one day i met a man who killed all the poems in me i am no longer fascinated with my pain after you there is a dullness to the writing now, this is the calm after the storm,  an island widowed from atmosphere after a hurricane has swept through it, everything is rubble and stone i think about how much happier and at peace i am alone and always have been, love has a price always and the price is always yourself you just kind of hope the other person is doing that too, once you leave someone you have no right to ask anything of them. there is such a peace of mind when you know how little someone can offer you and when you know it has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. some people turn your love for them into a mistake in the after. it becomes untouchable in the after. it becomes dirty and Wrong in the after. i keep thinking of being abandoned again by someone else and being ok with it. i keep thinking about how to clean my love, filter it through the City of Toronto’s water treatment plant. i think about all the people in my life who have been very bad for me. there are more of these people than those who have been good for me. i keep thinking about making better choices but i don’t really know how. i think about the good friends i have. girls like me need to learn to receive love and this is hard because we don’t really know what it is. it is ok to lay in the rubble of a broken island dream. the price you pay when you love someone is yourself – and sometimes means a part of you dies once they leave. it’s ok. death is just the space before life in so many traditions. it’s ok. the love that stays is the love that lets you live. but the love that kills your instinct to give lets you die. we have to die before we are born again. this island has nothing anymore and that’s ok. sea rise. high tide. high time. thank you for killing that girl. this girl is a serpent in the water, does not need you, does not want you, has herself. i am at home in the salt and in the ocean. when you left there was an empty space inside me, as big as all the love i gave, as big as the love i wanted; when you left i saw how big the hole inside me was. saw the parchment paper thin skin, the girl that gave with no expectations, the girl that loved with no expectations, the dead girl hair, the dead girl eyes, the brown corn husk of a body, buried at sea with rubble dreams. it’s ok. some girls only find themselves on the other side of their graves. inside the dead girl corn husk brown shell brittle is me. Snake girl, snake witch, the girl who never gives anything for free anymore. the price of love is always a body. these days, i want to see how much he gives. a hand. a finger. a toe. a nose. what are the body parts i will collect in my room? i think about the littleness of men’s love. the way they collected my body parts and gave nothing. i think about their cowardice. How can you have yourself and other people’s body parts and give nothing? i think about how men make love transactional and dirty. i think about the little brown paper girl dissolving in the sea who loved to give and thought others would too, for her. i think about how i don’t love to give anymore. there is such peace in rest, in death. the truth is no one owes each other anything. the truth is, owning your word and living by it and knowing all men are made of lies in all ways always and that their words are worms in their own feces that you’ve been happily swallowing for years. men are only as good as their worthless words. you realise at some point you have to be better – really better. you realise you cannot live within the confines of the little ways of men with their narrow souls. you realise you hold yourself to better standards not because you have to, but because it’s a question of honour and justice and you can never tolerate anything less than that in yourself. you realise men will never do right by you, but that you can still do right by everyone – not for them, but for yourself.
On my best days, i wish him well.  On my worst days, i hope with a viciousness i did not know i had that someone hurts him the way he hurt me and that i run into him when he is struggling to find himself.  Then i remember: i did meet him when he was struggling to find himself.

And then I feel only indifference.


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Red Line

the air in my lungs is heavy with forest fire storm and electricity
I plucked these out of Jupiter’s eye, left him blind, and swallowed it centuries ago laughed at your stupid male god with his infantile fragile ego
I have always existed, churning red eye smoke
and smog and lightning in
my windpipe and yes, they charred a red dead black swath of brushfire in
the lungs of the women I have lived in,
but these are the women whose eyes can glow
and I have the Voice that is listened to.

I have always been the Witch of the Voice,
the Priestess of the Wise,
the red line tongue, the teeth that bite bite, my bite is much much worse than my bark brown soft on the outside stone on the inside
cut yourself on my brown soft skin like all the other guys, one time
I bit out spit out  “get out”
naked from my bed, my words slapped
him – landed like a lit match
he was shriveling up
in my smiling red flame
line like lipstick mind my time now
mind my words now:
“put your clothes on,
you piece of shit.
get the fuck outta my house now.”
I say calmly,  I lay languidly against the sheets, 24 years old, soft soft soft brown breasts soft, nipples slowly softening, soft belly breathing, viper tongue lashing like a devil’s fire whipline against his temple – he’s staggering and stammering.

What makes men lose their composure?

The red line, when they run into it.
It doesn’t matter how soft my body is,
I will cleave you in two or more
with that red line tongue of mine.
he opened his mouth to speak and so i laughed and filled his hole
with volcanic ash – saw him choke and struggle for air,
like a fish out of water,  fish inside a fire,  fish dying in my hands made of heat, imma eat you, swallow you, shit you out the front door of your own house –

“get the fuck out.”

I am the Voice of truth and conviction. I don’t demand, I don’t command, I simply state a reality that is or that will be soon, motherfuckers wanna show me their whole butter soft moon ass, asking for a kick in the seat of their pants

he puts on his pants silently, his eyes looking at the floor, at his crotch – his hands trembling near his fly, he feels like he’s gonna die, i think he knew for a minute his cock was missing done gone and would stay missing until dawn at least until he left my house, until he left me what was mine, mind the price you pay  the fare the toll that’s fair all told when you run the red line. he nodded a few times to himself as though to say yup, i am a piece of royal shit that doesn’t deserve to live, swallowed hard, walked out of my room, no i didn’t follow him out. i laughed and stared at the wall. I knew he would leave. I knew he would never go to the kitchen to grab a knife; I think he knew I was the sharpest knife around. I knew he would not fight to stay or stay to fight because I already had won. I knew he could do nothing but leave because I had decided already he would do nothing but leave.

I am the witch whose entire world is in her mouth
I am she who chooses who breathes, and whose lungs will turn to ash
I am the Fire Queen
the Red Empress
the Scarlet Goddess
I cut my teeth on Medusa’s nails,
My spells are always Voice and Silence and Gaze

Around me, a river on fire circles like a snake, sometimes men see my fangs on dinner dates, when I sip my wine, my dragon teeth tap against the glass and I run my red line tongue over them. Sometimes they mistake this for sexual interest. Sometimes they mistake this for thrill. Sometimes they see the red line and want to know what it is. So I will tell you:

The red line is just
what I let in and
what I keep out

When men run that red line stop sign, motherfuckers drop dead in my sightline who the head bitch ’round here yeah I tell them sometimes: give me all the water inside your honeydew moon filtered bodies, give me all the water inside all your cells, all that gentleness you think you have earned, give me all the plasma inside your blood vessels, give me all the stuff your organs are soaked in, give me everything good and wet and water and life giving about you, let me turn them all to smoke and ash in my throat. Give me everything that you thought you could take. Give me everything you stole. Give me all the best parts of you because they were mine before it was yours.

And if you don’t,

Believe me,

I will take them.

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i brought so much
magic and poetry and love
to the men in my heart

what did they give me
what did they take that was mine

i don’t want to bring magic to people
anymore; let them search in the dirt
for mundane moments just like
everyone else

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my love is worth more than all of you combined never forget it

it is a coward’s world there is no room for the brave here someone once told me i love courageously but there is no point loving in a coward’s world this world is for people who love tentatively and stupidly and with reservations this world is for people who love with conditions (aka: not love) and who call it love this world is for people who will fear love more than they can love this world is for people who settle all the time and call it magnificent when they ultimately just have to be content with the choices and the people they fall into this world is for people who will choose a lifetime with someone they feel some shallow feeling for and call it love this world is for people who cannot love this world is for people who are so scared scared scared and i’ve never been scared of love i am just terrified of the banality of the world we are in i am amazed that people are so stupidly vapid i am amazed that i thought people were better than they are i am amazed i thought people were worth loving because they are not. they’re really not.

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get out

i am amazed always at how quickly and glibly people want to tell me if a connection lasted a month and i felt love that it was not a real feeling i want to tell them their mother did not love them in the first month in the first minute in the first anything i want to tell them i have been with people for years and it has not mattered i want to tell them nothing actually but i sit with the punch they leave in my stomach quiet and soft like a pillow out of shape “you don’t know what love is if it was a month” i have never stopped loving anyone i have ever loved even if things end my love has always endured painfully i feel it will outlive me so these days when someone tells me “none of your connections mattered” or “none of it counts” or “oh well it was only a month” i walk away i cut these people out of my life get out get out if you cannot value my love you cannot value me you cannot value love itself you do not know what it is like to love in such unspeakable undignified unvalidated unacknowledged ways until you have done it and anyone who tells me these things does not deserve to be in my life ever

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Surviving #MeToo

Hi everyone,

I was recently published through Nuance for the following piece: Surviving #MeToo.

