my parents and my teachers and my coach said
go home and ready
prepare to move
and let the air mix into your lungs–
then, you will be free.
i wonder, how hard could it be?
i am a child, untouched, baby-fat and loose limbs
i slip through, in-out, around, testing the tug,
and i rush against the wall, rough shock to my palms
and i burn, burn, burn, fire in my blood and my air
what does it mean to sweat and tread
medalless, joyless, friendless, pain-full?
and end the pain
drown it in brilliant red
and dye this grey world
in blazing fire
no longer ashes
the phoenix is reborn
i wonder if i’m real
but all i have is pixel affection
drops of red on my bracelets
cuts i imagine because they burn too vividly
a name disconnected from all of reality
wires tangling my throat, growing
identity lost copied created modified
experiment #183948 in me
and all i have is pixel affection
green circle around around
translate the on off into voice
whispers late at night and tangled limbs
butterfly wings on my skin and i’m shattering
cloying laughter and blurred lines
take another, they taste numb
and all i am is pixel affection
tenderness expressed in binary
let the mask slip for a second
will you take it, take me, break me
take my crystal heart and slice the cake
there’s enough candy for everyone
quiet down and no one notices
and suddenly it’s all empty, screen gone dark
ringing silence, burning from the inside out
take my headphones off and i’m atoms
white lines spilling out my mouth
ground bones and pink gray meat
electric flickers, broken signal
breath solidified and drums silenced.
terminate the simulation, it failed again.
blood and smoothies
i flushed the red down the toilet
thought, for a second, that it might stain
and they would know what i had done
no matter, my tongue knows the taste well enough.
self-reflective tears well in my eyes
crying over a time that never was
nostalgia washing over me
caressing my skin and whispering
youth, beauty, love... all i had not yet lost
golden age of hope and promise
lost now, gray steel and skies
everything up in flames
and i water the earth with my tears
an earth driven to extremes and death
society, the economy, the earth itself,
someday the sun and maybe the universe
and we will never be prepared
but it won’t matter, we’ll be long gone
lost in dreams and memories
faded snapshots of what once was
torn and creased, still warm,
held near and dear
a reminder of what to strive for
we can still do it, i still hold hope
that we can come home and fix things
that we can repair the damage done
and love again, find our harmonies,
Yesterday at the beach the skies were gray, the beach littered with thorny debris of a storm several days past. I cannot help but associate that grayness with myself. I may see in color, but I feel in gray, a soft fuzz in my brain. A sort of weight, like that of a humid day, stifling on my shoulders, in my lungs. Sometimes I wish for a splash of vibrant red to cut through all that gray. But the ink beneath would be revealed, a roiling darkness hidden to most. It would spill through the wound in the cloak, and bleed through the fabric, reaching for anything and everything and consuming it, and everyone would see that the red is not red at all, for that is not blood in my veins but ink, stolen from millions of words, sequestered deep in my memories. Memories like the aftermath of the storm, a reminder of lashing wind and beating rain, punishment, pain, terror. Memories I press down. Watch your step, my mind cautions. There are thorns around.
"get out here!"
"what is the meaning of this."
"how am i supposed to reply?!"
it's an email.
"according to our records, your daughter was marked absent from class today."
impersonal, unfeeling. i know her. she's the receptionist. nice enough, i suppose, i don't talk to her much.
"how can you be so irresponsible?!"
"you need to wake up on time."
"i don't know anything i came home and woke her up."
"you're not a kid anymore, stop making mistakes."
i tell them.
"it's a mistake. it has to be. i know i was in class."
they yell at me anyways.
panic and fear consume me.
they continue berating me.
i look it up. breathing exercises.
i breathe deeply in and out and suddenly i can't again.
can't breathe, breaths coming hard and fast and rough, breaking into sobs.
i try desperately to bring my breathing under control.
stop the sounds.
don't let them hear.
i'm on my knees by my bed.
desperately trying to find someone, anyone, who can confirm it was a mistake.
all my friends in that class are offline.
i email my teacher about it. ask them to fix it.
i know rationally it is a mistake.
but the way they act makes it seem like i've committed some heinous crime.
"are you ready to go out yet?"
no i'm not fucking ready to go out. i'm still hyperventilating and sobbing, big ugly tears and red nose.
"why don't you want to go out?"
she's at my door.
i close it.
"i don't want to go out."
"i don't want to talk about it."
"leave me alone."
"no i'm not leaving you alone. why don't you want to go out? what is it you don't want to talk about?"
she opens my door.
at this point i'm full on sobbing and hyperventilating and i think that maybe this is a panic attack. i don't care that she's watching me cry anymore.
i yell at her.
to get out. to leave me alone. that i don't want to talk. that i refuse to go out. that they can go out if they want to. that they need to stop making such a big deal of it. that they need to leave me alone.
she leaves and i lock the door.
i can still hear them.
"it's because of those stupid online friends of hers. next she'll be going on about one of them considering suicide."
funny, those online friends make me happier than you ever will.
"i don't know why she's saying all those crazy irrelevant things."
and now i'm crazy. figures.
"we take such good care of them and it always just get thrown into our faces."
you understand nothing. i may be fed and i may have a roof over my head but i'm miserable.
she's knocking on my door again.
my mind chants.
my panic and my breathing had been calming, but after hearing their words they got worse again.
she goes away. i hear a door. the car driving away. i'm safe now.
i don't know i'll explain when they get back. my mouth is dry, my hands numb and tingling. i still can't breathe properly and i'm still crying a lot. i put my headphones on and turn on the volume and write this piece, try to process it. i still don't know what i'll do. there's still water leaking from my eyes. i can only hope they'll ignore it when they come back. i don't want to think about this anymore...
curled up, longing
the hours draining away
the clock is ticking
he says he'll be home soon
but never is
and i wait, foolishly
yet the light is returning
and still no sign
wonder in my mind
not the good kind, the childish kind
but suspicious musings
wonder what he's out doing
with who? someone pretty,
someone i don't know about
perhaps he's abandoned me for someone better.
and the door opens,
light flooding into the dark corners
"Honey, I'm home!"
and all reset.
(doubts in the back of my mind.)
too many sparks
dad is angry again & i don't understand
hollow feeling in my chest
wasn't i fine just now
why does every meal and conversation
leave us frustrated, alone, depressed
i love my family but i hate them too
what can i do to fix it
they're always so angry now,
snapping at the slightest thing
and i tiptoe, hoping
but it never works
and only time turns the fire down to embers
until another spark comes and lights it up again
the sparks come all too often
bubbly and carbonated
all fizz and sweet on your tongue
yet when all is gone
inert, flat, stale
a sad remnant of what was.
substanceless, empty. unwanted.
the world reaches for the last dregs
chews her up and spits her out.
another tragedy on the news. she killed herself. why?
the words they said, didn't go away...
Dedicated to Sulli, to Jonghyun, to everyone who has suffered.