Each morning,
it takes me ten minutes to realize that I’m awake,
that the monsters my psyche conjured cannot harm me any longer,

I take a deep breath,
and inhale a loneliness that settles in the deep pits of my lungs, 
I exhale, 

But the feeling clings to the home it has spent years renovating, 
It has made me forget that this body belongs to me. 

I get out of bed.
I take my first steps.
These hands hang at my sides,
as I try my best to recollect the mantras my therapist hammered out with me, 
The ones she hammers out of me,

I brush my teeth. 

It’s a new day.
I haven’t seen this one yet. 

I will find a way to love, 
to fill my lungs with oxygen,
a forced gentrification,

I will find a way to survive,
to thrive, 
I close my eyes. 

My heart beats softly in my chest,
I count to twenty,
I am ready.


I fidget in the waiting room. 
The doctor is 13 minutes and 17 seconds late, 
I bite my nails in anticipation,
and stare at the crack in the wall,
I wonder how big it would have to get to bring the whole place down.

The scabs on my arms start bleeding again, 
absent minded scratching back on the list of habits I tried to quit,
Alongside showering with the water too hot,
And hair pulling,

(The little brown girl in the pink dress two seats down gazes at blond hair and blue eyes in magazines,
The beginnings)

The doctor calls me in,
she spends 5 minutes with me,
I didn’t need her to tell me what’s wrong,
I know what’s wrong,

I make paper planes out of my prescriptions,
I laugh,
They told us to take a chill pill, 
Now half of us are on Prozac. 

Untitled, 2016.

When they found out,
they looked at me like a museum exhibit.

all history and artefact,
cause and consequence of an artist’s anger or sadness or heartbreak,
who knows.

He did a paint-by-number on me.

One in four girls will be sexually assaulted on a college campus.
In one night,
I went from student to statistic,

But every statistic has a story.

Most people have heard the one that starts with a few drinks and ends with a rape kit.

But it begins with billboards and news feeds of people having the time of their lives, this can be you, they whisper through their dead eyes,
but you focus on their smiles.

And it continues.

One in four girls will have panic attacks on public transit because they will see the face of their nightmares board the bus and take a seat near the front, they will close their eyes and forget how to breathe until it gets off.

One in four girls will flinch when you touch their shoulders from behind because their bodies have become minefields.

One in four girls will skip class after class out of fear, out of anxiety, out of inability to get out of bed in the morning,
they will breakdown in showers, they will shiver in towels, and they will hide under their covers for just one more day.

Just one more day.

We are modern art instalments, some man’s greatest accomplishment,
they hear his side of the story and become revisionists, 
we don’t belong to ourselves anymore. 

We are pinned up for the world to be gawk at
until they read the plaque and
scoff, because “there’s nothing new,” to see here,

Moved momentarily until they move on to the next one.


Do you remember when I showed you my first poem, about you?

it was filled to the brim with metaphors about the language you were fluent in,
one I proclaimed I could spend the rest of my life trying to understand, probably failing,
to understand,

Do you remember how I said I didn’t mind that?

Since then I have become all too familiar with the way you weave your words to form blankets that will hold the most broken of souls,

but you are not talented because of that. 

You are talented because somehow you can put together those same pieces in ways that make me bleed,

You believed it was worth it, as long as it was on paper.

Do you remember when you left?

My poetry ceased to be poetry, it became a shout into the void,
and all the while I hoped your voice,
would echo back. 

It did.

We were both in pieces and I realize now,
we cut ourselves on our own sharp edges and blamed each other, 

And now we both find fault in ourselves,
the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves, 

And maybe you’ll betray me in the end,
maybe I’ll die by your hand, 
or maybe, just maybe,
we won’t be a goddamn literary trope anymore.

Two poets walk into a bar. It’s a metaphor. 

If I were immature, I would say that words are our weapon of choice, and we’re at war,

But it’s been long enough for me to know, 

We only argue because there is something here worth fighting for,

I will worry when we stop.