she (story of a girl)

she won’t be tied down, except with words
she’ll believe what you say & she wants to be heard

she loves to read and run and learn and laugh
talk and jump and play in the grass

she’s always singing in her head
& wishing she hadn’t left thoughts unsaid

she’s smart & she knows it
but since she was 10 she’s been scared to show it

she’s 19 and she’s seen a lot of the world
she’s 19 but she still feels like a young girl

when she gets scared she fights like she’s right
she’ll run away in the night,
underneath the fluorescent lights
as fast as she can, until her chest feels tight

until the tears can pour down
bare, dirty feet
silent trees & concrete streets

she tries to find solace in everything around her,
doesn’t know why, she feels like she’s found there
she knows peace lies within but she seeks without
she knows what she wants but she sometimes has doubt

she thinks a lot about value
often asks what’s enough
and even when she’s not, she tries to be tough

when she feels alone
when she forgets what is home
when she wishes that she were fully grown
she has been known
to search for meaning in others
and conceal herself under attractive covers

shielded by the protection of her youth
she hides insecurity behind questions of truth

though some nights are dark
she finds safety in parks
and creates peace in making new art

she loves something fierce
she wants to be here
she’s learning how to persevere through her fear

she knows every sunrise breaks a new day
she’s figuring out who she is, & that’s okay 🌟

autumn

part I: whirlwind

the dream shattered,
the heat broke the streak,
water poured from the sky while the clouds swirled through time
and the trees shook in fear and wonder,
whirled by the wind coming from all directions.

And me?
I danced in the rain
until I came home to a friend
then went to a boy who gave me himself,
but was I enough?

I came home the next morning and fall had begun;
long sleeves and slow days of cooking and reading,
sipping tea and believing,
while outside the rain pours and the world spins, we watch and contemplate the changes

//

part II: cinnamon sunlight

the warm taste of cinnamon in my mouth
of apples and banana muffins and sweet kisses of kindness.
friends and loves and leaves.

we allow our colors and our minds to change with the weather
capricious as the cinnamon sunlight.
The golden-orange tones that brighten the parks and the mountain,
like the smile that lights up his face

like rain falls to the earth and leaves fall to the ground,
I fall into and out of love,
a container created by a metaphor,
a model for anthropomorphic human experience.

because love isn’t a place in which we can save ourselves
and autumn isn’t a state of nature but of mind.

and they’re two of the most beautiful concepts in the world,
rendered ever more valuable by their fleeting nature

//

part III: electric

aware, alert
alarm ringing at dark
before he or the streets can awaken, I part
flying to finish commitments at dawn
the curtains, the trees, so carefully drawn

fluorescent lights glowing
overflowing, inside
golden light shines
on the things that we hide

I chase secret, sacred sunrises
as light streams through slumbering city streets
the sun stretches her limber light
over the buildings,
the end of the night

I try to recreate the way the light shines
through the leaves and the streets, remember what’s mine
the way the world lights up,
electric

eternally enthralled by the red-orange glows
the way that my paintbrush catches and throws
all of the colors that compose
my city, my home
my love, my life
the days and nights

time passes
as the sun rises & sets
and the sky turns electric before the city does

We continue our cycles,
sleeping and waking,
growing then breaking,
harnessing energy
electri(city)

when the sky fades to dark and the lights come out,
the city dreams, and screams, and shouts

Releasing parts of ourselves,
we learn to go without
like the trees let their leaves
fall without a doubt

like the electricity that filled my body
for you
faded, evaporated
fizzled out

Electric, and alone
the sky alight
so beautiful,
so peaceful,
hold on tight

But it’s better just to be alone
than to wish you could be on your own,
right?

Tired as the nights grow longer
as I sleep less and less
And as the shadows grow, on edge
I try not to stress

how are you supposed to see
without electricity?
how are you supposed to feel
when you no longer know what’s real?

as the days get shorter
and crisper
and colder
ever more beautiful
ever more full

I can already taste the end of fall
the bittersweet dark chocolate and lavender calls
the scent of the pavement after rain pours
always hinting at something more

taking chances, the seasons cycle through
falling in love every month or two
always doubting what is true
never able to wait, for you

Golden (and grey)

Fog burns away
Hills come out for the day

One year after 1848
Everyone moved out to the Golden State

Golden hearts
Chasing dreams,
The sea reflected glimmers, gleams
Remnants of the golden rush,
King Midas’ golden touch

Not a single cloud in the sky
Because the air is so damn dry
There’s mountains and valleys, sea and sky
Deserts and cities, open and high
Fresh and hip and new and cool
Full of the hipsters who dropped out of school
The next big thing around the bend
Everyone’s a fucking Godsend

So many people, we can’t breathe
Can’t move or speak,
Can’t feel the wreath
Tied around our necks
The price of beauty
Plastic surgery in purgatory

//

Born in 1998
now I’m here at the golden gates
Sixteen, on my own
Don’t have to wait
Make it alone, despite the hate

Golden sunlight, golden hills
Dead grass & thrown away pills

Golden skin, golden girls,
Sun-bleached salt-drenched golden curls,
Golden sand and golden sea
Golden streetlights, electricity

I’ve never seen a sky so big
Never seen a sunset so beautiful as over the pacific

Open roads and open sky
In the parks, people getting high
Sixteen, in the passenger seat
Sunsets and streetlights viewed through the heat
Reflected in the rearview mirrors
Late nights, golden lights, fallen tears

After the sun sets
The sky turns black
The brilliance fades
the grey comes back

colder than anywhere else
to my bones
California in the summer
No one’s at home

I’ve never felt colder in Canada
than I did in California

//

but there’s vignettes of the idyllic halcyon days
the golden feelings that go away
the golden boys who stole my heart
but who now live a world apart

I don’t belong, don’t feel at home
At the end of the day, I still feel alone