“I don’t know if I’m allowed to be a woman living my life who happened to experience rape. Is that a thing? I always hear Survivor with a capital S, like a name. I feel it as a thing that defines how I am read, like how I feel brownness in my skin setting me apart from society. I think about how racism constructs race as an identity. I think about how rape culture creates survivors — not just through the act of rape or sexual assault, but through the creation of an identity: Survivor.”

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Sunday Rambles

  1. one day even the demons will leave and instead of the overwhelming emptiness of space where they were there is only Stone
  2. you forget how to love after meeting enough people who have forgotten to love
  3. there is a preoccupation i have these  days. everything is reduced to preoccupation.
  4. you stop wanting to love or be loved after a while – not in a disorganized scattered overwhelmed way. it’s just a quietness. it’s the soft clutter of other things in one’s life. books. papers. conferences. i hope i’m busy and preoccupied and distracted and maybe even happy when a bus finally hits me one day. preoccupation. before occupation.
  5. it’s just a game i have in my head: would i really care if anyone in my life got hit by a bus and the answer is always no – except for myself. i, present-me sitting here, would care if future-me got hit by a bus. but if and when it happens i hope im happy
  6. i think about the laziness i feel in capitalising i in my pieces. when i get hit by a bus one day, i hope i will have given myself a graduation – a self promotion to I, a movement away from lethargy, a better sense of myself
  7. i feel i have taken this body hostage in some strange way and that it is not mine after all
  8. i feel the girl that kept this blog is not who i am and i feel alien to the sensation of writing the way i used to
  9. i write in lists now.
  10. i just want to notcare in the most extreme sense of the word, I want you to blend into the wallpaper of my past, into the grey of useless memories about useless men, into the insignificance of days that do not matter. 
  11. i guess i’ll always be a witch in how my words come true because i don’t care. i just didn’t expect everyone to blend into the grey of useless memories along with you but there it is, a wallpaper of people in my life that i don’t really see anymore
  12. i should be grateful i think. i should have some gratitude i think. but i don’t. i have…a preoccupation. i am preoccupied. i am thinking. i feel the body is such a limiting tool. and i am indifferent. and at best some days, the slight feeling i have about anything is reluctance.
  13. some people call me passionate about the work i do but i don’t think that’s true. i don’t know what that is. in Mindhunter, Holden and Debbie discuss Goffman’s understanding of masks. “What would you wear if no one was around?” Holden asks. “probably nothing,” Debbie says. “What about you?” “Probably still the suit” Holden says. “We are what we pretend so we must be careful what we pretend” Vonnegut wrote.
  14. i feel all of us are ocean in the end or mud or nothing and that boundaries between people are artificial but necessary
  15. why has pain mattered more to me than joy? is a question i have no answer to if meaning is contrived. maybe it’s just weakness, i muse. maybe it’s just a kind of weakness of the soul to value pain more than joy. joyful truths always feel like lies in the end. and pain has always felt more truthful. more real. more solid.
  16. some people are not vessels for love and that’s ok they may be vessels of great creativity, intelligence, drive
  17. i think people believe in God because they need someone to tell them who they are
  18. i don’t know who i am but i don’t care; i know who i am enough to survive this stupid fucking idiotic world
  19. i thought i was a liberal but i think im a nihilist which is bad because the trajectory of me turning into a white nonsense spouting 20 year old philosobro dumbass is starting to solidify
  20. i am glad my general sense of life is a careful navigation of my preoccupation with indifference, slight reluctance, boredom, lethargy because it is better than the horrifying ugliness of those old demons no they don’t feel dead, but they do feel…gone.
  21. maybe that’s why i don’t know who i am anymore – without the ugliness of the past, the present feels….unanchored. there is a freedom to floating, to being adrift, to consider swimming, to attempt flying. i feel untethered. unattached. in control.
  22. i think when parents die people freak out because they lose that anchor. security. it is a second umbilical cord cutting away. maybe if one of my parents died i would experience a second layer of untethering.
  23. am i learning how to be a ghost?
  24. being human has always felt out of reach
  25. i think about what we let inside. the meat of ourselves. i think about his laughter in my ear, his fingers in my mouth. i think about how i thought i felt his soul echo inside my heart. i think about what a lie it was. my cat ate a flea and in the flea was a tapeworm egg that grew into a tapeworm that the poor thing is trying to shit out daily and i wonder what is growing on me, feeding on me inside me, maybe after i am hit by a bus, and after i am dead and cremated, maybe they will find worm eggs in the ashes too.
  26. we are who we are around. we are who we let in. maybe i am turning into a worm. maybe i am turning into him.
  27. i have broken so many hearts this summer and none of that matters to me. i don’t care.
  28. so now i know he didn’t care. this is what breaking a heart feels like: absolutely nothing slightly annoying.
  29. god, people are annoying when they are heartbroken. all my writing is tired. i irritate myself.
  30. i do not even have the conviction of self loathing anymore.
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when i met you you were incapable of love
and that’s ok because i’m incapable of love now too
and it’s freeing – there is so much more room in my life
for myself
when there is no one else in it

