I painted my nails the color of mica, the shade of gravestones. Eyes turn to sea foam, flesh to wax.
There was black lace and fire. The walls have closed in on me. Boiling in lava, my seething flesh, living among these void carcasses. I can’t write about you the way all these great people do, making poems about your clavicle and your blueberry breath on their necks. It’s much easier to tell of the macabre imagery I keep making up. But the truth is I cannot write of the pitch-black, the eternal cold, hollow, hollow, hollow.
I’m reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, and discussing banks and national funds and politics with my mother and my sister, and I swore I would write politically and read literary criticism, and I am doing that, but I keep circling back here. I wish I could tell you what here is, describe it in eloquent poetry, make you understand somehow, but all I know is that this is who I am, and this is all I can do.
I can’t write like I want to or be what I want to. There are erupting noses around the house. I don’t know what our neighbors are up to. It’s not a good day. I’m not feeling well and I cannot write. I vowed never to write in times like these, but my hands won’t freeze.
Tell me, will I ever hold a hand in mine that will not slip from my butter fingers like sand? Will I ever know the scent of the sun or stand by the edge of a cliff and not feel a pressing need to jump? Will I ever love without —
It’s in my nature to ruin.
I want to treat an old lady to coffee and lemon pie and have her tell me fossil stories about the war and Nixon and her strong distaste for current crap music. Or visit a bare-breasted nymph by a river with an exotic name. She will sing as her master, a rainbow-colored fish who reads Tolstoy with his glassy eyes in slumber, tells me tales of water and survival. Life has been so dull lately. Stuck in the confines of a house of lethargy with a limited view of a gray street.
Make me a dress out of leaf veins, will you? Bind a book with your arteries and sea tendrils. Help me believe in the new again.
I should be able to wrap words up in beautiful dishonest language, but I can’t. I’ve tried telling the truth, like Hemingway says to, but it ends up caustic, bitter, dry as winter. My teeth chatter. I’m weak. Covering up has never been my strong suit. I always end up naked as when I was born. There’s nothing more to me than people see. I am. I AM.
Beautiful morning today. Will you still love me if I stripped down, all the irregular lines, all the eyesores on my torso? I am ugly and insecure, but I can hold on to your ankles and hit your Achilles’ heel with a hammer. Weak. Your eyes will turn into spirals and I will be your queen.
I’m not insane. I haven’t been happy for three years. It’s difficult. Give two minutes and look inside me. Heal.
I’ve never been in love.
There was a boy I liked in sophomore year. He’s a phony now. I guess even my slightest affections are cursed. It wasn’t even affection, I was twelve and I’d never seen eyes before that made me vertiginous.
The summer is almost over. I’ve never had a summer fling. I wanted to be that girl in floral vintage summer dresses, skin like honey satin, creeping out at 2am with a boy to look at stars in a stolen 1963 Chevy.
My friends were sometimes subtly mean to me and I weird boys out and I stopped school for three months due to a disease I will never talk about and until now I have trouble sleeping, moaning and tossing and turning. Things haven’t changed. I guess I am the plague.
These days, I’m just learning how to fly.
you look at me and you see layers of fat bulging from my stomach, my shirt pulled tightly around it like an elastic sheet around a rubber ball, round glasses and bad hair, baggy clothes and unflattering make-up, a laughable creature with the burden of difference.
in my dreams i will always be the enigmatic angel of an unnamed sun, of white hair and sprinkled freckles, a face that blinds and binds, an eternal being who loves, loves, and loves, a summer voice ringing from sky to sky.
i dont know how you can look into my eyes and not see these shaved iris peelings, these shattered losses, these forgotten ruins.