hell is a city

hear me out, I promise death is still worth it
it’s just a little different than I imagined
they told me I’d see the pearly gates when I died
but all I see are golden arches,
neon against the dark background of the
dark city streets
they told me I’d be walking on streets of gold
but all I feel are cracked concrete faults underneath my feet
I was told there was no pain, no hunger
but I gave away all my daily bread and was left with nothing but empty hands

the subway shakes the underground, the place below
the unwanted
I was promised if I believed enough,
I wouldn’t be here
but I’m soothed to sleep by the sounds of rattling tracks
because even though my hands are in contrition,

all they ever see is me on my knees

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raindrops and goodbyes can sound the same sometimes

flowers need more than water to grow

maybe that’s why I run away at the sight of them blooming

I can’t even remember to water them once a day

how can I sustain them for years?

 

she says it’s okay that she gets thirsty sometimes

she’ll always find a way to get water

always grow towards the light

soak in the dirt

spread roots wherever she walks

 

I try to fill her up anyway

but I’m just too small, too empty to reach the top

 

she has leaves blended into pine straw legs

wet on the surface from dew

watering can strands of hair

spilling over the edge of flower pot shoulders

 

the soil gets heavy sometimes

atlas herself can’t bear the weight enough to shrug

 

sometimes she’s forced down on all fours

handprints stuck in muddy ground

cloth snagged on tree bark

protruding from branching arms

 

my name is carved in her wooden oaks

a heart encapsulates initials

but they are not ours

 

so I tell her the tale of how resilient she is

how her stem always manages to sprout

even after it’s stepped on

even after it’s ripped off

torn up & spit out

 

the petals she calls home float off one by one

begging me to love her 

not

 

I tell her

I’m allergic to her pollen

that way I don’t have to tell her that I was the one who ripped out her frail beginnings

the one who tried to grow her in my hands

fingers cupped around the subtle curve of her sepal

 

I push her away gently, fingertips skimming polka-dot goosebumps

raised like braille on the soft petals of a daisy

 

I am not strong enough to say goodbye

not strong enough to see the bugs feasting on her leaves until she’s nothing but crumbs

too small to leave a trail back towards home

 

I see hues of pink and orange fall to the ground

where a crushed green stem meets the earth

they claim they have never met before

that they’re strangers

but they know each other far too well

 

she’s not very resilient anymore

but I am not strong enough to tell her

– I blame myself for your flowers dying

the sicker i get, the closer i get to pressing send

cut.

my medicine finally started working
although I think she
may have been the cure and
now it’s my birthday and she’s cutting out paper snowflakes
because we never got around to it at christmas
we were too busy
falling in love

copy.

my headaches are coming back
they always do and
now somehow I’m sitting in a denny’s parking lot
throwing up and
my lips try to form words around the silhouette of her hands and
she copies me and
our mouths
meet.

paste.

my good days are still bad and now
all I can see is the back of
her
hair is longer than the last time I saw
her
toothpaste is leaving mint flavored foam on her upper lip
I go to wipe it off but she
is just out of reach

 

My Car Has Been Running Since the Summer and So Have I

I have this bad habit of keeping my car running while I’m not in it

and I don’t know if it’s so it’ll stay warm on a cold day

Kind of the same way he did in the winter

Or if it’s so I’ll always have an escape plan,

Kind of like the one I had in the spring

It just keeps filling up my garage with toxins

Keeps the fumes coming in

but I keep my eyes shut so I can pretend I don’t notice

Like how we knew we were in danger but we kept the keys in the car, kept the door shut, turned the lights off so we didn’t notice each other

I have this bad habit of keeping my car running while I’m not in it

and I don’t know if it’s because I can’t decide if I want to leave yet or not

I’ve never been very good with timing

Maybe that’s why I left in the middle of everything

Why I crumbled to the ground, took my foot off the brake and rolled right into the wall

I never know when to put it in park

When it’s too soon to tell if I wanna stay

– An excerpt from a book I’ll never write

The Illustrated Man: A Continuation

“The Illustrated Man” by Rad Bradbury, a continuation of the prologue written by yours truly for a Graphic Design/Advanced Composition project, enjoy 🙂

The first Illustration quivered and came to life, swaying as if the wind itself could move the ink. Swirls of orange and yellow peeked out above the dizzy of black clouds. A girl emerged from the emptiness, warm brown hands sprouting from tree bark, half of her thick, red hair cascading down tanned shoulders and the other half piled high on top of her head, sad eyes like drops of water and hands carved out of leaves. She had jewelry like vines and clothes weaved from pieces of tender fruit. She peeked her head above the water she knew so well, fish circling her like a necklace, salty water dripping down her smooth skin. The fire behind her illuminated her gentle curves and lit up the sky, sparks sprinkling down and hitting her ocean like rain. She ducked under the water and swam up to the pier, gripping the rotting wood with small hands. The night was ablaze, red hot with anger. She leapt up onto the pier, shaking off tangled seaweed from her legs as she ran alongside her winged brother who owned the skies that had been destroyed just as her oceans had. Water spilled out of her open mouth, leaving salty residue on her teeth and tongue. As she ran, or more accurately stumbled, she spit up more, grains of gritty salt and kicked-up dirt finally taking its toll on her small frame and young lungs. Mother Nature couldn’t protect her own kin from the dirty air and splitting ground. The girl tripped, brown smudges dirtying her golden skin, hair twisted into unfixable knots, and eyes as full of water as her ocean. Laid out on the dark ground, fire closing in on her already fiery hair. Mother Nature tried to apologize, but she only shook the Earth more. Her daughter’s soft features were hardened, water droplet eyes closed in fear, and tree bark hands red with blood. Mad laughter escaped from the Earth, the noise echoing off her seven seas and the reverb crushing the girl under its weight. Father Time took a hold of the ocean and the sky, fighting against his clock to escape the sand in his timer and the sand being kicked up from a dying Earth. There is only so much time to run away before you reach the edge of the sky, before the ocean becomes too deep, before Mother Nature loses hope for a better tomorrow. This is the first day of The End. The Earth finally fought back, and not even she was ready.