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Of Rats and Men

  1. “Neither a lender nor a borrower be”.
    First, I met him, the lender,
    and he killed everything in me
    that wanted to receive.Then, I met you, the borrower
    and you killed everything in me
    that wanted to give.

    Now, I meet people and I am
    neither a borrower, neither, a lender

    Love, when it exists,
    is a choice that was made, and
    I accept this tiredly,
    resignedly, and I know that
    I do not know how to choose
    who to love

    but maybe there is justice
    because neither did he
    and neither did you

  2. “Making Pasta”.
    my Somali roommate learned to make pasta in Italy,
    where she was born (there is a large community
    of Somalis with knowledge of Italy due to challenging circumstances,
    and migration due to a civil war – you should read up on it) but anyway,
    she learned from a Nonna that the best way to get it “al dente” is
    you throw the spaghetti against the wall
    to see if it sticks, and I burst out laughing the first time she did it,
    in our kitchen,
    I squeaked, from behind the stove
    looking up from the nest
    of rat shit, hair, and bits of fluff, the cats can’t get here –
    “if it fell down? How do you know it won’t fall?”She shrugged and said “Well I only throw it against the wall
    when I have a feel for it – you get a feel for it after cooking lots”

    I don’t have a feel for anything, I muse from the rat nest.
    I don’t have a feel for anything.

    I think about the leftovers of the past, carefully
    collecting mould in tupperware from middle school lunches
    i’ve kept them all stored and stacked dutifully in my nest
    This is a nice apartment, I think.
    Someday soon I’ll have a better one, I think.
    I nibble on the thoughts collecting dust,
    I chew on old tissues and dead girl meat.

  3. “Laughter”
    Who, do you think, is the top selling woman of colour poet in North America?
    It’s amazing how truly intersectional the approach of self love, cliché, and a good marketing strategy can be, I muse.
    Actually I’m not laughing. Why shouldn’t brown women get to be just as average as the average white male poet? Sarah Hagi wrote “Lord, give me the confidence of a mediocre white man” , and she’s absolutely right, but I suppose there is nothing wrong with doing one better, going one further, why not have the talent too of a mediocre white man and be lauded for it? #mediocrity

4. “It’s intimate”,
he said a little uncomfortably. “I’m just – not ready yet? it would take me some time before you stayed over – even if it was just staying over and we did nothing – it’s intimate…”

“Of course, I completely understand,” I lied. I don’t understand after all, because when did I ever understand intimacy or trust? I thought I did, and the universe kept up its “stop hitting yourself in the face? why are you hitting yourself in the face with your own hand? haha stop punching yourself in the face!” game for years so of course what the fuck do I know about any of it.

Of course I don’t believe him. There’s no reason to believe men until they give you a reason to believe them. follow through. you don’t owe strangers your trust.

(In another universe, I said once, on the phone “It – what we had – wasn’t it intimate?” “Yes, I just – can we just slow down?” He asked. Of course, it ended, because I didn’t trust him to slow it down, I trusted him to ghost and disappear and that is what he did)

And then I clarified, “I mean, I only asked because it’s not intimate for me -or I guess it’s not that intense to just stay over – but no I get it – that it’s intimate for you.” I mean, nothing is intimate anymore. Here is a man for whom cuddling is intimate. I respect that he wants to wait. I am also incapable of intimacy no matter what we do or don’t do.

