letter to a little me1. these are the anniversaries that will stay with you,
for better or worse:
things go up in december, as if the coming of a new year
gives the old one a kick in the pants.
look forward to decembers.
time likes to tie weights to your collarbones with silk ribbons.
right now i am two years into a subdued grief,
five years into a wild regret. but don't be scared;
just as many feathers balance out the iron.
i am three years into something truly
2. you will get better. the words on the page will eventually
come a bit closer to the pictures in your head.
by the way, you think in pictures--you don't see that now,
but look for it. use it to your advantage.
stop with the heavy moralizing. you try too hard.
you will abandon false modesty and snobbishness,
as you will find out that they are not attractive qualities.
you will, however, trade them in for navelgazing
and perhaps a bit of haughtiness and pre
a brief love poemyou are everything-
the lilt in the voice
of the songbird,
the pillow beneath my head.
you are the nights
i can't sleep
and when dawn comes
i still smile.
and the curtains billow
with broken glass echoes and
Mendelssohn's bride waltzing
to better times
She becomes the rain,
and breaks her own heart as the sound
right through us.
to Lot's wifedo not ever apologize for being anything
but what you are: human
all of us beautiful tragedies, nameless beasts
who would love only so much as to see through
our own destruction
and what god would be foolish enough
to think you to be any different?
a pillar of diamonds dancing in the blazing plains,
dying to leave a mark
consensus + AUDIOconsensus
i told you that night i would forget, but you
were too busy thinking
of when to see me
overdosing on bedsheets and sunshine we were salty and guttural tides -
i had all but forgotten the smell behind your ear, the softness
of your throat when it growls in hunger
the comforting shape of your head under my clumsy hands, that
familiar taste on the tip of you, pulling us
apart and together again
but we overlooked the bitterness
of candy-coated chimeras
the call of their acidic tongues)
next year’s crop should be better, the almanac said;
we chose to believe it
go east; the trees whispered
the snow took away their breath leaving me here
with onions to peel and tears to wipe
noticing them you mentioned winter
would last longer
-Sophie, january-february 2014
Originally published in issue #25 of "Up the Staircase Quaterly"
to be a writerjump into the world headfirst
crack open your skull on the ocean
sink like a forgotten shipwreck in the belly of a herman whale
come up for air
stumble across the words of the story-- tell it again
lie to a loved one, a stranger, both of them
get away with it in a stolen limousine
write lists that you will never complete
hang them like goodbyes from anywhere they will stick
fall in love like a wrecking ball, destroy a whole city (pretend to)
have your ernest heart ridden with bulletholes, alone on a timber hillside
find god, realize he is just as lost as the rest of us
give him a kurt laugh and look elsewhere
grow an ego with hooves & horns & three eyeballs
feed it four times a day, sacrifice your children
cut yourself open and bleed, intestine and sentiment in sulfuric puddles
if not by your own hand, find someone who will do it for you
do not clean it up
create storybook characters, or at least a story for them to be in
compare everything to the bible
pick your teeth with similes
postcards and thank you notesdear Carson,
for you my friend, the odds will forever be
in your favor; I know you are a lover,
I know that somewhere inside a child looks up
to the cosmic sky or witnesses the wonder
of gravity for the first time: you are binary,
a paradox— infinite
you are a warrior, a beautiful beacon of light
& warmth & fiery passion; a sun, perhaps, for you
are strong, far more than I: you will never
cease to be a smoldering ember and the earth
will never cease to watch you glow
a candle is a no more fitting form, you are explosive
fireworks, a feather, gentle and delicate
spiritual vulnerability; if all could open the truth
from their pores, acquaint to it over tea as you, I think
we could figure out how sweet the fruits
of unrequited love can really be
I can feel the culture in your bones, the ring of understanding
in your ears— your voice is a psalm from the gods;
your heart, the purest gift to the world. To only an honor
it has been to be aboard