you’re a spun sugar angel
serving a god of the gaps…
the gaps in your lover’s happiness, that is
for something here is missing and incomplete.

you take a different form for each person who passes by
a dog, a ghost, a demon, a butterfly
nobody’s quite sure who exactly you are
but setting that cupcake’s a start

you open the door into the mind of your lover
who’d rather you jump into their bones
igniting like a star in their heart
and burning like a supernova for the rest of your days

in this twisted game we play
in order to sit on the throne, proclaimed winner
you must get down and dirty and become a sinner
so call upon your lucky star and descend to the earth


house of wolves

knock me out with the strongest you’ve got
and send me to the sweet release of the floor
help me escape from my own head
and when you’re done, tuck me into bed

bury your memories in the heavens
and name a star after yourself
for if you’ve got to be a self-proclaimed god
you might as well watch everybody

somewhere in the end of all this pain
the house on a hill’s torch blazes despite the rain
I can’t find it; my mind’s a maze
the light in your chest leaves me in a daze

dancing in the dark of night
illuminated by the pale moonlight
you touch my heart and steal my soul
disappear into the mist and leave my skin clammy and cold

confectionery contempt

one of these days in the summer heat
your sweet sugar will rot my teeth
planting a seed inside my chest
and growing a candy cane forest

the last I remember of you
your skin felt like peppermint stew
with a dash of cotton candy here and there
leaving finely spun strands everywhere

every night for my dessert
you’d melt into me along with the hurt
like you dumped sour worms into my wounds
the chocolate bubbling on the stove will be ready soon

your presence won’t disappear from this house
like the licorice stolen by that one mouse
sticky blue handprints left on the walls
elongating as my “lollipop” falls

my personal porcelain doll

you rest your head on my shoulder
fiddling with the lace on your collar
satin and velvet and threads of gold
mirroring the hems that hold together your soul

your irises are as black and inky
as the words on the pages you bury yourself into
and just as full as life- rather, the life of a thousand others
and with that said, you dig your own grave

your hair cascading down my shoulder
more graceful than a hundred artesian fountains
matches the shade of the coffee you sip
perching patiently on the windowsill

surely whatever is stirring inside your empty chest feels realer
than sentences crafted by dead and dying authors
but if the long-gone musings are origami birds
you are a walking bird cage

so tell me, how is your menagerie faring?

the owner of the locket around my chest

how ironic I find it that words spill so freely from your mouth
and write novels about all the colors of the sky
and assign every single gradient a name
but none to give any care to yourself.

how amusing I find it
that you can lay down on your back
and call out to every star by name
every name except of those you love

how distasteful I find it
that words ceaselessly spill from your mouth
and the novels they write have little value
disparaging sentences of somber strength

three has just as much in common with her fellow human as a floor tile does
two has a self-inflicted muzzle over her screaming mouth
one bears a heart of gold and hands of cold
but who will number four be?

is this microphone on?


Sunday, April 25, 2032. Nisana’s diary, page 17.

It rained for the first time this year today. When the first drops fell like wet and cold bullets piercing the ground, those outside with their woven baskets stopped in utter confusion as they turned their gazes to the sky. Sweet winter toddlers who had never experienced such a thing either yelped and hid behind their mothers’ legs or asked their fathers why the sky was crying.

For those like me, we had a wide variety of reactions to this sudden burst of moisture. Some of us stayed inside and reveled in the miracle that was the staying of the tap water that we’d used to get through the winter drought. Those who were both old and healthy enough to work the fields carved out a space among the grains and beans and revived snippets of both extinct and dying dances from before our time. Sure, their feet stumbled all over the place since the grace of previous generations had all but been bred out of us, but the smiles on their faces as the drops dampened their up plucked brows was genuine. A handful from the crazy house dared to step outside onto the porch in their ghostlike white dresses and turn their scarred arms up to the sky so that they could feel something as well. Their faces remained stony, though, and the ghosts persisted as the downpour began and the rest of the villagers retreated outside.

My older brother also had his bridging ceremony today in between bursts of moisture from God’s armpit in the sky. It would have been a much bigger deal, seeing as he received the ID card that will allow him to leave this community safely, but the damn rain had to go and take all of the glory of his birthday away from him.

To the outside world, he is now Brigid Boutros, but to this little family of mine, he will always be Loreto Stepniewska. The persona of Brigid will keep my brother safe from the hawks that lurk outside this city with the intention of sucking kids into the technological wastelands of what lays beyond the horizon. Three this year have already made a deal with the devil and traded away their security for a life of ease and coddling. A few of those who have graduated and found themselves in the job of relaying news and critical medicines back and forth between the two worlds report without fail that the kids from previous years who have left before their time ended up  permanently stuck in the welfare system.

Mother rarely talked about his past, and on the few occasions that he did, it was when the teenagers as a whole grew restless. In all of the stories that Mother told me as he brushed my hair in front of the fire at evening- the sparks always cackled at the sound of his voice- the cities over the horizon were always painted as places of heartbreak and destruction. Parents prayed at night to gods of a thousand different names that their children wouldn’t be the next ones to disappear while on their route to the bus stop. Students constantly found seeds of inaccurate information planted among miswordings in their textbooks, but they kept their mouths shut because the last time someone proved a teacher wrong, they went missing like a puff of smoke dissipating into the sky.

And, unfortunately for those of you still listening, that is what I must do now. Good night, and good luck until next time we speak again. I hope that it will be on a much more positive note.


to every person, their own

of those you inherit, in ache and in blood
make sure that you don’t waste what the brave have secured
through years of strife and lead and horrors unseen
to your naïve and carefree eyes

this grass beneath your feet
would not be here if we had all laid down
and offered ourselves to the mercy of those
who would seek to destroy us completely

do you see these fragile strands between your toes?
they are as delicate as the masses
who would rather make all a flock of gently grazing animals
rather than take responsibility upon their shoulders

I know that you hold death in your hands
so keep it locked up safe and sound
and when the shadows streak in during the night
Death does not embrace your soul