’d swim in bedsheets,
they wouldn’t swim in you

My god if you’d laugh a little louder
maybe we could pretend it’s still you
my god, laugh a little louder,
maybe you could breakthrough.