Voltage
03 17 14
S.F.W


clumsy hands
overexcited
collide with my thigh.
i wince
and weakness slips from my throat.
i wish i had kept quiet
had not alerted you of hitting me.

because you heard me
you leaned in
touched the place of impact with gentle fingers
laid your head on my tense shoulder
and murmured your apologies.

i had just convinced myself to forget you
to step away 
that i didn’t need to know you
to move on the rest of my life.

and then you touched me.

the flower in my stomach closed
like an eye
and it threw yellow sparks down into my legs
up into my cheeks
sent warm breathing heat
into the space just inside my ribs.


i never wanted this.
but it crept up on me
i was ambushed by myself
and am now at a loss for answers.

please don’t touch me again.

i know you meant well
you couldn’t have known.

but i haven’t felt the sparks in my body for a year

and you brought them out again.



t u v w x {y} z
03 04 14


I need to know.

I reach my arms out to other people
just to touch you in passing.
Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed,
but the need to be in contact with you
the pull
is so strong,
the only way to make it stop is to give in—
even for a passing nudge.

I am frightened and confused by you.

Suddenly, you have infected me.
I stay waking— too conscious
in freezing and stale sheets
feeling an unseen
but tangible pull
in the bottom of my stomach
and I want to open up my throat
and scream.

Day
is an uneasy test.
Night
is a furious demand:
give me direction
a sign
reciprocation
a reason.


why.



A burning ball of hair in my gut—
indigestible
painful
eternal 
impossible
desperate.
why.

Green Diamond
02 29 14


wake up
I’m scared of the dead woman
under my bed
the one who isn’t there
the one I had a bad dream about
the one wrapped in white gauze

wake up
let me sleep 
but keep you awake
because there’s no more space on your bed
and the room is too warm now
and you were startled awake.

"alright," 
you say,
then sleepy, turn over
and exhale.

I came first, and you hid inside your mother’s ribs,
late
because there was always more sleep
to be caught.

You always knew
before I even said.

Not leaves of the same tree,
but two saplings— 
grown together
then apart
then together again
and then separate.

 Blue irises, the same as mine
but deeper set, and darker in feeling
lazily sway 
or anxiously jump.

Sun spots, under a layer
of man-made, skin-colored dirt
hiding 
always
even when you are sleeping.

Your anger stings
like a broken piece of green bottle.
It always has.

But such is expected—
the small and fragile dark green bird, after all
has a sharp, hard beak
and glassy, strong nails.

A Kind of Purity
02 28 14

The smile on my face 
(though indeed rare—
a miracle, even)
was not what I remember most,
or what I loved most in that moment.

No,
seeing your eyes
your cheeks pulled aside and bunched
like curtains,
the stage of your mouth opened
in unconscious rapture,
with a glittering ensemble of happiness—
that was what I fell in love with
in that moment.

In that moment,
you forgot the vodka
the cigarettes
your doorless room
the dirty carpet
the salt dried on the thin membrane
under your eyes.

Nothing was bittersweet,
and everything was light
not refracting or dancing or glistening—
glowing
like a real sunrise under your layers of skin
and coming out of your mouth
and nostrils
ears
eyes
fingers.
shining.

I never loved your sadness.
I never fell in love with a poetic lie.
I loved the moments when you forgot it,
when you were at the apex of a shudder of laughter
when you came through, clear as daylight,
caught unguarded
naked for a moment
without your foggy self medication
and constant anxious self-checking.

As light
through slats in a fence.

Wind Chimes
02 25 14


I don’t like it when you have to touch my hand.

I don’t like
how I can feel you love me back,
and I hate
how I can’t be sure.
I love how you make my face split in two
in an imbecilic smile 
but I hate it so much that it makes me feel bloody,
because it makes me feel
like I forgot my clothes.

I hate the way you smell to me.
The way your hand feels when you hold mine,
like you wish it could stay there

like you couldn’t wait to put it there

like I can’t be sure
that this is even how you feel at all.


