the one cool night of summer

Monday, July 11

I felt the craving in the roots of my teeth, in the roots of my hair. The craving to be awake, to run and not let my lungs or my ankles stop me. The prickling pull of sleep pressed into my right eyelid heavily, churned and begged for my fist to rub and rub and rub. The greatest relief is always itching your eye until it feels like your eyeball will be smashed into jelly.

I caressed the cold air by arching my back against it as it slowly creeped into my window. A cold breeze, the smell of the air filtering in through the screen the sweetest smell I know besides that of human skin. I miss smelling the skin of an arm slung over my shoulders in the morning, but tonight I did not miss any person who has held me in that way. I only missed their smell.

In the book I just finished, I knew the twist ending from page one. I knew she was dead the whole time and I waited for the twist to unfurl itself so the rest of the reading world would catch up. In the same way, I knew he would cheat from the first flick of his tongue against my ear lobe. In the same way I know that summer will blessedly melt to fall in what feels like no time at all.

via *

ceramic skin

Thursday, June 23

You had a penchant for breaking plates
when things got tough, you said.

Now remember staring across at me, through
the hope of candlelight, cradling promises
across to me on your lips.
You look like porcelain. milky skin;
soft. white. clean.

Now remember laying in my bed,
never quite believing I was real, you said.
Your tongue marbleized, crystallizing
around mine, melding me to you in
the most beautifully cruel way.

Now remember when your digital
secrets found me, even as my love
grew. Sharper than actions are words.
Sharper than the needs shaped like you
lodged into my ceramic skin.

Even then you were graduating to breaking porcelain dolls;
your specialty changing from plates to people.

via *

Edge I

Wednesday, June 1

I bit my lips wide open; ruined them.
I know what it was to leave you in your bed.
To feel you against my skin for the last
time as I sat against your sink and
smelled you in my hair. (No, No, No)
Empty rose petals were swallowed
by screwdrivers made of bone.

I sucked and sucked for more
flavor from the petals, tucked the single
flower up against my windshield,
then watched as the wind gently
carted it away. Without ceremony,
the smell of tea leaves still in the air.

You felt yourself here, in the alcove at
the back of the house, where I watched
your shoulders (God, I love your shoulders) leave.
We are nostalgic messes, fumbling to
connect. And here I come apart.

Please miss my fingernails.
Please miss my rose-scented lips.
Please miss the night(s) you saw it all.

via *


Wednesday, March 16

My mouth tasted like screaming. Everything was silent but I could still feel the hum of the scream on my teeth and in my fillings. The darkness I woke up to was hollow and foreign although I could smell my bedding surrounding me. I stared into the black and waited to feel settled in my own flesh again.

I tried to remember the last time I felt settled in my skin. Remembered childhoods spent skipping through sprinklers in tiny bikinis and never sparing a thought about if my stomach was sticking out. Popping a blood blister in my palm while on the monkey bars, blood pouring down to my elbow until it stained the teal dress I was wearing. I remembered trying to find my mom in the crowd of people at the park, blood drifting further down from my hand and no one coming to help me. It was the first time I felt alone and vulnerable.

I felt it again as I sat in my bed, blood peeking through the center of my lip where I'd peeled the skin while I slept again. I gripped the edges of my blanket and licked the blood off slowly, letting the taste of copper replace the taste of screaming. I'd hoped I'd only screamed in my dream and not in real life. Then again, nobody was dashing into my room to hold me this time either.

via *

Dear Body,

Tuesday, March 8

Dear Body,

It's been a long time coming for me to sit down and write this post for you. Quite frankly, you scare me and you'll have to excuse the fact that I had to take a shot for luck before I could stand and face you. Down the hatch, to the page.

You're beautiful. You are wanted. You are loved. You are even loved and wanted by the one person who matters most: me. I love you. I want you. I am so sorry that at times I make you feel unappreciated or low, but I am genuinely in love with you. All that you are.

Dear Hands,

I love the way you frame these keys. I love how hard you are working as I stumble through these words. I love your sturdy nails that grow to a perfect half-moon crescent. I love to look at you and the way you move and flow so gracefully. Your knuckles don't crack and I truly appreciate that as you know how much I hate that sound. I love your pyramid birthmark perched so gently on my right hand, pointed towards my fingertip. You've convinced me that I am clearly an Egyptian Goddess reincarnated. Thank you for knowing just where to touch and hold me and thank you for being so delicate and soft. Hands are my favorite part of the body on others and I am so grateful that I lucked out with a pair as beautiful as you. I promise I'll be better about lotion.

Dear Wrists,

I am so sorry. I am sorry I left small kisses from the razor I was once desperate enough to use. You have to know I did not mean to scar you. I only meant to wake myself up, remind myself of the fire in my deep red blood. But you have taken that scar and embroidered it softly into my skin, creating a stitch that constantly reminds me of how hard you fought to hold me together. And I love my Gatsby tattoo. It reminds me of the great words that have come before me that hold up my own. It reminds me of the overpowering love can be and where it can drive a man. It reminds me of beauty and hope and loss. Thank you for your grace under pressure.

