the only difference between a

weed and a flower is

intention.  flowers that pop up

where you did not plan for them

are either weeds or volunteers

depending on your perception and

you never planned on me

being here.


you tore me down but I came back

stronger, grew my roots

deeper, said I’d bloom bigger

next time so you would have

no doubt that I belonged here.  

I lived on the runoff of your wisdom

until you encouraged my growth, but no

matter how well-groomed I was, you

could not unsee the wildflower

in me.  


lately, I’ve been focusing on

personal growth.  going to the

gym by myself, eating more

vegetables.  I am not here to prune

my overgrowth, this is not about

what you can see on the surface.  I am here

to become so strong that no one

can ever uproot me



my brain is a broken record
that I am constantly trying
to buffer, a chorus that changes every
time but the melody stays the same, my
tongue skips over itself like

graft my name onto your
family tree I mean tell me you love
me like a daughter I mean I sleep
better on your couch than I do
in any space my father has walked
in I mean will you still be there
in the morning?

if you tell me you love me
I will play it over and over
in my mind until the tape
comes undone. give me
a reason to keep pressing
rewind because if I just let
the memories play, I hear
my father saying I love you for
the last time and then empty
space, the record keeps spinning
but no sound is coming out this
album is not over. it is just
waiting for you to put the needle

Combat boots

my mother’s shoe boxes stack

to the ceiling, a visual representation

of all she left behind and all

she never will.  


3am and his footprints

are still in the hall, red

boots with silver buckles. 10pm

and she can hear her daughter

crying softly in her room.  black

ankle boots.  first date boots the

ring is off her finger but the ghost

of it still remains boots taking her children

to the therapist boots mommy are you

going to die like daddy did boots but


she walks them into

a better life.  into hiking

in the mountains of Vegas

and buying a house that doesn’t

haunt her.  she tells me “Don’t let

people define you.  If you need good

support, then buy better shoes, and

these?” she says, “these are my

getting married boots.”  

Stretch Marks:

there to remind you that tanktops

are for layering and second helpings

are for skinny girls and not everyone has

room to grow.  


and That Thing your stepfather said two

years ago still echoes in your mind every

time hunger curls in the bottom of your

stomach like a snake coiling around its prey,

waiting for you to give in, for your friends

to put the food in front of you because they

noticed you haven’t been packing lunches

lately, for the cool water slipping

down your throat like an animal

into the empty night to stop

filling you.


when you were four years old you

would dance around the room naked

at bathtime, delight in the smoothness

of your skin, the air embracing every

part of you.  your grandparents thought

it was adorable. growing pains meant you

were getting stronger and

you ran your fingers absentmindedly

over your stomach that stuck out

like a toddler’s tongue.  


now you undress quickly without

glancing in the mirror, refuse to count

calories like your mother does because

if you start now you’ll never stop.  your

grandfather refers to your mother, who is

two pant sizes smaller than you, as

not a skinny woman and you take those words

onto the scale with you.  

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