march

You have taken

all of my songs

                                                                                                                    -  

I guess

there’s power in being someone’s past.

There’s permanence- there’s cement. I mean,

we do always find ourselves sitting on sidewalks, don’t we?

We are almost always in some kind of gutter

                                                                                                                 -    

Gut me, open

Sew me, closed.

                                                                                                                -     

Today

I ate the confetti you left

Lately

I’ve been coating my stomach

in glitter

and honey

so my insides keep reflecting light

despite

                                                                                                                -

(insides)

My body is not your blackboard,

scratching post

(insides)

My body is not your safety net,

tangled legs

(insides)

My body is not your home

My body is not your home

My body is not your home.

                                                                                                  -             Yesterday

I forgot to remind you

that you are no longer allowed

to sleep here

                                                                                                          -        

Yesterday

I wanted to tell you that I

have very intentionally 

stopped missing you at night.

february

I don’t know what to think about your ankles

I keep seeing them post swan dive, after the jump, 

pumping themselves in and out of the water

propelling you farther from me.

Going home lately means finding you in shards

my room a fucking minefield

boxer shorts hidden under piles of my shirts

(relieved until you realize you’re exploding)

lately i’ve been too much of a landmine.

                                                                                                              -         

In november the trees starting dying and I started moving in circles

somewhere we skinned our knees too hard on the diving board trying to save each other from all of the fake drowning

from all the constant

repeating

synchronized swimming turning into laps around buoys.

                                                                                                                -      

that friday I realized we can’t breaststroke holding hands

but god did yours always make my belly warm

                                                                                                               -       

And at two in the morning I want to tell you fuck it

                                                                                                               -       

fuck this

just throw me a fucking lifesaver

I promise I will always remember you in five rainbow shades of candy 

I promise I will forget the hole in my middle

I promise I will forget the context of rings if you just call me

                                                                                                                -      

but we both know i love you is a fucking dial tone

the dependable monotone of a breakup poem

that I’ve drafted in my head to often to pin to paper,

to grab the receiver,

I promise I’m trying.

                                                                                                                  -    

I don’t know what to think about your ankles.

I don’t know what to think about your wrists, how I know the exact circumference, my little finger its radius.

I don’t know what to think about your hands, the way they held me, underwater.

Spoon me in a riptide.

I am frozen in a swan dive, I keep

staring at the spot on the ground from the last crash

the one where you found me just in time to be the landing site

                                                                                                                   -   

I’m still sorry about all of that.

heart cut out, looped together. paper chain, rip and unfold me into a snowflake. i really do feel like some geometric mess. i really do feel like i am melting back into water now. jumping the high dive into a tiny glass. some mornings that’s just what my lonely looks like. total impossibility. but then there are people that hold out their hands to catch you at the bottom. these are the parachutes. you were so afraid of broken fingers.

Hey daisy chain hey

stolen can of soda hey

last on the batting order

hey liar, you don’t look older

than fourteen

because you aren’t

so stop sneaking out your window

stop pretending this is freedom

stop thinking this is what your name means

saoirse, saoirse

stop spitting through your teeth stop

choking on your braces

bra-stuffer stop snapping your rubberband wrists

knuckles cracking like his voice stop

counting all of his steps

just wait for the bus alone and

take it somewhere farther

saoirse

you are skinny dipping in cheap vodka

you are drowning so hard in nineteen year old eyes

trying to forget

those thirteen year old green ones

trying to forget

two month chicken death cab katsu

trying to forget

friendship built from bloody keys

trying to forget, trying to swim but you can’t pull your own weight

when you always feel this heavy

when he is grabbing at your ankles

six years more stuck-here and pulling himself up

up up up your skirt all the way to the collarbone

and everywhere in between

and he makes you feel like a 6 o clock deli counter

like you’re fucking disposable

but you are not an exhaustible resource

and I know you are unfurling

I know that you don’t need to feel old to hear your bones creak

and I can see you

How you used to press flowers between pages before he held you down

all gumball glued between the broken mothball mattress and too much of his

cigarette skin

How the smell of his sweat felt trapped under your fingernails for months

How you’d close your eyes past Oka Rd for weeks

How you’d dream of breathmints and gunshots for five more years

Saoirse

Saoirse

It’s not your fault you didn’t pick up the phone

It’s not your fault that six months later you picked it up for someone else

you are not the sweat on his back

you are not these skin ripped legs

you are not lost friends and funerals

you are not the only fourteen year old who feels this desperate

and he

knows that-

 you don’t.

