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three-hundred-sixty-sixi am three-hundred-sixty-six seconds too late.
i wake up late
barely dress myself.
i leave late because
i forget it is winter
and there is frost
on my car. i get to school
to get a good parking space.
and somehow my work is always
turned in just
a little too late.
i am three-hundred-sixty-six minutes too late.
i leave school every day
at the last late bell.
jump in my car,
get home for dinner too late.
skip it because
one meal a day is quite enough.
i stay up late.
late into the hours.
no one knows just what i even do
when it is one a.m. and
the rain is pelting my window. sometimes
i wish i could be like the rain.
sometimes, instead of going against
the clock, i wish i could
run with the wind. float. fly.
but i am always too late.
and it seems,
i am not just three-hundred-sixty-six seconds or
three-hundred-sixty-six minutes or
even three-hundred-sixty-six hours
i am three-h
silk-woven skini. here's a poem
i wrote to you last night,
when my fingers danced
across the scars on my thighs,
and i did not sleep 'till two a.m.
here is a poem to you,
just maybe, will make it across
the world. land in your lap,
or maybe, it won't make it there at all.
ii. i have always wanted to
change my name.
i have always hated my name.
i think this is where my loathing-of-
self began: in my name, because
there are thousands of
other taylor's out there, so why would
someone want me?
this is where it all began.
now, i hate my body, because
there are thousands
of pretty girls out there, so
who would want me?
now, i hate myself, because
there are thousands of good people,
better people, out there,
so why would anyone
i have not always hated myself.
not always like this.
i think i even used to
hold myself at night not to keep myself
but just to let myself know that
i am wanted.
iii. i had a best friend once.
seven years, starting from the age of 6
narcissism (i can't get you outta my skin)she's fucking fantastic.
that girl, i mean. fucking fantastic. everything about her--greasy hair, cloudy irises, chapped lips. doesn't matter that she ain't model material or anything. her hipbones jut out just enough to touch mine when we fuck. her lips sure know how to dance better than her feet. and she's got this idea in her head that killed her, but i can't figure out just what it was.
her cat still circled my legs like i'm half prey half predator. orange tabby cat with no tail and a stubborn mouth, but she loves that thing to death. ironic.
she came from japan, you know. her mother came over when things were getting tough because she thought in america you were invincible and when she realized she was wrong she killed herself. boom--right in the head. she found her mother dead on the floor when she wasn't even three. the neighbors found her next.
so yeah. she's pretty fucking fantastic. she runs t
despotismshe is a bird sitting, teetering on
a power line because
one way or another, she figures
the best way to end
is a big bang.
He is a fish swimming, traversing along,
Against the crashing tide because
He figures he can defy the law one or way or another,
And the best way to begin
Is to finish the end
Before he's stuck in her talons.
though she is made of feathers
and bones and she is still weightless enough
to take to the currents of air,
she is powerless
against the waves his actions
make, and she is so easily swept away that
she thinks her body might as well
be made of stones.
He could tell she was astounded by his ocean,
By the place he calls home to.
He welcomed her to the lowest depths of it,
She couldn't resist the deepest blue of the marine,
Nor the glitter of his fishscale,
And the place he called heaven,
Eventually became this bird's hell.
her eyes were always the
size of jupiter when he was around
because she was fascinated with
the way he moved so gracefully from
the room won't stop spinningyou woke up crying in your bed, red rings 'round your wrist that you couldn't get off, no matter how hard you scratched. they would not stop bleeding. there were bruises under your eyes, veins popping from underneath the first layer of your epidermis to stretch out and touch the ceiling because they just couldn't hold back. the air played your muscle sinew like a harp each time you ran your fingernails over your arms, as if the goosebumps would disappear beneath your fingertips. when your feet touched the floor your toes curled inward, as if the ground was missing and you had forgotten how to walk. but you can't. you can't because your insides are broken and battered, but that doesn't mean your outside is, too.
half moons upon the palmi wanted to fall in love like
the way that one falls out of a tree;
hard, with a loud bang,
like they do in the movies.
i wanted to fall in love to where
everyone knew i had fallen.
i wanted them to
see it in my eyes.
i wanted to fall in love like
the broken girl finds the boy that
i wanted to be saved.
i wanted to fall in love; hard,
people watching like our
story was a drama on the television
but i fell in love quietly,
i fell in love unsuspecting, without
thinking that it might've
been you. i fell in love yearning;
i fell in love like a mother
falls in love with its child.
i did not fall in love the way i
heart tearing with each step.
dieciseis.i fucking bleed ink
like a broken pen; bent
words pouring from my mouth.
let me try this again
i wish i would just
six steps to fixing youstep one
cry. scream. bang your fists against the walls
that keep you locked inside.
kick your feet in the air. tell your sister she's stupid
and wrong and that you've never loved her.
cry. scream. apologize via him to you.
let your tears catch on your lashes
until you can no longer see anything but your own
demise. taste the bitterness left in
your mouth from your own bitching and rot in it.
break a mug. break two. kick
the pieces around the kitchen floor and cry some more.
break a plate. break a cup. break a bowl.
break a finger because nothing can take away this
sort of pain. you are empty and yet
you are filled with so much anger.
break a razor and paint pictures across your skin.
you are okay, you tell them.
you break three days later and you lie
in bed, unable to move.
start picking up the pieces. clean up the mess
you've made and he's left.
use windex to polish off the dirt and
i am alpha and omegaShe stands up, dizzy and drunk. Wonders when her heels came unstrapped, and grips the glass she's got in her hand tighter than she holds her rosary on sleepless nights. Her vision hazy, she trips over her own twisted ankles trying to stand up and pulls the bottom hem of her dress down because her mother taught her two things: One, a lady never shows her ass in public. Two, a lady only drinks the strongest of whiskeys. That was before she had skipped town to pal around with her new boyfriend that had pockets deeper than Lake Baikal, if you know what I'm saying.
The silence is heavy as she slowly makes her way out of whatever hallway she had found herself in, stepping over someone else's body that's marinated in liquor for only god knows how long. It takes an effort not to tumble down the stairs in her shit-faced state, and she barely makes it out alive. There's a door. Opens it. There's a city outside cast in the glow of a purple sunrise,
FiniteI sometimes wish you were small—
so small you could sail this little model ship
into the clouds and never have
to look at a bowl full of put-out cigarettes again,
or make those oh-so-obvious
black paper hearts that you tear
down the center only to
band-aid back together
when I assure you, once again,
that you’re not worthless.
Remember the license plate you had
on that old blue car—
the one that said DANCE?
I wish you’d do that again;
I wish you’d do it in the middle of that abandoned attic
with its weathered beams and emptiness
like we did as children, without shame
and without purpose.
You once said that everywhere you went
places looked desolate, as though the desolation
shadowed you, clinging to your heals,
encasing you like an egg you were
trying to break free of, your arm reaching
for the immensity of the sky—
for a butterfly of hope.
“I feel as big as the world.” You said this
one morning as you purposely spilled that cup
every night my hair is falling outI have heard that in 7 years
every cell in your body
& isn't it beautiful that it will be
a body you have never touched
but I know that when your brain cells
fall like ashes through your skull
they stay dead
& I can never scrap the memories out of their corpses
/ we smile at the universe with ashes on our lips. there are boats inside of our veins. the blood is a metaphor and, hell, i can't even begin to write about her.
i could tell any story. if i wanted, i could write a novel about my mother and how beautiful she was a sixteen or i could make a lighthouse a person, but i cannot tell you the color or her eyes. it's that that i don't know it; i just can't tell you. it's not a color, it's a place.
her eyes are like Chicago. there's life and lights and lakes, but there's a sadness, too. even so, it's a happy kind of sad. the kind that gives you hope.
sometimes when i'm high i think that i'm dead, because i get numb. not physically senseless, but just mentally dazed. i forget where i am. i like that. it seems sometimes like i am a place, i am all the street signs and the cracks in the road and badly painted house down the way. see the really faint dot on the map? that's me. scribb
eleven reminders to love yourselfi. When I talked to myself in
kindergarten, my teacher caught me
nestled between crayons, and towers of neatly
stacked voodoo drawings, darting to find
the perfect color, saying, "Mommies f-f-feed
their babies through the b-b-belly button;
that's why I have one. But they cry,
I c-c-cried, because I came out of my mommy's
mouth." My mother was called to school
that day; the teacher explained that
I was s-s-stammering a lie and it needed
needed fixing, so my mother
halted my stammer in its tracks
and didn't hold back when she said,
"With a head that big, you never would've
left my body, darling."
ii. The gold of the sun is
painful to me; I'd rather let the Margalla-exhausted monsoon
winds, subtend over its study of yellow
and blue to give me grey, (which once made
me cry because the color wheel said
green was right) and I'd rather
let my scarf darken under the reign of
a lightning-mustachioed sky,
bellowing a thunderous roar
My melanin levels couldn't
dampen me on s
intimate thunder in this microcosmic
corner I have stolen
your alcohol & I am
missing the color
you made the world turn
you've been dead for a year, my deari met you on december 21st,
the longest night of the year.
you had solstice eyes: cold, dark, alluring.
i knew you were not meant to last,
powerful as a gale but fragile as
the tulip stems you snapped,
a sickening cycle of you,
an overwhelming tidal wave.
they say two wrongs will never make a right,
but i made so many bad choices that
i wound up back where I began.
it was too easy to love you,
but getting you to love me back was impossible.
i clawed at your chest until I struck blood,
until my nails split into shards.
you were born a phantom,
and i, your corpse.
holding onto you felt like drowning in quicksand;
i fought but always sank into your arms.
i breathed in dirt, breathed in dust, and
found my organs choked with you,
smothered by your existence.
you sucked out my breath
every time i kissed you.
i died every day with your hand
knotted in my hair.
You left on june 21st,
the longest day of the year.
i bit down sorrow and deconstructed
the labyrinth within me,
the one you hadn't th
A stranger walked up to me today...A man walked up to me and asked me for a cigarette… I told him I didn't smoke anymore, and he asked me why? ––I answered "because the person I used to smoke with, isn't around anymore", and he replied…"that's why I smoke."
A woman walked up to me and asked me for drugs, I replied "I have several in store…his eyes, his smile, his hands"…she whispered, "that's not a drug"…and I laughed as I said.. "if only you knew."
A child walked up to me today and asked me to play a game, I told them I was too tired to play games, i'd been playing for years, they replied…"then you must be a pro!", to which I said "yes…a pro at losing."
An old woman stared at me today, and I asked her…"is something wrong?" she answered "I was about to ask you the same question."
© Rocio Belinda Mendez
one shot of ignorance, pleasesip, swallow, repeat
is the mantra of every college student
facing their inevitable unemployment with
vodka dribbling down their acne scarred chins.
put education first,
we will always be here for you,
and sure enough
the first eighteen years of your life were spent believing
them just like the teen mom on television who
believed that the father would propose.
then you turned 19
and god said,
"let there be student loans"
leaving you shackled to your dorm room floor
by economics textbooks written by a miserable spinster
with a pretentious name in helvetica font.
and if that wasn't bad enough,
you have to pay for them by scrubbing toilets
at the thai bistro across the street
and bagging pregnancy tests for antsy high schoolers
at 2 a.m. in the morning.
you're tired, slightly delirious
and the pungent smell of microwave curry
wafts off your moth-eaten sweater.
every other week you
experience an existential crisis,
wondering why a mass-produced shee
orificesyou sucked down cigarettes like
they were lollipops and
breaking hearts was just a
but your nail beds were bleeding,
spurting piss and "i'm sorry"'s
from the quick.
she still packed juice boxes in her lunch bag
and wore scarves
like a noose wrapped 'round her neck.
her favorite flavor was
condoms and safe sex,
while yours was
garage bands and cinderella 99.
she drove eighties cars because
she liked the past
better than her future with you.
and you were scared of conspiracies;
you thought you
were the world wrapped in palms,
no permissions needed.
you thought she was going to save the world.
instead of waiting for
you brought it with you after
a trip around the world,
stringing her along with your luggage and
dumping her off
on the next train out of the
her tears were diamonds,
dripping like your own cum
off a thirty-bucks-an-hour-whore's
you say goodbye like an
eighteen-wheeler in a wreck,
and she bit into her
bursting like a pea
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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