scream queen

i won best dressed at my high school prom

    but that didn’t stop me from going to the graveyard

     afterwards, moon-lit and awkward with my best friend.

my white dress, a beacon of idiotic rococo, a satin pouffe.

under our fingernails

    aeons of moss, from trying to scrape the graves clean

      with our hands.

what bold young gravediggers we must have looked.

    i’ve been known as a scream queen. the last girl

     bloodstruck and uncaring, eyes wide on the dancefloor

    hexes in her rhythm. bloody-mouthed, silage-sticky

     unafraid in the unmoving hallways.

last girl to kiss, to drink, to bed. 

    still, didn’t i love her, in that psycho-killer way?

    even if the kiss was a bite ‒

i watch slashers in the dark, no popcorn. i try

     to see where it all went haywire, and how

i can stitch my sinew back together in a suit of skin.

if love is an 80’s horror, i am covering my eyes at every scene

   i am shrieking at every synth stab in the soundtrack.

     a thorn with any other teeth would still

bite: like a knife to pavement, flint sparking

      like an axe to a renaissance painting

a landscape split into flutters of oil

Featured photo by Edward Howell on Unsplash.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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