Paperback lives are packed tight
in boxes,
wrapped up in bubble wrap and
protective foam.
When I pull out the packing tape
my brother says it sounds like
I am blowing my nose
over and over.

I tape the middle and
the sides of each box—
Not because taping the middle
isn’t enough;
more tape makes it feel more
More real.

My art supplies are heavier
than my literature books
even though writing holds more
weight with me.
I didn’t feel right
leaving my paint behind
even if I would
never find the time
or space again.

I cleared off my walls
before I was ready for them to be
But I needed to face
the holes that the tacks left behind.

My cat rubs against my face
with the side
of her mouth,
and purrs into my cheeks.
She is entranced by the
boxes piling up, the loose plastic
tumbling with the fan’s breeze,
and the empty bookshelves—
The empty bookshelves.

She jumps.

She sees emptiness
as an opportunity
to explore.

Free Hands

When I hear “the lighthouse was blown up,”
I think of enlarging a photograph—
Blow it up on the screen.
Not explosions,

When there was a bomb threat
at my high school,
we had to bring clear plastic bags
to school
instead of backpacks.
Stand in line at the door—
We thought about the
of the plastic bag’s zipper.
Always breaking on the spirals
of notebooks.

And we had no free hands.

Every year my friends and I stand
at the island around
the lagoon in Boston
on the 4th.
If it wasn’t for the marathon bombing,
there would have been a
4th of July bombing.

Fireworks sound like guns, explosions,
They can set off car alarms
from the vibration of the sound.
But our necks are stiff from fascination.
Colors crackle
on the sky (we imagine.)
It’s the illusion and the shapes
we can’t get enough of.

We fold up our chairs,
and smell the sulfur.
We are safe.

nilly writes:

Hey everyone! It is my pleasure to share this with you. My dear friend has spent the past few months creating something incredible to music. I have been lucky enough to be a part of this process by providing edits and feedback. I hope you enjoy. :)

Originally posted on Cryptic Dreams:

Signs of things to come...

Hello. Welcome to Pathfinder, the new official name of this story. This project started out as a simple idea for a gift, and has become so much more than that. This nine-part story is dedicated to my favorite musical artist in the world: Kubbi.

On February 5th, 2015, he released the album Ember. This story is a response to that very soundtrack. Each part of this story correlates with a song from Ember, and is correspondingly named. Pathfinder is an adventure that I hope you will enjoy. Thanks so much to Kubbi for releasing this amazing and inspiring creation. If you enjoy what you hear, please go give your support to him.

I’d also like to thank Emily Pineau of Nilly Writes for reviewing and helping me edit and being very supportive throughout the process of writing this.

The story corresponds with the soundtrack. I highly encourage listening while…

View original 902 more words

Windshield rain makes me feel
as though a dome will always
protect me,
and I can always fit inside
a shell.
I want to feel heavy
with water–
everything darker
on my body–
my hair barely long enough
to be squeezed out.
I do not want shelter from
how I feel about


3AM lights up my corner of the room,
and I blame the coffee I had
too late,
but I know it’s the buzz of my mind—
My obsession
about grad school,
the programs that I could fit
my soul into,
like clowns cramming into
their car.
I close my eyes and
“MFA” on Google’s search
flashes across my blank slate.
I see a wall of red,
like I looked into the sun.
And I feel unreachable.

I am searching for
a better writer inside
But I am afraid
of what I want the most—
to show you that I am
more than words.


You are someone that I’ll miss fast,
before the door shuts.
You have always made me feel like
I have something to say.

You are the inside of a typewriter–
has to be open
for the ink to be changed.
But after,
tucked away and private–
cat-like and half loner.

Your drawers and pockets are filled
with conversation starters
and you collect abandoned hammers
on the side of the road
like they are lost people,
or pieces of yourself.

To me you are not someone who
rides a bike or writes or paints,
teaches, loves life.
The reality of you is not that

Fingers, keys, and ink make a deal
to find meaning.
Even with all the noise and mistakes
and quirks
you never stopped.

So I will never

Edit My Safe Place

I saw her dad’s wake in her eyes—
She was holding his cold hand,
wanting to say more.
I am not sure which part of her
knew she was at school,
sitting next to me on the bench.
But she looked at me,
hand tucking her hair
in a safe place behind
her fully pierced ear.
The room cleared
and my mind felt like
her eyes—sheet of glass.
I chose to say
the wrong thing.

I am so sorry for your loss.
It just poured out
like sweat.
My face burned like I just ran
to her, and
she quietly accepted
my mistake.

I held her manuscript,
feeling like it gained ten pounds
since I first sat down with her.
I have some suggestions,
But you don’t have to take them.
She nodded.

There’s some grammar mistakes . . .
There’s a title change . . .
There’s some needed line breaks . . .
And there are some endings
you could shorten.
Some endings
you could change.

She nodded,
And read through
the last poem.
One about her dad.
“I just want him to know,”
she said.
She wanted to say enough.
He knows,
I told her.
You don’t need the rest of
the ending for someone
to know—


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