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"headache", "ditch living", & "still here" by Brenna Boytim


split head

thunderous nauseous strobe lights

concussion beat

drip dripping over my teeth

iron tang

scattered pills across the silky tiles

my hands can’t hold anything

right now

cheekbone pressure gauge

sharp as a butcher

i’d carve me out to escape

the tocking of the clock

can barely hold my eyelids back

sweet autumn release

a long dark

winter silence


i can’t feel the hit

and i never reach it

just walking dead

carrying sickness

in my skull

ditch living

such big eighteen year dreams

wideness and bright-lit eyes

a plan

scorched and dead in a dorm room

narrowing and narrowing

anorexic optimism

atrophied limbs and mountains to climb

landslide bruises

color-changing chameleon skin


but don’t ask for five years

delusional headlights

swing off I-95

all the time

ditch living

swamp stagnant water

with the rest of the roadkill

but still breathing

for now

still here

rings on fingers

only money

never photos

in the wallet

standing in an empty

parking lot

midnight hum

closed eyes

arms wide

just breathing and breathing

you’re on your own

lesson learned

but alive

still alive

boots in pools

of neon

planted on concrete

like the daisies

in the cracks

defiant things


still alive

Brenna Boytim writes about ghosts, regrets, and reveries. You can find her on twitter @hi_thisisbrenna.

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