teacup

sometimes, i can’t help but hate you, a little bit. because i’ve had enough of diplomatic wording, and glossing over this shit; and now there’s lightning in my chest; rose-red vision and heaving breath. because it’s not fair. i never wanted any of this; not your burning towers, not your fossilized skies.

so i write furious letters to no one. rip them up, and wait for the end to come. and you tell me it’s gonna be all right, but… what if it isn’t? what if this is all we get? what if i’m the one in a million, what if tomorrow i break like a teacup, in a hospital bed?

***

i sort the pieces of ceramic into some kind of strange mosaic on the floor. it’s fascinating, isn’t it? how they dig into my callused fingers, ring out like guitar strings, how the floor tilts sideways, and nothing fucking makes sense anymore.

so screw it all. give me pink princess dresses, give me lilac skies. give me cotton candy, and rollercoaster rides. and let me cry myself a river, let me spend hours painting out delicate pastel flowers on the walls. and you’d laugh, of course you would.

and if i’m pissing you off, good.

bathroom haircut

just get it off me. i don’t care how. cut it away, and leave it all on the clammy bathroom floor. my wrists ache, and the frostbitten sky starts to pour.

i sweep up chunks of velvet, and take a long, cold shower. i scream into the welling storm. i pull out my phone while i do dishes, and watch sitcoms for hours.

i claw at my skin, like it’s some kind of prison. wear flannels and jeans for weeks on end because i’m tired. and old. and spent. and when you tell me that we won i don’t believe you for a second.

because beneath cheap fluorescent lighting, it all just seems kinda pointless. and sad. i wrapped my heart up in concrete and barbed wire years ago; it’s not personal. i’m just not great at letting people in.

so i fight the ghosts. and the demons all on my own; whatever else you throw my way. i win, i survive, i succeed, no matter what it takes. i press on, and on, until until the bags under my eyes look more like bruises. but in the end… everyone fucking loses. and i am so exhausted. i don’t think you understand that feeling.

like the whole world on your shoulders, and you just walk forward, bleeding, bleeding, bleeding…

***

but in the morning, i will climb out of bed. press my hands to the foggy glass, and look out at the crisp, white snow. and know that it’s over now. not forever, but for today. that the storm has passed. and for a little while, i think the hydra will probably stay away.


I am the queen of sudden, dramatic haircut. I tend to be really sensitive to certain textures, often very suddenly feeling nauseated by certain sounds, textures or tastes, even ones that used to never bother me. And one of those is the feeling of hair touching my neck. I don’t know why it bugs me so much, it never used to, but it’s just how my brain is right now.

When I was in eighth grade, I had this really not flattering chin-length bob situation that I’d had my whole life up until then–but my hair is really wavy, and frizzy, so it would flare out at the bottom and made my face look like a triangle. And it always kinda bugged me, but not enough to change it–and then one day, I just couldn’t stand the feeling of my hair touching my neck. It made me feel really anxious, and gross, and yeah–just not a good time overall. And so I came home, read a wikiHow article, and chopped it off. Which is the story behind why my hair is short now.

I’m too cheap to go to a hairdresser, so I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was eleven or so, and I’ve come to expect that after milestones like my birthday, or just when I’m bored, and fed up of myself, I’ll change my hair a little bit. (But not too much, because honestly, I don’t know shit about cutting hair.) Anyway, recently I gave myself a mental breakdown haircut, and wrote this poem, and I think it turned out pretty cool.

Lots of love,

Lorna

grey

another day. just like the one before. and i want to feel something, okay? i want to find somewhere deep inside myself to actually give a shit. but i don’t, do i? not… when it comes down to it.

i’m just a flat grey. just eyes closed, teeth clenched, as i tell myself tomorrow will be better. but i don’t believe a single word i say.

and if i have a talent for anything, it’s repeating history. again, and again. so flip the page. because it’s my life to destroy, and what do i mean to you anyway?

am i your loving daughter? your dutiful friend? do i spend every sunday at my desk; all work and no play? do i buy expensive gifts, and spend tuesday at the ballet?

am i a withering autumn leaf? am i dark circles? am i the gap between your teeth?

you can say it, now. because i know what you want, from my body’s slow decay. so go on: take it. plant a kiss on my forehead. and be on your way.


I wrote this poem quite a while ago! Or, the first draft of it, anyway. It was an early-quarantine poem, penned around March. I scheduled it, looked over it again, and scrapped it in my drafts folder, because I didn’t really know how I wanted to polish it into something more enjoyable than the word-vomit it began as.

