I want you to
slowly crawl between
speak your tongue into
all of the
neighbors know your name
I swear to every heaven ever imagined,
if I hear one more dead-eyed hipster
tell me that art is dead, I will personally summon Shakespeare
from the grave so he can tell them every reason
why he wishes he were born in a time where
he could have a damn Gmail account.
The day after I taught my mother
how to send pictures over Iphone she texted
me a blurry image of our cocker spaniel ten times in a row.
Don’t you dare try to tell me that that is not beautiful.
But whatever, go ahead and choose to stay in
your backwards-hoping-all-inclusive club
while the rest of us fall in love over Skype.
Send angry letters to state representatives,
as we record the years first sunrise so
we can remember what beginning feels like when
we are inches away from the trigger.
Lock yourself away in your Antoinette castle
while we eat cake and tweet to the whole universe that we did.
Hashtag you’re a pretentious ass hole.
Van Gogh would have taken 20 selfies a day.
Sylvia Plath would have texted her lovers
nothing but heart eyed emojis when she ran out of words.
Andy Warhol would have had the worlds weirdest Vine account,
and we all would have checked it every morning while we
Snap Chat our coffee orders to the people
we wish were pressed against our lips instead of lattes.
This life is spilling over with 85 year olds
rewatching JFK’s assassination and
7 year olds teaching themselves guitar over Youtube videos.
Never again do I have to be afraid of forgetting
what my fathers voice sounds like.
No longer must we sneak into our families phonebook
to look up an eating disorder hotline for our best friend.
No more must I wonder what people in Australia sound like
or how grasshoppers procreate.
I will gleefully continue to take pictures of tulips
in public parks on my cellphone
and you will continue to scoff and that is okay.
But I hope, I pray, that one day you will realize how blessed
you are to be alive in a moment where you can google search
how to say I love you in 164 different languages
The first man to name me “goddess”
was twenty-one and drunk on rum.
Breath heavy with lust and booze, he told me
that most nights he carved poems into the walls trying to write me alive in the room with him,
so when the light hit the scrapes just right,
he could catch his breath for a minute.
I was just fifteen, all ivory thighs and wild eyes,
but still he held my spine between his teeth and spun words off his tongue like thread—
they wrapped around me in a throat-crushing tangle,
but when my limbs began to struggle,
I convinced myself it was some sort of embrace.
One night he called me saying,
“Babygirl, you gotta open your window and stare out at that moon. Isn’t it beautiful, baby? Look at the sky holding up that massive thing all on its own. Damn, you’re just like that, you know?
You’re my sky.”
My frail bones were cracking under the weight of the rock he sickly called devotion—
instead of shattering, I let him become a solar eclipse
and never looked back at him again.
The second boy came to me on his knees at seventeen:
a past lover replaced with steel skin and iron irises.
I’ve never heard a voice as cold as his was, begging for my touch and dripping false sincerity off the edges of his lips.
He cried, “I didn’t know I needed you until you were gone. I didn’t want to hurt you. I’m just fucked up in the head.
Maybe you can soothe the ache in my soul if you kiss it just right with those words of yours.
You’ve always known just what to say.”
Each whisper echoed with a heavy blow that rung in my ears
and bruised my bones so deeply that I still feel them in the marrow.
As he spoke, I could feel those phantom-fingers that once fit so well between my thighs
beginning to curl around my ankles,
so I stepped on them.
The third man held nineteen years in his fists and
told me I wrote like words were poison,
as if I needed to pull them out of my gut as quickly as I could scratch them down, just so I wouldn’t choke.
Now I was sixteen and slinking around in ink-black stockings,
lips red and bloody from tearing the hearts of men out of their sleeves with my teeth.
He claimed I was wild like nothing he’d seen before.
“You’re wise for your age,” he declared. “You remind me of a Burroughs novel; I just can’t seem to understand you.”
I tried to unwrap my heart and serve it to him,
all raw and brutal,
but he returned it untouched, replying, “Stay quiet, now, darling, I don’t want to hear it just now. It’ll spoil it all, you see.”
To him I was a character, a fetishized fantasy,
and he’d cover his ears if I ever tried to speak
outside of a poem.
See, men only seem to stumble upon me in the dark,
as they grasp and fumble for something to swallow to convince their starving hearts
that they’re worth beating.
They hear my words as a siren call and drink me down in heavy doses.
Then, they crush me between their fingers and grind the dust into the ground with their heels so they can keep trudging along,
toting their tragedy behind them.
In their swollen eyes, I am only a poetic panacea.
But god, in the time that it’s taken for my rubble to reform into this shape they call a body,
I have grown thunderstorms in my skin and collected tornadoes under my tongue.
Yes, I’ve been told many times by those who try to solve me
that I exist only so that I may be destroyed
for the sake of others,
but instead, I have become a forest fire,
and I will burn myself alive to tear down
the thicket in my path until
I’m standing in the wake of my
destruction as merely