safekeeping

i’ve written so many essays over the years. cut out paragraphs; stitched together points of view. i’ve gotten pretty good at it, honestly–figured out what you want to hear, served it steaming hot on a golden platter. i’ve walked these beige halls so many times; memorized the graffiti conversations on the bathroom stalls, and grown weirdly fond of the inspirational posters. but in the end, does it really matter?

because i’ve waited at the bus stop in the pouring rain. i’ve watched it go right past me, and wished i could just scream wait. but the bus doesn’t really care about me, so i’ll just… walk around campus, and catch the 1:30.

i’ve drank coffee from a thermos, rubbed my eyes and plugged in my earbuds with a melodramatic sigh. then spent half an hour, rehearsing in my head how to ask for some graphing paper. and it’s awkward, and painful, and i’ll probably have a panic attack about it later. because i never wanted you to hurt me–but that doesn’t mean i intended to disappear so completely.

i’ve come home, and just collapsed on my bed. put on cartoons; changed into my favourite yellow sweater, drowned out a bad day beneath scalding bathwater. screamed at the sky, and cried to the river. called every single number in my phone. because i’m scared, and confused, and it feels like forever, i don’t know what to do–

because if i had a dollar, for every time someone has told me that i’m wise beyond my age, i could finally get some rest. i could take a day off, i could dream about the future. i could unclench my fists, and let myself be a kid for a few more minutes. and god, that would be nice.

i could let down my guard, for the first time since march. i could cling to your hand as we cross the street, and cry into your shoulder. i could sketch out your face on scrap paper; godlike and simple, and shove it in my wallet for safekeeping. put it in a scrapbook, someday–or whatever happy people do.

until the starving vultures descend

i know this. i swear, i do.

so i will untangle this knotted mess. i will sit on my bedroom floor, for hours on end, searching for an answer i don’t think i’ll ever find. but god knows, i’ll try. god knows i’ll fight. i’ll do my best. i’ll cry out, until my voice cracks, and the starving vultures descend.

but can you really blame them? because at the end of the day, i mean… they have to eat too. and if i am the fledgling that never learned to fly, then leave me behind if it’s what you have to do.

and i will find myself, in rough drafts, and journal pages. i will find myself, and i will lose her, too. i will walk in endless circles, tracing footsteps back to my poisoned roots.

because i’ve never been good at letting go. have i? always holding on tight, to worn-out sneakers, and crumpled-up pieces of scrap paper. even as they pile up around me; an ocean of bitter memories, filling up my room. but i think it’s time to let go, now.

time try something new.

homeostasis

drip. drop…. the storm is over now, my love. so set down your armour; collapse onto the damp meadow. and stare up at the sky. let the rain soothe your scrapes, and bruises. close your eyes.

and let it make the world anew. let it soak through my favourite flannel. and my worn-out jeans. let it wash the bloodstains off of my cheeks.

let it carve out a soft, warm place in my chest. where the tulips bloom in messy rows. where the roses can finally let their thorns go.

let me cry like a little fucking baby in your arms. give me the last push of strength i need to sound the alarms. and let the ambulance carry my fractured body, to a strange place that smells like hope.

and oh, my love, let us be the exception. let this moment change everything; let it pave the way for a better story. let the next generation walk home from school without being afraid. let them put down the keys, and the pepper spray.

let them keep their innocence. let them fill up their daffodil hearts with pancakes, and rainy days, and devastating cartoons. because i hope they never have to feel like i did. like i do.

let them bloom in a thousand different shades. let them be kind, and imperfect, and brave. let them be angry–but pray they never have to feel rage.

be okay (draft)

So, I haven’t done anything spoken word related in quite a while. (Since the beginning of quarantine, I think.) I’m in the bad habit of procrastinating from things that challenge me out of fear of failure, and generally sabotaging myself creatively. And also, honestly, I had a lot going on personally, and I think it was probably good to take a break. But I really miss editing audio, and it’s super close to my heart. So recently, I dusted off this old recording from a few months ago, of a poem I wrote, and played around with it, and made a little spoken word track. It’s in no way perfect, and I’ll probably change it later–but for now, this is what I’ve got.

I’m hoping to do more stuff like this in the future, and I’m working on a video for this right now, which is super exciting! Like I said, this is very messy, but I hope you like it anyway.

All sounds are in the public domain. Poem by me, and very messy ukulele also by me. (It’s not much, but I’m still learning, so, uh, cut me some slack. Like I said, hopefully much more impressive things coming soon.)

play dead

freeze in place. stare out at the crowd, for just a moment too long. give them a small, shaky pirouette. you roll your ankle, and try not to show it.

because i don’t want to be a let down. or whatever. i don’t mean to come across obnoxious, or brash.

so i will swallow back the lump in my throat. i will shake out my shoulders, and try not to show it, as my frost-kissed fingers turn black and blue.

i will sleep with the door shut. i will drink my tea cold. whisper to myself at night, and cry when no one’s home.

i will crush myself into the smallest corner you have to offer. curl up into a ball. and i’ll wait until it’s over; weather the storm, like i always do.

i will forget my own name, as the blizzard screams. i won’t run this time. when my demon claws his way out from his grave, and wraps his arms tight around me.

i will sink down to my knees. i will beg for forgiveness. oh pretty please… i’ll give you whatever you want, whatever you need. if only you would grant me the tiniest smidgeon of mercy.

just… please. don’t hurt me.



I think I’ve spent my whole life living in survival mode sometimes. It’s probably a trauma thing.

I guess, when you learn that, for whatever reason, you’re not safe in the world around you, you learn to play dead, a little bit. Does that make sense?

You learn to make yourself as small as you possibly can–you learn how to stay quiet, and stuff your opinions right down your throat–because maybe you want to speak up and defend yourself or issues you care about, but if you do, you know that it probably won’t get you anywhere–that people will laugh, that people will get angry, that people will hurt you. Maybe not physically, but they will. And in the end, it’s not worth the risk. You learn to look down in hallways, and walk as fast as you can on the way home from school.

You become hyperaware of the little risks around you. You see the tall, burly man across from you on the bus, and avoid his eyes. You see the group of guys jeering loudly as they make their way down the hallway, and make sure to put in your earbuds, and stay quiet. You see a stranger come up to talk to you, and you do everything you can to get away because you don’t want to get asked uncomfortable questions, don’t want to open up to someone in a public setting, out of nowhere, with no idea who they are or if you can trust them.

And it keeps you safe… but sometimes, it also gets really lonely. Which I’ve completely brought upon myself–and something I’ve been thinking about a lot of late. I’m just tired of playing dead, you know? I want to live. But also, that’s a very vague thing to say, and I don’t really know what it means. Honestly, just come thoughts I’ve been having of late.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings