Intensity Four


All Of You

You who create, you who make things out of the void that exists in you, you who surround yourself with music and colors and sentences, and dreams made out of air and hope, you who persevere even when success is out of sight, you who push forward knowing that the end might be a circle pointing back to where you started; you are art, you are life itself, and I want you.

You who fight the battles that no one else has the courage to, you who are honest to the point of mutilation, you who slip blades between the sinews of your muscles, you whose mouths open wide to receive the handfuls of pills that you bless your bodies with, you who do not know how to count and thus arrive at the point of fatal excess, I want you.

You who believe in change even as you see how immovable the earth is, you who are not afraid of the elements, who worship physics, who adore biology, you who evolve until you are inferior no more, I want you.

You who hate your minds and brains, you who want to escape your very bones, you who feel like dull metal even as you feel the blood in your veins, you who know how empty one can possibly be, I want you.

You who give in to desire, you who embody temptation and seduction, you who are comfortable with the dirty and primal and visceral, you who feel your intestines crawling inside of you but still call it home, you who will cut off your parts given the chance, I want you.

You with the smeared lipstick but still walk with your heads held high, you with the ruined mascara, you with the soiled clothes and no one to say goodnight to, I want you.

You who learn lessons and forget them immediately, you who burn everything in your path, you who beat the box to a pulp, you who don’t listen, I want you.

You who bend your genders until no one can name you anymore, I want you.

You who count time in sets, in lines, in pages, in blinks and fallen eyelashes, in wishes, in nightmares, in inches of rain, in the speed of sunlight as it arrives eight minutes late, you who never see the hours until they are gone, you who have no concept of time, I want you.

You who are lost in chaos, you who cry to the point of drought, you who come up for air but find that the shore that will save you is not within reach, I want you.

You in whose veins flow paint, and alcohol, and cigarette and weed smoke, and cocaine and meth and heroin and who has acid in your tongue, whose highs are never high enough, I want you.

You who are broken, who are sitting on the floor holding all your pieces in your hands and wondering why glass breaks so easily in all its beautiful transparency, I want you.

You who love the word “fuck” as much as I do, in all its forms: as a verb, as a noun, as a gerund, an adjective, as a fucking way of life, I want you.

And you, you who will fascinate me until the very essence of you permeate the molecules that make up my body, until all my atoms rearrange to revolve around you; I want you. You will not be my fairytale. You will be the one who destroys me until I learn what it is to write in the most genuine way possible, because the pressure has to be released, because you will push me to the sharpest edges I never knew existed until you.

You who are legion.

You who are invisible.

You who rhyme amidst jagged lyrics and lost letters.

I want you.

I want all of you.


What Love Is, Maybe

Maybe to love is to expose your heart while it is still bleeding, hoping and trusting that the other person will press their hands gently against your chest and stem the violent flow.

Maybe to love is to believe in the unbelievable. To see the impossible abstractions that surround us, to have faith in the things we cannot see, to put our full weight on something we cannot ever touch.

Maybe to love is show them our ugly, to see how they’ll react when they see how rotten and burnt our core is, and once they do, to wonder if they’ll still find it in them to say, “How absolutely lovely.”

Maybe love doesn’t exist. Maybe it is a mere social construct created to sell paperbacks and songs and pretty pictures and flowers and chocolate, deluding us to think that there is something more to this life, that we are not just bags of red meat and brittle bones born to eat and fuck and shit until we die and the world goes on as it has for millions of years, even without us in it.

Maybe love doesn’t have to be grand fireworks all the time. Maybe it’s walking around at one in the morning, with no makeup on, hair disheveled and still seeing the beauty in her biggest pores and in the ripest pimples. Maybe love really is blind that way. Or maybe love is total clarity, meant to show us how pretty flaws can be.

Maybe love was meant to splash different colors in our sky to show us that blue is not the only thing we can surround ourselves with.

Maybe to love is to stay even when your feet is itching to run away, to recognize that escape is a vacation and they are the person you want to take with you on a train to nowhere.

Maybe love is the liberty to be alone, knowing that there will still be a home to come back to, someone whose arms will always be open to accept and welcome without judgment and explanations and questions.

Maybe love is a lie. How can four letters contain the vastness of that idea? How can one word have the resilience not to burst as it holds in it all that is good and passionate and safe? Is the word “love” a diamond? Is it metal or titanium? Who agreed to use such a dull word to represent the whole world?

Maybe to love is to empty yourself over and over again until you finally know how much you can hold.

Maybe love is just a term for true human connection, to call that feeling we get when we find somebody who gets us and doesn’t turn away when we show them the darkness that resides in our bodies. Maybe it’s somebody to sit quietly in the darkness with until our eyes adjust to the light and it doesn’t scare us so much anymore.

Maybe to love is to embrace the fears and anxiety and need for control, and to recognize that they are part of the package. Maybe it’s not supposed to be easy. Maybe it should be difficult. Maybe it’s supposed to turn us inside out and terrify us, because the things that are most worth it usually exist under the imposing shadow of complete destruction.

Maybe to love is to understand nothing, but to simultaneously crave the warmth of their hands on your skin, to recognize that there is no other person in this world whose embrace you would gladly run to. Maybe it’s to know their lips and know satisfaction. Maybe it’s pride and humility at the same time, because you were deemed worthy to share in blessed imperfection.

Maybe love is the universe winking slyly, asking us,

“What will you do with the good I give you?”

And maybe the answer does not rely on us alone. Maybe to love is to answer that question together, over and over, in all the different, possible ways we can.

Maybe love is already here, is already now, and we must take the plunge without knowing how deep the water is because love, when it is genuine, always saves.

Fall Out

Love never stopped me from drinking, but it sure made the tipsy more fun.

Never stopped the nights when I wore uneven skin, nights covering me like the flea-ridden blankets of people who use street-corner concrete as places to sleep in. Dirty. Unholy.

A magnifying glass. A giant eye staring down on me. My whitewashed parts. My cheap cotton candy façade. The faded yellow stains on my sweetbreads and sweaty skin. I never found what I’m looking for in the people I’ve found. But it did show me what was already there, the self-hate. The reaching. The limits I call safety. The discomfort inside this own body. The starvation designed to reflect broken standards of beauty. The lies I tell myself to stop the shaking and the breaking of the brittle parts of me. The addiction. The daily resurrection. My private mythology.

It is echo.

I have found that the people I fall for are those who closely resemble me. I fall for the lonely. I fall for the searching. I fall for those who are occupied with reaching the ideals they see in poetry, movies, and songs. I fall for the cracked, their hopeful kaleidoscope hearts singing siren songs to my shipwreck. I fall for those who do not know they are damned.

Smokers. Drinkers. Blank-page magnets. Finders and losers. Top of their irrelevant hobbies, nameless in their fields. Those who color-code their outfits as if anyone cares, I fall for the good. Those who are unaware of their dirt. I fall for the clean on the surface. The trend followers, the zodiac believers, those who put emotions above all. The blind. The scared. The angry. I fall for them all. I crave their false innocence. I want to be covered in their hidden dirt. I am drawn to their pretend.

I fall for poverty.

Poverty of courage. Poverty of movement. Those who stay in one place even when their dreams run infinite miles. Poverty of will. Poverty of rebellion. Of voice. Self-imposed silence while their insides explode. Dissatisfaction is our daily bread, but we eat it anyway. In poverty, we lose our colors. It is the curse of melting in.

Turn away.

Brilliant, this endless list of the things we want. The sacrifices we will make to get there. The lights dancing in our eyes, blurry streetlights. Wet cheeks and empty hands. Open veins, red palms, skinned thighs. Beautiful bruises. Cups half-full. Our brand of lonely. Delicious envy.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop falling for your possibilities.


i want answers.

i want to understand
why kissing you can feel
like swallowing the whole sky

but sometimes sword
sometimes broken needles
sometimes salty sea water
that my lungs cannot wait to spit out.

The Internet Is A Minefield

staying gone is the problem, love.
in person, face to face
goodbyes become easy. slamming windows
and crashing doors don’t take too much energy.
i like it better when we screamed
from the tips of our toes rushing up
up up to our lips spraying acid.
it was better when i was twisted ankle
and you were bones on fire.
when every cement block we threw at each other,
we picked up for a brand new bridge the next day.
how do i do this, love?
absence doesn’t give a fuck about the hours and the miles
and the world isn’t big enough
for the two of us.
maybe if I were at the bottom of the ocean
and you’re sitting on a crater on the moon.
maybe if you were black nightmare
and i were daydreams in the afternoon
perhaps it would have been better, love
if we never happened at all
because sometimes these memories feel like
taking deep breaths
under a waterfall.

This Is Our Story

You write about how her eyes
Shine like moonlight
About how the light plays on her hair
In the soft daylight
And the heat that pulses on her skin
As you compare her to goddesses
And whiskey
And flowers that bloom in spring
But you conveniently forgot
To find a rhyme for the night
She laughed at your poetry
Her voice drying the ink from your pen
As you forced yourself to laugh along
Convincing yourself it didn’t matter.

Tell me how much blur you needed
To edit away the bruises on your cheek
Before you could post your album online
Titled “Best Day Ever with Peter.”
14 people clicked like.
Your best friend commented,
“You make such a cute couple.”
You reply with a smiley
And a hashtag that said

Tell me about his “It was just one time”
Tell me about her “I was just drunk”
Tell me about his whiskey dick
And your “Oh god, oh god, harder”
As you stared at the ceiling.
Tell me about the way she let go of your hand
When she spotted her friends a block away.
Tell me about his “C’mon, this won’t hurt”
And your awkward walk the next day.

Tell me about that time she told you
“You are just a phase.”

Tell me about the time he announced
“I’m not gay.”

Tell me about her fist
Tell me about his fingernails
Tell me about her rough mouth
The night you learned to like the taste of blood.

Tell me about the tiny cracks
In the glass of your past.

Tell me about your brave
Tell me about your hands
Tell me about the empty
Tell me about the finding

Let’s laugh about all the losing
That never seems to stop.

I see your complex
And your immortal 5-year old heart
In your 20-something
Existential crisis body

Tell me about the hope
Tell me about the maybe it won’t ever come
Tell me about the where is the one
Tell me about your why does it always hurt like this
Tell me about all the things you meant when you said
“I will give you everything.”
Tell me about your rage
About the bridges you burned
And what you did with the ashes.

I see your broken
And the rainbow exploding through your kaleidoscope heart
I see your bottle of beer
And I see we’re both here
And you look like
The type who doesn’t sleep.

Tell me about the best I love you you’ve ever heard
And how it almost killed you
As we take a break
(With our bottles of beer
While we’re both still here)
From trying to find homes in strangers.


This is for the broken.
For the destroyed.
For the ones
With the straight jackets
To keep them warm after the storm.

Your alcohol
Your nights with strangers
Who forget your names
In the morning.

Your distractions

Your sleepless nights
Your bloody arms
Your pills and smoke
Lack of direction.

A promise:

You are still you.
No less complete
With no less value.

Still you with all the things
That make you wrong
And strange
And full of wonder.

You see

There still exist
the orbs of chaos in your chest
Travelling along the pathways
Of your veins.

You still have a demon
For every occassion.

You still travel with your tribe
Of jealousy
pride and

But now
You will offer them friendship

Not war.

Breathe deep
Open your hands
Offer your thanks
To what has been

Steady, now.
Time is kind.

Begin again.

we will not talk about love tonight

we will not talk about hearts tonight.
we will not talk about love
the most bothersome of concepts
the one with the most experts
claiming to have mastered the art.

we will not talk about what’s sure
we will not talk about impure
pasts and uncertain futures.
we will not talk about hearts tonight.
we will not talk about love.

we will discuss intersections
about how lives collide in
perfect sections
in spite of insidious intentions
and unending surface tension.

we will not talk about hearts tonight
and the way they’re fickle
and never sure of what they want.

we will not talk about love
and the way it lives and hides
in pockets cradling lonely hands.

i would like to tell you about the way
she smiles at me
like nothing’s more sure
than the way she’s changing
my mind tonight.

but let’s talk about how hearts
burst out of rib cages sometimes.
let’s talk about the beat, beat, beat
of the violent waltz in our minds.

the moon is laughing at us tonight
writers who can’t write
when things are going right
because good things
give them page fright.
how i adore them
pretentious fucks.

so we will not talk about love.
we will talk about fucking it
up and leaving it
down and doing it
in halves and keeping it
apart and wishing it
weren’t so
when the time comes
and i tell you to go.


Where were you when God broke his promise?
Where were you when he told the cosmos to go fuck itself?
Did you hear the thunder rebel against him?
Did you see the comets kneel in prayer?
Did you look at the stars crying their fires out and
Will you watch their destruction with me?

Write about all the words you can’t unhear
And mail them one by one to me.
I’ll open each one with hands like whispers
Kissing the shouts of your skin.

Let’s ride the red train tracks on your
Wrists and hands and thighs
I’ll trace the purple waterfalls gushing from your chest
Sneak your way into my flesh
Tunnel through my brain
We have always been smart and sly.

Where were you when God broke his promise?
Did you tell him you don’t care like I did?
Did he tell you, “But you do” too?

Let’s tell him to fuck off, you and me.
Fairy gin and whiskey flays and vodka days
Let’s get out of here, you and me.
Let’s spend all our days on a glorious killing spree.

I mean, kissing spree.
Kissing spree.
Kissing spree.


I am sorry because there are days
When I swear I could feel bits of her
On your body and I am sorry
Because there is nothing new in so many things
I have told you and I am sorry
Because these sky lines
Remind me of somebody else and I am sorry
Because I am unable to stop swimming in my history–
Honey, I am sorry because a part of me
Still thinks you’ll be just another tombstone
In this sleepless cemetery.

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