there’s too much valley here

when the sound of my own breathing reaches my ears

and my skin is warm

and time attaches itself to my brain

vulnerable, i am my most, here

now, inside sheets reeking of aging dreams and dying hope

there’s too much valley here

when do i start climbing?



Your first love

your first love’s

tattooed on your heart

and it burns, still burns

like it was just yesterday

they decided to be fire

instead of water.


Dark Places and People

How many more scars

do you need on your body

to remind you of the existence

of some dark place?

To remind you to not

stray too far

To not bring along people

whose hands cannot build home

or hold one down?


Painting Survival

While you’re painting survival

with your blood and tears,

do not forget that this war you fight

began with your permission

and will end only when you decide

that you have seen enough

of your own blood being collected.


The Lying Game

there’s a way you hang on to words

even after the last letter has escaped the lips

even after the last pause

even after the last exhale

that is you being expectant

that somehow the lie will be given up

and the truth will, for once, make an appearance

and when it doesn’t

when it dawns on you

how much you’ve always known this person

there’s also this way you look at them

their eyes

their lips

some i-told-myself-so jumps up from within you

your insides are on fire

you begin to think of the many definitions of a fool

beginning with you.




How To Fight the War Inside Your Body

War is raging in your body

Oppression of all sorts under your skin

The same that tore your mother down

and your sisters, too.

The same that will break your daughters

because you have not been taught how to love yourself

but everything outside of your own.



down to your birthskin and into immersion,

water resuscitated all of your unjustified guilt.

Bathroom mirrors scrutinized more than just your upper body

You fought

And you lost

Crumpled to pieces at your own reflection

–  not enough strength to pull yourself from the shame

Not enough will you hold your head high

and look you in the face.


You have long made excuses for this repression

Worn it like a crown upon your head

Adorned it with your diamond tears

Deified it

Even given it face

And form

Given it home inside your most sacred places.


But if you will wake

Give yourself some of this love you give to others

You will find an army sitting inside of you

ready to help you extract freedom from any kind of oppression

You will be done fighting

Because you will love

And you will heal.



Your walls will go up again.

And this time you will swear it.

You will swear to keep them standing.

You will swear to protect yourself.

You won’t break like tired wood.

You won’t fall.

Your bridges won’t burn

because there will be none – no crossing to the other side.

No marching against yourself.

You will surrender to yourself.

You will belong to you.

Not to the promises.

Not to the waiting.

Not to the wishing.

Not to the lonely nights,

or the dying lights.

Not to self-destructing habits.

Not to people who aren’t or things that aren’t.

Not to what you’ve lost

or what you will never gain.

You will be yours now.

Yours to guard.

Yours to defend.

Yours to secure.

You will come home, to rebuild.




For A, and the many times you have burnt my body


Like adrenaline pump life. Make us woke.

In just enough time to do foolish things.

Because one-night stands are stories we swear to never repeat

Until our bodies catch feelings and we attempt to burn evidence of it

In several wild sexcapades.



There is something about a person needing several shots of it.

Before sanity scrapes the folly off their eyes.

You’re alone in this bubble and it’s going to burst. Run.

But you can’t.

The last of it hits you.

As if you’re anesthetized and time contains you.

You’re cold.

In a room that feels that like it’s just been torched.

Your stomach turns. And crumples. And kneads

Like the diarrhea it announces when you’re anxious or too nervous.

Only this time there’s less physical awkwardness

And the pain coming is from a place beyond the soul.



On its own it triggers bearable harm.

What makes it insufferable is the thought that we ourselves, might have been guilty of giving it all the venom it needed to destroy us.

Like when I thought I could love you enough for the two of us.

To balance out this rollercoaster relationship.

This, fucking love.



What It Takes To Be a Writer


It is mostly these that creep up on you.

Fears of never making enough sense to keep an audience.

Fears of never making it to the shelves.

Of waking up someday and realizing this thing you have with words is.




It is being broke.

And damned.

And condemned.

To social invisibility, internal confusion, nervous tension, mental strain.

And all the words and phrases used to describe a lunatic proud of her paltry creations.


It is private shame.

Not being able to reach inside your own dreams.

And the damn clock keeps ticking.

And the sun rises and sets.

Every. Other. Day.

And yet nothing changes about when?


It is a slow slow kind of life

In a fast fast moving world

Where nobody sees you,

Hears your shy hellos,

Or bothers to ask about the nonsense you’re writing.

Until you are dead.

And your letters are discovered buried in some old wooden box.

In some ramshackle apartment.


Suddenly you’re a genius.

The whole world knows you.

They talk about you on TV.

You even have a name.

You’re Jack. James. Pablo. Susanne, with two ‘n’s.

Or whatever you want it to be.


You’re no longer the creep that moves in the shadows with a pile of papers.

You’re no longer the creep that lives around the block with a receding hairline or the bad clothes.

Your once forlorn life jumps on fame lane.

Without warning you’re an epitome of true talent

And every one sentence you’ve written is quoted with so much pride.

It is only now you know what it takes to be a writer.

All of your damn fears and all of your damn dreams combined.


A single emotion of fear

You pretend they don’t care

so you can also stop caring.

Have reason to hate.

Reason to shut yourself out.

Reason to be bitter.

Reason to spite.

Reason to have all the reasons

to justify your overthinking

of things.