There are some times when I realize that I am alone. There is no one on the other side - I’m just holding my hand up against the wall.
I am an irresponsible young woman…but at least I am a young woman, not a girl.
Each morning I wake up in a rental house and sometimes offer to make my roommates breakfast. In the grey, I scrape my car and slide along the cement ice. I don’t pay my parking tickets.
I flirt with men and boys; they each thrill me in different ways. Pizza boys, antique dealers, married professors, cashiers, old friends. I spend too much money on little luxuries but I have to buy food. And drugs so I can eat the food, to close my eyes. Drugs to wake me up – and so it begins again.
I’m crafting my self from the earth up. I’m in the ditches now, I’m doing dirty work and my feet are turning black. I watch zen through the glass of a fish tank, mindfully entertaining the possibility of a green smoothie.
My luck will run out. My hips will wear holes in my thrift store dresses and I will loose all my stolen lipstick. I am young, poor, angry, still waiting at the bus stop for adulthood without my ticket, riding on the kindness of strangers.
He’ll always come back as the man you dropped
He’ll never come back as the man you loved
My heart belongs to Karen O. always.
Some nights, I feel alive. Like I’m living “The American Dream!” or maybe more #theamericandream.
It’s a silly concept I know but some nights it feels like I’m watching it, watching my life, spread across the screen from a plushy seat, shaking my head.
We are a foolish generation. The ones most like the superheroes we grew up admiring. The 90s was rainbow. We played outside, we played hard. We are viscous in our drive, some of us flecked with brilliance.
Is it possible to glimpse a world from the surface looking up? Can we ever see the hemisphere of sky? Are our bodies not big enough to contain our souls so a part of them floats away into the atmosphere like a red balloon?
And here I am, observing all of it.
When you left,
there was a channel in your wake
so that the dregs of my pain
could sink in -
I was the water
on your wine crushed lips,
your cigarette tongue.
I was there in your bed in the dark,
I held you.
You didn’t have to ask to be held.
I let you drain me like a dam,
stock me full
of artificial hopes and fishes,
let the sun play off my dark hair
and admire the fire
trapped beneath the surface
of my skin.
The heat poured out of me
as you adjusted your hips -
I was pinned like a moth in a collector’s glass case. You watched me and knew
how I woke up in the morning,
covered in your sweat.
I was a cold compress
turned compression fracture and when I squeezed your ribs too tightly, your chest betrayed it’s sturdiness. My body has never felt another weight like yours - rising and falling
with your desires, my well of sorrow growing deep beneath us.
Your eyes rubbed my body
with almond oil, softening
my hard edges like a painter but
you could not hold a brush,
or climb a tree.
I scratched my knees for both of us.
You carry your twisted fears
on your back; they are sewn into your flesh like a shell.
I could tell you how long
it would take to get from my head
to your arms but there is no retracing of footsteps.
I can feel the miles
- 176 pin pricks on my skin -
tattooing me with inky black loss.
I have become a walking tapestry