poem: tell me that we are not only what our mothers made of us.

shadow mothers send

their daughters to the mad-house in babbling hordes

and call their rooms in the evernight, in the mid-morn, wondering after the girls they broke and the wings they burned and asking:

do your fingers burn, still, from cradling the ashes

of your own heart? do they taste of smoke / and a wisp of desperation?”

 

and asking:

 

was i the last woman you’ll ever love?”

 

and asking:

 

am i not your birth and beginning / your end, and the afterlife?

am i not the bricks you carry on the shelf of your shoulders / and the daughter you’re afraid to bear?

is it not my madness you drink / and my face you see in the shining gutter-gore?”

 

and we call to them

voices heady and brittle, pushing between the bars on our windows:

 

we are ever-daughters

the childless / the rotten anti-virgins / the Liliths

and you are the gatekeepers

of our future graves.
tell me we are not only what our mothers made of us | t. bennett ; @raggedhearts

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POEM: ABOVE / BELOW

is it wrong to think of yourself as some
kind of god or would you love to worship me
in the dark /
where the others will never see you kneel. you shiver /

me above you / that’s your purpose and your ending / your fists
clutching at soil and your fingers
twisting in sheets. say god (please)
again / say my name

in a tempered moan,

and mean it.

talia b. | ig  hello poetry twitter tumblr

POEM: HEAVEN BOUND

i’ve forgotten your name but never

the smell / of our poetry and hallway

meetings, quivering ankles

and limp wrists / how i make my mouth

do things that’ll have you forgetting

where you come from. how we

do things up here –

it haunts you, in your bed,

in the foxhole dark.

 

i’m holding you
apart / for all to see


or is it just us

in this blue-velvet room? the animals gathered at the door, the chitter-chatter

leaves

their writhing; their leaping, under

the sky / heaving itself
back into heaven, unforgiving of

our crimes – your blood on my thighs

and rotten kisses.

talia b. | ig  hello poetry twitter tumblr

poem: POOLSIDE

dear: [redacted]
had a dream about you / body in the water. you held onto the
poolside with two shaking hands and when you saw the look
in my eyes you considered holding me under
/ drowning the spite right out of them. it would’ve worked but
this was my dream, about you and i killed you first / killed you ‘til
my knuckles turned white / to the sound of the hush hush water / to the last
gurgling breath.

an excerpt from: the tangled heart (a book in the making)

talia b. | ig  hello poetry twitter tumblr

 

an important note – it’s long, but it needed to be.

I’ve been writing this book since i can remember and what i mean by that, is – this book, the ideas for it, is a culmination of everything I’ve ever written. it’s being written by every version of me, it’s got bits and pieces of all the poem and stories and characters I’ve made and discarded, temporarily lost.
I’m at the point where I’ve just given up on trying to be anything other than what and who i am. I’ve spent a very long time fighting myself every step of the way, punishing myself for things i never did – for being weak, ill, lost, for being happy.

I have nothing left to lose by putting my all into this school year and – dare I say it – more importantly, this book. My poems so, so important and vital to me, still, but I’m a story writer, first. I created this account and began writing poetry, almost every day, as a way to heal after trauma. They’ve done what I needed them to, and finally, finally, almost a year later – I have healed.

 

 

poem: dear diary

dear diary

my body is changing so much it doesn’t recognise itself in the mirror and even when i

wash away the blood it still looks like (impostor) and bad thoughts under the skin

make my stomach cramp and twist .

 

dear diary

today my heart is dancing and the sun doesn’t look the same . i’ve forgotten i can be not-happy

and i hope you don’t mind it

 

dear diary

the moon didn’t rise tonight so i forgot to remember and remind myself

with  a pen on my thighs that i am not special

enough to keep them coming back for more

 

dear diary

i fucked myself in a dream last night . it hurt as much as i wanted it to

 

dear diary

be careful with my heart. you know

your pages can cut /

swift and thin

a pain like ice and glass.

 

talia b. | ig  hello poetry | twitter tumblr

queer ; beloved

here – take. have it

in your hands. does it smell

like fear

or the absence of noise? does it think

like you or does it do things you never wanted? does it make you gasp

and shiver? do you dream of it in the night and

does it make you believe in things like smiling

when you should be begging forgiveness and kissing in the pew and the rose garden / heavy wrinkled hands

prying back the curtain to

watch them go at it by the bus stop?

 

if so.

