the piece that won silver key in Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (2020)
I have a confession.
I find myself liking my crying bitter red-faced face. Because I write, enlightened with my verses and rhyme, my
and who knows what else.
My disaster porn I call writing and my fetishizing of sadness I call reflecting.
My sonnets of the old man and the sea, my dad, my mom, fire, oysters, bubblegum pink, mortals, immortals, gods, demigods, vampires, lovers, beasts, princesses, Ringo Starr, I’ve done it all.
I make suffering sensual and find charm amongst sadness and self-pity.
I pick at infected scabs that infect no longer
make a competition of who has the most scars, who’s cried the most tears, pasting bandages
over cuts that were never there
I lie, don’t I?
lie that the sky is falling when it really isn’t
head directly to the flame when I’m crying bitter red-faced
like some deranged moth
in hopes of finding catharsis in hopes that the flame will reflect back to me exactly who I am or whom I have become
So I promised myself
I won’t glamorize
won’t respond to curiosity with some evasive bullshit knowing it will prettily bathe me in the purple light of mystery
won’t stand for scars and their taffeta gleam
won’t sit on the edge of my balcony like some femme fatale
holding my dad’s juul in between my index and middle finger
pretending to smoke a cigarette
but don’t believe in me
because I’m scared what happens after I let go,
I don’t know what will be left,
if anything will be left at all
After all, clichés are my unfortunate favorite
I enjoy bathing in purple light even if
these violet delights have violet ends
what's in a promise anyway?
That which we call a lie by any other name would smell as sour.
She is a lion with cold feet.
it was late at night and I held on too tight. My fingers were nearly purple.
from an empty sea, a flash of red and green light. I asked if it was light from Wiltern Theater
She didn’t answer and I asked her ?why?
She said her feet were cold and that we should go back in.
She is a lion with cold feet.
ironic, I know
we were w i d e - e y e d girls and always right
No, she was a w i d e - e y e d girl and always right
the city our playground and its people just holographs.
She went with a roar and I
We have way too many cigarettes in our house
My dad keeps them on hand always
His favorite brand is Marlboro
Does she wear red?
Though he used to prefer Parliaments
That was before he found
Do you buy expensive watches for her because you can’t buy her rings?
Marlboro Red cigarettes
Attracting all the sad men in this world
Do you light her cigarette, dad?
with their reds and whites and blacks and golds
So ready to light up and smoke
my head feels like a lead ball
or maybe like a brick
like a liter of water is swimming behind my eyes
with 3 goldfish to go with it
i can't focus,
there's a boy sitting in front of me and
he keeps smiling at me through his overgrown bangs
my math teacher bends down to pick up a marker
and I see
the top of his balding scalp
oh how horrendous
TV, pig, frog
and eat to fill this black void inside of me
but it seems
that my void is not getting any smaller, as I had hoped
only I am growing bigger and bigger, physically I mean
I’m scared I’m just gonna be a frog with nothing but pickle friends
shit, I worry so much, sometimes I feel like I'm going to turn black and blue