Doll-faced defensives

His stare, vacant of admiration, lust,

But seeping uneasy fascination.

I am a toothache.

Nauseating, over-saturated femininity.

Pearls, ruffles, blush, lace,

Porcelain powdered, charcoal lined,

Uncanny human doll face.

Puckered, polished, and prim.

Cinnamon syrup ballerina buns,

Over-risen dough eyes,

slender neck sliced of silver.

Plump peach lips, cotton puff dresses,

These runes, draped and etched upon my flesh,

Curating girlhood, forbidding the touch of greedy hands,

This Venus-trap of repellant sweetness,

Deluge, drown the unwarranted tongue,

Preserve from the predator.

Armor of sucrose sap ceases stolen samples,

Of my body, this girl, my body.

Springtime at Bethany Estates Pond

Girlish, sinking in conversations with you.

Blissfully unrestrained, cocooned thoughts emerge,

Chest ballooned before their uncensored vibrancy.

Springtime novelty, unveiling flowers,

delicate pink peonies, flourishing spared threats of frost.

Sage reeds entangle toes, coax feet to stay grounded in our brookside giggles,

As we outstretch earth worms, accept raw thoughts without recoil.

teeth pearlescent in sunshine displays,

Reeling up our past mistakes, these frenzied fish of opulent scales and tender milk bellies.

I detail each catch on notepads,

To flit through while scribbling dragonflies in your yearbook,

Scouring seafood at Sam’s for girls’ night,

And trying to unwound the twig-tangle nest of your mind.


We were once ocean vast,

Sharing shells of secrets, sentiments swimming tandem strokes.

bond a healing saltwater sanctuary, breezy refuge from brutality.

But our water lays differently with adolescence.

Beautiful seaside hour spent, newly delegated to temperate puddles:

Rain pelts my posture low, trying to reach you.

Communicating in text threads,

murky meanings, infested with flies of distraction.

We jump shallow puddles, depthless, unemotional,

Hopeful you’ll tolerate boot splashes, grass stains.

Our coastal past a raindrop in my bangs,

Blurring vision, obstructing mud paths.

Slipping on wet earth, I look up to you,

Idyllic, soaked saturation crowned in clouds.

Favorite salt air smiles fade to frustration,

And when I reach for your hand,

You choose another.


I keep photographs of your wreckage in lockets,

Cold silver biting my chest.

I never wanted to understand.

Your mind, the labyrinth I never dared map,

Laid before me, an inescapable board game.

Terror slashes my lips as they utter comprehension.

I never wanted to understand,

Admit my blanket is of your fabric, insidious woven fibers.

The amalgamation of my mentality baked half of your flour,

Your’ words a collaborative, inscribed in my manuscript.

Empty bottles encase my drunken friends, giggling serendipity,

As I am transported to your battle, eyes unblinking.

The shrieking monologue of military men, blood-streaked faces,

Clashing metal cuts ruby ruined skin

Simple burning salve, and they stop.

Lay guns and swords aground and sit cross legged,

Whispering, for once.

I understand.

Fearfully, it is harder to hate you.

The house you’ve crushed, excavated in weakness,

The garden you starved, unloved in your abandonment,

Feel scabbed and scarred, as I savor the sweet silence of ceasefire.

But I keep photographs of your wreckage in lockets,

Cold silver biting my chest.

I never wanted to understand.