Past Life

(tw: death)


My body was 108 cm off the ground

before I came back here to tell you about it.

The fourth wall is down.

This is my monologue for

high school theater auditions, I’m

dressed like a bard

but my fly is open.

I am still not ashamed.

My mother rushes over to shush me, I

turn to the camera.

Not greedy for it, just

an honest thespian

who started in comedy.

No more arguments in the bomb shelter.

Not a metaphor for now, but for the


I am aware of reality.

Dr. Manhattan.

I think a lot about the moments right before

you know you’re going to die.

You must accept it, right?

You’re caught in it, whether you chose it or not,

and I imagine it’s

the perfect moment, right?

Said without reservation

or socially vocalized contexts of my own depression,

or stigma, or cases, or audience, and no encouragement to be gleaned and pinned

like some false blame for stating my truth,

but it goes well either way:

you either accept it, or you’re about to leave that body, so

the pain will never happen again in

3, 2, 1…

I listen to too many wise men’s voices, televangelists in the 1980s swimming

in the property-value-raising but the gate you have to put up around it to keep it safe

for children, that is my mind,

with the brave men’s voices

and I don’t want to feel better deep down.

Not out of anger or spite, part of me can’t feel content

’cause we’ll lose it again,

I can’t put a metaphor here for my depression or you’ll think this is about you,

so let me just say it: I just don’t want to be depressed anymore.

I am scared to self-soothe out here in Neverneverland.

I worry I can’t do it all, so don’t start. I dread myself. I peeled my body off the walls.

I read so many more books when I wasn’t in love.

I can’t get my eyes to go back to youth, don’t get me my glasses. I just want a light sweater.

Where does the moon go when I travel back to Earth? Will I learn to like outerspace when I leave this body? Did the last star these cells belonged to together have feelings?

Close your notebooks. Under the desk.

Hands over your head, in a crouched position.

Just a drill.

Back to class.

Just a drill.

Just a drill.


cardiac arrest: for August 2016 

When the air hits a certain temperature 

somewhere around 70

(I never check, I don’t want to know)

it feels like those days,

septembers in your bed all day

listening to Bon Iver

and feeling like forever. 

When in my dreams I’m remembering

not to drink any alcohol out of aluminum cans,


for some subconscious and arbitrary reason,

and I turn around, and you are there,

and I turn around, and you are there,

and now you are feeling something I am not,

a septembers’ worth of release

and I am tensely strategizing how to get out

and back to any other dream I’ve had. 

When every line seems so obviously misinterpreted but you can’t put your finger on it, how gauche.

When you stopped using the word “you,”

because I stopped wanting all the things you 

finally wanted to give to me. 

Did you dream about us sitting in a pickup truck last night too? 

August 2015 

You’ve got a bad habit

of riding escalators too high,

too close to

artificial lamplight illuminating 

the bags in your hands,

under your eyes,

on your shoulders,

guilty barbels. 

I took the stairs. 


Joe’s dad knows

the moon is in Capricorn 

or something like that,

his silhouette is flickering against alley lights

as he grins

and takes a drag off a cigarette. 

I appreciate Maggie’s shake of the head,

one two three:

“That’s unfortunate,”


There is a guitar and a piano

and the kind of calm after sangria.

It feels good to laugh like

time stopped a few summers ago.