1 0 1

And when you look back
On everything in your life
Will you remember
When I was a child
That I trusted you?
Will you remember
That I loved you?
Will you finally admit
That you made a grave mistake?
Will you feel remorse?
Or will you deny
The things you have done
With your dying breath?

0 0 0

If I was a drag queen . . .

I would never become a drag queen

but if I did my name would be

Miranda Hill.  A southern diva

that’s one part stupid and one part crazy.

The kind of girl that doesn’t

know who the president is

but will shoot your ass if she

finds you with another woman.

She would rock a sequin mini dress

short enough to get kicked out

of class, hair that tickles Gods feet,

trailer trash glamour, Bud light

in one hand, cigarette in the other

dancing at the bar, life of the party,

gun slinging beauty queen.

all in red fuck me heels never complaining

that her feet hurt.  She drives diesel

cause she likes the power between

her legs.  She’s been with all the boys

most of the girls, and everything in between.

She doesn’t discriminate when it

comes to pleasing the body.

But I haven’t really thought about it.

0 0 0


She was tall and skinny, lanky really.

Could have been pretty, given the right

clothes, hair, makeup; to be honest

I had to pull out my high school yearbook

to remember what she looked like.

She was not smart, she was

an eighteen year old sophomore.

I always wanted to ask if it hurt

when her body twitched uncontrollably.

She most likely had a mild form of torrents,

but her family could not afford

proper medical treatment so her head

would accidentally bang against the desk.


I remember Spanish class being one

of the few places I actually felt cool in high school.

I sat at my desk trying to conjugate verbs,

looking behind me watching her head convulse,

I mocked what she couldn’t control.

She threw her pen hitting me in the head.

I picked it up, shoved it in my bag

told her she was a retard and mimicked

her shaking body. I remember watching her

hold back tears. I may have humiliated her

but she never let me take her pride.


On the high school popularity scale

I was somewhere towards the bottom,

but she was even lower than me

somehow that gave me the right

to throw stones through her window of self-worth.

And now I write about being a victim of bullying,

my poems are hypocrites, it’s true.

I cried listening to Jamie Nabozny’s story.

Screamed in outrage the day

an 11 year old body was found

dangling from his third-floor railing.

Fell to the floor when I found out

Tyler Clementi’s bully will serve jail time.

I am appalled when I see schools

doing nothing to make sure children are safe.

I remember feeling bad about what I had done,

I will never have the opportunity to apologize


When her car slid under the trailer of the truck

I want to know if her life flashed before her eyes.

I want to know if her last thought was happy.

I want to know if her death was truly an accident,

or if she found a way to leave this world

without writing her loved ones a poem.

When they pulled pieces of her body

from the wreckage; the only way to identify her

was the license plate. Her father was

on the ambulance driving to the crash site

they had to pull his thrashing body from the vehicle.


This is the hardest poem I have ever written,

the thought that I may have hurt

someone so bad they would want to take their life

has been consuming me for weeks.

My chest tightens with shame.

I can feel the tar in my fingertips,

all I want to do is explode.

Go ahead judge me; go ahead break me.

We all have things we regret

and the ones who don’t

are either lying or too blind

to see the ones they stabbed willingly.

We focus on our own pain,

failing to mention the ones

we wrapped in barbed wire

and pushed down a hill.

The ones we shove aside

to make room for shinier skin.


Her face was so mangled, the mortician

sculpted a new one from wax.

They pulled shrapnel from her arms

the day they laid her casket in the ground,

school was canceled, I didn’t attend the service

but watched one by one as people

who treated her worse than I

walked out on their education

like their sins would somehow vanish

and tonight, as I sit in my parents’ house

I wish I had done the same.

The yearning to change

what has already been done

strips my stomach clean.


If she were alive

would I feel remorse?

Would I want to face her?

I heard, she got married.

I heard, she was thinking

about starting her own family.

I heard, she was finally happy.

These thoughts tear through me

as I stand over her grave.

I place white tulips on the stone

whisper, “I am so sorry

for the way I treated you.”

A gentle breeze makes the hair

on my arms stand upright,

I like to think she heard me.


1 0 1

My scars are real even if you can't see them.

The day my pants were ripped from my body

as my classmates laughed at my exposed skin

was the first time I wanted to die. I walked out

on my education to hold a knife to my wrist

ready to remove my blood. I could see my body

on the kitchen floor a sea of red under the refrigerator.

I could see my mom finding my body wide-eyed

limp, cold and lifeless. I could feel her silent

scream in my bones. Her imagined devastation

forced the knife back where it came from.


The second time I was just legal to drive

the world just beyond the windshield.

But the loneliness; the pain I cannot name

was growing inside me, a plant I kept watering.

I grabbed a mechanical pencil repeatedly

stabbing my wrist hoping I would penetrate skin

tearing tendons and veins. My brothers ran downstairs

to play video games stopping and staring at me.

I ran away to place I could be alone.


I just turned twenty-one the third time.

Everything I had ever felt was held inside,

like a Pepsi can rolling down a rocky hill.

exploding in my lungs, fizzing up my throat

until I was choking on bubbles

and leaving was easier than staying.

