Saturday, December 28, 2013

we say that you are an ocean, you are salty

fuck that.

you are more than the ocean, you are bonded hydrogen particles, you are the first
bite of a ripe peach, too sweet
and running like a stream around the sides of my mouth and my 
you lick yourself off of my kiss.

you are a mudslide, a low thunder storm, i am a foot
sinking into your mud, easy and soft and permanent. 
you grab me with hands and eyes and hips, i don't even have words
for all the weird things we are about to do. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

i look forward to going home in the way that a criminal looks forward to sirens, full of fear, resentment, relief.

i step with heavy(ier) shoes now into the room i (did not) grow up in like a
museum, a hotel, a haunted house; it is filled with
photographs of ghosts, things that do not belong to who i am now-
pieces of hemp string, dusty pens, carpet stains with a strange sense of muted 
familiarity like seeing a person you definitely (maybe) went to high school with and i can
never tell what age has done to our faces, home makes me feel 
ashamed and sixteen.
i am made of sharp angles now and my jawline is bone;
they wonder, i'm sure, if my face has changed as well,
they wonder if we had English class together or if i 
am a complete stranger (now).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

1:17 A.M.

idea: buy an air conditioner and a space heater for bedroom, turn them on, see if they make a tornado

idea: get out of bed, buy a dry erase board, write to-do list on it, never cross anything out, never do anything

idea: get out of bed

idea: i used to love sleeping but now it makes me feel afraid and dead

idea: if you brush your teeth long enough can they get sharp like fangs?

idea: is it very normal to feel sick on planes or at hotels or when you're driving in the pitch black on route 17 because everyone is snagged somewhere, everyone has that place that they never leave

idea: stop all highway construction, pool tax money and create flying cars, let the roads fester, let the vines crack intersections, see if anyone actually misses traffic because it was the one time of the day that they had to actually sit with themselves

idea: a phone that senses when you're drunk or sad and then blows up before you can text anyone

idea: an ever lasting kitten fountain

idea: rob a family, wait three days, give all the money back, see if they say thank you

idea: don't ever get murdered because if the paramedics go through your left dresser drawer they are going to think you're a pervert

idea: take your medicine

idea: call someone

idea: what if everyone had a microchip in their necks that recorded everything from birth and when you fell in love with someone you had to sit down together and watch a whole movie of their life, would you still love them like you did before?

idea: build a shelf, put candles on it, let the wax drip down the wall, do nothing about it, let it fill the entire room, build a kingdom out of the wax, drown in it, become lavender scented and store packaged and burn in her room and be everything, become everything, watch the way her hand touches everyone that isn't you.

idea: get high instead of fill out grad school applications

idea: stop getting high instead of filling out grad school applications just so that you don't have to think about the future and how you never thought this far ahead before and everything has been so fast and sometimes you can't breathe and sometimes you don't know what is real anymore or if you're real

idea: shut up forever

idea: it feels weird seeing facebook photos of people that you've seen naked and just clicking 'like' because you don't like it but you feel something deep and heavy and angry and sad in your stomach and you figure that it's close enough 

idea: she doesn't live near the 30th ave stop on the Q train anymore but sometimes i still see the roof shake and red lights reach through her window and the glow touch the parts of each other that we never could, every
35 minutes after midnight. it feels weird that two other people sleep in her room now and they'll never know all the love that happened there and i'm sure that no one has stared at that plaster crack or the one knotty floor board like i have and no one has ever felt as much, as hard as i did under the Q train, every 35 minutes after midnight

idea: take shower, stay in shower for days, see how long it takes roommate to call the cops

idea: when i look at my mother i feel sad and embarrassed and empathetic and i don't feel amazed anymore, when did that happen?

idea: she is the december sort of beautiful when it's cold as
hell and the sun is out and her coffee isn't nearly as hot as i am under
suffocating layers and fever warm and my bones aching like they want me to tear them out or something, to molt myself, scuttle as a hermit crab under the nearest rock, stay there for one hundred and twenty seven days until i become
something docile, something nurture-worthy.

Friday, December 13, 2013

three line love poems

i used to get high so that i didn't have to think about
whether my arms or my eyes made the first impression;
i'll never be alone at stupid dinner parties again.

i'll shave our dog every week 
so your eyes never get red
from histamines or common colds or crying.

roses smell like your neck,
as far as i'm concerned,
you came first.

we named our children after people we'd never meet like
Nelson Mandela or Oliver Twist or her Grandmother, 
let's give them big shoes to grow into.
a little south of sanity-

i've killed three dozen men in my stories and only brought one back
but my writing teacher tells me
it doesn't count.

occasionally, I get so down that I can feel the
blue in my eyes throb.
the worst is when you remember the way
you popped
at your stitch.

here's what the doctors don't tell you-
your insides look exactly
like what you always expected. your skin is
elastic layered on meat layered on lake and it'll
gape forward the second you open the door.
and under is the
part i never got to see.

the worst is when you wonder if, one day, you'll know whats beneath,
the worst is when nothing is wrong.

Friday, November 15, 2013

eating ramen noodles and watching
American Dad, high as dual kites 
or tip-top tree leaves, so far up you forget they exist. 
we banked on that, the idea that if we climbed high enough-
they might forget us
and we could be happy
and alone
and live another day in our fishbowl.

say something, i'm giving up on you
even though i know i have no right to.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Six Day War

[for M.L.]

and on the first day he has headaches in his navy, confused as a boy thrown into war
with white coat big words and 
an officer pressing military medals on his chest
searching for a pulse. 
he sees the battle, he sees his life counted in months and
an honorable expiration date.

on the second day they draw an atlas of his
lobes for him in Middle Eastern sand. 
they tell him that his body is a Holy Land and belongs to two tribes and neither of them
are his. 
it doesn't seem fair to be a boy one day and a
soldier the next.

on the third day he sees each I.V. drip as a canon hit, 
his flanks bleed on the sheets and splinter
the kidneys in his bow.
the Gaza Strip has metastasized.  
they push back the front lines as each territory is

on the fourth day they lose the circulatory conflict in a firestorm and
Cancer wins the Red Sea. 
the sky is no longer safe,
each MRI 
looks as a passing plane.

on the fifth day they draw up the Treaty of Two Weeks and he is 
no longer afraid. 
the final march begins, 
he is ready to go home.

it takes six days for a war to be lost.
you have the roundest eyes i have ever 
seen and i trust you almost immediately, 
you have carried more caskets than your callouses would imply.
folded flags are tucked into your sheets, a memorial 
for broken clouds
it takes six days for a war to be lost and you have seen many wars.
i feel bad for those who will never get close enough
to see all the medals on your chest.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

you were six and you ran around,
showing your belly 
and singing to anyone
who would listen.

when did you stop believing that you were beautiful,
who taught you to hide?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

searching for her ghost-

she has not gone anywhere

Monday, October 28, 2013

and what if all the voices in your head were really just
ground angels and mother earth with her
crinkle eyes-
"I grow stretch marks on my sides for every Best Buy 
they scrape into me."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

depression was the inside of a winter scarf, all hot with breathing
and uncomfortable as your fever bed, the tucked sheets strapping you down
like a straight jacket, a bike chain, i turned myself into a 
whipping post.

because cutting was the only thing i was ever really good at
everyone needs to feel good at something.
we were caverns, we were ravines
and for the first time in our lives we felt ageless and pointless and important.
the carriers, the guardians of the world's misery with secrets up our sleeves- we
felt important.
an armless statue, a vacant ear, they could have painted my scratched up body
hung it in the Met, called it a master piece.
the closer we got to death the more alive
we felt. 
we sleep for eons, we write our fingers raw, we
do anything to forget that when we were bleeding
we felt beautiful.

Monday, October 7, 2013

waiting for the coffee to cool.
waiting for the coffee to cool.

i have seen her crying in my bed, several times, different beds.
i am happy, i am sad, i am listening to tears
uncomfortably laying in my windpipe
snagged on wet leaves.
touching her shoulder like a damp washcloth, like an egg shell.
cautious and suspicious and gingerly, like something i don't know the 
consistency of.

now, here's the question-
what was real and what was just
a memory

Friday, September 27, 2013

just remember that you were the one to 
tear the phone from the wall
and now you hate me
for not calling.

Monday, September 23, 2013

we went to a museum and she tip-toed past exhibits 
like they'd suddenly wake up
if we enjoyed them too much.
i giggled into my fist, she hid her smile in my

it's funny that i might have been the first person 
to look at my future
in the Ancient African People's wing,
she's standing there
she's pulling me along.

we went home and i slept for nearly nine years
against your chest.