When I was young, although I never officially received the “gifted” classification, mostly just due to attending an underfunded, small, rural elementary school, where almost every kid in my class had some kind of trauma or mental health issue. Getting good grades, and being ahead of my peers was the least of the school system’s problems. But anyhow–despite this, I was widely considered throughout my early childhood, by my parents, peers and teachers as talented, brilliant, or otherwise superior to the other seven-year-olds. Essentially, as some flavour of “genius” or “gifted.”

I was destined for great things, everyone told me. And, I mean, I was seven years old, with cripplingly low self-esteem–of course I ate it up. The thing is, though, growing up believing that your entire identity is built around outpreforming others doesn’t work in the long run. You burn out–at some point, you just can’t keep up with that standard.

Years after coming to that conclusion, I struggle with that–still find old habits, creeping up on me when I least expect them. I’m learning, though–learning far more, ironically, than I ever did during that period of my life, when I was so fixated on being a genius.

I’m curious–were any of you classified as gifted kids? Did you know anyone who was? In general, what is/was your experience with the school system? I know mine’s been overall very negative, but obviously I have a very unique perspective on these things.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

polaroid

i am faded paper, and greyscale eyes. waking up with a headache, and not knowing why.

and i am begging you to pick up the phone. but you never did care. so you won’t. and you’ll leave me, stranded in a run-down alley, all on my own.

so i’ll bury it; beneath check-marks and to-do lists; a constant, thrumming debate. but despite my glimmering hope, none of those things ever really did take off the weight. just made me scared, and selfish. and desperate for escape.

but here i am; staring into the mirror, at a face i know all too well. and don’t you remember being ten, writing for hours on a shitty computer; laughing like alice as you fell?

or that night, in eighth grade, your first time using a microphone. but despite the hummingbird pulse of your heart… something about it felt like home.

and in that small moment. despite my sagging eyes and weary bones, as the midday light hits my broken skin, i feel… whole.


For the first time in a while, I really feel… I don’t know, like writing can be something I actually do for myself—and not just for, I don’t know, capitalism? A bunch of strangers on the internet? The voices in my head?

I just… I feel like something new. Something alive. A new leaf, I guess, pushing up from the ground. (Is that a really cheesy, overused metaphor? Probably. In my defense, I have a job gardening and I just got off, so my brain is a little bit fried—if I see one more invasive vine, I think I’m going to explode.)

Suddenly, I remember exactly why I fell in love with writing. And even if no one else is ever going to care about it, even if it won’t get me rich, it doesn’t matter. Because as cheesy as it sounds, I know that this is what I am meant to be doing. And I can’t help but feel like… like everything I had to go through to get here was worth it. That it happened for a reason. And whether or not that’s actually true, sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me through the hard days. The days when everything feels heavy, and impossible, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball and give up.

For the first time in my life, I look in the mirror and like who I’m becoming. I like her twirly dresses, and her tousled brown hair. I like her round, soft cheeks, and her tan lines, and her freckles. I look in the mirror, and I see someone who is strong, and alive, and maybe just a little bit of a badass.

And I think that’s pretty fucking cool.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

sutures

the surgery… didn’t go well.

but don’t worry. it’s okay. we’ll figure it out. find a way to patch your tired heart back together, and get you out of this hell...

and so i’ll trust you. because i have to. bite my lip, just like mommy taught me, because all you have to do is try and focus on the pain, on the little things you can control. and not the blinding light at the end of this tunnel, pulling me in for a kiss. again, again, again…

so just make sure you tell all the little ones to avert their gaze. you understand? because i don’t want anyone to have to see me this way.

even after you tie off the stitches. send me home in crutches. trying your best to ignore the little demon scuttling along beside me, that even you could not chase away.

but honestly, maybe it’s all right. because on lonely nights, it talks to me. and i let it stay.


I just get so tired of healing sometimes.

Honestly, it’s boring. And tedious. Nowhere near as sexy as the movies make it out to be. It is long nights spent crying alone about shit that happened years ago. It is struggling to remember all the things you learned in therapy in the moments when you need it the most. It is fucking up.

But, I mean, there are little good things. Amidst all the drudgery and pain. That feeling you get, when you remember your coping mechanisms, and you know that your therapist would be proud, and maybe, just maybe, you’re proud of yourself too. Or… going to bed early, and not waking up feeling exhausted–which is probably normal for most people, but barely ever happens for me, so it feels really good when it does, and I text all my friends to tell them about it. It is spending an afternoon sewing, or writing, or baking bread.

It’s boring, and hard, and painful, and slow, but it’s worth it. It is so fucking worth it.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings