slow ghost


playtime’s o v e r



here, have some modern non-magical flower of my heart pansy parkinson:

  • is an only child.
  • grows up somewhere warm and slow with lots of ghosts and cypress trees and lace doilies on the dining room table.
  • freckles in the sun.
  • attends an exclusive all-girls’ prep school; doesn’t realize until she’s much older that she hates every second of it.
  • teaches herself to sew after her mother dies because her hands haven’t stopped shaking for months and sweet tea isn’t sweet anymore and it turns out that the looming threat of accidentally stabbing herself with an extra-sharp needle actually helps her focus.
  • spends what feels like half her life chasing a boy with bright blond hair and stormy grey eyes and a family tree he can trace back to plymouth rock. never quite catches him.
  • paints her bedroom walls a shadowy plum color the winter she turns 16. rips off the scotch blue tape a little too early. stains the chair rail.
  • is deathly allergic to cats.
  • embroiders her name in pale pink thread on the collar of the first blouse she makes. it’s ugly and paisley and mauve and the pattern’s abysmal but it fits her like a fucking glove.
  • meets daphne greengrass in sixth grade cotillion when there aren’t enough boys to go around for ballroom dancing and they’re paired up together to learn the steps. they never do get around to separating, and the sight of their pastel silk skirts swirling together on the night of their debut is positively seared into pansy’s memory.
  • has a marilyn monroe phase.
  • tie-dyes her corset-waisted alice + olive prom dress in a baby pool in her backyard. ruins it. wears it anyway.
  • loses her virginity the summer she’s 17. it happens on a ratty burgundy alabama football blanket, on the fourth of july, under a sparkling midnight sky that’s velvet and fireworks and reflected right back at her in the fractured emerald green of his eyes.
  • learns to drive in her dad’s pick-up truck. is astonishingly good at parallel parking.
  • skips out on SAT prep classes to sketch evening gowns by the river. hears the faint trickle of the water as it rushes past, peaks and foams and valleys, but only ever sees sleek columns of persimmon coated satin and floating fluttering waves of pearl-encrusted lace.
  • alternates between the same three shades of pink laura mercier lipstick.
  • buys her dad a new picture frame every year for his birthday. watches, impassive, as he only ever uses them to house the one remaining photo they keep up of her mom.
  • cuts her own bangs with her sewing scissors.
  • crosses her fingers and her heart and her ankles and applies to parsons, fidm, scad, the new school, agonizes over the smudged charcoal lines in her leather-bound portfolio and the yellow-tinted glare of the camera flash on her most recent attempt at a sequined fishtail cape, but forgets all of that—forgets everything—when she’s accepted absolutely everywhere and daphne tugs at her uniform tie between first and second lunch and twirls her into the empty sunlit faculty lounge and kisses her so, so gently that the only thing pansy can think to do is shatter.
  • is breathless,


i’m looking through the house. i’m trying to understand myself.
i’m possessed. to clarify: it’s painful & it’s dull, like scissors
that refuse to bite you back.

fossilized, at times i can see the outline of bones. other times,
arrowheads. a mouth. lavender that comes not from fields
but tombs built from one single stretch of stone.

this empties me, of everything. what’s left are the rooms,
the ghost. a slow squeeze of grief. i don’t know what it means.

what i want is to be prehistorical. i want to not have
to sift through the wreckage, to not be the one staring
wonderless at the bodies of caves.

i imagine what it would be like to be untouched. the world
melts. flutters. another universe that breathes. instead,

the house. it strains around me. it moves in the direction
i move. it wants only to stay.

Los Signos Como Canciones De Halsey
  • Aries: Slow
  • Tauro: Gasoline
  • Geminis: Ghost
  • Cancer: Coming Down
  • Leo: Colors
  • Virgo: Control
  • Libra: Empty Gold
  • Escorpio: Roman Holiday
  • Sagitario: Trouble
  • Capricornio: Drive
  • Acuario: Castle
  • Piscis: Is There Somewhere
  • -Cata♓