Monday, September 16, 2013

i'm not sure that i've figured out how to 
care only about myself,
you've got to be hard-shelled for the city, a resilient little
turtle or cockroach or whatever creature 
can survive a wasteland.

just one more minute of sleep,
my poems have been empty
my mind has been full.

the grind

wake, work, sleep
wake, work, sleep.

hi, i'm becca and i'm prone to
bruises and backaches and burning
out like a black 

i feel like an adult,
all these things are good things.
i have six different 'to-do' lists 
most of the things on it are to
sleep, or eat
or make more lists.
all these things are good things

she's grumpy this morning and i'm positively nauseous

we walked through the cemetery on 153rd.
past all the family mausoleums; little child-headstones that never made it passed six, 
babies that didn't live long enough for names. we walked through the cemetery and saw 
handprints in the cement and broken doors,
spray paint on graves. 

"this woman had to live twenty years without her husband, all alone"
"you would never let them paint over my headstone, right?"
"you would never let them put me in the ground, right?"
these are important things to think about
with a soulmate
now she's my old roommate's new roommate[isn't that
and they all wondered why i smiled, tequila hazy, and shouted something along the lines of
"good, good. no, i'm glad she's doing well. i'm not drunk, i swear, i just
wish we could be friends."
"now why you wish a thing like that?"
"i don't know i don't know."]

Saturday, September 14, 2013

i stopped wearing long sleeves sophomore year of high school- what was the point?
the gossips had already circled [vulturous girls].
my scars were candy apple red.
everyone noticed.

i stopped hiding my forearm freshman year of college- what was the point?
proud of my handiwork, victorious and apathetic. 
my scars were bruise blue.
everyone noticed.

i forgot them senior year of college- what was the point?
i had grown and walked with long green legs, bamboo rods, new trees.
maybe my skin had grown strong and mottled like bark, camouflaged by
years of 
fucking trying
my scars are ivory tusk white now.

but last Wednesday 
Doctor Solomon spoke to my wrists,
not my face and
i saw myself through someone else's eyes 
and realized:

after all these years,
it's still the first thing they notice.

b.l & e.k

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

i've always been fond of 'were-wolf' legends,
i know what its like
to change in the night.
everything that came before you is just one long
growing pain

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"i've noticed you havent been writing as much"
"i know but 
what you have to understand is that
watching your life unfold is so terribly tiring
in the best way possible"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The earliest memory I have of my Mother was her mid-1990’s pixie cut in the grocery store. Or the department store. Or the shoe store. This is not to say that my Mother spent my entire childhood shopping- no- rather  I view her childhood presence as a series of unending errands. The bank, the dentist. The cramped backseat of her Oldsmobile and pertpetually sticky hands, bickering. I view her childhood presence as a four-way split exhaustion of mundane tasks. My knobby knees, my unusual shortness, my tiny knuckles on a grocery cart.

"I should never have had four kids", the bangs of the pixie-cut stuck to her forehead with sweat. Usually in the ensuing, never-ending struggle of juggling of brothers, I was [unintentionally] ignored. A growing stem of a brain, twisting this way and that, left to it's own devices and seeking the tallest stalk to latch onto. Tiny knuckles on a grocery cart- that was always how it began. See, I created the intial distance between us, pretended to linger behind to touch a piece of fabric or stare longingly at the popcorn. The Disappearing Game was an art that had to be perfected. Maybe I would say a few words from the back just to assure her of my continued existence while I shied away, maybe I would say nothing at all. But, suddenly, the second the moon of that pixie cut began to wane, I would turn my heels and run in the opposite direction as fast as I possibly could. With three other children to diffuse, she rarely noticed my swift departure and as soon as her raspy voice had faded into some other aisle, I’d hide. I still have no idea exactly where the fun in this game came into play or if it had ever been fun in the first place but it’s just something I distinctly remember doing, over and over again. Hiding under the table of scarves or behind the paper towels. I’d, quite literally, lose myself. 

