if i could literally wear my courage it would probably be a shirt that says
“I don’t give a fuck” in bolded script letters to really hit the point home
that I couldn’t care less about anything, my person shining through too hard, too strong

in reality I tear up sometimes when I see a dead squirrel on the ground or when
kids gently tease another kid that I’ve never met and will never talk to
because theres too much death in this world and theres too much sadness in this world
and there are too many pillows with tears on them and people nodding without saying anything when someone asks them if they are okay

I dont know
I cant write love poems
the words dont come from softness or the way your mouth moves
when you sing your favorite song or how even your whole damn voice
sounds different when you talk about the things you really love and I can believe
that your voice sounds that way when you talk about me but the darkness in my head says dont assume it, hope for it.

I keep finding the line “im a sad fucking person” tucked into my hand
held tight in my heart like it matters like thats the kind of weakly built crutch
i can use when Im that person who nods without saying something when
someone else asks if im okay, especially when its the people that can see
right through me and my fragile building of my own facade
because ive never been great with the long term of “long term commitments” so i
keep myself easily changed but never 100% complete or even right
but i keep nodding because its okay im doing the best i can because im sad
about today and tomorrow and probably at least four years after that

so dont look at me like that im trying to be “chill” or whatever the fuck that
is supposed to mean
i know what kind of person i want to be
having courage that isn’t questioned
making decisions without going over every detail like it will ever matter again
but instead ill write half-finished pieces and pretend that they are done


Today I woke up a little bit more

I had a dream about a fight between you and I
A bus ride and a beach
A sink full of milk and dead ants a
Four poster bed and a sense, no,
A few of falling

I woke up heavy
Weighted down by worry the kind of burden
That hurts to carry the kind of burden
That no one can really see
Damp hair
Damp eyes
The kind of mood in which you cry
Over sandwiches and snapping turtles

I often think about long plane rides and
Running away
Dropping keys in the ocean
Of inking my skin until I’m unrecognizable
A smiling stranger to myself in the mirror
A stranger in the street
I won’t follow you if you choose to run away

I often think about being unafraid
Laughing until I cannot breathe
Floating without sinking
Dreaming without crying
The kind of mood in which you feel effervescent
Realistic expectations of myself not clashing
With the illustrations in my head
Just a room
With a four poster bed


lipstick like armor

red for the my heart this poor broken
stitched up little machine that has yet to give up on me or the
string of people that fill it
fully and sometimes inconsistently
red like the hearts of others beating for different purposes
the hearts that ive broken and the ones that have broken me
red like the blood in my veins
the veins that have yet to give up on me
pulsing through the nights when i want to run away from my own skin
red like fire flames and hate
red like a reminder to say the things that burn my stomach and
tear through what is left of my flimsy bones
red like strength when i think im falling apart and cant
pull myself up off the bathroom floor because and ending is never more permanent than
a period or an exclamation point
red like yelling like me and you
red like “fuck you” and the way it burns down into my toes

lipstick like safety

pink like spring and warmth and feeling my crumpled soul breathe
expanding into a silhouette of what i once was
like bug bites and kisses on my cheek the way
that the grass tickles your bare feet and the lazy days seem endless
pink like a good nights sleep
how even your eyelids feel lighter and your skin feels new
like a hot shower for the soul
and home and the way it feels to get home after months of weariness and know
there is no alarm tomorrow
pink like “i love you” and the way that warms me all the way to my cold toes
giving me hope that this heart is human and wont weep until the end of time
pink like my fingertips and all the damage ive done with the words theyve created
and the tongue i cant always control but the way you see me makes me feel
like all these mistakes led me to you

lipstick like beauty

purple and dark like ive killed someone and i can hide it
like my deepest secrets are nothing more than white line scars
dark like war and fighting but knowing when to surrender
like a treaty and like the start of a new spring a new generation a new hope like you and me
clashing and forgiving
purple like my freezing lips and hands in the winter but knowing the day will be over soon
like the warmth of my bedcovers and like a great dream

like loving you

This is Lame

im shivers and running water
mountains and valleys because of simple sentences
and lost senses
nights that slip between our fingers and mornings that contain promise
i used to fall so easily into the weighted darkness
and find myself in different homes
lose myself in someone that couldnt hold me for longer than five minutes
two cups of coffee later
black so i would hate the taste and make it go faster
i would realize the damage i had done the new nightmares i had caused
self harm inflicted in my bones

