kissing fire
Rian. A matryoshka doll.
If I am not able to write because I’m afraid of being a bad writer, then I must be a bad writer. At least I’ll be writing. 
R.M., There are ghosts in my mouth
“Is there a way to pick all these words up under my tongue and simply hand them over to you? Words like love and petals and hands. Sentences like You have the ocean inside you, that’s why your tears are salty when you cry. Your hands are the only ones I’d ever hold; the wildflowers I’ve grown to love. Baby, you are both the sun and the rain living in my spine. Would you please throw out that umbrella? I’d pluck all the stars in my eyes and make you a map when you’re lost in the dark. I’d live with you in the shadows if that’s what you want. Trace my collarbones and you’ll find your name engraved in them. Open up my ribcages and you’ll see a part of you I’ve surreptitiously taken. Kiss me like your mouth is thirsty for the rain and I’ll pour all these words down your throat so I wouldn’t have to say them.”
“I listen to the rain
and I hear your voice.
My mouth tastes of
blood and your smile.
I’ve been trying to be
one with the dark
in the hopes I could
forget your face and
the light it sheds
on my day.
Tell me, how do I
forget you when
your name
follows me everywhere?”
Jeanette Winterson, Sexing The Cherry

When my husband had an affair with someone else I watched his eyes glaze over when we ate dinner together and I heard him singing to himself without me, and when he tended the garden it was not for me.

He was courteous and polite; he enjoyed being at home, but in the fantasy of his home I was not the one who sat opposite him and laughed at his jokes. He didn’t want to change anything; he liked his life. The only thing he wanted to change was me.

It would have been better if he had hated me, or if he had abused me, or if he had packed his new suitcases and left.

As it was he continued to put his arm round me and talk about building a new wall to replace the rotten fence that divided our garden from his vegetable patch. I knew he would never leave our house. He had worked for it.

Day by day I felt myself disappearing. For my husband I was no longer a reality, I was one of the things around him. I was the fence which needed to be replaced. I watched myself in the mirror and saw that I was no longer vivid and exciting. I was worn and grey like an old sweater you can’t throw out but won’t put on.

He admitted he was in love with her, but he said he loved me.

Translated, that means, I want everything. Translated, that means, I don’t want to hurt you yet. Translated, that means, I don’t know what to do, give me time.

Why, why should I give you time? What time are you giving me? I am in a cell waiting to be called for execution.

I loved him and I was in love with him. I didn’t use language to make a war-zone of my heart.

'You're so simple and good,' he said, brushing the hair from my face.

He meant, Your emotions are not complex like mine. My dilemma is poetic.

But there was no dilemma. He no longer wanted me, but he wanted our life.

Eventually, when he had been away with her for a few days and returned restless and conciliatory, I decided not to wait in my cell any longer. I went to where he was sleeping in another room and I asked him to leave. Very patiently he asked me to remember that the house was his home, that he couldn’t be expected to make himself homeless because he was in love.

'Medea did,' I said, 'and Romeo and Juliet, and Cressida, and Ruth in the Bible.'

He asked me to shut up. He wasn’t a hero.

'Then why should I be a heroine?'

He didn’t answer; he plucked at the blanket.

I considered my choices.

I could stay and be unhappy and humiliated.

I could leave and be unhappy and dignified.

I could beg him to touch me again.

I could live in hope and die of bitterness.

I took some things and left. It wasn’t easy, it was my home too.

I hear he’s replaced the back fence.


He places morse code on my skin with his lips. Touches me like Braille. I let him, think of the sun setting on the saffron land of India. My bones crack underneath the pressure. I spin knives on my fingers, tease my palms with them, spill blood the color of dirt. I dream of clenching teeth and rotting butterflies, the moon teaching me how to be quiet, running around in a field of daisy. I cut pages from my journal and eat it. I stare over the horizon and pluck the stars from his eyes. Once, I found petals tucked between the pages of a book and I thought about how nice it must’ve been; to sleep in a place devoid of everything. I go to cemeteries at night and let ghosts trail behind me. Far away, there’s a girl buried, death enveloping her like shroud. She used to be happy.

Michelle K., It Has Been One Hell of a Year 
“And it has been
one hell
of a year.
I have worn
the seasons
under my sleeves,
on my thighs,
running down my cheeks.
This is what
looks like, my dear.”
For a voice that wavers every time she speaks

This time, I am going to apologize to no one but myself. I’m sorry for being the forest fire that ruined me. I’m sorry for my hands that broke myself into two; I put them inside a box and buried them behind my house, terrified I’d still be haunted by the blood on my palms. There is this bitter, copper-y taste in my mouth when somebody mentions my name and I’m sorry for feeling this way. I don’t look at mirrors because I’m scared I won’t recognize my face anymore. I’m sorry it took me this long to apologize. I’m sorry for being the supernova that disintegrated my universe. I’ve been planting flowers on the darkest parts of me so I’d have a reason to let light fill up the cracks I’ve made. This time, I’m going to be the sunshine. This time, I’m going to be better.

Y.Z, the blessings hiding behind curses
“I am thankful
for the heavy days.
All that weight
is the only thing that taught
me what I know about strength.”
One kind of seduction

I’d talk nerdy with you. Yes I really would. I’d whisper something in your ear about subject-verb agreements. Press myself into you while you tell me your favorite conjunctions. Trace punctuation marks all over your skin; parenthesis on your chest, semi-colons on your wrists, quotation marks on your forehead, slashes on your back. Perhaps you’d moan when I tell you the difference of passive voice and active voice. I would show you my books and letters. Show you how I play with words. I know enough about metaphors and allegories to take off your shirt, unzip your jeans. We could go over the tenses of verbs, the different prepositions on my bed. We could break all the rules, one by one, together.