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splice

i generally don’t make a big deal of things like this, but over the past few weeks i’ve seen it enough times to make me want to club a seal. a baby one.

driving along in town can be an enjoyable experience. no real rush to go anywhere. just idly working your way through the familiar like you have over and over again. you come to a stop light.

you have a few cars ahead of you. a car heading in the opposite direction as you has their window down. as they pass, they flick a cigarette out of their window and it hits the ground. the music rips.

for some odd reason, this is the catalyst for me. i look in my rear view mirror and think to myself, “are you serious?” someone decided that the cigarette did not belong in their possession anymore. they purchased this nicotine delivery system, set fire to it, inhaled the fumes and upon completion of this, made the decision to flick the butt out of the window.

my mind immediately starts to imagine who this person is and why they think it’s totally fine to just throw that out of the window onto the ground. this is a public street. for a few moments i try to wrap my head around the instantaneous rationale that apparently took place. they came to the conclusion that this is okay to do. i don’t often see people hurling bags of trash or old furniture out of their car window. why? because it’s really fucking hard to do. that shit is heavy. but also, it’s fucking. littering.

it’s harsh, but I can honestly say that I immediately lose a significant amount of respect for this person regardless of any other aspect of their life.

i absolutely understand that this occurs in many other forms. crumpled receipts. carrier bags. cans. for some reason, the cigarette butt has a way of infuriating me like nothing else.

stop.

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Would you believe I spent

My childhood thinking we are defined

By the god we do or do not believe in?

 

When I was 19, I found that

Anyone can be wonderful, and

Everyone is as real as I am

 

They will try to convince you

That you are worth more than those

Who don't fall on their knees at night

 

But my god, they were wrong

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cleansed

what is the difference
between rainfall
and a shower?
both are meant
to cleanse the filth.
perhaps we are only willing
to be clean on terms
of our own control.

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Some days the sun is a swollen

head in the sky, watching as we walk the

block in circles, tracing the line between 

green grass and white cement, frying 

us like leftovers in a pan, charred and

bound for waste.

My eyes are half lit, glazed with the maple

syrup honey light of a dying sun in a dying

world living a dying life. My hair is damp

and the chlorine has my skin spongy and

when we climb into the car we end up

driving in circles on the same streets all

night long. 

You pointed at the moon as it emerged, 

a graceful dancer, a ballerina in the symphony

of stars in the sky, ripe and yellow. The sunset

had striped the sky pink and purple over the

ocean, and the night was television fuzzy bruising

the day until it was black and blue and aching

with the new winds and the cooler air, the spell

fading away. 

It matters how we hold hands and how we touch

feverish lips in the backseat of my mother’s car 

and how high in the sky the sun was when you

first said I love you and the shirt I wore on our

first date might smell like you even though that was 

the latest part of autumn and this is fresh summer,

raw and glowing and pulsing. Our hearts are tiny

mechanical rabbits pitter-patter-pitter-pattering beneath

the bumpy jump of skin and bone and they are the

strongest part of our body and that is why we follow

them despite their silly rabbit feet. They are stronger

than the sun and more modest than the moon.

Summer fell like lead and tasted like sun-warmed wine

and felt like straw grass and rolled and rocked us safe

to sleep beneath striped sunsets. Summer was our

sidewalk and our street and our car crash. I told you I

would love you forever, once.

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Breathe

I hate the car rides home after school.

I can feel the vibration of the car's engine.

it pulls on my heart, and it makes me sick.

every now and then, I'd like to be independent.

as free-spirited as the flowers I watch,

as they bend their stems, like ballerina bones.

I like those flowers, I wish to be one myself.

I hate evenings after school, they make me sore.

I can never rest, and when I get home, even though

I have no homework, I feel overwhelmed and stressed.

I can never lie down and think of nothing, there is

always something, nagging at me from the inside out.

remembering what I thought about on days like these.

did I hate the car rides last year? I wish I knew.

but I cannot remember anything, anymore.

my brain is but a cloud, grotesque with rain.

there's no more room left.

seldomnly does it empty.

seldomnly do I breathe.

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skylines

I drew a picture of a skyline
Chicago, LA, London, Beijing, Abottsville
doesn’t matter where
but I drew a picture of a skyline
with the scrapers and the smog
with the legs drawn tight to her chest
like an extra layer of cloth and bones
like they might hold everything in
it was a geometric outline
and the black and the yellow and the white
mingled and mixed an
awkward dinner party among
friends and I told Tony
about the girl with the drawn-up legs
and her chestlike architecture
he didn’t believe in the way
her bones mingled with the cloth and
the way her heart pounded against
her knees
because they knocked too loudly for
anyone to hear the heartbeat of the city
marking out a steady waltz
through her kneecaps
one two three one two three
lub dub lub dub lub dub lub dub
one lub two dub three lub
dub uncomfortable rhythms and
unsure steps from the gut to the
pelvis to the knees to the floor and
all the way back up to the kneecap
skyline within her chest

A car horn sounds in the distance.
It echoes among the steel.

 

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Untitled

We became
Our own undoing
Bleeding fake
To lonely musings
Please reshape
The heart I'm losing
Clinging hate
It's you I'm bruising
 

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the end

Cracking under the weight of light
and crumbling away into blue
Centuries of life fall out of sight,
erasing the heights to which they flew

With their backs to the ground
and eyes to the bloody sky
They reach out their hands to catch a sound
in remembrance of the ocean’s gentle sigh

A speck that became nothing at all,
even less than it was before

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Tomorrow, I'll Leave.

“Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.”
—Richard Siken, “Detail of the Woods”

I.
When you left,

the flowers and I talked about how fragrance run
inside of this home. With that, I learned the
trick of coaxing

anomaly in a matter of carving walls;
how pheromones clasp on shirt

and how the walls never forgets
detail.

II.
Weary like Sunday noon storms, this home has been
the result of monotony. Again,

the flowers and I talked. This time, about mornings—
so beautiful, so grandeur, like gardens
blooming a new born spring,

colors leaping onto eyes. These are
times the sun knew how to be radiant
without burning a skin.

III.
Still, the flowers never falter
to mention about the insatiable
walls.

But then, tomorrow, when you come back,
I’ll leave with a trace of a new name carved
on those walls. For out there,

the sun is paving my way to the most radiant
part of the world, where a shore is calling
my name so fast and so loud,

I could not ignore it.

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gloss

In ivy
bedecked,
this pretty gloss
and silky feel,
a sensuous
subterfuge -
underneath,
hidden,
the slowing
beat
muted;
stops.
(Still looks
pretty
to the glancing eye.)