Dear Arms,

I know that I need to tone your biceps, but you are lovely and lean nonetheless. You aren't the strongest but you do give some killer hugs. And I love that you hold my second tattoo, a reminder set between the mirror of my two scars. A message that we made it on the other side unscathed. I wish you were a bit stronger so I would feel safer, but you are still great.

Dear Chest,

I love your collar bone. I feel so sexy when it is on display. I feel like a ballerina and you inspire me to stand up straighter to show you off more. I love your breasts. They hang perfectly and fit perfectly in my hands. Yes, you are probably home to a favorite feature of mine, and a few others, but I'm proud of you. My chest makes me feel like a woman and feeling like a woman makes me proud. I probably like looking at you more than the general public (this fact is contestable, eyyyoooo)

Dear Waist,

You are so tiny and I love that I can wrap my arms completely around you and hold you together. You grab me that hourglass frame that I always envied so much growing up. Keep up the good work.

Dear Stomach,

Sorry for all of the pizza and late night burritos, but also I'm not sorry at all because we both know that I have never ONCE felt guilty about eating four burritos in one sitting. But it is my fault for making you feel ashamed for your size. I suppose that I'm growing on your little pooch. We'll get toned this summer and when we do, it will be in a healthy way. (Speaking of which, I'm sorry for trying to convince you to be anorexic in the seventh grade. Those were miserable times, but now we can both work on not paying attention to societal standards and do whatever makes us feel good and strong and healthy.)

Dear Hips,

...........It's you I'm most scared of. Scared to face what has always been my greatest insecurity. Your ass is too big from the side, you have love handles, you are too much for how small I am. But. Lately I am seeing more from you. I love what you add to my shape. I am so happy to have curves strong enough to part an ocean. And you are an essential part of that plan and the hourglass I love so much. You have my promise that I will keep trying to see the best in you. Because in the end, you are comfortable and you are mine.

Dear Legs,

Thank you so much for being so strong. All of those years of Irish dancing really left your calves strong and toned. I wish your feet wouldn't get so sore from running but I would like to start slowly toward the goal of running. I know, I'm not excited about it either but if anyone can carry me over that finish line, it's you. (probably... I mean, a car would do much of the same thing. Or a piggy back ride)

Dear Head/Face,

Another spot of contention. I'm sorry for being so critical of you. And for trying to force you into changing. ALSO for waxing your eyebrows. Sorry, but on a much more real level, not sorry. I like your dark eyes, they are mysterious and they look serious. And seriously well framed by my eyebrows, which pop so nicely. Thank you for being my selfie secret weapon. And thank you for the best hair ever.

Dear Body,

Part of the reason I am so insecure about you is because people seem to believe that if you openly love your body, you must be vain and pompous. People seem to think that by loving myself and being able to take a compliment without doubting it later will make me a terrible person. I do not want to be viewed as arrogant. Or overly confident. Plus there is that risk that as soon as I appear confident, I'll get rejected or laughed at by being confident about something ugly. That I'll get rejected because as it turns out, I'm not pretty after all.

But I think I am pretty. And I think that fear is pretty dumb. I think I am powerful, and a remarkable collection of all of the most lovely and horrible and neurotic atoms around. If someone is rejecting you, it is because of them. NOT US. We are so beautiful and strong. And fucking resilient. You have been hit and hurt and violated and you still perform and support me. You have carried me to so many amazing places. Body positivity should be admired, not punished or questioned. Women's bodies are always under scrutiny. But do not let society, or me, devalue you. I love you and I will be better at showing it telling you more often.

Body shaming must stop on every level. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable and hopefully inspire more love for myself. And for more people to love themselves.

I love you and I like you. Stay sexy.

Emma Jane Phelps

Let's be open to nature like this more.

everything in its right place

Tuesday, February 16

I remember thinking refineries produced clouds, dream factories spilling fluffy hope into the sky. But then I grew up and saw that they were just fountains pumping poison down through our nostrils until they ate our lungs away. Still as I drive past, I see the smoke sloughing out of the chimneys and can't help but find it beautiful even as I breathe the death deep down into my veins. I watch them pass from my windows and can't help but be relieved that I am driving alone. My hands are made of human paper that has been bent into ugly origami so often in the past and they are so happy to be alone. They caress themselves, they hold each delicate part of my body so gently, they block my lips as I step outside and avoid the poisoned air of factories and the refined fallacy of people. My human paper hands and my tulip cupid's bow are blooming for themselves in haunted, February air.

via *

simple little thoughts.

Sunday, January 31

The lawn gnomes had all lost their hats
and the one that was my favorite, the one
that held a flower, had walked away from
our lawn after he pulled me into him
on my doorstep after our first date.

I pictured the gnome's little face twisted
into contempt as he started at this man
who had held my door for me all night
and smiled at me as I bought a book
in the middle of our date inside of a snow globe.

I used to have dreams that lawn gnomes
were hiding under my bed waiting to kill me.
As I grew up, the gnomes became much
scarier and moved from under my bed to
filling my mind completely with insecurity.

But I told him I hated mornings and that
I look horrible when I roll out of bed.
He looked down shyly and whispered
that he thought that would be impossible;
I'm happy my ring got left behind as I left his house.

It wasn't on purpose per se,
but I smiled knowing he would find it in the morning.

via *