 

It’s been one month since I moved up here

San Francisco doesn’t get too crowded in these Sunset streets but I’ve never felt more bulldozed

I’ve never felt so shirtless exposed in five layers of sweaters and state school social cues

and I’m wondering if any of these pretty people I find myself walking past ever felt this cold in the beginning

like how sometimes I want to hold hands with strangers on the bus when our thighs accidentally touch because this place is freezing strange and calling it home hasn’t even entered my vocabulary’s mind yet

I haven’t made a friend yet.

I’m still picking these small town barnacles off of my back in my room

like little terrified

parasites

only making connections in the form of trains

and the awful men that sit next to me on them

and I miss you

You told me before I left that scorpions with bigger claws have less poison in their venom, and I guess that’s good because I have never felt this small before

and now I’m on a train to a completely different universe than yours

and my jacket and the inside of my mouth still tastes ike your cigarettes but I still stuck my tongue in your mouth because I won’t be able to for a week

We exist on Thursdays, grabbing at each other’s fingers

fucking like being inside each other will let us mind read

I want to believe all the beautiful things we tell each other in half-asleep lavender darkness

i want to believe my hands can someday be brave or at least venomous

I want to to believe that I’m holding on out of strength and not because I feel alone in the places I call home and cry in the dining halls of weird college dormitories

I am spilling sideways with cheap beer and stamped with illegible phone numbers

I am packed full to the brim with old violets.

I am missing you misdirected

in someone else’s zip code.

you have sagittarius tendons, you hold all of your anxiety in the muscles holding your neck together and it gives you backaches. this week i’ve been living in the smoking section, i like to surround myself with the mutual understanding that we’re making choices to die a little earlier. i chain smoke when i’m sad and i chain smoke when i’m with my friends but you are my best friend and i smoke the most with you. this makes sense. most of the life experience i accumulate comes in the form of lung damage. summer is ending and my esophagus feels like tissue paper, i feel hogtied to old towns, wrapped in twine and covered in sea salt but the apple in my mouth is a cigarette and you are consuming me. i am lavender bruises and lunchmeat. i am scraping the edges with my fingernails. you are a chalkboard. you are covered in white dust. you are streaked with eraser burns. i am carving your name into my shins. 

there must be some sign in

the way these trees keep

hitting me starstruck, hopeless

when i walk home alone.

the way i keep picking flowers even after

they fall out from

behind my ears


this couple behind the coffee shop

are fighting in the parking lot

all three of us have restlessness

and daisies in common but

i walk away


it’s so easy to get lost in bedroom eyes

I think falling asleep on ten missed calls is my real vice

(play nice) (play nice) (play nice)

buttondown baby

resting facedown is how

glasses get scratched

I want to scrub this

sharpie ink clean off

my body

but we’ve tattooed ourselves

numb and

bloodstained our vessels blue.

 

Now we’re

walking with fingers scotch-taped to our sides

tape-measured our feet to cruise control two feet apart

your size elevens parallel-parked to my size sevens

never crossing, intersecting at intersections-

 

have you taken time off in June?

are you driving to Pomona?

are you leaving so soon?

And when i’m slipping into ditches

all panic-drenched when someone

heart-wrenches me turquoise blue

you are the calm after the storm

you are frozen tamales and phone calls

when I’m cut off too green

too early before spring

when i think that my roots can’t handle

this detachment you brave through me

in my broken-dam tearjerk state

for a couple of imbued months

and send me back

backpack-full of humanity and

talking in the dark in your dusty room and

eight different kinds of tofu.