Now, once I was properly disoriented, I began the great search. The return, the prodigal son's long journey home. Searching the produce sections and canned goods. Panic would slowly begin to take over and then; I abruptly wouldn’t want to play this game anymore. It became the worst game in existence. I’d vow to never do it again. In fact, I was horrible for even attempting it and if I could just find her this time, just this time, I would never dare it again. A blond little sniveling six-year old, turning corners with the squeak of a new sneaker, I’m surprised I was never stolen. Then, eventually, I’d catch a glimpse of her round brown head or I’d hear a chastising “No Ben, we’re eating dinner in an hour” and I’d know, in my heart, that a God existed and had brought us back together again. My prayers had been answered and as I raced towards her I always visualized her, distraught, frantically searching the store for me. She’d probably have gone to the manager by now, the police; she’d probably sent the dogs out after me. Her darling daughter, how could she survive knowing that I’d vanished? I would make that turn and her eyes would widen and shine with tears, she’d throw the groceries to the floor and scoop me into her arms. Only a miracle had brought us back together again, she’d swear. Perhaps she’d make it a national holiday with a clever name such as ‘Found-My-Daughter Day’ and every year we’d laugh over the time that she almost lost me, her shining star. I remember it so vividly, how I would present myself at the end of the aisle, dwarf hands on my hips and closed eyes for the adoration that would (surely) pour onto me only to find her struggling with a brother. She would look at me and say something along the lines of “we’re leaving because someone threw up and the ice cream is melting and I never should have had four kids” and it was clear, over and over again, that she hadn’t even noticed that I was gone in the first place. The next day I’d grit my teeth, rise on the balls of my heels, and start the game all over again.

Friday, August 23, 2013

sometimes, my dear, your mind plays tricks on you
sometimes, my dear, that gut feeling
is wrong.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

new york is an abusive girlfriend. 
she is the dream in which you can never fully wake- the initial annoying rise to consciousness. new york is a constant battle, she is a wonderful illusion, shaking you from her fur like the fleas i [sometimes] have in my apartment. her hand strokes your jawline and steals your wallet-
gently wakes you in bed with the slight dip of her body only to find her drunk and needy. new york city kicks you in her sleep, she keeps you perpetually dirty. you convince yourself it's the history that turns black under your fingernails, the souls she's claimed that cling to the first life-being they see. it's in the air when you first step from the shower and it's as if you can never escape the filthiness. soap suds turn gray every wash of your hands and you try to convince yourself that it's a beautiful shade that no one has ever seen before but 
it's not.
new york is an adulterous lover leaving you fucked and vulnerable in your apartment at 3 a.m. i can't leave her, i can't leave her, she hits me and kisses the bruises. i have learned to love the pain and beg her to stay; a childish, masochistic longing to be thrown around a little. new york crawls up your body and brings her hand to your throat and before long, you begin to love it. new york convinces you that the bright lights before fainting are 
she belongs to no one. 

there are two types of people in the world, those who paint their finger nails and those who stay

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

i hide my bruises from you
but show them off like trophies when you notice

and tell you scar stories with pride
and trust you even when i don't want to
and love you even when i think i can't
for some reason i've been operating under the assumption that adulthood equals 
i've put on my new shoes and made my coffee and 
realised that theres never going to be enough 
money or time or milk or bread or
periods of uninterrupted calm.

these are the places you never thought would matter,
these are the people who somehow turned into home.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

i feel as though i should take a little time to thank a frequent, long-time reader, S. if anyone gets bored of my egocentric ramblings, definitely go check her out. i don't read many blogs on this site, but her's is one of them- 

i wanted to be a;
veterinarian, a singer.
when i was six years old.
i wanted to live in a mansion
on the moon.

now i pay too much money for not enough space in
West Harlem, Washington Heights.
it's a
dominican neighborhood,
each day they raise flags and
angry boys. 

seventy square feet
when i speak the words bounce off the walls,
circle the light fixtures 
like confused moths.
theres not enough room for conversation so i 
tend to keep quiet.

i am 22 and i see now 
reality is that most people
never become what they wanted to be
when they were six years old.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

for elliot

you are so impossibly 
and intricate, you are veins in a leaf, you are tiny 
kitten bones, sleep eyes. 

you are so little that it sometimes makes me

lately, i have been very


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

i am the frequency of evergrowing trees;
a needle jumping from one anxiety to the
never defused, never degaussed.
maybe i am a heartbeat and stability is
i will drink all of the orange juice and put the empty carton back in the refrigerator
i don't know why, i won't think about it... this won't be pre-meditated,
sometimes i just do things.