I wish that you weren’t a magnet.
Like I am supposed to migrate to you
this year
because of some shift in the air.
I wish the ground would stop moving 
and I could understand why
I have covertly needed you
for so unbelievably long,
and why I have this awakening in my ribs
that I suddenly need you too much.



On Cradling Concrete
01 19 14


I want you
to think of me as precious and rare.
Hold me like I am fragile;
like I need to be held tightly, (lest I fall
and shatter)
even though I am caustic 
and glued back together too tightly
to be broken ever again by stupid hands.
I want you
to treat me like i am carnation petals
even though i am poison ivy leaves and teeth.
Reassure me 
even though i thrive on doubt,
and I am perfectly fine without you.

My body will poison you,
but I want you to love it.
I want you
to think that the wicked pitcher plant is beautiful
as she swallows you up 
and dissolves you.

I reinforced myself
with acid
and now that I cannot be destroyed,
I want you to believe that I don’t deserve to be.

Sleep with me
burn yourself on me
pretend it doesn’t hurt
pretend I need your help.
Pretend I need you.

Solstice
12/20/13
-S.F.W.

It’s the solstice
and I feel so sick.

Everything is different
there is static in my stomach
like nervous energy
or sometimes like hope
or sometimes like anticipation
of the drop from a waterfall
or just before lightening strikes
or the quiet before the flash flood.

I am waiting

anticipating

the waters to rip my feet off of the ground
and shove me to a new destination.
Something is happening.
I am changing.


I am frightened that this is only a passing feeling
That I will sleep
and everything will stay the same.
And frightened that
nothing will be the same ever again.

But something is happening.

I am frightened.
I am waiting.
I am changing.




Erosion
12 12 13
-S.F.W

My stomach was forced
to grow layer after layer
(ten pounds worth)
of consequences.

It was my fault.

The punishment is a sore throat,
burning muscles,
headache,
dizziness,
bad knees,
a bruised forehead
(from when I passed out onto the faucet),

and so much shame.

I am ashamed if I do,
and ashamed if I do not.


No one I care about knows,
and that is a comfort to me.
But the words still eat hideous holes in my ribs.
The acid is not strong enough
to burn up my fingertips,
but I suppose that it is strong enough
to burn up my voice.
I had a beautiful voice,
but then I gave that up for aesthetic weakness.




Envying The Mindless
12 04 13
-S.F.W.

At the fair,
all the older men in their stalls
said pretty things to me.
They called me what they thought were pretty names,
and vied for my attention.
But it did not make me feel pretty.
I instead felt dirty and embarrassed
and guilty.
I will never understand
why I felt guilt
over the leers and comments
of intrusive strangers.

This cannot be a response intended by nature.
Only humanity could have created something so futile.

Sometimes I wish I was of another species.
I doubt that grass is ashamed of itself
or that bacteria feels unclean
or that spiders are uncertain of their purpose.
Flowers fuck publicly,
get pregnant,
then drop their children in the dirt
and feed them with their dead skin.



And throughout their entire life cycle,
not once do they fret over the way they say “hello,”
or worry that they will die lonely,
or fear something that does not exist
living under their beds.
I do.

Um nichts.
11-14-13
-S.F.W.

Shrunken stomach.
Bony feet.
My heels dig through my skin into the hard concrete floor,
while my stomach fails to growl-
fails to feel anything at all-
because it is so used to being empty.
My toes tingle, 
and some feel
as though they do not exist.
I press them brutally into the ground-
testing my nerve functions
waiting for some kind of sensation.

Nothing.
Just the realization that I am not
(but should be)
experiencing pain.

My skin turns flaky and dry.
My lips split
and change to yellow-pink,
like a chameleon 
placed on the body of a sick person.

Still, through this ugliness and exposed flesh-

nothing.

nothing.

nothing.


I do not want to be desired-

I only want to control my injuries.
To take up as little space as possible.
For my physical presence to equate what I feel in my stomach,
my feet,
my skin,
my chameleon lips.

