how did I go from:
flinching at his touch to:
enveloping him
because I finally made tears fall. I can see now
it is possible to comfort someone who has hurt
you and feel numb. to bring the hammer
down and instantly shush the wreckage back
into a whole; I have never seen him
as this: open mouth, desperate
eyes to the sky through monochrome
night — I take it back, I take it back —
you rock, squeeze, rock, breathe

squeeze your eyes, bury your face
into the tremble until it is absorbed
back into you and it is
better, it is
the same

this being: this ball of serotonin, the swaying
laugh: you’ll be ok. the next morning had
good lighting. it was sunny.
crying is manipulative, I say.
you nod.


12/27/17, 1:54am

The mirror asks: how can this be, this bloom that became pity?

Stifle, the exhale.

This bloom became worry. This bloom became:
yield. Willful denial of self,
a smidge. Tuck the smile
behind the ear
and cross
the legs.


clutches of soil. Thyme. Quiet.

03/08/18, 11:33pm: note from about a week ago

EDIT: After noticing that reading my journals seriously affects my state of mind, for the purposes of future me’s mental health, it’s necessary to preclude this with a note: this is NOT healthy. This is NOT ok. Furthermore, this poem is wallowing in self-pity, self-hatred, and is furthermore self-absorbed, and is perhaps even more damaging because it’s self-aware of itself: self-critical does not mean valid. Acknowledging and teasing out flaws and unhealthy thoughts just to let them sit there is not justification. Read this as a snapshot of a state of mind, not one to ever let yourself empathize  with again, or maybe: read this as a warning flag, if you ever empathize with it. Remember: empathy. Have empathy.

sorry not sorry, but really actually I’m so sorry.
I’m sorry that I turn every conversation into systemic discourse.
I’m sorry that I can’t see a movie without talking
about the depiction of poc and whatever else
shit that poops the party when
your white friends try to connect with me
by bringing up the tale of genji after I say the word

I don’t have the guts
to let a silence hang.

often I forget who I am
often forgetting is utterly impossible

you are everything I
couldn’t be 5 years ago and somehow
I like you
I love you
I might loathe
loave — shh, that’s an inside joke —

oh wait
how public is this supposed to be?
who do I write for anyway?

these are the questions I don’t want the answer to:
this is the place I choose to publish because I know you won’t ever read it.
this is where I go to hide from you
because after trying to pull you in I’m realizing that some places,
as I’ve always known, are inaccessible
I didn’t know they could be inaccessible to you
I’m glad I have something that is inaccessible to you
— shh, that’s the disgusting part of me —
— oops, did I just write that? —

but this place is on sale, discounted; that’s
the difference; my places
are always at a markdown; don’t tell me
otherwise, I won’t believe it. safe spaces are for
people who need to retreat, because
you never need to retreat —
— oh god, see what I do to you? what I make you? —

here’s what I can’t stand: that I have the ability to project infinite
privilege onto another human being. who cares
if I’m right some of the time?
who cares if I’m backed systemically,
theoretically, epistemologically, who
cares if I can rehearse the critique
and anti-critiques of in
until I’m blue, yellow, black, red, white,
white, white, Oops
I gave it away didn’t you know that you fell in love
with me only because I’ve spent my entire life trying to fade to white,
does that conflict with my daily ramblings, Oh Shit
this is something I never ever want
to think about: one-way internalized racism
can generate two-way love
that’s shockingly, beautifully, terrifyingly
real, well let’s be honest here 
deep down I hope it comes out to white
I still hope I come out to white
of course I think about this every day
the only thing I ever wanted was to write
my experience as beauty and not pity

11/11/17, 1:54am

The first time, we were coming
down. Surreal, soft: I am yellow
and she is brown and you
are gleaming, you are all gleaming.

I am a pendulum: disbelief/wonder/disbelief.
Who could you possibly think I am?

