Memoirs of a Helium Balloon

sweet, sweet vengeance



and when you said you needed a red pen

i said

don’t worry I’ll unzip my veins and give you mine.

and when you said you forgot your notebook

i let you etch notes into the skin of my back with a blade wrenched from a pencil sharpener.

i wondered how late you stayed up studying notes on other boys’ bodies

when their bare backs peeked out from beneath your blankets –

how meticulously you memorized the map of their muscles, their veins,

how many of theirs matched my north-star crater

and if you even remembered it,

as if it had never guided you to my sweet, gaping vulva,

as if you didn’t dream of the valleys along my spine in biology class.

this morning

i watched you scribble out my tearstained name with red ink

on another boy’s back.



say i’m a gun

say my gentle words are bullets;

say i’m a gun.

say i chew men up like bubblegum, blow them, and stick them to the underside of this bus seat.

say men use me to hurt themselves.

say, “lift up your skirt, girl;”

watch me oblige.

watch me blow a bubble the size of jupiter.

watch me tug on your zipper,

castrate you the modern way,

leave you choking out the word “gun”

mixed with blood and spittle.



My brain wakes me up cause I have something to say.
So in the morning can eat my poetry with milk
So I don’t skip a single eat.
Sudoku puzzles are a lot like poetry.
The numbers have a place
Just like the words’ purpose is to carve out my skin
Arranged in an eleven-by-eight box.
I dreamt in color for the first time in weeks
But waking up sick so I can’t eat my poetry with milk in the morning
(or at all)
So I guess I’ll do Sudoku puzzles instead.


It’s OK to put a name to the pain
It’s safe to say I’m going insane
Those people who say I can never change
Everything I do is an act onstage
I am enraged.
One page out of line,
But I’m trying to find a way to get out of this cage –
I am not caged at all.
I am too free to fly free
Restrained in motion by my own emotions
A locomotive in the rain
Shave my skin of needles and pins
It’s strange to say I’m going insane
Insanity scribbles freedom on the page


I change my hair every time a boy stops fucking me.
I shave the places he’s been,
Carve him out of my bones like turkey meat.
Trim the hair he’s brushed with combfingers,
Repaint the skin he claimed.
He slept in my bed last night, awake until 3 entertaining the idea of my genitalia –
It was not the first time he pleaded with my clitoris.
My brother hands me a flower and says, “This reminds me of you.”
He doesn’t know what they do to me.
I thought a bodycount made it easy to be loved.
How they tell people, “didn’t you know she swallows?”

I am too full to feel so empty.


Raindrops down my forehead in a familiarly filial manner
A surely hollow-cheek gesture
Write books with our pillowcase whispers
Phantoms, nonetheless.


You are crafted of tightly-wound string
Wound springs
Sinusoidal-sounding things
Brings me moonlight
Singsong tick-tock,
The release of releases,
Then hummingbird heartbeats and
Fingertips meeting, heating in unison
A bed ablaze
Then red fades to grey,
Two ashen faces
Changing first names
Facing unfeeling
Revealing, neither will stay.


Ladies and gentlemen and people in suspension,
May I have your attention?!
Did I mention
Chalk paints sidewalks,
Stains it, Names it – Scribbles of children,
Basketball dribbles to the hoop in back,
A scoop of earthworms to snack on.
Churning butter, cure a stutter,
Run faster down alleys
Back around, there’s no sound –
It’s laughter I’m after,
No sub, no salute
Mute are the children
Mute are the sails
Conundrum of humdrum
Hodge-podge of someone
Snacking on earthworms and
Squirming, churning, burning –
Laughter, it’s laughter I’m after!
Shatter the shutter,
Break a bit of glass,
Break a bit of bone,
Tummies are gummy but yummy nonetheless.
It’s laughter I’m after, that sweet pitter-patter, pitter-patter,
(I have a ladder, a battering ram) –
Scribbles and dribbles,
A farce, a seam –
Tickle and giggle,
Carve out their diaphragms –
Ha, ha! It’s laughter I’m after!
Ladies and gentlemen and those in suspension –
You cannot evade my attention,
Neither prevention nor protection –
It’s laughter I’m after!


It gets loud in this place.
There are dead stinkbugs scattered like landmines
Underneath the kitchen sink and on the windowsill
Bodies entirely intact in unfortunate circumstance.

The shower floor is covered in my housemate’s clipped pubic hair
Suddenly my entire body itches
As I follow the trail of thumb-crushed ants trace lines on the wall.
And wish I was one of them.

Something made quick work of the still bird on the sidewalk.
Every passing a further deterioration
First, the chest torn wide
Next, nourishment and nothing freer.

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