she falls for the quiet boys
for the shy boys
with their heads tilted down
watching their feet
their hands in their pockets.
she falls for the boys with
secrets to keep
their shoulders hunched
their breathing soft
and smiles so small.
they remind her of the late-
blooming blue bells
in her grandparent’s garden.
the flowers that need
a little more water
a little bit more care
for them to grow
for them to open up.
the prospect of getting
her hands dirty,
a bit of earth on her knees
feels to her like swallowing
one bee hive after another whole.
she doesn’t mind the wind
messing up her hair,
they’re not meant to stay
still anyway, she tells herself,
the way other girls
want their’s neat and perfect.
she likes the idea
of digging deeper into him,
doesn’t mind finding nothing
at all, just wants to see
to know
and perhaps to
—  MJLbecause blooming red roses die first

“Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story.” —Ray Bradbury, born on this day in 1920

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that’s not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It’s hard and painful for you to talk about these things … and then people just look at you strangely. They haven’t understood what you’ve said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it.
—  Stephen King, The Body
A Little Something About Me

i’ve never been comfortable talking about myself. on the occasion that i do, my friends tell me it sounds like i were speaking of a distant relative instead, who’s died of substance overdose just yesterday.

i am shy. my professor once told me that if we stripped shyness off its sheepskin, we’d be left with a wolf with pride for claws. but she was wrong. because pride’s supposed to be a five-year old’s balloon tied tightly around your neck to keep your head held high, it’s not supposed to be a brick on your head and carried on your back, on your shoulders and definitely not on your heart. i think fear wears shyness like a bulletproof vest in a crowded hall. and you get shot in the chest anyway.

i use way too much contraction. most of the time i feel like i occupy too much space in the world that i feel the need to make myself smaller, make myself less of a hindrance. so that no one would notice me or look at me, force me to speak.

there was a time when i couldn’t even look at my reflection, whether it be in the bathroom or if i pass by quaint little shops uptown with the one-way mirror for walls, even in the puddles after the rain falls. because i believed there was something too hideous lurking there and i thought ignoring it would make it go away. i was wrong. and don’t you think there’s nothing better than admitting you were?

i worry a lot. i’ve read too many books growing up. i overthink. if i were meeting a friend at four in the afternoon and they’d not arrived yet, i’d imagine they’d been hit by a car. i could hear their bones crunching, feel the heat of their blood seeping into the concrete and one day a wildflower just might grow there, right in the middle of the street. or maybe they’d never meant to show up. maybe they’re being kidnapped right at that moment, and when no one hears their scream in the alleys, were they never really raped?

i am selfish. when a friend was ill and had to leave school to be treated, i worried more about being alone in a room full of strangers while we studied trigonometric functions as i tried to sink deeper into my seat so the teacher would have less of a chance of calling me, than her being alone in an air-conditioned room full of tubes while white coats studied her as she tried to keep her body from trembling. goosebumps tattoo her limbs. i need to feel safe. i have an irrational need to feel secure, otherwise i’d lose myself.

for some reason, my brain works best at night. it’s the time i feel most productive and willing to try anything at all. it’s when i write. it’s when i most feel like walking outside and i’d not mind the people looking at me because it’d be dark anyway. we’re all faceless. but i don’t, because i’m a girl. and they tell me it’s scary out there. i wait for the sun to rise.

the first time i wrote poetry for myself was in the form of a suicide note. and thank god for writing, because here i am still.


Look at you. You’re young. And you’re scared. Why are you so scared? Stop being paralyzed. Stop swallowing your words. Stop caring what other people think. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Play it loud as fuck and dance to it. Go out for a drive at midnight and forget that you have school the next day. Stop waiting for Friday. Live now. Do it now. Take risks. Tell secrets. This life is yours. When are you going to realize that you can do whatever you want?
—  Louise Flory
Even in my sleep,
you’re finding the letters
I wrote you,
and even in my sleep
you’re writing back to someone else instead.
If it helps,
I’m still writing
to the light you left behind.
I still let it sit inside of me all day
until my body can’t take it anymore.
You’re my favorite headache
to call my mother about,
and I talk about the dizzy so much,
I almost can’t believe there’s
any of it left to haunt me.
While it happens,
my body dances to the sound
of my own heart breaking.
While it happens,
my hands unfold into flying kites.
I finally need something else to reach for,
but you’re like a disease that comes back to me,
growing and growing
until I almost become it.
Until I almost don’t know anything else.
—  Y.Zmy body is a disappearing act that doesn’t know where to go