I broke down in my dorm rocking

like a broken fetus. My roommate

held my wrists from my mouth,

so I wouldn’t chew them like a dog with shoes.

The next day, the first psychiatrist told me,

I had the lows to be considered bi-polar

but not the highs. For the next year and a half

I ingested a mix of drugs to keep my canines at bay.


The last time I wanted to die

It had been two years since I swallowed a pill

My life had no direction. I wasn’t writing.

I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t laughing.

I was stuck. Another sleepless night.

Staring at the ceiling, praying for sleep

I saw the bed soaking the life from me

my wrist dangling over the edge.

I saw myself as dead because at that point

I might as well have been. I rolled off my pillow

slept on the hardwood floor found another

psychiatrist who brewed a different potion

I have been drinking ever since.


There are no scars where knifes wanted to cut.

I do not wear my attempts to die like a medal

of honor on my wrist. This doesn’t make it

any less real. I know what it feels like to free-fall.

To fantasize about jumping the guard rails

driving engine first into a redwood.

I have felt the cold hand of depression

hold my cheek. I have let the monsters

hold my heart in their mouth. I watched

as the pulse slowed, slobber ran down my arteries.

I have tattoos where scars should be.

Speak – for strength. Write – for sharing my stories.

Even the one’s I have not boxed up.

The ones that are still barking at my door.

Because there is no running away

from holding a knife to your wrist

from stabbing yourself with a mechanical pencil

from chewing your own veins

or seeing yourself as dead.


Today I wrote a list of all my reasons to live.

To marry my someday best friend.

To laugh so hard I fall to the ground.

To see my childs smile.

To finally have abs.

To watch wrinkles of my past iron into my skin.

To scream ‘I am enough’ at the sunset.

To carry the weak across this black tar world.

To run a marathon.

To carve my story on my bones.

To absorb this world in the pours of my lungs.

To motivate a new generation to keep moving forward.

To beam with the moon on the darkest nights.

To blossom like a rose.

To chance everything’s going to work out fine.

To love.

To laugh.

To evolve.

0 0 0


Every day after work I sit on the floor

Leaning forward stretching muscle and tendons

I stand pulling one foot towards my ass

Hold, count to ten, then the other

I place my feet against the wall

My calves tighten; I lock my apartment

Put my headphones in and press play


I have always wanted to be handsome

To be more than what this face allows

To walk into a room and see heads

Turn and jaws drop, the guy with

The chiseled jaw and muscle tearing

Holes in his button down Gucci suit


After seven minutes I have reached

My fist mile, my pace is faster than normal

For the first time in weeks my legs feel good

The music keeps my feet pumping

I will run further, I will push harder


I would give every poem I have written

To have abs of steel instead of the

Cushion that has crept from my stomach

What the fuck does that say about me? 

That the way I look is more important than art

That I have sat in my high chair

And let over the people spoon feed me

Their idea of beauty and masculinity

I can wear confidence like a cheap suit

No matter how well it fits the fabric

will always be second rate


Around three miles a bead of sweat

Runs down my cheek, splashes on

The corner of my mouth; it is salty

My shirt is drenched and my mouth thirsty

My pace has increased because it’s the

Only way to silence the voices growing

Louder in my head


I have counted calories, tried the Atkins regime

Drank protein shakes and pumped my

Veins full of steroids been to rehab and back

Let my finger touch the back of my throat

Tasted breakfast twice

Left dinner in the toilet

Pushed lunch around with a fork

Like I actually tasted something


Mile six and my thighs burn with the intensity

Of lava flowing down the mountain side

My ankles are melting, soon my body will erupt

But I can’t stop; I must torture my body until

It resembles more of a machine than a man


Given the chance, yes, I would augment my bones

Like fire turns sand into glass

I want to reflect the sun off my surface

I want skin you can see right through

To the heart that beats like a drum

Or the lungs filling with the gold

In the air and the bones that hold

This rickety being together


Mile nine finally gives into my body’s desire

I feel guilty over my slowed pace

Mile ten I am back home, I unlock the door

Stretch my aching muscles

Drink a glass of water for dinner

Go to bed hungry

2 0 2

An open letter to my bully *Edited

Maybe you felt as different as me.

Maybe you had jumping jacks in your brain

that made you say those things.

Maybe your tongue karate chopped your teeth

chipped the enamel until the word faggot

fell from your lips.

In a small rural town in Nebraska

where everyone is straight and white

you were the only person of color

and I was the only homosexual

so tell me why you made my life a living Hell

from preschool till high school graduation


Did you have cannonballs for fists firing at my face

the day you forced my pants to the ground

exposing my 12 year old naked body

to everyone in 6th grade band?

When you laughed at my tears

did it fill the void in your ego?

I can’t be naked in the privacy of my own home,

my body still carries that humiliation


Did you think my life was a hiking trail?

You ran all over, without thought

of killing grass trying to grow into

a wonderful man - leaving my body as dirt.


