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listen, im bad at speaking without my mouth

sounding like a flock of buzzards, a hungry halo of wings

overhead, but listen
im sick of being the apocalypse generation, im sick of
global warming and 6/6/06 and 12/12/12 and
september eleventh
im sick of the flinch that lives like a
slug inside of me, either a bullet or an insect
who is scared to come out of hiding
both are correct and both are why
i am dying

ive got a wagon out back hitched with all our dreams
and its gonna pull us along like oxen, i mean
were gonna chase the stars until they get tired of running
you know our ancestors used to hunt that way
i said, way back before we developed 18-wheelers
that swallow the bodies of trans teenagers
we used to sprint our prey down into the dirt and
howl with laughter and thank our kill for filling our
ripe young bodies, so

you and me, lets get off of this planet where

i cant breathe and in sixth grade somebody
chewed the left part of my soul off - its okay, i

learned about it in anatomy and it turns out

you dont need that much to really feel
complete and
well live off of dandelions and oxygen - its okay,
the doctor says that the heart murmur will
go away if i just stop listening

i dont want to carry this anymore. i dont want

our hands covered in blood. i dont want the
universe as our judge. i want to close my eyes
and make peanutbutter wishes into jellybean wells and
laugh at the silliness inside of myself and not wonder
if were all going directly
to hell

so i know that a coupla years ago we started

having to be scared about small things like
riding trains or going to see action movies or
texting and how in particular
your grades and your parents and your
house with a snowed-down goofy-smile
caved-in roof
are all set of teeth that are
wrapped around your ankles,

but you can shake it off, okay, and if you cant,

cut it off,
and if you cant,
carry it with you

put away the falling skyscrapers that live in your spine,

stow your fear of planes and of strangers and of
high-up places, lets just leave

lets build our own cities where marathons arent scary

and where people dont sink on cruises and where
nobody burns down the libraries before we can read through them
and where art museums are never an open wound and
no kid has to worry about whether theyre safe when
they go to school

listen, i only got so much time before i remember

all of the responsibilities that are tied like
seaweed around me. you know, i distrust the ocean
because they hide things in it, and i hate
waiting because if youre around long enough
the jellyfish find you and wrap you in lightning,
but i like the idea of a new beginning
and maybe ill even try beaches again

listen, i know when i speak it sounds like

maybe im a little disorganized and
all i want is a world where worrying isnt
second-nature but
send us a spaceship ill call mother earth
and tell her that were all grown up and its
time to leave home where our cousins
are burning children in cages and our fathers are
invading nations and our sisters are all
weeping, open-acid faces
come away somewhere none of this
is happening and last night nobody asked me
why they are even alive and the night before that
i didnt think about one day living paycheck to paycheck
and the night before that i didnt wonder about
if im ever gonna really make it

please. cant we bury our problems where

their bodies wont stink cant we live out there
on saturns rings cant we be like old
homo erectus
running so hard
nothing can catch us.


I knew exactly what love looked like in seventh grade.

Even though I hadnt met love yet, if love had wandered into my homeroom, I
wouldve recognized him at first glance. Love wore a hemp necklace.
I wouldve recognized her at first glance, love wore a tight french braid.
Love played acoustic guitar and knew all my favorite Beatles songs.
Love wasnt afraid to ride the bus with me.
And I knew, I just must be searching the wrong classrooms, just must be checking
the wrong hallways, she was there, I was sure of it.
If only I could find him.

But when love finally showed up, she had a bowl cut.
He wore the same clothes every day for a week.
Love hated the bus.
Love didnt know anything about The Beatles.
Instead, every time I try to kiss love, our teeth got in the way.
Love became the reason I lied to my parents. Im going to- Bens house.
Love had terrible rhythm on the dance floor, but made sure we never missed a slow
Love waited by the phone because she knew if her father picked up it would be:
Hello? Hello? I guess they hung up.

And love grew, stretched like a trampoline.

Love changed. Love disappeared,
Slowly, like baby teeth, losing parts of me I thought I needed.

Love vanished like an amateur magician, and everyone could see the trapdoor but
Like a flat tire, there were other places I planned on going, but my plans didnt
Love stayed away for years, and when love finally reappeared, I barely recognized
Love smelt different now, had darker eyes, a broader back, love came with freckles I
didnt recognize.
New birthmarks, a softer voice.
Now there were new sleeping patterns, new favorite books.
Love had songs that reminded him of someone else, songs love didnt like to listen
to. So did I.

But we found a park bench that fit us perfectly

We found jokes that make us laugh.
And now, love makes me fresh homemade chocolate chip cookies.
But love will probably finish most of them for a midnight snack.
Love looks great in lingerie but still likes to wear her retainer.
Love is a terrible driver, but a great navigator.
Love knows where shes going, it just might take her two hours longer than she
Love is messier now, not as simple.
Love uses the words boobs in front of my parents.
Love chews too loud.
Love leaves the cap off the toothpaste.
Love uses smiley faces in her text messages.
And turns out, love shits!

But love also cries.

And love will tell you you are beautiful and mean it, over and over again. You are
When you first wake up, you are beautiful.
When youve just been crying, you are beautiful.
When you dont want to hear it, you are beautiful.
When you dont believe it, you are beautiful.
When nobody else will tell you, you are beautiful.
Love still thinks you are beautiful.
But love is not perfect and will sometimes forget, when you need to hear it most,
you are beautiful, do not forget this.

Love is not who you were expecting, love is not who you can predict.
Maybe love is in New York City, already asleep;
You are in California, Australia, wide awake.
Maybe love is always in the wrong time zone.
Maybe love is not ready for you.
Maybe you are not ready for love.
Maybe love just isnt the marrying type.
Maybe the next time you see love is twenty years after the divorce, love is older
now, but just as beautiful as you remembered.
Maybe love is only there for a month.
Maybe love is there for every firework, every birthday party, every hospital visit.
Maybe love stays- maybe love cant.
Maybe love shouldnt.

Love arrives exactly when love is supposed to,

And love leaves exactly when love must.

When love arrives, say, Welcome. Make yourself comfortable.

If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her.
Turn off the music, listen to the quiet, whisper,
Thank you for stopping by.

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