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.



I made a word cloud of the writings from my blog… the biggest words are the most commonly used.  you can make your own on wordle to give yourself this kind of visual of what words come up most often in your writing.

this is how I begin

This is how I begin
with a hawk and a branch and the snow
everything silent but

my body settling
into itself, a book
turning closed, all air gone.
My lungs hang in my center
two summer peaches swollen
in the sun, roped to my heart
aching apple at the center of me.

I remember your ear
on my chest, saying there’s no
distinct beginning– this is how I begin
in the middle with your lips paused
around a word you’re still searching for.

Your eyes are so wide the night sky fits inside.  I want to keep this moment here, a map folded in my breast pocket.  You ask where we’re going, and I reach for it but come back with a fist full of Atlantic sand, the salt of dried tears leaving pale footprints on my wrist.  You accept it with open palms; I fill them with sand and a dead starfish curled under from the sun.  You hold her to your ear and cry and all I can say is I’m sorry without knowing why or if I’m telling you the truth–

This sorry sticks in my throat sweet and thick as honey, bees rising in my chest, thousands of legs and wings drumming against my rib cage.  I open my mouth, tell them–Go!  but they’ve been here so long they’ve forgotten the sky.  I feel the humming slow, wings settling, resting and complacent.  I want to scream at them–tell them they’re stupid–Can’t you see you’re trapped!

You appear in front of me with your arms wide and open, tell me I can fit anywhere, but I’m backing up before I can whisper your name, the whole ocean behind me crashing and hungry.  This is how it began, the only life I can remember, my father’s breath on my shoulder, a song with no words unfolding itself onto my skin.  I open my eyes again and am alone, nothing but snow piled around me, the ocean frozen and still, one wave frosted with foam still nesting at my ankles, a white crab quiet like a ghost or a shadow perching at my side, watching the sky as it fills with birds, black silhouettes against pale space, circling and silent.

I breathe it all in, try to feel full and still and cold, but there’s no more room.  The fruits in my chest are rotting, the bees hollow corpses falling to my stomach, your name unspoken and thick in my gut.  I want to reach for the chasms where your feet were a moment ago, but my arms are too heavy.  I close my eyes and wait.

I remember your ear
on my chest

still here, still falling justwrite

Last week we drove to the top of a mountain and ate open-faced sandwiches while looking at six towns at once.  I forget so much can fit in my sight at once.  Maybe that’s why I love flying–people swarming below so small I could reach down and grab fifty or sixty in one hand.  I think what I love most about flying is the descent–no matter how slow it is, it’s still falling, leaves me hurtling and breathless, this body a shooting star burning through the night sky–will I reach you before I’m just ash?

In the morning, the shower whispers at me through the wall, urging me from my dream of a room full of mice, so many I could never find the one I love.  Maybe this is why I’m terrified of flying–I pick up fifty or sixty of you in one handful and find no one who knows my name.  What I fear most, though, is the falling–no matter how slow, the ground always hits hard, a moment of waking and realizing I may not make it today, remembering I have no choice, must rise into the air again, each breath lifting me from my feet.

At night, dusk comes suddenly and I can’t remember a time when there were so few stars, fall asleep and dream of falling between them–the light of the fire keeps waking me.  I open my eyes and there is a mountain beneath me, six towns beneath that, and morning air aching to be taken in, begging me to breathe.  I walk down the path with palms open and facing you, as if I could catch the first question you ask, as if these hands have held anything I’ve wanted this badly.  When night comes again my chest in an attic staircase overflowing with frantic bats.  I feel their wings beating the windows at the edges of me, wish I could remember how to open, how to let out the things that fly.  I want to trust them to come back.  Even now, I feel empty and heavy, a silent old house creaking under all of these years.  Your voice urges at the edges of me–your fingers brushing the tips of mine.  My eyes start to open, and you tell me anything I want to see will fit.