Fairy lights and jaunty conversation
about your day your day your day and this
is how I find out your parents
dogs / apple muffin mix / hospitality with a drawl
were in town to see everyone
every one every single one: oh, you say
they just love love loved everyone: my love
love love who am I if not at least
a part of the definition
of your everyone — it passes,
flashes, and I wonder wonder if
the knife was yours
or just another on the path
I walk to be by your concrete.

I know we know maybe you know you you all
don’t know don’t know what it’s like to be un
unworthy by unknown rules
uninteresting by assumption
unwelcome unwelcome unwelcome
by default I know I know I know
but how could you not
even try

Frank Ocean fucks me up consistently:
sure, sometimes I look you up
peruse the life you run, the one
I hear about when it’s paused, the people
you see who are like you
gleaming, always gleaming. Love, you
whispered: love;
love: why are you single on Facebook?
When did you/we/you/you decide you
you/you/you were single on Facebook?

Nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s
wrong wrong wrong

I know I know sometimes I throw knives
at you but does it matter if you don’t
notice? I am small and you are big
and maybe this is the only
why why why for which we fit. I I I am
not so blameless but a knife from you
is a knife for us
and I I I am sorry that I
that I require a saint from you
of you I am sorry
sorry, sorry no, sorry no

even when I yell you think I don’t try / help me
convince me that these are more than singular
post-teen trivialities

We shes watch the room unfold
smooth with our backs against the dry
wall; invisible women, sore thumbs, melanined
bruises among paper cuts. You smile
so we smile but mostly we are quiet, struck
sponges on land foreign holding in our water:
daughters, we float enough still to drift

10/30/17, 1:34am

It’s not that we are too good. It’s that we are simply
good, with a healthy tinge of non-heaven that
I, because I am me, use to slit paper cuts
into the back of my neck, at just the right spot where
your torso is too long to spot it when you cradle
my healthy, my limber, my happy. It exists
quotidian, flaring as thorn ends prick at
the open, sizzle hiss snap as my smile grows
frozen and sad and worried
— excuse me, is my neurosis showing? How embarrassing
— and frozen, and frozen, and still, and
— Is it truly possible that you never feel this way?
What would it have been like to blossom
a yellow among yellows? Does it matter
that it’s the system and not you
not me if what we have in the end
is still you still me? Here’s my
Burt’s Bees: noticing makes for pain
but not fault: you can believe that I say
there’s quicksand below me but because
you don’t see it you forget. Sometimes a bucket
of gold is just shitty milk chocolate in foil.
Sometimes the foil makes for a cutesy crane.
But when will I tire of folding? Sometimes
I want nothing more than for you
to suffer. That’s an urge I’ll squash
until I break, because what love do I know
more deeply than self-sacrifice via self-
destruction. For me myself and I, a pit.
For you, an apple muffin, an afternoon
with dissolved edges. Lilacs and chamomile.
Snow. Blue.

dream 09/28/17

I’m with HJ and S, studying in the library at our school. I scroll through Facebook and notice a series of posts by AM, racking up, as always, hundreds of likes. They are a series of poems, each a horrifying portrait of me: my insecurities, ugliness, inconsistencies and secrets laid bare through AM’s eyes, which have looked at me long and hard and deep, which I let in willingly as though there is no key, there is a security guard, finicky, picky, jaded from birth and secretly scared.

“X, with a slightly liberal slant”

“X, with a slightly conservative slant”

“X, victimizing herself through her relationship with her parents”

It doesn’t matter that it was wrong to do: the poems are not mean so much as they are mocking. It is all true. It is all real.

07/07/17, 8:28am

I believe this was jotted thoughts for a poem idea

snow taking up ad space

or is it just blowing back (futilely), wind on the front of a bird’s wings

snow falling

ice statues

there is a special kind of cautious shame in those who bike upwards on a one way street

and some lack even this: they pedal lazily, bike turning side to side

it is a new york sort of reckless meandering