All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
they say your body is
70% water and
30% everything else, but
i don’t believe that 30% can
contain your crooked smiles or
your loud bursts of laughter.
the galaxy that lives in the
speckles of your eyes, or
the one in the freckles across
the bridge of your nose.
i think that you must add up to
more than 100%, and
that is an impossibility,
i think that suits you
My Trey, lightning-sharp cheekbones jagged and bruised, blossoming with arsenic
i am ticking
the world is jerking in time
to the beat of my blood
tick tick tick tick tick
My laptop’s hinge is broken—
by extension so am I.
While crying for salvation
I can only wonder, ”Why?”
My laptop, of all laptops,
who always served me well,
who lit my voltless room at night
when times of darkness fell,
who lit my life with its pure heart,
which beats in sync with mine.
My laptop, my only love,
is injured on one side.
And so I sent it for repairs
and parted from its heat.
I miss its form, its solid frame,
seen only in my sleep.
What an empty life I’m living,
lost without it in my hold!
To clusters I am tethered,
but they can’t claim my soul!
My laptop, my laptop,
my lovely other half!
I would give the sun and moon
to have my laptop back.
My father loved me until he saw the ultrasound
No penis, no heir in his line
No heir, no money from my rich rich grandmother
My father screamed his frustrations in my mother’s face
I wiped the liquid misery off that same face
with chubby baby hands
My mother loves me even though I’m poor
No money, no support for an old sick woman
No support, no passport for her so she can escape her island prison
My mother reassures me that all she prays for is my happiness
I tell her that I will one day remake the world for her
with clenched determined fists
Boy J loved me until he couldn’t fuck me
No sex, no love that he once assured he felt for me
No love, no relationship that promised me the world and home
Boy J dumped me at 4 am on Valentine’s Day
I lay in the ashes and shards of a wrecked fairy tale
with arms wet in tears and blood
Boy D loves me because he thinks he can mold me
No compliance, no peace in his endless pursuit of me
No peace, no security when I never know when and where he might catch me
Boy D corners me and looms over me with whining gripes
I stare at his messages and swear to reject the next gift he buys for me
with fingers trembling in fear
My father appeared out of the shadows and encouraged me in pursuing my medical degree
Groping for strings that aren’t there
My mother nods her head and smiles, trying to understand the strangeness that is her daughter
Wanting a son-in-law who can succeed where she fails
Boy J bragged about the foursomes he’s having and the way he once spilled white on my face
Turned to me and asked for a reaction
Boy D emails me and asks if I’m taking any classes to do with his area of expertise
Unaware of his presence in this poem
I love myself because I read stories instead of protein names
The mirrored chromosomes in my cells
Because I argue with pastors and back my blasphemous claims
The searing flare of fight in my soul
Because I wait for someone to sit down next to me and don’t drink or fuck
The dreaming child curled up in my mind
Because I continue shooting zombies and cussing into microphones
The refusal to change for the assholes who demand I do
These are the things I whisper whenever that love turns black and vicious
And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
Enacted on this same divan or bed;
I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
And walked among the lowest of the dead.
