When I was four, I died.

And for the life of me, I could not be alive.

When Its light brown eyes turned into dark moonless nights, It still shone bright.

And when my hands moved in Its light, It pulled me in.

It breathed on me and found Its way in.

And when I trembled, crumbled, kneeled, at Its feet, It smiled.

It caught me by the hair and drug me out.


When I die, I will miss the way water slipped down my fingers in a mess of intervals clearer than rain water.


I will miss the sound that my feet made when I die, letting me know I was alive.


I don’t want to feel scared

like I’m doing this all on my own.


I can’t forget my mother’s infectious tears when the ghost of his past found its way into my pocket, stained with the dreaded acronym “ILY.”


remember when I asked her why she didn’t love me, and she said, “I do” but, more so, I can’t forget when she took it back.


Why should I cry for a woman who wishes she, at the age of fourteen, aborted me?


I cannot forget the time I was stabbed in the eye because my A’s looked too much like U’s.


The way all I felt could be captured in less than four minutes of lyrics that I will miss when I die.



I remember not being able to choose between what God wanted and what I felt. I never liked church with its high ceilings and holy hypocrites.

I remember being baptized at the Mormon church of Latter Day Saints; even though I’m not Mormon.

I remember the way birds chirped when I woke up and how the light hit my skin, rolling over my bed when I opened my eyes.


I remember being alone.

I remember the sound of broken glasses, dark rooms, and muffled screams.

I remember feeling like I didn’t belong here or anywhere to anyone or anything.

I remember never being happy.

I remember pushing people away.


to write about the scary stuff that took place in that old washed up house whose face I can’t remember but live less than a mile away from.

to write about that house’s blue door that from afar seemed off-purple but up close echoed blue-green.

to write about that house’s long dark hallway that seemed to never end; the one whose whitest rooms were its darkest—the ones that cradled the memories that forever changed my life, but did nothing for his.



the days when no didn’t exactly mean no because if anything, it meant yes.


because no meant STOP.

But in his eyes, it meant YES.


And that made all the difference between his fault and mine.


I remember being told that it was my fault.



The first time I picked up that razor, and the way it glided across my skin like ice.


to feel anything that would make the pain of not being enough, enough.



to write about being alone and not wanting help for what I was.

I remember wishing that I couldn’t remember anything.



TO MAKE A MOTHER, who doesn’t even like me, LOVE ME.


to feel like I’m here, right now, talking to you.

To swallow every pill that my grandmother’s cabinet had to offer.

To make a gash so deep, I wouldn’t wake up this time.


to feel something, anything.






When I was four, I died in a room of lies.


I shut my eyes, but I will never be alive.



Oh, Laury,

How I wish I was as brave as you,

that I could do the things that you do.

How I wish I could march outside,

with wear curly, wild, fiery red hair,

wearing neon pink rain boats, white polka-dotted leggings,

a stripped sweater under a heavy, green winter coat,

and black garden gloves during the summer.


How I wish that I were as strong as you,

that I had the strength to walk up and down the hallways at school

singing “Hallelujah” loudly while dancing.

How I wish that I could tell Evan that finally

after three days I

found that stick of gum he lost in my hair.

And oh, how I wish more than anything

that I were as brave as you,

that I could hold my newly shaven head high

and smile at wide-eyed passersby.

But Laury, I’m not.


Oh, Laury,

How I wish that I was as brave as you,

that I could bear the things that you do.

How I wish that I could endure

three hours on a metal bed

with the worst thoughts wondering in my head.


How I wish that I had the strength to suffer

through four years of blood work,

three chemical baths a week,  two rounds of radiation,

and one double mastectomy.

And oh, how I wish more than anything

that I could look in the mirror, smile,

and convince myself that today wouldn’t probably be the last.

But Laury, I can’t.


Oh, Laury,

How I wish I were as brave as you,

that I could see the things you do.

How I wish that I could smile

as big as you at the man in the white coat

when you said,

“Only three pounds this half-week, doc.”

How I wish I could laugh in as much pain as you,

find the strength to run around the room,

dancing to piano music, and making mom

cry harder than she’s ever cried before.


How I wish that I were as complacent as you,

that I could accept becoming paler with every day,

stand, and watch myself, frail, and waste away.

How I wish that I were as brave as you,

that I could smile because I couldn’t cry,

because I knew that I might not have as many

days as I have fingers on one hand.

And, oh how I wish more than anything

that I lived life as you did

when I had you.


Oh, Laury,

how I wish I didn’t miss you.



It walks in the night

when life takes its first breath.

