A Little Bit of WonderlandHer name was Alyssa, and when she was nine, her mother built her Wonderland. After being raised on a healthy diet of Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton and J.M. Barrie, it seemed like the natural course of action. She created it out of paper, each scene indispensably, indisputably perfect in its imperfection.And she did it because Alyssa was terrified of the idea of falling through a rabbit hole, into a place that allows magic only when you are confused. Mothers do the most impractical, exhausting things to show how much they love their children. It seemed a pity that it was this very effort that kept Alyssa up all night, staring at the paper people like they were coming to get her.(If Alyssa’s mother knew, she would have spent all her time trying to explain to the little girl that it wasn’t just paper people she should be afraid of.)-God appeared to have a sense of humour when little Alice became Alyssa’s best friend. She lives across the street, her hair always
Bones"There are good days and there are bad days," you would say to me as you would try and explain away why the whiskey bottle was empty again this morning, why you smelled like her and why you thought it was best to let me know what you had done. At least that way, you were absolved of the gift of lying; the one your bones were too light to lift and just couldn't take, by bestowing me with betrayal.My mother would bring me an encouraging cup of tea in a giant pink mug instead of a cup and explain, "There are good days and there are bad days." Her eyes were always full of positive energy and strength and good will. I look back to those days and try and gain the strength she had in her bones from her words. I always fail.They told me I had a disease within my bones. It started from the bottom of my knee and was moving upwards. Because that is what bones did. They broke from the inside out. "There will be good days and bad days," they warned me. I knew at that very point that it was going
You call it Judgement, We call it SinEmily needs the words to understand that she isn't being unreasonable. She just wants them to mean something and not be a string of words which flows into itself over and over again.She doesn't like her name either. Not because Emily isn't a pretty name but because she would rather be called something she feels like. (She has never quite forgiven her parents for choosing her name for her.) If she could, she would call herself Glass, because that is what she wakes up feeling like every morning. As if crystallised pieces of glass are edible and her insides tingle as she swallows them whole.Emily lets the words call her names sometimes. She writes them on her knees so that she can remember them. Sometimes the words call her a whore, and sometimes stupid, and sometimes a loser and sometimes a tramp (She has never learnt that loving too much is a crime and boys with pretty eyes sometimes lie.). She sits in the bathroom with a pen the colour of blood and writes them carefully
Teaching Summer to BreatheSummer will always remind me of hot, sweltering nights spent drinking sangria, through the dripping fairy lights of your bedroom window. A sticky, starry sky looked back at us, the glow of the moon almost golden in the heat. Fourteen meant we weren't growing up fast enough and a liquor cabinet key seemed to hold the answer to that problem.You taught me how to drink that night.(You also showed me how beautiful it was to just hold your breath till your head spins and reality seems like it is going to fade further and further away.)-Six summers ago I met a boy who liked to tell me how much like summer I was. He was big boned and thin skinned and the first time I told him he wasn't mine to keep, he left handprints on my skin that reminded you of a canvas covered in autumn leaves that you saw in New York. Then you proceeded to break every single window in his house (Yes, even the one in the attic he loved so much.)You taught me how to smile through heartbreak that night.(You
Simple ThingI’d like to be an off-beatsyncopated little thing;note and stem floating on the melody, just sitting inappoggiatura, grace-note, special thing.I’d like to be a sailorswinging on the ocean windcoarse old rope between my hands and salt-spray where my toes beginnimble little sailor, clever thing.I’d like to be a bed-sheetgentle thing to warm your skinthing that you hug tighter when the morning starts to filter infalling through your creases, lucky thing.
Dear Poetry,You will find out that I am not a strong person. Dragons do not make a home beneath my skin to hoard their treasured princesses. I am not that lucky. For I have misplaced collarbones just as quickly as I’ve misplaced hearts, a pulse still rhythmic against my fingertips. I am a monster of words, devouring Cummings and Plath with no ounce of self control left in my body. I promised myself this weight would not fall for the sharp edges of stars ground into your knuckles. But, write air into my lungs, poetry. Give this wild thing a reason to learn the definition of tamed.Write me a poem, and I will promise to fall in love with you, slowly and then…all at once.