i will forget to take the trash out, often, even if it means lifting my heavy shoes over the bags to get to
the front door, i will happily pass by it without a 
i will respond with the wrong facial expression or laugh nervously when you're sad or
dye my hair red without warning you.
i will come home at two thirty A.M. with:
 -a new sofa
       -a newborn kitten with twenty six toes
i will come home at two thirty A.M. with that excited look on my face and try to
drag you out of bed.

i will also pick up more orange juice or devise a system of pulleys 
and levers
for the trash
i will buy you strawberries instead of flowers and hold you all night after a particularly painful
grey's anatomy
i will wake up without a fight at two thirty A.M. for a bottle and you will wake, hours later, to find me on the couch with a baby-creature sleeping on my chest. 
i will come home at two thirty A.M.
and it will be to you.

Friday, July 12, 2013

upstate is full of ghosts,
i belong to buildings and smog now;
you should try it

Thursday, July 11, 2013

you drank four glasses of wine and tried to explain the
Illiad to me 
but i listened to your lips 
and not your words

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

i want to be the extra-napkin-grabber,
shoulder-warmer, head-in-need-of-scratching

i sleep in your bed like a pea pod, you sleep in mine like a 
hot oven. we are encased
in things much bigger
than ourselves

i tore pages out of a magazine the night i left her, i threw
several things into the river,
forgot them with tequila.

my greatest fault has always been a penchant for pain, the attraction to
agony. i shower myself in cold misery and rake the bottom of my 
soul for dead bodies and skeletons and anything that still has the ability to hurt.
why? i mean, it's no secret that i'm a bit of a masochist (in bed, first and foremost) so what
happens to a child to make them this way? when did i start hating
my own happiness, when did the obsession with the dust-covered, still weeping wound of the 
past begin?
i am the kid with a stick poking the dead bird 
except i am also the dead bird
and the stick.
does that make sense?
didn't think so.

i believe we make ourselves hurt emotionally because, deep down, we are frightened of
joy. we don't believe we deserve good things and when something goes wrong, we cling 
to the comfort of something we predicted from the start. 
you defuse a bomb only to mourn the failed explosion so you start
to study explosions, you start to imagine blistered skin and you
blame yourself for letting it happen.
you spend your entire life in guilt for something that is over, why?
how does this change, how do we fix this?

i'm still trying to figure that one out.
i think my spine twists, 
you don't give me butterflies, you give me
wasps and mercury and 
bubble wrap and helium.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


you don't want to 
know what happens when i 
close my eyes.

Monday, June 24, 2013

you placed all your love in a bottle [quite resembled a 
ship, actually. all wooden bows and tiny parts and
sinkable things.]

sometimes we like to believe that the pieces we set to sea 
will come back someday-
and this time, this time they will work, 
they will be weathered and sturdy 
and amazingly fixed.

deep down, you know that water leaves
[everything a little bit weaker.]

i wouldn't swim in the ocean
i wouldn't paddle through
all those souls.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

you know,
in the middle ages, headaches were thought to be the presence of 
the devil in your brain and a common cure was 
a beheading.

i don't think i've ever been that sick with anything (save for
i wonder what the devil is doing in my lower back(playing xylophone on my 
spinal column and prying my teeth up from my jaw with tiny
pick axes) 
and i wonder if he's responsible
for all the dreams about you
and her
and me
on the floor.

i woke up at 9 a.m. and looked for
an executioner's craigslist ad,
found nothing.
i took eleven advil and 
went back to bed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

sometimes i think i am made of more 
than not. 
i mean every single one;
sometimes i think i am made of revelations
that hit in the middle of an IKEA
about the bad things i have done to 
good people.
i miss things like barnacles,
maybe i'm pathetic.

i've been sober for three years,
so thats a thing.

[tacked on the tally marks to my
unmarred ribs]
theres something poetic about shaking hands,
i really am sorry.
no one invites me to weddings anymore because they think i'm
i blame the internet and shows about murder and my blog and Oprah,
my parents because they gave me everything i wanted and nothing i needed.

the cat here is mean to me, i don't know why
he bites my hands
and probably talks shit behind my 
maybe i am crazy,
i shouldn't be at weddings.

today, a man on the street told me that
the apocolypse already happened, the world was already
and no one noticed because everything
was exactly the same.