It flies over blue and pink cribs

smiling down into their faces.

when fumbling words finally make sense

It is cloaked in black, invisible smoke.

Its aroma wines in the air

when toddlers take their first steps

in that opportune moment of bliss.


It sits at the table

glaring over Its newspaper

when children eat their first whole meal.

When they walk to school

It watches and waits silently.

Swing one Swing two

on the monkey bars

It waits to catch them as they fall.


It stares at the glass bottle

with thoughtful eyes

when they take their first sip

of old natives’ fire-water.

It wisps through the air overhead

when preteens fall in bed.

It calls on Fear to shake the night

when innocent pranks

turn into acts of spite.


It cringes at love’s first kiss

and smiles at first love’s heartbreak bliss.

when love turns to lust

It waits prudently keeping score.

while It creeps through the back door

Singing beneath the moon

pray tell it will see them soon.


It reminds them of Its presence

with a black finger

over their parents’ heads.

Drop one Drop two

When they say, “I do”

It  implies, “Me, too.”

It clings over their heirs’ hair

breathing smoke into their lungs.

It smiles as they cry

and lingers as they die alive.


when family crowds around that dreaded white bed

when that IV steadily beats

the doctor speaks of recovery.

when that face reads: “Better today,”

and smiles in comfort and  peace.

That is when

It stops




He dawns on them at night

like a pillar of relief.

He clouds the room there

with hope and delight

He fills the air

that is when they forget It lurks about.

With feelings too hard to fight

comforting their sin

while their souls He burns in.

when they lie asleep at night

and thoughts leave their head.

when they close their eyes tight

they no longer find their will to fight.

Then It strikes!

Now that’s Death at His height.



She, that girl,

sits there,

in that corner

of the lunch room

every day.


She, her eyes

stay glued to

her plate.

Amongst that,

that there chaos.


She, that girl,

avoids wondering eyes

that roam here, in her,

that girl’s direction.

But she, her there,

sits alone so that they,

those people,

won’t talk to her.


Yet she, that girl,

always looks angry

so that they, those people,

those lame people,

won’t bother her.


She, her there,

pretends not to know them,

those people,

and doesn’t hang out with them,

those girls, her “friends,”

because she, that girl,

thinks that too much estrogen

will kill her.


She, that girl,

sits silently

until them, those teachers,

make her move there,

in that group.

Because she, her there,

runs to another table

when them, those people,

sit near her.


Yet her, that girl there’s,

body is rigid,

a blocky one

like a sound-bullet-proof box.

No one in, no one out.


she, that girl there,

sits silently saddened by

sonic stares with her head

so low, as low

as her eyes.


She, that girl there,

avoids all sound,

the voice of sitting alone.

She, her there,

eats, breathes, drinks, and is











Old friend,

look at me now.


As of late

I took over the minds of the privileged

drawing them in,

playing with their communication.

And finally,

someone bought you out,

and ran you out of town.

Once more famous than me

but now a distant memory.


Now I, my friend,

rose above, below, and all around you,

you, a M trapped in a box replaced by me,

who chopped off your two right legs,

built me, and made a better box.

A box in which your white leg keeps me upright.


By day

my subjects turn on their devices

and log into me,

taking their morning one message at a time,

sending next month’s plans into today’s



Your followers Poke me,

because they no longer need your space.

Over 40 million strong and growing,

more famous than you ever were.

And as I grow in numbers,

my heart grows with broken keys.


These drones I created do not know me

but you, my friend…

you know.

You have seen private pictures spread like a virus,

and I played a part in it all.

Their broken dreams and sold hearts,

their lost lives and spurned pleas.


Oh, my friend,

I broke more hearts than

I kindled flames.

I caused more deaths than you ever had.

I threw destruction, depression, and

chaos into their homes.

I carry the notes of their brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters’ last words.

And I can bear no more.


Old friend

if I ever see you again,

I will beg you to please

bring me from this Face I have been in.


although was light,

i sat in my room, listening

as faith fluttered at my feet.

His eyes opened.

tattered curtains captured the sunlight;

the floor boards creaked with dark tones.


then He came to me, the sad-eyed man

with hands as cold as the night

and eyes as dark as the moon’s shadow.

He brought with Him ice.

i sat on the bed,


darkness ran about the room;

ice scattered about the floor.

“Can you hear me yet?” He asked.

i was silent, once more.

He smiled,


He sang loudly with

a sweet sound and a twisted face.

“Oh, I’ll be back.”

and then it came, maddening like volcanoes

of hot lava at night,


and gone. i held my heart with

clothes gone

He left behind, there on

the side of that abyss.


light slept like a ball of flames

in my heart.

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