- T. S. Eliot
Wide-eyed tropical-urban girl in T-shirt and American Blue Jeans at Gate 3 McCarthy Quad
Steps out of white Toyota Prius squats squeezes her skull to keep her brains from puking out
Welcome to USC Trojans condoms viruses lost the war opened the gate for a giant horse shh
Rosa in Bedroom A Bed 1 with her boyfriend in Living Room Couch
their dog is tiny but shits a lot shits all over the carpet the smell of shit bleeds into the walls
Turn your music down no dogs allowed and they say Fuck you the dog’s not really living here
Holed up in Bedroom A I emerge one time and my toes squelch in fresh droppings in the hall
Sneakers in the sink as I dig paperclips and straightened staples into the dried shit in the soles
At night in Bedroom A Bed 2 midnight past midnight a trumpet begins to play in the garage
The balcony door sticks and outside it sits the dog in its own piss its owners fucking in the closet
Ani brilliant Ani I love you a little maybe only because I’m starved for nonartificial intelligence
You bought gummy bears and offered them as gummy shot sacrifices for the weekend
Lighten up Irene why are you so responsible come on drink and dance with us
Ani Ani you’re so much more sober so much more full on sleep drained of CH3CH2OH
On my good days I fall asleep to the murmuring of Ani reciting the names of protein structures
Six bottles in the freezer vodka Bacardi tequila wine Five cans of Budweiser down below
party sized bottles of orange juice Sprite Coke to wash out the burn of liquor no room for food
I can’t go up to the festival sober the music’s so bad roll this joint for me
here we can open the window then we won’t set off the smoke detector keep your voices down
so oddball bitch with lung-cancerous mom won’t glare at us
Rene Rene so uptight Ecstasy will send you flying girl who you saving your cherry for anyway
Chug some shots and you won’t care how many brats on bikes run you over
I don’t know how I haven’t crashed into anyone yet I’m so hung over WHAM
Weed’ll redden your eyes cover up that sleep dep cover up the tears
and you can tweet insults with us in class with and about Professor Berg Griffiths Krakus Chang
Skip class get fucked fuck those excess brain cells out don’t you want to fit in geek nerd dork
Things people tell me put them together into a jigsaw puzzle made of broken glass and words
Wake up at one if there’s no class or work else wake up at eight and gulp down espresso
run out the door ride to class ride to work zoom barely past pedestrians run the light on Jefferson five minutes late stare blankly at professor boss when they’re looking sneer when they’re not
lunch break EVK swipe in salad bar sit with friends of the week complain about quality of food
ten minutes late text text Facebook feed scroll scroll Amazon Gmail ConnectSC Gmail Facebook
Maria from Gen Ed 2 last semester oh my god how’ve you been we should totally catch up
Brandon from English 261 and party 2 weeks ago nice seeing you again gotta run see you round
wait at Jefferson light five feet from curb slam elbows into faces walking too close don’t stop
park bike middle of street elevator up shower change clothes drive downtown Edison $50/person
Black Magic rum Mistress vodka Edison bourbon cognac most sober person at the wheel
lost keys ring doorbell bring crowd past bleary roommate offer whiskey to all turn on TV
laugh mock professors bosses roommate smoke to sober up fail vomit 4 am impromptu collapse
Taper halls babbling brook of bodies flowing around boulders of hi bye see you (but not literally)
LA Live big screen human contact popcorn seeking fingers meet
Hollywood up the 110 drink grind into another skin beer goggles every idea makes sense sloshed
Row row row W. 28th St. bar no bra get laid by arms abs ass
rip his head off what use is a head chickens chicks cocks walk move just fine without brains
Tim hey do we talk too much do you think do we connect too much do you think we can
finish each other’s sentences they call us weird do you think we’re normal
we drink 1990 Ridge Geyserville half a sherry glass at dinner goes well with your pasta
don’t need any Adderall Celexa Ritalin Prozac we get our high hauling zombies off each other
I don’t do sex and you seem to want to wait on me forever are you mental only as mental as I am
Tim Tim for all our talk of remaking the world through fire don’t you think it might be futile
that there are no bridges between them left for us to burn that they burned all their own bridges
London bridge burned down down down they’ve tweeted Instagrammed liked the world to death
we are a dying species Homo continens evolving devolving don’t you evolve on me too—
I want happy famous couples filmed
so I can watch and cry and envy
but it’s the happy famous couples
who don’t want to be filmed
Will you please tell me
you are taunting me with lies
I hope you’re ashamed
All are out of stock.
How could you forsake me so?
My bare wallet weeps.
“Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”
O blood of Eve, why do you not come
I sit on the porcelain throne
with toothless, tongueless mouth
Wide-eyed tropical-urban girl in T-shirt and American Blue Jeans lands at L.A.X.
Tom Bradley International Terminal under the rumbling departure ramp
Cigarette smoke and carbon monoxide why do they confiscate the sky as well
Welcome to Los Ange free grey concrete and carcinogens on your right