A Lovely Madness


It’s lovely to think

that the mind has been healed,

that it works like everyone else’s,

until you realize

that you can never be healed

because your body opens new wounds

of its own accord

and applies half-hearted bandages

in a patchwork attempt

to seem normal.

It is lovely to think that

madness is beautiful,

craziness is kind,

until it turns painful

when it shatters your mind.

The Executioner

There is a space the length
of a small child's pinky;
a space that is harder to cross
than the harshest of rapids,
or the coldest of winters.

Unless you have needed to cross it,
unless you have tried to squeeze
the two sides together like
a pair of two clashing magnets,
it does not exist.

This space is the purgatory of being;
where you are stuck between
what you want,
and what your mind, your body,
allows you to do.

This space is the inch of room
between a guillotines blade and the
wisps of hair on your head.
One side a release, and one
a reminder of what is normal,
what is expected.

For this space is only rented to
the melancholic;
to those who have felt
the cold and nimble hands of apathy,
the wry smile of despair.

Those hands and smiles
lead you to the gallows;
to the inch of death rope,
the space of an empty pill bottle,
or to the space between your skin
and the green veins
you wish so desperately to slit.

When Two Gazes Meet


A fire burns strongly
in the night,
feeding off  the
oxygen that leaves
my body every time
his gaze meets mine.

I see his eyes’ warmth flicker
on and off
like the filament
of a lightbulb,
turning a shade darker
when scanning the mass
burning brightly when
the orbs align with mine.

Nerve fibres
catch on fire, kindling
to my sweaty palms and
the shaky breath
that rattles in my chest.

A fire has started that
we cannot control,
a conflagration
that burns the room
around us,
scorching the bodies of
the occupants within.

These people are oblivious
To the blaze that
creeps up the walls,
fed by the tug of heartstrings
pulled taught with separation.

They are oblivious
to the heat
to the burn
to the pain
of two people locking eyes
across a crowded room.



Over time,
her mouth became
a string instrument
tightened with the tension
of constraining her words.

Measures between her laughs
and ivory smiles grew longer,
each beat of silence
lingering for just
a note too long.

More often than not,
tired sandpaper lids scrape
against the white expanse
of her eyes, exposing the
red vein strings
hiding beneath;
they turn the half note circles
below into shades
of a minor key.

At night,
her heart thrums to the rhythm
of a staccato symphony:
rising, rising, rising,
as if her conductor brain
commands it -
faster, faster, faster.

Frantic thoughts
create a polyphonic sound
of worry and dejection -
melodic harmonies to the
hasty trills within her
xylophone ribcage

These sounds echo
in the acoustics of her skull
like the clicks
of an

Prompt: “Write about a change you have noticed in your lifetime, but write only about the things that embody or illustrate this change. It might be a change you have noticed in a friendship, in the body of a loved one, in your hometown…” (Pagh 79)