some days I’m just a girl

On the shortest day of the year I fold myself into my bed, a dusty map in a long-forgotten footlocker.  My spine presses against my skin, a ridgeway of mountains that were once taller than Everest but under an ocean; walking in the woods on Pine Mountain, I’m flipping over rocks along the trail when I find the prints of tiny clams like the half-moons of my toenails against black dirt.

Some days I am the whole mountain.

Some days I’m just a girl standing in a room of blurred sound.  Lie me on the carpet and unzip me with your knife.  Part my skin to search for the ocean in my chest–my heartbeat keeps the tides steady except when your hands approach and all of me quickens and the salt rises in the back of my throat, my body foaming over with the taste of tears.  A jellyfish curls her silver tendrils around my heart, her poison crossing the threshold to my atrium.  I don’t recognize the pain until it’s fading to a dull throb.

By then, it’s so familiar it doesn’t need a name.


half poem/half diary entry

NB: this post is depressing and talks about rejection, rape, and self harm with no uplifting notes.


My body is an old house that shudders in the cold.  Paint cracks around my windows, bubbling then falling away until you see the skeleton of me, weeping and broken, a damp grotesque thing you don’t want to touch.

I wish I knew why I hated myself this deeply.  It was before my 18th birthday when I opened the card my dad mailed from seven miles away and read, “Happy birthday.  18–wow.  You’re an adult now.  I feel the responsibility to tell you I’m disappointed in the woman you’re becoming.”  It was before three men pulled 17-year-old me out of the night air at knife point and ripped me open with dirty dicks and beer bottles.  It was before seventh grade when I watched the first girl who kissed me carve my name into her leg with broken glass.  It was before I was doing my second grade spelling homework and my dad told me annoy is spelled with 2 n’s–J-E-N-N-Y, and my whole family laughed in agreement, shame rising in my chest.

Maybe I was born sad, crying purple into the still air.  Maybe I just knew then that I could never be enough.

still alive and still writing

I need to write and stop making excuses.  Why am I afraid?  It doesn’t matter if this is a journal or poetry.  I’m not alive if I’m not writing.  I’m not here if I’m not writing.
The past few months feel like I made them up in a dream.  When she punched me in my nightmare last week, I felt more real than ever.  I constantly lose myself–in the three crows rising up from the road in front of the car someone who might be me is driving–the filmy water swirling toward the choked shower drain, a foot half-submerged on either side–two eyelids heaving against blue, asking if I see this, if I see anything.  Why are you so afraid, little one?  Did the dragon win in your stories, femurs crushed between jagged teeth, a torn ribcage clenched in two greedy claws?

I think I always forget how to fly halfway up – are these wings vestigial?  Is this heart?  Maybe it’s faith I lose, refusing to address the sky as god since too many deaths ago–I don’t even have faith in not believing anymore.  I don’t even have words.

Is aging fading?  Am I a little girl growing farther from the earth?  Is that why everything blurs more each day?
My bedroom has different weather from the rest of the world.  When I wake up my lips are blue and quaking.  I shudder into long sleeves and part the front door into a sticky wall of heat.  A pale worm on the walkway is swarmed by ants–bloated body in three dozen aching jaws.

posts I didn’t write//let’s catch up


I’ll be back.  I’ll be back.  I’ll be back.  I want to promise.


I wonder what a year means, think of me thin like a mirror–don’t you remember living so small?  My cheeks are the bellies of robins full of winter breath.  I open my eyes and today looks like yesterday but maybe a little warmer, the kind of spring where salamanders hide under leaf piles and I search for them like an unsure surprise, spend hours looking, find nothing, know I was likely inches away.  I try to picture a year, six months in one half my thoughts, six months in the other.  I get lost some time in September, am not sure I even made it past may.  I remember the heron and wish I knew the answers, try to place myself under her open wings, the long twigs of her legs, tucked under like a rudder, sailboat on the Chesapeake, a note from my grama in my hand, try to convince myself I’m headed toward something.

[feeling lost, turning 25, shitty relationship, applying to grad school^]


I wish I still knew how to write.  When I’m 25, maybe I’ll write every day.  Maybe I’ll become a teacher.  Maybe I’ll learn to love without being afraid.  Maybe I’ll wash the dishes right after I use them.  Maybe I’ll remember to be Jenny.


it hits me hard in the chest
suddenly, boulder falling then

ash around my heart

the world blurs in a pain this thick.  I can’t see my feet walking straight on, my throat choking on each breath wet with fear I fell asleep under.

[shitty girlfriend told me she was pregnant, subsequent breakup angst^]


We learn each other carefully.  I draw a map on your back with my lips and fingertips.  I want to see the places your heart has been, walk through forests of your words and see the light coming through the leaves.  You light up the burnt edges of me and name them beautiful.  Your arms open as wide as this galaxy and your gravity pulls me, weightless still.

Last Friday morning I woke to the arch of you next to me, sunrise kissing your hip, thin sheet draped beneath your spine.  I took in the perfect lines of you, tried to memorize the cartography of your sleep; you stirred a bit and I wondered your dreams, fell back asleep thinking A—-, am not afraid to use your name because I want to trust like a person who hasn’t broken yet.  You make me feel like I haven’t broken.  Do you know how long it’s been since I was seen?  Do you know how whole I feel with you next to me?

[name (ironically) removed for privacy. maybe falling in real love for the first time ever and being scared but vulnerable//learning how to write again^]


How have you all been?

dreamy justwrite


Life is a dream, the edges blurry–lifting my tongue to find teeth I’ve never seen before crumbling out from my bones.  I never knew I was scared until it was all I could feel, my breath empty, heart clenching and unclenching at my center.  Two hours after midnight I start to chip apart, my skin breaking into moths who fly past my ears moaning in their grey dresses, so I dream of a woman with a cracked asphalt face, clutching at her cheekbones with talon hands.  Is this me?  Am I drying in the summer heat, my flesh fractured sand?  I used to know how to write this down, I think.  I used to have a name for this feeling trembling at the cleft of my lips, almost a sound, almost a part of a word.  Someone says hell, but I turn around and the room is as empty as ever, the walls staring straight at each other, me between them in this body, a trembling leaf, stealing parts of the wind for my breath but still always drowning.  Every time I stop moving the tide comes in around me.  I keep walking forward but, if I’m going to be honest, in the quiet hours before morning I consider turning around, swimming out until the land is lost and sinking into the silence.  Night is always coming again.

these walls justwrite


I want these walls to keep out your voice, to hold mine inside so when I scream the wallpaper yellows.  I want the past to walk by dragging its chains, moaning, and to still be able to sleep.  I half-awoke to the ghost of your words two hours before sunrise, wondered whether I was dreaming, fell into the pillow like I used to fall into your arms.  If you were here,maybe you could teach me how to grieve.  Here is my heart, pear bruising under your calloused thumbs.  Juice drips from the center as I crack open.  Hold me to your lips and tell me if I taste like the atlantic, its salt heavy, my bones aching with this weight.  I used to be sweet, used to be a tender, treasured thing.  I stand between these walls, screaming, not knowing if you’re outside.