Did you willingly take the knife

from the kitchen cupboard

simply to carve canyons across my plains?

I have given each bloodstream

a name you called me;

Fag River,

Gay Lake,

Pussy Creek,

they empty into Queer Gulf

where the pain will evaporate

forming hurricanes of depression

devastating my self-worth

triggering the thought

that I will never be good enough.


When you called my brothers

told them you knew where I lived

explained in excruciating detail

how you would smash my face

against the pavement tie my feet

to your bumper and drag me through the streets

until my heart stopped beating.

Do you know the amount of fear I lived in?

I didn’t leave my apartment for three weeks

wore my best running shoes for months.

When I finally walked into the sun

I kept looking over my shoulder

Searching for a face I could recognized


I still search for a face I can recognize in the mirror

scouring for the more confident me

but you took that from me

before I could develop into the man

I thought I would become.

Your bullets have left me

on the side of the road

like a wounded deer

gasping for safe air.


I still hear people saying

High School will be

the best four years of your life

I know for a fact this can’t be true

every year I grow

further away from you

gets better and better

my best is yet to come.


I am a shape shifter

trying not to let my past

get the best of me.

I am not looking for remorse

I have rivers full

I am not looking for pity

I am simply trying to find

answers to questions I will never ask

and no amount of fake apologies

will make me forgive you.


I know hate is a strong word

and there is not a doubt in my mind

when I say I fucking hate you.

1 0 1


You were an idol

steeped in mystic powers

hid by a dark crevice

mountainous abode



I crossed rivers


the standard stuff

strung out


how many hours I hiked

to join your cult


What weird rites

in smoke-shrouded shine

charred meat, hecatombs, holocausts

sweet incense also

blood-copper taste on cut tongue

crimson-spat benedictions

flayed skin filled with sanguine promises


I loved you with morbid self-delusion,

dreamt of you as an astral chart

instead of a quirt.


You killed me as all acolytes are sacrificed

love, lust, hate, degeneration

Held me down,

forced hot metal in my mouth.

0 0 0

I don't mean to be a woman about this, but I am.

This morning woke up as a wreck next to him
and even though I might have wanted him to stay,
said that he'd better head home, 
I'd be worth next to nothing.

He didn't react and I was torn
between the idea that he would stay and
that I didn't want him to see me useless.

So I repeated what I said in the exact
same words because I started to doubt
whether I really spoke and wasn't
still dreaming.

He sighed, so I knew
I'd spoken at least once.
He asked if he could use my shower,
I said towels are in the cupboard.

And he came back and looked weird
and maybe I still wanted him to stay
and I asked him if he was mad
so I could prolong his presence with a fight.

He said he wasn't and that I needn't worry
he wished me good day and I said Fuck you.
But he didn't get mad, just like
"I don't know how to handle this."

So I said with reproach
that he didn't have to handle,
that he could just ignore it and
it would go away.

Just get the hell out of there
whenever it reared its ugly head
and everything would be allright, still.
It wouldn't bother him.

He looked away and smiled,
but not sure if he should,
so it was only half a smile
and kind of sad.

He gave me a kiss and I think
I said something ugly again,
because he left my room,
but stood in the doorway.

So I said what are you doing
you're in my doorway hoping that
he would come back inside,
But he said 'Yes' and left without words.

(I realize this is golden.)


Then I sent him a text halfway
drugged already that I didn't need
this from him right now
He texted and I did too. 

But it was always like
"I don't know how to handle this"
and I got really pissed off
and started to feel like a broken toy again.  

2 1 1

stomach aches and ginger ale

my car smelled like mildew or dead animal or something
like that, but not quite the same -

so i cleaned it out.
i threw away everything i could dig off of the 

floorboards and out from under the seats.

on the way home, some bastard on a cell phone reading
The Wall Street Journal,
almost side swiped me
so, i spit at his car while flipping the bird.

a dove flew at my window and the neighbor told me
about a peeping tom in our

organic white bread gated community and about some guy who didn't live here
who OD'd on something in someone’s condo over by the burn unit;
she said we should come to the next neighborhood crime watch meeting
so we can meet some neighbors.

i didn’t have the heart to tell her we were moving in a week so,
thanked her profusely and tried to keep the dog from barking.

driving back into the sun, always heading west
like the compass in me only points 
one way,
i always come back, even if it gets a little lost.

and, despite all the cleaning,

my car still smells like shit.

0 0 0

When I came home that day

it smelled of dirt,
and lilacs,
and cow manure.
And I breathed in deep
the scent of the place where
I had learned that there
were roots beneath the trunks
and leaves; roots that had thrust
their way into the soil, the scent
of which now mingled in and
populated within my nostrils.

it smelled of dirt,
and lilac,
and cow manure.
And I had told him
of vague things,
of half sorts and
I could not sort out why
the things of which I spoke
were not what
they could have been.

it smelled of dirt,
and lilac,
and cow manure.
And if I could have
I would have embraced
every mile which led me there,
and had myself dragged
over the roads
and the fields
and the hills to that home.

it smelled of dirt,
and lilac,
and cow manure.