and wonder if anyone will recognize me / hope not / hope so / hope i delete it again in a few days / after the reality that these are real people / which means / i’m a real person / settles in and i can’t help but itch // i make plans to meet up and bail / twice / the third time i hit it on a fluke and it’s awkward / didn’t realize they were younger than me til they were pulling in / it’s just a friend-thing / but still / eighteen. christ / there’s only two people i actually like talking to so far / and one’s in australia / gag // i’m so tired of long-distance everything / i just mean / what’s the point of all my friends if i can’t lay in their lap and cry / til my face doesn’t feel like mine / you know? // the other one’s right here at home, where i set my settings to / (why do they even have age/distance settings if people outside them can message you?? / like for real) / but they have my deadname and that’s a bit [insert cringe-emoji here] / like it’s not their fault but and it honestly kinda suits them / but still. the thought / of being all “hey [deadname],” if/when we meet is enough to make my stomach cramp // we haven’t even talked about meeting yet / which is probably the only reason i still want to / do you ever want something so much you can feel it / in your hands? but then you actually get it / and realize you now have to hold it / and if you drop it / you can’t blame anyone else because you’re the one / who asked for it / god / all that responsibility / maybe i’ll delete again, keep hiding / in my room, texting people thousands of miles away / how bad i want to hug them and then ignore everyone / close enough / to actually touch // sound like a plan?




run through my luck like a match, singe
on my own stupidity. bite at the heels of
impulse like a dog. howling both internal
and external ensues.

chase after the mirage of lasting change
until it disappears, oil slick ahead of me

this is both literal, and not. the body never

when you become aware of the healing,
the desire to harm returns. whether true
or untrue, the bleeding ensues.

my scalp flakes itself a reminder that
beauty comes at a cost, but of course
it is one i shoulder almost willingly—

my heart wounds itself into being loved
whether scarred or unblemished matters
none. the healing resumes.
the desire to harm returns.

i give myself up for love, wraith my body
into the silvered glass of a mirror

reflecting a stranger’s image,
the ghost of the [ ] i could have been—

brought back to life, pulled into the flesh
my mind has contained itself in.

each mistake burns brighter than the last,
and i lose myself in the laughter bubbling
in my own chest—

champagne fizz filling me with anything
but sorrow.

forgetting is a practice. resisting, an ongoing
peeling          back the          layers           of self
until              the insides      become        visible
a delectable idea best left to the imagination.

this is an excuse to bear all my
favorite wounds. to forget with
words the truth my body holds
inside of itself.

reality lingers at the peripherals.

when mania whispers in my ear,
i lace my humanity up tighter.
dig my heels into the resistance
of life, the refusal to give in
quite so easily—

end up face-first in kindling
held my own head under
lungs strained to fill

with anything but soot—
but ash—
but sacrifice—