"The first time he calls you holy,
you laugh it back so hard your sides hurt.
The second time,
you moan gospel around his fingers
between your teeth.
He has always surprised
you into surprising yourself.
Because he’s an angel hiding his halo
behind his back and
nothing has ever felt so filthy
as plucking the wings from his shoulders—
undressing his softness
one feather at a time.
God, if you’re out there,
if you’re listening,
he fucks like a seraphim,
and there’s no part of scripture
that ever prepared you for his hands.
Hands that map a communion
in the cradle of your hips.
Hands that kiss hymns up your sides.
He confesses how long he’s looked
for a place to worship and,
you put him on his knees.
When he sinks to the floor and moans
like he can’t help himself,
you wonder if the other angels
fell so sweet.
He says his prayers between your thighs
and you dig your heels into the base of his spine
until he blushes the color of your filthy tongue.
You will ruin him and he will thank you;
he will say please.
No damnation ever looked as cozy as this,
but you fit over his hips like they
were made for you.
You fit, you fit, you fit.
On top of him, you are an ancient god
that only he remembers and he
offers up his skin.
And you take it.
Who knew sacrifice was so profane?
And once you’ve taught him how to hold
your throat in one hand
and your heart in the other,
you will have forgotten every other word,
except his name."
People always say that it hurts at night
and apparently screaming into your pillow at 3am
is the romantic equivalent of being heartbroken.
it’s 9am on a tuesday morning
and you’re standing at the kitchen bench waiting for the toast to pop up
And the smell of dusty sunlight and earl gray tea makes you miss them so much
you don’t know what to do with your hands.
"I’ve come home in love with loneliness."
that’s the way it was, you know? we’d lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and say, “if i go in tomorrow i will kill myself” and mean it all the way and then when the morning came, we’d get out of bed and sling backpacks over our shoulders. maybe that’s the reason everyone thought we were faking it: because we were so damn awful at going through with it.
god, how many of my friends ended up underground. humans remember pain in odd ways. i know when you died i clutched my chest and howled for hours. it still hurts, but not as bad as it used to. i always think, “alright, i’ve lived through this enough times that i’ll be alright the next time,” but i don’t think we ever really learn how to be alright at all.
and you hurt and you wake up and you remember the pain from last night in an odd way and you say to yourself, well, okay, i can handle today, it’s a wound but it’s healing. and then at night you say, no more of this ever again. and the cycle starts over again.
god, but did i live for the weekends. what a waste of life that is: hating five out of seven days. what were they even supposed to be teaching us, because all i learned is that you can be bone-crushingly tired and so sad that the smallest things make you cry and you will still be able to put both feet on the floor the next day. i guess it taught me i could survive anything, but it wasn’t a lesson i think they kept in the curriculum. were we supposed to be so young and already know so much about sorrow?
god, these quiet mornings. i hate remembering. i hate being."
"The other night I called the boy
who use to love me and softened my nails
against my teeth until he said my name.
I’ll do things like that sometimes, just for
the thrill of it. Meanwhile, the current boy says,
‘don’t you have anything else in your wardrobe
besides black?’ Once he told me that I even
smell lonely. Cinnamon rubbed into my wrists,
salt sprinkled at my hairline; this is how I keep
my body mine. This city drags me by my hair,
rips potholes into my stomach. I watch the news
and choke on the list of the dead. I don’t count
the miles but I know the exact distance I am
from home. Sometimes I am jolted awake from
dreams about men who are disguised as wolves.
At seven, my idea of love was my mother singing
patiently to the pear tree in the backyard. Now
I beg for it like a dog at the dinner table nuzzling
your knee, drooling all over your best pair of shoes.
I only wear lipstick when I want my mouth
to be noticed. There is so much that I don’t want
to do anymore and I am running and running.
Sometimes I scale my own body looking for
a window just to see if the light is on."
we were good girls but we had no idea what we were good for so we smeared ourselves across the lips of people who had no right to claim us - god, but what if we had claimed ourselves, what if we had been claimed by the thunder under our skin or the earthquakes in our limbs, what if we had been claimed by that night sky we were always trying to fade into - we were good girls, once. we were little clouds of embers.
they made pheonix from us. you’ve got to understand. we didn’t mean for our words to become velvet, we didn’t mean for our smiles to become hazardous, we didn’t mean to be walking warrior with whiskey in our tongues and eruptions in our eyes.
but god, once you had turned us to ash: did you really think we had any choice but to rise?"