birthday cake

the smoke in the air reminds me of birthday cake. sparklers and tealights. i burn the soup again. because i’m tired, and impatient. and i’m not good at this. i never have been.

because this time, it’s not birthday cake. or a failed cooking experiment. the world is on fire, and i feel insignificant. tissue paper and packing peanuts stuffed down my esophagus, wrists tied down to the railroad tracks. if this is love, then i’d rather be consumed.

because love shouldn’t hurt. shouldn’t twist tight around my throat like a boa constrictor, or suck the oxygen from the room. i wore your favourite dress, did my hair; deep cleaned the house, and stuffed all the skeletons back into the closet from whence they came. it’s perfect now, isn’t it? just like you.

i cling to your hand as the fissures spread. hide in your shadow like a little kid, as strangers pour into the living room. i keep my mouth shut. do the dishes; feed off half-eaten scraps and shreds of attention if i have to.

but the party’s long since over. the flowers have rotted down to the ground. they’re gone, they all are.

and little girl, all that’s left is you.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my whole life defining myself by other people.

This poem isn’t about any one person or relationship in particular–but more a long lineup of shitty experiences I’ve had throughout my life. Where I let other people tell me who I was, or I based my entire identity off. It worked better when I was younger, I guess.

But as I’ve aged, I think I’ve started to realize that, well, the people I admired weren’t exactly perfect. And that no matter how hard I try, I’m never going to be them, and that following in their footsteps would make me absolutely miserable; that whatever I define success as, there sure as hell isn’t a neat, clear path to getting there.

Right now, I feel like I’m just in some strange kind of limbo. With 2020 coming to a close in two months (thank god) I’ve been thinking a lot about what I accomplished this year–and honestly, beating myself up a fair bit about it. I’m in the habit of idolizing my past selves, and remembering the past as far better as it was. But also… I don’t know. I used to be such a cool person. I used to do all these insane things, and take risks, anxiety be damned; mark out each month with a new beautiful accomplishment. I can’t help but look back on the past year, and feel like it’s been wasted. And I know, that I can’t expect myself to change the world while processing everything going on right now, both in the world and in my personal life, and dealing with my mental health. But… I still do it anyhow. I’m trying to work on that.

For my own sanity, I guess I just have to believe that I’m going to come out of this as something better. As a happier, more stable person. I don’t really believe in fate, but I do think that when things get hard, I can throw myself a pity-party, lie in bed and never get out. Or I can let myself cry, like myself feel everything I need to. And then, get up. And try to make it into something good.

Lots of love,


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.


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.

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,


don’t hurt yourself

that’s what they tell me. sprawled on the floor, scrolling aimlessly. because in this world, so many people are beautiful, and perfect, and how could ever i hold a candle to that? honestly.

because i haven’t eaten. and i forgot to sleep. so my eyes are scooped-out hollows, my wrists are this close to giving out the ghost. but i’m so far away, you know? and, in the end, it’s all right. because this is my body, my life. i can set it in fire, if i like. and what are you going to do?

hold my hand? and whisper gently, oh, baby, you’re going to be fine. you can breathe, all right. just listen to me.., because i love you, i really do… and i’d do anything to make you happy

but my mind is a tired machine. but my lungs are deflated balloons. but my mind is a smoking train wreck, and sometimes, i survive the collision. but sometimes, you find my body, in the charred remains. and the doctors say there’s nothing you can do.

but i’ll pick myself up. and dust off the bullet wound, like i always do. wrap myself up, in a singed, cardigan. because you don’t have a clue.

but maybe someday, it’ll get better. maybe things will work out. but… right now, i’m just lost. and sad. and really confused.