birthday thanks

don’t even know what to say right now. over the last week i’ve been so completely overwhelmed by the kindness of all of my friends. i wasn’t expecting my sixteenth birthday to be a big deal or anything but you’ve made it so wonderful, i’m losing track of all the sweet little things, whether it’s an email or a note or a package. i’m always being reminded what beautiful friends i have when i’m not expecting it, in jars of tea and nutella, in incense, in poetry, in pictures, in words. especially words.

everyone who has made my birthday unforgettable, i love you so much.  thank you.


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look, look, see
the way our bodies, our minds lock onto scent
to hold onto the nows, the heres & theres.

i have seen things strong as scent
in this world, i am also   locked.

there was a woman
(or was she? not much older than
me, & yet what am i?)
with eyes like light & a lip ring
holding onto her smile like it could save the world. like it
could save you. like she had saved
herself already.

i’ve seen a man, & his face was a canyon,
traced with cracks like a desert floor,
& his hands were knotted as a forestfull
of roots & veins. how many times
did i kiss that face, did i
hold his hands, did they hold mine-

did i walk

there is smoke & there is darkness, drifting.
i am breath. i feel for a heartbeat, & there is none,
too deep in my own body. there are only lungs;
rise, collapse, under my hands i
live, i breathe, i look, i see.

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a good end to a year. in years past we’ve spent new year’s eve at our old church playing games, but this year we just had some friends over. incredible indian food, indian music, and chocolate pie (not sure how that fit in). we’ve begun a new tradition; because the new laws that have passed have only allowed fireworks to be set off in private property a city over (we can buy them, but not set them off) we had to settle for dropping mentos into bottles of diet coke instead. it evoked squeals of delight from the little girls and the biggest smiles in the world from our friend’s two year old son.

next year: no meat. no more feeling obligated to wear makeup if i don’t feel like it because it’s my damn face. and, i have decided, no more withholding compliments, whether for friends or strangers. yesterday while shopping for some reason everyone i ran into was just lovely and kind and wonderful, most especially one girl who was so happy and enthusiastic about everything (did you see this blowdryer i’m buying? isn’t that lace over there beautiful? chatting with me on and on, completely in love with everything) that i began to wonder why i don’t just go ahead and talk to strangers when i feel like there’s a connection to be made. so i went with it and when i loved a stranger’s hair, i told her so. and she didn’t take out an axe and murder me for intruding on the little bubble of isolation that americans seem to wear even when out in public places with other human beings. she smiled and said thank you. and it made me wonder why i have always held back before.

non-rhetorical question, why don’t we allow ourselves to interact with strangers? is it something more unique to this culture, or is it just a humans-in-general thing?


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i’m planning on starting out the new year by reading through the whole harry potter series again (even though i’ve done so too many times to count by now) and as i skim through my favorite parts beforehand, i’ve been thinking about how much i miss the anticipation of another book. i experience post-potter depression fairly regularly, but right now i’m rather exceptionally sad for some reason.

i didn’t blog about the second part of the seventh movie when i saw it, because as silly as it may sound, it really was very emotional for me. my dad read the sorcerer’s stone to me when i was seven years old, and from that point until this summer, i haven’t ever not had something new to look forward to. from the fourth book on i read every book in one day, the moment i got it, even if it meant i had to read as i ate (or skip eating altogether) or stay up until six in the morning (which i did several times). for a while my dad had to actually ban me from reading the books, because i literally would read nothing else. i always said i grew up with harry potter, and not just that i grew up reading the books about him- i was seven when i read sorcerer’s stone, in which he was eleven, and this summer, when the last deathly hallows movie came out in which he was seventeen, i was fifteen, so to me it really felt like i was growing up with him, if at rather odd rates.

even once the last book came out, i wasn’t completely heartbroken, even though i knew how the story ended, because at least there were still the last few movies to look forward to (i sobbed uncontrollably for hours off and on after finishing the book anyway). but about half an hour into watching deathly hallows pt. 2 this summer, i really got to thinking about how lucky i was that i got to be growing up as these books were coming out. if i have kids, sure, they can read the books, and i can read them to my little sister who’s now six and a half, but they’ll never really get the experience of reading a book and waiting for the next one to come out, coming up with ideas about what will happen next, who’s good, who’s bad, and then be relieved after all that waiting when j.k. rowling’s ideas were so much better than yours. they’ll just be able to pick up the next book and go straight on. it hit me that i had actually been so absurdly privileged to have been part of a generation that had that experience. it was honestly the most emotional movie of my life. and, of course, i cried so loudly that my friend’s mom had to lean over and hush me.

these books were such a huge part of my life. they still are. until i turned eleven, there was a genuine part of me that knew it was ridiculous but, deep down, prayed every single time i read the books that i’d get a hogwarts acceptance letter on my birthday, or just that at some point in my life there would be a moment like this in which i found out i was right, it was real. god, they were just such good, good books, there’s really nothing i can say that will do them justice. i started reading them at an incredibly awkward stage of life when i didn’t have many friends and was always just out of place, and i can remember nights where i’d be crying myself to sleep, and then wake up and read about ron and harry saving hermione from the troll, or another of my favorite parts, and things would be okay again. and as sad as i am that it’s over, i am so, so grateful for the wizarding world jo created.

so months overdue: thank you, jo.


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trigger warnings: before every thought

i may want to look away before i think.

last night i had dreams of fingers linked; that moment deciding
i would not be
this flower-scented thing. this warm,
deep space for your enjoyment, a body, oppression
incarnate, i cannot think,
such contraries.

why is there
such symbolism in red?
it is a color that kills you
with its reality
by inches.
what i need is to scream.
give credit where it is due, this
can never exist outside of

how long until i ceased to allow myself
to be resigned to hell?
i wonder, as i dip my fingers into the pool
of water that lies
along the ridge of my collar bone. i am curious
of all the things the dictionary claims
do not exist.
when my fingernails gouge into my cheek
i realize i’ve begun to
equate food with death.

there are three hairs in the indentation
beside my kneecap, untouched by
my razor.
i left them there to spite you with my humanity.

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  • tea at a friend’s house on a weekday morning. i decided to forsake my usual earl gray for chamomile, because it was just that sort of day.
  • days where i am utterly lazy, days for whispering poetry aloud and soft, baggy sweaters.
  • being able to listen to christmas music again, mostly sara groves but also this song, and especially this one.
  • nothing but indie rock for days at a time. i just discovered neutral milk hotel is a real thing.
  • my little sister taught me how to make paper snowflakes. she decided to do so after lunch on a school day, but my mom let her after she presented her very convincing argument: “Mom, it’s ejuhcational! Even though I don’t really know what ejuhcational means?”
  • picking out christmas ornaments. each year one of us gets to choose how to decorate our tree, and we buy cheap ornaments and make the rest. this year was my turn, so we’re doing light pink and silver ribbons and ornaments, and later we’ll quill paper snowflakes and paint silver polka dots onto our black ornaments. i love making christmas decorations.
  • my baby not-really-cousin-even-though-he-might-as-well-be. he’s six months old and at the adorable stage where he’s learned to laugh every time i can’t help kissing his bright red cheeks.
  • twenty-three days until my sixteenth birthday. i’m excited because in my head it means i can get my license, even though i can’t, because i haven’t even bothered with my permit yet.

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i could fall asleep to this, curl up under warm blankets and listen. so peaceful and soothing and lovely. it sounds like something i’ve heard before and am remembering for the first time in those moments between sleep and waking.

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