Reflecting on My Metaphor

i am a typewriter and someone else is pressing the keys

i am a match that won’t light

i am yarn, frayed and unraveling

i am glue that never dries

i am words written backwards

i am a stone that can’t skip

i am lukewarm coffee

i am a pen out of ink

i am an empty spool of thread

i am a threadbare sweater

i am a left sock without a right

i am a flower, always wilting

i am written in an unspoken language

i am all consonants and no vowels

i am a broken vase, not yet mended with gold

i am a butterfly with broken wings

i am an owl without voice

i am loaded scales with no counter weights

Stepping Stones, part 1

i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.


i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.


i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.

i wanted to hug you

yesterday i asked
“did i do something wrong?”
late last night you answered
“you did nothing wrong
i’m just going through it
i just need some time to myself”

you let me know you’re guarded
but you’re not totally closed
and then it hit me
you don’t want me
to be your rebound

i went to the market
to buy noodles for dinner
i ran into you
almost literally
you looked sadder than i’ve seen

you asked how i was
i told you i was great
and asked how you were
you said you were okay
“but you know”
i know

we talked
just for a minute
and as i walked away
i threw the ball in your court
“just let me know
when you’re okay
for me to be around”

i won’t close my heart
your soul is too great
your eyes too beautiful
to deny myself the chance
of you as a best friend

and so
here i stand

*In response to Open.