soft

when the lights gazed down
for our attention and petals fell

rain-streaked you tied a ribbon around my
waist before we sank in a sea of swimming bodies

streaks of sunrise flushed angry
in our eyes

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City

The city is tired, the city is alive. The city is moving; the city lies still. Stop motion. Slow motion. When the light turns green I cross anyway, counting down the milliseconds, swiveling my sight in circles.

The city, from far away, sparkles and sprinkles and glitters and glows. Juxtapositions sit at every street corner. The homeless slump by the chatty elite, carry cardboard by  fine wine. Angry lights glare. Still lampposts hang. I play the streets by ear, following the crowd, hoping to god that I’m moving southeast.

The city overwhelms. Screams, honks, turns right on red. Showers rain like a garden hose, a childhood treat on summery days. Spinning and laughing in a one-piece, now cold and shuddering.

The city houses nail salon after nail salon. Our nail salon is next to the gas station. Open doors. First breeze of summer wafts in. A woman with acrylic stuck in her nail drifts in, “you can remove this?” You don’t want new nails? A new coat? “Nah, just get rid of this.” Five minutes later she leaves muttering under her breath because she doesn’t want to soak them-she wants to rip them off.

The city is gritty, the city is loud, the city is terrifying, the city is striking, the city is cold. I skip down the steps to the train, slot in my coins, smile at the receiver who seems unusually patient and friendly. I pace my way back and forth as I wait stonily for the trolley.

The city is a million breaths at once, all breathing, breathing, breathing. And I’m afraid–once in love, but now just afraid.

April 2018

Lost in my Mind

Scarlet scarfs frayed at the edges. Orange-yellow bulbs of life, warm against the blue black bruises of the cold outside. Home is a phone call away.

The coffeeshop is empty, save for the hawkish worker with the light eyes who started a few years ago. He wasn’t here when I was ten, when this place was new, and I only ever asked for mango smoothies.

And it’d come out artificial-creamy sweet, rich sun yellow against a dollop of white. I’d scoop out the whipped cream with the outer edge of my straw, slurp it into a pathetic heap at the corner I couldn’t reach.

______

Familiar strumming overhead. A lollying tune, an indie low-whine. Drawn out wail of a banjo and musician who sounds like he sports a beard and wears pea-green jackets with camo sleeves,

Lost in my mind, lost in my mind, I’ve been lo-o-o-o-st—

They play this song every time I come in. It’s on the coffeeshop playlist, and it always has ben, unchanging, carved in time, shaping my own musical preferences as I bury my head in words.

______

Insomnia. There’s a softened edge to memory, to memory’s memory of insomnia, to memory’s memory of the insomniac’s late-night thoughts. Other things mattered then, trivial things, mind-numbing replays of the inconsequential, and that was what kept me up.

______

The things that matter now stand in sharp relief against the mindset I’d held then.

Sun streams in through the window. On five hours of sleep, I crawl out of bed.

At this coffeeshop, littered with people working hard and hardly working, I order nothing from the bar. I bring a water in. I peruse through reddit and creepypasta and play psychic word games. When I pass the counter, the barista jokes about throwing out my water container, but I can’t tell if it’s a joke, so I laugh as though it is, and throw the water out.

Overheard, Lost in my Mind plays. And for a moment, I’m enmeshed in the warm cocoon of nostalgia, buried in tunnel vision.

Displacement

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we drive home
bound with the windows
down carrying bags of tea that smell like

Christmas, flecked with
ginger, decked in lights
pass by billboards for

fidget spinners &
a bridge that reminds me of beyond two
souls & a school with the sign that reads “meet the Teachers night”

lo que sera, sera means what will be
will be, fate that’s putty in the
hands of what we can’t see

C’est Octobre

disposable film 35mm photography nature fall leaves

The leaves fell and temperatures dipped 20 degrees overnight. Fall. A season in flux. The weather’s nice, albeit confusing;bit of sun and it’s sweltering hot, patch of shade and it’s shivery-cool.

I’m so basic, I’m getting the pumpkin spice coffee. I’m so basic. The girl in front of me says this four times to her friends while we’re all getting coffee. She is–and I look up to see just who is just so basic–decked out in basic fall dress, basic orange scarf and basic boots and all. Oranges, yellows. Except it’s grey and murky outside today.

The cold make me nostalgic. Tunnels me into a tube of miss, insomnia and memory woven together. Heavy rope. Haven’t felt this way in a while. It’s familiar, muted. Nowadays, when I can’t sleep, in lieu of curling up angrily around air, I’ll send out the insomniac’s frustrated 3 AM snap: I can’t sleep, and the streets are so loud.

 

my tiredness

IMG_0228

is dividing the number zero is a
forgotten cigarette in between two slabs of sidewalk is a
depressed piece of cotton in the bottom of your
medicine drawer is the
fog on mornings when my mother hasn’t read where the wild things are to me is a
fishing boat with cracks in the fiberglass is
our bleary-eyed round-table exercise in creative writing (october 3rd 2017)


We went around and talked shared tiredness in metaphors. Some metaphors were poignant, others contradictory (“My tiredness is the sun that warms you”). The girl next to me described her tiredness like an unrelenting wind and it seemed angry, and the girl across from me, who said the story-less fog one, seemed sad. So many forms of tiredness, all stewing in our slow misshapen circle.