This is what I always see when I think of her: a goddess overflowing with life, vivacious to a fault. 

Oh, nineteen was the age of Olympic gods, still young and beautiful, still children, but adults, unmistakeably adults. 

I hoped I would become a god too when I turned nineteen.

I was a fifteen-year-old alien mongoose pretending to fit in, and godhood did not grant itself to the likes of me. 

It was the life in her I fell in love with. I had never seen anyone so alive, it blinded my soul. 

Patiently I waited to be allowed to kneel by her side, and worship. 

She was merely a transit passenger in the airport of my life, rushing through it on a sunny morning. But she let drop this framed picture of a goddess, and it stayed with me throughout the years. 

My blond sunshine goddess. You do not even know. I have not touched you the way you have touched me. 

When I stalk her online, I see her face did not age well. Wrinkles look terrible on a goddess. It doesn’t add up; she never had any bad habits. 

Her body, though, is still lean and athletic. 

She has made a child in her faraway galaxy. The mischief is still there in her eyes, but controlled, like a river re-routed through an underground pipe. 

We are both not nineteen anymore. And never will be again. 

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I put people on pedestals and lie in wait for the moment they validate me. 

I prostrate myself before them, bring them unspeakable treasures.  

I let them drink directly from the heart, 

because

I am an obliging whore that way. 

Go on and 

spit on me,

turn away to speak to the more important before I am done, 

I will take it all,

and so much more. 

Maybe, if I do this, 

if I take it like a good girl, 

you, idols,

you will look down on me from your pedestals, every now and again, 

and smile.

I suffer 

if you don’t smile. 

Yes, I do this often. 

A billion idols rot in my back yard

And in my basement empty pedestals covered with white sheets 

while away the centuries. 

Because when I bare myself so that only sucking out bone marrow could make me more naked,

when I spread myself so open there can be no mistake,

You shit into my open holes and giggle.

All my gods, all my darlings, 

Are in the end always 

giggling gangrenous gremlins,

Deformed dwarves,

treacherous lepers

who shit in my holes.

I throw them off in anger,

And put new ones in their stead,

Thinking,

Surely these are finally the proper gods. 

Surely these are now the proper gods. 

Sometimes I don’t know what I want, but I want it so. Anxiety just sneaks in through my holes at night and fucks me in the heart. 

And I finish the Jack at the bottom of my bottle, because it is inhumane to want something so badly 

without 

numbing 

the senses.

I think I know now what it is

I want. 

I think 

I know.

Your soul is beautiful. This is something you must remember, because people will always try to convince you otherwise.

Would if they had a diabolical laugh and ludicrous plans for world domination, so you’d know from the start not to trust them. 

But the truth is, good people will try to hurt you. People who love you. 

They will not mean to, but they will do it often.

And the pain will make you forget, and wretched monstrosities will look back at you from the mirror, sooner and uglier than you know. 

Your task, your impossible task in this world is not only not to let them make you forget, but also

not to

hurt them

in return. 

There is a memory in you. 

Something magical, like the sudden glimpse of a tarn between mountain peaks. 

And then one day, when the noon sun is especially harsh, the tarn is a fucking puddle in a pothole.

And it’s just you and the world. No magic, no memory. Just you and the world. 

You think you’ve never cried harder but your heart is still pink and beautiful,

its intact tissue tempting scars with innocence.

And scars will come and cover you like high tide a victim left to drown by pirates,
And waves will wound you and suffocate you, 
like a mad surgeon,
like a lunatic anaesthesiologist. 
until your heart hardens
and the worries and the thousand daily deaths of the soul
Are bees humming
in a distant room. 

A child grieves over a broken toy tractor

because it was an accident and because

broken toys are the saddest thing and this grief is forever.

But a child laughs and

laugh is forever.

Grown-ups don’t grieve.

No, 

we 

swallow.

And all laugh is brief and all grief –

lines carved criss-cross into the

hard 

rough surface 

of the resigned,

all-bearing heart.

When I was ten,

Half the world was my friend.

Mother said,

How easily it comes to you,

What a wonderful thing to be young!

There will be an age

When it no longer comes.

And I asked,

What’s making friends got to do 

with getting old?

And she said,

You will know. 

I was taught not to show feelings, but teeth;

I was taught to be prepared

Because everything wanted to hurt me.

And so thirty long years I have waited,

Teeth bared, 

Thirty long years I have been prepared.

Taught myself to look down 

And not burn like a thousand pyres

Witches shrieking in flames.

It has not been easy,

And I do not believe in god,

But I prayed 

For you see,

There was this fire in me and this youth,

And I did not know they were blessings.

And I wished to be little and grey,

Because people stared.

After years of wishing

I am a rodent.

I scattered the firewood

From my own fire,

Turned the lights off in 

The entire house.

SAFETY 

AT LAST

I wish we could let each other go, but I bound you to me with blood. In a moment of weakness I bound you to me with blood.

I was young and didn’t know there’d be a time I would not need you.

Now we will always be bound, life after life.

I was weak, and I bound you to me with blood.