my mouth is like a prisoner
my hands like a freed slave i am awake im freedom
i can write you a thousand lines about what it means to see you look at me
and to look back in fullness and fairness an equity that ive never had before
that we dont tire after moments
or after months
but my lips close around my teeth close around my tongue contain the ink that spills from
my fingertips but cant be vocalized in the same way
lips like sugar lips like honey lips like bees
ill find the courage to speak these words
and find dawn in the way it makes your eyes light up in front of mine
and find new chapters in the way it frees my soul


ive never gone fearlessly
putting pillows at the bottom of the staircase before sledding down them
trying not to bump and bruise my pasty skin trying not to bump and cut my pastel cheeks
i was afraid of pain and bleeding
spending too much time trying not to take up any space
or make the straight line of balance crooked or to speak quietly
as to not interrupt the present conversation

until i realized the conversation was lacking
that my voice was a color it did not hold
that no one really wanted to see it
“we already have three shades of blue, why do we need another?”
if we didnt have my blue how would i explain the color of your eyes
or the color of my chipped nail polish?
if we didnt have my voice how could i detail every second of falling in love
of falling in and out of pain of feeling that the world is biased and unfair
that the world is beautiful and takes my breath away
and that sometimes to get your voice heard you have to bump
bruise bleed make a mess scream be the loudest person in the room
be quiet
wrap yourself up in a blanket go to sleep no alarms
be somewhere you dont want to be
then go home
and find your voice again
and let it be known


i start with trying to hide because your voice finds mine your voice seeks mine
your eyes see right through the barriers ive built and ive rushed to protect
the heart i dont really care about
i love you like hot pine needles and warm water
like deep breathing like deep laughing
and how my fingernail polish always chips moments after its dry
because its imperfect but its expected and
there is calm in consistency even if its a mess
and i love you like fireflies in jars
the first very warm day of spring, the first very cool day of fall
the first promise of snow
i dont care for change unless its the circle of seasons or finding you to hold instead
of just myself

i love you like shards of glass in my throat because i break beautiful things
like a paper cut and the feeling of not being able to stop crying
like home sometimes like falling on ice
i cant describe you to the people that i meet
i love you like rain like an inconvenience to some like the most
god damn beautiful thing ive ever been given in my life
and its sharp and smooth a knife in my back a rock in my hand
a broken window and a wish i find my favorite things all in list
and theres your name
my handwriting doesnt look the same as it curves around your letters
and my chipped fingernail polish looks beautiful and
its sort of like melting and building tearing down recreating
full of action full of life
full of something tired of hiding
sometimes i love you like i cant breathe sometimes its more like i cant stop talking
and at the center of the web is something shiny something different
something platinum not gold something steel and shiny and lasting

Name Tag

im a tightrope walker with an untied shoe and a fear of heights
no clean drop below
just months of doubt and years of hardening around the idea
that soft is okay
to be angry is better than to cry and to cry is
still better than to admit the sadness runs deeper than that but
all i have is tire ruts in a yard of a home i have to move away from

im a pen about to empty
a locked closet a lost key
a “ive given up on opening that drawer”
ill slowly fall apart among the other things forgotten
im a video tape and a cd player and a stain on a white t-shirt
i cannot find value in the uselessness that runs through my arms and makes me cold
cold to touch cold to talk to cold to be near
im a disease someone is afraid of catching whispered behind my back
are the names i thought i could convince myself to forget
a dulling knife
a disaster a slow tragedy that no one really wants to know the end of

i dont find solace in god or sunsets or that
despite our belief that everything may be ending tomorrow will come
rain ends droughts and rainbows end rain

im a ship deemed not worthy of floating
ill tell people i cant swim so they send me away from the
scene of what i am
things pass slowly i lose my grip quickly all ive ever been is
sweaty palms and running late and bad excuses

an empty bottle of wine
the taste of regret and forgetting to brush your teeth
crumpled sheets and an alarm that betrays the last few seconds
of the one good thing you had
and all of this is too much to write on a name tag