I wonder about all the milestones in my past, shifted around, they look like pebbles in the distance there are no towering stories in my life because nothing ever matters, and nothing ever has a meaning, and everyone told me I was too serious growing up, and I needed to lighten up, and I think about how nothing means much to me anymore.  like “I love you” is worthless after him. Like “let’s be exclusive” is worthless after you.

5. “Of men and meaning”
Do men even realise, how they strip the magic and meaning away from moments, how they turn intimacy inside out, spill its guts blood soaked along the bedsheet, do men realise how they turn everything they touch to ash, how they strip love of any significance at all. I think about men’s inability to promise anything. How guiltlessly they lie. I think about the banality of women’s lives when we must share it with men. Never doubt how little he has to offer you, it is always less than you think possible.It is always closer to nothing than to anything. It is always more meaningless than meaningful. It is always more worthless than anything to treasure. It is always more ash and dust than precious. I used to think my capacity to build was greater than their capacity to ruin everything around them, and I don’t think that’s true anymore.

I think the project of men is to ruin love again and again and again – for themselves and for others until nothing is left.

6. “nothing is left. ”


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70 Truths


  1. loving you was wrong
  2. i still love you
  3. no not in that way
  4. there is a wall between me and you
  5. there is a wall between me and everyone
  6. i don’t believe in love anymore
  7. what we did was wrong
  8. i feel disgusted when i think of us
  9. i feel grief when i think of us
  10. i feel there was no us
  11. you taught me my trust is precious by breaking it
  12. i feel nothing when i think of us
  13. you killed something in me
  14. i hope something died in you so that there is justice
  15. i hope only one of us was hurt for mercy
  16. there is no reason to write anymore
  17. i am so tired
  18. i can leave anything and anyone behind
  19. love is a choice  how disgusting
  20. love is a choice how mundane
  21. love is a choice how empowering
  22. man, fuck you
  23. i have never been more humiliated in my life
  24. you are not good for me
  25. i don’t know who you are
  26. you don’t know who i am
  27. we are  strangers
  28. after you, my words are gone – my writing is flat, cliche, not even cliche, not even interesting
  29. you killed so many things in me, i keep finding open graves inside me, stumbling into them in the middle of the afternoon
  30. my heart is a walnut for me for me for me for me for me for me for me just for me for me for me for me for me
  31. i am the only thing that matters in my life
  32. i don’t love you
  33. i never loved you
  34. maybe i never knew how to love
  35. women are not allowed to love need want
  36. i am selfish now
  37. i remember the taste of your finger in my mouth
  38. i remember everything
  39. i remember nothing
  40. i thought what we had was special
  41. i don’t anymore
  42. trust has eroded to nothing so that is probably a good thing why build anything new on stupid rotten wood stone dust broken trees and rotting murky swamp quicksand
  43. i can’t write anymore all my writing is trash now so thanks for that you piece of shit
  44. i am not responsible for you
  45. you are not responsible for me
  46. you are not responsible for my writing turning into so many bits of rat feces
  47. i bleached out the inside of my heart after you
  48. before you, i was pretty sure I could love, and now I have some serious doubts on that front
  49. i guess i know now why in some faiths, you fall to your knees and lift your hands up and open in prayer
  50. i don’t have faith in anything anymore except myself
  51. i believe in death.
  52. we are what we do
  53. i am not a fucking bird
  54. you are not a fucking tree
  55. you could drop dead tomorrow and i would not care
  56. i could drop dead today and you would not even know
  57. i think death is a measure of meaning-  like would you really care if anyone in your life died right now
  58. i wouldnt
  59. except for myself I guess
  60. i still cry sometimes but about what i don’t know
  61. life is such a punishment no wonder every major religion is over it. over this, over the living of it.
  62. i am responsible for myself
  63. and nothing else
  64. i have no strong feelings about anyone or anything
  65. i’m pretty sure i’m actually crazy
  66. i don’t love you, i want love to exist for you
  67. i lose interest in people quickly now
  68. i don’t give people second or third or fourth chances – did anyone give me those things?
  69. thanks for teaching me how to stop giving a fuck
  70. thanks for leaving
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