Mommy Said
10 22 13
-S.F.W.

Every single time
you told the doctor
that I was fine, I
wanted to kick in your throat.
Every time you repeated
that you were happiest
when I weighed 120 lbs
because the extra weight gave me
something to “work with”,
and blatantly ignored the fact that
when I was eleven years old,

you told me
to stop eating so much
to watch what I put in my mouth,
because you didn’t want me
to get any fatter,
because you were looking out for me, 
I wanted to scratch your eyes out
and scream
that I still starve every week.
I still shove my hands down my throat in the shower
if I ate too much lasagna.
I still try to flush out my fat with a glass of water
and a well placed laxative.

You don’t know anything.

You don’t know
that I break down
in labored breathing
and sweaty tears
when I think about growing up.
You know nothing,
and you tell my doctor that I am fine,
that you are happy with my weight,

as if you hold any real information.
As if you know anything about me. 

nowentering-mythoughts said:BEAUTIFUL YES *polite golf clap applause turning into raging concert applause*

Thank you very much! 

Pebble
10 18 95
-S.F.W

your face 
and name
are no longer acidic to me.
you do not eat away at my skin
or at my laughter.
no
not anymore, you are no longer
a cause of injury
to me.
i am covered in tough-textured scars
callouses
reinforcements
where you once touched me.
i am immune to your irritating oils.

never again 
will you put any part of yourself
in my mouth
or touch anything that is my body.
never again 
will you make me feel guilty
for owning and laying bare
my own skin
as i choose.

i am my own once more.

though unhappy
though unstable
though unhealthy
still 
uncontrollable
unmatched
unsettling
untamed.

i walk on the pock-marked road
and realize
that i could have stepped on you one thousand times
and never known the difference
between you
and a piece of loose gravel
underfoot.

you are no longer 
an object of fear or oppression to me.
instead,

you are a laughing stock.

a lesson.


Fracture
10 09 13
-S.F.W

A porcelain sculpture
of a wild animal.
Once beautiful and bringing light
to the empty caves of the dimmest eyes.
You held hands
with people more broken
than you could fix,
and you underestimated
how fragile
porcelain can be.

Figurines 
are not meant to support dead weight.
If you are stomped on, you will shatter.

You can glue yourself together,
but you will always have
cracks and weak spots.
Those tiny fragments
along the edges of those new microscopic canyons
are either lost,
or simply too difficult
to put back where they belong.
If only you had realized sooner. Now
you
are a fractured mockery
of something beautiful.
And when people see you
or have a conversation with you,
they are able to see your misplaced fragments.
Your yellowed glue stains.
Your chips.
Your
wasted
beauty.

And they have the gall to tell you
that they miss
the old you.
The one that you can never be again, because 
you were stepped on and dropped
and it was
all
your
fault.

Those fleeting memories that they stir up
itch and ache even more 
than your cracks and the peeling glue.

They miss
the old you;
the one that made them feel good
and was nice to see.
Easy
on
their
eyes.
They miss the old you;
the one that served them well
and did not need
their help.

You swear that you will never rest your
broken weight
on anyone.
You promise that.
You must never be like them.

Survival
09 29 13
-S.F.W.

frenzy:
when you have emptied the refrigerator
and in your guilt
go in search of more food
to punish yourself.

I cannot think of a time
when I did not worry.
I have always had something sitting on my brain
like an over sized marble statue
situated on top of a pomegranate seed. 
I obsess over the shape of my left ear
because it formed incorrectly in the womb,
I pull my hair over it
like it is some kind of shameful sore.
I push it back
flat against my skull
in an earnest attempt 
to be symmetrical.
But cartilage is not as malleable as wishes
and despite my attempts
it always returns to its original position
with a stubborn clicking sound
like a scoff.

No one ever told me
that the more I shrink myself
and try to perfect myself,
the harder it would be to love me.
No one ever told me
that these things that I worry about 
mean nothing
in the face of survival.