 

   this is love. hold it close and tight and real gentle. like you’d touch a star ;

unbelieving. that the light doesn’t burn you flesh through to bone

but sinks in, grateful

for a home.

queer ; beloved | talia b. | ig  hello poetry | twitter tumblr

[ a note : i wrote this to be able to feature anyone who identifies as queer, in gender/sexual identity, whose small acts of love (holding hands, a kiss on the cheek) were exaggerated by queermisic onlookers.

also: hello, to anyone reading this. it’s been much, much too long.]

poem : he bid me call him lucifer

the Devil bid me call him Lucifer, and held my hand ’til i saw red-blue-green
under my skin / we hurt
and touched, quietly, in quarter-light / glow of my lamp, unplugged, shimmering
against satin dark. i saw his eyes were tired
at the corners and his mouth split
( violet tongue, crooked teeth, charcoal spit )
i kissed those
lips / smelled my soul in his
belly / salted curses – blessings, their flavour, blood / this boy-god (his father’s name
a presence
gathering at my door)
this beast, by human
mind, made itching
flesh,
left his head in my lap as
a parting gift and
granted me his favour
one out of
the panting horde
to glance between the curtains
and
beyond us both something
deep in the belly of an
unknowable sky broke open
wide to howl its desperate warning.

poem: 3/4 human and we don’t bruise easy

i don’t bruise

easy . you say this
with my bird-bone wrist
in your fingers
and i turn it
inside out
under the bathroom mirror lights. marks on my insides where the flesh is
white as snow ;

i saw it, once upon

a remembered sleepy

summertime / the dog

nipped at my fingers and

it’s lead
stripped my leg of its
brown

( look – speckled red
beneath
the covers )

and the dog ate my brown
lapping at summer green grass

her owner, sunburn bright

watched in horror and i didn’t

cry but now i

i think about
snow white and dashing
scarlet
on the front of cars / empty skulls, flowers in
my mouth / petals on the gum sockets. do you know that

we don’t turn
many colours on the outside / i have never

bruised, easy, you must

beat and beat

to turn my brown a little

black . you must whip

and strip me

down to

a blushing crimson-raw.

we don’t bruise

like you do all on the

outside / we are not

fruit in a child’s

palm we are hardy

like mother’s feet over the soils

and his bones

under the whip / child’s

belly swelling / cheeks

against officer boot / the sun-set

sinking light

in eyes unrisen.

¾ human, and we don’t bruise easy | talia b. ; @ragghearts

poem : a letter, from – your almost-victim

and i

took what was left

of us to the riverbank,

held it under by the neck

‘til it couldn’t cry “ no more ! ” /

‘til the sun sank from a bleached

sky and sucked each star

from the heavens  

and still, i kept it

under /

you started

the killing

(once you saw i could make

words out of letters and

got a taste of something

good)

 

but

i made it

into a murder / didn’t

know there was a difference

but i felt it in the veins of this

body you chased

for the

thrill of ending up

waist deep inside something

almost-untouchable

 

girls and boys

and people

like me , prissy and pretty

noses in the air , skin

summer-dark, ever-brown

iron-eyes , watching

you watching for another

Stepford-lover

rose-mouth running under

the barricade, freckled hands

rubbing through every line . i

wear little and talk all loud out

of bounds, too much

for a church boy / lily-liver, white as

a false surrender

i spit back

and bite hard the hand

that would command

my body

and say it all, the way it is,

 

with my hands deep in the water

chanting my truth to what’s left of us,

in the only language you

ever knew /

 

black and blue,

 

red and pink,

 

blood,

  blood

and bruising.

 

– letter, from: your almost-victim| talia b. ; @raggedhearts

 

 

poem : people-pleaser / ghost breeder

woke up to your fingers
painted on my skin / luminescent
lurid ,
in the dark. you’d taken
and taken me with everything
you had left / i hope
in the middle, just
before the end
that it made you happy to

push a hand
inside – wrist
and muscle, too,
laying it all to rest.

you buried your
lovers in my graveyard
and now, i grow round
on ghosts.



people-pleaser / ghost-breeder | talia b. ; @raggedhearts


















poem : night-hearts

i can feel
it all coming undone
numb
to darkness
always, i’ve been – been afraid
of dying / loved the night & hated the way the light looked
as it was leaving

i lived for the stars, awhile
until the sun rose and claimed
what was hers
so i think

maybe death is like a
sunset
the night sky our
hearts i promise

( you won’t even know you’re gone )

– talia b. / @raggedhearts ×